LDWF News

LDWF News Release

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.

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet May 8

Release Date: 05/03/2018

                                                                             

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, Chairman

Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 1:00pm

UNO Advanced Technology Center 

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

 

I.        Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.        Approval of January 9, 2018 Minutes and May 8, 2018 Agenda

III.        Financial Report

              A. Tier 2.1 Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV.        New Business

A.     To Hear an Update on the Current Blue Crab Stock Assessment- LDWF/CTF

B.     To Hear Survey Results of 2019 Crab Management Options

C.     To Hear an Update on the Crab Tagging Program- Sea Grant

D.     To Hear a Proposal to Make Changes to Restrictions on Crabbing Before Sunrise- CTF

E.     Discussion of the Rules and Regulations of Derelict Crab Trap Cleanups- Bobby Lovell

F.     To Consider Banning Immature Female Blue Crab Harvest- Al Cassagne

G.     Discussion to Consider New Crab Gear- Nolan Exsterstein

H.    Discussion of Crab Task Force Shirt Order- CTF

V.         Public Comment

VI.        Set Next Meeting

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/5488485359398028033

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.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.govat least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

LDWF Reminds Ruston Area about the Get Out and Fish! Event the Weekend

Release Date: 05/02/2018

LDWF Reminds Ruston Area about the Get Out and Fish! Event the Weekend

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the City of Ruston invite you to join us for a Get Out and Fish! community fishing event on Saturday, May 5 at Elmore D. Mayfield Park. The pond will be stocked by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation prior to the event with 1,000 pounds of adult channel catfish – a perfect size to load in the ice chest and bring home.
 
The event will take place from 6:30 a.m. until noon and is free. The first 100 youth registrants (ages 15 and under) will receive a goody bag. In addition, every participant will be entered into a raffle drawing to win a variety of prizes.
 
Lunch will be provided free of charge by Grown and Grazed while supplies last.
 
Fishing competition categories include heaviest catfish and heaviest “other” fish. Age divisions include Little Angler (ages 8 and under), Junior Angler (ages 9-15) and Adult Angler (ages 16 and older). You can pre-register for this event now at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/get-out-and-fish-event-2%20.  
 
Participants 16 and older must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license available for purchase online at https://la-web.s3licensing.com/. Please bring your own gear, bait, tackle and an ice chest to keep your catch.
 
The Get Out and Fish! program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing, recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing, and promote outdoor activities for future generations. Through this program, LDWF will regularly stock the pond at Elmore D. Mayfield Park with adult-size channel catfish in the spring and fall and rainbow trout in the winter, with the intention of establishing an easily accessible community fishing pond in the Ruston area.  Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ldwfgetoutandfish/.
 
The Fisheries Extension Outreach Program fosters responsible, licensed anglers by organizing community fishing events and developing opportunities for anglers to participate in the conservation of Louisiana’s aquatic resources. The program promotes awareness of the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which utilizes angler support to help ensure the future of recreational fishing in Louisiana for generations to come.
 
This event is 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 Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.

LDWF and Volunteers Construct and Deploy First Artificial Reefs in New Orleans City Park

Release Date: 05/02/2018

Volunteers from the Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Atmos Energy assisted LDWF and New Orleans City Park staff with construction and

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and New Orleans City Park staff, with the help of volunteers from Atmos Energy, Marriott and the Ritz Carlton, constructed and deployed 23 freshwater artificial reefs into the lakes at New Orleans City Park on Thursday, April 26. The reefs will provide additional habitat for bass and crappie and offer anglers increased fishing opportunities in the park, which is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

 

Woody debris like trees and branches make for great artificial cover and are part of the habitat enhancement tool kit. However, wood and small limbs decompose relatively quickly and buoyancy can sometimes be an issue. In recent years, LDWF has shifted to plastic as the material of choice for freshwater artificial reef structures, because they proved to be more durable.. The reefs are composed of PVC pipe that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.  Fish are expected to begin using the reefs within two weeks of deployment.

 

Scrap gas pipe for this project was secured through a partnership with Atmos and Entergy, and additional project materials were provided by New Orleans City Park.  

 

Volunteers from Marriott assisted with reef construction, and volunteers from the Ritz Carlton and Atmos Engery helped with reef deployment.

  

Anglers to New Orleans City Park can use the following coordinates to fish the newly placed reefs:

Marconi in front of fishing pier: (30.008312, -90.098101)

Museum Pond: (29.99022, -90.095306) and (29.989616, -90.095419)

Zachary Taylor Drive: (29.994971, -90.092571)

Bayou Metairie:  (29.985061, -90.094044) , (29.984849, -90.093962) and (29.984738,-90.093000)

 

For locations of all LDWF artificial reefs, check out our ‘Outdoor Explorer Map Tool’ at:  http://arcg.is/0GuDKb  and click the 'Get on the Water' tab.

 

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.

Hunt Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area Reopened

Release Date: 05/01/2018

May 1, 2018 – Hunt Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been reopened, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced. However, Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road at the WMA will remain closed until water levels at the Larto Lake gauge recede to 40.0 mean sea level.
 
The roads were closed due to flooding, following the High Water Benchmark Road Closure rule approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

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 .
 

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Louisiana Artificial Reef Council to Meet June 4

Release Date: 05/01/2018

 

The Artificial Reef Council will meet at 1:00 pm on Monday, June 4th in the 4th floor conference of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.

 

Agenda:

1)      Introduction and Welcome

2)      Approval of agenda

3)      Approval of minutes

4)      Reef Program updates

a.       Nearshore & Offshore: Mike McDonough

b.      Inshore: Ashley Ferguson

c.       Monitoring & NRDA Recreational Use: Craig Gothreaux

5)      Presentation on the Artificial Reef Fund budget for FY 18-19*

6)      Public Comments

7)      Other business

8)      Adjourn

*Action item for Council

South Farm Area in Sherburne Wildlife Management Area Reopened

Release Date: 04/30/2018

April 30, 2018 – The South Farm area in the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been reopened, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. This includes the entire South Farm impoundment area where recreational crawfishing and other activities occur.
 
South Farm was closed due to flooding in the area.
 
Sherburne WMA South Farm is located in Iberville Parish approximately one mile north of Ramah. For more information on this WMA, go to htt://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994.
 
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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May 2018 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 04/30/2018

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

 

The following items will be discussed:

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call

4. Adoption of April 5, 2018, Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6. Enforcement Report April 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7. Receive a Presentation on Louisiana Residents’, Landowners’, and Hunters’ Attitudes on Black Bears and Black Bear Management in Louisiana, Survey Results - Mark Duda, Executive Director of Responsive Management 

8. Receive a Final Report on Waterfowl Breeding Habitat Work conducted in Canada - Dave Kostersky, Manager of State Grants for Ducks Unlimited Canada

9. Receive a Report on LDWF Monitoring of Waterfowl Breeding Habitat Work completed by Ducks Unlimited in Canada – Larry Reynolds, Wildlife Biologist

10. Receive an Update on LDWF Activities in Response to the Discovery of CWD in Mississippi –Johnathan Bordelon, Wildlife Biologist

11. Receive a Final Summary on Public Comments to previously approved Notice of Intent for the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the 2018-2019 Season, the Resident Game Hunting Season for the 2018-2020 Hunting Seasons, the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the Turkey Season, the Turkey Hunting Areas, and Seasons, and Bag Limits for the 2019 Turkey Season, and the Migratory Bird Seasons, Regulations, and Bag Limits for the 2018-2019 Hunting Season – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist 

12. Consider the Adoption of previously approved Notice of Intent to Amend the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the 2018-2019 Season, the Resident Game Hunting Season for the 2018-2020 Hunting Seasons, the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the Turkey Season, the Turkey Hunting Areas, and Seasons, and Bag Limits for the 2019 Turkey Season, and the Migratory Bird Seasons, Regulations, and Bag Limits for the 2018-2019 Hunting Season for final rule  – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist

13. Receive an update regarding the legislation filed for the 2018 Regular Session –Cole Garrett, Executive Counsel

14. Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Set 2018 Private Recreational Red Snapper Season in State and Federal Waters –Jason Adriance, Fisheries Biologist

15. Receive an Update on Gulf Council --Chris Schieble, Fisheries Biologist

16. Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Set the Spring Inshore Shrimp Season – Peyton Cagle

17. Receive a Report on the Extension of the Oyster Season in Calcasieu Lake – Harry Blanchet, Fisheries Biologist

18. Set September 2018 Commission Meeting Date 

19. Receive Public Comments

20. Adjournment

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8021927275517380097 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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.

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 the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

Oyster Season Extended for the West Cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area

Release Date: 04/27/2018

Oyster Season Extended for the West Cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will extend the oyster season (market /sack harvest only) for the West Cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area until one-half hour after sunset on May 15, 2018.  

To view a map of the area click the image above or visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/oyster-season.

Biological data suggests that there are harvestable oyster resources in the area and extending the season for a two-week market (sack) only harvest will not cause harm to the resource.  

The Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is authorized to take emergency action as necessary to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.  However, this action does not supersede public health closures.  

The daily take and possession limit in this area are limited to 7 sacks per person per vessel.  Oyster scrapers are prohibited on vessels actively harvesting in this area.

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action unless such closure is ordered by LDH for public health concerns.

For more information, please contact Melissa Longman at 225-765-2343 or via e-mail at mlongman@wlf.la.gov

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