Fishing

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.
 

 

Crab Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 02/06/2012

 

Feb. 6, 2011 - The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet on Thursday, February 09, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) building in Baton Rouge. 

Agenda items will include: Update on Louisiana Wild-Caught Seafood Certification Program; Soft-Shell Crab Shedder Reporting; Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for Crab Fishermen; H-2B Visas and Immigrant Labor issues; Derelict Crab Trap Removal Rodeos; MSC Certification and Chain of Custody Certifications; Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board efforts; and Election of Crab Task Force officers.

The Crab Task Force is an industry advisory group comprised of fishermen, soft crab shedders, and crab dealers and processors, as well as state and university representatives.  The task force, established by Act No. 57 of the 2001 regular legislative session, advises LDWF and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on matters pertaining to the management and development of the Louisiana crab industry. 

 For more information, contact Carl Britt at 985-882-0027, or cbritt@wlf.la.gov

 

Fall Shrimp Season to Close in Zone 1

Release Date: 01/30/2012

La. inshore and offshore waters closed to shrimping effective 2/2/12 at official sunset.

 

Jan. 30, 2012  –Today, Secretary Robert Barham of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the fall shrimp season will close in the remaining portion of Shrimp Management Zone 1, excluding the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur sounds, at official sunset on February 2, 2012. 

The Department took action in December to extend the fall shrimp season in these waters, but current sampling conducted by LDWF fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in these waters is smaller than 100 count per pound.  This action protects these small, white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.  It also protects juvenile brown shrimp which begin to recruit into these waters in early spring. 

Effective with this closure, shrimping will only be allowed in:

  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S.56:495.1.(A)2, and
  • State outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line east of the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude, and
  • State outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line west of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

A map of those waters which will remain open to shrimping is available on the LDWF website.  Click here.

The shrimping industry is the most valuable commercial fishery in Louisiana, averaging over 8,700 licensed recreational and commercial shrimpers annually over the past five years. 

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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

LDWF Announces Closure of Oyster Season on All Public Oyster Areas East of the Mississippi River

Release Date: 01/30/2012

 

Jan. 30, 2012 –Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham signed an order to close the oyster season on all public oyster areas east of the Mississippi River.  These closures are to take effect at one-half hour after sunset on Thursday, February 2, 2012.

The areas are being closed to protect the resource, based on current harvest pressure and estimated low oyster stock size. 

All other details, rules and regulations of the 2011/2012 oyster season as established by previous actions of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and the LDWF Secretary remain in effect until further notice.

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (225) 610-2363.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Jan. 19 Meeting

Release Date: 01/17/2012

 

January 17, 2012 - The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will meet on January 19, 2012,  8 a.m. at Borgne Restaurant located at 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, La, 70113.   The meeting agenda will focus on discussing the New Orleans Hornets Partnership.

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at Ashley@louisianaseafood.com or 504.286.8735.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Considers Establishing Vessel Monitoring for the Harvesting of Oysters on Public Seed Grounds

Release Date: 01/05/2012

January 5, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action designed to improve harvesting and monitoring efforts on the state’s public oyster seed grounds.  The proposed action would require Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) onboard all oyster seed ground vessels.

The use of VMS technology will allow LDWF to have real-time access to resource management data and allow LDWF biologists to more effectively serve the oyster industry by monitoring and replacing cultch material where fishing pressures are greatest. 

“The use of this technology in the oyster industry is the first of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “Our department continually strives to find innovative ways to manage our state’s seafood treasures while also serving the needs of the seafood community.”

Annually, there are over 700 vessel permits issued, giving access to the state’s public oyster beds, totaling 1.6 million acres. The VMS technology will help the department more accurately determine the actual number of vessels that fish the public seeds grounds as well as the amount of material these vessels take from the public. 

The VMS technology will also provide an added safety factor by allowing vessel operators to dispatch help with exact GPS coordinates, as well as for vessel owners to better manage their fleet. The systems will also be available for oyster harvesters to use while fishing private leases.

The Louisiana oyster industry provides more than one-third of the oysters consumed in the United States.

LDWF proposed to institute the VMS program on a year-to-year basis.

The VMS units, service and installation will be provided at no cost to the vessel operator, participants will only be required to provide minimal maintenance for the units.

All information collected by LDWF will be considered privileged and confidential and will not be made public. 

Public comments on the Notice of Intent will be accepted prior to April 4, 2012.  Comments should be submitted to Jason Froeba at jfroeba@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-0121. 

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.comldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Froeba at (225)765-0121 or jfroeba@wlf.louisiana.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

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