LDWF News Release

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet on November 17th

Release Date: 11/12/2015

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, chairman

Tuesday, November 17, at 1:00 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Dr., Room 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122



             I.            Roll Call and introduction of guests

            II.            Approval of October 8 meeting minutes and November 17 agenda

           III.            Financial Report

           IV.            Old Business

 A.     Update on commission item to suspend entry into the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program

             V.  New Business

A.     Preliminary result of the commerical crab harvest – Jack Isaacs

B.     Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) recommendations on Mississippi River Sediment Diversions  

C.     Crab meat importation- Trudy Luke

D.    Sustainability Cerification- Damon Morris


                          VI.              Public Comment

                         VII.              Set Next Meeting

                         VIII.             Adjourn


The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at


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.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup.

For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov




Telemetry Tagging Event to Take Place on Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 11/10/2015

Telemetry Tagging Event to Take Place on Lake Pontchartrain
Telemetry Tagging Event to Take Place on Lake Pontchartrain

As part of an ongoing study of speckled trout, red drum and bullsharks in Lake Pontchartrain, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will again host its annual fall acoustic telemetry tagging event during the week of November 16.
In the fall of 2012, the department launched the project to collect continuous data on individual movements of these species over time. The data collected provides insight to seasonal migration patterns, habitat use and how movements may vary between sexes.
Tagging events are held twice a year, in the fall and spring. The department depends on volunteer anglers to capture fish and carefully transport them to a nearby LDWF surgery boat. There, the fish are weighed, measured, tagged with an external dart tag and surgically implanted with an acoustic tag. Tagged fish are held in a recovery tank for a minimum of thirty minutes to ensure a healthy release.   
Acoustic tags are much more effective for tracking fish movement than traditional tagging techniques.  Conventional tagging involves marking and releasing a fish that will hopefully be recaptured at a future date, yielding very few data points. Acoustic tagging allows scientists to repeatedly locate and track tagged fish in remote or inaccessible settings, thus providing a more detailed look at patterns, usage and behavior.
Since the program’s inception, biologists have tagged 218 speckled trout, 56 red drum and 18 bullsharks.  With four years of data already in hand, the agency has arrived at some interesting conclusions.
Speckled trout movements are most strongly influenced by salinity. The salinity in Lake Pontchartrain is low during the spring, and tagged trout can be observed leaving the lake from March through May. The salinity in the lake begins to rise in the fall, and trout begin returning in November. “Many Lake Pontchartrain anglers reference ‘World Series trout’ because they begin to catch them around the time of the World Series baseball tournament, which occurs in late October to early November,” explained LDWF biologist Ashley Ferguson. “The fall migration observed with the tagged trout correlates very closely with angler observations, lending legitimacy to the fable.”
Biologists have also used acoustic tagging technology to determine that bullsharks in the lake are mostly influenced by temperature and can be observed leaving the lake in cold winter months.
“Red drum have only been tagged for one year of the program. They can be observed using all habitats in the lake but spend a majority of their time along natural shorelines,” explained Ferguson. “We will be tagging additional red drum during this upcoming event to determine how their future behavior compares.”
Movement trends of all acoustically tagged fish can easily be observed using our online Fish Tracker.
Anglers are encouraged to report all tagged fish recaptures. These tagged fish are very valuable to this research project, and we ask that if caught, they be released so that data can continue to be collected.  Tagged fish that are part of this program can be recognized by a blue external dart tag.  Please call the number provided on the blue tag, and report the date, time, location of catch and health of the fish when released. 
Anglers interested in volunteering for the fall tagging event can email aferguson@wlf.la.gov for additional information. 

Oyster Industry Workshop to Address Key Legislative Issues

Release Date: 11/10/2015

(Nov. 10, 2015) - Louisiana Fisheries Forward, a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana Sea Grant collaborative program, will host a free, educational oyster industry workshop in Houma. Workshop topics include oyster harvesting tags and requirements, methods of sale of oysters, private seed production and industry legislative updates. These presentations are designed to help those in the oyster industry thrive in a constantly changing marketplace.
The free workshop will be held:
Friday, November 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dumas Auditorium
301 West Tunnel Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360
Hands-on demonstrations will include new refrigeration techniques and equipment, including the LFF Seafood Quality Training Lab. A light meal will be provided, so registration is encouraged to accommodate all participants; visit here.
LFF is a voluntary education program, established with the goal of improving the economic success of Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry by showcasing new technology and best practice methods.
Fishermen requesting more information should contact Darren Bourgeois at dbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (504) 284-2033.

Oyster Harvest to Close in Sister Lake

Release Date: 11/09/2015

Oyster Harvest to Close in Sister Lake

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that the harvest of oysters shall close in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR) in Terrebonne Parish at one half hour after sunset on Friday, November 13, 2015.  This public oyster seed reservation holds a limited oyster supply and harvest pressure during the oyster season, which opened on October 19, has significantly reduced the oyster resource.  Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area.

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered.  The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

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.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 11/09/2015

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m. in the second floor conference room of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.  

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1.     Roll Call of Board Members

2.     Approval of Minutes from August 26, 2015 Meeting

3.     Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals

a.     Michael Anglin

b.     John W. Parker, Jr.

c.     Myron Prosperie

4.     Hearing of New Re-Issuance Permit Appeals

a.     Durvin Lombas, Jr.

5.     Update on Recommendations Made at August 26, 2015 Meeting

6.     Discuss legislation concerning the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit

7.     Receive Public Comments

8.     Set next meeting date

9.     Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov



Waterfowl Hunters Advisory for Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 11/06/2015

Nov. 6, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising waterfowl hunters who use the greentree reservoir at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) that water will not be available for the opening of the 2015-16 waterfowl season.  The state’s East Zone opens for waterfowl hunting on Nov. 21. 
The 400-acre reservoir, bordering Saline Lake, will not have adequate water due to a malfunction of the water control structure. Repairs are being implemented to make the reservoir functional, thus providing waterfowl habitat and hunting opportunities.
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .

Fools Bay Low Water Crossing Within Grassy Lake WMA Damaged Due to Heavy Rainfalls

Release Date: 11/06/2015

Nov. 6, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) users that the Fool’s Bay low water crossing on North Bayou Natchitoches Road has been breached due to recent rainfalls and is closed for all use.
Increasing water levels in association with the latest rainfalls has caused flooding and damage to the crossing, and forced closure of the thoroughfare, until water recedes and crossing can be repaired up to standards for safe passage. 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville.
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767  or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .



L.W.F.C. Allocates Breeding Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Funds to Ducks Unlimited

Release Date: 11/06/2015

Nov. 6, 2015 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to allocate all Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dedicated funding for development and preservation of migratory waterfowl breeding grounds to Ducks Unlimited (DU) for three years.
In response to a Commission request for proposals in April, proposals were  presented  to the Commission in June by the United Prairie Foundation, Delta Waterfowl and DU. Each group was seeking funding that comes from 10 percent of LDWF hunting license sales. Those proposals can be viewed at this location on the LDWF website: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .
After hearing Wildlife Division biologist evaluations and two deadlocked votes at the September meeting, the issue was reconsidered at the Nov. 5 meeting with seven members present.  After a motion to divide the funding between DU and Delta Waterfowl was presented, and voted down, the Commission voted to allocate all funds to DU.
DU will recieve $320,000 in each of three consecutive fiscal years including 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 that is to be used for protecting, restoring and enhancing breeding habitat for migratory waterfowl. DU has been awarded a major portion of this funding since 1965.
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.



John Nelson Harris Wins 2016 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/06/2015

John Nelson Harris Wins 2016 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

2016 Louisiana Duck Stamp



LWFC Approves Revised Duck and Goose Hunting Zones for 2016-2021

Release Date: 11/05/2015

Approved Duck Zone Map
Approved Goose Zone Map
To view a high-resolution version of the maps, click HERE.
Nov. 5, 2015 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved today revised duck and goose hunting zones that will go into effect with the 2016-17 duck and goose hunting seasons.  There will be no changes to the current zone alignment for the 2015-16 waterfowl seasons.
Public comment collected by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) over the last 30 days provided a variety of suggestions from duck hunters statewide which were taken into consideration prior to the Commission vote. The proposed zone changes presented to the public, and based on Commission input at their Oct. 2 meeting, offered major changes in the boundaries to the coastal and east zones.
Based on public comment, the Commission modified the proposed changes to maintain a coastal zone that aligned more closely with existing zone boundaries and pushed the east zone boundaries further west below Alexandria.
The approved zone boundaries for 2016-21 duckseasons are as follows:
East Zone:  The area of the state between the Mississippi State line and the line going south on Hwy 79 from the Arkansas  border to Homer; then south on Hwy 9 to Arcadia; then south on Hwy 147 to Hodge; then south on Hwy 167 to Turkey Creek; then south on Hwy 13 to Eunice; then west On Hwy 190 to Kinder; then south on Hwy 165 to Iowa; then west on I-10 to its junction with Hwy 14 at Lake Charles; then south and east on Hwy 14 to its junction with Hwy 90 in New Iberia; then east on Hwy 90 to the Mississippi State line.
West Zone:  The area between the Texas State line and the line going east on I-10 from the Texas border to Hwy 165 at Iowa; then north on Hwy 165 to Kinder; then east on Hwy 190 to Eunice; then north on Hwy 13 to Turkey Creek; then north on Hwy 167 to Hodge; then north on Hwy 147 to Arcadia; then north on Hwy 9 to Homer; then north on Hwy 79 to the Arkansas border.
Coastal Zone:  Remainder of state.
In the same discussion at today’s meeting, LDWF presented the Commission with a proposal to set zones for goose hunting because of a potential conflict with traditional goose hunting dates that the revised duck zone changes presented.  The Commission approved the proposed goose hunting zone alignment. 
The boundaries for hunting geese during the 2016-17 through 2020-21 hunting seasons are as follows:
North Zone:  Portion of the state north of the line from the Texas border at Hwy 190/12 East to Hwy 49; then south on Hwy 49 to I-10; then East on I-10 to I-12; then East on I-12 to 1-10; then East on I-10 to the Mississippi State line.
South Zone: Remainder of state.
Duck and goose hunting zones approved by the Commission today will take effect in the 2016-17 hunting season.  Zones for duck hunting can be changed every five years, and zones for goose hunting can be changed yearly.
The waterfowl zone items were presented to the Commission as a Declaration of Emergency since any zone changes have to be communicated by LDWF to the US Fish and Wildlife Service by Dec. 1, 2015. LDWF will present the 2016-17 waterfowl season framework to the Commission in January with all other hunting season dates and regulations proposed at the same time. 
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.
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