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LDWF News Release

Where Angling and Science Meet

Release Date: 07/18/2013

Louisiana Saltwater Series to Host Inaugural Tarpon Tournament to Raise DNA Research Awareness
 

(July 18, 2013) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is taking an active role in tarpon fishery research to gain insight into the biology of this fascinating species, including plans to host their first annual tarpon tournament late this summer.  

The tarpon is a highly prized sport fish, widely distributed in warm temperature, subtropical and tropical waters.  Management practices for tarpon vary from limited to none because very little is known about the movements and migrations, population dynamics, life histories and reproduction that are needed to sustain a fishery for this amazing species.

Tarpon anglers are known for their passion for the sport while protecting it for future generations, so a catch-and-release ethic is becoming more commonplace.

Beginning in 2010, the Department in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Mote Marine Laboratory, extended the Tarpon Genetics Recapture Study to the coastal waters of Louisiana.

Engaging anglers in collecting DNA samples from the tarpon they catch is the key component of the study’s success.  When anglers catch a tarpon and collect a DNA sample for the study, they are contributing valuable information to a growing database.  The DNA fingerprint technique is a very easy, non-invasive and harmless way to “tag” the tarpon by scraping skin cells from the outer jaw or other bony surface with a small abrasive sponge.

Anglers from Louisiana have provided nearly 100 samples since 2011.  This data is incredibly valuable to fishery scientists trying to understand differences in tarpon populations from area to area.  “It’s great that we can track the migratory patterns of these fish and see where they are going, and if there are resident fish off the coast of Louisiana,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.

In support of furthering tarpon research efforts, the Louisiana Saltwater Series, sponsored by LDWF, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Shimano and PowerPro, will host a tarpon tournament during its 2013 tournament season on August 24 and 25 out of Venice Marina.  This is not your traditional fishing contest – while pride is derived from winning the event, the true motivation is to be part of the most comprehensive, coordinated and information gathering effort in the history of tarpon research.  That’s the prize.

“Tournaments are the most efficient method for tagging fish,” explained Pausina.  “The probability of tagging targeted fish goes up during tournaments because the experience level of participating anglers is very high.”

Cash prizes aren’t awarded to the team who catches the biggest fish.  It’s all about the number of fish tagged during the contest.  The tournament is 100 percent payout, with a $300 entry fee per team. 

The need for biological samples is specifically focused on the question of the reproductive capabilities of tarpon in Louisiana’s waters, as well as other scientific questions focused on Louisiana’s tarpon resource.  DNA samples will be collected from both landed and released fish to help us understand the population structure of tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters.  LDWF biologists will also be on hand during the tournament to attach electronic tags to some of the released tarpon which will generate data that will tell us more about the vertical behavior, migratory patterns, and post-release survival of tarpon.

A kill fish division will also be offered at the tournament, and the team who submits the largest fish will be honored with the Coon Pop Classic Harvie Hawthorne Memorial Trophy.

 “The Department’s intent in supporting a kill division is to obtain a small number of biological samples from Louisiana waters that will help to generate sound research-based regional management of Louisiana’s historically and biologically significant tarpon resource,” explained Pausina. 

Specifically, gonads will be removed for studies of reproductive biology, ear bones for age and growth studies, and stomachs for investigations of feeding behavior. 

For more information or to register, visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  Online registration will close at noon on Thursday, August 22, but interested anglers will still have the opportunity to register at the Captain’s Meetings on Friday night held in Grand Isle and Venice.

Tournament sponsors include Shimano, PowerPro, Daybrook Fisheries, Plaquemines Parish, Mercury Marine, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Standard Mapping, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh & Bayou, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers. 

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was founded 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 fish resources. 

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.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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Commercial Fishing for Large Coastal Sharks to Close in State Waters

Release Date: 07/17/2013

July 17, 2013 - Commercial fishing for Large Coastal Sharks will close in Louisiana waters at 11:30 p.m., this Friday, July 19.  
 
The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico at this time.  The commercial season will remain closed in federal waters until 30 days after promulgation of the 2014 seasonal rule for harvest of sharks in the Federal Register.  At this time, no date has been set for the re-opening of the commercial Large Coastal Shark fishery in Louisiana waters.
 
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell Large Coastal Sharks or their fins is prohibited.
 
The Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark, silky shark, spinner shark and tiger shark.
 
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
 
No person shall purchase, barter, trade, or exchange shark in excess of the designated trip limits or from any person who does not possess a commercial state shark permit or federal commercial directed or incidental limited access permit or federal shark research permit, if applicable.
 
There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include Basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.
 
The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal shark in Louisiana waters remains open at this time.
 
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.
 

 

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Louisiana Women in the Wild Fishing Workshop Participants Test Skills in Grand Isle

Release Date: 07/15/2013

Louisiana Women in the Wild Grand Isle Fishing Weekend, June 21-23, 2013

July 15, 2013 – Participants in the spring “Louisiana Women in the Wild” Fishing Basics Workshop” were able to test their skills during a June weekend fishing trip to Grand Isle.
Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Education Section, Fisheries Extension Office and Cabela’s, 14 anglers assembled at the LDWF Marine Research Lab.
 
The June 21-23 fishing trip participants were selected by a random drawing of attendees from last April’s workshop hosted by the Cabela’s Gonzales location.  The ladies arrived in Grand Isle on Friday evening where they learned to rig and bait their own rod/reels, and fished from the dock at the Marine Lab. 
 
On Saturday, the group experienced an inshore fishing excursion, learned to clean the fish they caught, and how to prepare and cook their catch. The ladies also learned the significance of collecting data for Louisiana’s important marine sport fishes and were treated to a tour of the Marine Lab. 
 
The participants enjoyed another inshore fishing trip on Sunday, cleaning and packed their catch, and headed home as knowledgeable, independent fisherwomen.    
 
The Louisiana Women in the Wild Program teaches the basics of hunting and fishing to women who have not had the opportunity to learn the skills they need to confidently participate in those activities.  The program consists of a one-day workshop that covers the basic skills needed to hunt or fish.  Participants then have the opportunity to put their new skills to use on hunting or fishing trips and are accompanied by an experienced LDWF staff member who serves as a guide and teacher in the field.
 
The next scheduled “Louisiana Women in the Wild” Workshop featuring “Hunting Basics” is scheduled for October 5, 2013 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.  For more information, contact Karen Crabtree at (318) 766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov or Gene Cavalier at (985) 882-9159 or gcavalier@wlf.la.gov.
 
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.

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White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area 2013 Teal Season Lottery Announced

Release Date: 07/15/2013

July 15, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the 2013 lottery teal hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.

Available dates include Saturday, Sept. 14; Sunday, Sept. 15; Tuesday, Sept. 17; Thursday, Sept. 19; Saturday, Sept. 21; Sunday, Sept. 22; Wednesday, Sept. 25; Saturday, Sept. 28; and Sunday, Sept. 29.

Persons 18 years of age or older can apply and only one application per hunter will be accepted. Applications are available on the LDWF Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts or by writing to the LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: White Lake WCA Teal Season Lottery Hunts, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.

Completed applications must be received by close of business on Aug. 15, 2013. A $5 non-refundable administration fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries must accompany each application.

Each applicant who is selected will be allowed to bring one additional hunter as a guest. All hunters must have appropriate licenses, including a basic hunting license (or Louisiana Sportsman's Paradise license), a Louisiana duck license, federal duck stamp and HIP permit.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail and required to submit an additional check or money order for $250 per hunt party. Applications are non-transferrable.

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 on White Lake WCA teal season lottery hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Kentwood Couple Cited for Possessing Undersized Seatrout

Release Date: 07/12/2013

July 12, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Kentwood couple for alleged fishing violations on July 12 in Jefferson Parish.

While on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol, agents stopped a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico fishing along the beach in Jefferson Parish.

During the vessel inspection, agents found Chad Terrebonne, 30, and Nicole Terrebonne, 29, in possession of 49 spotted seatrout of which 40 were undersized. The legal minimum size limit for spotted seatrout is 12 inches.

Possession of undersized seatrout brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  The Terrebonne’s may also face a civil restitution penalty of $28.97 per undersized fish.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Michael Marques.

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

Shrimp Season to Close In Majority of State Inside Waters

Release Date: 07/12/2013

Shrimp Season to Close In Majority of State Inside Waters

(July 12, 2013) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2013 spring inshore shrimp season will close Thursday, July 18, at 6:00 am in state inside waters in the remaining portions of Timbalier Bay, Terrebonne Bay, Lake Pelto and Pelican Lake where the shrimp season was extended; and, from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche.

The following state inside water will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

  • The portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Mississippi/Louisiana Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence due south to a point at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2; thence northerly along the double–rig line to a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 12 minutes 37.9056 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 10 minutes 57.9725 seconds west longitude; thence westerly along the Mississippi/Louisiana Lateral Boundary to the point of beginning
  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters.  The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

For a map detailing these closures please visit here.

All remaining state outside waters, as well as those portions of the Pontchartrain Basin described above will remain open to shrimping until further notice, with the exception of those areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.  Maps of the areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill

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.

 

 

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Vessel Operator Arrested for DWI after Boating Crash Incident on Natalbany River that Severely Injured Six-Year-Old Girl

Release Date: 07/11/2013

July 11, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents today, July 11, arrested a Vicksburg, Miss. man for his alleged role as an operator of a vessel during a boating crash incident that severely injured a six-year-old girl on the Natalbany River.

Agents arrested Anthony Domiono, 40, for operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) with two children under 12 years of age, two counts of negligent injury, and reckless operation of a vessel and booked him into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

The boating crash incident occurred around 4:45 p.m. on June 9 when Domiono was operating a 22-foot-ski boat that had five passengers while towing a tube with two juveniles crashed into a tree along the bank of the Natalbany River in Tangipahoa Parish.  The incident happened about three miles upstream from where the river merges with the Tickfaw River.

After receiving a call from dispatch, LDWF agents arrived on scene and immediately called for a helicopter to transport a six-year-old girl.  The six-year-old-girl was in the boat at the time of the collision with the tree and suffered major head trauma and needed immediate attention.

The helicopter took the girl to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge where she was listed in critical condition.  The girl has since been discharged from the hospital and it is hopeful she can make a full recovery.

Domiono suffered a broken foot and the other five passengers were treated for minor injuries.

As standard procedure agents took blood from the operator to determine if the operator was impaired.  After receiving the blood test results, it was determined that Domiono had a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than the legal limit of .08 BAC.

DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Negligent injury carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months of jail per each count.  Reckless operation brings a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Sgt. Randy Lanoux is the lead investigative agent for this boating crash incident.

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

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 07/09/2013

Thursday, July 11, 1:30 PM
LDWF Waddill Outdoor Education Center     
4142 North Flannery Rd, Baton Rouge 70814

AGENDA

I.  Roll Call and introduction of guests and new members

II.  Approval of  February 26, 2013 minutes

III.  Financial Report

IV.  Old Business

  A.  Serviceable Crab Trap Law- meeting with shrimp management subcommittee

V.  New Business

  1. Legislative Update
  2. Review of Crab Task Force standard operating procedures  and bylaw subcommittee selection– Martin Bourgeois
  3. Review of personal financial disclosure reporting requirements – Martin Bourgeois
  4. Dumpsters for derelict crab traps during shrimp season- Dr. Julie Anderson
  5. MSC update- Rene LeBreton
  6. Mississippi River Gulf Outlet- Keith Watts
  7. Text Alerts- Julia Lightner
  8. Task force vacancies – Martin Bourgeois
  9. Management Opportunities- Immature female blue crabs
  10. Seafood processor survey – Dr. Jack Isaacs
  11. Soft-shell crab shedding grant

VI. Public Comment

VII.  Set Next Meeting

VIII.  Adjourn

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CLARIFICATION: Shrimp Season to Close Thursday July 4 in Majority of the Terrebonne Basin

Release Date: 07/04/2013

(July 3, 2012) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2013 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, in the Terrebonne Basin from the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island, except for potions of lower Timbalier Bay, Terrebonne Bay, Lake Pelto and Pelican Lake that border the Gulf.


Specifically, the inside waters within the Terrebonne Basin that will remain open to shrimping are bounded by the following coordinates:  south of 29 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and south of 29 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 50 minutes 30 seconds west longitude.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters.  The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.
 


LDWF is extending the shrimp season in these lower coastal bays and lakes to provide shrimpers with added opportunities to harvest emigrating brown shrimp while limiting adverse impacts to developing white shrimp populations.  However, if compliance among shrimpers with respect to these boundaries becomes a problem, LDWF will immediately close these waters to shrimping.
 


For a map detailing these closures please click here:

All remaining state inside waters, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice, with the exception of those areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill
 


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

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Set for July 9

Release Date: 07/03/2013

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in the 4th floor conference room at the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters at

2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La.  The meeting agenda will include:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of March 12, 2013
  3. Welcome and Opening Comments - Chairman
  4. Enforcement Division Report
  5. Legislative Session Overview
  6. Office of Fisheries: Recreational Offshore Landing Permit
  7. Office of Fisheries: Wallop-Breaux Funds
  8. Office of Wildlife: Preliminary Waterfowl Hunter Survey Results
  9. Other Business: Council Discussion on Meeting Schedule
  10. Set Next Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

 

 

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