fishing

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Scheduled to Meet March 15, 2011

Release Date: 03/10/2011

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, March 15 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of December 7, 2010
  3. Welcome and Opening Comments Chairman
  4. Wildlife Division Report: Proposed Hunting Seasons, Regulations Changes
  5. Enforcement Division Report
  6. Office of Fisheries: Rigs to Reefs Program
  7. Office of Management and Finance: Conservation Fund Update
  8. Coastal and Nongame Resources Division: NRDA – Natural Resource Damage Assessment
  9. Sector Separation Discussion Chairman
  10. Set Next Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.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.

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close Friday

Release Date: 02/09/2011

Feb. 9, 2011 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel will close in state water this Friday, February 11, at noon. The decision was made by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, based on data gathered by LDWF and National Marine Fisheries Service biologists, anticipating the set quota of approximately 1 million pounds had been met.

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

The season is expected to resume on July 1, 2011.

On average, Louisiana lands approximately 90 percent of the quota set for king mackerel in the western Gulf of Mexico. A significant portion of the species landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in northeast United States.

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 atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet Next Tuesday

Release Date: 01/20/2011

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet Tuesday, January 25, 2011. The meeting will convene at 10:30 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans. The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Approval of Minutes From August 27, 2010 Meeting
  2. Hearing of New Appeals
    1. Henry Martin
  3. Set next meeting date
  4. Adjourn

This board was established for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to hear and consider appeals of vessel permit denials. For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at 225-610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

State, Hornets Debut Louisiana Seafood Race at Monday’s Game

Release Date: 01/14/2011

Seafood Lovers Encouraged to Fan Up!

Hornets fans will be in for a special treat at the Monday, 2 p.m. match-up against the Toronto Raptors, as the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Office of Community Development- Disaster Recovery Unit debut the first ever interactive Louisiana Seafood Race.  

“We are proud to partner with the Hornets to promote Louisiana’s seafood industry in this creative, family-friendly way,” said Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We encourage everyone to come out and watch the first ever Louisiana Seafood Race and don’t forget to stop by the Louisiana-only seafood concession stand located in the arena on the first concourse.”

What is sure to be a fan favorite, will vie “Louie” the shrimp, “Claude” the crab and “Acme” the oyster against one another to be crowned the winner of the Louisiana Seafood Race.  At a designated time during the remainder of the Hornets 2011 games, the race will ensue and the winning character will reward an entire group of fans with a free specialty item at Acme Oyster House.  

“The entire Hornets family is proud to support the Louisiana seafood industry,” said Hornets Sr. Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Tom Ward.  “Through our partnership with the OCD, LDWF and LSPMB, we are able to communicate to the local community and the rest of the country that Louisiana seafood is back open for business. The interactive race at the arena is a fun and engaging way to send the message that local seafood is safe and fresh while providing our fans with world-class entertainment at the Hive.”

“OCD-DRU is proud to support the local fishermen and shrimpers as they continue to recover from hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” said Stacy Bonnaffons, OCD-DRU chief of staff. “The partnership with LWDF and the Hornets is a fun and creative way to boost the local seafood economy.”

In November LDWF, LSPMB and OCD-DRU announced their $300,000, three-year recovery grant partnership with the Hornets to help promote Louisiana’s seafood with a Louisiana-only seafood concession stand and other community education and outreach opportunities.  The Hornets also committed to working with the state to promote Louisiana seafood with their fans and in cities across the country.  

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.

The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225)610.2363.
 

Commercial King Mackerel Season Opens July 1

Release Date: 01/06/2011

Data indicates Louisiana lands 90 percent of Western Gulf of Mexico Quota

The 2011 commercial king mackerel season will begin July 1, 2011. The season opening date was set today at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.  Once the season opens, it will remain open until the quota of approximately 1 million pounds is met.

King mackerel is a significant commercial fishery in Louisiana.  From 2000 through 2009 Louisiana has landed, on average, an amount equal to approximately 90 percent of the allotted western Gulf of Mexico quota.  In 2009 approximately 926,000 lbs were landed in Louisiana.  A significant amount of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in the northeastern U.S., primarily for New York.

Currently, the 2010-2011 commercial king mackerel season is still open, as the established quota has not yet been harvested; however, it is expected to close prior to July 1.

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 Deslatte at (225) 610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.
 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Closes State Waters to Harvest of Gag Grouper

Release Date: 01/06/2011

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the recreational harvest of gag grouper in state waters will be prohibited effective immediately.  The latest stock assessment for the species indicates that gag grouper in the Gulf of Mexico are overfished.  

Federal fisheries managers recently announced a temporary rule that closes Gulf federal waters to recreational fishing for gag grouper.  The closure will remain in place while they develop long-term measures to improve gag grouper populations.  

The commission's actions allow regulations in state waters to complement regulations of the National Marine Fisheries Service for federally managed waters.  NMFS and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council typically request consistent regulations for Louisiana waters to enhance effectiveness and enforceability of regulations.

For more information, please contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-5113 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.  
 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Approves Oyster Lease Relocation Program

Release Date: 01/06/2011

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the Oyster Lease Relocation Program for select oyster leases that have been non-renewed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) since 1998.  This new program will move 19 oyster leases, comprising 700 water-bottom acres to a relocation area of approximately 1,483 acres east of the Mississippi in the open waters of Breton Sound.

Under existing LDWF policy, oyster leases that lie completely within the public oyster seed grounds are not renewable following the expiration of the original 15-year lease term. The Oyster Lease Relocation Program offers the 19 identified leaseholders who are subject to this non-renewal policy, an opportunity to obtain a replacement lease of equal size in a new area.

The relocation area was determined jointly by LDWF and the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, in consultation with the Louisiana Oyster Task Force. Prior to being chosen, the relocation area received extensive investigation to determine its appropriateness in terms of suitable water bottom, firmness, salinity regime, and conflicts with existing oil and gas infrastructure (pipelines, wells, etc.).
    
Following a public comment period, the Commission will consider ratifying a final rule for the Oyster Lease Relocation Program at its May meeting.

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 Deslatte at (225) 610-2363 (ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov).

Oyster Season Remains Closed East of the Mississippi and in Hackberry Bay

Release Date: 01/06/2011

Originally scheduled to open Nov. 15, season opening will be reevaluated at Feb. 3 Commission meeting

The 2010-2011 oyster season for public seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and in Hackberry Bay will remain closed for now. The season, which was originally supposed to open Nov. 15, 2010, has been under evaluation each month at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meetings since November. The Commission has elected to keep the season closed each month in order to allow oyster spat (young oysters less than one inch in length) to develop.  

Samples taken by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists throughout the fall and winter of 2010 indicated the presence of a reproductive event in some areas east of the Mississippi River. The reproductive event resulted in the presence of significant numbers of oyster spat.  This spat set represents potential rebound of the oyster resources in this area for future years.

Significant oyster mortalities were also previously documented during summertime biological sampling in some areas, which further decreased an already stressed oyster resource. The continued season delay will help to protect and conserve the remaining oyster resources located in these areas.  

The public grounds east of the Mississippi River contribute approximately 28 percent of all oyster harvest in Louisiana on an annual basis, but are currently at some of their lowest oyster availability levels in the last 20 years.

All remaining public oyster areas throughout the coast will continue with the current oyster season framework as set by the Commission at their August 2010 meeting.  Most of these areas opened to harvest on November 15, 2010.

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 Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.
 

Small Coastal Shark Season Opens January 1

Release Date: 12/30/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced that the 2011 season for small non-sandbar coastal sharks in Louisiana state waters will open January 1, 2011.  LDWF Secretary Robert Barham sets the season in coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service and shark seasons in federal waters.

The non-sandbar small coastal shark group is composed of bonnethead, Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose and finetooth sharks.  The 2010 non-sandbar small coastal shark season was previously closed in November.

The non-sandbar small coastal shark (SCS) fishery is very small in Louisiana and is primarily incidental in nature.  The annual Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico quota for SCS is approximately 1 million pounds.

The 2011 non-sandbar large coastal shark season will open on March 1, 2011.

Information on current regulation for non-sandbar small coastal sharks including trip limits, allowable species, requirements for permits and landings is available here: http://www.gulfcouncil.org/fishing_regulations/index.php.

There is no allowable harvest at any time of prohibited species, which include: Basking, white, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel, Caribbean sharpnose, smalltail, bignose, Caribbean reef, dusky, Galapagos, narrowtooth, night, bigeye sixgill, bigeye thresher, longfin mako, sevengill and sixgill sharks.

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 Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or 225-610-8660.

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