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LDWF News Release

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close In Remaining Inside Waters on July 24

Release Date: 07/17/2017

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close In Remaining Inside Waters on July 24

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2017 spring inshore shrimp season will close on Monday, July 24 at 6 p.m. in Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets passes, Lake Borgne, and the Louisiana portion of Mississippi Sound. With this action, all state inside waters will be closed with the exception of Breton and Chandeleur sounds.
 
All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in R.S. 56:495 will remain open to shrimping until further notice. 
 
Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The closure will protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.
 
LDWF would also like to remind shrimpers there is a possession count on saltwater white shrimp of 100 count (whole shrimp per pound) taken in either inside or outside (offshore) waters of Louisiana. This size restriction applies to the taking or possession of such shrimp aboard a vessel, EXCEPT from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no possession count on saltwater white shrimp. When more than 50 percent by weight of the saltwater shrimp taken or possessed is seabobs or brown shrimp, then the maximum allowable amount of undersized white shrimp taken or possessed should not exceed 10 percent by weight of the total saltwater shrimp taken or possessed. If compliance issues develop, remaining open areas can be closed by the Secretary of the Department.

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF website will be down for maintenance on the evening of Monday, July 17

Release Date: 07/14/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ website will be offline for maintenance after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 17. You will still be able to purchase fishing and hunting licenses online at www.la.wildlifelicense.com. This link will also be posted on our homepage during the maintenance period.  The site will be restored by Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.

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 www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Red Snapper season to remain open this weekend, maybe longer

Release Date: 07/13/2017

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana anglers can breathe a sigh of relief for now. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will not close the red snapper season as some had feared. In fact, there is a chance that the season will last until Sept. 4, the official closure date.

According to estimates from LDWF’s LA Creel, the states near real-time data program, if anglers continue to catch red snapper at the current rate, the season may last through Labor Day.

“The current harvest rates are certainly lower than we were expecting, so we are able to keep the season open at this time,” said Assistant Secretary for Fisheries Patrick Banks. However, he said, it is very unlikely the current average weekly catch of 66,000 will hold.

Louisiana has a self-imposed limit of approximately 15 percent of the total Gulf of Mexico catch. The self-imposed limit equals about 1.04 million pounds of red snapper for 2017.

According to the latest LA Creel estimated harvest rate Louisiana anglers would only catch 902,616 pounds of red snapper by Sept. 4. 

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to close the red snapper season when it appears Louisiana’s catch will exceed the 1.04-million-pound limit. It is the goal of LDWF to manage the state’s catch responsibly in order to improve its chances of the federal government allowing Louisiana to oversee its own red snapper season out 200 miles from its coast.

Louisiana is part of an agreement reached earlier this summer with four other Gulf states and the U.S. Department of Commerce that allow recreational anglers to fish out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper for 39 days. The altered season opened June 16-18 continued on June 23-25, June 30-July 4, July 7-9 and will continue 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.

Under the agreement that includes Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out nine miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and Sept. 4. Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches per day.

*For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page/41176-red-snapper-long-range-plan-facts/redsnapperharvestupdateforwebsite-071317.pdf

 

Take Someone Hunting, Fishing Or Target Shooting And Enter For Chance to Win

Release Date: 07/12/2017

July 12, 2017 – National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHF Day), an annual celebration of hunters and anglers, features a new twist this year. Richard Childress, NASCAR legend and honorary chair for NHF Day, is asking hunters and anglers to participate in the new NHF Day Challenge by taking someone hunting, fishing or target shooting. By pledging to introduce someone to the outdoors between now and NHF Day on Sept. 23, participants will be eligible to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience in America’s Conservation Capital from Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
 
“If you are a sportsman, sportswoman or an angler, you can make a difference and support National Hunting and Fishing Day by becoming a mentor,’’ Childress said. “Mentoring is critical to ensure our outdoor tradition lives on through future generations. Make the commitment to take someone outdoors and show them why you value hunting, fishing and target shooting.’’
 
For millions of Americans, time spent hunting and fishing are treasured moments. Hunting and fishing brings friends and family together and provides one of the most immersive outdoor experiences possible.
 
“Hunting and fishing are important parts of Louisiana’s rich heritage,’’ said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet."I would like to encourage all of the sportsmen and women of our state to take someone into the outdoors, especially someone who would not have the opportunity otherwise. Let’s help build the tradition of hunting and fishing in our state."
 
“Today fewer people are connecting with nature through hunting and fishing,’’ Childress said. “As outdoorsmen and women, we are one of the keys to reversing this trend. Help a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker learn how to hunt, fish or shoot. Introducing someone to the joys of the outdoors not only enriches their life, it creates a future conservationist.’’
 
Each new hunter and angler created helps fund conservation. Every time someone buys a firearm, ammunition, archery equipment or fishing tackle, they contribute to habitat conservation and science-based wildlife management through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) program. The WSFR is the cornerstone of fish and wildlife conservation in North America because it brings funding from the sporting arms, archery and fishing industries and sportsmen and women back to state wildlife management agencies. These monies, in addition to hunting and fishing license fees, are critical for conserving fish and wildlife across our nation.
 
Those who pledge to take someone hunting, target shooting or fishing will be entered for a chance to win two prize packages. The first grand prize is two HOT passes to a future NASCAR race, which includes pit and garage passes, garage and team hauler tours, and an opportunity to meet team owner Richard Childress. The second grand prize package is a trip to America’s Conservation Capital: Missouri’s Ozark Mountains.
 
A passion of Bass Pro Shops founder and Ozarks native Johnny Morris, the destination spans multiple properties and thousands of unspoiled acres, making it the ultimate destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. The package includes a two-night stay in a log cabin at Big Cedar Lodge, America’s premier wilderness resort, and nature-based excursions, including guided bass fishing on 43,000-acre Table Rock Lake; Adventure Passes for the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail and Outdoor Shooting Academy; and passes to Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, the largest, most immersive wildlife attraction in the world, opening Sept. 21, 2017.
 
To get involved in the NHF Day Challenge, visit NHFDay.org or call 417-225-1162.
 

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Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force July Meeting Cancelled

Release Date: 07/11/2017

July 11, 2017 – The July meeting of the Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force has been cancelled. The meeting was to be held July 13 at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge.
 
No new meeting date has been set.
 
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.
 
For more information on the task force, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF Wildlife Veterinarian, at jmlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.

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August Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting to be Held in Grand Isle, LA

Release Date: 07/11/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will be meeting in Grand Isle, LA for the meeting on August 3, 2017.  An agenda will be published prior to the meeting date.

 

What:  Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

 

When:  Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 1:30 P.M.

 

Where: 195 Ludwig Annex, Grand Isle, LA 70358

 

 

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.

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close July 14 in the Majority of Inside Waters

Release Date: 07/10/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2017 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 14 from the Louisiana/Mississippi state line westward to the eastern shore of the Mississippi River and from Freshwater Bayou canal westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line except for the following waters: Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, the Louisiana portion of Mississippi Sound, and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.

For a map detailing these closures please click here.

All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in R.S. 56:495 will remain open to shrimping until further notice. 

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these waters was made to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes. The areas that remain open will continue to be monitored and will close when the presence of smaller white shrimp make it biologically inappropriate to remain open.  

LDWF would also like to remind shrimpers there is a possession count on saltwater white shrimp taken in either inside or outside (offshore) waters of Louisiana of 100 count (whole shrimp per pound). This size restriction applies to the taking or possession of such shrimp aboard a vessel, EXCEPT from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no possession count on saltwater white shrimp taken or possessed. When more than 50 percent by weight of the saltwater shrimp taken or possessed is seabobs or brown shrimp, then the maximum allowable amount of undersized white shrimp taken or possessed should not exceed 10 percent by weight of the total saltwater shrimp taken or possessed.  If compliance issues develop, remaining open areas can be closed by the Secretary of the Department.

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov .

Portions of Pearl River WMA Reopened After Being Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 07/09/2017

July 9, 2017 – The main gate at Old Highway 11 at Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been reopened, however, parts of the WMA remain impassable due to flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy.
 
A barricade remains in place at the southern end of Oil Well Road and water is flowing over Poboy Road at the shooting range bridge. Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage to the closed roads prior to reopening.
 
Pearl River WMA, which consists of 35,618 acres, is located approximately six miles east of Slidell and one mile east of Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789.

 For more information contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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Agents Cite Three Subjects for Shrimping Violations

Release Date: 07/07/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited multiple people for alleged shrimping violations on July 7 in Yellow Cotton Bay in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited David Pitre Jr., 45, of Empire, Tommy Berthelot, 39, of Buras, and Jessica Frelich, 30, of Buras, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents found the subjects actively skimming for shrimp in Yellow Cotton Bay this morning, July 7.  During the stop agents seized 170 pounds of shrimp.

Using skimmers in a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.

In addition for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Travis Bartlett and Agent Johnathan Boudreaux.

LDWF, NOAA, CPRA Release 21 Diamondback Terrapin Hatchlings On Louisiana Coastal Barrier Island

Release Date: 07/07/2017

A diamondback terrapin is released on Chenier Ronquille barrier island. (Photo by Louisiana Sea Grant).

July 7, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) joined citizen volunteers in releasing 21 diamondback terrapin hatchlings back into the wild Thursday (July 6).
 
The hatchlings, whose eggs were discovered by scientists at a Deepwater Horizon restoration site last year, were released on Chenier Ronquille, a coastal barrier island northeast of Grand Isle. The island’s restoration was funded by Early Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) dollars (Phase III) that went to NOAA for their Outer Coast Restoration Project to restore beach, dune and back-barrier marsh habitats, as well as brown pelicans, terns, skimmers and gulls to help compensate the public for spill-related injuries and losses to these resources.
 
“Partnerships and cooperation between public agencies are crucial to successfully managing wildlife,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “Having private citizens assist us is a prime example of how that cooperation can be extremely effective. Diamondback terrapins are one of our species of greatest conservation need. So having a chance to return some to their natural environment aids in making sure the population remains stable.’’
 
“CPRA’s coastal work oftentimes goes beyond the obvious building, preserving and restoring land and habitat,” said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry. “In many cases, our attention is called to the preservation of species that once called a location home, along the coast. It’s good to see that these terrapins are now back where they belong.”
 
The story began in July of 2016 when Keri Landry, an endangered species biologist with LDWF’s Louisiana Natural Heritage Program, was contacted by NOAA about diamondback terrapin eggs found on the Chenier Ronquille Barrier Island Restoration Project.
 
Chenier Ronquille is a barrier island located at the entrance to the Barataria Basin in Louisiana that is being restored through Deepwater Horizon early restoration efforts. The restoration is a component of the Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration Project, which restores beach, dune and back-barrier marsh at four barrier island locations. Other project components are being implemented by the CPRA and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
“Louisiana’s barrier islands and headlands are the first line of defense during storms, reducing the effects of wind, waves and flooding on coastal marshes,” said Pat Montanio, Director of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Habitat Conservation. “They also provide habitat for fish, shrimp, birds and other wildlife, but have been impacted by storms and oil spills like Deepwater Horizon. We’re happy to support this important effort, restoring habitat that helps protect coastal communities in Louisiana.”
 
Landry traveled to the barrier island to collect the diamondback terrapin eggs. Unable to incubate the eggs or raise the hatchlings, she contacted David and Karen Milliken, who assist  LDWF with its work with gopher tortoises, a federal and state-protected species. The Millikens incubated the eggs during July 2016. 
 
The eggs were then turned to Steven and Rachael Creech in August 2016. They hatched in August 2016. The Creechs raised them since that time. Under their constant care, the terrapins have nearly tripled in size since hatching and are now ready to be released into Louisiana’s coastal barrier island system.
 
“LDWF didn’t have the ability to incubate and raise the terrapin eggs,’’ Landry said. “The Millikens and the Creechs have worked with LDWF in the past and came alongside again to help out. They were instrumental in caring for these hatchlings with their willingness to assist LDWF. LDWF’s partnerships with other agencies, like NOAA and CPRA, and with the Millikens and Creechs, make conservation of our most imperiled species a reality.”
 
To see photos and video from the release, click here.

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