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LDWF News Release

LWF Commission Sets Commercial King Mackerel Season

Release Date: 01/07/2016

(Jan. 7, 2016) - Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016 commercial king mackerel season to begin Friday, July 1.  The Commission granted the authority to the Secretary of the Department to close the season once the 2016-17 quota is met or projected to be met.
 
King mackerel is a substantial commercial fishery in Louisiana. From 2000 through 2014, Louisiana landed, on average, approximately 76 percent of the allotted western Gulf of Mexico quota.  In 2014, approximately 1,111,806 pounds were landed in Louisiana alone, with a significant portion shipped to markets in the northeastern U.S. 

AMENDED - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 01/06/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Agenda

January 7, 2016

9:30 AM

 

1.       Call to order

2.       Roll call

3.       Approval of minutes from December 03, 2015 Meeting

4.       Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

5.       To hear Enforcement Reports December 2015                                                    

6.       To consider a Declaration of Emergency for Partial Closure of State Outside Waters to Shrimping

7.       To consider a Declaration of Emergency for  setting the 2016-2017 Commercial King Mackerel Season

8.       To consider a Resolution on the 2016 Recreational Red Snapper Season in Louisiana waters 

9.       To hear a presentation on the Commission’s authority to establish management targets for black drum, sheepshead and southern flounder resulting from Act 205, 2015 Legislative Session

10.    To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the Rules for Turtle Excluder Devices (TED)

11.    To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the rules for Turtle Harvest and to place a Moratorium on the Commercial Harvest of Wild Razor-backed Musk Turtle

12.    To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the Rules for Alligator Farm Facility Requirements

13.    To consider a Notice of Intent for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 General and WMA Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations, 2017 General and WMA Turkey Hunting Season and Rules and Regulations, and 2016-2017 Migratory Birds Regulations, Seasons, and Bag Limits

14.    To hear a presentation on a Cooperative Endeavor to establish a Weevil Propagation Pond in Southwest Louisiana

15.    To consider a Declaration of Emergency to close the deer hunting seasons due to the recent flooding of the Mississippi River for the specific areas of:   All lands within the Morganza floodway, from the Morganza control structure, south to I-10, and from I-10 south, within the protection levees of the Atchafalaya basin, the Sherburne WMA, the Indian Bayou Area and the Bonnet Carre Spillway

16.    To consider Rescinding the Declaration of Emergency for Partial Deer Season Closure (by Secretary Barham, effective date January 3, 2016)

17.    Election of WLF Commission Chairman and Vice-Chairman

18.    Set May 2016 Meeting Date

19.    Receive Public Comments

20.    Adjournment

Tags:

Cas Cas Road at Grassy Lake WMA Closed to Traffic Because of High Water

Release Date: 01/06/2016

Jan. 5, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Cas Cas Road, also known as Grand Lake Road, at Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to all but ATV traffic because of high water brought on by flooding.

In addition, the Fools Bay low water crossing on North Bayou Natchitoches Road at Grassy Lake WMA has been closed because of high water.

Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares. Once the water recedes and necessary repairs have been made, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles northeast of Bordelonville.
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .

Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA

Release Date: 01/05/2016

Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA
Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA
Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA

Jan. 5, 2016 -- Eleven juvenile whooping cranes were released into the wild last Tuesday (Dec. 29) at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) near Gueydan. The juvenile cranes join 35 adults that are part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
 
The cranes were delivered to southwest Louisiana on Dec. 3 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md.  LDWF is working cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to establish a non-migratory population in the state.
 
The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report their sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).
 
Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese.  However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-8 feet make them very distinctive.  In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
 
Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.
 
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. Citizen Observer, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 
 
Additional information on LDWF’s whooping crane project is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or on the LDWF whooping crane Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lawhoopingcranes/?fref=ts). For more information, contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, ext. 4.

Deer Hunting Closure in Atchafalaya Basin Could Come Friday Due to Rising Flood Waters

Release Date: 01/05/2016

Jan. 5, 2016 – Rising flood waters in the Atchafalaya Basin could trigger an automatic deer hunting season closure in parts of Deer Area 9 as early as Friday (Jan. 8).

The High Water Benchmark Closure, enacted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in Title 76, will close deer hunting in an area of the Atchafalaya Basin in portions of Iberia, Iberville, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes when the flood gauge reaches 18 feet at Butte LaRose. That benchmark water level is expected to be reached either Friday or Saturday (Jan. 9).

The area encompasses those parishes south of I-10, west of the East Guide Levee, east of the West Guide Levee and north of U.S. 90.

The public is encouraged to monitor river levels this week prior to planning deer hunting in this area.

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Amended Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 01/04/2016

Amended Agenda

January 7, 2016 9:30 AM

1. Call to order

2. Roll call

3. Approval of minutes from December 03, 2015 Meeting

4. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

5. To hear Enforcement Reports December 2015

6. To consider a Declaration of Emergency for Partial Closure of State Outside Waters to Shrimping

7. To consider a Declaration of Emergency for setting the 2016-2017 Commercial King Mackerel Season

8. To consider a Resolution on the 2016 Recreational Red Snapper Season in Louisiana waters

9. To hear a presentation on the Commission’s authority to establish management targets for black drum, sheepshead and southern flounder resulting from Act 205, 2015 Legislative Session

10. To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the Rules for Turtle Excluder Devices (TED)

11. To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the rules for Turtle Harvest and to place a Moratorium on the Commercial Harvest of Wild Razor-backed Musk Turtle

12. To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the Rules for Alligator Farm Facility Requirements

13. To consider a Notice of Intent for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 General and WMA Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations, 2017 General and WMA Turkey Hunting Season and Rules and Regulations, and 2016-2017 Migratory Birds Regulations, Seasons, and Bag Limits

14. To hear a presentation on a Cooperative Endeavor to establish a Weevil Propagation Pond in Southwest Louisiana

15. To consider Rescinding the Declaration of Emergency for Partial Deer Season Closure (by Secretary Barham, effective date January 3, 2016)

16. Election of WLF Commission Chairman and Vice-Chairman

17. Set May 2016 Meeting Date

18. Receive Public Comments

19. Adjournment

Tags:

Road Closures Set for Some Dewey W. Wills WMA Roads Because of Flooding

Release Date: 01/04/2016

Jan. 4, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road (from Deville Crossing to Nolan Bayou Road) at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 42’ mean sea level, which is expected Thursday (Jan. 7).

In addition, Hunt Road south of the diversion canal will be closed to all traffic once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 45’ msl, which is expected Jan. 11.

Those using Dewey W. Wills WMA will be permitted to access Sandy Bayou Road with ATV/UTVs.

Increasing water levels in the Mississippi, Black, and associated river systems will create backwater flooding on these roads. Road closures are implemented in the interest of public safety. Once the water recedes and conditions allow, the roads will be reopened.

  
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .
 

COMMERCIAL KING MACKEREL SEASON TO CLOSE JANUARY 7, 2016

Release Date: 01/04/2016

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Rene LeBreton
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov
504-286-8745

January 4, 2016

COMMERCIAL KING MACKEREL SEASON TO CLOSE JANUARY 7, 2016

 

January 4, 2016 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at 12 p.m. (noon) on Thursday, January 7, 2016. 

The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met.  The commercial fishing season for king mackerel was previously closed in federal waters at noon on Tuesday, November 17. 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico has been harvested, or is projected to soon be harvested.

The commercial king mackerel season in Louisiana waters has previously been closed on March 27, 2009 (08-09 season), September 12, 2009 (09-10 season), February 11, 2011 (10-11 season), September 16, 2011 (11-12 season), August 22, 2012 (12-13 season), September 20, 2013 (13-14 season), and October 31, 2014 (14-15 season).

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery exists, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  

LDWF Announces Annual Caney Creek Reservoir Public Meeting

Release Date: 01/04/2016

(Jan. 4, 2016) - A public meeting will be held on Caney Creek Reservoir issues, including an overview of aquatic vegetation and the results of recent fish population sampling. A comprehensive management plan for Caney Creek Reservoir was established in 2006, calling for annual hearings to update the public on ongoing projects, fisheries management issues and aquatic vegetation management. 
 
Who:  Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
 
What:  Public meeting on Caney Creek Reservoir
 
When:  Tuesday, January 19 at 7 p.m.
 
Where:  Jimmie David Sate Park Conference Center, 1209 State Park Rd., Chatham,
               LA 71266
 
The meeting is open to the public, and all persons interested in the conversation and management of the fisheries and aquatic habitats in Caney Creek Reservoir are encouraged to attend.
 
For additional meeting details, contact Jeff Sibley at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.

LDWF sets 2016 recreational red snapper season; Louisiana waters officially extended from three to nine miles offshore for reef fish management

Release Date: 01/04/2016

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Rene LeBreton
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov
504-286-8745

 

January 4, 2016

 

LDWF sets 2016 recreational red snapper season; Louisiana waters officially extended from three to nine miles offshore for reef fish management

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced that the 2016 red snapper fishing season in state waters will begin at 6:00 a.m. on January 8, 2016 and remain open until further notice. The season will run seven days a week in state waters with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length. 

“LDWF will do everything we can to provide our anglers the opportunity to harvest their share of this healthy and thriving resource,” said Barham.

Assistant Secretary, Randy Pausina said, “Through LA Creel, our recreational landings data collection program, we're able to monitor how much red snapper our anglers harvest in real time. With this data, we can ensure our recreational fishery is fully accountable—we're able to set a fishing season that allows our anglers to harvest their entire share of the catch but also close the season in time to prevent over harvest.”

Louisiana waters officially extended from three to nine miles offshore for reef fish management

Recently signed into law, the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act includes a provision to temporarily extend Louisiana state waters to nine nautical miles for fishery management purposes, an effort championed by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham during his tenure at the agency.

Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, added the provision to the Act to push state waters for reef fish management in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama (currently three miles) to nine miles to match the current state water boundaries of Florida and Texas. “We are grateful for the additional provision by Senator Shelby and the recognition by Congress of the nine-mile boundary the State of Louisiana has claimed since 2012,” said Secretary Barham. “Because the 2016 Omnibus Appropriation Act applies to the current federal fiscal year, the nine-mile extension is only temporary. However, Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) has proposed a more permanent solution through H.R. 3094; he and his bill have our agency’s full support.”

Secretary Barham worked hand in hand with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and Louisiana state legislators for years to ensure Louisiana’s fishing boundaries are equal with those of Texas and Florida. In 2011, Louisiana state legislators passed Act 336, recognizing that the Gulfward boundary of Louisiana’s state waters historically consisted of three marine leagues (9 nautical miles) and designating that boundary to be enforced by state law for the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources, and regulation of activities affecting them.

Following the direction of our state legislators and at the request of Secretary Barham, the Commission officially extended state waters from three nautical miles offshore to nine nautical miles offshore for fisheries management purposes and for the benefit of Louisiana fishermen. Secretary Barham said, “I was simply correcting an injustice. If our Florida and Texas neighbors fish a nine-mile state boundary, so should Louisiana fishermen. Unfortunately, it has taken over three years for action on this issue and that action is only temporary. I look forward to the day that all fishermen are treated equally across the Gulf of Mexico.”  Although this congressional action is only temporary, it is a step forward for Louisiana fishermen and is a direct result of Secretary Barham’s continued vigilance on this issue. “Louisiana fishermen will benefit from improved access and more flexible management of the reef fish fishery in the waters off Louisiana,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary of Fisheries Randy Pausina. “And without Secretary Barham’s initial leadership claiming a nine-mile state water boundary for our fishermen, this would not have gained the momentum it needed to be carried through Congress,” said Billy Broussard, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioner. 

Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

LDWF reminds anglers and charter captains that they must have a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess certain species, including red snapper. They may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers and charter captains may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. They must have a valid Louisiana fishing license number to obtain a permit; they may use their confirmation number for a temporary (trip) permit.

Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need this permit.

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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