Fishing

Louisiana Recreational Red Snapper Season to Close December 31, 2014

Release Date: 12/18/2014

 

Louisiana Recreational Red Snapper Season to Close December 31, 2014
 
(Dec. 18, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the state recreational red snapper season will remain open through the rest of December and will close at 11:59 pm on December 31, 2014. Using real-time data from LA Creel, our recreational landings monitoring program, we have determined that Louisiana anglers have not yet landed our state’s historic and projected share of the total Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper harvest (14 percent, or 754,000 pounds). The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission previously opened a state waters season for red snapper to extend Louisiana’s season from the nine-day federal waters season originally proposed by NOAA. NOAA based this short season on imprecise estimates of recreational red snapper landings from their Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP); with LA Creel’s more precise estimates, Louisiana officials knew that nine days would not allow our anglers sufficient opportunity to catch their share.  
 
On January 1, 2014, the Department withdrew from MRIP and replaced it with LA Creel due to MRIP’s history of providing poor data and its inability to monitor landings in real-time. Had the Department accepted MRIP’s estimates and the subsequent nine-day season, Louisiana anglers would have only been able to land about 150,000 pounds of red snapper—far short of Louisiana’s historic landings. Through the extended state waters season, Louisiana anglers have landed about 605,000 pounds of red snapper to date, which is why the season can remain open through the rest of the year. Thanks to tremendous angler support of LA Creel and a recent saltwater license fee increase to continue to fund the program, the Department has the necessary tools to precisely monitor our recreational red snapper landings, flexibly manage the fishery, and maximize our anglers’ opportunities to fish red snapper.
 
The Department has continued negotiations with NOAA to recognize the validity of LA Creel and recently reached an agreement to “benchmark” LA Creel and officially establish it as a replacement for MRIP. Through the benchmarking process, the Department will run the MRIP survey side-by-side with LA Creel for the 2015 recreational fishing season. NOAA will compare the results from both surveys and adjust historic recreational landings estimates accordingly. Once LA Creel is benchmarked, Louisiana will no longer run MRIP, and officials hope that NOAA will support LA Creel and use its more precise results to conduct future stock assessments. This process paves the way for other Gulf states to adopt their own recreational angler survey programs, improves data collection, and helps move management of the recreational red snapper fishery forward.   
 
Beginning in January 2015, Louisiana anglers can expect to see an increased survey presence as Department personnel conduct both surveys statewide throughout the calendar year. “Our anglers have always been incredibly patient and helpful with our biologists, whether at the dock, over the phone, or via email,” said Department Secretary Robert Barham. “We ask for and greatly appreciate their continued cooperation as we take this important step in our quest towards regional management.” Secretary Barham recently testified on the benefits of Louisiana’s enhanced data collection in support of state management of red snapper during the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs hearing on H.R. 3099—the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013.
 
The Commission will determine Louisiana’s 2015 recreational red snapper season in their early 2015 meetings. For the latest updates on Commission meetings and actions, sign up for Department meeting alerts and/or news releases.
 
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.
 

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 12/16/2014

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Special Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Thursday, December 18, 2014, 1 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans

 

AGENDA

          I.    Roll Call and introduction of guests

          II.  Discuss proposed oyster lease moratorium legislation

          III. 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/3005461521653748225

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device 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.

Shrimp Season To Close in Portions of State Inside and Outside Waters

Release Date: 12/16/2014

December 22, 2014 shrimp season closure map

(Dec. 16, 2014) Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in most state inside waters and in a portion of state outside waters effective Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 at official sunset.
Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • All state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line except for the following waters located east of the Mississippi River:
  • Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2
  • The portion of state outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

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

  • Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2
  • All state outside waters east of the Atchafalaya River as well as all state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal
  • All fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone

 
For a map detailing today’s actions click here
 
Existing data do not currently support shrimping closures in additional state inside or outside waters. However, historic data suggest additional closures may be needed in the near future and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters.
 
Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.
 
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided LDWF Secretary Robert Barham with authority to close both the fall inshore shrimp season and shrimping in the state’s territorial sea when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF Fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in those waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.
 
Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings. In 2013, approximately 5,300 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 98.8 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $178.3 million.
 
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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286 -4162.
 

 

Commercial Fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks to Open in State Waters January 1

Release Date: 12/09/2014

December 9, 2014- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that commercial fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2015, federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.

The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2015 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2015 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.   The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings, as laid out in federal and state regulations. 

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.  While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. 

Commercial fishing for Small Coastal Sharks will also resume in Louisiana waters on Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2015, or until 80 percent of the federal quota has been met.  The commercial Small Coastal Shark fishery consists of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark.  Blacknose sharks, though part of the Small Coastal Shark group, are managed under a separate quota that is linked to the overall Small Coastal Shark quota. The Small Coastal Group fishery remained open for all of 2014.

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 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 release inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162. 

LWF Commission Approves Notice of Intent to Make Modifications to Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

Release Date: 12/04/2014

LDWF also reminds anglers and charter boat captains to renew their current ROLP

December 4, 2014 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a notice of intent to modify regulations pertaining to the Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP).

The proposed rule would exempt anglers under the age of 16 as an adjustment in the program so that juvenile anglers who are not required to possess a recreational fishing license would have consistent rules, avoiding confusion.  LDWF has implemented other survey methods to estimate the number of anglers under 16 participating in the harvest of those species requiring a ROLP.

Further proposed changes would clarify existing language in the rule which specifies that the ROLP term be the same as the annual saltwater license as well as add language exempting anglers on a paid for-hire trip from the ROLP when the captain of that vessel has a valid ROLP.

To view the Notice of Intent, as passed by the LWFC, in its entirety, please click here.

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, February 5, 2015.

Renew Current Permits

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also take this opportunity to remind recreational anglers and charter boat captain to renew their current ROLP.  As the regulations currently stand, the ROLP must be renewed annually from initial sign-up date.

Anglers and charter boat captains may renew their ROLP by visiting http://rolp.wlf.la.gov, it is simple and free.  There is retrieval link under the login portion of the website in cases of forgotten username and/or password.

One important note:  users must print out a new permit with the new expiration date.  Permits can be printed once logged in by clicking the “View printable permit” link below a user’s profile.  The link will not automatically print the permit but displays a printable version.

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 please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623.

Documents: 

Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You

Release Date: 11/19/2014

Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You
Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You
Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You

(Nov. 19, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries celebrated the launch of its new Get Out and Fish! Program with its first fishing event last Saturday in Girard Park in Lafayette.  The Department’s long-term goal is that these events will translate into future avid anglers who enjoy, conserve and even one day manage our great resources here in Louisiana.
 
LDWF hosted the event in partnership with the City of Lafayette to promote the new community fishing location, and attendance far surpassed staff’s expectations with over 250 registered anglers.
 
“The positive response from event participants was overwhelming,” said Fisheries Program Manager Danica Williams.  “Anglers explained they often drive two or three hours simply to fish.  The convenience of the short drive, even walk for some, greatly appealed to those in search of a quality fishing destination close to home.”
 
The Get Out and Fish! Program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing.  The program intends to recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing and promote outdoor activities for future generations.  In order to accomplish this mission, public water bodies that meet the required specifications are chosen by LDWF biologists and stocked on a regular basis for up to one year.  LDWF will promote the launch of each new site with a Get Out and Fish! event, so be sure to stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding your area of the state.
 
Girard Park Pond, the first waterbody chosen for the new program, was stocked with 800 pounds of adult channel catfish in preparation for the event.  LDWF will continue to stock the pond for up to one year, based on continued angler interest and participation.  Beginning in December through February 2015, the pond will be stocked with adult rainbow trout followed by a stocking of adult channel catfish in warmer months of March through June.
 
With help from numerous sponsors, including The Beaver Club of Lafayette, Buckfins-N-Feathers, CC’s Coffee, Cajun Guns and Tackle, HDR, Inc., Home Depot, The Lafayette Consolidated Government, Louisiana Nursery, Pure Fishing, Raising Cane’s and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Bass Fishing Team, families across Acadiana were introduced to a fun and free day of fishing.  The first 100 registrants received a complimentary rod and reel and goodie bag, and every participant was entered into a number of prize drawings held throughout the day.
 
The Get Out and Fish! Program 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 Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.
 
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

LDWF Recognizes Dedicated Volunteer Fish Taggers

Release Date: 11/17/2014

Tagger of the Year, wife accepting on behalf of Dr. Victor Tedesco, III
Top Redfish Taggers
Top Speckled Trout Taggers
Top Red Snapper Tagger, Andre Thomas
Women & Youth Taggers

(Nov. 17, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana honored volunteer fish taggers during their annual Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program’s awards banquet on Thursday, November 6 at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette, La.
 
The program relies on a group of volunteers who dedicated nearly 3,200 hours to fish tagging efforts this year.  The event honored those volunteers who tagged 20 or more fish during the season, which ran from July 2013 to September 2014.
 
Nearly 26,000 fish were tagged, more than doubling the amount of fish tagged in the previous season. The increased number of tagged fish can be attributed to more than 700 volunteers who tagged at least one fish during that timeframe. 
 
“The tagging program is only possible because of the anglers who volunteer their time to fish, tag, collect, and report data,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “We’re very lucky to have such an extraordinary group of volunteers who contribute to this important source of recreational fisheries data.”
 
Program officials recognized 57 volunteer anglers who out-competed their colleagues as members of the Century Club by tagging more than 100 fish during the season. 
 
Women and youth participation in the program is also growing in popularity. In recognition of their efforts, 24 women and youth anglers were awarded prizes during the event.
 
Top Fish Taggers include:
 
Tagger of the Year - Dr. Victor Tedesco, III
Most Tagged Fish Overall (1,574)
Most Tagged Fish Recaptured (77)
Most Volunteer Hours (446.5)
 
Most Tagged Redfish
1st Place - Donna Dearman (663)
2nd Place - Jeff Bavar (657)
3rd Place - Andre Thomas (526)
 
Most Tagged Speckled Trout
1st Place- Dr. Victor Tedesco, III (1,308)
2nd Place - Larry Shields (521)
3rd Place - Diane and Norman Norton (359)
 
Most Tagged Red Snapper
1st Place - Andre Thomas (43)
2nd Place - Mike Patrick (27)
3rd Place - Tommy Moore (23)
 
Fish tagging can provide a wealth of information, including data on migration patterns, growth rates, and population size. Since the program began in the 1980s, nearly 183,000 fish have been tagged and of those over 5,700 have been recaptured.
 
“One exciting thing we’ve learned through taggers’ data is most fish are recaptured very close to their original tagging location, explained Pausina.  “One redfish in particular was tagged, released, and then recaptured a record 4 times – all near the LDWF Fisheries Research Lab in Grand Isle, La.  In fact, only about 2 percent of tagged red drum and spotted seatrout are recaptured more than 50 miles from the location where they were originally tagged and released.”
 
The Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program is a cooperative effort between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, universities, non-profit organizations and volunteer anglers.  Program goals include educating anglers on fisheries management and conservation and opening communication between researchers and anglers.
 
LDWF urges interested saltwater anglers to join the program.  Tagging kits and program materials are provided at no charge.  For more information about the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, contact us by calling 1-800-567-2182, via Facebook at www.facebook.com/tag/louisiana or email Fishtags@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.la.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) 721-0489.
 

Recovering Tuna Tags is Rewarding in More Ways Than One

Release Date: 11/13/2014

LDWF biologist Jennifer McKinney performs surgery on a yellowfin tuna to insert an internal archival tag.
A green dart tag at the base of the second dorsal fin indicates a tag is present and reward is available.

If you reel in a big one, you might catch more than just a trophy fish for dinner

(Nov. 13, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is actively implementing a research program that involves the insertion of electronic tracking devices in yellowfin tuna to better understand their behavior.  Fish tagging programs are typically designed by scientists, but any angler can contribute to this important research.
 
The most important action that anglers can take to aid tagging programs is to return tags and information.  In order for the Department to learn more about yellowfin tuna movements and habitat use in the Gulf of Mexico, biologists are requesting anglers return the internal archival tags when a tagged fish is caught.
 
“The holy grail of these electronic tags is the detailed data they record,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “But LDWF researchers can only access that level of information if they get the tag back.”
 
Not only can anglers expect a better-managed fishery, but the department is also offering up a reward for every tag returned.  Individuals who return an intact electronic tag will receive a $200 Academy Sports and Outdoors gift card.
 
Tuna included in this study are surgically implanted with an electronic tag in the abdominal cavity and can be identified by an external green and white conventional tag at the base of the second dorsal fin.
 
If you catch a tagged yellowfin tuna:
• Record date, time and catch location (GPS coordinates).
• Measure fork length, weight and take photos of the surgical site (when possible).
• Carefully remove the tag from the fish.  The light stalk, which can be seen protruding from the abdomen of the fish, must remain connected with the tag body inside the fish.
• Call the reward line at (855) 728-8247 or email sattag@wlf.la.gov to arrange pickup of the tag.
 
The internal archival tags are surgically implanted into the belly of the fish and record a range of parameters every 30 seconds including depth, light intensity, water temperature and the internal body temperature of the tagged tuna. 
 
Since the study began in June 2013, over 100 internal tags have been deployed with approximately a 10% recapture rate.   Thus far, the greatest movement of an internally tagged yellowfin is 155 nautical miles after 417 days at large.
 
The department will continue the study over the next few years, and resulting data can indicate habitat preferences and feeding and spawning behavior.  Findings will greatly improve the body of knowledge of the yellowfin tuna resource in the Gulf of Mexico and its connectivity with the Atlantic-wide population, resulting in improved stock assessments and fishery management. 
 
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.la.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) 721-0489.
 

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