LDWF News

LDWF News Release

ICYMI: "We urge legislators to approve Montoucet’s plan, ensuring that this paradise won't be neglected for future generations."

Release Date: 03/26/2018

The Advocate:  Our Views: Want to keep Louisiana 'The Sportsman's Paradise?' Approve Jack Montoucet's plan

Editorial: March 23, 2018
 

The last time the state of Louisiana increased its licenses for hunting and fishing, at least in any across-the-board fashion, was 2000. During the intervening years, our Southern neighbors were raising their fees and restructuring their licenses to recoup federal matching funds. That allowed them to maintain their hunting preserves and fish stocks.
 

What also happened in the intervening years?
 

The price of oil rose, in fact to historic levels, and oil and gas production on land owned and managed by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries went into the conservation fund.
 

Everyone now knows what has happened to the price of oil since 2014 — natural gas prices have also continued to be very low in historical terms — and W&F has been slowly depleting the conservation fund balances.
 

Click here to read the rest of the piece

Opinions requested from freshwater anglers regarding fish attractors

Release Date: 03/26/2018

(3-26-18) – The Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society’s Reservoir Committee, a working group of fisheries biologists across the Southeastern United States, and LDWF are conducting an online survey of fish-attractor and aquatic vegetation use by anglers who fish Southeastern reservoirs.  We are asking for help from our reservoir anglers across the state to take a 15-minute, anonymous online survey.  All of the information compiled will be analyzed and reported back to LDWF and other state fish and wildlife agencies for consideration in making management decisions.

The results of this project will guide and improve LDWF’s aquatic habitat enhancement programs in our lakes and reservoirs across the state.  Please click on the link to take the survey and thanks for your time!  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/fishattractor

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.

Alligator Advisory Council to Meet on March 27, 2018 @ 9:00 AM.

Release Date: 03/26/2018

Alligator Advisory Council
Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
4th floor conference room (Rm 459)
Baton Rouge LDWF Office

 

1.  Approval of minutes from the August 2, 2017 AAC meeting

2.  LDWF Alligator Program Update

3.  Alligator Nuisance Hunter Payment Program

4.  Public comment

5.  Executive Session: Discussion of RFP and Professional Services Contract pursuant to La. R.S. 42:17(A)(1)

6.  Adjourn

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LDWF to Study Crappie Population Health and Fishing Pressure at Sibley Lake

Release Date: 03/23/2018

In response to concerns from the public and local lawmakers regarding potential crappie overfishing on Sibley Lake in Natchitoches, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will analyze recent data from biological sampling and angler creel interviews conducted from 2015 through 2017.

 

The data collected from fish sampled during the study period will provide population information such as crappie abundance, growth and condition estimates, spawning success and recruitment. Information collected during the angler interview process will help to determine the overall impact crappie anglers have on the population in Sibley Lake. This includes the number of fish caught per trip, the number of fish harvested and released per trip, and the size of the fish caught. The information will be compiled to determine if a change in regulations would benefit the crappie fishery in Sibley Lake.

 

LDWF routinely conducts stock assessments of lakes statewide to ensure the health of the fishery and determine the efficiency of existing and proposed regulations. These projects primarily focus on largemouth bass or crappie, but also include biological information gathered on other recreationally and commercially-important species. Such biological studies include intensive biological sampling and data collection over a 3-year period.

 

Once the data collection and scientific analysis is complete, the results of such will be made available to the public via the LDWF website and other venues.

 

For additional information regarding Sibley Lake, contact Villis Dowden at  vdowden@wlf.la.gov  or (318) 357-3214.

 

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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup .

A Portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds to Open for Transplant of Oysters Under LDH Permit Only

Release Date: 03/20/2018

A Portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds to Open for Transplant of Oysters Under LDH Permit Only

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open a portion of the public oyster seed grounds in Mississippi Sound for the transplant of bedding oysters at one-half hour before sunrise on Saturday, March 24, 2018, and shall close the special season at one-half hour after sunset on April 7, 2018. The area is currently within closed Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) harvest areas 1 and 2, and not open to the harvest of market (sack) oysters. The boundaries of the transplant area are as follows:

Western boundary line:

·       30 degrees 09 minutes 40.678 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 30 minutes 57.011 seconds W longitude to,

·       30 degrees 07 minutes 05.000 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 29 minutes 56.000 seconds W longitude 

Southern boundary line:

·       30 degrees 07 minutes 05.000 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 29 minutes 56.000 seconds W longitude to,

·       30 degrees 07 minutes 49.356 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 26 minutes 40.4 seconds W longitude

Eastern boundary line:

·       30 degrees 07 minutes 49.356 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 26 minutes 40.4 seconds W longitude following shoreline to,

·       30 degrees 08 minutes 36.000 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 26 minutes 28.000 seconds W longitude across to,

·       30 degrees 10 minutes 38.034 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 24 minutes 55.306 seconds W longitude

Northern boundary line:

·       30 degrees 10 minutes 38.034 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 24 minutes 55.306 seconds W longitude to,

·       30 degrees 09 minutes 57.642 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 27 minutes 25.143 seconds W longitude to,

·       30 degrees 09 minutes 34.635 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 30 minutes 39.753 seconds W longitude

·       and back to,

·       30 degrees 09 minutes 40.678 seconds N latitude

·       89 degrees 30 minutes 57.011 seconds W longitude

Click image above to view a map of the transplant area.

The area will open to allow for the permitted transplant, or relay, of live oysters for bedding purposes only.  Oysters may only be transplanted from the area within the public oyster seed grounds further described above which are currently closed by the LDH. All individuals found harvesting in this area must possess a valid LDH oyster transplant permit. Any individual actively harvesting oysters in the public oyster seed grounds described above shall be properly permitted for such transplant by the Department of Health and Hospitals in accordance with the state sanitary code

Applications for transplant permits may be obtained between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact Gordon LeBlanc or Christopher Lemaire, DHH Commercial Seafood Program at 225-342-7539 or 225-342-7540.

 

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 a possible 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 two weeks 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 LDH 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 Seeking Input on Blue Crab Management Options

Release Date: 03/20/2018

The Louisiana Crab Task Force is seeking public comment regarding future regulations on the commercial harvest of blue crabs in Louisiana waters. At the request of the task force, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) presented management options for the 2019 crab season at the March 13, 2018, task force meeting. The four options presented were designed to reduce annual landings by an amount similar to the reduction in landings during the 30-day closure in 2017.

Overview of Management Options for 2019:

Options Presented:

Considerations:

1. Keep the current March-April 60 day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab

·      Allows female crab to move offshore to spawn

·      Longer restriction period

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Greater loss in dockside value

2. Implement 35-day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab beginning second Monday in September

 

·      Shorter restriction period than 60 day option

·      Reduced loss in dockside value

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Similar reduction in landings as the 60 day option

3. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in September

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

4. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in October

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

 

In 2016, LDWF implemented a three-year plan to increase the blue crab exploitable biomass by reducing total annual landings.  After the full 30 day closure in 2017 and the current 60-day female restriction, LDWF is continuing to work directly with the blue crab industry to provide management options that will both reduce annual landings and minimize negative impact on the industry.

Comments and Submission:

To submit feedback and public comment on the options above via an online survey, click here.

The task force is accepting input on these options as of today, March 1_, 2018, until May 3, 2018.

The task force will review results of this survey at their May 8, 2018 meeting. Sign up for task force meeting notifications online.

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.

Louisiana Crab Task Force Seeking Input on Blue Crab Management Options

Release Date: 03/20/2018

The Louisiana Crab Task Force is seeking public comment regarding future regulations on the commercial harvest of blue crabs in Louisiana waters. At the request of the task force, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) presented management options for the 2019 crab season at the March 13, 2018, task force meeting. The four options presented were designed to reduce annual landings by an amount similar to the reduction in landings during the 30-day closure in 2017.

Overview of Management Options for 2019:

Options Presented:

Considerations:

1. Keep the current March-April 60 day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab

·      Allows female crab to move offshore to spawn

·      Longer restriction period

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Greater loss in dockside value

2. Implement 35-day restriction on commercial harvest of female blue crab beginning second Monday in September

 

·      Shorter restriction period than 60 day option

·      Reduced loss in dockside value

·      Harvest of male blue crab

·      Similar reduction in landings as the 60 day option

3. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in September

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

4. Implement 12-day commercial crab fishery closure (no harvest of males or females) in October

 

·      Shorter than female harvest restriction options

·      Requires traps to be removed from the water

·      Reduction in landings and dockside value similar to 35-day female restriction

·      Possible allowance for a concurrent crab trap cleanup

 

In 2016, LDWF implemented a three-year plan to increase the blue crab exploitable biomass by reducing total annual landings.  After the full 30 day closure in 2017 and the current 60-day female restriction, LDWF is continuing to work directly with the blue crab industry to provide management options that will both reduce annual landings and minimize negative impact on the industry.

Comments and Submission:

To submit feedback and public comment on the options above via an online survey, click here.

The task force is accepting input on these options as of today, March 1_, 2018, until May 3, 2018.

The task force will review results of this survey at their May 8, 2018 meeting. Sign up for task force meeting notifications online.

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.

South Farm Area in Sherburne Wildlife Management Area Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 03/20/2018

March 20, 2018 – The South Farm area of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been closed due to flooding, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced. The closure includes the entire South Farm impoundment area where recreational crawfishing and other activities occur.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems have caused backwater flooding to depths creating safety concerns for South Farm users. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect and reopen the area.
 
Sherburne WMA South Farm is located in Iberville Parish approximately one mile north of Ramah.
 
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2763 or 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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Manchac Greenway to Conduct Volunteer Trash Pickup Near Joyce Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 03/19/2018

March 19, 2018 – The Manchac Greenway Committee is looking for volunteers to assist with trash pickup March 24 along Louisiana Highway 55 near the Joyce Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
 
The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the public boat launch in Manchac. Entergy will provide lunch and Manchac Greenway drinks. If interested in participating or for more information, contact Frank Neelis at 225-223-2222 or bucktree@bellsouth.net or Ben Taylor at 985-974-1810 or maurepas@charter.net.
 
Joyce WMA is located five miles south of Hammond in Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes. For more information on Joyce WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774.
 

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Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet March 20

Release Date: 03/19/2018

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

I.    Pledge of Allegiance

II.   Roll call and introduction of guests

III.  Approval of February 15, 2018 Minutes and March 20, 2018 Agenda

IV.  Treasury Report

A.      Oyster Tag Sales

B.      LOTF Financial Report

C.   Tier 2.1 Financial Disclosure Reminder

V.Committee Reports

A.      Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)

B.      Enforcement (Major Chad Hebert)

C.      Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.     Research (Earl Melancon)

E.      Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.      Marketing (LDWF)

G.      Health (Justin Gremillion)

H.     Sustainability (LDWF)

I.        Professionalism (LDWF)

J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)

K.      Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)

VI.  New Business

A.     Discussion and Updates on the 2017-18 Oyster Season- LDWF

B.     To Hear a Proposal to Change the Timing of the Dermo (Perkinsus Marinus) Sample Collections- LDWF

C.     Discussion on the Bonne Carre Spillway Opening and the Special Oyster Transplant- OTF

D.    To Hear Discussion and an Update on the Closure of Mardi Gras Pass- OTF

E.     To Hear Date Proposals for the OTF ‘Let the World Be Your Oyster’ Event- OTF

F.     Election of Officers-OTF

VII.  Public Comment

VIII. Set Next Meeting

IX.   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/3432984654095962626

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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.go

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.

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