Fishing

Louisiana Crab Task Force Seeking Input on Blue Crab Management Options

Release Date: 03/20/2018

The Louisiana Crab Task Force is seeking public comment regarding future regulations on the commercial harvest of blue crabs in Louisiana waters. At the request of the task force, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) presented management options for the 2019 crab season at the March 13, 2018, task force meeting. The four options presented were designed to reduce annual landings by an amount similar to the reduction in landings during the 30-day closure in 2017.

Overview of Management Options for 2019:

Options Presented:

Considerations:

1. Keep the current March-April 60 day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab

·      Allows female crab to move offshore to spawn

·      Longer restriction period

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Greater loss in dockside value

2. Implement 35-day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab beginning second Monday in September

 

·      Shorter restriction period than 60 day option

·      Reduced loss in dockside value

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Similar reduction in landings as the 60 day option

3. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in September

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

4. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in October

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

 

In 2016, LDWF implemented a three-year plan to increase the blue crab exploitable biomass by reducing total annual landings.  After the full 30 day closure in 2017 and the current 60-day female restriction, LDWF is continuing to work directly with the blue crab industry to provide management options that will both reduce annual landings and minimize negative impact on the industry.

Comments and Submission:

To submit feedback and public comment on the options above via an online survey, click here.

The task force is accepting input on these options as of today, March 1_, 2018, until May 3, 2018.

The task force will review results of this survey at their May 8, 2018 meeting. Sign up for task force meeting notifications online.

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.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Louisiana Crab Task Force Seeking Input on Blue Crab Management Options

Release Date: 03/20/2018

The Louisiana Crab Task Force is seeking public comment regarding future regulations on the commercial harvest of blue crabs in Louisiana waters. At the request of the task force, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) presented management options for the 2019 crab season at the March 13, 2018, task force meeting. The four options presented were designed to reduce annual landings by an amount similar to the reduction in landings during the 30-day closure in 2017.

Overview of Management Options for 2019:

Options Presented:

Considerations:

1. Keep the current March-April 60 day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab

·      Allows female crab to move offshore to spawn

·      Longer restriction period

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Greater loss in dockside value

2. Implement 35-day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab beginning second Monday in September

 

·      Shorter restriction period than 60 day option

·      Reduced loss in dockside value

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Similar reduction in landings as the 60 day option

3. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in September

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

4. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in October

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

 

In 2016, LDWF implemented a three-year plan to increase the blue crab exploitable biomass by reducing total annual landings.  After the full 30 day closure in 2017 and the current 60-day female restriction, LDWF is continuing to work directly with the blue crab industry to provide management options that will both reduce annual landings and minimize negative impact on the industry.

Comments and Submission:

To submit feedback and public comment on the options above via an online survey, click here.

The task force is accepting input on these options as of today, March 1_, 2018, until May 3, 2018.

The task force will review results of this survey at their May 8, 2018 meeting. Sign up for task force meeting notifications online.

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.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet March 20

Release Date: 03/19/2018

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

I.    Pledge of Allegiance

II.   Roll call and introduction of guests

III.  Approval of February 15, 2018 Minutes and March 20, 2018 Agenda

IV.  Treasury Report

A.      Oyster Tag Sales

B.      LOTF Financial Report

C.   Tier 2.1 Financial Disclosure Reminder

V.Committee Reports

A.      Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)

B.      Enforcement (Major Chad Hebert)

C.      Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.     Research (Earl Melancon)

E.      Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.      Marketing (LDWF)

G.      Health (Justin Gremillion)

H.     Sustainability (LDWF)

I.        Professionalism (LDWF)

J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)

K.      Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)

VI.  New Business

A.     Discussion and Updates on the 2017-18 Oyster Season- LDWF

B.     To Hear a Proposal to Change the Timing of the Dermo (Perkinsus Marinus) Sample Collections- LDWF

C.     Discussion on the Bonne Carre Spillway Opening and the Special Oyster Transplant- OTF

D.    To Hear Discussion and an Update on the Closure of Mardi Gras Pass- OTF

E.     To Hear Date Proposals for the OTF ‘Let the World Be Your Oyster’ Event- OTF

F.     Election of Officers-OTF

VII.  Public Comment

VIII. Set Next Meeting

IX.   Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3432984654095962626

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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.go

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee to Meet March 20

Release Date: 03/19/2018

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 9:30 A.M.

2021 Lakeshore Drive, STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

I.             Call to Order

II.            Pledge of Allegiance

III.           Discussion of the Draft Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting NOI- OTF

IV.           Public Comment

V.            Set next meeting

VI.           Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5664303864774758915

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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

 

Commercial Fishing For Large Coastal Sharks To Close In Louisiana Waters On March 13, 2018

Release Date: 03/13/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that effective March 13 at 11:30 p.m., commercial fishing for large coastal sharks will close in Louisiana waters. This closure is in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service, commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close on March 13, 2018.  The season will remain closed in state and federal waters until January 1, 2019, when the season is scheduled to reopen. 
 
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited.
 
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
 
LDWF reminds all recreational anglers and commercial harvesters that Louisiana waters are closed for the harvest of all sharks from April through June.  The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters will resume on July 1, 2018, after the seasonal closure ends.
   

Registration is now open to teachers for WETSHOP 2018

Release Date: 03/13/2018

Teachers participate in the beach profiling activity during WETSHOP.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is pleased to announce WETSHOP 2018, a coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers. The workshop is scheduled for July 8 – 13, 2018 at the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab.

 

The focus of this 6-day workshop is to provide teachers with an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana. Participating teachers will accrue 55 hours of instruction covering a wide variety of topics including wetland ecology, fisheries management, and coastal restoration. Teachers will also spend a portion of each day in the field learning about maritime forests, barrier island beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats and marine organisms. This year, participants will visit one of the largest coastal restoration projects in the world.

 

All participating teachers will receive standards-based correlated wetland lessons and many other educational resources from numerous sponsoring agencies and organizations. Lodging and meals are provided once participants reach the workshop site. Upon completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $250.00 stipend. An additional stipend is available during the academic year upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.

 

WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program. WETSHOP is also a collaborative effort with partners that provide experts in the field for presentations and educational materials. These agencies/organizations include: BTNEP, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Coastal Planning Protection and Restoration Act, and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

 

Teachers interested in WETSHOP 2018 can register at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wetshop. For more information, contact LDWF Biologist Supervisor Angela Capello at 318-623-4661 or acapello@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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee to Meet

Release Date: 03/13/2018

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee

Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 9:30 A.M.

2021 Lakeshore Drive, STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

I.      Call to Order

II.     Discussion of the Draft Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting NOI- OTF

III.    Discussion of Senate Bill 451 and 453- OTF

IV.    Public Comment

V.     Set next meeting

VI.    Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6016156381539214338

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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

 

Recreational Red Snapper Season in State Waters Delayed

Release Date: 03/12/2018

It is anticipated that the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will determine and announce the recreational red snapper season dates at its monthly meeting in May.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet postponed the state-waters season that had been scheduled to open in late March.  By law, the recreational red snapper season in state waters is set to open on March 24, 2018.  However, LDWF requested the Commission delay considering this topic until the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approves an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application submitted by the agency.  The EFP application requests that NOAA allow Louisiana an opportunity to test state management of recreational red snapper.

The EFP, if approved, would allow the state to manage the recreational red snapper fishery in both state and federal waters for 2018 and 2019, and allow the Commission to determine when the season should open and how many fish can be harvested per day by each angler.  

Unlike previous years, the state season will likely be concurrent with the federal red snapper season, eliminating confusion for anglers.

LDWF’s EFP application recommends that Louisiana’s red snapper season open the Friday before Memorial Day, May 25, in both state and federal waters.   However, the Commission will determine the final season opening date and daily creel limit per angler.

LDWF requested that the state receive its historical share of the overall Gulf of Mexico annual recreational harvest for the duration of this pilot project.  Based upon such historical catch data and the 2017 annual catch limit (ACL), Louisiana’s share is equal to approximately 1.1 million pounds of snapper. NOAA can opt to approve or reject that number, however, during its review and evaluation process.  Harvest toward that quota would be monitored via La Creel and other optional recreational reporting methods such as a smart-phone app and an online reporting portal.

Once the EFP is approved, LDWF will provide recommended season dates to the Commission based on the quota determined by NOAA. 

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

Release Date: 03/09/2018

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds to the harvest of seed oysters at one-half hour after sunset on Monday, March 12, 2018.  The area will remain open for the harvest of market oysters (sacking).

Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of seed oyster resources in these public oyster seed grounds. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term interest of the oyster populations in these areas.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems were encountered. The Secretary was authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if there is no longer a threat to the resource. 

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.

For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov

LDWF to Open Special Bedding Season in LDWF Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds, St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2018

LDWF to Open Special Bedding Season in LDWF Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds, St. Bernard Parish

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open a portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne to the harvest of seed oysters at one-half hour before sunrise on Monday, March 12, 2018, and shall close the special season at one-half hour after sunset on March 17, 2018. This area is currently open to the harvest of market (sack) oysters.  Both the market oyster season and special bedding season will only be open in areas of the Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds that are currently open by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH).

Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist in these public oyster seed grounds and the opening of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway may place those resources in imminent peril. The influx of freshwater from the spillway will decrease salinity in some areas, which may lead to oyster mortality.  Allowing limited harvest of the resource prior to an oyster mortality event is in the best interest of the public.  The purpose of this opening is to allow for the take of live oysters and excessive removal of non-living material will not be allowed.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if it is in the best interest of the resource.  The special season was set at a week to avoid over harvest of important non-living material necessary to maintain oyster reefs in the area.  LDWF will continue to evaluate the potential impacts to the resource and will consider additional openings if necessary.

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.

For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov.

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