LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Update on Oiled Wildlife and Marine Life Recovered Along Louisiana's Coastline

Release Date: 07/14/2010

 

The rescue of oiled wildlife impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to be an important mission for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Working closely with state, federal and contracted forces assembled to rescue birds, sea turtles and marine mammals, LDWF biologists patrol coastal waters and marshes daily searching for wildlife in distress.

Wildlife rescue forces also respond to calls received via the oiled wildlife response hotline at 1-866-557-1401.

Through Wednesday, July 14, rescue numbers include the following breakdown:

BIRDS (Overview for duration of response) -

2,986 total birds collected within the five-state impact area (LA, MS, AL, FL, TX).

Louisiana bird collections only:

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  • 1,555 total birds processed in LA through Fort Jackson rehabilitation center in Buras, LA.
  • 837 birds collected alive.
  • 718 birds dead on arrival at rehabilitation center, euthanized due to extent of injury or dead after rehabilitation efforts unsuccessful.
  • 461 birds treated and released. 
    MARINE REPTILES & MAMMALS (Overview for duration of response) --

660 sea turtles collected in the five-state impact zone.

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  • 106 sea turtles of the total above were collected in LA waters (9 recovered alive; 97 dead).
  • 64 dolphins have been collected in the five-state impact area -
  • 35 dolphins were from LA waters (1 recovered alive; 34 dead).

Wildlife impact numbers are reported to the Unified Area Command from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, incident area commands, rehabilitation centers, and other authorized sources operating within the Deepwater Horizon/BP incident impact area.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Bo Boehringer  bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115

2010-214

LDWF and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Announce Large-scale Opening to Recreational Fishing

Release Date: 07/14/2010

Today Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced significant openings to recreational fishing.  With this action, approximately 86 percent of recreational fishing in Louisiana will be open immediately today, July 14.

"The measures taken today by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will allow recreational anglers, including recreational shrimping, crabbing and fishing, to resume," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "While I am pleased and fully support today?s action, I caution all fishermen to exercise caution while fishing in areas closed to commercial fishing."

This opening includes licensed charter boat guides and bait fishermen or dealers who harvest for and sell to recreational fishermen exclusively.

Recreational fishing is being allowed subject to continual testing and monitoring, as this activity is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  To date the Environmental Protection Agency?s near shore water tests have shown chemical contamination levels below public health concern.

"I consider today's action the first step in opening state waters to all fishing, both recreational and commercial," added Barham.

Although recreational fishing will be allowed in portions of the previously closed fishing areas, certain delineated areas, including heavily oiled areas, areas associated with boom and areas of active cleanup continue to be closed to recreational fishing.

It is advised that recreational fishermen avoid areas where oil is observed, respect oil cleanup and removal activities and stay clear of areas being protected by boom material.  Smell and examine catch closely to ensure that there are no obvious oil or chemical residues.  Recreational fishermen fishing in areas closed to commercial fishermen do so at their own risk.

All previously issued commercial fishing closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

2010-215

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LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION CALLS SPECIAL MEETING

Release Date: 07/13/2010

 

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING:

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has called a special meeting for 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, 2010 to consider opening areas closed to all fishing due to the BP oil spill to recreational fishing only. The meeting will be held in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The agenda is as follows:

1.    Roll call

2.   Consideration of Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent to allow recreational fishing only in those areas closed to all fishing due to the BP oil spill.

3.   Receive public comments

4.   Adjournment

2010-213

Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative Begins

Release Date: 07/12/2010

 

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) to improve the overall health of the basin.  Many activities contribute to nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), including farming.  Increased nutrients can result in diminished water quality, affecting fish and wildlife habitat locally as well as many miles downstream as exhibited by the hypoxic zone (Dead Zone) in the Gulf of Mexico.   Louisiana is one of twelve river states that was selected to develop systems of practices to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin (MRB).

Projects were developed by organizations or agencies that have historically worked closely with NRCS.  The projects constitute true partnerships with 11 - 16 partners represented on each project, hence the term cooperative conservation partnership initiative (CCPI) to describe each project.  The NRCS and its partners will help producers within four sub-segments of three watersheds in Louisiana's MRB to voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, or trap nutrient runoff, improve wildlife habitat, and maintain agricultural productivity.  As such, this program is not a crop retirement program, but rather a working lands program that provides a comprehensive approach to lands management.

A unique feature of this initiative is the required water quality monitoring within the watersheds, thus allowing the objective evaluation of impacts on water quality within the selected areas.  That is one reason the participation areas are limited in size.  Having the focused areas provide the venues for demonstrating effective management of nutrients with the system of practices voluntarily implemented can provide a blueprint for expansion of efforts.

Persons interested in learning more about the MRBI for the Bayou Chene watershed can contact: Mike Perry, Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator, Bayou Chene project coordinator; for the Bayou Lafourche watershed: Mike Schooler, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Bayou Lafourche project coordinator; and for Upper Joe's Bayou: Donna Remides, Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator, Upper Joe's Bayou project coordinator.

Areas selected for this multiyear project are within the work areas of three of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' private lands biologists who assist with development of wildlife interests into plans.  Kori Legleu (337-491-2574 orklegleu@wlf.la.gov) will be working with partners on the Bayou Chene watershed.  John Hanks (318-343-4044 orjhanks@wlf.la.gov) will be assisting the various partners delivering the program on the two Bayou Lafourche projects and Cliff Dailey (318-343-4044) or cdailey@wlf.la.gov will be work with participants on the Upper Joe's Bayou watershed.

List of Participants

Important contacts:

Bayou Chene (Lower Mermentau Watershed)

mike.perry@la.usda.gov
Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator
Bayou Chene Project Coordinator
337-824-0975 ext.5

frank.chapman@la.usda.gov
NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Charles Field Office
337-436-5020 ext. 3

Bayou Lafourche (Boeuf River Watershed)

michael.schooler@la.nacdnet.net 
Office of Soil and Water Conservation
Bayou Lafourche Projects Coordinator
318-387-8683 ext. 19

larry.phillips@la.usda.gov
NRCS District Conservationist
Rayville Field Office
318-728-4451 Ext.3

Upper Joe's Bayou (Bayou Macon Watershed)                            

donna.remides@la.usda.gov
Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator
Upper Joe's Bayou Project Coordinator
318-435-7328

eran.robinson@la.usda.gov
NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Providence Field Office
318-559-2604 ext.3

For more information, contact Mike Olinde at 225-765-2353 or molinde@wlf.la.gov.

2010-212

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Overturns Decision to Allow Recreational Catch and Release Fishing in Closed Areas

Release Date: 07/08/2010

 

Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission chose to reinstitute a complete closure to recreational fishing in all Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries closure areas.  This action by the commission reverses the Secretary of the Department?s decision earlier this week to allow the recreational catch and release of finfish in closed areas.

Fishermen may continue to transit through closed areas with fish legally harvested from open waters but may not fish in any closed area.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented by the Secretary based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

The Secretary's authority for these closures limits the duration of his actions to seven days following the next scheduled monthly commission meeting and requires the Commission to revisit the Secretary's action to extend the effective date . The Commission heard extensive public testimony before voting to remove the allowance of recreational catch and release fishing in the closed areas.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

For more information and maps on current LDWF closures go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

For more information, please contact Marianne Burke at (225) 765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov.

2010-211

LDWF Announces Fishing Opening in a Portion of Plaquemines Parish East of the Mississippi River to Fishing

Release Date: 07/07/2010

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following opening to recreational and commercial fishing in a portion of Plaquemines Parish effective 6 a.m., tomorrow July 8, 2010.

The portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish south of 29 degrees 38 minutes 12 seconds north latitude near Mozambique Pt. and north of the eastern shore of the Mississippi River from the Twin Pipeline Canals at 89 degrees 42 minutes 32 seconds west longitude eastward to the double-rig line and 89 degrees 28 minutes 06 seconds west longitude near Sable Island.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas. Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily. As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke, 225-765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov.

2010-210

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July 4 Boat Explosion on Old River Injures Five

Release Date: 07/06/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents patrolling Old River in Pointe Coupee Parish responded to a call about a boat explosion after 7 p.m. on July 4. The boat had 6 passengers on board at the time of the explosion and all passengers, including the operator, ended up in the water.

The boat's occupants were quickly pulled from the water by West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s deputies working in the area and taken back to the boat launch. Agents responding found that Matthew P. Wilkes, 26, of Lakeland, was operating a 19-foot ski boat on Old River, when for unknown reasons the engine compartment exploded. Five of the passengers received third degree burns on their legs and backs. The injured were taken by Acadian Ambulance and Acadian Air Med to local hospitals for immediate medical treatment of their burns.

Those injured were: Raina Brown, 24, of Baton Rouge; Todd Hymel, 27, of Baton Rouge; Chris Duet, 25, of Baton Rouge; Keith Silvio, 25, of Baton Rouge; and Dustin Musso, 28, of Baton Rouge. Wilkes and passenger Allyson Marshall, 23, of Lakeland, were not injured.

The accident is currently under investigation by LDWF's Enforcement Division. Agents working the investigation are Sgt. Chris Carpenter and Senior Agent Allan Marbury. The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office, Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office and LDWF all responded to the incident.

For more information, contact Capt. Lastie Cormier, ph. 337-948-0257 or lcormier@wlf.la.gov

2010-208

LDWF Modifies Recreational Closures to Allow Catch and Release Fishing for Finsish

Release Date: 07/06/2010

 

In an effort to stimulate economic activity in coastal Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced a modification to the state waters fishing closures to allow the recreational catch and release of finfish in closed areas effective immediately, today, July 6, 2010.

Recreational catch-and-release fishing is allowed as long as no finfish are possessed in the closed area. This modification is limited to finfish only and does not apply to other species such as shrimp, crabs, and other non-finfish species.

Fishermen can continue to transit through the closed areas with fish legally harvested from open waters but may not fish in a closed area while possessing any species of fish.

"Even at this critical time, we want to offer our anglers every opportunity to continue to enjoy the sport," said Barham. "This option has been on the table for some time now and is part of our ongoing effort to be proactive as we continue to write the play book on this event."

While participating in catch and release fishing, the department urges interested anglers to sign up for the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program. Through this program, volunteer anglers provide information that is difficult, often impossible, and expensive to obtain by other means. For additional information, interested anglers can contact fishtags@wlf.louisiana.gov.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information please contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or 225.721.0489

2010-209

LDWF MODIFIES FISHING CLOSURES IN PORTIONS OF PLAQUEMINES, ST. BERNARD, ORLEANS AND ST. TAMMANY PARISHES

Release Date: 07/05/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes effective immediately today, July 5, 2010.

These precautionary fishing closures are due to new reports of oil, strong easterly winds and higher than normal tides.

St. Bernard, Orleans and St. Tammany Parish Closures

The portion of saltwater water areas of the state east of the Mississippi River north of the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the southern shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain from the double rig line westward to 89 degrees 51 minutes 35 seconds west longitude and the US Hwy 11 bridge in Lake Pontchartrain.  In addition to those waters currently closed to recreational and commercial fishing, major water bodies included in this fishing closure include the Biloxi Marsh, Lake Borgne, Lake St. Catherine, Chef Menteur, Unknown and Rigoletes Passes and a portion of Lake Pontchartrain.

St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish Closures

The portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River north of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet from the double rig line westward to 89 degrees 41 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. In addition to those waters currently closed to recreational and commercial fishing, major water bodies included in this fishing closure include Lakes Machias and Fortuna, Bay Gardene and Bay Crabe and Black and California Bays.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas. Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily. As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-315-6878.

2010-207

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LDWF MODIFIES FISHING CLOSURES IN PORTIONS OF PLAQUEMINES AND ST. BERNARD PARISHES

Release Date: 07/05/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes effective immediately today, July 5, 2010.

These precautionary fishing closures are due to new reports of oil, strong easterly winds and higher than normal tides.

The portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River north of the eastern shore of Main Pass and south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet from the double rig line westward to the eastern shore of the Mississippi River and north along 89 degrees 42 minutes 32 seconds west longitude near the western shore of the twin pipeline canals.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas. Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily. As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

LDWF continues to work closely with LDHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke, 226-315-6878 or mburke@wlf.la.gov.

2010-207

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