L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 08/16/2010

The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet on Thursday, Aug. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. 

Agenda items will include: progress in MSC certification; impacts of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the LA Crab Industry; and an update on the National Seafood Marketing Board.

The Crab Task Force is an industry advisory group comprised of fishermen, soft crab shedders, and dealers and processors, as well as state agency and university representatives.  The task force, established by Act No. 57 of the 2001 regular legislative session, advises the LDWF and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on matters pertaining to the management and development of the Louisiana crab industry. 

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

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L.D.W.F. Accepting Applications for Wildlife Area Management Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 08/16/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for lottery hunts to be held on several Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) this upcoming hunting season. 

LDWF is sponsoring the hunts to provide a quality outdoor experience for the various hunters.  Youth, physically challenged, physically challenged wheelchair confined and general lottery hunts will be conducted.  For the second consecutive year a youth lottery squirrel hunt will be conducted on Floy W. McElroy WMA. 

Successful participants in the hunts will be selected by a randomized computer drawing.  Applications for the lottery must be submitted to LDWF before close of business on the date listed on the application.  Rules and regulations pertaining to the hunts are also included on the application. A $5 administrative fee will be charged to each applicant.
Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF office or by visiting the LDWF Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.

Completed applications may be delivered in person to Room 445 of the LDWF Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge or by mail.  The mailing address is: Wildlife Division WMA Lotteries, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 to the attention of the lottery application title.  For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359.

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

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L.D.W.F. Reopens Portions of State Waters in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes to Commercial Fishing

Release Date: 08/14/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas that were previously closed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Commercial fishing will reopen for finfish and shrimp in portions of state waters in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes effective immediately today, Saturday, August 14.

With today's actions, adjustments were made to the areas closed to recreational fishing west of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. Those areas closed to commercial fishing now match the areas closed to recreational fishing. LDWF made these adjustments to align with areas reopened based on FDA testing and to allow LDWF enforcement agents to better monitor closed areas.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these re-openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the seafood samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

NOTE: Shrimpers are reminded that the fall inshore shrimp season begins on Monday, August 16 at 6 AM

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters. The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process, as such LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing. While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana's seafood, these openings do not include the commercial harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH.

All commercial and recreational closures east of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River remain unchanged.

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes

All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of Oyster Bayou at 91 degrees 07 minutes 48 seconds west longitude will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 50 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude and the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 02 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 05 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Plaquemines, Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes

All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Southwest Pass at the Mississippi River and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Bayou Lafourche will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 23 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Barataria Waterway, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 20 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 13 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 32 minutes 30 seconds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 15 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 56 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 57 minutes 30 sec! onds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 08 minutes 15 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 11 minutes 40 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

To report a suspected oiled catch to LDWF you are encouraged to call 1-866-577-1401. Please be prepared to give your name, fishing license number and coordinates of suspected oil. All claims are taken very seriously, and any person found falsifying claims will be dealt with to the full extent the law allows.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

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Documents: 

Assistance Available for Louisiana Shrimp Harvesters

Release Date: 08/12/2010

 

Qualified Louisiana shrimp fishermen may receive up to $12,000 in cash benefits and obtain technical training under the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program.

This program is designed to help shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic adjust to increased competition through training and payments to implement new business strategies.

Individual shrimpers in Louisiana interested in applying for technical training and up to $12,000 in cash benefits must complete and submit a written application to their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) center by September 23, 2010.

To find the Louisiana FSA center nearest you, visit the following link to the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s website and click on the parish where you live.  http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=la&agency=fsa

When applying for TAA benefits, you must provide documentation that you caught or harvested shrimp (i.e. LDWF trip ticket reports) in the 2008 marketing year and during at least one of the three previous marketing years (2005, 2006 or 2007).  You may also need to certify that either your production or price per pound declined from previous years.  Interested family members or business partners may be listed as an alternate on the application form if you are unable to attend training. 

Applications (form FSA 229-1) are available on the FAS Website at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaforms.asp.

For more information call your local FSA office or visit www.taaforfarmers.org.

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Louisiana Wild-caught Crawfish Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 08/12/2010

 

The Louisiana Wild-Caught Crawfish Task Force will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda is as follows:

A.   Call to Order

B.   Roll Call

C.   Adoption of Agenda

D.   Reading of the Minutes from the last meeting 03/23/10

E.   Introduction of Guests

F.    Announcements

G.   Old Business

H.   New Business

1.    Martin Plonsky, Fisheries Biologist to give presentation on catch comparison between ¾ inch and 11/16 inch mesh of crawfish traps.

2.    Comments and discussions on crawfish management plan

3.    Comments and discussion on how often the task force needs to meet  

I.      Public Comment

J.    Topics for Next Meeting

K.   Set Next Meeting Date

L.    Adjourn

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

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L.D.W.F. Accepting Applications for Waterfowl Group Hunts on White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area for 2010-11 Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 08/11/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for waterfowl group hunts for up to 12 hunters per group on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).

The cost of the 2010-2011 waterfowl season hunts will be $30,000 for each group and the application form is available on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/whitelake/2010-2011-Group-Hunt-Application.pdfstarting Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. A completed application form and $2,500 deposit must be submitted to LDWF by the close of business on Aug. 31, 2010.

Interested groups must select one, two-day group hunt per application. When selecting dates from the dates offered it is understood that arrival will be the afternoon before.  The two consecutive days of hunting do not include the arrival day, which will be the day before from 3-5 p.m.

LDWF will then select one application by random lottery drawing for each hunt offered. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must submit a separate application for each two-day group hunt they wish to reserve.

Applications must be accompanied by a bank draft, money order or other liquid instrument made payable to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the amount of $2,500. If the application is selected, the deposit is non-refundable, and the applicants will be notified by mail and required to submit the final payment of $27,500 no later than 14 days prior to arrival.

The fee covers up to 12 hunters and includes the following: transportation to and from the airport (Jennings and Lake Charles), all food and beverages, two-night stay at the White Lake Lodge, professional hunting and fishing guides, hunting and fishing licenses, steel shot shotgun shells for waterfowl hunts and lead shot for skeet range, the use of shotguns and fishing gear, bird and fish cleaning and packaging.

On arrival day, hunters will watch a safety film and then be issued hunting and fishing licenses. If time allows they will shoot skeet in the late afternoon hours. Day two starts with a morning waterfowl hunt from 6-9:30 a.m. After the hunt, the group can fish or shoot clay targets on the skeet range or sporting clays course. On day three a morning waterfowl hunt is scheduled from 6-9:30 a.m. and checkout is no later than noon after lunch.

Applications must be mailed to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: White Lake Group Hunt, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 (Physical Address: 2000 Quail Drive, Room 458, Baton Rouge, LA 70808). Contact Wayne Sweeney, hunt coordinator, for more information at 337-479-1894.

For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-479-1894. The attached link will be activated 8 a.m. 8/12/2010.

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L.O.W.A. Recognizes Excellence in Outdoor Communications

Release Date: 08/10/2010

Eleven Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) members were recognized for their contributions during LOWA?s 65th annual conference Aug. 6-7 in Covington. The honorees were selected for awards in the organization?s 2010 Excellence in Craft (EIC) competition.

The EIC contest, which recognizes excellence under eight categories of outdoor-related communication, has been held continuously since 1945. To ensure objectivity, all entries were judged through an external and anonymous review process involving Southeastern Outdoor Press Association members.
LOWA has both active and supporting members. Active membership is qualified by productivity in outdoor communication. Active membership includes newspaper and magazine writers, editors, columnists, photographers, radio and television broadcast journalists, wildlife artists, internet journalists, book authors, videographers, lecturers, and public relations specialists.
The winners and sponsors of the 2010 EIC contest are listed below. For more detailed information about the competition or LOWA, visit www.laoutdoorwriters.com

LOUISIANA OUTDOOR WRITERS ASSOCIATION
2010 Excellence in Craft Winners and Sponsors

Magazine Short Feature (less than 1000 words)
1st Paula Ouder; 2nd Deborah Burst; 3rd Wendy Billiot
Co-Sponsors: Louisiana Forestry Association and Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists

Magazine Regular Feature (more than 1,000 words)
1st John Flores; 2nd Terry L. Jones; 3rd Jerald Horst
Co-Sponsors: Louisiana Charter Boat Association and Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana

Newspaper Article
1st Glynn Harris; 2nd Lyle Johnson; 3rd John Flores
Co-Sponsors: Lake Charles-Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
and Louisiana Forestry Association

Broadcast (radio or television)
1st Glynn Harris; 2nd Glynn Harris; 3rd James Guice and Lyle Johnson
Sponsors: Louisiana Charter Boat Association, Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and National Wild Turkey Federation

Electronic Media
1st Wendy Billiot; 2nd Glynn Harris; 3rd Don Dubuc
Co-Sponsors: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation; and Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Outreach Committee

Black and White Still Photograph
1st John Flores; 2nd John Flores; 3rd Jerald Horst
Sponsor: National Wild Turkey Federation

Color Still Photograph
1st Butch Thurmond; 2nd Butch Thurmond; 3rd Jerald Horst
Sponsor: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation

Topical Article on Coastal Wetland Protection/Restoration (more than 750 words)
1st Wendy Billiot; 2nd Paula Ouder; 3rd Lyle Johnson
Sponsor: Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Outreach Committee

For more information, contact Chris Holmes at 504-495-8189 or cholmes@att.net

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L.D.W.F. Announces Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/05/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the fall inshore shrimp season will open in Shrimp Management Zones 1, 2 and 3 at 6 AM, Monday, August 16.  Season dates were approved today by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, following public comment and recommendations presented by Office of Fisheries biologists.

The closing date was also set by the commission for these waters at sunset December 21, 2010 except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1(A)2) which will remain open to shrimping until 6 AM March 31, 2011.

Zone 1 includes Louisiana waters from the Mississippi border to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River.  Zone 2 extends from to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island and Zone 3 extends from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Texas border.

Due to the ongoing effects associated the Deepwater Horizon incident, certain delineated areas within the Pontchartrain, Barataria and Terrebonne Basins will remain closed to all commercial fishing, including shrimp harvesting, until further notice.

Louisiana is the number one domestic producer of shrimp with 2009 landings totaling over 100 million pounds, with a dockside value of $118 million.

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Announces Opening of Seatrout Season

Release Date: 08/05/2010

Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the commercial season for the harvest of spotted seatrout will open on August 15, 2010.  This fishery is set to remain open until the maximum annual quota is reached, or on the date projected by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that the quota will be reached, or until sunset on Friday December 31, 2010, whichever comes first.

Act 979 of the 2010 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session modified the season for the commercial harvest of spotted seatrout using a commercial rod and reel.

Also included in Act 979, and effective with the implementation of that act and these rules, the commercial taking or commercial harvesting of spotted sea trout shall be prohibited within Louisiana waters west of the Mermentau River.

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335

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Chauvin Man Arrested by LDWF Agents for Falsifying Trip Tickets

Release Date: 08/05/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested a Chauvin man today, Aug. 5 for allegedly falsifying trip ticket information and are transporting him to the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
Jessie Lambas, 58, allegedly falsified trip ticket documents dated from May and June of 2009 in order to file a claim with BP America due to the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Lambas was charged with three felonies for filing false public records, injuring public records and theft by fraud.  The trip tickets were filed with LDWF on May 27 and represented 5,644 pounds of shrimp with a value of $10,237.50.  Lambas stated that he received three payments from BP America totaling $3,000 from May 24 to July 14.
SIU agents met with Lambas on July 26 and 31 after receiving a complaint from the department's trip ticket section that Lambas did not possess a commercial fishing license in 2009.  Lambas does have a wholesale/retail seafood dealer’s license that allows him access to trip tickets issued to the wholesale/retail seafood dealer.
Lambas stated that he filed trip tickets from 2010, but the department does not have any record of issuing Lambas trip tickets in 2010 according to the arrest warrant.  The warrant also states that the trip tickets under question match the 50 trip tickets that he was issued in 2008.
If convicted, Lambas faces fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail with or without hard labor for each charge of falsifying and injuring public records.  For the fraud charge, Lambas faces a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail with or without hard labor.
"We want to ensure our commercial fishermen and dealers are compensated fairly by using accurate trip ticket information," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "We do not want to see commercial fishermen or dealers tempted to commit felony violations by falsifying trip ticket documents."
LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood.
These reviews are critical to ensure that commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers are appropriately credited with landings in the event of compensation that results from a natural disaster such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the current BP America oil spill.
BP America is requesting commercial fishermen to provide landings information from 2007-10 to determine eligibility for financial assistance.  LDWF is providing a landings data report back to commercial fishermen, when requested, to assist with this eligibility process.
The review of trip tickets has become even more critical during this time period considering that the previous years are being used to establish eligibility for assistance.  Any trip tickets from previous years are being subjected to another layer of review by LDWF staff to confirm their validity.
"The information provided on a trip ticket is the best way for the department to establish the value of Louisiana fisheries and the importance of those fisheries to the nation.  Trip ticket data also plays a key role in the managing of fisheries in Louisiana to ensure sustainability," said Michelle Kasprzak, LDWF Trip Ticket Program administrator.  "We ask that trip tickets be completed accurately and submitted on time as required.  Inaccurate or embellished trip tickets will be investigated by the department's Law Enforcement Division."
Trip tickets are filled out at the first point of sale between a commercial fisherman and wholesale/retail dealer or fresh product license holder and are due on the 10th of every month.  Trip tickets are then entered into LDWFs Trip Ticket Program's database.
Commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers may request their trip ticket landings by following the instructions on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill or calling the trip ticket section at 225-765-2399.
 For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
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