LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Metairie Subjects Cited For Stealing Crabs

Release Date: 08/05/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two Metairie residents for alleged crabbing violations on Aug. 2 on Lake Pontchartrain.

LDWF agents set up surveillance from the shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain after receiving complaints about stolen crabs from crab traps in the area.  Agents observed David E. Shelhorse Jr, 37, and Jennifer Bourgeois, 31, running crab traps in the area with two different colored corks.

After stopping the subjects, the agents learned that the crab traps that Shelhorse Jr. and Bourgeois were taking crabs from belonged to another commercial fisherman.

Agents cited Shelhorse Jr. and Bourgeois for unlawfully removing contents of a crab trap, which carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail if found guilty.

Agents also seized 63.5 pounds of blue crabs.

The agents participating in the case are Sgt. Jason Russo, Sgt. Kris Bourgeois and Sgt. Adam Young.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Morgan City Man Arrested For Vandalizing LDWF Equipment

Release Date: 08/02/2013

A joint investigation involving the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office has resulted in an arrest of a Morgan City man this morning, Aug. 2, for his alleged role in vandalizing LDWF equipment on the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Aaron LeCompte, 18, turned himself into St. Mary Parish Office deputies and admitted to vandalizing two pieces of LDWF equipment and was subsequently booked into the St. Mary Parish Criminal Facility.
The investigation began when an LDWF bulldozer and utility vehicle (UTV) were first noticed missing on July 24 on the Big Island portion of the Atchafalaya Delta WMA.  LDWF staff found the missing equipment later that evening on Big Island.  The bulldozer was buried in mud and water up to the floorboard.  The UTV was found stuck in a ditch.
The total damage done to the equipment and the costs associated with retrieving both pieces of equipment are unknown at this time.
LeCompte is charged with two counts of unlawful use of a vehicle and simple criminal damage to property.  Unlawful use of a vehicle brings up to a $5,000 fine and 10 years in jail for each offense.  Simple criminal damage to property carries up to a $1,000 fine and two years in jail if the damage to the property is between $500 and $50,000.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Commission Sets Tentative 2013-2014 Migratory Waterfowl Season Dates

Release Date: 08/01/2013

Aug. 1, 2013 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted today to tentatively adopt proposed season dates, bag limits and shooting hours for the 2013-14 migratory waterfowl season.  The dates will be ratified by a declaration of emergency from the Commission, after approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended a 60-day season for ducks, coots and mergansers in the three zones in place for the 2013-14 hunting season. Shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until sunset.

In the West Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 16 and close on Dec. 15.  The second segment will open on Dec. 21 and run through Jan. 19.  In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 23 to Dec. 8.  The second segment will start Dec. 14 and end Jan. 26. In the Coastal Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 9 and close on Dec. 1, and the second segment will open on Dec. 14 and run through Jan. 19.
 
Youth waterfowl hunts will be held Nov. 9 and [Jan. 25 corrected] in the West Zone, Nov. 16 and Feb. 1 in the East Zone, and Nov. 2-3 in the Coastal Zone.

The daily bag limit on ducks is six and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, two canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, three scaup and two redheads.

The daily bag limit on coots is 15.  The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded mergansers.  The merganser limits are in addition to the daily bag limit for ducks.

The possession limit on ducks, coots and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit.

Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season.  The first segment in the West Zone will open on Nov. 16 and close on Dec. 15.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 21 to Feb. 2.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 9 and run until Dec.  8.  The East Zone second segment will run from Dec. 14 to Jan. 26.  In the Coastal Zone, the season on light and white-fronted geese will be Nov. 9 to Dec.1 and Dec. 14 to Feb. 2. The daily bag limit on light geese is 20, with no possession limit.  The daily limit on white-fronted geese is two, with a possession limit of six, however when the Canada goose season is open, the limit on white-fronted and Canada geese will be three per day of which no more than two can be white-fronted.

The Canada goose season in the West Zone will open on Nov. 16 and close on Dec. 15.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 21 to Jan. 31.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 9 and run until Dec.  8.  The East Zone second segment will run from Dec. 14 to Jan. 26.  In the Coastal Zone, the first segment will be Nov. 9 to Dec.1 and Dec. 14 to Jan. 31.

There will not be a Canada goose season in a small area of southwest Louisiana. That closure zone includes the following area: Beginning at the Texas state line, proceeding east along Hwy 82 to the Calcasieu Ship Channel, then north along the Calcasieu Ship Channel to its junction with the Intracoastal Canal, then east along the Intracoastal Canal to its juncture with LA Hwy 82, then south along LA Hwy 82 to its juncture with Parish road 3147 to Freshwater  Bayou Canal, then south to the Gulf of Mexico, then west along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas state line, then north to the point of beginning at LA Hwy 82.  Open waters of Lake Arthur and the Mermentau River, from the Hwy 14 bridge southward, will also be closed to Canada goose hunting.

The daily limit for Canada geese is three dark geese of which no more than two can be white-fronted geese.  The possession limit is nine for Canada geese.

The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will open the first segment in the West Zone on Dec. 16 and run to Dec. 20, and the second segment will run from Feb. 3 to March 2.  The first segment in the East Zone will run from Dec. 9 to Dec. 13, and the second segment will run from Jan. 27 to March 2.  The first segment in the Coastal Zone will run from Dec. 2 to 13, and the second segment from Feb. 3 to March 2.  During this time, only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken and daily bag and possession limits are eliminated.  The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is allowed.  Shooting hours during the Conservation Order begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until one-half hour after sunset.

Rails and gallinules may be taken from Nov. 9 to Jan. 1.  For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 45.  Sora and Virginia rails have a daily limit of 25 in the aggregate and a possession limit of 75.  Gallinules have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 45.

Snipe season will open in the West Zone with the first segment from Nov. 9 to Dec. 15, and the second segment from Dec. 21 to Feb. 28. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 9 to Dec. 8, with a second segment running Dec. 14 to Feb. 28.  The coastal zone’s first segment is from Nov. 2 to Dec. 1 and second segment is from Dec. 14 to Feb. 28.  The daily bag limit is 8 and the possession limit is 24.

An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 4 to Feb. 2.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.louisiana.gov.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/01/2013

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Aug. 1, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2013 fall inshore shrimp season.

The season will open as follows:

6 a.m., Monday August 12 - inside waters from the western shore of the Atchafalaya River and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line

6 p.m., Monday, August 12 – state inside waters east of the Atchafalaya River

The Commission set the season based on recommendations presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments from the public. However, certain areas are still closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas that remain closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

Preliminary Louisiana shrimp landings statistics provided by NOAA Fisheries Service indicate that approximately 26.1 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-off weight) were landed in Louisiana from January through May, 2013.

For a map detailing today’s actions click here:

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.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION MOVES FORWARD WITH RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL TRIPLETAIL REGULATIONS

Release Date: 08/01/2013

August 1, 2013 - Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a Notice of Intent to establish recreational and commercial regulations for the harvest of tripletail. 
 
The proposed regulations would establish a recreational bag limit of five fish per day at a minimum total length of 18 inches.  Proposed commercial regulations would establish a 100 pound commercial trip limit, with no more than one trip per day, also with a minimum total length of 18 inches.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed Rule to:  Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898 9000, or via e-mail to:  jadriance@wlf.la.gov prior to Thursday, September 5, 2013.
 
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.
 
For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.
 

 

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Proposes Modifications to Certain Reef Fish Regulations

Release Date: 08/01/2013

Aug. 1, 2013 – Today at its monthly meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on proposed modifications to current regulations for selected reef fish.  These proposed changes were made in an effort to remain consistent with federal regulations.
 
The proposed modifications are as follows:
 
Annual Season Closures
 
The commercial and recreational closed season for gray triggerfish and the recreational and the recreational gag grouper closed season is set for June 1 through July 31 each year
 
Changes the February 1 through March 31 closed season for Shallow Water Grouper to be only in waters seaward of 20 fathoms
 
Recreational Regulations
 
Gray triggerfish limit of two fish within the currently established 20 reef fish aggregate limit.
 
Vermilion snapper limit of 10 fish within the currently established 20 reef fish aggregate limit.
 
Commercial Regulations
 
Commercial trip limit of 12 gray triggerfish per trip
 
Commercial trip limit of 2,000 pounds for greater amberjack
 
Today’s actions also propose removing the requirements for use of a venting tool when fishing for reef fish.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed Rule to: Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898 9000, or via e-mail to:  jadriance@wlf.la.gov prior to Thursday, September 5, 2013.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.  For season and bag limit information, contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.gov or (504) 284-2032.
 
 

 

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LWF COMMISSION SETS 2013-2014 LOUISIANA OYSTER SEASONS

Release Date: 08/01/2013

Aug. 1, 2013– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2013/2014 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.
 
The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - the Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Tambour, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise.
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including Lake Borgne, Sister Lake, Lake Mechant, the Lake Machias/Fortuna sacking-only area and the Bay Long sacking-only area, will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 
  • Friday, November 1, 2013 - the oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH Harvest Area 30) will open at one-half hour before sunrise.  The sack limit during this time period is set at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day.

 
The following areas will remain closed for the 2013/2014 oyster season:

  • Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds
  • 2011 clutch plants in Mississippi Sound and California Bay,
  • 2012 cultch plants in Hackberry Bay, Sister Lake, Lake Fortuna, and Bay Crab
  • 2013 cultch plants in 3-Mile Pass and Drum Bay,
  • The east side of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (LDHH Harvest Area 29)
  • Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area

 
Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 
 
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 the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adds Additional Species to Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

Release Date: 08/01/2013

Removes reporting requirement for Yellowfin Tuna from permit
 
Aug. 1, 2013 – In an effort to capture the most comprehensive data possible, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, approved measures to add additional species to the free, required offshore landing permit. 
 
The permit is required for all anglers, including anglers not normally required to possess a recreational fishing license, possessing tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers and snappers, and hinds. This permit is now also required for the possession of gray snapper, wahoo, cobia and dolphin.
 
To make the process as easy as possible for anglers the Commission also removed the permit reporting requirement for Yellowfin Tuna.
 
Today’s recommendations also remove the permit requirement for any person on a paid trip aboard a charter vessel.
 
As Louisiana continues to make the case for regional management, it is more important now than ever that anglers provide LDWF biologists with this critical data that will only strengthen our fight. 
 
The permit is available at no cost to the public.
 
Get the Permit
 
To obtain a Recreational Offshore Landings Permit click here:  http://rolp.wlf.la.gov/Permit/Apply
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.  For season and bag limit information, contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.gov or (504) 284-2032.
 
 

 

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Louisiana Shrimpers Encouraged to Report Asian Tiger Prawn Catches

Release Date: 08/01/2013

(Aug. 1, 2013) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is aware of and constantly monitoring the appearance of Asian tiger prawns, a non-native species, in Louisiana waters.  LDWF officials are asking local shrimp harvesters to report catches of tiger prawns to the Department. 

While there is little known at this time about the impacts of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp, these reports are key in helping LDWF biologists monitor the distribution and relative abundance of these prawns and in determining the possible presence of spawning populations. 

To report catches of Asian tiger prawns please contact Robert Bourgeois at rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-0765 or Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (985) 594-4130, with the date, location and size of capture. Photographs are encouraged. 

Tiger prawns are easily identifiable by their large size, dark body color and white banding found along the head and between segments of the tail.  Occasionally, red or yellow stripes are present as well.  LDWF officials ask that harvesters retain the tiger prawns by freezing and contact the biologist listed above.

History of incidence in Gulf of Mexico

It is unknown when and how tiger prawns were first introduced into the Gulf of Mexico.  In 1988, a portion of a population of reared tiger prawns escaped from a facility on the east coast.  Approximately 1,000 adults were later recaptured as far south as Cape Canaveral, Florida. In September 2006, a single adult male was captured by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Mississippi Sound near Dauphin Island, Alabama and reports from Alabama and Mississippi have been increasing ever since.

LDWF first documented the occurrence of Asian tiger prawns in Louisiana in August 2007, when a single specimen was taken by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Vermilion Bay.  Prior to the 2011 fall inshore shrimp season, reported captures in Louisiana waters numbered fewer than 25 with none taken any farther westward than Vermilion Bay.  However, since the fall season began, reported captures have dramatically increased with approximately 80 new reports received.  One fisherman alone reported catching as many as 13 individuals over a three-day shrimping trip in Lake Pontchartrain.  A Dulac shrimp dock has reported fishermen capturing in excess of 100 tiger prawns following the 2011 fall season opening.  Most recently, there have also been incident reports west of Vermilion Bay. 

About the species

Asian tiger prawns are native to the Indo-Pacific rim and are both harvested in the wild and extensively farmed in a number of countries.

Tiger prawns belong to the same family (Penaeidae) as our native brown, white and pink shrimp but are non-indigenous to our waters. The life history of tiger prawns is also similar to that of brown and white shrimp with spawning and mating occurring in nearshore oceanic waters. One notable difference in tiger prawns and Louisiana shrimp is size as the research suggests tiger prawns may reach a maximum length of 14 inches and weigh as much as 23 ounces.

At this time, there is no evidence that tiger prawns feed on native Louisiana shrimp.  Any potential impacts over competition for food and resources remain unknown.  Tiger prawns as well as our native brown and white shrimp adopt different diets as they grow and mature and may become more predatory as body size increases.

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.

For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.

 

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Louisiana Men Cited Red Snapper and Amberjack Violations

Release Date: 07/31/2013

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited five Louisiana men for allegedly violating federal reef fish regulations on July 26 in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Agents federally cited Chad Fonseck, 28, of Waggaman, Troy Coker, 37, of Ponchatoula, Kirby Plaisance, 24, of Ama, Daryl Robert, 43, of Gretna, and Troy Melancon, 45, of Ama, for possessing red snapper during a closed season, over limit of red snapper, failing to keep fish intact, over limit of greater amberjack and possessing greater amberjack during a closed season.
 
Agents on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol in federal waters in the Gulf were finishing a boating safety check on another vessel when they observed a double rigger shrimp vessel throwing a red snapper back into the water.  Upon approaching the vessel, agents noticed subjects on the deck of the vessel either fishing or helping others fish recreationally.
 
Upon inspection of the vessel, agents found an ice chest filled with 104 red snapper fillets and 20 greater amberjack fillets.  The men did not possess a commercial permit that is needed to harvest and sell reef fish under federal quotas and in excess of the bag limits.
 
The recreational red snapper and greater amberjack seasons are currently closed in federal waters.  During an open season, the five men would have been allowed a total of 10 red snapper and five greater amberjack.  The filets the five men were in possession of represents 52 red snapper and 10 greater amberjack.
 
The five men will face fines and civil restitution charges through federal court if convicted.
 
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Louis Burnett, Agent Jake Jarden and Agent Michael Marques.
 
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
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