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LDWF News Release

Finfish Task Force to Meet Friday, July 20

Release Date: 07/19/2018

Finfish Task Force Agenda

Friday, July 20, 2018, 10:00AM

LDWF Headquarters in the Louisiana Room

2000 Quail Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

 

AGENDA

I. Call to Order 

II. Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

III. Approval of the May 17, 2018 Meeting Minutes 

IV. Approval of the July 20, 2018 Meeting Agenda

V. New Business

A.     Discussion of Potential Changes to Black Drum Recreational and Commercial Harvest, Size, and Bag Limits- FTF

B.     Discussion of Mullet Season- FTF

C.     Discussion of Finfish Trawling- FTF

D.    To Hear an Update on the Status of Red Snapper -Rep. John Stefanski

E.     Discussion of Shad Seine Gear Regulations- Daniel Edgar

VI. Public Comment

VII. To Hear Future Agenda Item Proposals 

VIII. Set Next Meeting Date and Location

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/3041621189405405955

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.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 Supports Bill by Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham To Study, Stop Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

Release Date: 07/17/2018

July 17, 2018 – A bill by Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, aimed at stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a major step in the right direction to combatting the ailment, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet said.
 
Dr. Abraham, a former veterinarian, has introduced a bill that requires the Secretary of Agriculture to partner with the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science (NRCNAS) to study and identify the ways CWD is transmitted between wild, captive and farmed cervids. This will provide a credible and scientifically-based foundation of understanding of the disease that can help end its spread.
 
“We at LDWF fully support Dr. Abraham’s legislation to curtail and, hopefully, stop the spread of CWD,’’ Montoucet said. “It is certainly something that we have devoted many resources to in the past few years. We launched a major effort earlier this year to head off the disease when a white-tailed deer was detected with CWD, just across the river, by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
 
“Having NRCNAS as part of the fight will aid us in continuing to make sure CWD is held in check,’’ Montoucet said. “It has not been found in Louisiana and our goal is to make sure we keep it out of our white-tailed deer population.’’
 
“CWD could have devastating effects on Louisiana deer populations and, possibly, other mammals,’’ Dr. Abraham said. “The best hope we have for controlling CWD begins with understanding how it spreads. We don’t have that right now. Since so little information exists on this topic, my bill would instruct some of the brightest scientists in the country to study and learn more about CWD so that we can stop it.’’
 
The bill, HR 6272, has four original cosponsors: U.S. Reps. Glen Thompson, R-Pa.; Ryan Costello, R-Pa.; Tom Marino, R-Pa.; and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. It has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee, of which Dr. Abraham is a member.
 
LDWF worked with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission last year to implement a carcass importation ban, a viable step in preventing the disease from entering the state via infected carcass parts harvested in CWD detected states.
 
Additionally, LDWF continues cooperative discussions with other state and federal agencies in the fight against CWD and to prevent it from entering the state.
 
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.
 
It has been found in 25 states, including Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.
 
LDWF has tested more than 8,600 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD in Louisiana. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
 
 

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Gov. Edwards Announces $60M in Coastal Recreational Projects

Release Date: 07/17/2018

Deepwater Horizon settlement funds to pay for engineering, design and construction

Baton Rouge -Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced $60 million in new coastal projects to be built and paid for with funds from the settlement of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

“The oil spill impacted Louisiana’s environment and natural resources, but it also took a toll on our way of life and the recreational opportunities that make Louisiana a true Sportsman’s Paradise,” said Gov. Edwards. “Several beaches were closed, access to fishing areas and bays was limited and recreational fishing was cut short as a result of the spill, not to mention camping and other outdoor activities that were put on hold as a result of the spill and the cleanup efforts.  The funding provided by this settlement will cover the complete cost of the engineering, design and construction of 23 projects spanning our coast that will directly impact the communities that have been recovering since the spill and we are delighted to see these projects get underway.”

Projects will be constructed in nine coastal parishes, with another project enhancing artificial reef sites across Louisiana’s coast. Potential projects were solicited by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group and then vetted through months of public input and hearings. Of the projects ultimately selected, 17 were submitted by the state Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries; five by the La. Office of State Parks; and one by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.   

“This is about recreation, enhancing the opportunities to enjoy the natural bounty of our coast and all it offers,” said Jack Montoucet, Secretary of the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. “We’re going to build or improve boat ramps and mooring docks, and construct new fishing piers in many areas, and we’re going to make Elmer’s Island even more accessible for users to access the recently-restored beach.”

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who experienced the oil spill first hand when he was president of Plaquemines Parish, said he is pleased that our recreational losses have not been forgotten.

“We have beautiful state parks in our coastal zone,” said Nungesser, “and I’m pleased to be in a position to oversee the improvements coming to Grand Isle State Park, Sam Houston Jones State Park, St. Bernard State Park, Bayou Segnette and Cypremort Point State Park. We are very thankful for this oil spill settlement funding in order to refurbish and maintain a number of our state parks – another example of our dedication to Louisiana’s great outdoors.”

The Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, Johnny Bradberry, represents Louisiana’s state agencies on the Trustee Implementation Group. He also chairs the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board.

“These projects comprise the full expenditure of the $60 million pot of money dedicated to addressing recreational use losses,” Bradberry said. “Other post-oil-spill money is, or will be, expended to redress a variety of environmental and economic damages. But I’m pleased our governor cares about all aspects of life in Louisiana, and understands the importance of joie de vivre.”

 

Click here for a complete list of the projects.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Black-Clear Lake in Natchitoches Parish

Release Date: 07/17/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown of Black-Clear Lake in Natchitoches Parish for giant salvinia control, reduction of organic material and fish habitat improvement. The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.
 
The water control structure is scheduled to open on August 6, 2018, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 3 to 6 inches per day. The water level will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of approximately 4 feet below normal pool stage to a target level of 95 mean sea level. The Black-Clear Lake control gates are scheduled for closure on January 29, 2019, to allow the lake to refill for early spring recreational activities.
 
During the drawdown, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 acres of water will remain in open areas of Black-Clear Lake. Boaters may still access the lake from either the Black Lake Lodge or Chandler’s Camp ramps, located on the north side of the Hwy 9 Bridge. Caution is also advised when on the water, as numerous obstructions that are normally not seen are present.
 
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities.   An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
 
The current LDWF Black-Clear Lake Aquatic Vegetative Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Hunter and Boater Safety Programs Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Release Date: 07/13/2018

The LDWF Hunter and Boater Safety Programs are currently experiencing technical difficulties with their computer systems.  Information Technology staff are working diligently to correct the problem.  These issues may result in additional delays in hunting and boating safety students receiving their permanent cards, as well as delays in processing requests for military/police hunter education exemptions. 

For customers needing replacement hunter or boater education cards, the duplicate card request system on the LDWF website is fully functional and can be accessed through the links below.  LDWF will temporarily be unable to fulfill in-person and telephone requests for duplicate hunting and boating safety cards.

 

To request a duplicate hunter safety card visit: http://hbscards.wlf.louisiana.gov/

To request a duplicate boating safety card visit: http://boatercards.wlf.louisiana.gov/

 

Louisiana Red Snapper Landing Estimates Through July 1

Release Date: 07/13/2018

The latest catch statistics for recreational red snapper recorded by LA Creel, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' near real-time landings data collection program, are 344,029 pounds, or 46 percent of Louisiana’s allocation of 743,000 pounds. It is important to note that these data do not cover the full Fourth of July holiday week (only the weekend ending July 1).  That week, on average yields higher landings than other weeks. 

 

The season reopened this morning at 12:01a.m.  for weekends only (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). The weekend-only season will continue to run until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation. 
  
This year, state and federal seasons are running concurrently because federal fisheries managers approved the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ application for an  Exempted Fishing Permit  to manage the private recreational snapper season in state and federal waters in 2018 and 2019. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal EEZ, from shore to 200 nautical miles. 
  
For more information on the 2018 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper .

 

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.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown on Henderson Lake in St. Martin Parish

Release Date: 07/12/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is working with the St. Martin Parish Government, the Town of Henderson and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a drawdown on Henderson Lake in St. Martin Parish beginning in August 2018.
 
The drawdown is part of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control several aquatic nuisance plants including hydrilla, water hyacinth and giant salvinia. The drawdown will also improve sport fish habitat through the drying and compacting of bottom sediments throughout the lake.
 
The water control structure is scheduled to open the first week of August, and the lake level will be lowered at a rate of approximately 2 to 4 inches per day until it reaches the desired height of 3 feet below pool stage, or 6 feet mean sea level at the United States Geological Survey Lake Pelba gauge. At this level, the flats directly north and south of the I-10 Bridge that experience chronic issues with nuisance aquatic plants will be exposed to air and sunlight.
 
The drawdown gates are scheduled to close November 1, 2018, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early spring recreational activities. 

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of cypress stumps and other underwater obstructions.
 
The current LDWF Lake Henderson Management Plan can be viewed at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland   
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Brac Salyers, LDWF Biologist Manager, at bsalyers@wlf.la.gov or (337) 262-2080. 

LWFC Allots Breeding Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Funds to Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited

Release Date: 07/06/2018

July 5, 2018 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted Tuesday (July 3) to allocate Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dedicated funding for development and preservation of migratory waterfowl breeding grounds to Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited for three years.
 
Since 1965, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has provided funding to support conservation of breeding-grounds habitat for migratory waterfowl and by statute allocates a portion of annual hunting license revenue for that purpose.
 
Ducks Unlimited will receive two-thirds and Delta Waterfowl one-third of the allocation in each of three consecutive fiscal years including 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 that is to be used for protecting, restoring and enhancing breeding habitat for migratory waterfowl. 
 
In response to a Commission RFP in April, proposals were presented to the Commission in June by Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited. Each group was seeking funding that comes from 10 percent of LDWF hunting license sales.
  
In the last eight years, an average of $319,465 annually has been awarded in two-year or three-year contracts for the protection, restoration and enhancement of breeding waterfowl habitat. The last contract expired on June 30, 2018.
 

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Shrimp Task Force Meeting Scheduled for July 11

Release Date: 07/06/2018

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

I.              Pledge of Allegiance 

II.            Roll call and Introduction of Guests

III.          Approval of the April 25, 2018 meeting minutes and of the July 11, 2018 Agenda

IV.          Treasury Report

A.    Budget Report- LDWF

B.    Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

V.            Federal Shrimp Permit Report-STF

VI.          New Business

A.     Discussion of Shrimp Prices- STF

B.     To Hear a Presentation of Survey Results from the 2018 LFF Sediment Diversion Panel and Discussion- Sea Grant

C.    To Discuss STF Seat Vacancies and Member Absentee and Alternate Fill-In Notices- STF

D.    Officer Elections and Alternate Designees

VII.        Public Comment

VIII.      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/4342777751995541249

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 Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/06/2018

July 05, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau (Webster, Bossier, and Bienville Parishes) .  The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summer temperatures promote maximum growth.  The drawdown will also benefit fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom.

The water control structure is scheduled to be opened on July 23, 2018, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 4-6 inches per day.  The maximum drawdown level will be 8 feet below normal pool stage.  Aquatic habitat conditions in the lake will be evaluated during the drawdown to determine the most appropriate time to end the drawdown and allow the lake to refill for early spring recreational activities.  

The Lake Bistineau Waterbody Management Plan is designed to give recreational boaters most of the summer to enjoy traditional use of the lake prior to water levels dropping.  Due to the large watershed of the lake and the rapid growth rate of giant salvinia, the likelihood of an effective drawdown is diminished with a later start date.  A July start date has provided the most predictable results in recent years.  

During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches:  Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s, and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.  Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions.  

This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.  Herbicide applications and weevil stockings will continue during the drawdown period.

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.  

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