Oil Spill

Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Teams Document Tar Balls in Fourchon Beach

Release Date: 05/13/2010

To view tar ball pictures, visit this site: http://bit.ly/9SUWGG.


Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Teams inspecting Fourchon beach on Thursday, May 13, documented substantial numbers of tar balls, some up to eight inches in diameter, along the entire beach.


SCAT teams are made up of representatives of federal and state agencies, including Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Department of Environmental Quality.


LDWF biologists also documented tar balls on the banks of Belle Pass, which is a few hundred yards north of the mouth of the waterway. Biologists documented approximately 25 nickel sized tar balls per square foot from the southwestern end of Fourchon beach to the midpoint of the beach. One biologist documented more than a dozen tar balls on the far western end of Elmer's Island.  Tar balls ranged from the size of nickels to up to eight inches in diameter.


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.


2010-150

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Green Heron Released at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area After Cleaned of Oil

Release Date: 05/13/2010

Officials from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released one green heron this morning at the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the northern edge of the Atchafalaya Basin. The release of this oil impacted bird brings the total to three since recovery and rehabilitation efforts began in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident.


The green heron released today at the WMA in south central Louisiana was cleaned of oil and treated at the Fort Jackson rehabilitation facility located in Buras, LA. Green herons are generally described as smaller, solitary, wading birds and are common year-round residents throughout Louisianas wetland thickets. Two other oiled birds, a northern gannet and a brown pelican, were released on May 10 in Florida.


To date, 21 birds have been processed through Fort Jackson, including an oiled brown pelican discovered by LDWF biologists yesterday. Two birds are currently alive and being treated, and 15 birds died after admittance, were dead on arrival or had to be euthanized. Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Center and the International Bird Rescue and Research Center operate the rehab facility in Buras.


Sherburne WMA was chosen for the release of the green heron due to the quality of habitat available for this species and the central location of the WMA in the state. The public land is located in the Morganza Flood way system of the Atchafalaya Basin and is situated in the lower and upper portions of Pointe Coupee, St. Martin and Iberville parishes respectively. LDWF owns 11,780 acres, USFWS owns 15,220 acres and the remaining 17,000 acres is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The area is managed as one unit by LDWF.


For more information related to the oil spill, visit 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 www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.


For more information contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.


2010-151


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LDWF ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL OPENINGS OF INSHORE AREAS AND TERRITORIAL SEA TO RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING

Release Date: 05/13/2010


Effective at Sunrise 5/15/10

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following openings to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective tomorrow, May 15, 2010 at sunrise.

Inshore Openings

The inshore area of Zone 1 from the Mississippi border to the south pass of the Mississippi River with the exception of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line and the area south and east of Baptiste Collette Bayou this area in not open to shrimping.

The inshore area from near Sandy Point in Plaquemines Parish at 89 degrees 30 minutes 12 seconds eastward to the Mississippi River, except the waters that are east and south of Red Pass channel which runs from Venice to the Gulf of Mexico.

Territorial Sea Openings

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

The states territorial seas from 89 degrees 30 minutes 12 seconds west longitude, eastward to the mouth of Red Pass at  89 degrees 28 minutes 13.4 seconds 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.

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

All other closures remain in place.

Click here to view a map of open and closed areas.

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.

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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES CONTINUES SEARCH FOR OIL AND OILED MARINE ANIMALS

Release Date: 05/12/2010


Marine biologists at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Grand Isle research lab continue to record and prepare deceased marine mammals and sea turtles for oil contamination testing. Staff there is sending injured animals to the Audubon Aquatic Center rehabilitation facility in New Orleans to be treated and tested by specialists.


In Grand Isle, both permanent and temporarily stationed LDWF Enforcement agents and marine biologists embark on daily patrols in search of oil and potentially contaminated wildlife.


Agents and lab personnel conduct daily patrols on Grand Terre, Grand Isle, Grand Isle State Park, Elmers Island and Fourchon beaches. Other teams throughout the state are focusing their efforts on Lake Calcasieu, Holly Beach, Johnsons Bayou, and the Venice and Hopedale areas, among other important areas of interest.


As soon as an animal is spotted rescuers radio its location so that transport can be set up as needed.


Reports of oil or oiled wildlife from other parties involved in oil spill activities are also investigated.


"Any animal thats stranded anywhere from the Texas/Louisiana line to the Mississippi/Louisiana line is considered potentially oiled," said Mandy Tumlin, the LDWF biologist who oversees the rescue or recovery of marine animals along the Louisiana coast.


"It may not exhibit signs of external oilingwhich is why we do various sampling," said Tumlin.


To obtain samples for testing, the exterior and mouth area of the injured or deceased animal is wiped with sterilized gauze. Deceased animals are measured, weighed, tagged and labeled, and then frozen and transported to the Audubon rehab facility, working in partnership with LDWF for the rescue effort, for necropsy.


"We have multiple biologists out on the vessels with our enforcement agents who are out doing patrols daily. Were working together as a complete team through the department," Tumlin said.


To view video, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh7JAQe229g


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<http://www.facebook.com/GOHSEP> and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep


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LDWF ANNOUNCES PARTIAL OPENING OF INSHORE AREAS AND TERRITORIAL SEA TO RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING

Release Date: 05/12/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham has announced several actions regarding recreational and commercial fishing activities effective sunrise, Friday, May 14.

Inshore Areas Opening

The inshore area from the Empire Canal eastward to the 89 degrees 30 minutes 12 seconds west longitude
The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 12 seconds north latitude and north of 29 degrees 10 minutes 16 seconds north latitude
The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 10 minutes 16 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Grand Caillou at 90 degrees 56 minutes 14 seconds west longitude remains closed to all recreational and commercial fishing

Territorial Sea Opening

The state's territorial seas between Empire Canal at 89 degrees 36 minutes 19.9 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shoreline of Sandy Point Bay at 89 degrees 30 minutes 12 seconds west longitude
LDWF continues to work closely with the Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct tissue-sample analysis in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's Coast.

All other closures remain in place.

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

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

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Partial Opening of Territorial Sea Off Grand Isle to Recreational and Commercial Fishing

Release Date: 05/11/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham has announced that the state's territorial seas are open, effective immediately, from the Empire Canal westward to Belle Pass for recreational and commercial fishing.

This opening takes place from the eastern shore of the Empire Canal at 89 degrees 36 minutes 19.9 seconds to the western shore of Belle Pass at 90 degrees 13 minutes 36 seconds west longitude.

"My goal is to have people out there fishing," Barham said. "Every day we are making new assessments and decisions to give all anglers, commercial and recreational, every opportunity to utilize our state's great resources."

LDWF continues to work closely with the Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct tissue-sample analysis in an effort to access all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's Coast.

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 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov

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State Opens Additional Freshwater Diversion Canal at Bayou Lamoque in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 05/11/2010

Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in coordination with the Louisiana Office of Coastal Restoration and Protection (OCPR) and Plaquemines Parish officials have opened gates at the Bayou Lamoque freshwater diversion in Plaquemines Parish, allowing water to flow from the Mississippi River into wetlands adjacent to Black Bay and Breton Sound at an estimated 7,500 cubic feet per second.


This action will help minimize the impact of oil on the fragile ecosystems of eastern Plaquemines Parish.


OCPR and Wildlife and Fisheries officials estimate more gates can be repaired and opened in the coming days, raising the capacity of the diversion to an estimated 12,000 cubic feet per second.


"The potential effects of this oil spill could last for decades, so we are using every means at our disposal to try to lessen the devastation the oil could inflict on our wetlands," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.


The eight gates that control the flow of this structure were found in disrepair accordingly, LDWF and Plaquemines Parish had the mechanisms repaired to allow the diversion to be opened.


"We have been using diversions, siphons and locks on both the east and west side for more than 10 days to try and push the oil away from our coastal wetlands. Louisiana's coastal wetlands are a maze of marshy islands, grass beds, bayous, ponds and lakes. It will be nearly impossible for us to clean the oil out of these areas for years if it gets in there," said Garret Graves, Chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. "Louisiana's coastal fisheries, communities and wetlands have been challenged by four major hurricanes in the last five years. This latest challenge from the oil spill has the potential to adversely impact our unique culture for several years. Hundreds of thousands of recreational and commercial fishermen and families could be affected."


There are now seven diversions and siphons and one navigation lock opened to move water out of the Mississippi River and into coastal wetlands. Four diversions or siphons and the lock are located in Plaquemines Parish while three are in St. Bernard and one in St. Charles. The total measurable flow from these diversions is 29,550 cubic feet per second.



  • Bayou Lamoque Diversion: Plaquemines Parish. 7500 CFS (capacity 12,000)
  • Davis Pond Diversion: St. Charles Parish. 10,650 CFS (capacity 10,650)
  • Violet Siphon: St. Bernard Parish. 200 CFS (capacity 200)
  • Caernarvon Diversion: St. Bernard Parish. 8000 CFS (capacity 8,800)
  • Whites Ditch Siphon: Plaquemines Parish. 200 CFS (capacity 200)
  • Naomi Siphon: Plaquemines Parish. 1500 CFS (capacity 1500)
  • West Pointe A la Hache Siphon: Plaquemines Parish. 1500 CFS (capacity 1500)

The Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration is the implementation office for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.


For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov.  Connect with us at www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter at @GOHSEP.


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


2010-146 

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Louisiana Confirms Tar balls at South Pass

Release Date: 05/11/2010


Click to Enlarge


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has confirmed the presence of tar balls at South Pass in Plaquemines Parish. Tar balls are sticky, dark-colored pieces of oil which occur after weatherization changes the physical characteristics of floating oil.


LDWF technicians working with oil spill response crews on boom maintenance around Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) spotted the tar balls that had washed ashore on the southeast side of the WMA .


The state continues to monitor coastal conditions and will assess any potential damage to Louisiana's coast and wetlands as impacts are reported.


For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov Connect with us at www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter at @GOHSEP.


For more information contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.


2010-144

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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES ACTIVELY ENFORCING FISHING CLOSURE IN OIL SPILL AREA

Release Date: 05/10/2010


BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are patrolling the fishing closure zones in the oil spill area daily by water and air to ensure that all seafood brought to market is safe to consume.


To guard against the possibility of oil tainted seafood being brought to shore, LDWF and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) has issued recreational and commercial fishing closures in areas of the gulf where oil is believed to have spread.


"We are trying to keep as many areas open to fishing as possible, but as the oil spreads further towards the coast we have no choice but to issue a fishing closure for those areas," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "We want the consumers of Louisiana seafood to be confident that the seafood they consume is safe and delicious as always."


While LDWF continues to work closely with the Department of Health and Hospitals to execute closures, it is important to note that LDWF maintains the authority to close any and all areas that are deemed necessary by the secretary of the department.  LDWF Enforcement Agents have the authority to enforce closures in state waters regardless of where the directive comes from.


The Enforcement Division has deployed forward command centers to Hopedale, Venice and Grand Isle to patrol the fishing closure areas.  From these locations, agents launch boats for daily missions specific to the closed fishing zones.  The Enforcement Division also flies over the oil spill area to monitor and report any signs of fishing activity in these closed areas.


If an agent discovers fishing activity in the closed area, they will inspect the catch and return all fish to the water.  If fishermen are found to be in obvious violation of the current fishing closure areas, agents will issue a citation to all parties involved.


LDWF will also be inspecting trip tickets, which are used by the department to track seafood sales and where the seafood was caught.  Every wholesale/retail seafood, fresh product and crab shredder license holder must fill out trip tickets along with a monthly report to LDWF.


"The vast majority of people are complying and respectful of the fishing closure zones and understand why they have been put in place," said Colonel Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Law Enforcement Division.  "However, agents will continue to strictly enforce the closed areas to ensure that every fish caught in the these areas are returned to the water."


To report fishing activity in the no fishing zones, please call 1-800-442-2511 or 225-765-2441.


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


For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.


2010-143

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LDWF ANNOUNCES NEW AREAS OPEN TO SHRIMPING AND ADJUSTMENTS TO PRECAUTIONARY FISHERIES CLOSURES WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Release Date: 05/09/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced that all areas west of the Mississippi River are open to recreational and commercial fishing, including shrimping, with the exception of the areas listed below, effective at noon today, May 10, 2010. 

  • All state inside waters north of the inside/outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of the Empire Canal at 89 degrees 36 minutes 19.9 seconds west longitude eastward to the Mississippi River 
     
  • The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 12 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the western shore of Oyster Bayou at 91 degrees 07 minutes 53 seconds west longitude
     
  • All state outside waters extending seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the Mississippi River westward to the eastern portion of Atchafalaya Bay at Pointe au Fer Island at 91 degrees 20 minutes 44 seconds west longitude

There have been no changes to recreational or commercial fishing closures east of the Mississippi River.  Last week recreational and commercial fishing was closed in this area, excluding the coastal boundaries of Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and Chef and Rigoletes Passes.

Based on the presence of juvenile shrimp, the shrimp season remains closed in Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, and in the Chef and Rigoletes Passes. 

Click the below link to view a map of these openings and closures.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit 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 www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep

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

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