Fishing

Elmer’s Island Beach Sweep Rescheduled for June 2

Release Date: 05/17/2012

(May 17, 2012) – Volunteers will get another chance to clean away the trash on Elmer’s Island beach.  Heavy rains last weekend forced the event to be canceled. 

The cleanup, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, has been rescheduled for 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 2.

The annual beach sweep is made possible by numerous partnerships including the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy and through the sponsorship of Barefoot Wines. 

Anyone can participate – individuals, families, schools, youth groups, civic and conservation clubs or businesses.  Lunch and all necessary supplies will be provided.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required.  To register, contact Joe Dantin at (985) 449-4715.

Elmer’s Island Refuge is a barrier island located in Jefferson Parish southwest of Grand Isle, bordered by LA 1 and the Gulf of Mexico.  The island is well known for excellent fishing opportunities for many popular species such as speckled trout, white trout, flounder, redfish, kingfish, black drum, croaker, Spanish mackerel and many other species that frequent the state's coastal beaches and passes. It also provides non-consumptive outdoor opportunities to observe wading, shore and seabirds as well as coastal marine life.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

BTNEP is one of 28 National Estuary Programs throughout the United States and its territories.  The National Estuary Program was established by Congress through section 320 of the Clean Water Act or 1987.  The Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex became a National Estuary in 1990.

For press inquiries, please contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 721-0489 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Shrimpers Encouraged to Report Asian Tiger Prawn Catches

Release Date: 05/16/2012

 

May 16, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is aware of and constantly monitoring the appearance of an increased number of Asian tiger prawns, a non-native species, in Louisiana waters.  LDWF officials are asking local shrimp harvesters to report catches of tiger prawns to the Department. 

While there is little known at this time about the impacts of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp, these reports are key in helping LDWF biologists monitor the distribution and relative abundance of these prawns and in determining the possible presence of spawning populations. 

To report catches of Asian tiger prawns please contact Robert Bourgeois at rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-0765 or Marty Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2401 with the date, location and size of capture. Pictures are encouraged.  Tiger prawns are easily identifiable by their large size, dark body color and white banding found along the head and between segments of the tail.  LDWF officials ask that harvesters retain the tiger prawns by freezing and contact the biologist listed above.

History of incidence in Gulf of Mexico

It is unknown when and how tiger prawns were first introduced into the Gulf of Mexico.  In 1988, a portion of a population of reared tiger prawns escaped from a facility on the east coast.  Approximately 1,000 adults were later recaptured as far south as Cape Canaveral, Florida. In September 2006, a single adult male was captured by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Mississippi Sound near Dauphin Island, Alabama and reports from Alabama and Mississippi have been increasing ever since.

LDWF first documented the occurrence of Asian tiger prawns in Louisiana in August 2007, when a single specimen was taken by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Vermilion Bay.  Prior to the 2011 fall inshore shrimp season, reported captures in Louisiana waters numbered fewer than 25 with none taken any farther westward than Vermilion Bay.  However, since the fall season began, reported captures have dramatically increased with approximately 80 new reports received.  One fisherman alone reported catching as many as 13 individuals over a three-day shrimping trip in Lake Pontchartrain.  A Dulac shrimp dock has reported fishermen capturing in excess of 100 tiger prawns following the 2011 fall season opening.  Most recently, there have also been incident reports west of Vermilion Bay. 

About the species

Asian tiger prawns are native to the Indo-Pacific rim and are both harvested in the wild and extensively farmed in a number of countries.

Tiger prawns belong to the same family (Penaeidae) as our native brown, white and pink shrimp but are non-indigenous to our waters. The life history of tiger prawns is also similar to that of brown and white shrimp with spawning and mating occurring in nearshore oceanic waters. One notable difference in tiger prawns and Louisiana shrimp is size as the research suggests tiger prawns may reach a maximum length of 14 inches and weigh as much as 23 ounces.

At this time, there is no evidence that tiger prawns feed on native Louisiana shrimp.  Any potential impacts over competition for food and resources remain unknown.  Tiger prawns as well as our native brown and white shrimp adopt different diets as they grow and mature and may become more predatory as body size increases.

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

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/11/2012

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 25-29 and again from July 23-27.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.

"Last year’s first ever summer camp proved so successful that we wanted to do two this year.  These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.  Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combo sets for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp2012 by May 25.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

“We want to teach children how much fun and exciting it can be by spending time outside enjoying all that Louisiana has to offer,” said Secretary Barham.  “These camps also get the kids out of the house away from their video games and computers for a week during their summer break.  They will catch some fish, paddle canoes and shoot skeet and for some this might be their first time ever doing any of these activities.”

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

AMENDED - LWFC Takes Unprecedented Step to Move Forward with “State-waters Only” Red Snapper Season for 2013

Release Date: 05/04/2012

May 4, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action to implement a “Louisiana-only” red snapper recreational season, set to begin in 2013. 

This Louisiana red snapper weekend-only season would begin the Saturday preceding Palm Sunday each year and end September 30 of the same year, with a recreational bag limit of three fish per day at a 16 inch minimum.  A weekend is defined as Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Memorial Day and Labor Day, when Monday would be classified as a weekend as well. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham was given the authority to modify the portions of this rule pertaining to red snapper recreational daily harvest limits and seasons if the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Survey institutes sub-regional management for the species or if it is otherwise deemed necessary. 

In related action, next month the Commission will also consider extending state waters from three miles offshore to three marine leagues or approximately 10.357 miles.  This action is being considered based on recent legislative action taken in 2011 in Act 336, which recognizes that the gulfward boundary historically consists of three marine leagues and designates that boundary to be enforced by state law regarding the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources, and regulation of activities affecting them.

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

LSPMB Finance Committee to Meet Next Week in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/04/2012

May 4, 2012–The next meeting of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB) Finance Committee will be May 10, 2012, 1 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Louisiana Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

I.    Call to order

II.   Adoption of the Committee Report 3/19/2012

III.  Financial Report through 3/31/2012 (Treasurer’s Report)

       A. Discussion of professional services

IV. BP 3Q FY2012 Quarterly Report

V.  EDRP Budget

       A. Key projects recommended

VI. Legislative update

       A.   HB 1 (Appropriations)

       B.   HB 822 (Statutory Dedications)

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at Ashley@louisianaseafood.com or (504)286-8735.

 

LWFC Takes Unprecedented Step to Move Forward with “State-waters Only” Red Snapper Season for 2013

Release Date: 05/04/2012

 

May 3, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action to implement a “Louisiana-only” red snapper recreational season, set to begin in 2013. 

This Louisiana red snapper weekend-only season would begin the Saturday preceding Palm Sunday each year and end September 30 of the same year, with a recreational bag limit of three fish per day at a 16 inch minimum.  A weekend is defined as Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Memorial Day and Labor Day, when Monday would be classified as a weekend as well. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham was given the authority to modify the portions of this rule pertaining to red snapper recreational daily harvest limits and seasons if the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Survey institutes sub-regional management for the species or if it is otherwise deemed necessary. 

In related action, next month LWFC will also consider extending state waters from three miles offshore to three nautical miles or approximately 10.357 miles.  This action is being considered based on recent legislative action taken in 2011 in Act 336, which recognizes that the gulfward boundary historically consists of three marine leagues and designates that boundary to be enforced by state law regarding the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources, and regulation of activities affecting them.

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

“Speck”tacular Forecast for Saturday’s Louisiana Saltwater Series Trout Tournament

Release Date: 05/02/2012

(May 2, 2012) – Speckled trout anglers, get your rods ready, on May 5 the Louisiana
Saltwater Series is headed to The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell for its second
annual trout tournament. With a perfect weather forecast and excellent fishing conditions,
it’s expected to be a great day out on the water.

The entry fee is only $100 per team, and there is a 100% payout, plus loads of prizes.
Teams may consist of one, two, three or four members. For teams consisting of three or
more members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.

At 6 a.m., anglers will venture out to cast lines and reel in the big ones. Because speckled
trout can be challenging to keep alive, participants are allowed to bring in their fish
beginning at 8 a.m., when the scales open. They’ll have until 3 p.m. to make their way back
to shore and weigh in. The aim is for the Department to tag as many fish as possible, so
anglers are encouraged to bring in call of their catch (within limit), but can only designate
two fish as their weigh fish.

Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the series was created to
promote the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program and catch-and-
release saltwater angling. The program provides an avenue for anglers with an interest in
conservation to assist in collecting scientific information about the movements and biology
of tagged fish by tagging targeted species of marine gamefish.

Last year at the inaugural tournament, 78 speckled trout were tagged and released back in
to the wild.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday at noon, but those interested
in participating can register at The Dock from 4 to 5:30 a.m., the morning of the event. A
$20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team. Only cash and
checks will be accepted for onsite registrants.

For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to
www.lasaltwaterseries.com. The Louisiana Saltwater Series will host a second trout
tournament on October 20 in New Orleans at SeaBrook Harbor.

Tournament sponsors include Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board,
Academy Sports and Outdoors, Category 5 Outdoors, Daybrook, Omega Protein,
Plaquemines Parish, Dockside Marine, Skinny Water Products, Slayer, Blackfin Skeg, Faux

Pas Prints, Frabill, Marsh and Bayou Magazine, Power-Pole, Pro-Drive Shallow Water
Outboards, Sea tow, Stick It Anchor Pins, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Swamp Swatter,
Whole Foods Market, Shakespeare/Berkley, Bollinger Shipyards, Chik-fil-A, Jus Grab
it Glove, To Fish Charters, Tony Spell Insurance Agency, Southern Eagle and Standard
Mapping.

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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.

State of Louisiana Announces Louisiana Blue Crab to Be First Sustainable Blue Crab Fishery in the World

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in coordination
with the Louisiana Crab Task Force and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB),
announced the Louisiana blue crab fishery has been recognized with the seal of ‘sustainability’ by a
third-party organization, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This designation by MSC is the first of
its kind for any blue crab fishery in the world.

The independent, third-party certification body, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) assessed the
Louisiana blue crab fishery against the MSC standard in a rigorous, open and transparent process that
was scientifically peer reviewed and involved site visits to the fishery and outreach to stakeholder
groups. During assessment, SCS identified six improvement actions the fishery must perform during the
first five-year certification period that address harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, by-catch
and ecosystem impact and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by
the MSC program.

“This certification fully validates what Louisiana’s blue crab industry and department have known all
along, that our blue crab fishery is managed responsibly at sustainable levels,” said LDWF Assistant
Secretary Randy Pausina. “LDWF is a world-class organization that utilizes the best biologists and
technology when managing all of Louisiana’s abundant fisheries.”

What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability ensures that the blue crab fishery of Louisiana is managed in a way that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the crop for future generations.

Why is it important for a fishery to be certified as sustainable?

In recent years, sustainability has become increasingly important to major retailers like Wal-Mart,
Costco, Kroger and Target to name a few. As such, the push for ‘proof’ that seafood has been harvested
sustainably has led to an emerging market: seafood sustainability certifiers and their associated eco-
labels.

Additionally important to the Louisiana fishing industry, studies suggest that some retailers may be
willing to pay a higher price for seafood that is labeled eco-friendly or sustainable. Additionally,
markets in Europe and the United Kingdom that require such certifications will now be available to our
industry members.

LDWF is currently working with the other Gulf states to identify additional possibilities for
communicating to consumers and buyers that all of our fisheries are managed responsibly at sustainable
levels.

The Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery

While crabs are landed from all state coastal waters, more than half of Louisiana blue crabs are
harvested primarily from two areas: Lake Pontchartrain and Terrebonne basins. The Lake Pontchartrain
basin borders New Orleans to the north and east and includes the lake, marshes and sounds east of

the Mississippi River and the Terrebonne Basin is located southwest of New Orleans and is bounded by
Bayou Lafourche to the east and the Atchafalaya River to the west.

Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are harvested year-round primarily with baited trapstended strictly
during daylight hours. Harvesters target hard shell blue crabs for both the live and processed meat
markets and also peeler crabs for sale to soft crab shedders. Louisiana blue crab landings have averaged
over 40 million pounds in recent years and comprised nearly 30 percent of total U.S. blue crab landings
in 2009.

The Marine Stewardship Council

The MSC was started in 1996 by the World Wide Fund for Nature and Unilever. The charity was
constituted in 1997 and became fully independent in 1999.

It has offices in London, Seattle, Washington and Sydney, New South Wales and local offices in
Edinburgh, Berlin, the Hague, Paris, Cape Town and Tokyo.

As of October 2011, there are over 11,000 seafood products available with the MSC eco-
label, sold in 82 countries around the world. Currently 131 fisheries have been independently
certified as meeting the MSC’s environmental standard for sustainable fishing and 131 are
currently undergoing assessment. Nearly 2000 companies have met the MSC Chain of Custody
standard for seafood traceability.
 

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 please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Staff Instrumental in Protecting the Resource at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 - Earlier this year, anglers from across the country converged in
Shreveport, La., for the biggest event in tournament fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. The
country’s best anglers battled it out during the three-day event on one of the nation’s best
bass fisheries, the Red River.

The B.A.S.S. Federation is a conservation-based organization, and one of their primary
goals is to have minimal impact on the water bodies that serve as host sites for their
tournaments including the Bassmaster Classic. Catch and release fishing is their standard.

Personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were tasked with
handling and transporting all the tournament entries. The bass were placed in specially
modified hauling tanks filled with water from the Red River and safely returned home.

This is the third year Department staff have assisted the Classic in properly returning bass
to Louisiana waterways and ensuring our department motto: to protect and manage our
abundant natural resources.

To view the video news release, please click on the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxrd5rjODA0

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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.

Oyster Task Force and Subcommittees to Meet Thursday in New Orleans

Release Date: 02/20/2012

Oyster Task Force and Subcommittees to Meet Thursday in New Orleans

February 20, 2012 – The Louisiana Oyster Task Force as well as the subcommittees on legislation and health are scheduled to meet this Thursday, February 23, in New Orleans at the UNO Advanced Technology Building in Suite 210. 

The agenda for Thursday’s meetings are as follows:

Oyster Task Force, 1 p.m.
I.       Roll Call
II.      Approval of  January 12,  2012 MINUTES
III.     Treasury Report
                  A. Oyster Tag Sales
                  B. LOTF Financial Report
IV.   Committee Reports
                 A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
                 B.  Enforcement   - (Steve McManus)
                 C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
                 D.  Research – (John Supan)
                 E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
                 F.  Marketing -
                 G.  Health – (Tenney Sibley)
V.     Old Business
                 A.   BP Oil Spill Remediation
                       1. Claims Process
                       2. Public Reef Remediation
                       3. Oyster Lease Remediation
VI.       New Business
                A. Cole Garrett-LDWF
                B. Master Plan Presentation-Kirk Rhinehart- OCPR
                C. Dr. Thomas Soniat-Oyster Habitat Suitability Index/Coastal Master Plan
                D. NRDA update-Drue Banta
VII. Set Next Meeting
VIII. Adjourn

The health subcommittee will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss refrigeration rules and outreach to industry. 

The legislative subcommittee will meet at 10:30 a.m. 

The agenda is as follows:

I. Cole Garrett- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
II. Amendments to seed ground permit
III. Set aside areas for hatcheries
IV. Moratorium
V. Legislation that will require CPRA to develop a mitigation plan for oyster lease owners, oyster harvesters, other fishermen, and families that are displaced by coastal restoration projects.
VI. Citations for captains and not for crew members.
VII. Standard of measurement for baskets
VIII. Tickets that stay on record even though an individual was not officially charged
IX. Marking of leases
X. Oyster poaching fines

These meetings are open to the public.

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8735.
 

 

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