LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Finfish Task Force To Meet May 17

Release Date: 05/15/2018

Finfish Task Force Agenda

Thursday, May 17, 2018, 2:00PM

The Louisiana Room

2000 Quail Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

 

 

I.Call to Order 

II.Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

III.Approval of the December 5, 2017 Meeting Minutes and the May 17, 2018 Agenda

IV.New Business

A.    Election of Vice-Chairman and Alternate Designees-FTF

B.    Approval of the Finfish Task Force Bylaws- FTF

C.    To Hear an Update on the Status of Black Drum and Discussion on Potential Changes to Recreational and Commercial Harvest, Size, and Bag Limits- LDWF

D.   To Hear a Presentation on the Freshwater Stock Assessment- LDWF

E.    To Hear Discussion on Mullet Fisheries Issues- FTF

F.    To Hear Discussion on Finfish Trawling- FTF

V.Public Comment

VI.Set Next Meeting Date and Location

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  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1663073300315091201

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. .For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

 

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Single Vessel Incident in Ascension Parish

Release Date: 05/13/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal single vessel boating incident involving a father and son in Ascension Parish.

A 20 foot aluminum vessel being operated by Patrick White, 53, of Sorrento, with Caleb White, 27, of Sorrento, as a passenger hit a bulkhead on the Amite River around 9 p.m. on May 12.  Patrick White sustained minor injuries whereas Caleb White sustained fatal injuries.

According to Patrick White, the two left to go boating in the morning and were returning from their trip when he hit a bulkhead.  It is believed that Caleb White was ejected from the boat and hit the bulkhead before ricocheting back into the boat.

An agent on patrol in the area found the vessel up against the bulkhead and was able to get the father and son into his vessel and call for an ambulance.  Both father and son were responsive at this time.

The agent was able to get the men to the Hilltop Landing where Acadian Ambulance was waiting.  Caleb White died on the way to the hospital.

Agents performed a field sobriety and breathalyzer test on Patrick White and he was found over the legal limit for alcohol.  Agents arrested Patrick White for vehicular homicide, operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) and reckless operation. Caleb White’s body was turned over to the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

Vehicular homicide brings a $2,000 to $15,000 fine and five to 30 years in prison.  DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and 10 days to six months in jail.  Reckless operation brings up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.

 

 

Bridge Repair Work on La. Hwy. 975 South Forces Detour to Northern End of Sherburne WMA

Release Date: 05/11/2018

May 11, 2018 – Users of the northern end of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will need to use U.S. Highway 190 to access the area due to bridge repair work on Louisiana Highway 975 South between I-10 and Sherburne WMA.
 
That includes those planning to attend Saturday’s (May 12) Step Outside Day, an outdoor program hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) at Sherburne WMA. The bridge being repaired is four miles north of Interstate 10.
 
To access Sherburne WMA headquarters, where Step Outside Day will be held, take U.S. Highway 190 to the Sherburne exit on Louisiana Highway 975 and drive south approximately three miles. The venue will be on the left near Big Alabama Bayou.
 
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov
 

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LDWF Workshops Introduces Women to the Sport of Fishing

Release Date: 05/08/2018

LDWF Workshops Introduces Women to the Sport of Fishing
LDWF Workshops Introduces Women to the Sport of Fishing

Over 50 women joined the ranks of experienced anglers in Louisiana by participating in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Women’s Fishing Workshops.  The two workshops were held last month at the Cabela’s in Gonzales. Participants were taught how to rig their own rod and reel, fishing tactics, methods of cleaning fish and native fish species identification.

  
The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana sent each participant home with her own rod and reel. In addition, raffle winners brought home new fishing gear courtesy of Cabela’s and Louisiana Fish Fry.     
  
The workshops are open to women 18 and older who have in interest in fishing and conservation but have not had the opportunity to learn the skills and techniques needed to get started. LDWF and Cabela’s have partnered to hold several of these one-day workshops over the past 5 years, training over 200 women. 
  
Those who participate in the workshops are eligible for selection for department coordinated fishing trips where they are paired with a fisheries biologist and boat captain, allowing them to put their newly learned skills to use. Selection for these trips is random due to limited accommodations. 
  
The Department strives to inspire people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors. These workshops are one of the many outreach initiatives LDWF and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation sponsors, designed to do just that. The goal is to provide women with hands-on education and experience from trained staff and volunteers.   
  
The women’s workshops are hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation . The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources.     

 

LDWF to Host 14th Annual Step Outside Day on Saturday at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 05/07/2018

May 7, 2018 - The 14th annual Step Outside Day, an outdoor education program hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), will be held Saturday (May 12) at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Lottie on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
The event, which is free, will take place next to scenic Big Alabama Bayou near Sherburne WMA headquarters.
 
Some of the events planned for Step Outside Day include pontoon boat rides, canoeing, target and trap shooting, fishing, archery and other outdoor activities.  Children can take part in blue bird box building, turkey and duck calling and other learning events.  All equipment will be provided.
 
Exhibits of wildlife and fish species and water safety will be available.
 
Refreshments and lunch will be provided as well as drawings for door prizes.  Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
 
The Sherburne WMA headquarters is located at 1132 Sherburne Road near Lottie.  From U.S. Highway 190, take Sherburne (Louisiana Highway 975) exit and drive south approximately three miles.  The venue will be on the left, near Big Alabama Bayou.  From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay exit and drive North approximately 13 miles on Louisiana Highway 975.  The venue will be on the right near Big Alabama Bayou.
 
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov
 

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Opens Online Portal for Civil Restitution Payments

Release Date: 05/04/2018

BATON ROUGE, La.--The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has expanded its method of collecting payments for civil restitution associated with violations. Violators can now pay their civil restitution online from anywhere at any time using major credit cards.

An online portal, developed in partnership with Louisiana Interactive, is now available for the convenience of those that need to pay civil restitution. The new technology will allow LDWF to collect civil restitution payments in a more efficient manner.

LDWF is committed to both, ensuring the state receives all restitution owed, and that the public has innovative and user-friendly tools to fulfill their monetary obligations.

In cases that involve civil restitution, LDWF will inform violators by mail of their responsibility to pay the civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken wildlife, fish or damaged habitat.

The new secure portal is available here and can be accessed on any device. A link to this portal will also be available on LDWF’s homepage, www.wlf.la.gov.

“Louisianans are known for their love of our Sportsman’s Paradise,” said Secretary Jack Montoucet. “We are providing this convenient digital service to collect restitution that helps us maintain Louisiana’s wildlife for future generations.”

CWD Sampling Efforts in Northeast Louisiana Continue to Show No Detections

Release Date: 05/04/2018

May 4, 2018 – Continuing sampling efforts conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes have turned up no positive results of the disease.
LDWF has sampled 239 deer from the three parishes, located in northeast Louisiana, with results received back on 188 of the specimens as of May 2 with no positive results detected. The results from the samples will be received within the next three weeks, while additional sampling continues inside the buffer zone area within these parishes.
 
The sampling measures are part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan. It was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.
 
LDWF’s target sample size is 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size will provide a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent. LDWF continues to work with private landowners to obtain consent for sampling efforts and would like to thank landowners who have been willing to assist and cooperate with LDWF’s sampling project.
 
Mississippi has also sampled in the area in its state and, with 275 results back, has not detected the disease outside the one case in Issaquena County.
 
In addition to the LDWF sampling, supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes has been suspended as part of the response plan.
 
CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.
 
Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD
 

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LWFC Approves Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules for 2018-19

Release Date: 05/04/2018

May 4, 2018 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2018-19 and 2019-20 resident game hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons, rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season, rules and regulations and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season, rules and regulations at its May meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
 
The notices of intent presented in January by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons were approved with amendments made subsequently in February.
Approved amendments to the NOI included alteration of the season structure for deer hunting areas 5 and 7. The new dates for Deer Area 5 will occur earlier within the normal season framework, beginning with primitive firearms season, which will start Nov. 10, 2018.
 
The beginning and closing of archery season is all that will be affected in Deer Area 7. It will open Sept. 15, 2018, and close Jan. 15, 2019. The adjustment will allow Deer Area 7 to run concurrent with deer areas 3, 8 and 10.
 
An amendment to allow gill and trammel nets for commercial fishing on Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) passed as did an amendment to close Bussey Brake WMA to all activities until further notice.
 
Changes from previous hunting seasons in the approved NOIs include but are not limited to:
 
* Deer Area 9 change in either-sex primitive and modern firearms days. Dates will occur earlier within the normal season framework to facilitate antlerless harvest earlier in the season with the intent to improve sex ratios in advance of breeding. There is no reduction or addition of available hunting days.
* Move West Feliciana Parish from Deer Area 4 to Area 6. 
* Prohibition on the use of drones on WMAs.
* Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Tunica Hills WMA.
* Addition of PCHP wheelchair bound waterfowl blinds on Bayou Pierre and Russell Sage WMAs.
*  Addition of vessel language for allowable means of camping on WMAs. 
* Addition of language to clarify where camping can occur on WMAs. 
*  Reduction of available either-sex modern firearm days from three to two and reduction of primitive firearms bucks only days from seven to two for deer on Attakapas WMA.
*  Allowance for use of yo-yo’s and trot lines for fishing in Big and Chain lakes on Big Lake WMA. 
*  Establishment of Limited Access Areas (LAAs) for the Topan Unit and the Old Waterfowl Refuge on Boeuf WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels.
*  Reduction of deer youth lottery and PCHP Wheelchair bound opportunity on Buckhorn WMA.
* Adjustment of dates for primitive weapon deer season on Clear Creek WMA.
* Grassy Lake WMA reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from seven to two days. 
*  Elimination of antlerless deer harvest on Pass-A-Loutre WMA.
*  Reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from seven to two days on Richard K Yancey WMA.
*  Changing the Joyce WMA deer season structure to run concurrent with Maurepas Swamp WMA deer season.
*  Establishment of LAAs for all waterfowl impoundments EXCEPT Wham Brake on Russell Sage WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels.
*  Adjustment of Sabine WMA deer season(s) to make them later in the season.
*  Increase in the number of deer either-sex days for modern firearms from five to14 days on Thistlethwaite WMA.  
*  Adjustment of dates for primitive weapons deer season on West Bay WMA.
*  Addition of a part of St. Martin Parish into Area A for turkey hunting.
 
To view the full notice of intent and all hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 

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LWF Commission Sets 2018 Recreational Red Snapper Season

Release Date: 05/03/2018

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2018 recreational red snapper season will begin on Friday, May 25 in both state and federal waters. The season will run 7 days a week with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.   The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may consider amending the season at a future meeting to weekends-only if necessary. The season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 743,000 pounds of red snapper according to estimates from LA Creel.

This year’s season differs from years prior in that state and federal seasons will run concurrently because federal fisheries managers approved the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ application for an Exempted Fishing Permit to manage the private recreational snapper season in state and federal waters in 2018 and 2019. Under the EFP, participating anglers will be allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal EEZ, from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. NOAA Fisheries will continue to regulate federal for-hire charter vessels.

The intent of the state’s EFP is to test a state-based management approach that allows the recreational harvest of red snapper in federal waters off Louisiana’s coast.

“This is a significant beginning for Louisiana. We now have the charge to manage both the state and federal red snapper seasons,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “It is our job to make sure that this is a success, and we will be calling on our anglers to assist.”

“Since I came on as Secretary, Gov. John Bel Edwards has said Louisiana has done everything necessary to manage the state and federal waters off our coast,” Montoucet said. “I know that he and other Louisiana state and federal officials who have promoted this idea are happy to see this day.”

Gov. Edwards praised the state’s new position. “Being an avid fisherman myself, I know how important it is that Louisiana now controls red snapper seasons here,” he said. “Like so many Louisiana anglers, I applaud the effort of LDWF, its biologists and staff, along with our Congressional delegation, to make this happen.

Resident and Non-Resident Recreational Anglers:

·      Must possess valid Louisiana Basic and Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses as well as a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (free of charge) to participate.

·      Anglers can sign up via the ROLP website or smartphone application (Google Play or iTunes) to participate. Log into your ROLP account and click the link to register to fish for red snapper under the EFP. Once you have registered, save an electronic copy on your mobile device or print a copy of your ROLP indicating your EFP registration and carry it on your person along with applicable licenses while fishing under the EFP.

 State For-Hire Charter Vessels:

·      State for-hire charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter/headboat permit for reef fish) are not covered by the terms of this EFP.

·      May only fish for red snapper in state waters (within the 9 nautical mile state water boundary), when the Louisiana recreational red snapper season is open.

 Federal For-Hire Charter Vessels:

·      Despite the department’s initial EFP application, vessels with federal reef fish for-hire permits will remain under federal regulations and may not fish under this EFP.

·      May only fish in federal waters during the 51-day federal for-hire season from June 1 through July 21, 2018.

·      If a federal for-hire charter captain also holds a Louisiana charter license, he/she may also fish state waters only when the federal for-hire charter season overlaps with the Louisiana season.

All EFP participants will be subject to periodic, random LA Creel dockside surveys and associated online and phone effort surveys, as has been the case since 2014 when LA Creel began. While these surveys are voluntary, we strongly urge your participation, as this will be the primary method for tracking harvest. The accuracy and reliability of harvest estimates depend on angler participation in LA Creel, so we need as many anglers as possible to complete both dockside and phone and email surveys.

Those who opt to fish under the EFP also have the option to test electronic reporting via the ROLP smartphone application or mobile and desktop version of the ROLP website. LDWF hopes that voluntary use of electronic reporting will provide the department with a larger sample size than standard dockside and telephone sampling, improving the quality of recreational landings data to make future management recommendations. Electronic reporting could also provide landings data even faster than LA Creel. If you opt in to voluntary electronic reporting, you may also be contacted to participate in LA Creel.

For additional questions regarding the upcoming red snapper season, the Exempted Federal Fishing Permit, or voluntary electronic reporting, please reference our FAQs.

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.

LDWF Announces Opening Dates for the Spring Shrimp Season in Remaining Portions of Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 05/03/2018

LDWF Announces Opening Dates for the Spring Shrimp Season in Remaining Portions of Louisiana Waters

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the opening dates for the remaining portions of state inshore waters based on information provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and public comments.

Season openings are as follows:

·      The portion of Shrimp Management Zone 1 from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet to open at 6 a.m. Monday, May 21,

·       The portion of Shrimp Management Zone 1 from the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. Wednesday, May 9.

·      The portion of state inside waters from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line to open at 6 a.m. Monday, May 21.

LDWF biologists have monitored hydrological parameters and conducted weekly trawl samples throughout the state’s estuarine and nearshore waters since March to develop recommendations for the opening of the spring shrimp season. Data were used to calculate a ‘crossover’ date, which occurs when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population reaches 100 count per pound or larger.  

The Commission grants authority to the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to delay or advance these opening dates if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and; to close any portion of Louisiana inside waters to protect small juvenile white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or enforcement problems develop. Notice of any opening, delay or closure of a season by the Secretary will be made by public notice at least 72 hours prior to such action.

See map above or visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasonsfor a map detailing this opening.

For more information, contact Peyton Cagle (337) 491-2575 or pcagle@wlf.la.gov.

 

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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