Oil Spill

LDWF ANNOUNCES REOPENING OF CERTAIN RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING WATERS EFFECTIVE ONE-HALF HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE ON DECEMBER 10, 2014

Release Date: 12/09/2014

December 9, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the reopening of state waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the beaches of Elmers and Grand Terre Islands that were previously closed due to oiling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Waters will be open ½ hour before sunrise on December 10, 2014.
 
These waters have been closed to all commercial and recreational fishing except for recreational and charter boat angling.  The waters to re-open to all commercial and recreational fishing are as follows:

  • State waters seaward one quarter mile from the shoreline of the Grand Terre Islands
  • State waters seaward one quarter mile from the shoreline from Caminada Pass westward to Belle Pass

Fishermen are reminded that commercial fishing and recreational fishing except for recreational and charterboat angling remains closed within a 100-yard buffer from any shoreline in a portion of the upper Barataria Basin centered near Bay Jimmy and Bay Batiste.
LDWF is re-opening these areas to commercial fishing pursuant to agreements by state and federal officials for re-opening waters closed as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. These areas will also be re-opened to all recreational fishing.
LDWF will continue monitoring conditions to determine whether additional waters can be re-opened or whether additional closures are warranted. Reports of oil, tarballs or tar mats should be reported to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 and the Louisiana State Police at 1-877-925-6595.

State rules, regulations and seasons for individual saltwater species are still effective within these areas. To view current regulations click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations

To view maps detailing these modifications and the latest updates on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill please visit: 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 press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-8745.

 

Louisiana Inshore Shrimp Season Remains Closed

Release Date: 08/01/2014

August 1, 2014 – Yesterday, officials with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries annouced the re-opening of certain state inshore and Gulf of Mexico waters that were previously closed due to oiling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
 
Although these waters will re-open ½ hour before sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014, state rules, regulations and seasons for individual saltwater species are still effective within these areas. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will meet August 7 to consider opening dates for the fall inshore shrimp season.
 
Shrimp harvesting remains closed in state inside waters except the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double–rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2. and in the portion of Mississippi Sound as follows:
 

  • that 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 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.

 
For a map that details the areas currently open to shrimp harvesting click here.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

LDWF Announces Reopening of Certain Recreational and Commercial Fishing Waters Effective One-Half Hour Before Sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014

Release Date: 07/31/2014

 
BATON ROUGE – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the reopening of certain state inshore and Gulf of Mexico waters that were previously closed due to oiling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Waters will be open ½ hour before sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014.
 
LDWF is re-opening these areas to commercial fishing pursuant to agreements by state and federal officials for re-opening waters closed as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. These areas will also be re-opened to all recreational fishing.
 
The waters to re-open are as follows:
 

  • A portion of the upper Barataria Basin centered near Bay Jimmy and Bay Batiste with the exception of a 100-yard shoreline buffer from any shoreline
  • All waters within the Birdsfoot Delta of the Mississippi River
  • Areas surrounding the Grand Terre Islands with the exception of an area one quarter mile seaward from the Gulf-facing shoreline
  • The area seaward between Elmer’s Island and Fourchon Beaches with the exception of a one-quarter mile area seaward from the Gulf-facing shoreline.

 
LDWF will continue monitoring conditions to determine whether additional waters can be re-opened or whether additional closures are warranted.   Reports of oil, tarballs or tar mats should be reported to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 and the La. State Police at 1-877-925-6595.
 
State rules, regulations and seasons for individual saltwater species are still effective within these areas.  To view current regulations click here:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations
 
 To view maps detailing these modifications and the latest updates on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill please visit:  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 press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-8745.
 
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LDWF Reopens Commercial and Recreational Fishing within a Portion of Coastal Waters Adjacent to Elmer’s Island

Release Date: 12/05/2013

map

(Dec. 5, 2013) -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced today a reopening of commercial and recreational fishing within a portion of coastal waters adjacent to Elmer’s Island in Jefferson Parish. 
 
The area reopened by this announcement includes that portion of state outside waters beginning one-half mile seaward from the inside/outside shrimp line seaward a distance of one mile from the inside/outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of Belle Pass at -90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at -90 degrees 02 minutes 46.6 seconds west longitude.
 
The closure area had previously included a one-mile buffer established in an abundance of caution for public safety following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The area has been reopened to establish consistency with other oil spill related closures in state outside waters, and it shows no visible surface oil and no known oil residues in the area.
 
The department with its partners -- the US Food and Drug Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals -- will continue to evaluate the potential for future openings using the established protocols.
 
The area was most recently closed in September 2012 when Hurricane Isaac exposed large oil mats and tar balls along the shoreline of this area. A map of the revised closure area adjacent to Elmer’s Island is posted on the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.
 
For more information, contact Harry Blanchet at 225-765-2384 or hblanchet@wlf.la.gov.

 

State Extends Fishery Closure to East Grand Terre

Release Date: 06/28/2013

June 28, 2013 – Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a fisheries closure effective immediately for additional areas of Grand Terre Islands.
 
Tar mats located during ongoing surveys were removed this week in the intertidal and subtidal areas of Grand Terre Islands.  Some of those mats were in areas that are already closed, however some additional closures were required. 
 
The area closed is as follows:
 
That portion of state outside waters seaward a distance of one-half mile from the shoreline from the southwestern shore of east Grand Terre at -89 degrees 54 minutes 04 seconds west longitude; thence eastward along the shoreline to the southeastern shore of Grand Terre at -89 degrees 51 minutes 39 seconds west longitude; thence eastward along 29 degrees 18 minutes 46 seconds north latitude to -89 degrees 51 minutes 19 seconds west longitude.
 
Effective with the closure, no person shall take/possess or attempt to take any species of fish for commercial purposes from waters within the closed area.  The possession, sale, barter, trade or exchange of any fish or other aquatic life from the closed area during the closure is prohibited. 
 
All commercial fishing is prohibited in the closed areas. Recreational fishing is limited to recreational rod and reel fishing which includes licensed charter boat guides.
Prohibited Commercial Fishing Activities:

  • shrimping
  • trawling
  • skimming
  • butterflying
  • crabbing
  • flounder and garfish gigging
  • cast netting
  • oyster harvesting
  • gill netting
  • hoop netting
  • minnow trapping
  • rod and reeling
  • jug lining
  • bow and arrow
  • purse seining
  • set lining
  • spear gunning

Prohibited Recreational Fishing Activities:

  • crabbing
  • shrimping
  • flounder gigging
  • cast netting
  • bait seining
  • bow fishing
  • spearing
  • snagging
  • dip netting

Closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists and staff. 
 
Click here for a map detailing this closure:
 
 To view the latest updates on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill please visit:  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 press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.
 
 

 

LDWF Closes a Portion of Coastal Waters Due to the Emergence of Oil on Adjacent Beaches

Release Date: 09/05/2012

LDWF Closes a Portion of Coastal Waters Due to the Emergence of Oil on Adjacent Beaches

(Sept. 5, 2012)– Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced an emergency closure of a portion of coastal waters due to the emergence of a large tar mat and concentrations of tar balls on adjacent beaches, effective September 4.  This action was taken in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, who will assist with the investigation to determine the extent, source, and impacts of the oil in the environment. 
The area affected by this emergency closure includes the portion of state outside waters seaward a distance of one mile from the shoreline from the eastern shore of Belle Pass at 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at 90 degrees 02 minutes 46.6 seconds west longitude.
The only fishing activity allowed in the closed area is recreational, rod and reel (hook and line) fishing for finfish.  The following activities are prohibited:

  • all commercial fishing
  • recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs and oysters

The harvest of live bait by wholesale/retail seafood dealers who hold a special bait dealers permit and who harvest live bait for sale to recreational fishermen exclusively is also permitted. 
In addition to this closure, 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.
For press inquiries regarding fisheries closures contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.  For press inquiries regarding investigation of the presence of oil, contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@la.gov or (225) 241-5707.

LDWF Announces More Fishing Openings

Release Date: 04/26/2011

Map of Openings 4/26/11

Over 99.4 percent of state waters now open for fishing

April 26, 2011 - 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, ordered an emergency reopening of recreational and commercial fishing in portions of state inside and outside waters within the Barataria Basin that were previously closed due to impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill last year.  These areas were opened previously to only recreational and charter boat angling. 

“By working so closely with our state and federal partners we can continue to ensure consumers of Louisiana seafood that it is safe,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “Today we are one step closer to resuming normal fishing practices.”

Secretary Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing, after which the FDA advised that shrimp, crab and finfish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Recreational and commercial fishing reopens immediately today in certain portions of state inside waters adjacent to Grand Terre Island, Four Bayou Pass and the Barataria Waterway.

This reopening does not include the harvest of species closed by season, including shrimp and certain finfish. 

Furthermore, this opening does not include the commercial harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

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.

 

HBO Documentary Tracks Pelican Rescue Mission During Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response

Release Date: 04/19/2011

April 19, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) biologists and technicians were on the front line of wildlife rescue a year ago in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster.

Bird rescue was a primary mission of LDWF’s Coastal and Nongame Resources Division, and one of the birds rescued and rehabilitated, and then returned to Louisiana’s coastal marshes was a brown pelican, tagged number 895 when recovered from oiled state waters last July. The story of that bird was documented by a film crew and that story is now an HBO Documentary Film, SAVING PELICAN 895, which will premiere on HBO on April 20, the anniversary of the rig explosion.

“It’s a remarkable story detailing the efforts of government agencies, conservationists, and wildlife activists joining together to preserve fragile species impacted by oil,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The significance of that effort is even more special since the brown pelican, our state bird, had just been removed from the federal Threatened and Endangered Species list in 2009.”

The film, produced and directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, provides a detailed look at one facet of what went on over the course of many months to overcome the threat of oil to the state’s coastal marsh ecosystem.

Working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel and partners that included out of state animal rescue specialists and veterinarians, plus National Audubon Society staff and volunteers, LDWF and pooled resources collectively recovered 4,978 birds from Louisiana’s coastal marshes and waterways. Over 1,500 of that total were oiled, but alive when recovered, and 1,116 of those made it through rehabilitation to be released back into the wild. Other state partners involved in the oiled bird rehabilitation included the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and Louisiana State Animal Response Team.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov; or Mike Hopper at 214-356-5430 or mike.hopper@hbo.com.

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 Announces Major Commercial Fishing Reopening

Release Date: 04/11/2011

Closure Map

Over 99 percent of state waters now opened for fishing

April 11, 2011 - 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, ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing in portions of state, inside waters within the Mississippi River Delta that were previously closed due to impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill last year.

“While the effects of the oil spill will continue to affect our state for years to come, we are as confidant as ever in the safety of Louisiana’s seafood, the most-tested seafood in the world,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Today marks an important step in the journey to a full recovery for fishermen who depend on these resources for their livelihood and I am happy to report that over 99 percent of Louisiana’s waters are open to fishing.”

Secretary Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing, after which the FDA advised that shrimp, crab and finfish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Commercial fishing reopens immediately today in the portions of state inside waters between the eastern shore of Southwest Pass and the southern shore of North Pass of the Mississippi River. 

This reopening does not include shrimp harvesting, as the shrimp season in these waters has not been opened. 

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.

Documents: 

LDWF Investigates Two New Reports of Oiling

Release Date: 03/21/2011

LDWF conducts sampling on oil slick south of Grand Isle and impacted shoreline at Elmer’s Island

March 21, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is investigating two reports of oiling off the Louisiana coast received this weekend. Samples are being collected and analyzed by Louisiana State University’s School of the Coast and Environment.

Saturday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports of an oil sheen south of Grand Isle, La. In addition to an investigation ongoing by the Coast Guard, LDWF officials are sampling the suspected oil sheen for analysis and fingerprinting. Samples taken by LDWF are being submitted to a laboratory at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment. Analysis will determine if the substance is oil and, if so, if it is from the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill; this analysis is called fingerprinting. Results from this analysis will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22.

Suspected oiling was also reported to LDWF officials this weekend at Elmer’s Island, a 230-acre tract of barrier beachfront located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish, and at Fourchon Beach in Lafourche Parish.

Samples from suspected oil at Elmer’s were collected by LDWF officials on Sunday afternoon and are being analyzed by the same laboratory at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment. Results from the analysis will also be available tomorrow.

State officials are on scene at Elmer's Island with sorbents, barges and air boats as response efforts are conducted. LDWF officials this weekend requested absorbent boom from the Coast Guard for impacted areas. While only a portion of the boom has been utilized along a breach of the shoreline at Elmer’s Island, 12,000 feet of boom is on site. State officials have also requested skimmers from the Coast Guard.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on, please contact Olivia Watkins at (225)610-8660 or atowatkins@wlf.la.gov.  

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