Fishing

LDWF Announces 2019 Derelict Crab Trap Cleanup; Volunteers Needed

Release Date: 12/14/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will again host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo with two volunteer cleanup events during the month of February. 

The Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program was initiated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in 2004 to address the removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps.  Derelict traps increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards and degrade the beauty of our natural environment. The volunteer-based program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees, and since its inception has disposed of more than 37,000 derelict crab traps. Last year, LDWF, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation members, volunteers, BTNEP, CCA and members of the recreational fishing community assisted in retrieving more than 4,000 abandoned crab traps.

Area Closures

Maps of the closure areas can be found here, and the use of traps will be prohibited in the following areas:

  1. Upper Barataria Basin and adjacent marshes west of Port Sulphur - 12 a.m. Friday, February 1, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 14, 2019.
  2. Lake Pontchartrain, west of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway - 12 a.m. Friday, February 1, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 10, 2019. 
  3. Terrebonne Basin, in an area east of Four League Bay to Bayou Grand Caillou - 12 a.m. Friday, February 15, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 28, 2019.
  4. Pontchartrain Basin, in an area east of the Mississippi River to Bayou Terre Aux Boeufs -12 a.m. Friday, February 15, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 28, 2019.
  5. Sabine Basin, within the area of Black Bayou from the LA/TX state line easterly to a point east of Vinton - 12 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2019.

In the weeks leading up to the closures, LDWF will mail notices to licensed crab fishermen and seafood dealers informing them that crab traps must be removed from within the closure areas during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.

Crab traps may be removed only between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Only LDWF or those designated by LDWF will be authorized to remove derelict crab traps in the closure areas. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

Volunteers

LDWF encourages volunteers to participate in this opportunity in order to make this crab trap rodeo successful and keep our Sportsman’s Paradise pristine. Volunteers will help collect traps in the field, unload traps at the dock and count traps as they are unloaded. Commercial crabbers are highly encouraged to participate; their experience with the local waters and ability to stack traps on their vessel is valuable. Event organizers will provide boat owners with the equipment needed to collect the traps; however, they are responsible for transporting traps in their vessels. 

Removing abandoned crab traps is a wet and dirty job, so please wear appropriate clothing and wet gear. Volunteers should bring their own personal floatation device, which should be worn at all times while on the water. A free t-shirt and lunch will be provided to all volunteers as a small token of appreciation for their help to keep our waterways free and clean of derelict crab traps.

  • Barataria Basin: A dedicated volunteer day will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Plaquemines Parish boat launch located behind Port Sulphur High School on Civic Drive.  In order to better coordinate volunteer activities, volunteers are encouraged to register in advance at the following website:http://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5b94Jc8VFxyBsIl
  • Terrebonne Basin: A dedicated volunteer day will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Toby’s Oyster Dock located near the end of Hwy 315 in Dularge.  In order to better coordinate volunteer activities, volunteers are encouraged to register in advance at the following website: http://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5b94Jc8VFxyBsIl

If you are interested in sponsoring one or both rodeo events, please contact Peyton Cagle before December 31, 2018.

For more information on the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/derelict-crab-trap-removal or contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2575 or peyton.cagle@la.gov.

LDWF to Extend Registration for 2019 Shrimp Bycatch Study

Release Date: 12/13/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is encouraging commercial shrimpers to participate in its 2019 shrimp bycatch study. To ensure the study’s success, LDWF needs a wider range of participation from commercial shrimpers throughout each major basin and greater variation in the types of gear being used.  
 
The voluntary study was requested by the shrimp industry to collect bycatch data during commercial shrimping trips throughout state waters. The study supports the sustainability certification of Louisiana’s shrimp fishery, permitting Louisiana shrimp access to additional markets.
 
Participation will require commercial shrimpers to allow LDWF staff onboard their vessels during designated trips throughout the 2019 shrimp seasons. LDWF staff will collect a sample from each haul. Commercial fishermen will retain all shrimp and other commercial harvest sampled onboard their vessel. The remainder of the catch will either be processed onboard or held for later processing, depending on conditions.
 
Most trips will begin at 5 a.m. at the location of the final sale and must conclude by 5 p.m. at the same location; there may be some flexibility in start and end times.  A very limited number of trips will take place at night, beginning at 5 p.m. and concluding at 5 a.m. 
LDWF will randomly select participants based on gear type and basin. Participating fishermen will receive $350.00 in compensation per trip.
 
To register, click here. A background check and vessel/site inspection is required of each participating fisherman. The online registration portal will close on February 4, 2019.   
 

If you have questions about the program, or want more information, contact Peyton Cagle at pcagle@wlf.la.gov or (337) 491-2575.

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close December 17 in Portions of State Waters

Release Date: 12/13/2018

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close December 17 in Portions of State Waters

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2018 fall inshore shrimp season will close in all state inside waters on Monday, December 17, 2018, at official sunset, with the exception of the following inside waters east of the Mississippi River:

·       Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), a section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Orleans parish from the GIWW East Closure Sector Gate westward to the GIWW intersection with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as bounded by the double-rig line described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.

Click here for a map of closure areas.

All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in LAC 76:VII.370 will remain open to shrimping until further notice. 

Recent biological sampling conducted by the department indicates that the average white shrimp size within large portions of state inside waters is smaller than the minimum possession count allowed by law.  A closure is needed to protect the small white shrimp in these waters and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more valuable sizes. R.S. 56:498 provides that the possession count on saltwater white shrimp for each cargo lot shall average no more than 100 (whole specimens) per pound except during the time period from October 15 through the third Monday in December.

The department will continue to monitor the remaining open areas and will close them when biologically appropriate. Notice of any opening, delaying or closing of a season by the secretary will be made by public notice at least 72 hours prior to such action.   

For more information, contact Peyton Cagle at (337)491-2575 or pcagle@wlf.la.gov

NOAA Fisheries Seeking Public Comment on Changes to Charter Vessel and Headboat Reporting Requirements

Release Date: 12/05/2018

NOAA Fisheries has proposed a new rule that would modify reporting requirements for owners or operators of vessels with a federal Gulf charter/headboat reef fish permit or Gulf charter/headboat coastal migratory pelagics permit. These proposed changes would require the owner or operator of a vessel with one of these permits to:

  • Electronically declare (hail-out) a fishing trip before leaving port.
  • Submit an electronic fishing report for each trip prior to the vessel offloading fish, or within 30 minutes after the end of the trip if no fish are landed.
  • Install NOAA Fisheries-approved hardware/software with global positioning system (GPS) capabilities that, at a minimum, archive vessel position data and transmit data to NOAA Fisheries. This requirement would not preclude the use of GPS devices that provide real-time location data or vessel monitoring systems (VMS). The GPS portion of the hardware must be permanently affixed to the vessel and turned on at all times, unless a power-down exemption is granted. 
  • Comply with these reporting requirements no matter where the vessel is fishing.

You can submit comments electronically via https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0111 or by mail to:

Rich Malinowski

Southeast Regional Office, NMFS

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Comments are due January 9, 2019.

NOAA Fisheries will review public comments and modify the proposed changes if necessary then submit the rule to the Secretary of Commerce for review and approval. If the Secretary of Commerce approves the rule, NOAA Fisheries would implement the changes in phases during 2019.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved these changes to improve data collection and fisheries management. NOAA Fisheries has compiled several Frequently Asked Questions on these proposed changes. For more information, contact Chris Schieble at cschieble@wlf.la.gov or 504-284-2035.

Gulf Council to Hold Public Hearings on State Management of Recreational Red Snapper

Release Date: 12/03/2018

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering six amendments that would allow the individual Gulf states to set their own seasons and potentially other management measures for the recreational red snapper fisheries in both state and federal waters off their coasts. The Gulf Council will be holding several public hearings across the Gulf coast to solicit public comments on these amendments, including:

  • Monday, December 10, 2018 at 6 pm CST at the Embassy Suites on 4914 Constitution Avenue in Baton Rouge
  • Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 5 pm CST via webinar.

Other hearing locations and dates are listed on the Gulf Council’s website. You can also submit written comments via the Gulf Council’s website or email to gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org. Written comments must be received on or before 5 pm Eastern (4 pm Central) on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

Recreational offshore anglers and charter captains have a vested interest in the Gulf Council’s decision on these amendments. We encourage you to participate in the amendment’s development—it is important that the Gulf Council hears and considers your preferences. The final amendments will set the framework within which the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will work to establish rules for the state’s recreational red snapper fishery. If the final amendments reflect your preferences, the Commission will have a better foundation for addressing the desires of Louisiana’s recreational fishing community. The Gulf Council is expected to make a final decision on these amendments at their January 28-31, 2019 meeting in Orange Beach, Alabama.

For more information on these amendments, see our Louisiana Recreational Reef Fish Management Plan page. You can also contact Chris Schieble at cschieble@wlf.la.gov or 504-284-2035.

Commercial King Mackerel Season To Close December 5, 2018

Release Date: 11/30/2018

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the commercial season for the harvest of king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, and remain closed until the season is scheduled to re-open on July 1, 2019. 

The commercial season for the harvest of king mackerel was previously reopened on November 12, 2018, to harvest quota remaining for the western Gulf of Mexico.  LDWF has been informed that the quota for the western Gulf of Mexico is projected to be reached.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided the authority to Secretary Montoucet to modify the commercial king mackerel season at its regular meeting on November 1, 2018, in order to harvest the remaining quota.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov

Shrimp Task Force to Meet December 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Release Date: 11/29/2018

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

 

I. Pledge of Allegiance

II. Roll call and Introduction of Guests

III. Approval of the September 26, 2018 meeting minutes and of the December 5, 2018 Agenda

IV. Treasury Report

   A. Budget Report- LDWF

V. Federal Shrimp Permit Report- STF

VI. New Business

   A. To Hear an Update on the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan and Louisiana’s State Strategy- Doug Daigle

   B. To Hear a Presentation on the Inflation Adjusted Value of Shrimp Landings- LDWF

   C. To Consider An Adjustment to a Nearshore Planning Area-LDWF

   D. Update on the Fishing Industry’s Adaptation Working Groups -Brian Lezina, CPRA

   E. To Discuss the STF Bylaws and Speaking Time Limits- STF

   F. To Discuss STF Vacancies- STF

   G. To Discuss Rescheduling the Shrimp Task Force Washington, D.C. Trip- STF

   H. To Discuss Closed Season Shrimp Violations- Barry Rogers

VII. Public Comment

VIII. 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/3479554474778145793

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

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.

 

Shrimp Task Force to Meet December 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Release Date: 11/29/2018

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

 

  1. Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Roll call and Introduction of Guests
  3. Approval of the September 26, 2018 meeting minutes and of the December 5, 2018 Agenda
  4. Treasury Report
  1. Budget Report- LDWF
  1. Federal Shrimp Permit Report- STF
  2. New Business
  1. To Hear an Update on the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan and Louisiana’s State Strategy- Doug Daigle
  2. To Hear a Presentation on the Inflation Adjusted Value of Shrimp Landings- LDWF
  3. To Consider Amended Location Proposals for Near shore Artificial Reef Sites- LDWF/LPBF
  4. Update on the Fishing Industry’s Adaptation Working Groups -Brian Lezina, CPRA
  5. To Discuss the STF Bylaws and Speaking Time Limits- STF
  6. To Discuss STF Vacancies- STF
  7. To Discuss Rescheduling the Shrimp Task Force Washington, D.C. Trip- STF
  8. To Discuss Closed Season Shrimp Violations- Barry Rogers
  1. Public Comment
  2. 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/3479554474778145793

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

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.

 

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