Oil Spill

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

Release Date: 05/13/2010


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: 05/13/2010

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 Confirms Tar balls at South Pass

Release Date: 05/12/2010


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.


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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: 05/12/2010

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: 05/12/2010

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.


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

Release Date: 05/11/2010


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.


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

Release Date: 05/10/2010

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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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Further Recreational and Commercial Fishing Closure due to Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Release Date: 05/09/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today it will be closing recreational and commercial fishing in further areas of state waters as a precautionary response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

This action expands the previously announced emergency commercial and recreational fishing closure to include an area of the state's territorial sea west of the Mississippi River to Point au Fer and the beaches that border any of the closed areas.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced the closure of both recreational and commercial fishing in the state territorial seas, and the bordering beaches, extending from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the eastern portion of Atchafalaya Bay at Point au Fer at 91 degrees 20 minutes 44 seconds west longitude.  This closure will take place at 6 pm, tonight, May 9, 2010.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident has resulted in a significant release of oil into the offshore waters of Louisiana and the area of impact is expanding. Oil has the potential to impact fish and other aquatic life in portions of Louisiana's coastal waters.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is working closely with the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Governor's Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as the situation unfolds. Updates on any further closures or changes in the status of areas closed will be posted at emergency.louisiana.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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LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab Set as a Staging Ground for Oil Spill Response

Release Date: 05/09/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries research lab located at Grand Isle has been activated as a staging ground for south central Louisiana oil-spill related actions.  Twenty LDWF biologists and National Marine Fisheries biologists are stationed at the lab, along with more than 20 LDWF enforcement agents with six vessels are stationed for rescue, monitoring and recovery efforts.


"We are thrilled to open the doors of our state-of-the-art facility to all agencies involved in the oil-spill recovery efforts," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "We are making every effort to mitigate the effects of the oil on Louisiana's wildlife and our diligent efforts to recover animals will help give these creatures the best chance."


LDWF fisheries biologists will conduct daily beach patrols for oil-affected marine mammals, sea turtles and birds.  These surveys will cover more than 25 miles of beach including Grand Terre, Grand Isle, Elmer's Island and Port Fourchon.


Upon discovery of oil-impacted wildlife, a team of four biologists will respond to the location to make an assessment of the animal.  Oiled marine mammals such as dolphins, manatees, whales and sea turtles are taken to the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. Birds and other wildlife species are transported to the Oiled Wildlife Recon and Recovery Facility at Fort Jackson near Venice, LA where they are examined and triaged. 


In an effort to determine a cause of death, deceased wildlife are brought to the Grand Isle lab where biologists perform full necropsies.  Once all procedures are complete, LDWF biologists in coordination with NOAA, collect samples, document necessary data and finally secure specimen for further scientific research.


While staged at the Grand Isle fisheries research lab, biologists are also conducting daily offshore patrols surveying for distressed marine life and field surveys of local estuaries for oiled birds.


About the Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab


The $23 million, state-of-the-art lab supports resource sampling and research work performed by Office of Fisheries staff, which drives the decision making process for management of the resources within the entire state.  Biologists based in Grand Isle study a variety of marine species including finfish, crab, shrimp and oysters and their associated habitat, which are all vital to the economy of Louisiana.


The following measures were taken to ensure that the facility is hurricane and flood proof:


Dredged material from construction of the marina was used to build the site up to 6 feet above sea level
The buildings are raised to 12 feet above the new grade which results in the finished floors being 18 feet above sea level
All elements at grade are designed to "wash out" during a high flood event
The buildings are constructed of concrete columns, beams, floors and walls to withstand  150+ MPH winds


The new facility will allow LDWF to continue to build on the cooperative working relationships with the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program.


Facility space is available in the visitors' lab to accommodate the research needs of any public group or visiting scientist and can provide meeting space for up to 100 people.


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


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