Fishing

Additional Public Oyster Areas Set to Open October 29

Release Date: 10/25/2012

Oyster Area 10/29/12

Oct. 25, 2012 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds the public the 2012/2013 oyster season on the majority of public oyster seed grounds is set to begin Monday, October 29, 2012.  The opening date of the oyster season was determined by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at its August 2012 meeting.   

Two public oyster areas, the Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds and the Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds, were previously opened on September 5, 2012 and commercial oyster harvest continues to be documented from those areas. 

The area of the public grounds east of the Mississippi River and south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, are a “sacking only” area for the 2012/2013 season and no seed oyster harvest is allowed.

The oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH harvest area 30) shall open at one-half hour before sunrise on Thursday, November 1, 2012.  The sack limit during this time period is set at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day.

The areas remaining closed for the 2012/2013 oyster season include the Public Oyster Seed Reservations in Bay Gardene and Sister Lake, the 2011 cultch plants in Mississippi Sound and California Bay within the coordinates listed below, and the 2012 cultch plants in Hackberry Bay, South Black Bay (Bay Crab), and Lake Fortuna within the coordinates listed below. 

 

Mississippi Sound (2011) – St. Bernard Parish

A.  30 degrees 07 minutes 17.56 seconds N

      89 degrees 27 minutes 52.39 seconds W

B.  30 degrees 07 minutes 26.94 seconds N

      89 degrees 27 minutes 36.20 seconds W

C.  30 degrees 07 minutes 07.11 seconds N

       89 degrees 26 minutes 45.48 seconds W

D.  30 degrees 06 minutes 40.93 seconds N

      89 degrees 27 minutes 14.09 seconds W

 

California Bay (2011) – Plaquemines Parish

A.  29 degrees 30 minutes 40.42 seconds N

      89 degrees 34 minutes 03.19 seconds W

B.  29 degrees 30 minutes 27.18 seconds N

      89 degrees 33 minutes 21.85 seconds W

C.  29 degrees 29 minutes 54.99 seconds N

      89 degrees 33 minutes 20.24 seconds W

D.  29 degrees 30 minutes 02.74 seconds N

      89 degrees 34 minutes 03.93 seconds W

 

Hackberry Bay (2012) – Lafourche Parish

A.  29 degrees 25 minutes 21.16 seconds N

      90 degrees 02 minutes 59.53 seconds W

B.  29 degrees 24 minutes 58.30 seconds N

      90 degrees 02 minutes 51.34 seconds W

C.  29 degrees 24 minutes 29.25 seconds N

      90 degrees 03 minutes 24.92 seconds W

D.  29 degrees 24 minutes 45.37 seconds N

      90 degrees 03 minutes 35.33 seconds W

 

Lake Fortuna (2012) – St. Bernard Parish

A.  29 degrees 39 minutes 08.04 seconds N

      89 degrees 30 minutes 28.93 seconds W

B.  29 degrees 38 minutes 33.31 seconds N

      89 degrees 29 minutes 15.45 seconds W

C.  29 degrees 38 minutes 10.57 seconds N

      89 degrees 29 minutes 40.71 seconds W

D.  29 degrees 39 minutes 04.41 seconds N

      89 degrees 30 minutes 32.61 seconds W

 

South Black Bay (2012) – Plaquemines Parish

A.  29 degrees 34 minutes 41.72 seconds N

      89 degrees 36 minutes 22.86 seconds W

B.  29 degrees 34 minutes 31.45 seconds N

      89 degrees 35 minutes 48.68 seconds W

C.  29 degrees 34 minutes 08.12 seconds N

      89 degrees 36 minutes 07.94 seconds W

D.  29 degrees 34 minutes 23.03 seconds N

      89 degrees 36 minutes 43.20 seconds W

 

In addition, the east side of Calcasieu Lake (Department of Health and Hospitals’ harvest area 29) and the Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area shall remain closed for the entire 2012/2013 oyster season.

Oyster harvesters are also reminded that in addition to normal licenses required for the harvest of oysters, special permits are also required to fish specific public oyster areas.  In Calcasieu Lake, all harvesters are required to hold a valid Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permit.  The Calcasieu Lake permit is free of charge and is available from the Baton Rouge office of LDWF.  Harvesters fishing all other public oyster areas are required to fish only from a commercial vessel which holds a valid Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit.  The application deadline for the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit is December 31, 2012.

 

Delay on a Portion Public Seed Ground East of the Mississippi River to Protect Developing Oysters

While a majority of the public seed grounds are set to open, oyster season is delayed until further notice in a portion of the public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River in an effort to protect recently-settled young oysters, called spat.  The oyster season was originally scheduled to open in this area on October 29, 2012.  The delay includes that area of the public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River, south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, and north of a line of latitude at 29 degrees 34 minutes 48.0 seconds north. 

The decision was made that the protection of the oyster spat is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area of the public oyster seed grounds as they represent the future oyster resource in an area where oyster stocks are at historic lows.

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.

See attached map detailing these opening, closures and delays. 

For more information please contact lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623

LWF Commission Modifies Creel Limit on D’Arbonne Lake

Release Date: 10/04/2012

Oct. 4, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took final action to decrease the daily creel limit for crappie in D'Arbonne Lake from 50 to 25.  The change is in response to concerns of overfishing that some anglers have expressed.   

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 press inquiries please contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.

LDWF WMAs and Refuges Reopening Sept. 1, Habitat Damage Assessment Continues

Release Date: 08/31/2012

Aug. 31, 2012 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will reopen 21 state wildlife management areas (WMAs) and refuges on Sept. 1. All had been closed in advance of Hurricane Isaac’s landfall. Flood waters and access roads blocked by storm debris are still preventing site openings in some areas.

Sites opening Sept. 1 include: The Acadiana Conservation Corridor, Atchafalaya Delta, Attakapas, Biloxi, Grassy Lake, Hutchinson Creek, Lake Boeuf, Marsh Island, Pass a Loutre, Pointe au Chenes (except Point Farms area), Pomme de Terre, Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge (except East End boat launch construction area), Salvador-Timken, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Spring Bayou, State WMA, Tangipahoa, Thistlethwaite, Tunica Hills and White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.

Sites that remain closed until further notice include the following WMAs and refuges: Elm Hall (Assumption Parish); Elmer’s Island (Jefferson Parish); Joyce (Tangipahoa Parish); Lake Ramsey (St. Tammany Parish); Manchac (St. John the Baptist Parish); Maurepas Swamp (Ascension, Livingston, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes); and Pearl River (St. Tammany Parish).

The Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge is closed due to storm impacts, but will reopen on Sept. 4.

Habitat and facility damage assessments are ongoing at sites impacted by storm winds and rain, and the public is advised to proceed with caution when accessing WMAs and refuges by boat or vehicle.

For a complete list of state WMAs and refuges, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.

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.

LDWF Closes Elmer's Island Due to TS Isaac

Release Date: 08/26/2012

Aug. 26, 2012 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announces the temporary closing of Elmer's Island, located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish. The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a hurricane watch for coastal areas of Louisiana. As a precautionary and preparedness  measure Elmer's Island will remain closed 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/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or 225-721-0489.

[CORRECTION] EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF SHRIMP SEASON IN PORTIONS OF INSIDE WATERS WITHIN LAFOURCHE AND TERREBONNE PARISHES

Release Date: 08/24/2012

Shrimp Closure map

[This announcement corrects information contained within an earlier news release.] 

August 24, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham, announced an emergency closure of the fall shrimp season in portions of inside waters within Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes beginning at 6:00 pm August 27 and ending at 6:00 pm September 10.

The closure includes state inside waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche.

Recent biological samples taken by Office of Fisheries biologists in that portion of state inside waters to close indicate that large numbers of small sublegal size shrimp are present in these waters and the season is being temporarily closed to allow sufficient time for these shrimp to grow to marketable sizes. All remaining state inside waters shall remain open to shrimping.

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 Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

 

Chicot Lake Drawdown Scheduled

Release Date: 08/21/2012

Aug. 21, 2012 – The water control structure on Chicot Lake near Ville Platte, La., will be opened soon after Labor Day to allow for a lake drawdown.  The action is part of an integrated management plan developed to control submerged vegetation. 

In addition to the drawdown, the Department will continue herbicide applications, and triploid (sterile) grass carp will be introduced this winter.

Drawdowns on Chicot Lake will be conducted annually to mimic natural water fluctuation.  The target level for this year’s drawdown is two feet below pool stage.  Future drawdowns will be three foot below pool stage.

The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Jody David, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (337) 948-0255 or at jdavid@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.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov(225) 765-2396.

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close August 22

Release Date: 08/21/2012

Aug. 21, 2012– Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at noon on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the commercial season for king mackerel in federal waters on Wednesday at noon.

The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.01 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met. 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.01 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico will be harvested by August 22, 2012.

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

Shrimping in Portions of the Pontchartrain Basin to Close Saturday, July 14

Release Date: 07/10/2012

Spring Closure Map

(July 10, 2012) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 14 in the remainder of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line.

Effective with this closure, all state inside waters are closed to shrimping except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.  All state outside waters also remain open to shrimping; however, certain areas are still closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas that remain closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these areas was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

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 Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

Shrimp Season to Close Monday July 9 in Additional Portions of Inside Waters

Release Date: 07/02/2012

LA. Spring Shrimp Season Closures 7/9/12

July 2, 2012  – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 9 in portions of the Pontchartrain Basin and all of the Mississippi River, Barataria and Mermentau River basins.

This shrimp season closure includes:

State inside waters from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the eastern shore of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, and

State inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche except for the following waters:

  • Lake Pontchartrain
  • Rigolets Pass
  • Chef Menteur Pass
  • Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO)
  • The part of Lake Borgne seaward of a line extending one-half mile from the shoreline
  • The portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence due south to a point at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2; thence northerly along the double–rig line to a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 12 minutes 37.9056 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 10 minutes 57.9725 seconds west longitude; thence westerly along the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary to the point of beginning
  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these areas was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

In addition to Lake Pontchartrain, Chef and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, MRGO and Mississippi, Breton and Chandeleur Sounds, the inshore shrimp season will remain open until further notice in the following areas:

  • State inside waters from the eastern shore of the Calcasieu Ship Channel westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line
  • All State outside waters

Certain areas are still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted on the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

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 Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-0489 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

LWFC Approves Changes to Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved several rule changes concerning Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits as required by Act 541 of the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session. 

The changes include the removal of the limitation on the number of permits the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) can issue at any one time.  In addition, the qualifications for obtaining a permit are now the same for all permit applicants, which include holding current and valid commercial fisherman oyster harvester licenses.

The permit remains free of charge and is a requirement for anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Calcasieu Lake.  Permits will now be issued on a calendar year basis and will be valid for one year.  Initial application for a permit must be made at the LDWF point of sale windows in Baton Rouge.

Harvest vessels in Calcasieu Lake are required to have the permit onboard the vessel at all times while commercially harvesting oysters. 

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until August 20, 2012.  Comments may be submitted to Patrick Banks, Office of Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to pbanks@wlf.la.gov.

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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 721-0489.

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