LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet July 30

Release Date: 07/26/2018

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Monday, July 30, 2018, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210 

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

I.   Pledge of Allegiance 

II.  Roll call and introduction of guests 

III. Approval of May 29, 2018 Minutes and July 30, 2018 Agenda

IV. Treasury Report

A.     Oyster Tag Sales

B.     LOTF Financial Report

V.        Committee Reports

A.    Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)

B.    Enforcement (Major Chad Hebert)

C.     Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.   Research (Earl Melancon)

E.    Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.     Marketing (LDWF)

G.    Health (Justin Gremillion)

H.   Professionalism (LDWF)

I.     Aquaculture (Steve Pollock)

J.     Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)

VI.        New Business

A.     To Hear Recommendations for the 2018-2019 Oyster Season- LDWF

B.    To Hear an Update from the OTF Washington, D.C. Trip- OTF

C.    To Consider Funding and Participation in the 2019 LA Alive Event- OTF

D.   To Hear Discussion and Consider Funding to Order OTF Name Tags and Shirts- OTF

VII.       Public Comment

VIII.      Set Next Meeting

IX.        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/1672724815040409603

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.

Oyster Task Force Coastal Restoration Committee To Meet July 30

Release Date: 07/26/2018

Oyster Task Force Coastal Restoration Committee

Monday, July 30, 2018, 9:30 A.M.

2021 Lakeshore Drive, STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

 

I.    Call to Order

II.   Pledge of Allegiance

III.  To Discuss Planning for Management of State Oyster Leasing and Public Seed Grounds Affected by Coastal projects and Natural Hydrological Changes

IV.  Public Comment

V.   Set next meeting

VI.  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/6667723676672895745

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 Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Brown Pelican Restoration at Queen Bess Island

Release Date: 07/25/2018

Young pelicans on Queen Bess Island.

July 20, 2018 - Imagine Louisiana without its state bird, the brown pelican. That was reality in the middle 1960s. Pelicans had ceased nesting in the state in 1961, and by 1963, they had disappeared.

The since-banned pesticide DDT was the primary culprit for the demise of the pelican.

 

However, in 1968, Louisiana began a restoration project of the species and Queen Bess Island, in Barataria Bay near Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish, was ground zero. Once a popular nesting spot with pelicans, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists thought it would be the perfect spot to reintroduce the pelican.

 

From 1968 through 1976, 767 brown pelican chicks were captured from Florida’s Atlantic Coast and relocated to coastal Louisiana, including to Queen Bess. In 1971, 11 nests were documented on this tiny island marking the first successful recolonization of brown pelicans in Louisiana. Biologists kept track of the growing numbers and documented a peak of about 4,000 nests on Queen Bess in 2008.

 

The majestic pelican has returned in a big way with sightings common along Louisiana’s coast. The species was removed from the Federal Endangered Species list in 2009.

 

“To think that we almost lost our state bird, the brown pelican, is inconceivable,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “As many drive along Louisiana’s coastal region and see the pelican flying above, it is easy to take for granted their great abundance. The job now is to make certain the species continues to flourish. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that happens.’’

 

Improving the habitat on Queen Bess is a goal of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), LDWF and other partners. The island has experienced significant subsidence through the years and the nesting habitat is now approximately five acres and marginal at best.

 

“In Louisiana we share our living space with more species of the animal kingdom than just about anywhere else in America,” said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry. “If we cannot save the habitat for those species, we cannot save it for ourselves. And as Queen Bess Island proves, every foothold of land is vitally important.”

 

Queen Bess was heavily impacted by the 2010 BP oil spill. Perhaps one of the most photographed islands during the oil spill, many birds were exposed to oil on this important rookery. It is fitting that the funds to restore the island and to increase nesting habitat for brown pelicans and the other birds that call Queen Bess home is proposed to come from the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) funds allocated for birds in Louisiana.

 

To help reinvigorate the population and add to Queen Bess’ size, CPRA and LDWF are designing a restoration project that may begin as early as 2019. The tiny island is currently the third largest rookery in Louisiana for nesting pelicans with 15-20 percent of the state’s nesting activity occurring on Queen Bess. It is also nesting habitat for about 10 species of nesting birds and commonly has over 4,000 nests annually.

 

In many ways, the brown pelican is an indicator of the health of the Louisiana coast. The rookeries are on the front line of the coastal land loss crisis and experience all the devastating effects from oil spills to hurricanes as exposed barrier islands of Louisiana’s coastal marshes. As these rookeries subside and erode, pelicans are forced to move inland to find suitable alternatives. However, with meaningful restoration there is hope Louisiana’s state bird can continue to thrive and call the state’s coastal marshes home.

 

For video and photos from Queen Bess Island go https://ldwf.cantoflight.com/v/QueenBessIsland/landing.

 

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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF to Deploy Floating Boom During Lake Bistineau Drawdown

Release Date: 07/20/2018

Location of boom deployment

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will begin its previously announced drawdown of Lake Bistineau on July 23.  The Department has begun to deploy a temporary floating boom to aid in giant salvinia control efforts. The boom is intended to control the drift of floating aquatic plants as the water level decreases, keeping it from spreading as easily, and allowing more effective herbicide application on the aggregated plants.

The floating boom will be deployed across both Bossier Slough and the Main Channel, including the wooded area in between, as depicted in the attached map. The boom is highly visible and will be marked with additional lights and signs. Passageways will be marked in both Bossier Slough and the Main Channel.

The drawdown is scheduled to begin July 23, 2018, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day. The maximum drawdown level is 8 feet below normal pool stage. Aquatic habitat conditions in the lake will be evaluated during the drawdown to determine the most appropriate time to end the drawdown and allow the lake to refill for recreational activities.

For additional information, contact Daniel Hill at (225) 765-2328 or dhill@wlf.la.gov.

 

 

Louisiana Red Snapper Landings Estimates through July 8

Release Date: 07/19/2018

The latest catch statistics for recreational red snapper recorded by LA Creel, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' near real-time landings data collection program, are 407,117 pounds, or 54 percent of Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 743,000 pounds.

The current weekends-only season will continue to run until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s allocation. 

This year, state and federal seasons are running concurrently because federal fisheries managers approved LDWF’s application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to manage the private recreational snapper season in state and federal waters in 2018 and 2019. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal waters, from shore to 200 nautical miles. 

LDWF requests that recreational red snapper fishermen try out the tool developed to report catch electronically through the ROLP website or app. Though voluntary, reporting electronically will help us test this method of harvest data collection. Our goal is to continually improve our harvest data collection techniques to ensure our fishery resources are managed precisely and our fishermen have every possible opportunity to go out and catch fish. To get started on electronic reporting, go to wlf.louisiana.gov/snapper-efp-faqs and see question #14 (If I opt to participate in voluntary electronic reporting, how do I report my catch?).
    
For more information on the 2018 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit: wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper .

LDWF to Hold Wildlife Rehabilitation Training Class in Minden on Sept. 29

Release Date: 07/19/2018

July 19, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a
Wildlife Rehabilitation Basic Skills Class on Sept. 29 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the LDWF
Minden Field Office in Minden at 9961 Hwy 80 in the Auditorium. Registration will occur Aug. 1-Sept. 1 and the class will be limited to 100 participants.
 
The class is the only certification course recognized by LDWF and is for individuals who
would like to become wildlife rehabilitators. The basic skills class fulfills one of the
requirements for obtaining an LDWF wildlife rehabilitation license and is free.
 
The class will be taught by experienced wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians and wildlife
professionals.
 
To register for the class, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife-rehab-training-signup.
 
For more information, contact LDWF permits coordinator Melissa Collins at 225-765-3968 or at mcollins@wlf.la.gov. Anyone interested in pursuing an LDWF wildlife rehabilitation license should contact Collins.
 

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Women Perfect Fishing Skills at Women’s Fishing Workshop Fishing Trip

Release Date: 07/19/2018

Women Perfect Fishing Skills at Women’s Fishing Workshop Fishing Trip

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosted their annual Women’s Fishing Workshop fishing trip this past weekend at the Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab, where 14 women perfected their angling skills under the supervision and assistance of experienced LDWF staff and Aquatic Volunteer Instructors. 
 
The primary component of the two-part workshop is a classroom-style instructional course held at Cabela’s in Gonzales. Angling techniques are taught to a group of 30 women, 18 and older, who may lack the opportunity or confidence to learn these skills. The ladies leave the workshop as more knowledgeable, independent anglers. Interested participants are then entered into a drawing for an opportunity to attend a fishing trip based out of the department’s Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab.  
  
The ladies hit the ground running on Friday evening, learning proper technique to set up their rods and reels followed by casting practice from the dock. On Saturday, LDWF staff and volunteers led both inshore and offshore fishing trips, providing a hands-on opportunity for the participants to utilize the skills previously learned. After escaping early morning storms, the ladies were able to spend a full day on the water fishing for red snapper, speckled trout and redfish. When not on the boat, the ladies practiced fish cleaning, cast netting, trailering and toured the research lab.
 
The next workshop is scheduled for spring 2019. For more information on this program visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishingworkshops.

Finfish Task Force to Meet Friday, July 20

Release Date: 07/19/2018

Finfish Task Force Agenda

Friday, July 20, 2018, 10:00AM

LDWF Headquarters in the Louisiana Room

2000 Quail Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

 

AGENDA

I. Call to Order 

II. Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

III. Approval of the May 17, 2018 Meeting Minutes 

IV. Approval of the July 20, 2018 Meeting Agenda

V. New Business

A.     Discussion of Potential Changes to Black Drum Recreational and Commercial Harvest, Size, and Bag Limits- FTF

B.     Discussion of Mullet Season- FTF

C.     Discussion of Finfish Trawling- FTF

D.    To Hear an Update on the Status of Red Snapper -Rep. John Stefanski

E.     Discussion of Shad Seine Gear Regulations- Daniel Edgar

VI. Public Comment

VII. To Hear Future Agenda Item Proposals 

VIII. Set Next Meeting Date and Location

IX. 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/3041621189405405955

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 Supports Bill by Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham To Study, Stop Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

Release Date: 07/17/2018

July 17, 2018 – A bill by Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, aimed at stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a major step in the right direction to combatting the ailment, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet said.
 
Dr. Abraham, a former veterinarian, has introduced a bill that requires the Secretary of Agriculture to partner with the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science (NRCNAS) to study and identify the ways CWD is transmitted between wild, captive and farmed cervids. This will provide a credible and scientifically-based foundation of understanding of the disease that can help end its spread.
 
“We at LDWF fully support Dr. Abraham’s legislation to curtail and, hopefully, stop the spread of CWD,’’ Montoucet said. “It is certainly something that we have devoted many resources to in the past few years. We launched a major effort earlier this year to head off the disease when a white-tailed deer was detected with CWD, just across the river, by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
 
“Having NRCNAS as part of the fight will aid us in continuing to make sure CWD is held in check,’’ Montoucet said. “It has not been found in Louisiana and our goal is to make sure we keep it out of our white-tailed deer population.’’
 
“CWD could have devastating effects on Louisiana deer populations and, possibly, other mammals,’’ Dr. Abraham said. “The best hope we have for controlling CWD begins with understanding how it spreads. We don’t have that right now. Since so little information exists on this topic, my bill would instruct some of the brightest scientists in the country to study and learn more about CWD so that we can stop it.’’
 
The bill, HR 6272, has four original cosponsors: U.S. Reps. Glen Thompson, R-Pa.; Ryan Costello, R-Pa.; Tom Marino, R-Pa.; and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. It has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee, of which Dr. Abraham is a member.
 
LDWF worked with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission last year to implement a carcass importation ban, a viable step in preventing the disease from entering the state via infected carcass parts harvested in CWD detected states.
 
Additionally, LDWF continues cooperative discussions with other state and federal agencies in the fight against CWD and to prevent it from entering the state.
 
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.
 
It has been found in 25 states, including Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.
 
LDWF has tested more than 8,600 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD in Louisiana. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
 
 

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Gov. Edwards Announces $60M in Coastal Recreational Projects

Release Date: 07/17/2018

Deepwater Horizon settlement funds to pay for engineering, design and construction

Baton Rouge -Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced $60 million in new coastal projects to be built and paid for with funds from the settlement of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

“The oil spill impacted Louisiana’s environment and natural resources, but it also took a toll on our way of life and the recreational opportunities that make Louisiana a true Sportsman’s Paradise,” said Gov. Edwards. “Several beaches were closed, access to fishing areas and bays was limited and recreational fishing was cut short as a result of the spill, not to mention camping and other outdoor activities that were put on hold as a result of the spill and the cleanup efforts.  The funding provided by this settlement will cover the complete cost of the engineering, design and construction of 23 projects spanning our coast that will directly impact the communities that have been recovering since the spill and we are delighted to see these projects get underway.”

Projects will be constructed in nine coastal parishes, with another project enhancing artificial reef sites across Louisiana’s coast. Potential projects were solicited by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group and then vetted through months of public input and hearings. Of the projects ultimately selected, 17 were submitted by the state Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries; five by the La. Office of State Parks; and one by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.   

“This is about recreation, enhancing the opportunities to enjoy the natural bounty of our coast and all it offers,” said Jack Montoucet, Secretary of the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. “We’re going to build or improve boat ramps and mooring docks, and construct new fishing piers in many areas, and we’re going to make Elmer’s Island even more accessible for users to access the recently-restored beach.”

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who experienced the oil spill first hand when he was president of Plaquemines Parish, said he is pleased that our recreational losses have not been forgotten.

“We have beautiful state parks in our coastal zone,” said Nungesser, “and I’m pleased to be in a position to oversee the improvements coming to Grand Isle State Park, Sam Houston Jones State Park, St. Bernard State Park, Bayou Segnette and Cypremort Point State Park. We are very thankful for this oil spill settlement funding in order to refurbish and maintain a number of our state parks – another example of our dedication to Louisiana’s great outdoors.”

The Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, Johnny Bradberry, represents Louisiana’s state agencies on the Trustee Implementation Group. He also chairs the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board.

“These projects comprise the full expenditure of the $60 million pot of money dedicated to addressing recreational use losses,” Bradberry said. “Other post-oil-spill money is, or will be, expended to redress a variety of environmental and economic damages. But I’m pleased our governor cares about all aspects of life in Louisiana, and understands the importance of joie de vivre.”

 

Click here for a complete list of the projects.

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