L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Assistance Available for Louisiana Shrimp Harvesters

Release Date: 08/12/2010

 

Qualified Louisiana shrimp fishermen may receive up to $12,000 in cash benefits and obtain technical training under the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program.

This program is designed to help shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic adjust to increased competition through training and payments to implement new business strategies.

Individual shrimpers in Louisiana interested in applying for technical training and up to $12,000 in cash benefits must complete and submit a written application to their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) center by September 23, 2010.

To find the Louisiana FSA center nearest you, visit the following link to the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s website and click on the parish where you live.  http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=la&agency=fsa

When applying for TAA benefits, you must provide documentation that you caught or harvested shrimp (i.e. LDWF trip ticket reports) in the 2008 marketing year and during at least one of the three previous marketing years (2005, 2006 or 2007).  You may also need to certify that either your production or price per pound declined from previous years.  Interested family members or business partners may be listed as an alternate on the application form if you are unable to attend training. 

Applications (form FSA 229-1) are available on the FAS Website at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaforms.asp.

For more information call your local FSA office or visit www.taaforfarmers.org.

2010- 241

Louisiana Wild-caught Crawfish Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 08/12/2010

 

The Louisiana Wild-Caught Crawfish Task Force will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda is as follows:

A.   Call to Order

B.   Roll Call

C.   Adoption of Agenda

D.   Reading of the Minutes from the last meeting 03/23/10

E.   Introduction of Guests

F.    Announcements

G.   Old Business

H.   New Business

1.    Martin Plonsky, Fisheries Biologist to give presentation on catch comparison between ¾ inch and 11/16 inch mesh of crawfish traps.

2.    Comments and discussions on crawfish management plan

3.    Comments and discussion on how often the task force needs to meet  

I.      Public Comment

J.    Topics for Next Meeting

K.   Set Next Meeting Date

L.    Adjourn

For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at 225-610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

2010- 242

L.D.W.F. Accepting Applications for Waterfowl Group Hunts on White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area for 2010-11 Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 08/11/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for waterfowl group hunts for up to 12 hunters per group on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).

The cost of the 2010-2011 waterfowl season hunts will be $30,000 for each group and the application form is available on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/whitelake/2010-2011-Group-Hunt-Application.pdfstarting Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. A completed application form and $2,500 deposit must be submitted to LDWF by the close of business on Aug. 31, 2010.

Interested groups must select one, two-day group hunt per application. When selecting dates from the dates offered it is understood that arrival will be the afternoon before.  The two consecutive days of hunting do not include the arrival day, which will be the day before from 3-5 p.m.

LDWF will then select one application by random lottery drawing for each hunt offered. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must submit a separate application for each two-day group hunt they wish to reserve.

Applications must be accompanied by a bank draft, money order or other liquid instrument made payable to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the amount of $2,500. If the application is selected, the deposit is non-refundable, and the applicants will be notified by mail and required to submit the final payment of $27,500 no later than 14 days prior to arrival.

The fee covers up to 12 hunters and includes the following: transportation to and from the airport (Jennings and Lake Charles), all food and beverages, two-night stay at the White Lake Lodge, professional hunting and fishing guides, hunting and fishing licenses, steel shot shotgun shells for waterfowl hunts and lead shot for skeet range, the use of shotguns and fishing gear, bird and fish cleaning and packaging.

On arrival day, hunters will watch a safety film and then be issued hunting and fishing licenses. If time allows they will shoot skeet in the late afternoon hours. Day two starts with a morning waterfowl hunt from 6-9:30 a.m. After the hunt, the group can fish or shoot clay targets on the skeet range or sporting clays course. On day three a morning waterfowl hunt is scheduled from 6-9:30 a.m. and checkout is no later than noon after lunch.

Applications must be mailed to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: White Lake Group Hunt, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 (Physical Address: 2000 Quail Drive, Room 458, Baton Rouge, LA 70808). Contact Wayne Sweeney, hunt coordinator, for more information at 337-479-1894.

For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-479-1894. The attached link will be activated 8 a.m. 8/12/2010.

2010-240

 

L.O.W.A. Recognizes Excellence in Outdoor Communications

Release Date: 08/10/2010

Eleven Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) members were recognized for their contributions during LOWA?s 65th annual conference Aug. 6-7 in Covington. The honorees were selected for awards in the organization?s 2010 Excellence in Craft (EIC) competition.

The EIC contest, which recognizes excellence under eight categories of outdoor-related communication, has been held continuously since 1945. To ensure objectivity, all entries were judged through an external and anonymous review process involving Southeastern Outdoor Press Association members.
LOWA has both active and supporting members. Active membership is qualified by productivity in outdoor communication. Active membership includes newspaper and magazine writers, editors, columnists, photographers, radio and television broadcast journalists, wildlife artists, internet journalists, book authors, videographers, lecturers, and public relations specialists.
The winners and sponsors of the 2010 EIC contest are listed below. For more detailed information about the competition or LOWA, visit www.laoutdoorwriters.com

LOUISIANA OUTDOOR WRITERS ASSOCIATION
2010 Excellence in Craft Winners and Sponsors

Magazine Short Feature (less than 1000 words)
1st Paula Ouder; 2nd Deborah Burst; 3rd Wendy Billiot
Co-Sponsors: Louisiana Forestry Association and Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists

Magazine Regular Feature (more than 1,000 words)
1st John Flores; 2nd Terry L. Jones; 3rd Jerald Horst
Co-Sponsors: Louisiana Charter Boat Association and Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana

Newspaper Article
1st Glynn Harris; 2nd Lyle Johnson; 3rd John Flores
Co-Sponsors: Lake Charles-Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
and Louisiana Forestry Association

Broadcast (radio or television)
1st Glynn Harris; 2nd Glynn Harris; 3rd James Guice and Lyle Johnson
Sponsors: Louisiana Charter Boat Association, Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and National Wild Turkey Federation

Electronic Media
1st Wendy Billiot; 2nd Glynn Harris; 3rd Don Dubuc
Co-Sponsors: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation; and Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Outreach Committee

Black and White Still Photograph
1st John Flores; 2nd John Flores; 3rd Jerald Horst
Sponsor: National Wild Turkey Federation

Color Still Photograph
1st Butch Thurmond; 2nd Butch Thurmond; 3rd Jerald Horst
Sponsor: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation

Topical Article on Coastal Wetland Protection/Restoration (more than 750 words)
1st Wendy Billiot; 2nd Paula Ouder; 3rd Lyle Johnson
Sponsor: Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Outreach Committee

For more information, contact Chris Holmes at 504-495-8189 or cholmes@att.net

2010- 239

L.D.W.F. Announces 2010-2011 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 08/05/2010

Opening and closing dates for the 2010/2011 oyster season on the public oyster areas were set at the today at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.  The seasons were set following public comment and recommendations presented by LDWF biologists.

The 2010/2011 oyster season in the primary public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River, including Lake Borgne and the sacking-only areas of Lake Fortuna/Lake Machias and American/Long Bay, shall open one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close at one-half hour after official sunset on April 1, 2011, except for the Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation and the 2009 cultch plant areas in Black Bay and Three-Mile Bay within the following coordinates, which shall remain closed:

 

2009 Cultch Plant in Black Bay ? Plaquemines Parish

1.         29 degrees 36 minutes 55.598 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 32 minutes 30.482 seconds W longitude

2.         29 degrees 36 minutes 25.239 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 32 minutes 12.858 seconds W longitude

3.         29 degrees 36 minutes 14.674 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 32 minutes 47.070 seconds W longitude

4.         29 degrees 36 minutes 45.476 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 33 minutes 02.681 seconds W longitude

 

2009 Cultch Plant in Three-Mile Bay ? St. Bernard Parish

1.         30 degrees 01 minutes 15.884 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 21 minutes 19.511 seconds W longitude

2.         30 degrees 01 minutes 34.630 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 20 minutes 58.811 seconds W longitude

3.         30 degrees 01 minutes 11.418 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 21 minutes 12.304 seconds W longitude

4.         30 degrees 01 minutes 29.772 seconds N latitude

89 degrees 20 minutes 52.475 seconds W longitude

 

The oyster season in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation shall open at one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on November 21, 2010, except for the 2008 cultch plant within the following coordinates which shall open at one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on November 16, 2010:

 

2008 Cultch Plant in Hackberry Bay ? Jefferson/Lafourche Parish

1.         29 degrees 25 minutes 28.80 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 01 minutes 17.11 seconds W longitude

2.         29 degrees 25 minutes 37.79 seconds N latitude

            90 degrees 00 minutes 55.39 seconds W longitude

3.         29 degrees 25 minutes 28.61 seconds N latitude

            90 degrees 00 minutes 50.44 seconds W longitude

4.         29 degrees 25 minutes 19.63 seconds N latitude

            90 degrees 01 minutes 12.17 seconds W longitude

 

The Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds shall open one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close one half-hour after sunset on April 1, 2011.

 

The Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds shall open one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on November 16, 2010, except for the 2009 cultch plant in Lake Chien within the following coordinates, which shall remain closed:

 

2009 Cultch Plant in Lake Chien ? Terrebonne Parish

1.         29 degrees 20 minutes 07.167 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 26 minutes 07.493 seconds W longitude

2.         29 degrees 19 minutes 59.855 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 26 minutes 08.985 seconds W longitude

3.         29 degrees 20 minutes 03.161 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 26 minutes 23.849 seconds W longitude

4.         29 degrees 20 minutes 09.837 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 26 minutes 22.538 seconds W longitude.

 

The Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds shall open one-half hour before sunrise on October 29, 2010 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset October 31, 2010.

 

The oyster season in the Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation shall open one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close one-half hour after sunset on November 21, 2010,

 

The Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds shall open one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close one half-hour after sunset on April 1, 2011.

 

The oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake public oyster area (Department of Health and Hospitals? harvest area 30) shall open one-half hour before sunrise on October 15, 2010 and shall close one half-hour after sunset on November 14, 2010.  The sack limit during this time period is set at 20 sacks per vessel per day.  During this time, the east side of the Calcasieu Lake public oyster area (Department of Health and Hospitals? harvest area 29) shall remain closed.

 

The oyster season in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (Department of Health and Hospitals? harvest areas 29 and 30) shall then reopen at one-half hour before sunrise on November 15, 2010 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on April 30, 2011, except for the 2009 cultch plant within the following coordinates which shall remain closed:

 

2009 Cultch Plant in Calcasieu Lake ? Cameron Parish

1.         29 degrees 50 minutes 36.930 seconds N latitude

93 degrees 19 minutes 14.977 seconds W longitude

2.         29 degrees 50 minutes 33.787 seconds N latitude

            93 degrees 19 minutes 14.102 seconds W longitude

3.         29 degrees 50 minutes 34.266 seconds N latitude

            93 degrees 19 minutes 12.365 seconds W longitude

4.         29 degrees 50 minutes 31.840 seconds N latitude

            93 degrees 19 minutes 11.817 seconds W longitude

5.         29 degrees 50 minutes 32.893 seconds N latitude

            93 degrees 19 minutes 06.405 seconds W longitude

6.         29 degrees 50 minutes 34.263 seconds N latitude

            93 degrees 19 minutes 01.273 seconds W longitude

7.         29 degrees 50 minutes 39.274 seconds N latitude

            93 degrees 19 minutes 02.220 seconds W longitude

8.         29 degrees 50 minutes 39.047 seconds N latitude

            93 degrees 19 minutes 07.548 seconds W longitude

 

The sack limit for Calcasieu Lake during this time period is set at 10 sacks per vessel per day. However, these conservation actions shall not supersede public health closures.

 

The following areas will remain closed for the entire 2010/2011 oyster season:

1.         The Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation (as described in R.S. 56:434.E);

2.         The 2009 cultch plants as described above in Three-Mile Bay, Black Bay, Lake Chien, Sister Lake, and Calcasieu Lake;

3.         Barataria Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds (as described in LAC 76:VII:517);

4.         Deep Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds (as described in LAC 76:VII:517);

5.         Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds (as described in LAC 76:VII:517);

6.         Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation (as described in R.S. 56:434.E); and

7.         Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area (as described in R.S. 56:435.1).

 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335

2010-234

L.D.W.F. Announces Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/05/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the fall inshore shrimp season will open in Shrimp Management Zones 1, 2 and 3 at 6 AM, Monday, August 16.  Season dates were approved today by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, following public comment and recommendations presented by Office of Fisheries biologists.

The closing date was also set by the commission for these waters at sunset December 21, 2010 except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1(A)2) which will remain open to shrimping until 6 AM March 31, 2011.

Zone 1 includes Louisiana waters from the Mississippi border to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River.  Zone 2 extends from to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island and Zone 3 extends from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Texas border.

Due to the ongoing effects associated the Deepwater Horizon incident, certain delineated areas within the Pontchartrain, Barataria and Terrebonne Basins will remain closed to all commercial fishing, including shrimp harvesting, until further notice.

Louisiana is the number one domestic producer of shrimp with 2009 landings totaling over 100 million pounds, with a dockside value of $118 million.

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335

2010-235

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Announces Opening of Seatrout Season

Release Date: 08/05/2010

Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the commercial season for the harvest of spotted seatrout will open on August 15, 2010.  This fishery is set to remain open until the maximum annual quota is reached, or on the date projected by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that the quota will be reached, or until sunset on Friday December 31, 2010, whichever comes first.

Act 979 of the 2010 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session modified the season for the commercial harvest of spotted seatrout using a commercial rod and reel.

Also included in Act 979, and effective with the implementation of that act and these rules, the commercial taking or commercial harvesting of spotted sea trout shall be prohibited within Louisiana waters west of the Mermentau River.

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335

2010-236

Chauvin Man Arrested by LDWF Agents for Falsifying Trip Tickets

Release Date: 08/05/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested a Chauvin man today, Aug. 5 for allegedly falsifying trip ticket information and are transporting him to the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
Jessie Lambas, 58, allegedly falsified trip ticket documents dated from May and June of 2009 in order to file a claim with BP America due to the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Lambas was charged with three felonies for filing false public records, injuring public records and theft by fraud.  The trip tickets were filed with LDWF on May 27 and represented 5,644 pounds of shrimp with a value of $10,237.50.  Lambas stated that he received three payments from BP America totaling $3,000 from May 24 to July 14.
SIU agents met with Lambas on July 26 and 31 after receiving a complaint from the department's trip ticket section that Lambas did not possess a commercial fishing license in 2009.  Lambas does have a wholesale/retail seafood dealer’s license that allows him access to trip tickets issued to the wholesale/retail seafood dealer.
Lambas stated that he filed trip tickets from 2010, but the department does not have any record of issuing Lambas trip tickets in 2010 according to the arrest warrant.  The warrant also states that the trip tickets under question match the 50 trip tickets that he was issued in 2008.
If convicted, Lambas faces fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail with or without hard labor for each charge of falsifying and injuring public records.  For the fraud charge, Lambas faces a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail with or without hard labor.
"We want to ensure our commercial fishermen and dealers are compensated fairly by using accurate trip ticket information," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "We do not want to see commercial fishermen or dealers tempted to commit felony violations by falsifying trip ticket documents."
LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood.
These reviews are critical to ensure that commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers are appropriately credited with landings in the event of compensation that results from a natural disaster such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the current BP America oil spill.
BP America is requesting commercial fishermen to provide landings information from 2007-10 to determine eligibility for financial assistance.  LDWF is providing a landings data report back to commercial fishermen, when requested, to assist with this eligibility process.
The review of trip tickets has become even more critical during this time period considering that the previous years are being used to establish eligibility for assistance.  Any trip tickets from previous years are being subjected to another layer of review by LDWF staff to confirm their validity.
"The information provided on a trip ticket is the best way for the department to establish the value of Louisiana fisheries and the importance of those fisheries to the nation.  Trip ticket data also plays a key role in the managing of fisheries in Louisiana to ensure sustainability," said Michelle Kasprzak, LDWF Trip Ticket Program administrator.  "We ask that trip tickets be completed accurately and submitted on time as required.  Inaccurate or embellished trip tickets will be investigated by the department's Law Enforcement Division."
Trip tickets are filled out at the first point of sale between a commercial fisherman and wholesale/retail dealer or fresh product license holder and are due on the 10th of every month.  Trip tickets are then entered into LDWFs Trip Ticket Program's database.
Commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers may request their trip ticket landings by following the instructions on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill or calling the trip ticket section at 225-765-2399.
 For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
2010-238

Rehabilitated Brown Pelicans Released at Rabbit Island in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 08/05/2010

State and federal biologists today released the first brown pelicans back into Louisiana coastal habitat since rescue and rehabilitation operations began following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The 15 pelicans were transported from the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Hammond and carefully off loaded on to Rabbit Island by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists and representatives from the International Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

"We are pleased to see our state bird being returned to the coastal zone and applaud the efforts of the biologists who captured the distressed birds and the rehabilitation specialists who work diligently to ensure their survival," said Robert Barham, LDWF  secretary.

Rabbit Island, within Calcasieu Lake, was selected as the release point due to its inland, southwestern Louisiana location which has not been impacted by any oil for the duration of the spill incident. The Cameron Parish location provides 220 acres inhabited by laughing gulls, brown pelicans, and a mix of wading birds that includes roseate spoonbills, herons and egrets.

For photos of today's event go to:

 

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill/gallery

Since bird rescue and rehab began in April, 611 brown and white pelicans have been rescued alive in Louisiana.  248 have been successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild in Texas, Florida, Georgia, and now Louisiana.

For more information related to Louisiana's response to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225/756-5115.

2010-237

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Two Men for Falsifying Trip Ticket Documents

Release Date: 08/04/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested two New Iberia men on Aug. 3 for allegedly falsifying trip ticket information and booked them into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.

An Ly, 36, owner of Ly Ly Seafood, and Samith Huynh, 31, allegedly falsified trip ticket documents from January through April of this year in order to file a claim with BP America due to the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Ly and Huynh were charged for filing false public records and injuring public records.  Huynh was also charged with theft by fraud, and Ly was charged with conspiracy to commit theft by fraud.  All charges against the men are classified as felonies.

The trip tickets were filed with LDWF on June 15 and July 7 and represented 6,347 pounds of crabs with a value of $9,548.91.

SIU agents met with Ly and Huynh on July 28 after receiving a complaint from the department's trip ticket section.  According to the arrest warrant, both men admitted they did not sell or purchase any crabs after agents told the men that Huynh did not possess a commercial fishing license from January through April of this year.  Huynh did purchase his commercial fishing license at the department in May.

Ly stated that he signed and mailed the trip tickets to LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge after Huynh filled them out.  Huynh stated that he received checks from BP America for $5,000 in May and $5,000 in June according to the arrest warrant.

If convicted, both could face fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail with or without hard labor for each charge of falsifying and injuring public records.  For the conspiracy to commit theft by fraud and theft by fraud charges, both face fines up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail with or without hard labor.

"We want to ensure our commercial fishermen and dealers are compensated fairly by using accurate trip ticket information," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "We do not want to see commercial fishermen or dealers tempted to commit felony violations by falsifying trip ticket documents."

LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood.

These reviews are critical to ensure that commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers are appropriately credited with landings in the event of compensation that results from a natural disaster such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the current BP America oil spill.

BP America is requesting commercial fishermen to provide landings information from 2007-10 to determine eligibility for financial assistance.  LDWF is providing a landings data report back to commercial fishermen, when requested, to assist with this eligibility process.

The review of trip tickets has become even more critical during this time period considering that the previous years are being used to establish eligibility for assistance.  Any trip tickets from previous years are being subjected to another layer of review by LDWF staff to confirm their validity.

"The information provided on a trip ticket is the best way for the department to establish the value of Louisiana fisheries and the importance of those fisheries to the nation.  Trip ticket data also plays a key role in the managing of fisheries in Louisiana to ensure sustainability," said Michelle Kasprzak, LDWF Trip Ticket Program administrator.  "We ask that trip tickets be completed accurately and submitted on time as required.  Inaccurate or embellished trip tickets will be investigated by the department's Law Enforcement Division."

Trip tickets are filled out at the first point of sale between a commercial fisherman and wholesale/retail dealer or fresh product license holder and are due on the 10th of every month.  Trip tickets are then entered into LDWFs Trip Ticket Program's database.

Commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers may request their trip ticket landings by following the instructions on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill or calling the trip ticket section at 225-765-2399.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

2010-232

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