Fishing

Louisiana Sets 2017 Recreational Red Snapper Season

Release Date: 01/05/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2017 recreational red snapper fishing season in state waters will begin on February 1, 2017, and remain open until further notice. The season will run seven days a week in state waters with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.
 
Last year, Louisiana anglers had 272 days of opportunity for red snapper fishing during a combined state and federal season. 
 
Recreational Offshore Landing Permit
 
The department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
 
Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need a permit as long as the charter captain has a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

Chad Courville, Bill Hogan Elected as Chair, Vice-Chair of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 01/05/2017

January 5, 2017 – Chad Courville, of Lafayette, was elected chair of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) and Bill Hogan, of Ruston, vice-chair during the Commission’s January meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge. The two Commissioners will serve in those positions through 2017.

Courville, who previously served as vice chair, is a lifelong Louisiana resident and is employed as the land manager for Miami Corporation. He has served as chairman of the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association and the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists.

Hogan is a longtime Louisiana resident and president and CEO of Ruston Bank. He was born in Nashville, Tenn., grew up in Fort Smith, Ark., and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Finance. A member of Ducks Unlimited for 26 years, Hogan has served as state chairman of DU and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

LDWF Reminds Harvesters of New Blue Crab Fishing Regulations

Release Date: 01/04/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced three new blue crab fishing regulations to take effect this year. Two changes were be implemented January 1 and will stay in effect through 2019.  An additional regulation regarding escape rings will go into effect on November 15, 2017.
 
A summary of regulation changes is as follows:
 
Regulation changes effective January 1, 2017, and to extend through 2019
 

  1. Ban on the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs

There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the restriction while held aboard an active fishing vessel.
 
An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen.  A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen.
 

  1. Seasonal closure of the commercial fishery and the use of crab traps

The commercial harvest of blue crabs and the use of all crab traps will be prohibited for a 30-day period beginning the third Monday in February. During this period, all crab traps must be removed from all state waters including the three-mile territorial seas. All remaining crab traps found during the closure will be presumed as actively fishing and considered illegal. During this closure period, LDWF will conduct derelict crab trap cleanups throughout the Louisiana coast. 
 
Regulation change effective November 15, 2017
 

  1. Changes to the number and size of escape rings required on crab traps

A minimum of three escape rings should be placed on the vertical, outside walls flush with the trap floor or baffle with at least two rings located in the upper chamber of each trap. The minimum size of rings should be 2 and 3/8 inches inside diameter. Any crab trap constructed of wire mesh 2 and 5/16 inches square or greater is exempt from escape ring requirements. 

January 2017 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Committee Agenda

Release Date: 01/03/2017

News Release

 

For Immediate Release
January 3, 2017

 

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public Information

(504) 286-8745

rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Committee Agenda

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, January 5, 2017, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

 

1.     Call to Order        

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Adoption of December 01, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege         

6.     Enforcement Reports December, 2016 – Captain Edward Skena

7.     Recognize Cameron LNG for their Contribution to the Whooping Crane Recovery Program – Amity Bass, Director of Coastal and Non-Game Resources

8.     Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Amend the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the 2017-2018 Season, the Resident Game Hunting Season for the 2017-2019 Hunting Seasons, the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the Turkey Season, the Turkey Hunting Areas, and Seasons, and Bag Limits for the 2018 Turkey Season, and the Migratory Bird Seasons, Regulations, and Bag Limits for the 2017-2018 Hunting Season – Steve Smith, WMA Program Manager

9.     Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify Commercial Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark Daily Harvest Limits – Jason Adriance, Biologist

10.  Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Modify Commercial Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark Daily Harvest Limits for the 2017 Season – Jason Adriance, Biologist

11.  Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Set the 2017-18 Commercial King Mackerel Season – Jason Adriance, Biologist

12.  Receive Presentation for 2017 Recreational Red Snapper Season and Consider Options for 2017 Recreational Red Snapper Season – Jason Adriance, Biologist 

13.  Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman

14.  Set April, 2017 Commission Meeting Date

15.  Receive Public Comments

 

16.  Adjournment  

 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8957410449466546946

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

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 recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

LDWF To Close Shrimp Season in Portions of State Outside Waters

Release Date: 12/28/2016

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that portions of state outside waters will be closed to shrimping effective Monday, January 2, 2017, at official sunset.

Those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • That portion of state outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line as described in R.S. 56:495(A) from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude 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), 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) 
  • State outside waters not listed above

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 will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters.

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp should average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) 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 Charlie Melancon with authority to close state outside waters when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF biologists indicates the average white shrimp size in the 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.

 

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov .

NOAA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Devices on Skimmer Trawls, Pusher-Head Trawls, and Wing Nets (Butterfly Trawls)

Release Date: 12/19/2016

NOAA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Devices on Skimmer Trawls, Pusher-Head Trawls, and Wing Nets (Butterfly Trawls)

(12-16-16) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to notify the public that NOAA will be holding three meetings in Louisiana to solicit public input on this proposed rule.

1.Larose, LA - January 9, 2017, 4pm-6pm, Larose Regional Park and Civic Center, 307 East 5th Street, Larose, LA 70373

2.Gretna, LA - January 10, 2017, 12pm-2pm, Coastal Communities Consulting, Inc., 925 Behrman Highway, Suite 15, Gretna, LA 70056

3.Belle Chasse, LA - January 10, 2017, 4pm-6pm, Belle Chasse Community Center, 8398 Highway 23, Belle Chasse, LA 70037

NOAA is proposing to withdraw current tow time restrictions and instead require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to have turtle excluder devices (TEDs) to prevent small sea turtles from getting caught in these nets. The intent of this proposed rule is to reduce incidental bycatch and mortality of sea turtles in southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries, and to aid in the protection and recovery of threatened and endangered sea turtle populations.

NOAA is also proposing to amend the definition of tow times to better clarify the intent and purpose of tow times to reduce sea turtle mortality, and to refine additional portions of the TED requirements to avoid potential confusion.

Click the link below for the full rule as proposed by NOAA:

www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0151

Additional Methods for Submitting Public Comment

You may also submit comments by any of the following methods. Written comments will be accepted through February 14, 2017. NOAA may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends.

Online through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:

·      Go to www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0151

·      Click the “Comment Now!' icon

·      Complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. You may submit attachments in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

MailMichael Barnette, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Fax: 727-824-5309; Attention: Michael Barnette

For more information, contact Michael Barnette at 727-551-5794.

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 recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF Issues Charter-for-Hire License Holder Reminders

Release Date: 12/19/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind all charter-for-hire license holders of the following requirements when purchasing their license.
 
·      A valid U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License
·      A valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License
·      A Louisiana Driver’s License, ID card or other acceptable evidence of residency (if seeking a resident license)
·      Proof of Liability Insurance
o   The liability insurance must be in the name of the license applicant and currently in force. (In the event that the insurance policy is in the name of a corporation, LLC, or partnership, LDWF will accept a letter from the insurance company on official letterhead indicating that the individual is covered under the policy or a rider naming the individual on the policy).
o   The liability insurance required shall be written by an insurance company with at least an A- rating in the latest printing of the A.M. Best’s Key Rating Guide.
o   The liability insurance must be of a commercial nature and not associated with a primary residential property.
o   The liability insurance coverage shall not be less than $300,000 per occurrence.
 
Proof of the above requirements must be shown when purchasing or renewing your license in person at LDWF headquarters.  When purchasing the license on-line, a temporary 30-day license will be issued.  Once the applicant supplies the required documentation to the Department, the permanent license will be mailed to the applicant.  For on-line purchases, documentation may be submitted by e-mail to charterguideins@wlf.la.gov, via fax at (225)763-5421, or by regular mail to Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries,  Attn:  Licensing, P. O. Box 14796 Baton Rouge, LA  70898, or in person at LDWF headquarters. 
 
These requirements will also be enforced on the water, therefore charter captains are reminded to have all required licenses and proof of liability insurance in their possession while on the water and available for inspection.
 
Charter captains are also reminded that annual charter-for-hire licenses expire on Saturday, December 31. To renew your license online, visit la.wildlifelicense.com. New applicants must apply in person at LDWF’s headquarters located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
 
Regulations and minimal insurance requirements can be found in LDWF’s 2017 Commercial Fishing Regulations Brochure on page 42 and 43.  The online version is available here

Get Out and Fish! Event at Kiroli Park a Success

Release Date: 12/15/2016

On Saturday, December 10 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries partnered with Kiroli Park in West Monroe to host a Get Out and Fish! community fishing event. Nearly 200 participants joined in the fun of trying to catch the elusive rainbow trout.
 
Prior to the event, the park’s pond was stocked with over 600 pounds of rainbow trout donated by Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery in Arkansas. The department urges North Louisiana residents to continue to fish the stocked pond throughout the holiday season.
 
Winners in the rainbow trout category include:
Little Angler Rainbow Trout: 1st Jacob Benson, 2nd Jake Southern, 3rd John Martin
Junior Angler Rainbow Trout: 1st Daisy Temple, 2nd Ian Williams
Adult Angler Rainbow Trout: 1st John Warner
 
Winners in the “Other” category include:
Little Angler “Other”: 1st Max Hearne, 2nd Hailey Lawrence
Junior Angler “Other”: 1st Rachel Stoup, tied for 2nd Hagan Carter and Garrett Ragsdale
Adult Angler “Other”: 1st Angela Lawrence
 
Saturday’s sponsors include Catfish Charlie’s, Honey Hole Tackle, Toledo Tackle, Panola Pepper, Walmart, LA Fish Fry, and Academy Sports and Oudoors. The Rotary Club of West Monroe provided volunteer assistance to make the event a success.
 
LDWF's Get Out and Fish! 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 fisheries resources. 

LDWF To Close Shrimp Season in Portions of State Inside Waters

Release Date: 12/14/2016

December 14, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the fall shrimp season will close in most state inside waters effective Monday, December 19, 2016, at official sunset.

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), 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

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), 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
     
  • All state outside waters

For a map detailing today’s actions click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons

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 will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters.

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp should average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) 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 Charlie Melancon with authority to close the fall inshore shrimp season when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF biologists indicates the average white shrimp size in the 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.

 

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov .

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