finfish

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close Friday

Release Date: 02/09/2011

Feb. 9, 2011 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel will close in state water this Friday, February 11, at noon. The decision was made by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, based on data gathered by LDWF and National Marine Fisheries Service biologists, anticipating the set quota of approximately 1 million pounds had been met.

The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the commercial season for king mackerel in federal waters on Friday at noon.

The season is expected to resume on July 1, 2011.

On average, Louisiana lands approximately 90 percent of the quota set for king mackerel in the western Gulf of Mexico. A significant portion of the species landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in northeast United States.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.
 

Last Weekend of Special Red Snapper Season in State and Federal Waters

Release Date: 11/19/2010

Special season was opened Oct. 1 when quota wasn’t met; season closes Sunday, Nov. 21

This weekend is the last chance for recreational anglers to enjoy a special red snapper season, which opened in state and federal waters on October 1, 2010. The special season was declared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) when it was determined the recreational quota for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico had not been met. This weekend, Friday through Sunday, marks the last chance anglers have to keep red snapper until the 2011 season opens on June 1.

The recreational quota for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t met this summer due to extended closures of Gulf waters, both state and federal, necessitated by the BP oil spill. When the season was reopened, NOAA estimated that approximately 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4 million pound quota remained.

Recreational saltwater fishing in Louisiana accounts for $472.1 million in retail sales in Louisiana annually and more than 7,700 jobs. The total economic impact is approximately $757.1 million each year. However, the BP oil spill kept many recreational anglers dockside throughout the summer. This special season was a chance for sportsmen from across the Gulf coast to enjoy almost an extra two months of angling for red snapper.

All regulations established for recreational harvest of red snapper were in effect for this special season.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF to Close Commercial Fishing of Small Coastal Sharks in La. Waters at 11:30 p.m., November 18

Release Date: 11/17/2010

NOAA predicts quota will be met; fishery will reopen until 2011 season

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the small coastal shark fishery in state waters at 11:30 p.m., November 18, 2010. LDWF Secretary Robert Barham signed the closure, which follows the November 2 closure issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The recreational season remains open.

Commercial fishermen began harvesting blacknose and non-blacknose small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters when the state’s shark fishery opened on July 1. The small coastal shark fishery includes the bonnethead shark, the Atlantic sharpnose, the blacknose and finetooth sharks.

While the federal small coastal shark season opened on June 1, LDWF keeps the state fishery closed to commercial shark harvest from April 1 to June 30 each year in order to protect shark pups and pupping females.

NOAA estimates the landings for small coastal sharks from Maine to Mexico to be 226,112 lb. The small coastal shark landings in Louisiana are extremely low annually.

The federal commercial season for small coastal sharks will remain closed until the start of the 2011 season, which is determined by NOAA, and opens 30 days after the opening date for the season is publicized in the federal register. LDWF will determine the 2011 state waters in conjunction with the federal season.

No personal shall purchase, barter, trade or exchange shark in excess of the designated trip limits, or from any person who does not possess a commercial state shark permit or federal commercial directed or incidental limited access or federal shark research permits, if applicable.

Vessels that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the permit’s conditions, including NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the federal shark research fishery quota is met.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

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L.D.W.F. Reopens All State Waters to Recreational Angling

Release Date: 08/20/2010

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ordered an immediate opening of all state inshore and offshore territorial waters to recreational angling, including charter boat angling.  The areas opened today by the commission do not include the recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs or oysters.  Prior to today?s action, approximately 862 square miles or 11 percent of saltwater areas of the state remained closed to all recreational fishing due to the impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

LDWF, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is continuing to provide additional fish tissue samples for sensory testing and chemical analysis in preparation for re-opening areas currently closed to commercial crabbing and commercial fishing.

With today?s action, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also voted to submit a letter, urging the FDA and NOAA to expedite the required testing to re-open commercial fishing areas previously closed due to confirmed reports of oil.

LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:

Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in areas that were previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will then submit an ?intent to reopen? to NOAA and the FDA

LDWF biologists will conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area

Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination.  This process is expected to take between seven and ten days

After complete analysis the FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding proposed reopening

For a map detailing today?s recreational openings click here. 

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2335

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Documents: 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Announces Opening of Seatrout Season

Release Date: 08/05/2010

Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the commercial season for the harvest of spotted seatrout will open on August 15, 2010.  This fishery is set to remain open until the maximum annual quota is reached, or on the date projected by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that the quota will be reached, or until sunset on Friday December 31, 2010, whichever comes first.

Act 979 of the 2010 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session modified the season for the commercial harvest of spotted seatrout using a commercial rod and reel.

Also included in Act 979, and effective with the implementation of that act and these rules, the commercial taking or commercial harvesting of spotted sea trout shall be prohibited within Louisiana waters west of the Mermentau River.

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335

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Last Day for Recreational Fishing for Red Snapper Friday, July 23

Release Date: 07/21/2010

Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the recreational fishing season for red snapper in state and federal waters will close at 12:01 AM on July 24, and will remain closed until June 1, 2011.  LDWF chose to enact the same action for Louisiana waters to enhance the effectiveness and enforceability of NOAA regulations and to ensure the recreational red snapper quota is not exceeded in the 2010 fishing year. 

All red snapper must be landed and on shore no later than 12:01 a.m. July 24, no possession on the water after that time is allowed. 

NOAA continues to monitor the recreational catch statistics for the Gulf of Mexico, should additional fish be available for recreational harvest under the established quota, an additional season could be announced in federal and state waters. 

Approximately 97 percent of all red snapper landed in Louisiana are caught in federal waters.    

Secretary Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their January, 2010 meeting to change or modify opening and closing dates for the recreational red snapper season in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters will be consistent with regulations of NMFS for federally managed waters.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov

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