Fishing

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee to Meet

Release Date: 03/13/2018

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee

Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 9:30 A.M.

2021 Lakeshore Drive, STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

I.      Call to Order

II.     Discussion of the Draft Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting NOI- OTF

III.    Discussion of Senate Bill 451 and 453- OTF

IV.    Public Comment

V.     Set next meeting

VI.    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/6016156381539214338

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

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 rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

 

Recreational Red Snapper Season in State Waters Delayed

Release Date: 03/12/2018

It is anticipated that the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will determine and announce the recreational red snapper season dates at its monthly meeting in May.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet postponed the state-waters season that had been scheduled to open in late March.  By law, the recreational red snapper season in state waters is set to open on March 24, 2018.  However, LDWF requested the Commission delay considering this topic until the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approves an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application submitted by the agency.  The EFP application requests that NOAA allow Louisiana an opportunity to test state management of recreational red snapper.

The EFP, if approved, would allow the state to manage the recreational red snapper fishery in both state and federal waters for 2018 and 2019, and allow the Commission to determine when the season should open and how many fish can be harvested per day by each angler.  

Unlike previous years, the state season will likely be concurrent with the federal red snapper season, eliminating confusion for anglers.

LDWF’s EFP application recommends that Louisiana’s red snapper season open the Friday before Memorial Day, May 25, in both state and federal waters.   However, the Commission will determine the final season opening date and daily creel limit per angler.

LDWF requested that the state receive its historical share of the overall Gulf of Mexico annual recreational harvest for the duration of this pilot project.  Based upon such historical catch data and the 2017 annual catch limit (ACL), Louisiana’s share is equal to approximately 1.1 million pounds of snapper. NOAA can opt to approve or reject that number, however, during its review and evaluation process.  Harvest toward that quota would be monitored via La Creel and other optional recreational reporting methods such as a smart-phone app and an online reporting portal.

Once the EFP is approved, LDWF will provide recommended season dates to the Commission based on the quota determined by NOAA. 

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

Release Date: 03/09/2018

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds to the harvest of seed oysters at one-half hour after sunset on Monday, March 12, 2018.  The area will remain open for the harvest of market oysters (sacking).

Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of seed oyster resources in these public oyster seed grounds. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term interest of the oyster populations in these areas.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems were encountered. The Secretary was authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if there is no longer a threat to the resource. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure 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 and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov

LDWF to Open Special Bedding Season in LDWF Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds, St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2018

LDWF to Open Special Bedding Season in LDWF Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds, St. Bernard Parish

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open a portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne to the harvest of seed oysters at one-half hour before sunrise on Monday, March 12, 2018, and shall close the special season at one-half hour after sunset on March 17, 2018. This area is currently open to the harvest of market (sack) oysters.  Both the market oyster season and special bedding season will only be open in areas of the Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds that are currently open by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH).

Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist in these public oyster seed grounds and the opening of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway may place those resources in imminent peril. The influx of freshwater from the spillway will decrease salinity in some areas, which may lead to oyster mortality.  Allowing limited harvest of the resource prior to an oyster mortality event is in the best interest of the public.  The purpose of this opening is to allow for the take of live oysters and excessive removal of non-living material will not be allowed.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if it is in the best interest of the resource.  The special season was set at a week to avoid over harvest of important non-living material necessary to maintain oyster reefs in the area.  LDWF will continue to evaluate the potential impacts to the resource and will consider additional openings if necessary.

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure 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 and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet March 13 at 1:00 p.m.

Release Date: 03/08/2018

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting
Pete Gerica, chairman
Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 1:00pm
UNO Advanced Technology Center
2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210
New Orleans, LA 70122

 

AGENDA

 

I.         Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.        Approval of January 9, 2018 Minutes and March 13, 2018 Agenda

III.       Financial Report

A. Tier 2.1 Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV.       New Business

A.     To Hear a Presentation on the Comparison of Blue Crab Management Regulations- LDWF

B.     To Hear a Presentation on Crab Product Import Data- LDWF

C.     Discussion of Leadership Workshop and Meeting Rules of Order- LA Sea Grant

D.     To Consider Banning Immature Female Blue Crab Harvest- Al Cassagne

E.     Discussion of Crab Task Force Shirt Order- CTF

V.         Public Comment

VI.        Set Next Meeting

VII.       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/2909334544605100289

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

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 rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Popular Fishing Programs Available in Greater Lafayette Area This Spring

Release Date: 03/05/2018

Popular Fishing Programs Available in Greater Lafayette Area This Spring
Popular Fishing Programs Available in Greater Lafayette Area This Spring

This spring, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will bring two of its most popular aquatic outreach programs to Youngsville for local residents and the surrounding greater Lafayette area – the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (Aquatic VIP) and the Get Out and Fish! Community Fishing Program.
 
Through the Get out and Fish! Program, LDWF enhances and creates fishing destinations in urban areas, so excellent fishing is available within a stone’s throw of all Louisianans. The department has partnered with East Regional Library to bring this program to the pond at Southside Regional Park at Fabaher Field in Youngsville. The pond will be stocked with adult-sized channel catfish in the spring and rainbow trout in the winter, with the intention of establishing a put-and-take fishery in the area.
 
A kickoff event will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 6:30 a.m. to noon and will include a fishing competition, fishing activities and demonstrations, raffles and lunch provided by the Kiwanis Club. Pre-registration is available HERE. Day-of registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. and end at 10 a.m. The first 100 children to register will receive a free goodie bag. Participants 16 and older must have a valid recreational fishing license.
 
The Aquatic VIP Program encourages angling enthusiasts to pass the art of fishing on to the next generation. A free Aquatic VIP workshop will be held on March 14 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the East Regional Library in Youngsville for interested volunteers. At this hands-on workshop led by LDWF biologists, attendees will receive the training necessary to become a volunteer instructor. Workshop topics and activities include knot tying, casting skills, basic fishing techniques, fish identification, fisheries management and more. A binder full of activity guides, lesson plans and educational materials will be provided to all volunteers who attend the workshop. Loaner equipment is available to those volunteers who successfully complete the 8-hour workshop and pass a background check.
 
For more information on the Get Out and Fish! Community Fishing Program and the other sites regularly stocked by LDWF through this effort click HERE or contact Megan MacMenamin at mmacmenamin@wlf.la.gov. For information on Aquatic VIP workshops or to view a list of upcoming Aquatic VIP workshops, click HERE. For questions about the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, contact Alayna McGarry at (504) 286-4050 or atamcgarry@wlf.la.gov.
 
LDWF Get Out & Fish! and Aquatic Volunteer Instructor programs are 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. 

LWF Commission to Amend the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line

Release Date: 03/01/2018

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has approved a Notice of Intent to adjust the inside/outside shrimp line of demarcation. This line is used to separate the “inside” waters of the state from the “outside” waters, which are regulated separately. Generally, “outside” waters are those beyond the beach line.
 
Currently, the line dividing the two types of waters is defined in statute. This action by the Commission, when finalized, will update that line and would also allow adjustments to the line through administrative rulemaking, rather than by changes to statute.
 
Changes to the current boundary line were necessary due to land loss and erosion caused by storm surge, tidal movements and other natural causes. Approximately, 61,000 acres will be added to the states outside waters. Proposed changes to the boundary line were made using 2015 satellite imagery.
 
Information related to the proposed changes, including interactive maps, is available here.
 
Public comments pertaining to the proposed rule may be submitted from March 2, 2018, through April 26, 2018. Following final approval of the rule, the updated boundary line would be made effective September 1, 2018.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Peyton Cagle, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 1213 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601, or via e-mail to peyton.cagle@la.gov, prior to April 26, 2018.

 

Commercial Fishing for Bait Menhaden to Open March 15

Release Date: 03/01/2018

Today, at its regular meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action on a Declaration of Emergency to open the commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden on Thursday, March 15, 2018, based upon a request from the bait menhaden industry.  
  
The commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden typically opens on November 1 and runs through November 30 with a 3,000 metric ton quota. In the event that quota is not harvested during the normal November season, the bait season may resume April 1 of the following year.   
  
The bait industry requested the LWFC open the season two weeks earlier on March 15 to meet customer demand. The quota was not met in 2017 and opening the season two weeks earlier in 2018 is not expected to negatively impact the quota or regular commercial menhaden season.

Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit Helps Commercial Seafood Industry Adapt to Change

Release Date: 03/01/2018

(March 1, 2018) - The Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit 2018, an expo for the state’s commercial fishing and seafood industry, will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Hundreds of commercial fishers, seafood dealers, processors and other industry professionals will come together for a comprehensive day of workshops and a trade show. The free event is produced by Louisiana Sea Grant, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the LSU AgCenter with support from industry partners.  This year’s event focuses on “Adapting to Change” with talks and demonstrations selected to provide participants with information to help move the industry forward.

The expo will feature educational presentations and hands-on demonstrations on all aspects of the industry and best practices. Highlights include:

  • New safety and sustainability demonstrations.
  • Business opportunity how-to’s; such as value-added products, e-commerce, micro-processing, packaging, direct marketing and more.
  • U.S. Coast Guard demonstrations.
  • The latest recipes and techniques, including cooking demos by certified local chefs.
  • Forums for shrimp and oyster dealers as well as oyster harvesters.
  • LDWF species and data updates, fisheries biology and management.
  • The trade show features more than 50 booths showcasing innovative products, equipment and techniques, including marine electronics, scale calibration, vessel maintenance, onboard refrigeration, ice making and much more.
  • Near-Term Diversion Impacts -

“Considering the Near-Term Fisheries Implications of Large Scale River Diversions” will be a 90- minute, moderated panel discussion in which resource and restoration managers will hear from representatives of four state-sanctioned fishery advisory task forces: the Louisiana Oyster Task Force, the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, the Louisiana Crab Task Force, and the Louisiana Finfish Task Force. The session will focus primarily on socioeconomic considerations of large-scale diversions, with the target audience being those summit attendees working in fisheries-dependent businesses, including commercial fishermen, charter operations, seafood docks and dealers, processors, and retailers.  Private sector input to the panel will be collected in real-time during the session through the use of electronic polling devices.

 

All elements of Summit are designed to enhance Louisiana’s dynamic commercial seafood industry, the nation’s second-largest.

WHEN

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE

The Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70065.

ADMISSION

Free admission, and free lunch provided with advance registration. Registration will officially close on March 2nd.  Register at www.LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit/summit-participant-registration/ and become eligible for a chance to win one of two door prizes–gift certificates for commercial fishing supplies valued at $2,500 and $1,000. Vendors may also sign up at this site. Space and resources may be limited, so attendees are encouraged to register early.

For more information visit the Louisiana Fisheries Forward website at www.LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit

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.

 

 

Agenda for the March Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 02/26/2018

The next regular commission meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

Agenda:

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call

4. Adoption of February 1, 2018 Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6. Enforcement Report February, 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7. Presentation of the award for the Shikar Safari Club International wildlife agent of the year

8. Consider a Resolution Regarding Transfer of Property from Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area to Joyce Wildlife Management Area.  - Alvin F. Landry, Attorney

9. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations --Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Director

10. Receive an update on discovery of CWD in Mississippi and consider a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental feeding of deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes. --Dr. Jim Lacour, Veterinarian, and Johnathan Bordelon, Program Manager

11. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the Feral Hog transport rule --Dr. Jim Lacour, Veterinarian

12. Receive and consider a Notice of Intent to amend the Inside/Outside shrimp line – Peyton Cagle, Biologist

13. Receive and consider the Public Comments Report on the Notice of Intent for the Addition of Sterlet Sturgeon to the Domestic Aquatic Organism (DAO) List for final rule making– Rob Bourgeois, Biologist

14. Receive a presentation and consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the 2018 opening date for bait menhaden – Daniel Edgar, Louisiana Bait

15. Gulf Council Update – Chris Schieble, Biologist

16. Set July 2018 Commission Meeting Date

17. Receive Public Comments

 

18. 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/6284783564634084353 

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. 

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