LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Recreational Red Snapper Season to Close After Labor Day

Release Date: 08/23/2019

BATON ROUGE, La.-- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet signed a declaration of emergency to add Labor Day, Monday, September 2 to the current weekends-only recreational red snapper season and to close the season at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, September 3, until further notice. 

Labor Day was not included when the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission initially voted for the 2019 weekends-only season. 

After considering the rate of landings and LDWF biologists’ recommendations, estimates indicate that red snapper landings will be near our 816,439-pound quota after Labor Day. After the closure, LDWF will continue to monitor red snapper landings through the LA Creel survey and consider options if any quota remains.

The latest catch statistics recorded by LA Creel is 691,765 pounds, or 86 percent of Louisiana’s allocation. This covers the period through August 11. Once the season closes, red snapper anglers will have had 48 days of fishing opportunity.

“The department appreciates the help of Louisiana anglers for responding to voluntary surveys to determine accurate and reliable harvest estimates through the LA Creel program,” Montoucet said. “Our goal is to provide as much fishing opportunity as possible for our anglers, while staying within the quota set by the federal government.”

Louisiana is operating under its second year of an (Exempted Fishing Permit) EFP which allows the state to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the LDWF Secretary or Commission. NOAA Fisheries continues to regulate federal for-hire vessels (charter and headboats); this season has closed. State charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state recreational red snapper season is open.   

For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit:   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.

The department urges anglers’ voluntary participation in its electronic reporting program to improve recreational harvest data collection. To learn how to participate in voluntarily reporting your catch, please reference the appropriate link below, depending on the make of your cellular device.

ROLP mobile app (Android phone) 
ROLP mobile app (iPhone)

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.

Volunteers Needed for Elmer’s Island Beach Cleanup

Release Date: 08/22/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in partnership with Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Nicholls State University and the Grand Isle Music Fest are asking for volunteers for their upcoming beach cleanup at Elmer’s Island on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The event, beginning at 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., is being held in coordination with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day during National Estuaries Week.
 
During the cleanup, volunteers will remove, categorize and weigh trash and debris from approximately 2.5 miles of shoreline on Elmer’s Island. Elmer's Island, owned and maintained by the state of Louisiana, is a 1,145-acre tract of marsh and beachfront located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish, directly across Caminada Pass from Grand Isle. The area is historically known for its excellent fishing opportunities and public beach access that families and anglers alike enjoy.
 
All data collected will be sent to the Ocean Conservancy to be included in the 2019 International Coastal Cleanup database and report to be released in 2020. The data will provide insight into ways to reduce the enormous and continually growing problem of shoreline pollution and plastics in our waterways.
 
Volunteers must provide their own transportation to the event site, and motorists should be advised if using LA Hwy. 1 south they will encounter a toll bridge ($3.75 for average vehicle) during the commute.
 
Data sheets and clipboards, garbarge bags (if needed) and a light lunch will be provided. Water will also be supplied, but participants are asked to bring refillable water bottles to reduce trash. Participants are encouraged to wear closed toe shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses and hat. To reduce additional waste, volunteers are also urged to bring their own container or bucket to collect debris.
 
Interested volunteers are asked to pre-register online. The deadline to register is Monday, September 16, 2019. Volunteers under 18 be accompanied by a guardian and have a signed waiver (available day of event).

Sherburne WMA South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event on Aug. 31

Release Date: 08/21/2019

Sherburne WMA South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event on Aug. 31

Aug. 21, 2019 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a wood stork and wading bird event Aug. 31 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. within the South Farm area of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) complex. The South Farm is located in Iberville Parish and accessible via I-10.
 
There is no charge for the event but participants between the ages of 16 and 60 are required to have either a valid Louisiana hunting or fishing license or Wild Louisiana Stamp to visit an LDWF Wildlife Management Area. These can be purchased at any license vendor selling LDWF hunting or fishing licenses, on-line at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ or by phone at 1-888-765-2602.
 
Wood storks and other wading and shorebirds are readily visible at this time due to the management provided by LDWF Wildlife Division staff. A number of large moist soil impoundments are flooded in the fall to provide habitat for waterbirds, especially
shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl. Aside from seed-bearing herbaceous plants, the managed habitat contains an abundance of small fish and invertebrates, ideal food for wading birds.
 
The South Farm impoundments are drawn down in mid-summer to enhance the growth of wetland plants for forage for wintering waterfowl. The drawdown period is extended almost a month at times due to the size of the impoundments and the management strategy, which is focused on providing mud flats and very shallow water to concentrate forage for shorebirds (sandpipers and others) and wading birds (egrets, herons, spoonbills, storks and ibis).
 
The wood stork is one of only two stork species native to North America. Incidentally, in 2008, Sherburne’s Farm Complex hosted the only other North American stork – the jabiru, one of the largest birds in the Western Hemisphere. Wood storks, which can grow to 4 feet tall with a 66-inch wingspan, act as indicators of the condition of our nation’s wetlands. Historically, as wetlands disappeared, wood stork populations also declined. Wetland management units such as those at the South Farm provide critical habitat for the species’ survival.
 
This event provides an excellent opportunity for bird watchers, photographers and anyone who enjoys wildlife to see these and other waterbirds up-close. The South Farm habitat also provides opportunities to view alligators, white-tailed deer and many other species of birds. LDWF biologists will be on hand to discuss the management of the area and provide wildlife identification assistance.
 
Participants are advised to arrive early for the best wood stork viewing opportunities.
 
To get to South Farm, take I-10 to the Ramah Exit (Exit 135); drive north on Louisiana Highway 3000. Take a left onto the frontage road (first road encountered; near the small bait stand/store less than 0.1 mile from exit). Take a right on the road just after the old gas station (approximately 0.1 mile from last turn). Cross the bridge over the borrow pit and turn right on the gravel road that parallels the base of the levee. Continue north on the gravel road for approximately one mile until you see the South Farm sign. Cross the levee to enter the parking lot. Event coordinators will be there to provide additional information.
 
For more information about the South Farm birding event, call the LDWF Wildlife Division, Lafayette Field Office at 337-735-8682.
 

All Roads Opened in Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area, LDWF Announces

Release Date: 08/20/2019

Aug. 20, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has opened all roads at the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA). All trails, however, remain closed on the WMA.
 
Users are asked to comply with trail closures deemed necessary to ensure safety and prevent damage.
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville, Louisiana. For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-735-8682 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-735-8683 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov .
 

White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area 2019-20 Marsh and Rice Field Waterfowl Lottery Hunts Announced

Release Date: 08/20/2019

Aug. 20, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for the 2019-20 marsh and rice field waterfowl lottery hunts on White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 20.
 
Marsh hunts are available on:
 
Nov. 12, 14, 16, 21, 23, 27 and 30;
 
Dec. 1, 3, 23, 28 and 29;
 
Jan.  9 and 16.
 
Rice field hunts are available on:
 
Nov. 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24, 26, and 30;
 
Dec. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 21, 22, 28, 29 and 31;
 
Jan.  2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 15, 18 and 19.
 
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and applications for both hunts must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Sep. 20, 2019.
 
Applications may be obtained by contacting any of LDWF's field offices or by visiting the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications . Completed applications may be delivered in person to the LDWF headquarters building at 2000 Quail Drive, Room 418, Baton Rouge, La., 70808 or by mail to the same address.   Please note on envelope: Attention: White Lake Marsh (or Rice Field) Lottery Hunt, whichever is applicable.
 
Each application must include a non-refundable $5 administrative fee. The $5 fee must be paid by a check or money order payable (NO CASH ACCEPTED) to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Successful applicants will be notified by mail.
 
Selected applicants will be allowed two guests for the rice field hunts and one guest for the marsh hunts. An additional payment of $225 will be required for the rice field hunts and $350 for the marsh hunts.
 
For more information on White Lake WCA marsh and rice field waterfowl lottery hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .
 

Louisiana Red Snapper Landing Estimates Through August 4

Release Date: 08/16/2019

The latest catch statistics recorded by LA Creel, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' (LDWF) near real-time data collection program, is 615,294 pounds, or 77 percent of Louisiana’s allocation. This estimate covers the period through August 4. 

 

The season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 816,439 pounds of red snapper approved under the EFP according to landings estimates from LA Creel.

 

The private recreational red snapper season began May 24 in both state and federal waters. This season will run weekends only (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including the Monday of Memorial Day and Thursday of Fourth of July) with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.

 

Louisiana is operating under its second year of an EFP which allows the state to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters. Under the EFP, participating anglers are 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 LDWF Secretary or Commission. NOAA Fisheries continues to regulate federal for-hire vessels (charter and headboats); this season has closed. State charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state recreational red snapper season is open. 
  
For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates,  visit:   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper .

 

The department urges anglers’ voluntary participation in its electronic reporting program to improve recreational harvest data collection. To learn how to participate in voluntarily reporting your catch, please reference the appropriate link below, depending on the make of your cellular device.

 

ROLP mobile app (Android phone)
ROLP mobile app (iPhone)

 

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 Licensing Department Working Extra Hours, Weekends to Process Boat Registrations

Release Date: 08/15/2019

Baton Rouge, La. - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is aware of a delay in processing boat registrations and is working extra hours to improve the process. The licensing staff is working late and on weekends to ensure transactions are processed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

LDWF Undersecretary Bryan McClinton, who oversees the licensing section, said he and his staff are working diligently to complete each registration as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, LDWF’s Enforcement Division is aware of the situation and will work with boaters who have not received their registration documents.

“We continue to ask for the patience of our valued customers,’’ McClinton said. “Our staff is dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service even under current circumstances. They are working extra hours and making every effort to process the registrations.’’

LDWF’s licensing section handles about 204,000 boat registration/title transactions each year and maintains boat data in excess of 1 million records, 319,000 of which are actively registered. It also is the hub for more than 1 million customers who operate businesses, fish commercially, recreationally fish and hunt and use state lands for non-consumptive purposes.

For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boat-registration-boat-and-motor-titles.

Louisiana Commercial Shark Possession Limit to Increase

Release Date: 08/13/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the daily possession limit for commercially harvested large coastal sharks will increase from 45 to 55 per day for the 2019 fishing season effective immediately. The large coastal shark group includes great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet was granted authority by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to make season adjustments if deemed necessary. This increase is concurrent with a similar in-season adjustment by NOAA Fisheries in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The adjustment was made as a result of under harvest during the quota year. 
  
The commercial large coastal sharks season is scheduled to close on December 31, 2019.

No possession of sandbar sharks is allowed unless a commercial fisherman is in possession of a valid federal shark research permit in their name.

 

Louisiana Red Snapper Landing Estimates Through July 28

Release Date: 08/09/2019

The latest catch statistics recorded by LA Creel, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' (LDWF) near real-time data collection program, is 528,994 pounds, or 66 percent of Louisiana’s allocation. This estimate covers the period through July 28. 

The season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 816,439 pounds of red snapper approved under the EFP according to landings estimates from LA Creel.

The private recreational red snapper season began May 24 in both state and federal waters. This season will run weekends only (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including the Monday of Memorial Day and Thursday of Fourth of July) with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.

Louisiana is operating under its second year of an EFP which allows the state to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters. Under the EFP, participating anglers are 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 LDWF Secretary or Commission. NOAA Fisheries continues to regulate federal for-hire vessels (charter and headboats). State charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state recreational red snapper season is open. 
  
For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates,  visit:   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper .

The department urges anglers’ voluntary participation in its electronic reporting program to improve recreational harvest data collection. To learn how to participate in voluntarily reporting your catch, please reference the appropriate link below, depending on the make of your cellular device.

ROLP mobile app (Android phone)
ROLP mobile app (iPhone)

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

 

LWF Commission Sets 2019-20 Louisiana Oyster Season

Release Date: 08/07/2019

Last week, at its monthly meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2019-20 oyster season 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 dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • The Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area will open solely for sacking of market size oysters one half-hour before sunrise on Friday, November 1, 2019. 
  • The Sister Lake Oyster Seed Reservation will open for bedding purposes only one half-hour before sunrise on Monday, November 18, 2019, and will close one half-hour after sunset that same day.
  • The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation will open for sacking of market size oysters only one half-hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. 

During the 2019-20 oyster season, the following provisions will be in effect:

  • Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above will be limited to a daily take not to exceed 25 sacks of oysters per vessel, except for Calcasieu Lake, where the daily and possession limits are not to exceed 10 sacks of oysters per vessel. A sack of oysters for purposes of this Declaration of Emergency is defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. If sacks smaller than the size described in R.S. 56:440 are used, the daily harvest and possession limit will be based on the number of sacks used, not the size of the sack or other measures. The daily take and possession limit does not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes. The possession limit does not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit and these vessels are not allowed to harvest oysters.
  • All vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds on Monday, November 18, 2019, can only harvest seed oysters for bedding purposes and must not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the vessel.
  • A vessel is limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both.
  • If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster areas, seed grounds or reservations described above, all oysters contained on that vessel will be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.
  • The harvest of seed oysters from a public oyster seed ground or reservation is for the purpose of moving the live oyster resource. The removal of more than 15 percent of non-living reef material in bedding loads is prohibited. All vessels must allow on-board inspection and sampling of seed oyster loads by LDWF biologists and/or agents.
  • All oysters harvested from public areas, seed grounds or reservations for the purpose of market must be uncontaminated, sealed and not gaping.
  • All oysters harvested from public areas, seed grounds or reservations for the purpose of market sales must measure a minimum of 3 inches from hinge to bill.
  • Market oysters harvested from any public oyster area (including Calcasieu Lake), seed ground or reservation must be sacked, the number of sacks recorded in a log book, and each sack properly tagged prior to leaving said public oyster area, seed ground, or reservation.
  • All vessels located in public oyster areas, seed grounds or reservations during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise must have all oyster scrapers unshackled.
  • The use of oyster scrapers is prohibited in Calcasieu Lake.

The following areas will remain closed for the entire 2019-20 oyster season:

  • The public oyster seed grounds and reservations, as described in Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC) 76:VII.507, LAC 76:VII.509, LAC 76:VII.511 and LAC 76:VII.516, including all areas east of Mississippi River, the Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche Bay/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds.
  • Lake Tambour, Lake Chien, Lake Felicity, Deep Lake and Barataria Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds as described in LAC 76:VII:517.
  • The Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds as described in LAC 76:VII.521.
  • Hackberry Bay, Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservations and Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Ground as described in R.S. 56:434.
  • The Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area as described in R.S. 56:435.1.
  • The cultch plant located on the east side of Calcasieu Lake near Long Point (2017)- Cameron Parish within the following coordinates:
    • 29 degrees 55 minutes 03.45 seconds N 
      93 degrees 19 minutes 20.26 seconds W
    • 29 degrees 54 minutes 55.75 seconds N
      93 degrees 19 minutes 01.32 seconds W
    • 29 degrees 54 minutes 14.64 seconds N 
      93 degrees 19 minutes 22.67 seconds W
    • 29 degrees 54 minutes 21.22 seconds N 
      93 degrees 19 minutes 40.43 seconds W
    • 29 degrees 54 minutes 31.41 seconds N 
      93 degrees 19 minutes 12.81 seconds W
    • 29 degrees 54 minutes 45.84 seconds N 
      93 degrees 19 minutes 27.64 seconds W

The Secretary of the Department was authorized by the Commission to set closure dates and adjust sack limits and/or sacking-only areas based on biological 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 public areas if substantial oyster resources are located.
 
Public notice of any opening, delay or closing 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 for public concerns.
 
For 2019-20 oyster season maps, click here.
 
For more information, contact Carolina Bourque at cbourque@wlf.la.gov or 337-735-8726.

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