The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Wednesday, February 28, 2013. The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.
Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:
Approval of Minutes from December 4, 2012 Meeting
Hearing of Deferred Appeals
Hearing of New Permit Appeals
Set next meeting date
Receive Public Comments
This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.
Feb. 25, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited three Louisiana men for alleged wildlife violations on Feb. 12, 2013 in Concordia Parish.
Kenneth Woods, 38, of Jonesville, Don Paige, 46, of Ferriday, and Kenneth Jenkins, 50, of Jonesville, were cited for hunting wild game quadrupeds during illegal hours and hunting raccoon illegally.
LDWF Sgt. Trey Mason and Concordia Parish Deputy Dusty Lemoine were patrolling the area of Haphazard Road near Dunbarton after legal shooting hours. They observed a spot light and heard several gunshots coming from a wooded area at the end of Haphazard Road.
While observing the area, the two officers observed two vehicles leaving the wooded area and they initiated traffic stops on both vehicles. During the traffic stops, Woods, Paige and Jenkins stated they were raccoon hunting, but did not have a dog in their possession.
The subjects were in possession of small caliber rifles. Subsequently, they were also found in possession of six freshly harvested rabbits.
Hunting wild game quadrupeds during illegal hours and hunting raccoon using illegal methods each carry a fine between $250 and $500 and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.
The next meeting of the Louisiana Crab Task Force will be on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the 4th Floor Conference Room of the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building in Baton Rouge. Agenda items will include:
Enhancing professionalism in the blue crab fishery
Proposed Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Resolution
Proposed legislation that would increase the minimum mesh size in blue crab traps
Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission On-Line Social Survey of Commercial Crab Fishermen
Crab Task Force member absences and vacancies
Report on Derelict Crab Trap Removal Rodeos
Serviceable Crab Trap Law
Nominees to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board
Feb. 21, 2013 -- Search and rescue officials recovered the body of a Walker man from the Intracoastal Canal in St. Martin Parish today shortly after 12 p.m., Feb. 21.
Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division, Baton Rouge Fire Department, Ascension Parish Fire Department, Gonzales Fire Department, St. Martin Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary Sheriff’s Office, Assumption Sheriff’s Office, Belle River Volunteer Fire Department, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge Port Security, and volunteers from Texas and Michigan have been searching for Jacob P. Lewis, 28, since Jan. 30.
Authorities were notified that Lewis, a Baton Rouge firefighter, fell into the Intracoastal Canal near Belle River while loading his boat. According to his wife, Lewis and she were out scouting for possible crawfish trap locations on Jan. 30.
Search crews utilized sonar, dive teams, cadaver dogs, and aerial and surface search techniques during the search and rescue period.
Lewis’ body was turned over to the St. Martin Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death. LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.
Feb. 21, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) conducted six youth lottery deer hunts and three youth lottery waterfowl hunts on Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during the 2012-13 hunting season.
Thirty young hunters were chosen for deer hunts during October and December on the WMA’s South Farm Area. Each hunter was accompanied by an adult over 18 years of age and given the option to participate in both morning and afternoon hunts. They could harvest one antlered and one antlerless deer per day.
LDWF staff briefed hunters with safety tips and a drawing was held prior to each hunt to determine which box stand each hunter would occupy. LDWF also transported hunters to and from stands, and assisted in locating downed deer. Meals for the young hunters and adults were sponsored by the South La. Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association.
Ten youth hunters harvested 13 deer, five antlered and eight antlerless. Six of the participants harvested their first deer. Two hogs were also taken on the WMA.
Eighteen young waterfowl hunters were chosen to hunt on the WMA’s North Farm Waterfowl Area on dates in November, December and January. Six youth participated per hunt and were accompanied by an adult, but only the youth were allowed to hunt.
Duck blinds were placed in strategic locations within an impoundment area. Hunters were paired up with LDWF staff guides, attended a safety briefing and assisted in setting out decoys. Eighteen hunters harvested 104 ducks, averaging 5.8 ducks per hunter. Species taken included Green-winged teal, gadwall, mallards and a few geese. The Opelousas Chapter of Delta Waterfowl sponsored lunch for the youngsters and adults following the hunt.
For more information about future lottery hunts, contact Tony Vidrine at firstname.lastname@example.org or Johnathan Bordelon at email@example.com, or call the Wildlife Division Opelousas field office at 337- 948-0255.
Feb. 21, 2013 -- Twenty youth hunters were selected through a pre-season lottery application process for four deer hunts on Red River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during the 2012-13 hunting season.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) coordinated the lottery process which provided the young hunters the option of both morning and afternoon hunts, and the opportunity to harvest one antlered and one antlerless deer per day.
During hunts scheduled in December and January, box stands were placed in strategic locations within a limited access area on the WMA located in Concordia Parish and the youth were accompanied by an adult on each hunt. A drawing was held the morning of the hunt to determine which stand each hunter would occupy.
Hunters, ranging in age from eight to 17 years old, were also treated to a chicken and sausage gumbo prepared on site by LDWF staff and sponsored by the Quality Deer Management Association - Central Louisiana.
LDWF staff gave the youth hunters a brief safety lesson prior to each hunt, transported hunters to and from stands, and assisted in locating downed deer. The Red River youth hunters enjoyed very good success, with seven of the 20 harvesting a deer. Four antlerless and three antlered deer were harvested. In addition, six hunters had the opportunity to shoot, but missed their targets. Bears and hogs were also observed from stand locations by several youth hunters.
To apply for WMA youth hunts, visit the LDWF website – www.wlf.la.gov – each August for applications that will be posted prior to the opening of the hunting season or contact a Wildlife Division field office near you. For more information, contact Tony Vidrine or Johnathan Bordelon 337-948-0255.
February 20, 2013 - At its February meeting the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council rejected a proposal by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that would provide harvest accountability and allow Louisiana’s recreational fishermen to choose their own season dates for recreational red snapper.
“It’s obvious when looking at recreational landings of red snapper for the Gulf of Mexico that the current federal system of controlling recreational harvest isn’t working. For the past six years the recreational quota was exceeded five times. The only year the quota wasn’t exceeded was in 2010, likely a direct result of massive fishery closures resulting from the BP oil spill. Overages ran from a low of 19 percent to a high of 89 percent in those six years and exceeded 7 million pounds of red snapper which is almost twice the current recreational quota”, said head of Fisheries for Louisiana, LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.
“Our proposal for regional management would have allowed Louisiana to manage its recreational fishery by closing the red snapper season when our allocation of fish was harvested. In turn, the Gulf Council would allow Louisiana recreational fishermen through the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission process to set the red snapper season dates and daily bag limits,” added Pausina.
In related action, the Gulf Council gave the Regional Director of NOAA the authority to close federal waters (EEZ) beyond those states that are determined to be non-compliant with federal regulations.
“This is how that action breaks down: because our season doesn’t fit that of the federal season, we will be penalized with an EEZ closure. The irony is that if we comply with the federal season, history tells us the recreational fishery will overrun its quota. And the Gulf Council rejected our offer to account for our own recreational harvest and close the red snapper season when our allocation of the resource is reached thereby eliminating an overrun in Louisiana,” concluded Pausina.
Furthermore, a notice of intent was filed today on behalf of the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to set a Louisiana, weekend-only recreational red snapper season that would begin Saturday, March 23. In that notice of intent, LDWF Secretary Robert Barham maintains the authority to modify the season based on further discussions with our federal counterparts and the Gulf Council.
LDWF officials encourage fishermen to use caution and their own personal judgment when fishing beyond the three mile boundary that is currently recognized as federal waters, as it is fully expected that federal agents will continue to enforce federal law. Until the time when the US Congress confirms Louisiana’s action, the battle will continue over Louisiana’s state water boundary.
February 19, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is temporarily opening a section of beach along the Elmer’s Island Refuge effective immediately. The open section will include the area at the end of the access road and continue approximately 0.5 miles to the east. Areas that will remain closed will be clearly marked.
After the opening, road access to Elmer’s Island opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset seven days a week. Night-time access and fishing on the island remain closed, and camping on the beach is strictly prohibited.
The refuge was closed on August 26, 2012 in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac, and has remained closed due to road conditions and continual oiling events. Elmer’s Island continues to experience re-oiling and heavy clean-up operations are ongoing. Clean-up areas will be clearly marked. Visitors are asked to exercise caution when accessing this area.
Although the beach will be open for day-time public access, workers and state officials will continue to monitor the shoreline in order to continue to respond to oiling impacts. The probationary opening will be assessed after a period of 10 days, and is subject to reconsideration. Any sightings of oil should be reported to LDWF at (800) 442-2511 and the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802.
LDWF asks the public not to cross areas covered with water. Winds and wave energy from Hurricane Isaac created washovers which can be covered in water during high tides.
For a map detailing the specific areas open click here: