LDWF News Release

Crab Task Force to Meet October 10

Release Date: 10/05/2017


Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, chairman

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 1:00pm

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70148




I.         Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.         Approval of July 11, 2017 Minutes and October 10, 2017 Agenda

III.         Financial Report

IV.         New Business

A.     To Hear a Presentation on the 2018 Derelict Crab Trap Closure Areas- Peyton Cagle

B.     Discussion of Crab Season Closures- CTF

C.     Discussion of Leadership Workshop and Meeting Rules of Order- Anne Dugas

D.     To Consider Funding for the 2018 LA Fisheries Forward Summitt- Anne Dugas

E.     To Consider a Resolution to Support the State’s Continued Work on Gulf Hypoxia-     Doug Daigle

V.         Public Comment

VI.         Set Next Meeting

VII.         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:


LWF Commission to Modify Blue Crab Harvest Regulations

Release Date: 10/05/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent changing regulations for the commercial harvest of blue crabs during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The changes adopted are listed below :

  • The commercial harvest of female blue crabs is prohibited March 1 through the end of April in 2018 and 2019.  
  • A commercial fisherman may possess an incidental take of female crabs in an amount not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs that is possessed.
  • The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission removed the 30-day February through March crab trap closure period for the years 2018 and 2019.

Regulations that will remain in effect in 2018 and 2019:

  • Ban on the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs. There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. (An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen. A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen.)

LDWF reminder for gear changes:

  • November 15, 2017 - Changes to the number and size of escape rings required on crab traps will go into effect. A minimum of three escape rings should be placed on the vertical, outside walls flush with the trap floor or baffle, with at least two rings located in the upper chamber of each trap. Single chambered traps are required to have three escape rings. The minimum size of rings should be 2 and 3/8 inches inside diameter. Any crab trap constructed of wire mesh 2 and 5/16 inches square or greater is exempt from escape ring requirements. 

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Peyton Cagle, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 1212 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601, or via e-mail to peyton.cagle@la.gov prior to November 30, 2017.


LDWF to Close Elmer’s Island Due to Tropical Storm Nate on Friday October 6 at Noon

Release Date: 10/05/2017

October 5 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announces the temporary closure of Elmer's Island, located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish beginning October 6th at noon.

As a precautionary measure due to the projected path of Tropical Storm Nate and anticipated impacts from this storm, Elmer's Island will remain closed until further notice.

LDWF Fights Giant Salvinia From all Angles on Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 10/05/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is taking an aggressive integrated pest management strategy to control giant salvinia on Lake Bistineau. The strategy involves a three-pronged approach including chemical, mechanical and biological methods to manage continued growth of the invasive plant.
Biological efforts include the stocking of salvinia weevils in areas of the lake heavily infested with the plant. In June, the department hosted a “weevil day” and provided salvinia weevils to Bistineau property owners who distributed the weevils near their property. Through this effort, volunteers released 115,200 weevils. In 2017 alone, the department stocked at total of 180,855 salvinia weevils in Lake Bistineau.
As of September 27, through the application of EPA-approved aquatic herbicides and surfactants, the department has successfully treated approximately 10,264 acres of giant salvinia through 403 operations totaling 3,252 crew hours. An operation is defined as one two-man crew over an 8-hour day. Through this chemical control method, LDWF spray crews and contract applicators utilize skiffs, airboats and helicopters to apply the herbicides. Currently the department has a contract to conduct aerial spraying on roughly 500 acres. This will be completed as soon as weather and lake conditions allow.
LDWF has utilized mechanical drawdowns for salvinia control on the lake since 2008. This method involves removing water from the lake to dry out large expanses of the plant. The 2017 drawdown began on May 1. This control method has the potential of removing large quantities of giant salvinia at low cost, reducing large areas of growth simultaneously, and works particularly well in drying giant salvinia stranded along the shoreline.
LDWF aquatic plant control biologists recently met with boom specialists in an effort to evaluate the use of boom to entrap large areas of giant salvinia on Bistineau. This may provide LDWF with a more effective and efficient method to conduct herbicide spraying.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is currently working to repair a slide on the lake side of the Bistineau dam. Additional repairs are needed in the outflow area of the spillway including clearing debris, adding rip-rap to prevent further erosion and making repairs to the damaged outflow apron. The work is tentatively scheduled to begin once the gates are closed on Nov. 30

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to Hold Eighth Annual A Wild Night on Oct. 12 at Live Oak Arabians Stables

Release Date: 10/04/2017

Oct. 4, 2017 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation will host its annual fundraiser, the eighth annual A Wild Night, on Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Live Oak Arabian Stables, 6300 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge.
Several local restaurants and caterers will provide food for the event and area businesses and supporters have donated auction items.
Tickets are $200 per couple for the event and a reserved table of eight is available for $1,000. To purchase tickets and for more information, go to www.wildnight.org/ .
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was created for the purpose of promoting the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and to further encourage public conservation and enjoyment of Louisiana’s natural resources. Upon its creation in December 1995, it was envisioned as a Foundation that would promote the welfare of LDWF, reflecting the belief that there was more to accomplish than governmental resources could cover. The proposed Foundation would support Department programs with additional resources developed through its own facilities.
For more information about the Foundation, go to www.lawff.org/ .


Gov. Edwards Praises Proposal to Open Fall Red Snapper Season in State Waters

Release Date: 10/03/2017

BATON ROUGE  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is proposing that recreational anglers be allowed to harvest additional red snapper in state waters beginning Friday, Oct 6. The proposal would be for weekends – Friday, Saturday and Sundays – only.

“This is an unexpected surprise and exciting news for avid fishermen across Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Having an extended red snapper season is a wonderful opportunity that many will be able to enjoy.  Louisiana anglers and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are to be commended for working together to show the federal government that Louisiana deserves to manage its own red snapper fishing season in federal waters.”

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will decide on the plan at its Thursday, Oct. 5 meeting, set for 9:30 a.m., at the LDWF headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet says the department decided to propose the new season after receiving red snapper landings’ estimates from the department’s LA Creel Program indicating Louisiana’s recreational fishermen (private anglers and charter-for-hire) landed 936,864 pounds of red snapper through Sept. 4 of the year, when the extended, weekends only, federal red snapper season closed. The landings account for approximately 90 percent of LWDF’s self-imposed limit of 1,044,793 pounds.

The new fall season will allow recreational anglers the opportunity to harvest the limit’s remaining 107,929 pounds of red snapper in state waters, with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person. Each fish must be a minimum of 16 inches long.

The proposal or any suggested changes must be approved at the Commission meeting.

The department will monitor the progress of the harvest. If approved by the commission, Secretary Montoucet will have the authority to close the season when the self-imposed limit is met or projected to be met.

LDWF set a limit on its red snapper catch because it believes being accountable for the catch limit will help the state’s chances of receiving federal government permission that would allow Louisiana to manage its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.
Recreational Offshore Landing Permit
LDWF reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge, at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need a permit as long as the charter captain has a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.




Merrydale Landing Road and Boat Ramp on Buckhorn WMA to be Closed October 19-20

Release Date: 10/03/2017

Oct. 3, 2017 – Merrydale Landing Road along with the boat ramp at Merrydale Lake on Buckhorn Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be closed to the public Oct. 19-20 for a Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) Program Celebration that will be held on the property.
Portions of the WMA south of Highway 128 will be closed that week and will reopen Oct. 21.
The celebration will be held in conjunction with conservation partners from Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas to celebrate 25 years and 700,000 acres of Wetland Reserve success in the tri-state area. Conservation leaders from multiple agencies will be conducting tours highlighting WRE success and the benefits of the program. This is an invitation only event.
For more information on Wetland Reserve Easements, please visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/easements/acep/?cid=stelprdb1242695
Buckhorn WMA consists of 11,121 acres in Tensas Parish, and is located approximately 14 miles west of St. Joseph, LA. Access routes include Louisiana Highway 4 and 128 and parish roads such as Clydesdale Road and Honeysuckle Lane. 
For more information on the WMA, contact Mitch McGee at mmcgee@wlf.la.gov or 318-343-4044.


Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting Set For Oct. 12 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 10/03/2017

Oct. 3, 2017 - The Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force will meet Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge (2000 Quail Drive) in the Louisiana Room.
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.
For more information on the task force, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF Wildlife Veterinarian, at jmlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.


LDWF to Reopen Price Lake Road At Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday

Release Date: 10/03/2017

Oct. 3, 2017 – Price Lake Road at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge will reopen Wednesday morning (Oct. 4), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced. Road repairs have been completed following damage sustained from Hurricane Harvey.
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes, consists of 76,042 acres. It borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 miles and extends inland toward the Grand Chenier Ridge, a stranded beach ridge six miles from the Gulf. The refuge allows visitors opportunity to fish, shrimp and crab recreationally. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/rockefeller-wildlife-refuge .
For more information on Rockefeller, contact refuge manager Phillip Trosclair (ptrosclair@wlf.la.gov) or Gabe Giffin (ggiffin@wlf.la.gov) at 985-351-2783.


LDWF Announces Leased Dove Field Hunt in Ragley on Saturday, Oct. 7

Release Date: 10/02/2017

Oct. 2, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a leased dove field hunt in Ragley on Saturday (Oct. 7) the opening day of the second split of dove hunting season. Go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove for more information on the hunt and for other public dove hunting opportunities on LDWF wildlife management areas (WMAs).
Louisiana dove hunters are reminded that a new regulation governing the type of shot they may use on WMAs and LDWF leased dove fields is in effect for the 2017-18 hunting season. Hunters on those areas will be limited to the use of non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller for dove hunting.
The change is intended to reduce the deposition of lead shot and potential effects of lead on wildlife. Current research has demonstrated that in dove fields and areas surrounding dove fields, deposition of lead is high and concentration of lead is elevated in the soil.
The regulation was proposed and adopted in order to mitigate the potential exposure of lead to wildlife in areas impacted by this activity. Go to the LDWF web site at wlf.louisiana.gov to see the 2017-18 hunting rules and regulations.
For more information on the Ragley leased dove field hunt, contact Kori Legleu at klegleu@wlf.la.gov or 337-491-2575 for more information.

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