Fishing

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.

LWF Commission Closes State Waters to Recreational Harvest of Gag Grouper

Release Date: 01/05/2012

January 5, 2012 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action today to extend the closure for the recreational harvest of gag grouper in state waters until June 2, 2012. 

Today’s action ensures that regulations in Louisiana waters are consistent with those of federally managed waters. 

This closure also prohibits anyone on board a vessel for which a federal commercial or charter/headboat permit for the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish fishery has been issued from harvesting or possessing gag grouper in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

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

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

 

LWF Commission Sets Commercial King Mackerel Season

Release Date: 01/05/2012

January 5, 2012 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2012 commercial king mackerel season to begin July 1, 2012. Once the season opens, it will remain open until the quota set for the Gulf of Mexico of approximately 1 million pounds is met.

King mackerel is a significant commercial fishery in Louisiana.  From 2000 through 2011 Louisiana has landed approximately 87 percent of the allotted western Gulf of Mexico quota.  In 2011 approximately 690,000 pounds were landed in Louisiana.  A considerable portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in the northeastern United States.

Currently, the 2010-2011 commercial king mackerel season is closed as the established quota has been harvested.

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.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

 

LDWF Announces Annual Caney Creek Reservoir Public Meeting

Release Date: 12/21/2011

(Dec. 21, 2011) -The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public hearing on Caney Creek Reservoir issues, including the results of recent fish population sampling and aquatic vegetation management.  LDWF established a management plan for Caney Creek Reservoir in 2006, which provides annual public hearings to update the public on ongoing projects.

Who:  LDWF officials

What: Public meeting on Caney Creek Reservoir

When: January 23, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Jimmie Davis State Park
              Conference Center
              1209 State Park Road
              Chatham, LA 71226

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.

 

Louisiana Inshore Waters to Close for Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 12/14/2011

 

Dec. 14, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced today that the fall shrimp season will close in a majority of inshore waters on Tuesday, December 20 at sunset.  The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur sounds and other areas located within Shrimp Management Zone 1, will remain open until further notice.

This closure date coincides with the December 20 closure of a portion of state outside waters approved earlier this month by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.  These closures historically take place at this time of year when the temporary exemption from the white shrimp minimum possession size of 100 count per pound expires. 

Current sampling conducted by LDWF biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in these waters is smaller than 100 count per pound, and this action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.

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

  • The portion of Shrimp Management Zone 1 north of the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) including the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW) north of the Parish Road Bridge
  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur sounds as described the double-rig line in R.S.56:495.1.(A)2
  • 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
  • State outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line west of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

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.

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

 

LDWF Announces Closure of Seed-Oyster Harvest in Public Areas East of the Mississippi River

Release Date: 11/10/2011

Seed-Oyster Harvest Closure  11.14.11

November 10, 2011 –Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham signed an order to close seed-oyster harvest in selected public oyster areas east of the Mississippi River effective Monday, November 14, at one-half hour past sunset. 

The harvest of legal-size oysters (≥ 3 inches) for market sales is allowed to continue in these areas until further notice. 

The following areas are affected by the seed-oyster harvest closure:

1.      The public oyster seed grounds north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; and

2.      The public oyster seed grounds and reservations south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and west of a line that generally runs from California Point northeast to Point Gardner.

These areas were determined by LDWF biologist to hold only small amounts of seed oyster stock and a significant portion of the available stock has been harvested thus far during the 2011/2012 oyster season.  Additionally, sampling of seed-oyster loads on commercial vessels has determined that excessive amounts of non-living cultch material (reef shell, etc.) is being removed during seed harvest.  This activity threatens the long-term sustainability of the reefs by removing critical settlement substrate upon which oyster larvae settle and grow.  Based on current harvest pressure and the estimated low oyster stock size, these areas should be closed to protect from further impacts. 

All other details, rules and regulations of the 2011/2012 oyster season remain in effect until further notice.

For the latest on the 2011/2012 oyster season visit:   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons

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.

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

LDWF Officials Reach an Agreement with Temple Inland for Fish Kill

Release Date: 11/07/2011

Settlement of $760,245.86 will ensure ongoing sampling of fish in Pearl River and continued restoration efforts

November 7, 2011 – This afternoon, officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reached an agreement with Temple Inland for the civil restitution of the August fish kill that killed an estimated 590,000 fish and freshwater mussels. The Pearl River fish kill, caused by low levels of dissolved oxygen resulting from discharge that exceeded their permitted levels released over the course of several days by the Temple Inland paper mill, is estimated to have killed more than 160,000 fish and more than 430,000 freshwater mussels. The settlement with Temple Inland includes the Louisiana portion of the fish and mussels included in the kill, all expenditures by LDWF involved in the fish kill response effort, a planned three-year recovery and monitoring plan, and the costs to restock portions of the Pearl River with largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish.

The total value for the fish included in the kill was $816,022.40. LDWF officials worked to recover half of the total value, which was $408,011.20; officials with Mississippi are responsible to recover their portion of civil restitution values -- the remainder of the total estimated value.

In addition to the $408,011.20, the settlement included nearly $44,000 for expenditures made by LDWF during the fish kill response, approximately $88,000 for the planned three-year recovery and monitoring plan along the Pearl River, and restocking efforts to the tune of $220,400. The combined total of all of these parts is $760,245.86.

“Today’s settlement allows us to put to rest the civil restitution for fish and mussels so that we may focus on the truly important part of our work, restocking, restoring and improving access for recreational fishing in the Pearl River,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

Last week, LDWF fisheries biologists stocked 27,000 catfish and 24,000 bluegill at various points along the Pearl River in response to the August fish kill.

“We are ready to continue stocking, habitat restoration and access projects throughout the Pearl River,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “We know that with dedication and commitment to restoration projects in the Pearl River it may be an even more exciting place for anglers from all over the southeast to fish for years to come.”

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) 765-5113.

LDWF Brings New Life to Pearl River

Release Date: 11/02/2011

LDWF Fisheries Technician Mickey Miller displays a net full of channel catfish fingerlings, less than a year old.
Thousands of fish, reared at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in central Louisiana, are released into the Pearl River.
Thousands of fish, reared at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in central Louisiana, are released into the Pearl River.

Nearly 30,000 catfish and 24,000 bluegill fingerlings stocked

(Nov. 2, 2011) – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists took the first step in restoring fish to the Pearl River this afternoon by releasing thousands of fish into the river.  Approximately 30,000 channel catfish and 24,000 bluegill fingerlings were stocked at sites along the river in St. Tammany and Washington parishes. 

The stocking enhances the recovery of local fish populations following the Temple-Inland incident that killed over 500,000 fish and freshwater mussels in the river.  Although the fish population is expected to recover naturally, extra fingerlings were allocated to Pearl River to speed up the natural process.  Anglers have already reported catching fish in the affected area, prior to the stocking. 

“The department recognizes how important fishing in the Pearl River is to the local communities and anglers of south Louisiana,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “And we are making great efforts to restore the river as quickly as possible.”

The fish were raised and distributed from the Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in central Louisiana.  The native fish were spawned this spring and are less than a year old.

“This is a healthy batch of fish.  They are about 4 to 5 inches long and average 40 fish per pound.  Because of their size, survival rates are expected to be high,” said Director of Inland Fisheries Mike Wood. “The fish were dispersed in multiple areas with optimal habitat to increase their chances of survival.”

The Department is currently in the preliminary stages of assessment following a fish kill caused by a discharge from Temple-Inland Paper Mill in Bogalusa, La.  Prescribed values for each impacted fish and mussel were recently submitted to Temple-Inland for review. 

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) 765-5113.

FALL SPECKLED TROUT TOURNAMENT

Date: 
Sat, 10/22/2011

•        Presented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

•        Saturday, October 22, 2011

•        The Dock/Dockside Bait & Tackle, Slidell, LA

•        Tag & Release tournament

•        $100 entry fee per team

•        For teams consisting of 3 members, only 2 of the teams may be 16 or older

•        Scales will be open all day, and there will be hourly prize winners.

•        For more information and to register, visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com

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