LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

Release Date: 03/09/2018

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds to the harvest of seed oysters at one-half hour after sunset on Monday, March 12, 2018.  The area will remain open for the harvest of market oysters (sacking).

Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of seed oyster resources in these public oyster seed grounds. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term interest of the oyster populations in these areas.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems were encountered. The Secretary was authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if there is no longer a threat to the resource. 

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, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov

LDWF to Open Special Bedding Season in LDWF Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds, St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2018

LDWF to Open Special Bedding Season in LDWF Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds, St. Bernard Parish

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open a portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne to the harvest of seed oysters at one-half hour before sunrise on Monday, March 12, 2018, and shall close the special season at one-half hour after sunset on March 17, 2018. This area is currently open to the harvest of market (sack) oysters.  Both the market oyster season and special bedding season will only be open in areas of the Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds that are currently open by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH).

Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist in these public oyster seed grounds and the opening of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway may place those resources in imminent peril. The influx of freshwater from the spillway will decrease salinity in some areas, which may lead to oyster mortality.  Allowing limited harvest of the resource prior to an oyster mortality event is in the best interest of the public.  The purpose of this opening is to allow for the take of live oysters and excessive removal of non-living material will not be allowed.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if it is in the best interest of the resource.  The special season was set at a week to avoid over harvest of important non-living material necessary to maintain oyster reefs in the area.  LDWF will continue to evaluate the potential impacts to the resource and will consider additional openings if necessary.

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, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet March 13 at 1:00 p.m.

Release Date: 03/08/2018

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting
Pete Gerica, chairman
Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 1:00pm
UNO Advanced Technology Center
2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210
New Orleans, LA 70122

 

AGENDA

 

I.         Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.        Approval of January 9, 2018 Minutes and March 13, 2018 Agenda

III.       Financial Report

A. Tier 2.1 Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV.       New Business

A.     To Hear a Presentation on the Comparison of Blue Crab Management Regulations- LDWF

B.     To Hear a Presentation on Crab Product Import Data- LDWF

C.     Discussion of Leadership Workshop and Meeting Rules of Order- LA Sea Grant

D.     To Consider Banning Immature Female Blue Crab Harvest- Al Cassagne

E.     Discussion of Crab Task Force Shirt Order- CTF

V.         Public Comment

VI.        Set Next Meeting

VII.       Adjourn

 

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2909334544605100289

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.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Ban on Supplemental Deer Feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parishes Now in Effect

Release Date: 03/06/2018

March 6, 2018 – A ban on supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes is now in effect in an effort to potentially curb the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), recently discovered in Issaquena County, Mississippi, about five miles from the Louisiana border.
 
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental deer feeding in those parishes at its March meeting Thursday (March 1). It became effective Monday (March 5). To read the entire Declaration of Emergency go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
The action comes after the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Mississippi on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana.
 
The action is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) CWD Response Plan, designed to monitor and curb the potential spread of CWD into Louisiana.
According to the declaration, the use of bait not normally ingested by deer for feral hog trapping will still be allowed.  All bait must be placed and contained within the trap itself. Backyard bird feeders are also exempt from the declaration.
 
Baits that are permitted include commercially sold baits formulated and labeled for feral hog trapping, commercial fish based baits and soured grains, including whole shell corn soaked in water and fermented. Rice bran, non-fermented or whole cracked corn, soybeans, protein pellets and commercial feeds formulated for deer are prohibited from use in feral hog traps during the ban.
 
CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.
 
Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

LDWF has tested more than 8,300 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
 
 
 

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LDWF Announces Additional Road Closures in Grassy Lake WMA

Release Date: 03/06/2018

March 6, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed additional roads at the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding, including North Bayou Natchitoches Road and South Bayou Natchitoches Road from the Bayou de Sot Bridge to Smith Bay.
 
Cas-cas Road on the WMA was closed last week and remains impassable.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems and heavy rainfall has caused flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect, repair and reopen the roads when deemed safe for travel.
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville. For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994 .
 
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov .
 

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Popular Fishing Programs Available in Greater Lafayette Area This Spring

Release Date: 03/05/2018

Popular Fishing Programs Available in Greater Lafayette Area This Spring
Popular Fishing Programs Available in Greater Lafayette Area This Spring

This spring, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will bring two of its most popular aquatic outreach programs to Youngsville for local residents and the surrounding greater Lafayette area – the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (Aquatic VIP) and the Get Out and Fish! Community Fishing Program.
 
Through the Get out and Fish! Program, LDWF enhances and creates fishing destinations in urban areas, so excellent fishing is available within a stone’s throw of all Louisianans. The department has partnered with East Regional Library to bring this program to the pond at Southside Regional Park at Fabaher Field in Youngsville. The pond will be stocked with adult-sized channel catfish in the spring and rainbow trout in the winter, with the intention of establishing a put-and-take fishery in the area.
 
A kickoff event will be held on Saturday, April 7 from 6:30 a.m. to noon and will include a fishing competition, fishing activities and demonstrations, raffles and lunch provided by the Kiwanis Club. Pre-registration is available HERE. Day-of registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. and end at 10 a.m. The first 100 children to register will receive a free goodie bag. Participants 16 and older must have a valid recreational fishing license.
 
The Aquatic VIP Program encourages angling enthusiasts to pass the art of fishing on to the next generation. A free Aquatic VIP workshop will be held on March 14 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the East Regional Library in Youngsville for interested volunteers. At this hands-on workshop led by LDWF biologists, attendees will receive the training necessary to become a volunteer instructor. Workshop topics and activities include knot tying, casting skills, basic fishing techniques, fish identification, fisheries management and more. A binder full of activity guides, lesson plans and educational materials will be provided to all volunteers who attend the workshop. Loaner equipment is available to those volunteers who successfully complete the 8-hour workshop and pass a background check.
 
For more information on the Get Out and Fish! Community Fishing Program and the other sites regularly stocked by LDWF through this effort click HERE or contact Megan MacMenamin at mmacmenamin@wlf.la.gov. For information on Aquatic VIP workshops or to view a list of upcoming Aquatic VIP workshops, click HERE. For questions about the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, contact Alayna McGarry at (504) 286-4050 or atamcgarry@wlf.la.gov.
 
LDWF Get Out & Fish! and Aquatic Volunteer Instructor programs are 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 fisheries resources. 

LWFC Approves Declaration of Emergency to Cease Supplemental Deer Feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parishes

Release Date: 03/01/2018

March 1, 2018 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes in an effort to curb the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) during its monthly meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge. The ban becomes effective Monday (March 5).
 
The action comes after the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.
 
The Declaration of Emergency reads, in part: “The immediate cessation of all supplemental feeding, including mineral or salt licks, is hereby initiated for East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes.  The purpose of this feeding ban is to reduce the potential for the spread of CWD into Louisiana by reducing the risk of exposure when deer are concentrated around feeding sites.’’
 
To read the entire Declaration of Emergency go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
The action is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) CWD Response Plan designed to monitor and curb the potential spread of CWD into Louisiana.
According to the declaration, the use of bait not normally ingested by deer for feral hog trapping will still be allowed.  All bait must be placed and contained within the trap itself. Backyard bird feeders are also exempt from the declaration.
 
CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.
 
Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

LDWF has tested more than 8,300 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
 

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LWF Commission to Amend the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line

Release Date: 03/01/2018

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has approved a Notice of Intent to adjust the inside/outside shrimp line of demarcation. This line is used to separate the “inside” waters of the state from the “outside” waters, which are regulated separately. Generally, “outside” waters are those beyond the beach line.
 
Currently, the line dividing the two types of waters is defined in statute. This action by the Commission, when finalized, will update that line and would also allow adjustments to the line through administrative rulemaking, rather than by changes to statute.
 
Changes to the current boundary line were necessary due to land loss and erosion caused by storm surge, tidal movements and other natural causes. Approximately, 61,000 acres will be added to the states outside waters. Proposed changes to the boundary line were made using 2015 satellite imagery.
 
Information related to the proposed changes, including interactive maps, is available here.
 
Public comments pertaining to the proposed rule may be submitted from March 2, 2018, through April 26, 2018. Following final approval of the rule, the updated boundary line would be made effective September 1, 2018.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Peyton Cagle, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 1213 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601, or via e-mail to peyton.cagle@la.gov, prior to April 26, 2018.

 

Commercial Fishing for Bait Menhaden to Open March 15

Release Date: 03/01/2018

Today, at its regular meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action on a Declaration of Emergency to open the commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden on Thursday, March 15, 2018, based upon a request from the bait menhaden industry.  
  
The commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden typically opens on November 1 and runs through November 30 with a 3,000 metric ton quota. In the event that quota is not harvested during the normal November season, the bait season may resume April 1 of the following year.   
  
The bait industry requested the LWFC open the season two weeks earlier on March 15 to meet customer demand. The quota was not met in 2017 and opening the season two weeks earlier in 2018 is not expected to negatively impact the quota or regular commercial menhaden season.

Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit Helps Commercial Seafood Industry Adapt to Change

Release Date: 03/01/2018

(March 1, 2018) - The Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit 2018, an expo for the state’s commercial fishing and seafood industry, will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Hundreds of commercial fishers, seafood dealers, processors and other industry professionals will come together for a comprehensive day of workshops and a trade show. The free event is produced by Louisiana Sea Grant, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the LSU AgCenter with support from industry partners.  This year’s event focuses on “Adapting to Change” with talks and demonstrations selected to provide participants with information to help move the industry forward.

The expo will feature educational presentations and hands-on demonstrations on all aspects of the industry and best practices. Highlights include:

  • New safety and sustainability demonstrations.
  • Business opportunity how-to’s; such as value-added products, e-commerce, micro-processing, packaging, direct marketing and more.
  • U.S. Coast Guard demonstrations.
  • The latest recipes and techniques, including cooking demos by certified local chefs.
  • Forums for shrimp and oyster dealers as well as oyster harvesters.
  • LDWF species and data updates, fisheries biology and management.
  • The trade show features more than 50 booths showcasing innovative products, equipment and techniques, including marine electronics, scale calibration, vessel maintenance, onboard refrigeration, ice making and much more.
  • Near-Term Diversion Impacts -

“Considering the Near-Term Fisheries Implications of Large Scale River Diversions” will be a 90- minute, moderated panel discussion in which resource and restoration managers will hear from representatives of four state-sanctioned fishery advisory task forces: the Louisiana Oyster Task Force, the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, the Louisiana Crab Task Force, and the Louisiana Finfish Task Force. The session will focus primarily on socioeconomic considerations of large-scale diversions, with the target audience being those summit attendees working in fisheries-dependent businesses, including commercial fishermen, charter operations, seafood docks and dealers, processors, and retailers.  Private sector input to the panel will be collected in real-time during the session through the use of electronic polling devices.

 

All elements of Summit are designed to enhance Louisiana’s dynamic commercial seafood industry, the nation’s second-largest.

WHEN

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE

The Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70065.

ADMISSION

Free admission, and free lunch provided with advance registration. Registration will officially close on March 2nd.  Register at www.LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit/summit-participant-registration/ and become eligible for a chance to win one of two door prizes–gift certificates for commercial fishing supplies valued at $2,500 and $1,000. Vendors may also sign up at this site. Space and resources may be limited, so attendees are encouraged to register early.

For more information visit the Louisiana Fisheries Forward website at www.LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit

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.

 

 

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