LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Larto Lake Gates Opened for Emergency Bridge Repairs

Release Date: 09/14/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will open the Larto Lake water control structure for emergency repairs to the Highway 3102 bridge. The bridge is immediately below the control structure, and water flowing over the spillway structure is inhibiting bridge repair work.
 
DOTD plans to open the gate immediately to increase the rate at which the lake will return to normal pool stage.  The lake water level is currently 1 foot above normal.
 
The drawdown gates will remain open until the water reaches normal pool stage.
 
LDWF does not anticipate any impacts to the lake habitat or fish populations during this period.

Yakey Bridge Project Completed at Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 09/13/2016

Sept. 13, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has completed replacement of the Yakey Road bridge over Bayou Cocodrie at the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and reopened the span to light vehicular traffic.
 
Yakey Road provides access to WMA users from Louisiana Hwy. 15 to Blount Road on the northern end of Richard K. Yancey WMA. 
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA is located in Concordia Parish, approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Hwy. 15. For more information on this WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/36994 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .

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Crab Task Force to Meet September 20th at 1:00p.m.

Release Date: 09/13/2016

                                                                             

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, chairman

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 1:00 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Dr., Room 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

 

AGENDA

I.             Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.            Approval of June 8, 2016 minutes and September 20, 2016 agenda

III.           Financial Report

IV.           New Business

A.     Update on Seasonal Closure and Derelict Crab Trap Closure- LDWF

B.     Discussion of Crab Possession Limits and Regulations- Trudy Luke

C.     Update on the Blue Crab Mark-Recapture Study-  Zack Darnell

D.    Discussion of the MSC Certification- Gary Bauer

 

      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

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6691121269072473858

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

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Assumption Parish

Release Date: 09/12/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Assumption Parish that occurred on Sept. 11.

The boating incident occurred around 2 p.m. in Bayou Cheramie near Amelia and claimed the life of Jaidyn Montet, 7, of Bayou L’Ourse.

Agents learned that a triton bass boat with one person on board collided with a 20 foot aluminum vessel with four people on board including Montet while in a curve on the Bayou.

An ambulance transported Montet’s body to Teche Regional Medical Center in Morgan City where she was pronounced dead with severe head trauma.  The operator of the aluminum vessel was also treated for minor injuries.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Agents do not suspect alcohol played a role in this collision.

LDWF Delays Drawdown on False River

Release Date: 09/08/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in conjunction with the False River Watershed Council and Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury, have delayed a drawdown on False River, originally scheduled to begin on September 6, due to recent flooding in the area.
 
Project engineers indicate no adverse effects from the flooding are expected but advised a drawdown delay as a precautionary measure.  Barring significant rainfall, the drawdown is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 13.  The lake is expected to reach normal water level today (8.8’ NAVD, 16’ FRD).
 
The lake will be lowered at a rate of 1.5 inches per day to a maximum of 6 feet below pool stage.  The slow dewatering is recommended to allow for proper drainage of shoreline areas. 
 
The drawdown is being used as a management tool to improve water quality, decrease sedimentation and improve sportfish habitat. The drawdown structure is still scheduled to close on January 15, 2017, and the lake will be allowed to refill.
 
Property owners should take necessary action to secure or remove vessels, floating docks, and other items potentially impacted by the drawdown prior to its commencement.
 
The lake will remain open to fishing and other recreational use during the drawdown.  However, caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater structures. 
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Brian Heimann, LDWF Biologist Manager, at bheimann@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2337. 
 
 

Catahoula Lake Diversion Canal Boat Launch on Dewey W. Wills WMA Remains Closed

Release Date: 09/07/2016

Sept. 7, 2016 – The Catahoula Lake Diversion Canal boat launch at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) remains closed as the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) makes repairs. The launch experienced damage due to erosion and is unsafe for use.
 
LDWF will announce when it is repaired and ready for use. 
 
Hunters can access the lake via the public boat launches at Stock Landing, French Fork and Old River. 
  
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 .
 

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LDWF and Sea Grant to Hold Lake Pontchartrain Artificial Reef Meeting for September 8th

Release Date: 09/06/2016

 
 

 

Who:  LDWF Artificial Reef Staff

What:  Public information meeting to provide information and receive comments about the proposed reef site located in Lake Pontchartrain

WhenThursday, September 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Where: East Bank Regional Library , 4747 W Napoleon Ave, Metairie, LA 70001

For additional information, questions, or comments please contact: 

Ashley Ferguson at 225-761-2395 or aferguson@wlf.la.gov

This meeting will be open to the public.

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

 

LDWF Plans Two Derelict Crab Trap Closures for 2017

Release Date: 09/02/2016

LDWF Plans Two Derelict Crab Trap Closures for 2017

At yesterday’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a Notice of Intent for a rule that describes two different regions along the entire Louisiana coast to be closed for the purpose of removing derelict crab traps. 


1. The first closure will take place in the eastern portion of the state.  The inside waters from the Louisiana/Mississippi state line westward to Bayou Lafourche will be closed to the use of crab traps from February 20, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. through March 7, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.  



2. The second closure will take place on the western side of the state. The inside waters from the Louisiana/Texas state line eastward to Bayou Lafourche will be closed to the use of crab traps from March 6, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. through March 21, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. 

See map above.

The LWFC took action during its July meeting to create a seasonal closure of the commercial harvest and the use of all crab traps for 30 days beginning on the third Monday in February.  Today’s action will fall within with this 30-day seasonal closure to minimize impact to commercial crabbers.  Only Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel or their designees may remove and dispose of abandoned crab traps during the closure periods.


Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, have successfully removed and disposed of 27,366 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. Last year, LDWF, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, volunteers, CCA and members of the recreational and commercial fishing community assisted in retrieving more than 2,500 abandoned crab traps.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.


In the weeks leading up to the closure, LDWF will mail notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers as well as non-resident licensed crab fishermen who fish Louisiana waters and reside out of state.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.


Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Only LDWF personnel or their designees may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Mr. Jeffrey Marx, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 2415 Darnall Rd., New Iberia, LA 70560, or via e-mail to:  jmarx@wlf.la.gov prior to November 1, 2016.

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

LWF Commission Sets 2016-2017 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 09/02/2016

 

News Release

 

For Immediate Release
September 2, 2016

 

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public Information
LDWF

(504) 286-8745

rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

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LWF Commission Sets 2016-2017 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Oyster Season Overview Map

East of the MS River map detail

Bay Long Sacking only detail

Drum Bay Sacking Only Detail

On September 1, 2016, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016/2017 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season (see maps above):

·    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation, Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise.  No harvest of oysters for market sales is allowed on any public oyster area prior to the second Monday in October.  Therefore, any and all vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds between September 7, 2016 and October 9, 2016, both dates inclusive, shall be harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the harvest vessel.

·    Monday, November 14, 2016  -  The Bay Long/American Bay sacking-only area and Hackberry Bay will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 

·    Tuesday, November 15, 2016  -  Hackberry Bay (sacking-only)

·    Season delayed until further notice - all Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River and north of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude (including Drum Bay sacking-only area).  The cause of that delay is described below.

During the 2016/2017 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

1.  Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:

a.  Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R. S. 56:440.  The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes.  The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit.
b.  Be limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both on the same day.

2.  If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds or reservations described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.
3.  Prior to leaving public seed grounds or reservations with oysters harvested from said seed ground or reservation: all oysters must be sacked, the number of sacks shall be recorded in a log book, and each sack shall be properly tagged.
4.  All vessels located in public seed grounds or reservations during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise shall have all oyster dredges unshackled.
 

The following areas shall remain closed for the 2016/2017 oyster season:

·      The area east of the Mississippi River and south of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude, excluding the American Bay area listed above

·      The Bay Gardene and Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservations

·      The Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Chien, Lake Felicity, and Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds

 

The opening of the season in the following area is delayed until further notice:

·      all Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River and north of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude, including the Drum Bay sacking-only area

This oyster season delay is necessary due to extensive oyster mortality observed throughout the area and also to protect a recent spat set in order to increase the likelihood of spat survival and facilitate resource recovery.  Protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of the public oyster seed grounds in this area.  Data indicating the need for this season delay was collected on September 1, 2016.

Seasons were not set for the Sabine Lake or Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Areas.

Closure dates, adjustments in sack limits and/or sacking-only areas will be determined by LDWF Secretary Melancon on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public 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.

 

LDWF, National Shooting Sports Foundation Team Up to Help Hunters Stay S.A.F.E.

Release Date: 09/02/2016

Sept. 2, 2016 - Responsible hunting is a time-honored tradition that plays an important part in managing Louisiana’s wild game populations. Responsible hunting means respecting game animals, hunting ethically and, most importantly, hunting safely.
 
With hunting season beginning and firearms in use and in transport, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) are urging hunters to prevent firearm accidents in the field, at the range, at home, and everywhere in between. 
 
Remember, the hunt isn’t over until you are S.A.F.E. 
 
S.A.F.E. stands for: Store firearms responsibly, Always practice firearm safety, Focus on your responsibilities as a firearm owner, and Education is key to preventing accidents.
 
Safe and secure storage of firearms when they are not in use is the number one way to prevent firearm accidents. 
 
To complement LDWF’s hunter safety programs and provide hunters with additional resources on proper firearm storage and safety, NSSF has made several resources available, which can be found at the Project Childsafe website. Together, LDWF and NSSF want to help everyone hunt responsibly, return home safely, and securely store their unloaded firearms.
 
NSSF’s Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign is part of the Project ChildSafe program, which NSSF launched in 1999. For more information on safe firearm storage and to find out how to get a free firearm safety kit, including a gun lock, visit www.projectchildsafe.org.
 
For more information, contact LDWF Education Program Manager Eric Shanks at eshanks@wlf.la.gov or 337-491-2575.
 

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