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LDWF Plans Two Derelict Crab Trap Closures for 2017

Release Date: 09/02/2016

LDWF Plans Two Derelict Crab Trap Closures for 2017

At yesterday’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a Notice of Intent for a rule that describes two different regions along the entire Louisiana coast to be closed for the purpose of removing derelict crab traps. 


1. The first closure will take place in the eastern portion of the state.  The inside waters from the Louisiana/Mississippi state line westward to Bayou Lafourche will be closed to the use of crab traps from February 20, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. through March 7, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.  



2. The second closure will take place on the western side of the state. The inside waters from the Louisiana/Texas state line eastward to Bayou Lafourche will be closed to the use of crab traps from March 6, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. through March 21, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. 

See map above.

The LWFC took action during its July meeting to create a seasonal closure of the commercial harvest and the use of all crab traps for 30 days beginning on the third Monday in February.  Today’s action will fall within with this 30-day seasonal closure to minimize impact to commercial crabbers.  Only Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel or their designees may remove and dispose of abandoned crab traps during the closure periods.


Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, have successfully removed and disposed of 27,366 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. Last year, LDWF, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, volunteers, CCA and members of the recreational and commercial fishing community assisted in retrieving more than 2,500 abandoned crab traps.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.


In the weeks leading up to the closure, LDWF will mail notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers as well as non-resident licensed crab fishermen who fish Louisiana waters and reside out of state.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.


Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Only LDWF personnel or their designees may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Mr. Jeffrey Marx, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 2415 Darnall Rd., New Iberia, LA 70560, or via e-mail to:  jmarx@wlf.la.gov prior to November 1, 2016.

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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LWF Commission Sets 2016-2017 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 09/02/2016

 

News Release

 

For Immediate Release
September 2, 2016

 

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public Information
LDWF

(504) 286-8745

rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

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LWF Commission Sets 2016-2017 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Oyster Season Overview Map

East of the MS River map detail

Bay Long Sacking only detail

Drum Bay Sacking Only Detail

On September 1, 2016, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016/2017 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season (see maps above):

·    Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation, Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise.  No harvest of oysters for market sales is allowed on any public oyster area prior to the second Monday in October.  Therefore, any and all vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds between September 7, 2016 and October 9, 2016, both dates inclusive, shall be harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the harvest vessel.

·    Monday, November 14, 2016  -  The Bay Long/American Bay sacking-only area and Hackberry Bay will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 

·    Tuesday, November 15, 2016  -  Hackberry Bay (sacking-only)

·    Season delayed until further notice - all Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River and north of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude (including Drum Bay sacking-only area).  The cause of that delay is described below.

During the 2016/2017 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

1.  Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:

a.  Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R. S. 56:440.  The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes.  The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit.
b.  Be limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both on the same day.

2.  If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds or reservations described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.
3.  Prior to leaving public seed grounds or reservations with oysters harvested from said seed ground or reservation: all oysters must be sacked, the number of sacks shall be recorded in a log book, and each sack shall be properly tagged.
4.  All vessels located in public seed grounds or reservations during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise shall have all oyster dredges unshackled.
 

The following areas shall remain closed for the 2016/2017 oyster season:

·      The area east of the Mississippi River and south of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude, excluding the American Bay area listed above

·      The Bay Gardene and Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservations

·      The Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Chien, Lake Felicity, and Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds

 

The opening of the season in the following area is delayed until further notice:

·      all Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River and north of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude, including the Drum Bay sacking-only area

This oyster season delay is necessary due to extensive oyster mortality observed throughout the area and also to protect a recent spat set in order to increase the likelihood of spat survival and facilitate resource recovery.  Protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of the public oyster seed grounds in this area.  Data indicating the need for this season delay was collected on September 1, 2016.

Seasons were not set for the Sabine Lake or Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Areas.

Closure dates, adjustments in sack limits and/or sacking-only areas will be determined by LDWF Secretary Melancon on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

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.

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.

 

LDWF, National Shooting Sports Foundation Team Up to Help Hunters Stay S.A.F.E.

Release Date: 09/02/2016

Sept. 2, 2016 - Responsible hunting is a time-honored tradition that plays an important part in managing Louisiana’s wild game populations. Responsible hunting means respecting game animals, hunting ethically and, most importantly, hunting safely.
 
With hunting season beginning and firearms in use and in transport, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) are urging hunters to prevent firearm accidents in the field, at the range, at home, and everywhere in between. 
 
Remember, the hunt isn’t over until you are S.A.F.E. 
 
S.A.F.E. stands for: Store firearms responsibly, Always practice firearm safety, Focus on your responsibilities as a firearm owner, and Education is key to preventing accidents.
 
Safe and secure storage of firearms when they are not in use is the number one way to prevent firearm accidents. 
 
To complement LDWF’s hunter safety programs and provide hunters with additional resources on proper firearm storage and safety, NSSF has made several resources available, which can be found at the Project Childsafe website. Together, LDWF and NSSF want to help everyone hunt responsibly, return home safely, and securely store their unloaded firearms.
 
NSSF’s Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign is part of the Project ChildSafe program, which NSSF launched in 1999. For more information on safe firearm storage and to find out how to get a free firearm safety kit, including a gun lock, visit www.projectchildsafe.org.
 
For more information, contact LDWF Education Program Manager Eric Shanks at eshanks@wlf.la.gov or 337-491-2575.
 

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Amends Proposed Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Notice of Intent

Release Date: 09/01/2016

Sept. 1, 2016 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved an amendment to a cervid carcass importation ban notice of intent (NOI) which would delay implementation of the proposed rule until March 1, 2017. The action came during the commission’s monthly meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
 
The ban, which was proposed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries during the July LWFC meeting, was made to assist in preventing the introduction of chronic wasting disease (CWD) into Louisiana’s white-tailed deer population. The proposal remains in the public comment period until Oct. 6.
 
The NOI as amended reads in part:
 
No person shall import, transport or possess any cervid carcass or part of a cervid carcass originating outside of Louisiana, except: for meat that is cut and wrapped; meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached, antlers, clean skull plates with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth. …Any and all bones shall be disposed of in a manner where its final destination is at an approved landfill or equivalent. Said rule shall be effective March 1, 2017.
 
To view the full notice of intent, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
The ban defines a cervid as animals of the family Cervidae, including but not limited to white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, fallow deer, axis deer, sika deer, red deer and reindeer. 

This proposed ban is strictly for the purpose of reducing the likelihood that CWD will enter Louisiana through carcass importation. Approved parts and meat from other states must contain a possession tag with the hunter’s name, out-of-state license number (if required), address, species, date and location (county and state) of harvest. Each state has different possession requirements for game once processed.
 
Public comment can be submitted in writing by mail to: Johnathan Bordelon, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to jbordelon@wlf.la.gov .

For more information, contact Bordelon at 225-765-2344.

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September Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 08/31/2016

Release Date: 08/31/2016

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Committee Agenda

September 1, 2016 - 9:30 A.M

2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge Louisiana

 

1.     Call to Order         

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Adoption of July 07, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Adoption of August 04, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

6.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege         

7.     Enforcement Reports August, 2016 – Captain Edward Skena

8.     Consideration of a Resolution to Commend the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Enforcement Division – Al Sunseri

9.     Consideration of a Resolution to Add Property to Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Area – Biologist, Tommy Tuma

10.  Consideration of a Resolution to Add Property to Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area – Biologist, Tommy Tuma

11.  Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent for the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program – Biologist, Jeff Marx

12.  Receive the 2016 Oyster Stock Assessment – Biologist, Steve Beck

13.  Consideration of a Declaration of Emergency for the Setting of the 2016/2017 Oyster Season on the Public Oyster Areas of Louisiana – Biologist, Steve Beck

14.  Receive the Waterfowl Population, Hunting Regulations, and Pre-Season Update – Biologist, Larry Reynolds

15.  Receive Summary Report of the Cervid Carcass Ban Notice of Intent Public Hearings; Consideration of Any Amendments to Cervid Carcass Ban NOI  – Biologist, Johnathan Bordelon

16.  Receive Public Comments

17.  Adjournment  

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1121612188471758595.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

LDWF and Sea Grant to Hold Calcasieu Lake Artificial Reef Meeting for September 7th

Release Date: 08/31/2016

News Release
 

 
For Immediate Release
August 30, 2016

Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information

LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov
 
Who:  LDWF Artificial Reef Staff
What:  Public information meeting to provide information and receive comments about the proposed reef site located in the southern portion of Calcasieu Lake
When: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Where:  Calcasieu Parish LSU AgCenter Office, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles, LA 70607
For additional information, questions, or comments please contact:
Craig Gothreaux at 225-761-2396 or cgothreaux@wlf.la.gov

This meeting will be open to the public.
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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

National Hunting and Fishing Day Events Set for Sept. 24 in Three Louisiana Locations

Release Date: 08/30/2016

Release Date: 08/30/2016

News Release

 

For Immediate Release

Aug. 30, 2016
Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) events on Sept. 24 in Haughton, Woodworth and West Monroe. This year’s event in Baton Rouge, however, has been cancelled.

The Baton Rouge NHFD event was set for the Waddill Outdoor Education Center. But the facility and surrounding businesses sustained damage earlier this month during the historic flood that decimated parts of southern Louisiana.

“In addition to the flood damage, LDWF relies heavily on the generosity of volunteers from our agency and the community to host these NHFD events,’’ said Charlie Melancon, Secretary of LDWF.  “We believe those volunteer efforts would be better focused on the recovery tasks occurring in the Baton Rouge area.’’

The department encourages the public to attend one of the three other NHFD events that it will host across the state, including:

Bodcau Wildlife Management Area
1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.
Haughton, Louisiana 71037
(318) 371-3050

Woodworth
LDWF Outdoor Education Center
661 Robinson Bridge Road
Woodworth, Louisiana 71485
(318) 484-2276

OPSP Public Shooting Range
357 Sheriff Fewell Road
West Monroe, Louisiana 71291
(318) 343-4044

NHFD is a national event celebrated in all 50 states on the fourth Saturday in September. It was created in 1972 when Congress passed two bills establishing a specific day to celebrate the conservation contributions of the nation’s hunters and anglers.

LDWF introduced its first NHFD event in 1982 at the Monroe district office.  In the following years, three more locations were added in Baton Rouge, Minden and Woodworth.  Today, more than 10,000 people statewide attend the celebrations, making NHFD the biggest public event for the department.

NHFD events are free to the public. The number and types of exhibits vary at each location but all include exhibits on LDWF management programs, shooting and fishing demonstrations, exhibits from local chapters of Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club and supporting businesses from the local communities.

Attendees have the chance to try their skills at the shooting ranges, fishing ponds and boating activities, as well as learn about wildlife with live animals.

For more information about the event, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/nhfd2016.

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.
 

Elmer’s Island closure extended to September 6th due to construction delays

Release Date: 08/30/2016

Elmer’s Island closure extended to September 6th due to construction delays

 

Unforeseen mechanical issues and unfavorable weather conditions have decreased production on the beach restoration project being constructed by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) at Elmer’s Island.  These unexpected delays have extended the Elmer’s Island closure by 7 days to September 6, 2016.
  
 An updated map with new closure dates can be found above.
 
For further information, contact Rene LeBreton at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov, 504-286-8745, or Chuck Perrodin CPRA public information director at Chuck.Perrodin@LA.GOV or (225) 342-7615.

 

LDWF Family Fish Fest is Headed Back to Ivan Lake in September

Release Date: 08/30/2016

The first Family Fish Fest of the year will be September 10, 2016 at Ivan Lake Recreation Area near Cotton Valley, LA. Everyone is encouraged to attend for a fun day of fishing and educational activities. 

In addition to the family friendly fishing competition, there will be numerous fishing activities including the mobile touch tank, fish identification display, the casting inflatable, a scavenger hunt, art activities, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to get their picture taken with Robbie Redfish, the LDWF mascot. All participants will be entered into a raffle to win great prizes.

Pre-registration and event information are available online at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/FFFIvan.  The first 100 youth entries will receive a free goody bag. 

Competitive divisions include Little Angler (ages 8 and under), Junior Angler (ages 9-15), and Adult Angler (ages 16 and older). There will be categories for both shore and boat anglers, and a boat launch is located on-site. Don’t forget your fishing rod, tackle, bait, and an ice chest to take home your catch for the day.

On-site registration and fishing will begin at 6:30 am. The Awards Ceremony will be held at 11:30 am. Lunch will be provided by Wayne Avery Catering, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Sam’s Club. Lunch will be served at 10:00 am until supplies run out.

 

The LDWF Family Fish Fest is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.
  
The 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, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282. 
 

LDWF Closes Pipeline Road at Boeuf Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 08/29/2016

Aug. 29, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Pipeline Road in the Crow Field at Boeuf Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to all traffic except ATV/UTVs.
 
Flooding this spring and recent heavy rainfall has hampered efforts to maintain this road to support vehicular traffic. A gate has been erected and closed to restrict vehicular traffic, but will allow ATV/UTV traffic.
 
Boeuf WMA is located in Catahoula and Caldwell parishes, north and south of La. Hwy. 4 approximately 10 miles southeast of Columbia.
 
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777 or contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.
 

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