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LDWF News Release

Louisiana agrees to 39-day red snapper season in Gulf waters

Release Date: 06/14/2017

BATON ROUGE, LA  –  Louisiana anglers can get ready for a very busy season of fishing for red snapper.
 

A U.S. Department of Commerce agreement with Louisiana and the four other Gulf states will give recreational anglers 39 days – between June 16 and Sept. 4 – to fish for red snapper in federal waters. 
 

Recreational anglers will be able to start fishing out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 4. Also included are Monday and Tuesday, July 3 and 4, along with Labor Day on Sept. 4.
 

“This was an easy decision,” Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “This is what Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he wanted since my appointment. He wanted more days on the water for our anglers and the ability to get more red snapper. This does both. We’re pleased with this agreement and thank all involved for helping make this happen.”

 

The agreement was reached Wednesday in negotiations with the U.S. Commerce Department and Fisheries leaders in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas.

 

Anglers will be able to reel in red snapper up to Louisiana’s self-imposed catch limit of approximately 14 percent of the overall Gulf catch. Secretary Montoucet was directed by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Monday to close the state waters if the catch limit is met before Sept. 4 and there would be no fall season in state waters. If the catch limit is not met by Sept. 4, there could be a fall red snapper season in state waters until the catch limit is met.

 

Under the agreement, there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out 9 miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and Sept. 4.
 

LDWF sees this program as a two-fold opportunity for Louisiana which could lead to the state gaining control of its fishing seasons in both state and federal waters.

 

During the 39-day fishing period, LDWF will use LA Creel, the state’s near real-time catch data program, “to be sure that anglers don’t exceed the state’s self-imposed harvest limit,” Montoucet said.

 

The LDWF will periodically make public the overall catch totals.

 

“If we manage this effort responsibly and stay within established conservation standards, we stand a better chance of gaining control of fishing for red snapper in federal waters in the future,” he said. “With the cooperation of our anglers, we can make this happen.”

 

Here are the red snapper fishing days: June 16-18, June 23-25, June 30 - July 4, July 7-9, July 14-16, July 21-23, July 28-30, Aug. 4-6, Aug. 11-13, Aug. 18-20, Aug. 25-27 and Sept. 1-4.

Roseau Cane Mealy Bug Continues Destructive Path Through Southern Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 06/14/2017

June 14, 2017 – A small insect, or scale, known as the Roseau Cane Mealy Bug has decimated thousands of acres of Roseau cane in southern Plaquemines Parish and continues unabated, biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and LSU AgCenter said.

 

The scale, native from China and Japan, has been identified as Nipponaclerda biwakoensis, commonly referred to as Phragmites Scale or Roseau Cane Mealy Bug. It has had severe effects on the dominant vegetation of the Mississippi River Delta. The rate at which it seems to be expanding and the severity of its impacts is alarming, according to LDWF and LSU AgCenter biologists.

 

Roseau cane is a tall wetland grass that helps protect Louisiana’s bird foot delta. The severely impacted cane appears to be brown and mostly leafless, in contrast to the 10-foot tall robust leafy green cane normally seen this time of the year.

 

More than 100,000 acres of Roseau cane dominated wetlands in the Mississippi River Bird Foot Delta has been affected by the scale as biologists continue to look for ways to stop its spread.

 

“We could be witnessing a major habitat change on the Mississippi River Delta in the next year or so because of this,’’ said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “It could be devastating. We don’t really have an answer yet or the solution. But it’s clear that everyone needs to understand this could be a catastrophic problem and we need to put this on the front burner.’’

 

Todd Baker, Director in LDWF’s Coastal and Nongame Resources staff, said the scale was discovered only last fall and has advanced quickly. It has been spotted in Grand Isle and in other parts of Jefferson Parish.

 

“Roseau cane is one of the most robust and hardiest plants that I’ve come across,’’ Baker said. “It can live in three feet of water. It can be inundated for long periods of time. It can live out of water. It can tolerate 20 parts per thousand salinity. It can tolerate fresh water. You can burn it, you can spray it and it keeps coming back. The fact that this bug can damage it to the point that it has is amazing and disturbing.’’

 

Unlike some marsh vegetation, Roseau cane stands up well to tropical storm events. It is one of the most erosion-resistant marsh plants on the bird foot delta. It also assists in building land by trapping sediment from the Mississippi River. The loss of it could lead to even more rapid land loss in the delta, turning what is now marsh into open water.

 

What also concerns biologists is that the scale could impact agriculture crops such as sugar cane and sorghum, according to Dr. Rodrigo Diaz, Assistant Professor in LSU’s Department of Entomology. He said it could have significant economic impacts to agriculture crops and native vegetation.

 

“Roseau cane is a grass,’’ Baker said. “What is known is that where this scale is native (Asia) it gets into other grasses and reeds. It may attack other plants in the United States. Now that it is present in Louisiana, we don’t know what it may impact. It’s a threat but we simply don’t know if it will move into other vegetative species or not.’’

 

For video, go to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/94d3wntdlkopjbd/AABczKmeQX2c9S4tPF7XYd9Ca?dl=0

 

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

LDWF to Close Roads on Dewey W. Wills WMA for Road Improvements

Release Date: 06/13/2017

June 13, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road from Deville Crossing to Nolan Bayou Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on June 14 for one day to replace damaged culverts. The new culverts will increase drainage capabilities during large rainfall events thus improving roadway conditions for WMA users.
 
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .
 

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LDWF Lake Bistineau Public Meeting Shifted to June 20

Release Date: 06/09/2017

June 9, 2017 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet and his staff will conduct an informational meeting June 20 (Tuesday) outlining LDWF’s efforts to control salvinia on Lake Bistineau and to gather public input on the situation. The meeting was originally scheduled for June 15.
 
Who:  LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff
 
What:  Public information meeting on Lake Bistineau
 
When:  Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
 
Where:    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Region 1 Office
                Jonathan Glasscock Memorial Classroom
                9961 Hwy. 80
                Minden, LA 71055
 
The meeting will include an update on the current status of the lake, and LDWF staff will field questions concerning the management of the lake and giant salvinia. A new idea will be discussed concerning a scheduled “Weevil Day”, planned by LDWF to provide salvinia weevils to the public for stocking into Lake Bistineau. Everyone interested in Lake Bistineau is encouraged to attend. 
 
Space is limited to 100 individuals, so please keep this in mind when making plans to attend.  
 
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
 
For additional information regarding the meeting, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.

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Lake Bistineau Public Meeting with LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet Rescheduled for June 20th

Release Date: 06/09/2017

June 9, 2017 - Due to the special session of the Legislature the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet and his staff have rescheduled an informational meeting to outline LDWF’s efforts to control salvinia on Lake Bistineau and to gather public input on the situation.
Who:     LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff
What:    Public information meeting on Lake Bistineau
When:   Rescheduled for Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
Where:    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Region 1 Office
                Jonathan Glasscock Memorial Classroom
                9961 Hwy. 80
                Minden, LA 71055
The meeting will include an update on the current status of the lake, and LDWF staff will field questions concerning the management of the lake and giant salvinia. A new idea will be discussed concerning a scheduled “Weevil Day”, planned by LDWF to provide salvinia weevils to the public for stocking into Lake Bistineau. Everyone interested in Lake Bistineau is encouraged to attend. 
Space is limited to 100 individuals, so please keep this in mind when making plans to attend.  
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
For additional information regarding the meeting, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.
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 LDWF email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to Hold Special Meeting on June 12

Release Date: 06/09/2017

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Agenda

Special Meeting

June 12, 2017 - 1:30 P.M.

 

1.     Call to Orde

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

5.    Consider options and public comment for changes to the 2017 recreational state red snapper season in conjunction with a proposed additional federal red snapper season, including but not limited to a potential declaration of emergency.

6.     Receive Public Comments

7.     Adjournment 

 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6185224979947854337

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

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 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 torlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

Louisiana, Federal Government in Talks to Increase Red Snapper Fishing Days

Release Date: 06/07/2017

June 7, 2017 - Louisiana is among the five Gulf states considering a proposal that could lead to more fishing days for red snapper in federal waters. Under the proposed plan, anglers would be allowed to fish for red snapper on weekends only, possibly beginning as early as June 17. The proposed season would run through Sept. 4 in federal and state waters.
 
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s offer of additional red snapper fishing days in federal waters would be welcomed by many anglers unhappy about the recently ended three-day federal red snapper season.
 
“This is a solid proposal from the federal government,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Accepting this offer would result in Louisiana anglers having more access to federal waters, rather than the three-day limit that was recently imposed. This is an important step for our anglers, and I am optimistic that we can come to an agreement with the federal government on this proposal.”
 
The offer does come with tradeoffs. Under the proposal, state waters would be closed during weekdays and only reopen on days when the federal waters are also open. This closure of state waters would only be required under the proposal through Sept. 4.  Following Sept. 4, the state could evaluate if state waters could be reopened to private recreational harvest of red snapper.
 
Authority over the state season is vested in the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, although the Commission delegated authority to LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to make in-season adjustments to the state season for 2017.
 
Gov. Edwards supports a better federal waters access scenario for Louisiana anglers.  These negotiations could result in more access while also preserving the state’s ability to manage state waters for added fishing access. By closely tracking harvest in both federal and state waters, LDWF can continue its effort to keep its red snapper catch around its historical percentage of the overall Gulf red snapper recreational harvest.
 
“This would be incredibly important to show the federal government that we can manage the harvest of red snapper in both state and federal waters in a responsible manner,” Edwards said.
 
The Commerce Department proposal is still in the negotiation phase, but the states are expected to make decisions in the next several days. A final decision by the Commerce Department would soon follow.

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Oyster Task Force Health Committee to Meet June 8, 10:00 a.m.

Release Date: 06/07/2017

Oyster Task Force Health Committee
Thursday, June 8, 2017, 10:00 A.M.
UNO Advanced Technology Center
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210
New Orleans 70122
 

AGENDA

 

I.               Call to Order

II.             Discussion of Oyster Industry ISSC Proposals

III.           Public Comment

IV.           Set next meeting

V.             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://www.anymeeting.com/530-386-328

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.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces 2017 Alligator Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 06/06/2017

June 6, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will select eligible alligator hunters through a lottery selection system on five LDWF Coastal & Nongame Resources (CNR) Division Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 15 LDWF Wildlife Division WMAs, one U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) property and 25 public lakes for the 2017 alligator harvest season.
 
Interested participants may print out an application from LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts or request an application by phone for CNR Division WMAs at 337-373-0032 or Wildlife Division WMAs and public lakes at 225-765-2346.
 
To assist applicants in selecting specific WMAs/public lakes, LDWF has posted the percentage of lottery alligator harvest applicants selected in 2016 by WMA or public lake on its website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lottery-alligator-harvest-program.
 
Here are the eligible areas:
 
CNR DIVISION WMAs
 
Atchafalaya Delta WMA, St. Mary Parish
 
Pass a Loutre WMA, Plaquemines Parish
 
Pointe aux Chenes WMA, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes
 
Salvador/Timken WMAs, St. Charles Parish
 
Lake Boeuf WMA, Lafourche Parish
 
WILDLIFE DIVISION WMAs/USACE PROPERTIES 
 
Big Lake WMA, Tensas Parish
 
Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish
 
Buckhorn WMA, Tensas Parish
 
Elm Hall WMA, Assumption Parish
 
Grassy Lake WMA, Avoyelles Parish
 
Joyce WMA, Tangipahoa Parish
 
Manchac WMA, St. John the Baptist Parish
 
Maurepas Swamp WMA, St. John the Baptist, St. James, Ascension, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes
 
Sherburne WMA (state portion only), Pointe Coupee and St. Martin parishes
 
Spring Bayou WMA, Avoyelles Parish
 
Pearl River WMA, St. Tammany Parish
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA, Concordia Parish
 
Dewey W. Wills WMA, LaSalle and Catahoula parishes
 
Russell Sage WMA, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes
 
USACE PROPERTY
 
Indian Bayou Area (USACE), St. Landry and St. Martin parishes
 
PUBLIC LAKES
 
Lake Bistineau, Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes
 
Lake Wallace, Caddo Parish
 
Black/Cypress Lake and Ivan Lake, Bossier Parish
 
Cross Lake, Caddo Parish
 
Kepler Lake, Bienville Parish
 
Bayou Desiard North, Ouachita Parish
 
Caney Lake, Jackson Parish
 
Bartholomew Lake, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes
 
Kincaid Lake, Rapides Parish
 
Indian Creek, Rapides Parish
 
Cotile Lake, Rapides Parish
 
Nantachie Lake, Grant Parish
 
Saline Lake, Winn Parish
 
Toledo Bend, Desoto and Sabine parishes
 
Lake Bruin, Tensas Parish
 
Lake Concordia, Concordia Parish
 
Lake St. John, Tensas Parish
 
Lake St. Joseph, Tensas Parish
 
Anacoco Lake and Vernon Lake, Vernon Parish
 
Caddo Lake, Caddo Parish
 
Black Lake, Natchitoches Parish
 
Bundicks Lake, Beauregard Parish
 
Lake D’Arbonne, Union Parish.
 
 
Applications and non-refundable application fees ($5) must be submitted to the address indicated on corresponding applications and be postmarked by July 5, 2017.  Only one of the three available lottery alligator harvest applications (CNR Division WMA, Wildlife Division WMA or Wildlife Division Public Lakes) may be submitted per applicant.  Additional applications will result in voiding all applications of the applicant.
 
The lottery alligator harvests will be conducted Aug. 30-Oct. 5.  Exact harvest dates will vary by WMA/public lakes and will be specified at the time selected hunters are notified. Selected hunters may be assigned specific areas to conduct alligator harvest activities on certain WMAs/public lakes.
 
Applicants must be a legal Louisiana resident and 16 years of age or older. All successful applicants will be required to purchase an alligator hunting license ($25).  Successful applicants for WMAs will be required to submit payments ($40) for each alligator tag allocated.
 
All applicants meeting the application requirements will be entered into a randomized computer drawing, which will take place by August of 2017.  Selected hunters will be notified by mail.
 
For more information concerning CNR Division WMAs, contact Jeb Linscombe at 337-373-0032 or jlinscombe@wlf.la.gov.  For more information concerning Wildlife Division WMAs or public lakes, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2346 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Federal Funding Available to Accommodate Transient Boaters in Louisiana

Release Date: 06/06/2017

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the Sport Fish Restoration Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designed this grant program to provide mooring accommodations for transient recreational boaters (i.e., boaters traveling to a single facility for day use or staying at a single facility for up to 15 days) with vessels greater than 26 feet in length. 
 
There are two levels of available funding - Tier I with a maximum of $200,000, and Tier II with a maximum of $1.5 million dollars. Tier II grant applications are nationally competitive. Both funding opportunities have a minimum non-federal match requirement of 25 percent of the total project cost to be provided by the applicant. All project elements must be designed to accommodate recreational transient boaters. More information on the BIG Program can be found here.
 
Applications for the BIG Program must be received by the department before August 4, 2017, to be considered for the current funding cycle. 
 
For questions or to request an application, please contact Melissa Kaintz at mkaintz@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2343. 

 

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