Oil Spill

LDWF Modifies Closures in Portion of Territorial Seas Including Barataria to Caminada Passes for Recreational and Commercial Fishing

Release Date: 05/20/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing activities in a portion of the territorial seas, in lower Jefferson Parish, from the eastern shore of Barataria Pass to the western shore of Caminada Pass effective today, May 20, 2010 at sunset.   These actions were taken due to confirmed reports of oil.

Territorial Seas Closure

The state's territorial seas seaward of the inside-outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of Barataria Pass at 89 degrees 56 minutes 44 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at 90 degrees 02 minutes  46.597 seconds west longitude will close effective sunset May 20, 2010.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas.  Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily.  As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363

2010-163

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Modifies Closures in Portion of Territorial Seas West of Caminada Pass to Recreational and Commercial Fishing

Release Date: 05/20/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following additional closure of a portion of the territorial seas, in lower Lafourche and Jefferson parishes, from the western shore of Caminada Pass to Belle Pass to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective immediately, May 20, 2010.   Oil has been documented in the area, including the presence of tar balls on Fourchon Beach.

Territorial Seas Closure

The state's territorial seas seaward of the inside-outside shrimp line from the western shore of Caminada Pass at 90 degrees 02 minutes  46.597 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Belle Pass at 90 degrees 13 minutes 36 seconds west longitude.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas.  Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily.  As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

All other closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov.  Connect with us at www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

To see current fishing map click here: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/news/fishing-closure.jpg.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2335 or 225-610-2363.

2010-159

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LDWF Biologists Document Oil at Elmer's Island

Release Date: 05/20/2010

   


Photos provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries depict images of oil as it washes ashore Elmer's Island today in Jefferson Parish.


LDWF biologists, stationed at the Fisheries Lab in Grand Isle, conduct daily field surveys of Elmers Island, Grand Terre, Port Fourchon and Grand Isle beaches, documenting any signs of oil and searching for oil-impacted wildlife.  Reports indicate tar balls and emulsified oil cover the entire four mile stretch of beach at Elmer's Island.


The oil found at Elmer's Island has been sampled and is being tested to determine if its origin is from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Elmer's Island Wildlife Refuge, owned and maintained by the state of Louisiana, is a 230-acre tract of barrier beachfront located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish. It is located directly across Caminada Pass from Grand Isle, LA. 


For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep


For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2335 or 225-610-2363.


2010-162

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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES BIOLOGISTS RESCUE FIRST OILED SEA TURTLE

Release Date: 05/19/2010

Team of veterinarians cleans, rehabilitates turtle


A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle was recovered by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists late last night after the animal was spotted by biologists in oily waters off the coast of Louisiana.


According to LDWF biologists, the exterior of the turtle was heavily oiled. Oil samples collected from the sea turtle are currently being tested to determine if the oil is from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


This Kemp's Ridley is the first rescued oil-impacted sea turtle reported and was discovered approximately 33 nautical miles offshore. Biologists spotted the barely two-pound turtle around 6 p.m. in the Gulf of Mexico. After loading the turtle onto an LDWF vessel, he was transported to shore and brought to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services headquarters building in Venice, La. LDWF biologists then transported the turtle by truck to the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program in New Orleans.


"Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles were placed on the Louisiana endangered species list in 1989, so it is very important that we rescue and rehabilitate those sea turtles we find that have been affected by the Gulf oil spill," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "Our department conducts several daily beach and water surveys looking for any distressed marine mammals, sea turtles or other wildlife. In recent years, the Kemp's population has slowly started to recover, so we hope to mitigate any decline in this species due to the oil spill."


For pictures of the oiled sea turtle from Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program, visit: http://bit.ly/dp0j9J


The baby Kemp's Ridley was examined by Audubon Nature Institute veterinarians and oil and blood samples were taken. The turtle was transferred to the wash station where it received a thorough cleaning with Dawn soap and a toothbrush.


The turtle will be observed by staff until it receives a bill of clean health from Audubon Nature Institute veterinarians. Then the turtle will be kept at a facility for holding until the Gulf of Mexico is deemed safe enough for release.


"Audubon Aquarium is proud is to be the coordinating facility for the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program." says Michele Kelley. "It is a great privilege to work with all the organizations from around the state and country to provide the greatest care possible to marine animals such as the critically endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle."


Kemp's Ridley and are listed as the most critically endangered sea turtle. All species of sea turtles are considered endangered or threatened. Kemps Ridley sea turtles live in sheltered areas along the coast including bays, bayous and estuaries and are considered the smallest sea turtles, usually weighing between 80 and 100 pounds when fully matured.


The Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program is a volunteer organization based at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. The group is committed to the humane care and treatment of injured, ill, or out-of-habit marine mammals and sea turtles. The program works with other conservation organizations to respond to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles to collect data about existing populations of marine animals along the Louisiana coast and waterways, and to help researchers develop new knowledge supporting the conservation of marine species.


For more information on Louisiana's response to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep


For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.


2010-157

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LDWF MODIFIES CLOSURES IN PORTION OF TERRITORIAL SEAS BELOW EMPIRE TO RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING

Release Date: 05/19/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following additional closure of a portion of the territorial sea, west of the Mississippi River in lower Plaquemines Parish to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective tomorrow, May 20, 2010, at sunrise. These modifications have no impact on fishing in the Grand Isle area.

Territorial Sea Closure

The state's territorial seas seaward of the inside-outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of Chaland Pass at 89 degrees 44 minutes 06.3 seconds west longitude, eastward to the mouth of Red Pass at 89 degrees 28 minutes 13.4 seconds west longitude.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's Coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

All other closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

Editors: For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.

2010-158 

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LDWF and DHH Issue Additional Closures to Fishing and Oyster Harvesting Areas in the Territorial Seas near Marsh Island Due to Reports of Oil

Release Date: 05/18/2010

Officials Continue Aggressive Testing; Seafood on the Market Safe

The Louisiana departments of Health and Hospitals (DHH), and Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today the closure of recreational and commercial fishing activities, and oyster harvesting  near Marsh Island and in harvesting bed Area 28 due to confirmed reports of oil associated with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective sunset today, May 18, 2010, due to confirmed reports of oil. LDWF staff documented oil on the Marsh Island beach, east of Southwest Pass.

Territorial Sea Closure

All state outside waters extending seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from South Point of Marsh Island at 91 degrees 45 minutes 48 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of Freshwater Bayou at 92 degrees 18 minutes 27 seconds west longitude.

All other closures remain in place.  For a map detailing these closures click here. http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/news/fishing-closure.jpg

Oyster Harvesting Closure

DHH Secretary Alan Levine and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the closure order for Area 28, which will take effect at sunset today, Tuesday, May 18. Area 28, which is south of Vermillion Bay, is west of the Mississippi River in Iberia Parish.

Areas 2 through 4, 8, 14, 15 and 17 also are closed. Areas 5, 6, 7, 9 and 13 were recently reopened.

Closures will remain in effect until officials have determined that environmental conditions are within the requirements specified by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

Additional Testing

LDWF and DHH continue to work together to assess closures in order to maintain the safety of Louisiana seafood. 

DHH officials have also been working closely with other local, state and federal agencies to monitor the oil plume that continues to grow off of the Louisiana coastline for its potential impacts on oyster harvesting areas. Meanwhile, employees with DHH's Office of Public Health Molluscan Shellfish Program have continued regular testing of 8 million acres of coastal waters along the Louisiana shoreline.

In addition, DHH scientists and engineers are conducting enhanced testing of oyster meat taken from the closed beds to monitor the presence of oil, called hydrocarbon testing. Additional testing is also being conducted in unaffected oyster beds. These tests will create a baseline, which will be used to ensure the safety of oysters once the incident clears in order to reopen beds. Oysters being harvested in open areas are considered safe.

The public is encouraged to call a toll-free hotline, 1-800-256-2775, to report the presence of oil or an oil sheen.

Officials with LDWF and DHH are working closely the Governor's Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as the situation develops. For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect at www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter at #GOHSEP. Also find more about DHH at www.dhh.louisiana.gov.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.

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LDWF ANNOUNCES RE-OPENING OF PORTION OF INSHORE AREA AND TERRITORIAL SEA TO RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING IN LOWER TERREBONNE PARISH

Release Date: 05/16/2010

Effective Immediately  5/16/10

After the test results showed that the oily substance on the May 14, 2010 catch of a fishing vessel was not related to the Deepwater Horizon spill, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following openings to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective immediately, May 16, 2010. Now that LDWF has confirmed the reported contamination had no connection to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a new investigation will begin to determine how the petroleum product came in contact with the catch.

Inshore Opening

Inshore waters south of 29 degrees 19 minutes 59 seconds north latitude and north of 29 degrees 10 minutes 16 seconds north latitude and between 91 degrees 21 minutes 09 seconds west longitude at Point au Fer to longitude 90 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds west longitude in the vicinity of Cocodrie.

Territorial Sea Opening

The state's territorial seas from Point au Fer eastward to 91 degrees west longitude.

Please note that these areas are open to both recreational and commercial fishing except in those areas closed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to oyster harvesting.

The Secretary's actions today re-open the additional water bodies that were closed by the May 15, 2010 emergency action in response to the report of oiled seafood catch.  Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas.  Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily.  As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened. 

"Our department remains on high-alert as we make daily assessments of state water ways," said Secretary Robert Barham.  "I want people to be out there fishing, this is the Sportsman's Paradise, but at the same time the safety of our seafood must be a top priority."

LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to conduct coast-wide sampling of fish, crabs and shrimp, to ensure all seafood harvested from the Gulf is a safe, quality product.  To date, all test results of seafood sampled from Louisiana have been negative for hydrocarbons. 

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.

2010-155

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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES CONFIRMS OIL NEAR SISTER LAKE

Release Date: 05/15/2010

   


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) received reports from a Terrebonne Parish shrimp trawler of confirmed oil near Sister Lake (Cailliou Lake).


Captain Lyle Dehart of the shrimping vessel Rocking Angel reported he had caught oily shrimp around midnight Friday, May 14, in Bayou Severin (Bayou Sauveur), which is near Bay Moncleuse, near Sister Lake.  Dehart said when the shrimpers touched the shrimp their fingers stuck together.


LDWF staff boarded the vessel Saturday morning, May 15, and observed the shrimp stating there was oil on the vessels deck and the shrimp had black on the shrimp legs and heads.  Samples were taken for further testing. The oil will have to be further analyzed to confirm it is connected to the Deepwater Horizon spill.


Click here to view pictures of oily sheen and oil on the deck of a shrimp boat in Dularge, La: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep/sets/72157623942437869/detail/


For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or  225-765-2335 or 225-610-2363.


For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.


2010-153

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LDWF EXPANDS RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING CLOSURES IN LOWER TERREBONNE BOTH INSHORE AND IN THE TERRITORIAL SEAS BECAUSE OF CONFIRMED REPORTS OF OIL EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

Release Date: 05/15/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective immediately, today May 15, 2010, due to confirmed reports of oil in this area. The oil will have to be further analyzed to confirm it is connected to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Oiled trawls and boats were reported to LDWF today by a local shrimp harvester in Terrebonne parish. Upon receiving the coordinates and verifying the oiled areas, Secretary Barham made the decision to close the following areas to commercial and recreational fishing effective immediately, today, May 15, 2010.

Inshore Closure

 *   Inshore waters south of 29 degrees 19 minutes 59 seconds north latitude between 91  degrees 21 minutes 09 seconds west longitude  at  Point au Fer  to longitude  90 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds west longitude in the vicinity of Cocodrie.

Territorial Sea Closure

 *   All state outside waters extending seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the Pointe au Fer Island at 91 degrees 21 minutes 09 seconds west longitude eastward to 91 degrees west longitude.

LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital (DHH) to conduct tissue-sample analysis in an effort to guarantee the safety of Louisianas seafood.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or  225-765-2335 or 225-610-2363.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

2010-154

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Biologists Discover Oiled Pelican

Release Date: 05/14/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists found an oiled Brown Pelican, Louisiana's official state bird, on the rocks along Bayou Rigaud, across from Sand Dollar Marina on Thursday, May 13. Biologists collected the pelican and brought it to veterinarians for rehabilitation.


The Brown Pelican is Louisiana's official state bird, only recently removed from the endangered species list on November 11, 2009.


Twenty birds in total have been delivered to Fort Jackson in Louisiana since the beginning of the oil spill, where they are cleaned and rehabilitated. Five of these birds were oiled and needed treatment and two have been cleaned and are being rehabilitated, including one brown pelican and one green heron. The Center has released two birds so far - one Northern Gannet and one Brown Pelican. Another bird is scheduled to be released today.


To view a picture of the pelican, visit this site: http://bit.ly/9lUNvd


For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.


For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or  225-765-2335 or 225-610-2363.


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