Fishing

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Chicot Lake for Aquatic Vegetation Control

Release Date: 08/17/2015

(Aug. 17, 2015) – Immediately following Labor Day, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with Louisiana State Parks, will initiate a drawdown for aquatic vegetation control on Chicot Lake near Ville Platte on September 8, 2015.

The lake level will be lowered 3 feet below pool stage as part of an integrated management plan to control nuisance aquatic vegetation and improve the sport fishery. Additional control efforts include herbicide applications for both floating and emergent vegetation.

The control structure will be closed no later than January 15, 2016, to allow the lake to refill.

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

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 additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jody David, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jdavid@wlf.la.gov or (337) 948-0255.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

LDWF’s Catch and Cook Program Takes Your Fish From Louisiana Waters to Table in One Tasty Trip

Release Date: 08/14/2015

(Aug. 14, 2015) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries now offers the Louisiana Catch and Cook Program, allowing anglers to enjoy their catch at a local restaurant, prepared by their favorite chef. 
 
Act 577, authored by Sen. Bret Allain of Franklin during the 2014 Legislative session, allows participating retail food establishments to prepare certain recreational game fish. Any retail food establishment that wishes to participate in the program can apply to the Department for a participation permit. 
 
“The Catch and Cook Program allows fresh caught Louisiana game fish to be served in our Louisiana restaurants, what could be better than that?” asked Sen. Allain. “It promotes recreational and charter fishing along with some of the best restaurants in the world. This program highlights what Louisiana is famous for.”
 
There is no fee to apply for the permit, and participating restaurants may charge the guest any amount they choose for preparing the item. The guest providing the fish must execute an assumption of risk relieving the establishment of any responsibility. Fish must be cleaned and processed beforehand and can only be served to the party who caught the fish.
 
“This program is a wonderful opportunity to promote the state’s nearly $2 billion recreational fishing industry while simultaneously showcasing Louisiana’s top-notch dining establishments,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Anglers, especially those traveling to the Sportsman’s Paradise to take part in our first-class fishing, are looking to add value to their experience and the Catch and Cook Program does exactly that.”
 
Sen. Allain recently took to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico out of Barataria with fellow members of the Louisiana Legislature and outdoor media to promote the new program. Captain Theophile Bourgeois of Bourgeois Fishing Charters hosted the group.
 
To date, 14 restaurants have signed on to the program, and LDWF expects more to join as it gains more publicity. The Louisiana Restaurant Association is currently working with the Department and Sen. Allain’s office to further promote program awareness amongst the restaurant community. 
 
“What helps identify Louisiana’s cuisine as unique is not only how we prepare our dishes, but what we prepare,” said Stan Harris, President and CEO, Louisiana Restaurant Association. “The Catch and Cook Program allows a recreational angler to have their catch prepared by our world-class restaurants, creating a pathway to serve species we can’t currently offer. We encourage our LRA members to consider opting in to this new program.”   
 
Galatoire’s, located in the French Quarter, is already a Catch and Cook participant and hosted Sen. Allain’s fishing group following their day on the water.
 
“We are committed to serving the freshest of Louisiana’s indigenous seafood bounty,” said Melvin Rodrigue, President and CEO, Galatoire’s Restaurant. “Many of our patrons are avid fishermen and the opportunity to prepare their catch with Galatoire’s signature style is one we are pleased to accommodate through the Catch and Cook Program.”
 
The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana is also a strong supporter of the new program.
 
“Louisiana is home to some of the world’s best recreational fishing and some of the world’s best restaurants, and each attracts countless visitors to our state each year,” said David Cresson, CEO of Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana. “Sen. Allain’s innovative Catch and Cook Program allows visitors and locals alike to combine the two, enriching both the experience on the water and at the table.”
 
For guidelines or to participate in the Catch and Cook Program, visit www.fishla.org/catch-and-cook/.
 
“Nothing wraps up a long day on the water better than the smell of fish sizzling on the grill, but not all anglers prefer to cook their own catch,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “So why not leave it to the professionals?”
 
The Louisiana Restaurant Association is one of the largest business organizations in the state, representing restaurant operations and related businesses. The restaurant industry in Louisiana is the state’s largest employer, providing jobs to nearly 200,000 residents. Restaurants in Louisiana are expected to generate sales of $7.3 billion in 2015. Get up-to-date news about the LRA and the restaurant industry from www.lra.org.    
 
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 (504) 286-8733.
 

LDWF’s License to Win! Sweepstakes Winners Announced

Release Date: 08/13/2015

 

(Aug. 13, 2015) – As part of it’s first annual License to Win! promotion, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation awarded five lucky winners for its July saltwater license holder drawing.  Winners drawn on August 1 include John Burke, Candice Gussman, Sheila Lapeyrouse, Carla Pratt, Sanford Roy and Timothy Scanio.
 
The winners were among thousands of names entered when they purchased a 2015-16 recreational saltwater fishing license.
 
The sweepstakes includes fives monthly prize winners of a YETI Tundra 45 ice chest, Shimano Curado G-Loomis Combo or gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Texaco and Whole Foods Market.
 
The License to Win! sweepstakes encourages anglers to provide accurate contact information to participate in a survey (LA Creel) that helps LDWF manage their fishery.  LA Creel is the data-gathering survey that allows LDWF biologists to manage our fisheries at localized levels across the state.  The success of LA Creel will not only allow the Department to better manage fisheries, but will ultimately maximize the amount of fishing opportunities for Louisiana anglers. 
 
This promotion has just begun, so visit your nearest license vendor or go online (www.wildlifelicense.com) to purchase your recreational saltwater license to be eligible for next month’s drawing.  The department will continue to select five winners each month, and one lucky angler will take home the grand prize, a 22 foot bay boat, trailer and motor donated by Venice Marina, Mercury Outboards and Mike Gerald’s Trailer Depot.
 
Rules and additional information can be found at http://www.fishla.org/license-win-sweepstakes/
 
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.

Another successful Louisiana recreational red snapper season closes; federal charter captains miss out on potential benefits

Release Date: 08/11/2015

(August 11, 2015) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the state recreational red snapper season will close at 12:01 a.m. on September 8th. We anticipate that private recreational anglers will have harvested our state’s historic and projected share of the total Gulf of Mexico private angler red snapper harvest  (745,000 pounds, or 18 percent of the total) on this date. The state season has been open since March 20, 2015.
 
For the past two years, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has opened a separate recreational red snapper season in state waters to extend Louisiana’s season beyond the federal season. Set based on imprecise, untimely estimates of recreational red snapper landings from the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), federal seasons have been overly restrictive in recent years and have short-changed anglers on fishing days and their share of the annual harvest. Fortunately, LDWF replaced MRIP with LA Creel, an improved recreational landings data collection program, and is able to precisely monitor recreational landings in real-time and set flexible seasons that allow our anglers to take full advantage of the available red snapper resource.
 
“In Louisiana, our anglers and staff are committed to providing the best data possible on our fisheries. Because of this, we’re able to be fully accountable for the amount of red snapper our anglers harvest and responsibly manage our recreational fishing seasons,” said Robert Barham, Secretary of LDWF. “Most of all, we’re able to maximize our anglers’ opportunities to get out on the water and fish red snapper, providing our private anglers 172 red snapper fishing days during this state season.”
 
Unfortunately, these opportunities did not extend to the entire saltwater fishing population. In 2014, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted to amend the management plan for the Gulf red snapper fishery and separate the recreational sector into two components: federally-permitted charter captains and private anglers (including charter captains without federal permits). This amendment also allocated the quota between the two components and established separate seasons for recreational red snapper fishing in federal waters. NOAA Fisheries implemented these provisions for the first time for the 2015 fishing season. For 2015, federal charter captains received 2.371 million pounds of the catch and were allowed to fish June 1 through July 15, 2015; private anglers received 3.234 million pounds and were allowed to fish June 1 through June 11, 2015.
 
While our private anglers and non-federally permitted charter captains were able to fish during our extended state season after federal waters closed, federally-permitted charter captains had to cease operations as federal law prohibits them from fishing outside of the federal season. In the end, these captains and our industry lost out on thousands of pounds of potential red snapper catch and numerous fishing trips, which translate into lost economic benefits. Specifically, based on the formula the Council used to separate the private and charter sectors, federally-permitted Louisiana charter captains historically landed 11.4 percent of the Gulfwide charter landings of red snapper and should have had the opportunity to land 338 thousand pounds of red snapper for 2015. However, observed landings fell well short of that figure—the charter sector only landed around 215 thousand pounds, or 64 percent of their historic landings. With 36 percent of their projected and historic share left unharvested, federal charter captains could have likely run fishing trips for several more months, had they been able to participate in the flexible state season.   
 
“The benefits our private anglers enjoyed in 2015 did not extend to our entire recreational fishing industry because the charter sector was shut down before they could harvest their share of the total Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper harvest,” said Randy Pausina, Assistant Secretary for Fisheries, LDWF. “Louisiana’s federally-permitted charter captains were allocated 338 thousand pounds and given a 45-day season.  During that season they were only able to land 215 thousand pounds, leaving 123,000 pounds on the table.  This resulted in lost opportunities for our charter captains due to NOAA Fisheries’ inability to monitor landings in real-time during the season and appropriately manage the fishery. We’ll continue to do whatever we can to improve how this fishery operates, but until LDWF has the full authority to manage this fishery, private anglers and charter businesses will continue to suffer.”
 
LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.  To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 
For press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.

LWFC Recognizes the Tchefuncte River Foundation for River Clean-Up

Release Date: 08/06/2015

LWFC Recognizes the Tchefuncte River Foundation for River Clean-Up

(Aug. 6, 2015) - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission recognized the Tchefuncte River Foundation at its monthly meeting for their efforts to clear underwater blight from the Tchefuncte River.
 
Over the last 10 years, crumbling camps, debris and half-sunken vessels have plagued the river as a result of hurricanes and storms.  The Foundation provided leadership and organized efforts to remove the debris and get the local community back on the water.
 
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 media inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

LDWF Announces Shrimp Refrigeration Cost-Share Program for Louisiana Shrimp Industry

Release Date: 07/31/2015

(July 31, 2015) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced a shrimp refrigeration cost-share program for eligible industry members.  This program will accept applications beginning Aug. 31, 2015 at 10 a.m. and offers eligible shrimp vessel owners, docks, and processing facilities the opportunity to qualify for 50 percent of any authorized refrigeration equipment costs, up to $30,000.  

Participants who qualify may purchase and install advanced refrigeration equipment onboard their vessels or at their facility in efforts to produce high-quality seafood products.  This announcement marks the latest endeavor by LDWF to support the seafood industry with equipment upgrades.

Application Process

Applicants are not eligible if they have received funding for a prior assistance grant within the last four years.

Wholesale/Retail dealers who want to participate must first be enrolled in the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (http://www.louisianacertifiedseafood.com).

Applications for the shrimp refrigeration cost-share program will be accepted at the following link http://www.wlf.la.gov/SRGP2015 beginning at 10 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2015. Applicants must complete a separate application for each LDWF license and each business physical location.  Applicants must submit quotes for equipment that they intend to purchase and quotes must be dated within the last six months to be eligible. Applicants with completed applications will be awarded funding in order by date of application submitted.  If applicants have questions about the program or need language assistance they can contact LDWF at 225-765-3980 or toll-free 855-262-1764.

Successful applicants will receive an equipment approval email notifying them when to purchase the eligible equipment and will be given a deadline to submit receipts for the purchased equipment.

Eligible Equipment

All equipment will be evaluated as a complete system to ensure it will meet refrigeration needs of the vessel or facility. Only new equipment will be eligible for reimbursement provided it meets program requirements, previously purchased equipment will not be eligible. New equipment to be installed must be approved prior to purchase. All equipment must be purchased and installed by a certified license installer and cost of installation and labor must be customary and reasonable

Final approval of funds disbursement may be subject to an inspection. Some examples of equipment that are eligible for this program are: Seawater chilling systems, ice makers­—small flake/slush only no cube ice makers, freezers, generators—tied to a refrigeration system, cooler/freezer boxes and associated insulations, brine freezers, plate freezers, other freezer types, combined commercial refrigeration units, condensers and coils of split refrigeration systems, refrigeration supplies, electrical supplies—tied to a refrigeration system and other equipment and supplies that can be verifiably associated with shrimp refrigeration.

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 Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov  or (504) 286-4162.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup.

 

 

 

 

Recreational Harvest of Greater Amberjack and Gray Triggerfish to Re-open

Release Date: 07/30/2015

(July 30, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2015 recreational fishing season for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish will reopen in state waters on Saturday, August 1.
 
The minimum size limit for greater amberjack continues to be 30 inches fork length, which is expected to continue through the end of the recreational fishing season. There is a one fish per person daily bag limit. The captain or crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat may not retain a bag limit.
 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also open federal waters for recreational amberjack fishing August 1.
 
The minimum size limit for gray triggerfish is 14 inches minimum fork length, with a daily bag limit of two fish.
 
Anglers are reminded a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required for all anglers possessing tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers and snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin, except for anglers under 16 years of age or fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit. The permit is available at no cost to the public.  Anglers wishing to obtain or renew a permit can register at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov.
 
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 more information contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at (504) 286-8733 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Sets Drawdown for Iatt Lake

Release Date: 07/22/2015

(July 22, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown for giant salvinia control on Iatt Lake in Grant Parish on July 27, 2015. 
 
The previously scheduled drawdown was postponed due to high water levels on the Red River, preventing the lake from draining. 
 
The lake level will be lowered 6 feet below pool stage to allow drying of the lake bottom, concentrating giant salvinia and increasing the effectiveness of herbicide applications.  After evaluation, the water level may be lowered an additional 2 feet. 
 
The control structure will be closed no later than November 5, 2015, to allow the lake to refill.
 
The drawdown is a component of LDWF’s plan to control giant salvinia on Iatt Lake.
Currently, an estimated 3,000 acres of giant salvinia coverage exists. The vegetation management plan for the lake identifies a target of 1,500 acres of giant salvinia coverage for a drawdown to be considered. 
 
Additional benefits of the drawdown include increased control of submerged aquatic vegetation as well improvement to fisheries habitat.   After water levels return to pool elevation, 49,000 triploid grass carp will be stocked into the lake to further assist in submerged vegetation control. 
 
Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.
 
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 additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rmoses@wlf.la.gov or (318) 487-5888.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/21/2015

(July 21, 2015) – In an effort to control aquatic vegetation, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will open the water control structure on Lake Bistineau near Minden on August 3, 2015, for a lake drawdown. 
 
Current estimates include 1,781 acres of giant salvinia coverage in the 17,000-acre lake, reaching the threshold necessary for a lake drawdown as identified in the Department’s Lake Bistineau Management Plan.
 
The lake will be lowered at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day, not to exceed a maximum drawdown level of 7 feet below normal pool stage.  The control gates will close no later than January 15, 2016, to allow the lake to refill.
 
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.  Caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 
 
For further information regarding the drawdown, contact LDWF Biologist Manager Jeff Sibley at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066, ext. 1.
 
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, 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 (504) 286-8733.

Louisiana applauds new legislation to enable regional management of red snapper

Release Date: 07/16/2015

(July 16, 2015) – Today, Congressman Garret Graves (R-South Louisiana) introduced new legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow state-based management of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. The legislation would remove red snapper from federal authority and place responsibility for this highly valuable species in the hands of the Gulf states through a new, independent body called the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority (GSRSMA).
 
The directors of the state fish and wildlife agencies from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas collaborated on the GSRSMA framework earlier this year in response to years of failing federal management of the Gulf red snapper fishery. The GSRSMA framework addresses many of the challenges of current federal management of this fishery including inadequate data and a lack of flexible, responsive management. The framework calls for more precise and timely recreational data collection, more frequent stock assessments, and increased collaboration among the states, among other improvements.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to encourage Congress to support a move to state-based management and the benefits it would provide. “The Gulf states’ marine fisheries directors have mutually agreed upon and unanimously support the GSRSMA. I would like to ask Congress to consider our concerns and support this viable alternative to the current management system,” said Robert Barham, Secretary.
 
Under the GSRSMA framework, each Gulf state would be responsible for all monitoring and management of red snapper in their respective state and adjacent federal waters. The Gulf states already have these responsibilities for numerous major commercial and recreational fisheries and have been effectively managing them for the benefit of fish, fishermen, and coastal communities and economies for years.
 
 “We appreciate Congressman Graves and his co-sponsors recognition of the challenges in red snapper management and confidence in the Gulf states’ abilities to responsibly manage this important fishery,” said Randy Pausina, Assistant Secretary of Fisheries. “Louisiana and the other Gulf states can provide the precise, real-time data and flexible measures needed to sustain this valuable resource and the people that depend on it.”
 
To view complete details of the five-state GSRSMA agreement, click here.
 
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 Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.
 

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