LDWF News Release

LDWF Reminds Crab Fishermen of Regulation Changes and Derelict Trap Closures

Release Date: 01/11/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind commercial crabbers and recreational users of crab traps of the following regulations:
Regulation changes:
Blue crab commercial harvest regulations have changed for 2018 and 2019 and are as follows:

  • The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission removed the 30-day closure period for 2018 and 2019.
  • The commercial harvest of female blue crabs in Louisiana waters is prohibited March 1, 2018, through April 30, 2018. This closure will also be in place March 1, 2019, through April 30, 2019.

Regulations to 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. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the restriction while held aboard an active fishing vessel. (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). 

Temporary crab trap closures: 
The LWFC has authorized crab trap closures in 2018 for the removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps. Beginning February 1, 2018, and extending through March 2018, seven defined areas have been designated to close in portions Louisiana, for up to 16 days for any one area.
Western Lake Pontchartrain will close from February 1 through 10. A portion of the Barataria Basin, south of Myrtle Grove, will close from February 1 through14. More closures will take place beginning February 16. To view the specific closure areas, visit our website here or contact Peyton Cagle at (337) 491-2575.
All crab traps must be removed from the closure areas before the closure periods, and any remaining crab traps within the closure areas during the closure periods will be considered abandoned and subject to removal. During the crab trap closures, derelict traps may be removed only between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Only persons authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed areas. Abandoned traps must be brought to designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed areas. 
The removal of derelict crab traps benefits the crab resource by reducing the effects of ghost fishing. Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 33,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. 

L.W.F.C. Elects Chairman and Vice Chairman and Welcomes New Commissioner

Release Date: 01/11/2018

(1-11-18) – At the January 4 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC), Bobby Samanie was elected chairman and Al Sunseri was elected to the vice chairman position. 


Additionally, the Commission welcomed Joe McPherson of Woodsworth, LA to the appointed panel. Mr. McPherson, who will serve as an at-large commissioner, is a self-employed business owner and developer and a former Louisiana State Senator.


The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission was created to protect, conserve and replenish the natural resources and wildlife of the state, including all aquatic life. The commission promulgates regulations for hunting, fishing and trapping and approves programs and policies for the management and conservation of all fish and wildlife in the state. 

According to the statute, the commission is comprised of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to senate confirmation.  Members include three residents of the coastal parishes of the state who are representatives of the commercial fishing and fur industries and four members from the state at large.


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 www.wlf.la.gov/signup.



LDWF to transition to new recreational Hunting/Fishing license sales system

Release Date: 01/11/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries is currently transitioning to a new recreational hunting/fishing license sales system. 


A few dates to be aware of during our transition:

January 30, 2018 – January 31, 2018 - All license sales will be temporarily down for system maintenance.

February 1 – April 1, 2018 – License sales will be available through Internet sales (pc, smart phone, mobile device and laptop) at www.wlf.la.gov  and LDWF headquarters, regional offices (Monroe, Opelousas, Lake Charles & Alexandria). 

Retail locations will not sell licenses while installation of new equipment and employee training is implemented.


April 2, 2018 – Vendor license sales will resume.


If you will need to purchase a license from a retailer before April 2, we recommend that you make your purchase before January 30, 2018.



The new system will enhance the purchase process for our customers in several ways.


1. License holders will have the ability to reprint their licenses online throughout the year at no cost.  


2. Users will be able to create a username and password to login to their account to update contact information and in the future to gain access to boater and hunter education information.


3. Auto-renew options will be available in the future for those customers who don’t want to worry about remembering to purchase their licenses each year.


If you need assistance with your online purchase please contact the 24-hour help desk beginning on February 2 at 888-362-5393.  If you have other licensing questions call our license office at 225-765-2887 or 225-765-2898, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm.


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 www.wlf.la.gov/signup.



Recreational greater amberjack season to close from January 27 through the end of June.

Release Date: 01/11/2018

January 11, 2018 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the season for the recreational harvest of greater amberjack will close in Louisiana waters on January 27, 2018, and remain closed through June 30, 2018.  The recreational season opened on January 1, 2018, and will run through January 26, 2018, and then is scheduled to resume on July 1, 2018.  NOAA Fisheries announced the temporary closed season while new regulations are being enacted to establish new spring and fall seasons.  The changes in season structure are designed to help rebuild the greater amberjack stock.  NOAA Fisheries requested that Louisiana state waters also remain closed for that period.   

In addition to the closure announced today, additional proposed changes are being promulgated by NOAA Fisheries to the recreational season to include a recreational fixed closed season from November 1 each year through the end of April of the following year.  The currently-established June 1 to July 31 fixed closed season will also remain.  The new season structure will result in an open recreational season during the month of May and the months of August through October annually.  These changes to the season structure are intended to continue to rebuild the greater amberjack stock while maximizing availability to anglers, especially later in the year.  

The recreational fishery was closed early in 2017 before many Louisiana anglers had an opportunity to fish for the species.  These proposed changes should improve those opportunities for future years.  For 2018, anglers should be aware of the potential for additional seasonal openings and closings.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in previously promulgated rules (LAC 76.VII.335.G.5) to change or modify the opening and closing dates for any recreational reef fish season in Louisiana waters when notified of a modification to a season by NOAA Fisheries.  

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance @wlf.la.gov. 



Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting Postponed, Rescheduled for Jan. 18

Release Date: 01/10/2018

Jan. 10, 2018 - The Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force meeting scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 11) in Baton Rouge has been postponed and rescheduled for Jan. 18. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 18 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 Accepting Public Input on Application for Permit to Test State Management of Recreational Red Snapper Fishery and Collect Habitat Data

Release Date: 01/10/2018

On January 18, 2018, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be submitting an application to NOAA Fisheries for an exempted fishing permit (EFP). NOAA Fisheries issues these permits to authorize activities, which would otherwise be prohibited by federal fishery regulations, for limited testing, data collection, exploratory fishing, and other purposes. NOAA Fisheries invited the Gulf states to apply for EFPs to lead reef fish management activities in the Gulf of Mexico.
LDWF’s proposed EFP study would test a state-based management approach that would allow recreational harvest of red snapper in both state and federal waters off Louisiana during seasons set by the state. LDWF would monitor landings through Louisiana’s existing recreational landings data collection program (LA Creel) and track fishing at oil and gas platforms, artificial reefs, and natural bottom habitat. Participants would also have the option to test new, voluntary electronic reporting methods. Seasons would be closed when landings approach or reach Louisiana’s recreational quota.
Anyone with a Louisiana Saltwater Fishing License and a Recreational Offshore Fishing Permit (ROLP) would be eligible to participate in the study. Participants would be required to indicate their preference to participate in the study via their ROLP account, provide vessel registration information (per federal requirements), and abide by the federal minimum size limit (currently 16 inches) and two fish bag limit.
Anglers and for-hire captains who would rather not participate in the EFP study would only be able fish for red snapper in state waters during the open state waters season or in federal waters under regulations set by NOAA Fisheries. However, it should be noted that the 2018 season could be extremely limited, especially in light of NOAA Fisheries request for these EFP applications as well as the extended 2017 recreational red snapper season exceeding the quota.
You can read the draft application and related frequently asked questions online. Keep in mind that this application is still in draft form and is subject to change—we would appreciate your feedback on the draft application by Tuesday, January 16, 2018, before we finalize our application for submission. Please send us comments via this form or by simply emailing redsnapper@wlf.la.gov .
LDWF will present its final EFP application at the upcoming Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter in New Orleans on January 31, 2018. You can provide feedback in person at the meeting or submit comments to the Gulf Council online. The EFP application will then be published in theFederal Register and made available for public comment for 30 days. Based on public comments, the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Administrator will decide whether or not to approve LDWF’s EFP application.

Registration to Open Jan. 26 for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop

Release Date: 01/09/2018

Jan. 9, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will sponsor its 30th Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop on March 23-25, 2018, at Camp Grant Walker in Pollock. It’s an opportunity for women throughout Louisiana and neighboring states to attend an educational hands-on outdoor skills workshop.
If you are a woman 18 or older and you enjoy the outdoors, you will love this three-day skill’s workshop.
Registration opens Jan. 26, 2018. Anyone interested is urged to register as soon as possible beginning Jan. 26. The $200 fee (check or money order only) includes instruction for four selected classes, program materials, use of demonstration equipment, lodging, meals and a T-shirt.
Participants will enroll in four classes from a selection of more than 30 topics. These subjects include bucks and does, shotgun, rifle, handguns, fly-fishing, kayaking, camping, archery, fishing, boating/trailering, compass skills, outdoor photography, camp cooking and more. Expert instructors donate their time and skills in classes taught in and around the nearby streams, lakes, wooded ridges and forest trails of beautiful Louisiana.
Natural resource scientist Christine Thomas of the University of Wisconsin founded the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program.  She completed a survey in 1991 entitled ‘Barriers to Women Participating in Hunting and Fishing.’ It documented that the most obvious problem was lack of instruction and encouragement.
To receive a registration form, download and print from our web page at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/becoming-outdoors-woman . The forms will not be available until Jan. 26, 2018. They must be returned by mail to the address on the form. Hand delivered forms will not be accepted. Please read the registration process and the course descriptions prior to filling out the form. Registration will be taken until the workshop is full. All forms received after the workshop is full will be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.
For more information contact Dana Norsworthy in Monroe at dnorsworthy@wlf.la.gov, 318-345-3912, Chad Moore in Minden at cmoore@wlf.la.gov, 318-230-4352 or Karen Crabtree at kcrabtree@wlf.la.gov 318-719-4571.
Join the fun and be one of those 125 women in the woods. Register for the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop and become skilled in something that you always dreamed about doing. Look us up on Facebook at, BOW Louisiana Style.


Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting Set for Jan. 11 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 01/09/2018

Jan. 9, 2017 - The Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force will meet Thursday (Jan. 11) 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.


Freezing Temps May Provide Temporary Reduction in Giant Salvinia

Release Date: 01/08/2018

Last week’s temperatures dipping into the 20s and hovering in the low 30s may have caused some people to worry about their vegetation, but for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, it offers a sign of hope in the state’s fight against giant salvinia, an invasive aquatic plant overtaking many of the state’s freshwater systems.
Biologists with LDWF hope the freeze will result in a reduction of salvinia this spring and summer, as it did in 2010 when salvinia coverage was drastically reduced following a winter freeze.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet, who was with state Rep. Gene Reynolds on Saturday at Lake Bistineau, said they saw what appears to be a die back of salvinia on the lake. Lake Bistineau, a popular recreational site in north Louisiana, runs through Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes.
However, significant visible reduction in coverage will not likely occur for a few months due to the amount of time it takes the plant to decompose. The department also notes that although the freezing temperatures may cause some level of die-off, it will not completely eradicate it.
Unfortunately, the cold weather may have killed the salvinia weevils brought in to attack the plant. The department will continue to monitor the salvinia weevils to determine the impacts of the freezing temperatures to the population. LDWF plans to have at the ready a new supply of weevils to restock once optimal weather conditions allow later this year. The department will also continue its chemical spray efforts on lakes where growth is present.
Giant salvinia, or salvinia molesta, one of the world's most noxious aquatic weeds, is notorious for dominating slow-moving or quiet freshwaters.
Its rapid growth, vegetative reproduction and tolerance to environmental stress make it an aggressive and competitive species. It is known to degrade water quality for fish and other aquatic organisms, and to impede boating and swimming which could affect the economy in some areas.


LDWF Warns Public of Potential Fish Kills Due to Freezing Temps

Release Date: 01/05/2018

As an arctic blast continues to move across the state, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to warn the public of potential fish kills throughout coastal Louisiana as a result of freezing water temperatures.  


It is still too early to determine what, if any, impact the cooler temperatures may have on fish populations. Many fish that may have been killed by the freeze would still be on the bottom of water bodies, and may not be visible for a week or more.   


Coastal species commonly impacted by low water temperatures are sand seatrout, (a.k.a. "white trout"), red drum, black drum, and spotted seatrout.


“Typically water temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for any more than a day begin to cause problems for spotted seatrout, whereas red drum are slightly more tolerant and will begin to experience problems in the mid-30s,” explained LDWF fisheries biologist Jason Adriance. “The rate at which the water cools is also important. If fish have a chance to acclimate and move, the potential for survival is better.”


More definitive estimates of the effects of the freeze on fish population sizes and distribution within the coastal areas will be available as information is collected through the department’s fishery-independent monitoring programs.  Later, success rates from fishery-dependent monitoring, including both recreational and commercial sampling, will provide an indication of how the changes in population sizes affected the harvest.  

Should you come across significant numbers of dead or dying fish, LDWF encourages you to contact the department. Contact information along with requested reporting specifics, is available here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fish-kills.  Important information to include in your report are your name and phone number in case additional information is needed, along with the location including good directions to the fish kill site, the approximate numbers and species that you saw, and their condition (still dying, all dead, decomposing, etc.).


People should also be aware that legal creel and size limits are in effect, and harvest of fish beyond those limits is illegal.


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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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