Fishing

LDWF Investigates Two New Reports of Oiling

Release Date: 03/21/2011

LDWF conducts sampling on oil slick south of Grand Isle and impacted shoreline at Elmer’s Island

March 21, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is investigating two reports of oiling off the Louisiana coast received this weekend. Samples are being collected and analyzed by Louisiana State University’s School of the Coast and Environment.

Saturday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports of an oil sheen south of Grand Isle, La. In addition to an investigation ongoing by the Coast Guard, LDWF officials are sampling the suspected oil sheen for analysis and fingerprinting. Samples taken by LDWF are being submitted to a laboratory at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment. Analysis will determine if the substance is oil and, if so, if it is from the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill; this analysis is called fingerprinting. Results from this analysis will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22.

Suspected oiling was also reported to LDWF officials this weekend at Elmer’s Island, a 230-acre tract of barrier beachfront located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish, and at Fourchon Beach in Lafourche Parish.

Samples from suspected oil at Elmer’s were collected by LDWF officials on Sunday afternoon and are being analyzed by the same laboratory at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment. Results from the analysis will also be available tomorrow.

State officials are on scene at Elmer's Island with sorbents, barges and air boats as response efforts are conducted. LDWF officials this weekend requested absorbent boom from the Coast Guard for impacted areas. While only a portion of the boom has been utilized along a breach of the shoreline at Elmer’s Island, 12,000 feet of boom is on site. State officials have also requested skimmers from the Coast Guard.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on, please contact Olivia Watkins at (225)610-8660 or atowatkins@wlf.la.gov.  

Crab Task Force Scheduled to Meet March 24, 2011

Release Date: 03/21/2011

March 21, 2011 - The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet Thursday, March 24 at 4:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. The agenda for Thursday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes / Agenda
  4. Receive Public Comments
  5. Update on Louisiana Sea Grant’s NFWF Derelict Trap Removal Grant Proposal
  6. Results of Dispersant Toxicity Study on Blue Brab Megalopae and Juveniles
  7. Research Findings of a 2010 Blue Crab Megalopae Settlement Study and Potential Population Dynamics Implications
  8. Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for Crab Fishermen
  9. Status of Derelict Crab Trap Removal and Crab Promotion and Marketing Accounts
  10. Update on Fisheries Disaster Assistance Programs
  11. Update on MSC Certification of the Blue Crab Fishery
  12. Proposed Legislation to allow for Travel Reimbursement for Crab Task Force members
  13. Proposal to Increase Minimum Harvest Size for Blue Crabs
  14. Other Business
  15. Next Meeting / Agenda
  16. Adjournment

For more information on the Task Force, contact Carl Britt at 985-882-0027 or cbritt@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. 

L.D.W.F. Agents Cite Eight Louisianans for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 03/21/2011

March 21, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited eight Louisiana individuals for alleged oyster violations on March 18 in Calcasieu Lake in Cameron Parish.

Agents cited Arthur Rene Guidry, 34, of Lake Charles; Casey Ray Richard, 25, of Sulphur; Kenneth Rammie Levergne, 53, of Sulphur; Misty L. Wood, 35, of Sulphur; Jimmy Leslie Constance III, 30, of Hackberry; Robert Scott Dupre, 39, of Sulphur; Jimmy Don Hammett, 57, of Sulphur; and Joseph Swire, 29, of Sulphur; for unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms in Calcasieu Lake.

Agents also cited Guidry, Constance III and Hammett for failing to display proper numbers on an oyster vessel.

Agents observed four oyster vessels engaged in harvesting oysters in a closed area on the lake. The vessels and occupants were escorted back to the landing where all eight of the fishermen were cited for the violations and released.

Agents seized the four vessels and dredges and returned the oysters to the water.

Unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms carries a fine between $400 and $950, or jail time up to 120 days or both plus court costs and forfeiture of anything seized. Failing to display proper numbers on an oyster vessel brings a $50 fine or jail time up to 15 days.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Remy Broussard, Senior Agents Beau Robertson, Sean Moreau and Carl Pickett and Agent Cody Soileau.

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

Three Men Cited for Shark Violations in Federal Waters

Release Date: 03/18/2011

March 18, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents assigned to the statewide strike force cited three men fishing violations in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico on March 17.

Agents cited James Braddock, 32, of Empire; Anthony Pellegrini, 25, of Pearl River; and Andrew Prest, 60, of Buras; for possessing 67 blacktip sharks in federal waters without the required Federal Shark Permit. The limit for large coastal sharks per trip and per day is 33.

Violating shark regulations brings a $100 to $350 fine, or up to 60 days in jail or both. Failing to comply with federal law in the Exclusive Economic Zone carries a fine from $900 to $950, or up to 120 days in jail or both.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agent Michael Williams, Agent Cody Soileau and Agent Charles Talbert.

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

LDWF Schedules Public Meetings to Discuss Proposed Regulation Changes

Release Date: 03/16/2011

Anglers are encouraged to provide their input regarding changes to Louisiana and Texas’s bordering waters

March 16, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host three public meetings to present proposed recreational harvest regulations for freshwater game fish on the waters of the Toledo Bend Reservoir, Caddo Lake and Sabine River. The proposed regulations were developed in an effort to establish uniform regulations governing Louisiana and Texas’s bordering waters.

Public comment will be taken on all items under consideration by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission through May 5. The meeting dates and locations include:

  • April 4 at 7 p.m., SRA Office, 15091 Texas Hwy, Many, LA
  • April 5 at 7 p.m., LDWF Office, 9961 Hwy. 80, Minden, LA 
  • April 7 at 7 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy, Lake Charles, LA

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed regulations changes, visit our website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/proposedregulations. Public comment will be accepted through May 5 and can be submitted directly to Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov, or by mail at P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.

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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225)765-5113.

Grass Carp Used to Combat Aquatic Weeds

Release Date: 03/15/2011

5,000 Triploid Grass Carp stocked into Spring Bayou in Avoyelles Parish

March 15, 2011 - Biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recently stocked Spring Bayou with triploid grass carp as part of a continued effort to help control unwanted aquatic vegetation.

This is the second installment of grass carp into this complex of shallow sloughs, bayous and lakes. A stocking of 11,000 carp was made in early 2008. Unfortunately, desired results were not achieved due to the effects of Hurricane Gustav that included extensive fish kills.

Aquatic vegetation control in the system was once naturally achieved by water level fluctuations of the Red River, but a dam installed on Little River in 1955 stabilized water levels and curtailed backwater flooding. The absence of water fluctuation, combined with the introduction of the invasive aquatic plant hydrilla, has created the need for extensive control measures.

Dredging, water manipulation and herbicides have all been used with limited success.

Control by use of grass carp was reserved until all other methods were given ample opportunity.

While use of a biological control measure is an attractive alternative to drawdowns or the long-terms use of expensive herbicides, success using this control method is variable. Potential flood events may allow many of the stocked carp to escape the system.

Triploid grass carp are sterile, thus eliminating the concern of the species forming breeding populations in the Spring Bayou or neighboring water systems. However, the risk is that remaining numbers may not be adequate to control the vegetation problem. “At this stage, when boaters aren’t even able to use the complex, we’re willing to try it,” said Mike Wood, LDWF Director of Inland Fisheries.

The stocking was a cooperative effort of the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury, Spring Bayou Restoration Team and Avoyelles Wildlife Federation. The effort received strong support from Sen. Eric LaFleur and Rep. Robert Johnson.

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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225)765-5113.

Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and NOAA Begin Regional Survey of the Economic Contributions of Saltwater Angling

Release Date: 03/09/2011

March 7, 2011 - The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) and NOAA are surveying saltwater anglers across the Gulf of Mexico to update and improve estimates of the overall economic contributions of saltwater recreational fishing to the Gulf and U.S. economy. This study is part of the 2011 National Marine Recreational Fishing Expenditure Survey.

“This is the kind of new and enhanced information that will help several levels of recreational fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Larry Simpson, GSMFC Executive Director.

NOAA, GSMFC, and the saltwater angling community need timely economic data to help evaluate the economic importance of recreational fishing activities. The data will give a more updated look at the economic effects of fishing regulations and changes in the ecosystem caused by natural or manmade events such as the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. The information gathered in the survey will contribute to more informed decisions on a variety of recreational fishing issues.

NOAA and the GSMFC will survey a random sampling of the approximately 3 million saltwater anglers in the five Gulf states and Puerto Rico. The survey will include a random sampling of people who fish from shore, docks, party or charter boats and privately owned boats. Surveying began in January and will continue throughout the year in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico. It will begin in Texas in March and April. This is NOAA’s and GSMFC’s second survey focusing on how much saltwater anglers spend on their sport throughout the Gulf region.

GSMFC and its state partners will ask anglers how long their fishing trips last and how much they spend on bait, boat fuel, ice, charter fees and other expenses. Anglers will also be asked to participate in a follow-up survey that will ask them to estimate what they spent on durable goods such as boats and fishing tackle used for saltwater angling for the previous 12 months. Those who participate in both parts of the survey will help NOAA and GSMFC produce accurate economic information.

Economists from NOAA’s Fisheries Service and the GSMFC as well as state partners are assisting with the 2011 survey. Once the economic data are collected, they will be analyzed and released as a NOAA report. The most recent economic study in 2008 showed that anglers’ expenditures generated more than $12 billion in sales and supported more than 113,000 jobs throughout the Gulf region.

The GSMFC’s principal objectives include the conservation, development, and full utilization of the fishery resources of the Gulf of Mexico in order to provide food, employment, income, and recreation to the people of these United States.

CONTACT: Alex Miller
GSMFC Economist 
228.875.5912
amiller@gsmfc.org 
Sabrina Lovell
NOAA Economist
301.713.2328 x101
2011NES@noaa.gov

Louisiana and Texas Establish Consistent Regulations for Recreational Fishing on Shared Waters

Release Date: 03/04/2011

Changes to become effective September 1, 2011

March 4, 2011 - In a historic move, Louisiana and Texas will soon adopt consistent recreational fishing regulations governing their bordering waters. Biologists from the two states have agreed upon regulations that are biologically sound and consistent on both sides of the boundary.

“This monumental event results from cooperation between the two states along with the support of state Rep. James Armes,” said Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “Our department is committed to working with our state partners to provide a better fishing experience for Louisiana anglers.”

The two states share waters along most of their common border, supporting excellent recreational fisheries and attracting thousands of anglers each year. The line between the two states follows the Old Sabine River down through the middle of Toledo Bend, so anglers currently must abide by two sets of laws.

The potential for error for even the most conscientious angler is extremely high. For example, an angler with a legal fish in Louisiana can simply drift over the state line into Texas waters and be in violation of their regulations. Unfortunately, many anglers have been cited because of the unnecessary confusion.

The Texas Wildlife Commission has approved a Notice of Intent to make necessary changes on their end. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has now given official notice they intend to make the necessary changes for Louisiana.

Anglers are encouraged to provide their input regarding the changes. Louisiana public hearings will be scheduled in the Minden, Many and Lake Charles areas. Meeting dates and specific locations are being finalized and will be released soon.

With positive public approval and passage by both the Texas and Louisiana Commissions, the regulations are to be implemented on September 1, 2011.

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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225)765-5113.

DHH to Allow Oyster Harvesting in Previously Closed Oyster Area of Calcasieu Lake

Release Date: 03/03/2011

DHH to Allow Oyster Harvesting in Previously Closed Oyster Area of Calcasieu Lake

 

Please note that the previous version of this news release omitted media contacts found below.

March 3, 2011 - Officials with the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries signed orders this week to allow oyster harvesting in an 11,993 acre area of Calcasieu Lake, which previously had high fecal coliform counts. Recent tests conducted by DHH have shown the levels of fecal coliform are now below levels of any concern for health. The 11,993 acres is in the southern half of Calcasieu Lake and is part of oyster harvest Area 29.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the order this week to allow harvesting there effective one half hour prior to official sunrise March 4.

Area 29 is a conditionally managed oyster harvest area. Conditionally managed harvest areas have a set season which runs from October 15th through April 30th. The season is set due to Calcasieu river stages.

The majority of Louisiana’s 30 oyster harvest areas are open right now. Harvest Area 8, near the mouth of the Mississippi river remains closed due to high fecal coliform levels. Area 12 is partially open as crews continue cleanup of the oil spill.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH’s blog at www.myhealthla.org, Twitter at http://twitter.com/La_Health_Dept and search for the Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals on Facebook.

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 Olivia Watkins, LDWF, (225) 610-8660 owatkins@wlf.la.gov or Ken Pastorick, DHH, (225) 342-1881 ken.pastorick@la.gov .

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