L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

L.W.F.C. ANNOUNCES SPECIAL COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 05/12/2011

 

 

AGENDA 

May 12, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled a special meeting for 12:00 noon on Friday, May 13, 2011, at the LSU Cooperative Extension Office, 1105 West Port Street, Abbeville, Louisiana, 70510.

  1.            Roll Call

 2.            To consider Declaration of Emergency to open Public Oyster Seed Grounds in the Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound Area for Bedding Purposes Only

3.            Public Comments

 4.            Adjourn

 

For more information contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

TOP FISHING DESTINATION NEXT STOP ON LOUISIANA SALTWATER SERIES TOURNAMENT TRAIL

Release Date: 05/10/2011

 

(May 10, 2011) -The Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), heads to popular fishing destination Venice, La., on May 14, 2011, at the Venice Marina.  The series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

The grassroots-based tournament provides anglers with the opportunity to give back to the resource.  Contestants vie for cash prizes and test their skill while enjoying the thrill of the competitive sport. 

Thus far, the competition has attracted over 175 local anglers and more than 180 fish have been tagged.

Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized. 

The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast.  The 2011 tournament schedule is as follows: 

  • April 2 Lafitte, Seaway Marina;
  • April 30 Lake Calcasieu, Calcasieu Point Landing;
  • May 14 Venice, Venice Marina;
  • June 18 Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina;
  • July 23 Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock;
  •  August 20 Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina; and
  • Championship October 7 and 8 Empire, The Delta Marina.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday, May 12 at noon, but those interested in participating can register at Venice Marina from 5 to 6 a.m., the morning of the event.  Only cash or checks will be accepted for payment of registration fees the morning of the event. 

Venice Marina will provide food during weigh-in for all registered participants. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

 

LDWF Reminds Commercial Fishermen of Spring Shrimp Season Dates

Release Date: 05/09/2011

2011 spring shrimp season

Seasons remain unchanged for now

May 9, 2011 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials remind fishermen the 2011 Spring Shrimp Season will remain unchanged.  The season for Louisiana waters was set at last week’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. 

The 2011 Louisiana shrimp season will open as follows:

Shrimp Management Zone 1

  • The portion of Zone 1 from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the northern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) will open at 6 a.m., May 23.
  • The portion of Zone 1 from the northern shore of the MRGO to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

Shrimp Management Zone 2

  • The portion of Zone 2 west of the western shore of Bayou Lafourche to open at 6 a.m., May 13.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from Bayou Lafourche to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m., May 16.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from the Atchafalaya River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island open last Friday May 6, at 6 a.m. and remains open.

Shrimp Management Zone 3

  • All of Zone 3, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line, to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

 

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.

 For the latest information on rising levels Mississippi River visit www.emergency.la.gov

 

State Officials Advise Public to Stay Off of Levees, Remain Safe During Flood Conditions

Release Date: 05/09/2011

May 9, 2011 - As area spillways are opened in an effort to relieve pressure on levee systems, state officials today cautioned residents that state law prohibits driving on levees and parking on shoulders of roadways. In addition to motorists exposing themselves to hazardous conditions from rising water levels, vehicles driven on top of levees can cause damage to levee infrastructures and obstruct official vehicles.

Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas warns, "By driving on our levees, citizens are undermining the stability of our levee system and interfering with flood prevention work.  Additionally, given the height and speed of the water, it is extremely dangerous to be so close to the river."

Louisiana State Police along with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be patrolling affected areas throughout the state for potentially dangerous situations and motorists and/or boaters creating a hazard.

LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne states, "As the rivers continue to rise and flood waters are expected in certain areas we urge everyone to put safety first, high river levels and flood waters can be extremely dangerous, please exercise extreme caution."

If members of the public observe unsafe drivers or situations, they are urged to call *LSP (*577) and report this activity to the nearest State Police office. For information on road construction or detours, please use the motorist information system and dial "511" or visit www.lsp.org

 

Motorists are reminded to follow the following safety guidelines when encountering flooded roadways:

Do not drive through flooded areas. If you come across a flooded road, turn around and find another route to your destination. Do not drive around barricades.

Do not try to cross flooded roads where the water appears to be shallow.

Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water.

If your car stalls, abandon it and climb to higher ground. Wait for the waters to subside.

One foot of water will float many vehicles.

Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger vehicles, causing drivers to lose control of the car or possible stalling.

Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles, including pick-up trucks and SUVs.

Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

 

With the potential of floodwaters affecting residential communities, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals offers the following safety guidelines:

There is always the possibility that flooding will cause sewage treatment systems (both community and residential) to fail, contaminating the floodwaters and exposing people to disease-causing bacteria.

Wading in the water could pose a health risk if it enters the body through an exposed wound.

If you have been in contact with floodwaters, showering with soap and water is sufficient.  There is no risk for hepatitis A, typhoid or cholera.

Be on the lookout for dangerous wildlife in the floodwaters such as snakes, rats, alligators or any frightened animal. If you see wild animals, stay away.

Do not drink or ingest floodwater because it may contain disease-causing bacteria or viruses.

If you live in an area that has experienced recent flooding and your private water well has lost power or been contaminated by floodwater, boil the water before drinking it.

Assume everything touched by floodwater is contaminated with bacteria and will have to be disinfected.  People are advised to wash their hands frequently during cleanup and always wear rubber gloves.

 

LDWF personnel will be available to respond to situations involving wildlife species that move into populated areas or become stranded by high water.

For assistance with the removal of black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

For assistance with any other wildlife issues, within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley flood plain, call one of the following LDWF Field Offices: Monroe, ph. 318-343-4044; Opelousas, ph. 337-948-0255; Pineville, ph. 318-487-5885; Hammond, ph. 985-543-4777; and New Iberia, ph. 337-373-0032. The public is directed not to feed stranded wildlife and avoid disturbance of wildlife displaced by flood waters.

LDWF Secretary Barham Asks U.S. Commerce Secretary to Declare a Commercial Fisheries Failure in Louisiana and SBA Administrator Mills to Activate Federal Disaster Declaration in Anticipation of Opening Bonnet Carré Spillway

Release Date: 05/09/2011

 

 

May 9, 2011 – On Friday, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke asking for swift application of a commercial fisheries failure declaration in anticipation of the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway in response to rising waters in the Mississippi River. The letter, sent May 6, 2011, also requested support from the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) for commercial and recreational fishing, and associated businesses. The proactive declaration and support would provide financial assistance to individual business owners in areas that may be impacted, and assistance for the restoration of recreational and commercial fisheries.

Secretary Barham also sent a letter Friday to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills requesting the activation of all appropriate federal disaster declaration clauses that would enable the SBA to assist the small businesses in the state that may be impacted by the scheduled opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway and the possible opening of the Morganza Spillway. In particular, Secretary Barham also asked that Administrator Mills consider temporarily suspending loan repayments for coastal businesses that may be impacted by flood waters that currently have SBA disaster and economic injury loans as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav.

The full texts of the letters are below:

The Honorable Gary Locke
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20230

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As rising waters in the Mississippi River approach communities along the river’s banks, our state prepares for flood conditions in the lower Mississippi River that will accompany a scheduled opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway. I am writing to you now to request that you activate the necessary federal disaster declaration clauses in the Magnunson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as well as the applicable clauses that shall prompt support from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). These actions would result in the declaration of a commercial fisheries failure for Louisiana and make available the crucial support our communities and our fisheries industry will need to recover.

The last six years have presented immense challenges to Louisiana’s coastal fisheries and the communities that are supported by them. From 2005 through 2010, we experienced hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, and, in 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Last year’s oil spill not only negated so much of the progress our fisheries were able to make in recovery from the previous four major hurricanes, but it decimated much of the market for our seafood around the globe. With fisheries like Louisiana oysters seeing a 55.9 percent reduction in production from 2009 to 2010, it is evident that the commercial fisheries industries and the residents in Louisiana who depend upon them have major challenges to overcome. These same communities will now face flood waters of record proportions; it is crucial that we proactively make assistance programs available.

In addition to the commercial and recreational fisheries industries, which are responsible for generating approximately $3 billion in Louisiana annually, our maritime and energy industries are also major economic drivers in Louisiana. Each of these industries plays a vital role not only in the Gulf Coast economy, but in the nation’s economic picture.

The application of a federal fisheries disaster, fisheries disaster assistance and the financial support of the EDA will help to get our small businesses, families and their communities back on their feet as quickly as possible. EDA assistance means that associated business like the bait and tackle shops, restaurants, fisheries processors and marinas along the coast will have access to assistance that can get them back to contributing to the overall economic success of the Gulf Coast.

We look forward to a swift response from your office and the rapid application of appropriate federal disaster declarations so that we may assure residents throughout Louisiana and along our coast that as the flood waters recede, we may begin work to restore our fisheries, our coastal businesses and the communities dependent upon their success.

Sincerely,

Robert Barham
Secretary
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

___________________________________________________________

The Honorable Karen G. Mills
Administrator Small Business Administration
US Small Business Administration
409 3rd Street, SW
Washington, DC 20416

Dear Administrator Mills:

As rising waters move down the Mississippi River towards our communities and business, I am writing to ask that you begin the necessary step of activating all relevant federal disaster declaration clauses that would allow the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist our residents, our businesses and our coastal communities. In particular, we would like to request that the SBA suspend temporarily any loan repayments for coastal businesses that are impacted by the impending flood waters and those who have disaster and economic injury loans related to hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

By proactively addressing these concerns and committing the SBA’s assistance, you will not only allow small businesses in the maritime and fisheries industries some assurances of options for recovery after the flood waters recede, but you will allow them access to economic recovery options in the days that will follow the openings of the Bonnet Carré and Morganza spillways.

Along Louisiana’s coast, the two primary industries that not only allow our communities to thrive, but allow the Gulf Coast to maintain relevance in the national economy, are the fisheries industry, both recreational and commercial, and oil and gas. Thousands of workers are employed across these two primary industries, not only directly through fishermen, processors and on the Gulf’s oil rigs, but indirectly through the coastal businesses that support them.  

There will be both immediate and long-term impacts associated with flood waters throughout coastal Louisiana and the state respectfully requests that the SBA step forward now to support these small businesses.

Sincerely,

Robert Barham
Secretary
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

 

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.
 
For more information contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or at (225) 610-8660.

 

LDWF Officials Remind Public, Commercial Fisheries Remain Open

Release Date: 05/08/2011

 

Officials urge commercial and recreational fishermen to follow all public safety advisories.

May 8, 2011 - In anticipation of the opening of the Bonnet Carre and Morganza spillways, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) officials reaffirm that commercial fisheries with active seasons will remain open. Officials also remind commercial and recreational fishermen, and boaters to follow all safety guidance from the US Coast Guard, LDWF enforcement officers and the Louisiana State Police. 

Currently, there is a special shrimp season open in Vermilion Bay and details may be found here. Officials have also authorized the start of the spring shrimp season in stages across the Louisiana coast. Details on the season, which shall open in some areas on May 13, 2011, may be found here.  The oyster season on public seed grounds remains closed. 

High water levels in the Mississippi River have warranted boating advisories from officials throughout Louisiana. LDWF enforcement agents are patrolling high water areas to ensure traffic and wakes do not impact houses or camps where ever possible.

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 atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or at (225) 610-8660.

 

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting Scheduled for May 9

Release Date: 05/06/2011

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

May 9, 2011
9 a.m.
The office of SSA Consultants
9331 Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70810

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll call
  3. Approval of minutes from February 16, 2011
  4. Reports
    1. Executive Directors Report
      1. Boston Seafood Show
      2. Oil Spill Anniversary Events (Seafood Summit, ACF, etc.)
    2. Treasurer’s Report
  5. New Business
    1. Brussels
    2. Shrimp Task Force Update
      1. Activation of Sub Committees
      2. RFP Sub Committee Recommendations
  6. Set Next Meeting
  7. Adjourn

For more information, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-8735 or aroth@wlf.la.gov.

Step Outside Day at Sherburne W.M.A. Cancelled

Release Date: 05/06/2011

 

May 6, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has cancelled the Step Outside program scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area near Krotz Springs because of high water in the Atchafalaya River and the impending threat of flood waters. LDWF staff is currently removing equipment from the site as a precaution. If possible, the event may be rescheduled at a later date.

For more information contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov. 

L.W.F.C. Approves Notice of Intent with Revisions to the Deer Management Assistance Program

Release Date: 05/06/2011

May 6, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC), during their May 5 monthly meeting, approved a notice of intent (NOI) with amendments that provides for changes in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

The amendments to the changes proposed in the NOI presented in February are all within the Level 1 DMAP participant category and include:

  • Raising the minimum acreage required for participation from 500 to 1,000 acres.
  • Extending the DMAP harvest dates by 15 days, before and/or after the regular season, not to exceed 30 days.
  • Allowing 10 added days of rabbit hunting on DMAP properties, after the regular season, if requested.

 

To view the full notice of intent, as presented Feb. 8 by LDWF, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

For more information, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov.

L.W.F.C. Approves Notices of Intent with Amendments for 2011-13 Hunting Seasons and the 2011-12 WMA Season

Release Date: 05/06/2011

 

May 6, 2011-- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, during their May 5 monthly meeting, approved two notices of intent (NOI) that included several amendments for the 2011-13 hunting seasons and the 2011-12 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) hunting season.

The amendments adopted as part of the 2011-13 hunting seasons and 2011-12 WMA season NOIs presented to the commission by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) include:

  • Deletion of the second weekend of either-sex firearm season for deer on Buckhorn WMA.
  • Adjustment of scheduled dates for the Youth Lottery Deer Hunt on Buckhorn WMA.
  • Establishing an experimental Quality Deer Season in the following WMAs on the dates specified: Alexander State Forest, Dec. 10-16; Bayou Macon, Dec. 24-30; Big Lake, Jan. 21-27; Bodcau, Dec. 31- Jan. 6; Boeuf, Jan. 14-20; Buckhorn, Jan. 14-20; Camp Beauregard, Jan. 7-13; Dewey Wills, Jan. 21-27; Jackson Bienville, Jan. 7-13 ; Loggy Bayou, Dec. 17-23; Ouachita, Dec. 31-Jan. 6; Pearl River, Jan. 21-27; Pomme de Terre, Jan. 21-27; Red River, Jan. 21-27; Russell Sage, Dec. 31- Jan. 6; Sherburne, Jan. 21-27; Sicily Island Hills, Jan. 14-20; Spring Bayou, Jan. 21-27; Three Rivers, Jan. 21-27; and Union, Dec. 24-30.
  • Approved use of Type A personal watercraft, model year 2003 and beyond, which are eight feet in length or greater, from April 1 (beginning 2012) until the Monday of Labor Day Weekend, from sunrise to sunset in these areas: Catahoula Lake, Maurepas Swamp WMA, Pearl River WMA, and Pointe-Aux-Chenes WMA. Additionally, no person shall operate such watercraft on these areas at a speed greater than "slow/no wake" within 100 feet of an anchored or moored vessel, shoreline, dock, pier, persons engaged in angling or any other manually powered vessel.

The amendment adopted as part of the General Hunting Rules and Regulations NOI includes:

  • Extending the Special Youth Deer Season on private lands from two to seven days. In addition, youth will be allowed to use any legal weapon during the Primitive Firearms Season in each deer hunting area.

To view the full notices of intent, as presented Feb. 8 by LDWF, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.louisiana.gov.

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