LDWF News

LDWF News Release

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.

Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting Postponed, Rescheduled for Jan. 23

Release Date: 01/17/2018

Jan. 17, 2018 – The Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force meeting scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 18) has been postponed and rescheduled for Tuesday (Jan. 23). The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23 at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge (2000 Quail Drive) in the Louisiana Room.
 
Thursday’s meeting was postponed due to state offices in East Baton Rouge Parish being closed because of extreme winter weather conditions.
 
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.
 
For more information on the task force, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF Wildlife Veterinarian, at jmlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.

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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.

 

 

White Lake WCA Fishing Lottery Applications Available for 2018

Release Date: 01/12/2018

Jan. 12, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for a lottery drawing for fishing permit access to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) between March 15-Aug. 15, 2018.
 
A total of 100 permits will be issued following the lottery drawing and winning applicants will be notified of their opportunity to purchase a permit for $40. White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.
 
The area open for fishing will be limited to the Florence Canal and Oil Field Location canals off of the Florence Canal. There will be no fishing in any of the WCA’s marsh areas or in the main camp canal or other areas that are marked NO FISHING. Successful applicants will be provided a map of the fishing area. Boats used by those selected will be limited to the use of motors with 40 horsepower or less.  Additional rules and regulations are outlined in an attachment to the application.
 
Each completed application must include a non-refundable administrative fee of $5 in the form of a check or money order (NO CASH ACCEPTED) made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Only one application per person will be accepted and submitting more than one application will be considered grounds for disqualification. Completed applications must be received by LDWF by close of business on Feb. 16, 2018.
 
Applications may be mailed or delivered to:
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attention: White Lake Fishing
2000 Quail Drive, Room 418
Baton Rouge, LA  70808
 
Persons interested in obtaining an application may call the department at 225-765-2812 or download a copy from the department’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications .
 
For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov.

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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. 

L.W.F.C. Elects Chairman and Vice Chairman and Welcomes New Commissioner

Release Date: 01/11/2018

(1-11-18) – At the January 4 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC), Bobby Samanie was elected chairman and Al Sunseri was elected to the vice chairman position. 

 

Additionally, the Commission welcomed Joe McPherson of Woodsworth, LA to the appointed panel. Mr. McPherson, who will serve as an at-large commissioner, is a self-employed business owner and developer and a former Louisiana State Senator.

 

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission was created to protect, conserve and replenish the natural resources and wildlife of the state, including all aquatic life. The commission promulgates regulations for hunting, fishing and trapping and approves programs and policies for the management and conservation of all fish and wildlife in the state. 

According to the statute, the commission is comprised of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to senate confirmation.  Members include three residents of the coastal parishes of the state who are representatives of the commercial fishing and fur industries and four members from the state at large.

 

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.

 

 

LDWF to transition to new recreational Hunting/Fishing license sales system

Release Date: 01/11/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries is currently transitioning to a new recreational hunting/fishing license sales system. 

 

A few dates to be aware of during our transition:

January 30, 2018 – January 31, 2018 - All license sales will be temporarily down for system maintenance.
 

February 1 – April 1, 2018 – License sales will be available through Internet sales (pc, smart phone, mobile device and laptop) at www.wlf.la.gov  and LDWF headquarters, regional offices (Monroe, Opelousas, Lake Charles & Alexandria). 

Retail locations will not sell licenses while installation of new equipment and employee training is implemented.

 

April 2, 2018 – Vendor license sales will resume.

 

If you will need to purchase a license from a retailer before April 2, we recommend that you make your purchase before January 30, 2018.

 

 

The new system will enhance the purchase process for our customers in several ways.

 

1. License holders will have the ability to reprint their licenses online throughout the year at no cost.  

 

2. Users will be able to create a username and password to login to their account to update contact information and in the future to gain access to boater and hunter education information.

 

3. Auto-renew options will be available in the future for those customers who don’t want to worry about remembering to purchase their licenses each year.

 

If you need assistance with your online purchase please contact the 24-hour help desk beginning on February 2 at 888-362-5393.  If you have other licensing questions call our license office at 225-765-2887 or 225-765-2898, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm.

 

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.

 

 

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. 

 

 

Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting Postponed, Rescheduled for Jan. 18

Release Date: 01/10/2018

Jan. 10, 2018 - The Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force meeting scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 11) in Baton Rouge has been postponed and rescheduled for Jan. 18. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 18 at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge (2000 Quail Drive) in the Louisiana Room.
 
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.
 
For more information on the task force, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF Wildlife Veterinarian, at jmlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.

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