Fishing

LDWF Launches Online Ordering for Oyster Hatchery Larvae

Release Date: 01/30/2018

(January 30, 2018) – Beginning at 8 a.m., CST, Tuesday, Feb. 06, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will launch an online ordering portal to provide the oyster industry with hatchery-reared oyster larvae and seed produced at the Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery.

Requests will only be accepted via the online ordering portal and will be filled based on the order that they are received. Priority will be given to in-state larvae orders. Requests made in writing or by phone will not be accepted. Larger orders may be reduced or split by the department based on availability of larvae and seed.

Payment will not be required at the time of requests. LDWF will contact those requesting hatchery products at a later date for payment.

 

The online ordering form can be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commercial-oyster by clicking the “Larvae Order Form” button or can be accessed directly by clicking this link: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/oyster-larvae-order-form.

 

For more information, or for assistance with completing the form, contact Program Development at 225-765-3980, 1-855-262-1764, or at Oversightprograms@wlf.la.gov .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 .

Drawdown of Lake Bistineau Concludes

Release Date: 01/26/2018

Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development closed the Lake Bistineau control structure gates to allow repair work to begin in the spillway outflow area. The gates were originally scheduled to close on November 30, 2017, but were left open until the repair contract was awarded. 
 
The area immediately south of the Lake Bistineau spillway needs to be dry for work to be completed in the outflow area. To prevent water levels from rising and exceeding the normal pool stage during construction, the gates were left open until work was ready to begin.

 
The management of Lake Bistineau and its aquatic resources is the responsibility of LDWF. DOTD is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Lake Bistineau dam, spillway and control structures.  
 
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland 
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at  jsibley@wlf.la.gov  or (318) 371-3066. 

 

 

COLUMN: Westside Junior High gets special lesson from LDWF

Release Date: 01/26/2018

COLUMN:

January 26, 2018

Contact: epratt@wlf.la.gov

 

The Livingston Parish News

COLUMN: Westside Junior High sixth graders get special lesson from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

By: David Gray

 

WALKER — Biologist Megan MacMenamin held up the mounted speckled trout for all the sixth graders to see.

“Anybody have any idea how to tell how old a fish is?” she asked Alysha Guidry’s first-hour science class.

One student raised his hand and said “teeth.” A good guess, MacMenamin said, but not the answer.

Another student shouted “its tongue,” an “interesting” guess MacMenamin said she never heard, but still not the one she was looking for.

A third student said by the fish’s gills, and a fourth said by the its scales.

“Those are all really good guesses,” she said before pulling a small white chip from the back of the fish’s head. “We actually use the ear bones.” 

Stunned silence.

“I knew nobody was gonna guess that — surprise,” she said as the class burst out in laughter.

That was just one of the lessons Guidry’s students at Westside Junior High received during class on Thursday, Jan. 25, when three representatives from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries visited to discuss career opportunities and explain their work in natural resource conservation.

The presentations ran from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and were given by MacMenamin, fellow biologist Danielle Regitz, and LDWF press secretary Ed Pratt, who had to cancel an appearance at a career day event last November.

He made up for it in a big way Thursday.

“I know kids in sixth grade aren’t really thinking about jobs and career opportunities, but if we can spark something in them, that’s what we’re trying to do,” Pratt said.

The trio spoke to five of Guidry’s classes, and Pratt started each presentation by shedding light on the services Wildlife and Fisheries provides and how vital they are to Louisiana’s reputation as “The Sportsman’s Paradise.”

Pratt, a former newspaper editor, said there are 709,000 registered fishermen and fisherwomen in Louisiana — more than the populations of at least two states and almost as much as seven sold-out Tiger Stadiums.

During his talk, Pratt discussed the many career opportunities available at Wildlife and Fisheries, including but not limited to veterinarians, aircraft pilots, land specialists, student workers, marine operators, enforcement agents and wildlife/fisheries biologists.

Wildlife and Fisheries also offers several programs for youth and families to participate in covering cover an array of categories, such as rifle and shotgun shooting, archery, canoeing, fishing, compass reading, nature study hikes and camping.

MacMenamin, a fisheries biologist for four years, and Regitz, who began her career last October, took over after Pratt’s opening discussion and explained fishing regulations and how they are determined for each species of fish. They said that is accomplished by collecting data such as age, sex, reproductive rates, and length from fish across many bodies of water.

The goal, they said, is to make sure that these resources last for generations for come.

“We hope that when you’re kids grow up, there are just as many fish as there are today,” MacMenamin said. “Hopefully, that population stays healthy forever.”

One of the most important sources of information are the ear bones, or otoliths. Not only do the otoliths give fish a sense of balance in the water as well as hearing, MacMenamin and Regitz told students they provide an accurate age of the fish.

They explained that each year a fish lives, it lays down a layer — or a ring — of calcium on its ear bone, which grows larger each year. Each ring represents one winter and one summer in that fish’s life, a similar process to other material Guidry’s classes have covered.

“It’s just like trees,” shouted one excited student, referencing the age-defining rings on the inside of trees.

Students were given the opportunity to look at the ear bones through a microscope. The two biologists also show them a board with the otoliths of several fish species to show the varying shapes and sizes in different fish.

Near the end of the demonstrations, Regitz and MacMenamin passed around life cycle vials that showed the early stages of life for bass and paddlefish, with each vial containing a different-aged specimen.

It all made for what Guidry hopes will be a memorable science class.

“They’re going to take so much away from this,” Guidry said. “That’s why I wanted to do this. It’s going to stick with them for a long time.”

For the full article with video and photos, click here: https://www.livingstonparishnews.com/living/westside-junior-high-sixth-graders-get-special-lesson-from-louisiana/article_a634e9a0-0213-11e8-9533-b7ca885d53e0.html

 

LDWF to Close Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 01/22/2018

Shrimp Season To Close 

 

Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in remaining state inside waters and in a portion of state outside waters effective Friday, January 26, 2018, at official sunset.

 

Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

 

  • Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), and a section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Orleans parish from the GIWW East Closure Sector Gate westward to the GIWW intersection with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal
  • The portion of state outside waters extending to the 3-mile line from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

 

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

 

  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2 
  • All state outside waters east of Caillou Boca as well as all state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal

 

A map detailing these actions will be posted at this link shortly: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons

 

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size. 

 

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided the LDWF Secretary with authority to close both the fall inshore shrimp season and shrimping in the state’s territorial sea when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF Fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in those waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

 

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

For more information, contact Peyton Cagle (337) 491-2575 or peyton.cagle@la.gov.  

 

 

Shrimp Task Force Meeting Rescheduled for January 29

Release Date: 01/22/2018

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Monday, January 29, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

I. Roll call and Introduction of Guests

II. Approval of the December 6, 2017 meeting minutes and of the January 29, 2018 Agenda

III. Treasury Report

     A. Budget Report- LDWF

     B. Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV. Federal Shrimp Permit Report- LDWF

V. New Business

     A. Approval of the Updated Inside/Outside Line- Peyton Cagle

     B. Discussion of Offshore Shrimp Sampling Program and Recommendations- Peyton Cagle

     C. Discussion of LDWF/ Commercial Fishermen Ride-Alongs- Peyton Cagle

     D. To Hear a Presentation on the Shrimp Fisheries Improvement Project- Laura Picariello

     E. To Hear an Update on the Louisiana Certified Seafood Program- Lucy Boutte

     F. Discussion of a new voluntary project to provide Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD’s) to the Louisiana Skimmer fleet- Mark Schexnayder

     G. Discussion of STF Recommendations on TEDs Legislation and Enforcement- Acy Cooper

     H. Discussion of the Shrimp Task Force D.C. Trip White Paper- Acy Cooper

     I. Officer Elections

VI. Public Comment

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/7930593041455234561

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.

 

 

LDWF Reminds Crab Fishermen of Regulation Changes and Derelict Trap Closure Changes

Release Date: 01/19/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has taken action to change the approved 2018 derelict crab trap closure areas and dates.  This action will address the public’s welfare due to the loss of fishing time and economic value within the commercial crab industry.  The recent extreme weather conditions may cause an unwanted loss in commercial crab gear due to the inability of fishermen to remove gear by February 1, 2018.  This may also provide those affected by the current female restriction to have a greater opportunity of uninterrupted fishing before the restriction begins March 1, 2018, and ends April 30, 2018.

 

Temporary crab trap closures:

• Barataria Basin Closure South of Myrtle Grove - canceled
• Western Lake Pontchartrain Closure – canceled
• Sabine Lake Closure – 12 a.m. February 16 –  February 25
• Pontchartrain Basin North of MRGO changed to 12 a.m. March 16 – March 31
• Pontchartrain Basin South of MRGO – 12 a.m. March 4 – March 19
• Terrebonne Basin near Cocodrie – 12 a.m. March 16 – March 29
• Vermilion Bay Closure – 12 a.m. March 18 – March 31

 

To view the specific closure areas and a map of these areas visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/derelict-crab-trap-removal, or contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2575.

 

All crab traps must be removed from the closure areas before the closure begins, and any remaining crab traps within the closure areas during the closure periods will be considered abandoned and subject to removal. During the crab trap closures, derelict traps may be removed only between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Only persons authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed areas. Abandoned traps must be brought to designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed areas. 

 

The removal of derelict crab traps benefits the crab resource by reducing the effects of ghost fishing.  Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 33,000 abandoned and derelict crabs.  

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would also like to remind commercial crabbers and recreational users of crab traps of the following regulations:

 

Regulation changes:

Blue crab commercial harvest regulations have changed for 2018 and 2019 and are as follows:

• The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission removed the 30-day closure period for 2018 and 2019. 
• The commercial harvest of female blue crabs in Louisiana waters is prohibited March 1, 2018, through April 30, 2018. This closure will also be in place March 1, 2019, through April 30, 2019.

 

 

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.

LA Shrimp Task Force Meeting Canceled

Release Date: 01/16/2018

Due to inclement weather, tomorrow's Shrimp Task Force meeting (January 17th) has been canceled.  Once rescheduled, we will announce the new meeting date and time.
 
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.
 
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 the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Shrimp Task Force to Meet December 6 at 10 A.M.

Release Date: 01/12/2018

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

I. Roll call and Introduction of Guests

II. Approval of the December 6, 2017 meeting minutes and of the January 17, 2018 Agenda

III. Treasury Report

     A. Budget Report- LDWF

     B. Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV. Federal Shrimp Permit Report- LDWF

V. New Business

     A. Approval of the Updated Inside/Outside Line- Peyton Cagle

     B. Discussion of Offshore Shrimp Sampling Program and Recommendations- Peyton Cagle

     C. Discussion of LDWF/ Commercial Fishermen Ride-Alongs- Peyton Cagle

     D. To Hear a Presentation on the Shrimp Fisheries Improvement Project- Laura Picariello

     E. To Hear an Update on the Louisiana Certified Seafood Program- Lucy Boutte

     F. Discussion of a new voluntary project to provide Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD’s) to the Louisiana Skimmer fleet- Mark Schexnayder

     G. Discussion of STF Recommendations on TEDs Legislation and Enforcement- Acy Cooper

     H. Discussion of the Shrimp Task Force D.C. Trip White Paper- Acy Cooper

     I. Officer Elections

VI. Public Comment

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/7374208271697269505

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.

 

 

LDWF Reminds Crab Fishermen of Regulation Changes and Derelict Trap Closures

Release Date: 01/11/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind commercial crabbers and recreational users of crab traps of the following regulations:
           
Regulation changes:
 
Blue crab commercial harvest regulations have changed for 2018 and 2019 and are as follows:

  • The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission removed the 30-day closure period for 2018 and 2019.
  • The commercial harvest of female blue crabs in Louisiana waters is prohibited March 1, 2018, through April 30, 2018. This closure will also be in place March 1, 2019, through April 30, 2019.

Regulations to remain in effect in 2018 and 2019:

  • Ban on the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs. There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the restriction while held aboard an active fishing vessel. (An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen. A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen). 

Temporary crab trap closures: 
 
The LWFC has authorized crab trap closures in 2018 for the removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps. Beginning February 1, 2018, and extending through March 2018, seven defined areas have been designated to close in portions Louisiana, for up to 16 days for any one area.
 
Western Lake Pontchartrain will close from February 1 through 10. A portion of the Barataria Basin, south of Myrtle Grove, will close from February 1 through14. More closures will take place beginning February 16. To view the specific closure areas, visit our website here or contact Peyton Cagle at (337) 491-2575.
 
All crab traps must be removed from the closure areas before the closure periods, and any remaining crab traps within the closure areas during the closure periods will be considered abandoned and subject to removal. During the crab trap closures, derelict traps may be removed only between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Only persons authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed areas. Abandoned traps must be brought to designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed areas. 
 
The removal of derelict crab traps benefits the crab resource by reducing the effects of ghost fishing. Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 33,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. 

Recreational greater amberjack season to close from January 27 through the end of June.

Release Date: 01/11/2018

January 11, 2018 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the season for the recreational harvest of greater amberjack will close in Louisiana waters on January 27, 2018, and remain closed through June 30, 2018.  The recreational season opened on January 1, 2018, and will run through January 26, 2018, and then is scheduled to resume on July 1, 2018.  NOAA Fisheries announced the temporary closed season while new regulations are being enacted to establish new spring and fall seasons.  The changes in season structure are designed to help rebuild the greater amberjack stock.  NOAA Fisheries requested that Louisiana state waters also remain closed for that period.   

In addition to the closure announced today, additional proposed changes are being promulgated by NOAA Fisheries to the recreational season to include a recreational fixed closed season from November 1 each year through the end of April of the following year.  The currently-established June 1 to July 31 fixed closed season will also remain.  The new season structure will result in an open recreational season during the month of May and the months of August through October annually.  These changes to the season structure are intended to continue to rebuild the greater amberjack stock while maximizing availability to anglers, especially later in the year.  

The recreational fishery was closed early in 2017 before many Louisiana anglers had an opportunity to fish for the species.  These proposed changes should improve those opportunities for future years.  For 2018, anglers should be aware of the potential for additional seasonal openings and closings.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in previously promulgated rules (LAC 76.VII.335.G.5) to change or modify the opening and closing dates for any recreational reef fish season in Louisiana waters when notified of a modification to a season by NOAA Fisheries.  

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance @wlf.la.gov. 

 

 
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