LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet May 30

Release Date: 05/25/2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 9:30 A.M.
UNO Advanced Technology Center
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210
New Orleans 70122
 
AGENDA
 
  I.             Call to Order
 II.             Discussion of Recommendations RE: Oyster Seed Grounds Vessel Permit  
                     Training Requirements- Richard Williams
III.             Discussion of Recommendations and Changes to the Oyster Lease Acquisition
                     Program- Duncan Kemp
IV.             Discussion of Moratorium Lifting Draft NOI
 V.             Public Comment
VI.            Set next meeting
VII.           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/7855256698368997634
 
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 the contact at the top of
this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

Gov. Edwards Announces Management Pilot Program to Provide More Access to Red Snapper in State, Federal Waters

Release Date: 05/25/2017

May 25, 2017 - Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Thursday (May 25) that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) plans to conduct an innovative pilot program designed to help recreational anglers battling short seasons for red snapper in federal waters.
 
The two-year pilot program will incorporate the use of handheld technology to produce real-time data on what anglers are catching. Additionally, anglers won’t have to fish their limit during a particular season. They will be able chose what days are best for them to go fishing.
 
Edwards, who has consistently supported state management of Gulf waters, said, “I asked Wildlife and Fisheries to develop a program that could eventually lead to Louisiana controlling red snapper fishing, even in what is determined to be federal waters. This pilot program could not come soon enough as the federal government has limited anglers to just three days to fish red snapper this year.”
 
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “Just like the governor, we have heard from anglers across Louisiana and it is clear what they want most is the flexibility to fish for red snapper when it makes sense for them and their families. So we are going to test a new way of doing this. Instead of using a season, we are going to try giving fishermen a set number of red snapper that they can catch in federal waters and ask them to record that data on their smartphone.”
 
The pilot program – to be in operation in 2018-2019 - is the linchpin of LDWF’s Exempted Fishing Permit Application for State Management Pilot Project (or EFP). It has been delivered to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is expected to be deliberated by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council at its next meeting in June.
 
Here’s how the EFP program will work. There will be 150 study participants selected by random drawing and subsequently contacted by e-mail. They will have the choice of accepting or refusing to participate. If that angler declines, then another one will be chosen at random. The participants would be able to catch 25,000 pounds of red snapper per year. The anglers would have to abide by the federal size limit. The EFP program would have no daily bag limit and the total limit per EFP participant would be determined by the number of fish allocated to each participant.
 
What this program is attempting is several fold, Montoucet said. “We are trying to show we can scientifically monitor the red snapper caught in the federal waters, provide anglers with more days of access to the fish and allow them to make larger catches. And most importantly, the state wants to show that we can use state-of-the-art-technology to safely control the red snapper population on our own.”
 
Participants in the pilot program will be recording the fish they catch and throw back on their smart phone and with that real-time data. Using that information, LDWF will ask the federal government to increase the amount fish allotted to private anglers in the future.
 
“As a fisherman myself,” Edwards said, “that sounds like a lot better system than squeezing all of my red snapper fishing into June when there might be bad weather or when family obligations can get in the way.”
 
To see the complete proposal and other parts of LDWF’s larger red snapper management program, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/document/documents.
 

Tags:

Get Hooked During Free Fishing Weekend in Louisiana

Release Date: 05/24/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries invites you to take part in its annual Free Fishing Weekend on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11. Louisiana’s Free Fishing Weekend is an opportunity for Louisiana residents and visitors alike to fish Louisiana waters without an otherwise required fishing license. So, leave your cash and credit card at home – the only thing you’ll need for a great time is your lure and line.
 
“Each year, we designate a weekend of free fishing as an incentive for families and friends to get outside and enjoy our beautiful Sportsman’s Paradise,” explained Secretary Jack Montoucet. “Whether your interest is saltwater or fresh, Louisiana offers some of the best and most diverse fishing opportunities in the world, and we welcome you to become part of the long-standing tradition of Louisiana fishing. 
 
While a fishing license is not required, all fishing regulations, including size, season, catch limits and gear restrictions will remain in effect.
 
With the exception of free fishing weekend, anglers 16 and older must possess a Louisiana fishing license when fishing in any Louisiana public waters. Louisianians who decide to continue fishing the remainder of the year are invited to purchase a state fishing license at https://www.la.wildlifelicense.com/start.php.
 
By purchasing a fishing license you also help provide funding for public fishing and boating access, fishing programs and education and fisheries management through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

 

Sam C. Barbera III Named Assistant Executive Director of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation

Release Date: 05/24/2017

Sam C. Barbera III

May 24, 2017 – Sam C. Barbera III, a Thibodaux native who has spent the past three years working for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), has been named assistant executive director of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF).
 
Barbera, 49, will begin his duties as assistant director in two weeks and will succeed LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis later this year. McInnis has served as executive director since May 15, 2006.
 
Though only working for LDWF since October of 2013, Barbera has navigated Louisiana waterways since he was a boy growing up in the state. Prior to coming to LDWF, he was co-host of BIGFISH Television in New Orleans. From 2001-2011 he worked for the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, serving as STAR tournament director and assisting with fundraising events.
 
Barbera is a U.S. Army veteran. His last assignment was commander of the 239th Military Police Company in Baton Rouge, the first Louisiana Army National Guard unit called to active duty after 9/11.
 
At LDWF, Barbera assisted with a variety of fisheries research projects, including the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program and the Lake Pontchartrain Acoustic Telemetry Project. He also helped with the department’s artificial reef development/deployment activities and biological monitoring. In addition, he worked with fisheries extension, including numerous outreach events, fishing seminars and as the Louisiana Saltwater Series tournament director.
 
“To be selected as assistant executive director for this organization is humbling,’’ said Barbera, a graduate of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. “For many years, I’ve seen firsthand the job LWFF has done and the various contributions it has made not only to LDWF but also to the citizens of the state who love and enjoy all Louisiana outdoors has to offer. The core mission of LWFF is to enhance and encourage public enjoyment and use of the wildlife and fisheries resources of Louisiana. I’ll work tirelessly to make sure we continue that mission.’’
 
“Sam’s extensive knowledge of the outdoor industry in Louisiana, coupled with his fund-raising ability and organizational skills, makes him the perfect candidate to oversee the Foundation,’’ said LWFF President John W. Barton, Jr. “We look forward to him growing the efforts Kell McInnis has built on through the years as executive director.’’
 
LWFF, a non-profit public charitable foundation, was created in 1995. Its goals are to aid the department in habitat conservation, youth recruitment, environmental education and training, natural resource research and management, regulation enforcement and financial assistance to LDWF programs.
 
The Foundation receives no public funding and depends entirely upon contributions from individual and corporate donors. Encouraging cooperation and support for LDWF programs is the major focus of LWFF, accomplished by connecting people and businesses with Louisiana’s natural resources.
 
Some of the programs LWFF assists with include Archery in Louisiana Schools, Becoming an Outdoor Woman, Get Out & Fish!, Louisiana Wetland Protection, Youth Hunter Education Challenge, the Louisiana Black Bear restoration, the VHF Tower Project, WETSHOP and the Whooping Crane restoration project.
 
To donate to the Foundation or to volunteer, go to www.lawff.org or call 225-765-5100
 

Tags:

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close in Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 05/24/2017

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2016-17 commercial season for king mackerel will close at 12:01 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2017, in Louisiana waters. 
 
The 2017-18 season for the commercial harvest of king mackerel will open on July 1, 2017, as previously scheduled. 
 
Each year, a commercial quota is established by NOAA Fisheries for Gulf of Mexico king mackerel based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. Based upon new quota adjustments, the western Gulf of Mexico quota increased to 1.1 million pounds, leaving an additional 65,000 pounds available for harvest, allowing the department to reopen the commercial season earlier this month on May 11.

Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 05/24/2017

May 24, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Boyce Tower Road past the bridge at the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding.
 
Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will reopen the closed portion of the road if able to restore safe travel conditions.
 
Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of 122,098 acres, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west to near Sorrento. The WMA includes property in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2791.
 
For more information on the WMA, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

Tags:

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet May 30

Release Date: 05/23/2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 1:00 P.M.
UNO Advanced Technology Center
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210
New Orleans 70122
 
AGENDA
 
 I.         Roll call and introduction of guests
II.         Approval of April 18, 2017 Meeting Minutes and May 30, 2017 Agenda
III.        Treasury Report
            A.      Oyster Tag Sales
            B.      LOTF Financial Report
IV.        Committee Reports
            A.     Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)
            B.     Enforcement (Captain Chad Hebert)
            C.     Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)
            D.     Research (Earl Melancon)
            E.     Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)
            F.      Marketing (LDWF)
            G.     Health (Lance Broussard)
            H.     Sustainability (LDWF)
             I.      Professionalism (LDWF)
            J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)
            K.     Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)
   V.      New Business
            A.     To Hear a Presentation on the Public Oyster Seed Grounds 2016/2017
                     Season Summary and Supplemental Information- LDWF Staff
            B.     To Hear an Update on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Project- Seth
                     Irby
            C.     Discussion on the Gulf of Mexico Shellfish Initiative- Beth Walton
            D.     To Consider a Resolution for the State’s Continued Work on the Gulf Hypoxia  
                     Issue - Doug Daigle 
            E.     To Consider Funding to Close the Bohemia Salinity Control Structure- OTF
  VI.      Public Comment
  VII.     Set Next Meeting
  VIII.    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/2003952683443918083
 
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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

LDWF to Host WETSHOP 2017 for Teachers July 9-14 at Grand Isle Research Lab

Release Date: 05/23/2017

May 23, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold WETSHOP 2017, a coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers, July 9-14 at the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab.
 
The focus of this six-day workshop will be 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 stipend. An additional stipend is available during the Academic Year (AY) upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.
 
WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF in partnership with the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. 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, Keep Louisiana Beautiful and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
 
Teachers interested in WETSHOP 2017 can contact LDWF Biologist Supervisor Angela Capello at 318-623-4661 or acapello@wlf.la.gov.

Tags:

LDWF Partnering with LSU RNR Department To Increase Participation in Annual Hunter Harvest Survey

Release Date: 05/23/2017

May 23, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is partnering with LSU’s Department of Renewable Natural Resources in an effort to increase participation in its annual hunter harvest survey. Randomly selected hunters will receive either a survey in the mail from LDWF or an e-mail survey from LSU RNR.
 
LDWF is advising those receiving the e-mail survey that it is safe to open and complete. This is a two-year pilot project that will encompass the 2016-17 and ’17-18 hunting seasons. LDWF will continue to use mail-out surveys as well.
 
“Using the e-mail survey will greatly increase the number of hunters we are able to poll annually while substantially reducing the cost of conducting the survey,’’ said Jeff Duguay, LDWF’s Research and Survey Program Manager.
 
Results from the annual survey are used to aid LDWF in setting harvest regulations and monitoring trends in hunting activity and harvest rates around the state.
 
For more information, contact Duguay at jduguay@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2353 or Lucien Laborde at llabor2@lsu.edu.

Tags:

Archery in Louisiana Schools Program Equipment Grants Provided More Than $100,000 to 60 Schools

Release Date: 05/19/2017

May 19, 2017 – The Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS), administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), provided more than $100,000 in equipment grants to 60 Louisiana schools in the last three years.
 
The grant program was set up to assist 20 new schools each year in getting involved in the ALAS program, part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP). Thanks to opportunities like the ALAS Equipment Loan Program there are now more than 20,000 students at more than 200 schools participating in Louisiana.  
 
“It’s so much more than just shooting a bow,’’ LDWF Regional ALAS Coordinator Jan McGovern said. “Students are learning focus and discipline, two traits that are valuable both in school and out. Students gain confidence on the range and take that with them wherever they go.” 
 
The NASP teaches basic archery skills to students in grades 3-12. More than 14,400 schools and 2.4 million students take part in the NASP program each year.
 
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are still available to assist with funding. For more information about the ALAS program, contact Eric Shanks at eshanks@wlf.la.gov or 337-491-2575.  

Tags:
Syndicate content