General

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LDWF ANNOUNCES RETURN TO NORMAL FISHING ACTIVITY EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI

Release Date: 09/23/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, has ordered an emergency reopening of all fishing in 559 square miles of state waters east of the Mississippi River previously closed due to the BP oil spill. With today's action 92 percent of state waters are open.

Commercial fishing will reopen immediately today, September 23, to the harvest of finfish, crabs and shrimp in all state waters east of the Mississippi River north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude. The openings also include the recreational harvest of shrimp and crabs.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

State inside waters in the Mississippi River delta south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and adjacent state outside waters south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and portions of state waters in the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice.

While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana's seafood, these openings do not include the harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH.

For additional information, please contact Laura Deslatte at (225) 610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

 

2010-274

Lake Bistineau Update - Sept. 22, 2010

Several weeks ago, the gates at the control structure on Lake Bistineau were closed in an effort to slowly increase water levels.  Unlike last year, there has been very little precipitation in the watersheds, resulting in no water level increase above the 7 foot drawdown capacity.  

As expected, giant salvinia, especially in protected areas/pockets has increased in coverage.  

The gates will remain closed until water levels rise and salvinia coverage is evaluated at the increased water levels.  When water levels allow, we plan to initiate water level fluctuations to strand the salvinia.  Please note that water fluctuation efforts may occur prior to the lake reaching pool stage.   Rain events drive water levels in the lake.  Therefore, the department cannot provide a timeframe for fluctuation events based on this unknown.  

Part of our plan also includes continued herbicide applications on the lake.  However, maneuvering equipment for these treatments is tedious and dangerous due to low lake levels and stumpage.  Currently, some shallow areas appear to be inundated with the plant.  Many of these areas remain inaccessible to herbicide treatments, but once lake levels rise, the salvinia will disperse over a much larger space.  As the plants move to new areas, we anticipate they will be more susceptible to stranding due to water level manipulation in combination with herbicide treatments.  

Webster Parish has submitted a funding assistance request to develop a new boating access facility at the Port of Bistineau to allow boating access during drawdown periods.  The department will consider this request once parish officials submit a finalized application.  

Those interested in removing cypress trees during the drawdown period are asked to contact James Seales (318) 371-3063 in our Minden office.  We will consider issuance of a permit on a case by case basis, based on the need.   We require that all trees be cut to the mud line and removed from the lake.  

Mapping of the lake bottom is not expected to be complete until the lake level reaches pool stage sometime this winter.  A contour map is necessary to finish our assessment of shallow lagoons in preparation of our request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct specific dirt work.  These lagoons serve as an exceptional habitat for salvinia growth.  In our plan, we discuss the need to address those areas cut off from draining during drawdown events.  

A fly-over of the lake is planned in the near future to help us understand more about giant salvinia coverage during the drawdown and identify those areas cut off from draining.

Please continue to use our Website to submit your comments and questions.  Your input is important to us, and we encourage everyone to stay actively engaged.
   
Mark McElroy

Fisheries Biologist
 

Red Snapper Season to Reopen on Weekends Beginning October 1

Release Date: 09/22/2010

Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced recreational fishing for red snapper will reopen in state waters on Friday, October 1, 2010.  The season will remain open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout Sunday, November 21.  The season will then remain closed until June 1, 2011.
 
NOAA Regional Administrator, Roy Crabtree, sent a letter to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham this week, requesting the reopening of red snapper season in state waters to match the federal season reopening.  
 
NOAA officials chose to reopen the season for red snapper due to the significant fishing closures issued this summer as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Figures suggest the recreational red snapper quota was not met at the July 24, 2010 closure date and that approximately 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4 million pound quota remains.  
 
All regulations established for recreational harvest of red snapper will be in effect for this special season.  
 
Secretary Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their January 2010 meeting to change or modify opening and closing dates for the recreational red snapper season in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters will coincide with regulations for federally managed waters.

For more information, contact Harry Blanchet at hblanchet@wlf.la.gov or 225/765-2889.

 

2010-273

Monterey Man Cited for Numerous Wildlife Charges

Release Date: 09/22/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Monterey man for alleged deer hunting violations in Concordia Parish on Sept 7.

Seth M. Paul, 25, of Monterey, was cited for taking deer during a closed season, taking deer during illegal hours, taking deer with an illegal weapon, hunting without a license, discharging a firearm from the levee road and hunting from a moving vehicle.

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office was at Paul's residence investigating other charges when they came across evidence of wildlife violations and they then contacted Senior Agent Joey Merrill.  Merrill arrived and found parts of deer carcass lying in the yard, blood in Paul’s truck bed and blood on the pavement.  Paul admitted to killing a deer at night and a hog off the levee several days before.

The penalty for hunting deer during illegal hours is a fine between $900 and $950, or up to 120 days in jail, or both plus court cost.  Taking a deer with an illegal weapon is a fine between $100 and $350, or up to 60 days in jail, or both plus court cost.  Taking deer during a closed season is a fine between $900 and $950, or 120 days in jail, or both plus court cost.  Hunting without a basic hunting license is a fine of $50, or up to 15 days in jail or both.  Hunting from a moving vehicle is a fine between $250 and $500, or up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court cost.

For more information, contact Captain Peter Oliver at 318-487-5634 or poliver@wlf.la.gov.
 

2010-272

Six Men Cited for Fishing Violations on East Carroll Parish Waters

Release Date: 09/22/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited six men for allegedly taking and possessing over the limit of freshwater bass on four different days in September in East Carroll Parish.

On Sept. 10, agents found Stephen M. Lewis, 50, of Clinton Miss., with 14 bass in his live well in Albemarle Lake.  On Sept. 11, an agent returned to Albemarle Lake and found Robert Purvis, 56, of Tallulah, in possession of 11 bass.

On Sept 16, agents found Leigh T. Fraysier, 47, and Brannon Cooper, 56, both of Vicksburg, Miss., fishing in Chotard Lake and in possession of 22 bass.  Each subject claimed to have taken an equal amount of fish.  Therefore, both subjects were charged with taking and possessing over the limit of freshwater bass.  

On Sept. 20, agents found Tony Wuarnock, 51, of Jackson, Miss., to be in possession of 11 bass.  During the same patrol, agents contacted a separate vessel occupied by Charles M. Bryant Jr., 39, also of Jackson, Miss., and found him to be in possession of 11 bass.

The daily limit for largemouth bass is 10 per person.

The six men face fines up to $350, or jail time up to 30 days, or both plus court costs.  A court order for restitution for the value of the illegally taken fish will also be filed with the case.

Agents involved in the cases were Sgt. Wayne Parker, Sgt. Darren Bruce, Sgt. James Hagan and Senior Agent Justin Lee.

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

 

2010-271

University Study Programs

LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources

Nicholls State University

BS Biology-Marine Biology Concentration
MS Marine and Envionmental Biology

University of Louisiana at Lafayette 

MS Biology - classes in marine biology, ecology and evolutionary biology focus
PhD Biology - classes in marine biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology focus

Northwestern

Biology focus, Minor in Wildlife Management

Southern

Ag Center aquaculture waste utilization research, Dr. Calvin Walker

Southeastern

BS in Biology (ecology, environmental biology, and evolutionary biology focus)
MS in Biology (wetland ecology, conservation biology focus)

University of New Orleans

BS in Biology (conservation biology, community ecology, ichthyology)
MS in Biology
PhD in Conservation Biology

University of New Orleans

BS in Earth and Environmental Science (EES) in environmental science and policy
MS in EES (coastal marine geology focus)
PhD in EES

Louisiana Tech

 

University of Louisiana at Monroe

Bodcau WMA

Operated By: 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Address: 

Bodcau Wildlife Management Area
168 Ben Durden Rd.
Haughton, LA 71037

Contact Information: 
318-326-3225

Shooting Accommodations - Rifle & Handgun Range - 25, 50, & 200 yards

Shotgun Range - Manual arget Throwers Available

Archery Range - Stationary Field Targets  - up to 50 yards

DAYS OF OPERATION- FRIDAY, SATURDAY, & SUNDAY. RANGE CLOSED NOVEMEBR 15th

TIMES OF OPERATION-  7:00 AM TILL 5:00 PM

Range Fee - Free of Charge

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Range 318-326-3225
Minden Office 318-371-3050
mbothel@wlf.la.gov

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 09/15/2010

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010 - 1:30 p.m.
Louisiana Room
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries Headquarters
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La.  70808

1.    Roll Call

2.    Approval of Minutes of March 16, 2010

3.    Welcome and Opening Comments Chairman

4.    Enforcement Division Report: Oil Spill Response

5.    Bird Rescue Mission: Oil Spill Response Office of Wildlife, Coastal & Non-game Resources Division

6.    2010-11 Duck Season Forecast / Oil Spill Impacts on Habitat Office of Wildlife, Wildlife Division

7.    Fisheries Report: Oil Spill Response Office of Fisheries, Research Division

8.    Set Next Meeting Date

9.    Receive Public Comments

10.    Adjournment

 

 

2010-269

LDWF Secretary Again Asks BP to Fund an Extensive Seafood Testing, Certification and Marketing Plan

Release Date: 09/15/2010

New plan calls for five-year program to restore consumer confidence in Louisiana seafood

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham wrote to BP Global Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley urging the funding of a $173 million plan to ensure the safety of Louisiana seafood and restore consumer confidence.

The text of the letter is below:

 

September 15, 2010

Robert Dudley
Chief Executive Officer
BP Global

 

Dear Mr. Dudley:

I write to express my strong disappointment with BP’s resistance to support our crippled Louisiana seafood industry.  As our state endeavors to rebuild consumer confidence in our seafood products, we have requested that BP fund a five-year testing and marketing program that is essential to restoring consumer confidence in Louisiana seafood.

It is without question that your company appreciates the importance of public perception, as demonstrated by its spending in excess of $100 million in advertising, image promotion and damage control.  However, recent events have made it clear that BP’s appreciation for public perception is nonexistent when it comes to Louisiana’s seafood industry. BP representatives made it clear that, in their opinion, there is no negative public perception of Louisiana seafood as a result of the oil spill and that no certified quality or marketing program would be necessary for the Louisiana seafood industry to recover from the devastation that your spill caused.

That “opinion” of BP’s is fundamentally disconnected from reality. The Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism reports that approximately 50 percent of those surveyed nationwide believe that Louisiana restaurants may be putting their customers at risk due to contaminated product. The same study also shows that 44 percent of consumers believe that seafood is being harvested from areas where oil is still present and nearly half of all respondents believe that Louisiana oyster beds are still contaminated from the spill. Another study by the University of Minnesota reports that 44 percent of those surveyed said they would not eat seafood from the Gulf, and a poll by the Associated Press in August 2010 found that 54 percent of consumers are concerned about the safety of Gulf seafood.

BP has already refused our 20-year testing plan. Now, BP officials have also refused to support a five-year testing plan. Further, BP informed us that it will not entertain the possibility of automatic renewals, or even negotiations, for future testing.  This preemptive refusal of even the possibility of longer-term testing is being maintained by your company, in spite of our offer to base future testing program renewals on future test results, market share, and/or production criteria.   

Further, BP suggested that we wait until our seafood industry suffers greater losses caused by the negative perception that Gulf seafood is contaminated due to the BP oil spill.  The idea that we would need to wait until the industry suffers further before employing a full-scale campaign to test our seafood, certify it and publicize that it is safe is insulting to our seafood industry and all the fishermen, restaurant owners and residents of the Gulf Coast who continue to be affected by the spill.  

The entire point of promoting and certifying seafood safety is so that we do NOT wait until the industry suffers to the point where it is not able to come back at all. It does no good to wait until market share reduction and price collapses are verified only to then try to start rebuilding our brand as some of the finest seafood in the world.  It will be too late to regain such a tremendous loss, and also serve as an avoidable punishment for the people of coastal Louisiana who have already suffered too much from this BP manmade disaster.

I ask that you reconsider your position, and honor your publically made commitment to the Gulf Coast to not deny any claim and commit to making our people and our industry whole again following this environmental catastrophe.

 

Very Truly Yours,

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham
State of Louisiana

 

2010-268

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