Fishing

Gulf of Mexico Seafood Sustainability Certification Program Achieves International Recognition

Release Date: 10/19/2018

The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) has formally recognized the Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) seafood sustainability certification program. This recognition means that the G.U.L.F RFM program meets the same standards as other established and respected international seafood sustainability certification programs. As a result, Gulf seafood suppliers now have access to a regional program that can credibly assess the sustainability of Gulf fisheries, rather than having to solely rely on international certifications or rating schemes from organizations unfamiliar with or not applicable to the Gulf’s unique fisheries.

 

The GSSI has determined that the G.U.L.F. RFM certification standard aligns with all applicable Essential Components of the GSSI Global Benchmark Tool, which is based on the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Technical Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries and consists of performance areas related to scheme governance, operational management (including chain of custody), and applied wild-capture fisheries audit standards.

 

Since 2012, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Audubon Nature Institute, and stakeholders across the Gulf have worked together to develop the G.U.L.F. RFM certification program as a seafood sustainability certification program that is more attuned to the particular biological, environmental, and socioeconomic conditions in Gulf fisheries. Currently, the Louisiana blue crab fishery is certified to the G.U.L.F. RFM standard, as well as that of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), another GSSI-recognized program. LDWF continues to work with stakeholders in other fisheries who wish to demonstrate the sustainability of their fishery products through seafood sustainability certifications.

 

For more information on the G.U.L.F. RFM program, visit www.audubongulf.org .

 

For more information on the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative, visit www.ourgssi.org .

 

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.

Get Out and Fish! brings new community fishing site to Walker, LA

Release Date: 10/16/2018

Youth shows off her channel catfish caught at LDWF Get Out & Fish pond.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the city of Walker invite anglers ages 15 and under to join them for a free fishing event on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at Sidney Hutchinson Park as part of the department’s Get Out and Fish! Program. Prior to the event, the pond will be stocked with 600 pounds of adult channel catfish. In addition, there will be a multitude of fishing activities for the entire family including a mobile touch tank, casting inflatable and a chance to meet Robbie the Redfish. 

Competition categories include heaviest catfish and heaviest “other” fish.  Age divisions are broken into Little Angler (ages 8 and under) and Junior Angler (ages 9 to 15). Attendees are encouraged to bring your own gear, bait and tackle, and an ice chest to keep your fish. Anglers 16 and older must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. To purchase a fishing license online, visit https://www.la.wildlifelicense.com.

The first 100 youth to register will receive a goody bag, and every participant will be entered into a raffle drawing to win prizes. Adults who accompany a minor at the event will also be entered into a separate raffle.  Lunch will be provided by Forte and Tablada while supplies last. To pre-register for this event, or for more information visit www.wlf.la.gov/get-out-and-fish-1. You can also follow us on Facebook @ldwfgetoutandfish.

Prizes and raffle items are provided by event sponsors including Walmart and Albasha Greek and Lebanese Restaurant. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation is still looking for interested parties to support launching our newest community fishing site. If you are interested in volunteering or donating prizes and supplies for the event, contact Megan MacMenamin at mmacmenamin@wlf.la.gov.

The Get Out and Fish! Program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing. The program intends to recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing and promote outdoor activities for future generations.

This event is 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 Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.

For more information on Get Out and Fish! Program, contact Megan MacMenamin at mmacmenamin@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2375.  

LDWF Reopens Elmer’s Island after Hurricane Michael

Release Date: 10/11/2018

LDWF has reopened Elmer’s Island as water levels have begun to recede and the parking area at the beach is mostly dry. 

Visitors are reminded to use caution, and be mindful of the tidal stage until water levels return to normal. Please also be aware that rip currents are a possibility with the amount of water funneling out of the estuary.

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.

 

Gulf Council Considering Cobia Regulation Changes, Requesting Input from Fishermen

Release Date: 10/10/2018

Fishery managers and fishermen from some Gulf states have expressed concerns that the Gulf cobia population is decreasing. In response, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering ways to reduce harvests including increasing the minimum size limit, decreasing the possession limit, or imposing a vessel limit (or some combination of these measures). These changes would affect both the commercial and recreational fisheries.

The Gulf Council will be making a final decision on these proposed changes at their October 22-25, 2018 meeting in Mobile, Alabama . The Gulf Council currently prefers increasing the minimum size limit to 36 inches fork length (FL), decreasing the possession limit to one fish per person per day, and implementing a vessel limit of two fish per vessel per day. However, they are selecting from a number of alternatives and their preferences may change, especially in response to public comment. Please provide feedback on these proposed regulation changes.

You can submit comments directly to the Gulf Council online by close of business on October 16, 2018. After that, either submit comments online to LDWF’s Gulf Council representative or in person during the public comment period at the Gulf Council’s upcoming meeting (1:30 pm–4:30 pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2018). The Gulf Council will be voting on their final decision Thursday, October 25, 2018. More details on the proposed changes and their potential impacts are below.

 

The current minimum size limit for cobia is 33 inches FL. The Gulf Council has proposed increasing the minimum size limit to 36, 39, or 42 inches. These proposed increases would reduce harvests by:

Proposed Minimum Size Limit

Estimated Percent Reduction in Harvest

Commercial

Recreational

36 inches FL

10.3%

26.1%

39 inches FL

29%

47%

42 inches FL

55.9%

61.7%

 

The current possession limit is two fish per person per day. Lowering the possession limit to one cobia per person per day would reduce commercial harvest by 6% and recreational harvest by 4%.

There is no vessel limit at this time, but the Gulf Council has proposed a daily vessel limit of two, four, or six fish. These proposed changes would reduce harvests by:

Proposed Vessel Limit

Estimated Percent Reduction in Harvest

Commercial

Recreational

Two cobia per vessel

5%

9.1%

Four cobia per vessel

1.6%

3.7%

Six cobia per vessel

0.7%

1.5%

 

If these measures were combined, the estimated percent reduction in harvest would increase.

For more information, contact Chris Schieble at cschieble@wlf.la.gov or 504-284-2035.

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.

Commercial Fishery for Gray Triggerfish to Close in Louisiana Waters on October 10

Release Date: 10/09/2018

The commercial fishery for gray triggerfish in Louisiana waters will close at 11:59 p.m. on October 10, 2018, and will remain closed until January 1, 2019.   
 
The decision, made by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet, followed notification by NOAA Fisheries that the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico closed for commercial harvest of gray triggerfish on October 8, 2018, and are to remain closed until January 1, 2019.
 
Regulations for the gray triggerfish fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico include a commercial quota. Based on current commercial gray triggerfish landings, it is projected the 2018 commercial quota of 60,900 pounds was harvested by October 8, 2018.   
 
After the closure, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, barter, trade, sale or attempts to purchase, barter, trade or sell gray triggerfish is prohibited until January 1, 2019, the date set for the opening of the 2019 season. The prohibition on the sale/purchase of gray triggerfish during the closure does not apply to those that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor provided appropriate records in accordance with R.S. 56:306.5 and 56:306.6 are properly maintained.
 
For more information about this closure, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF to Close Elmer’s Island Due to Hurricane Michael on Tuesday, October 9 at 3 p.m.

Release Date: 10/08/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announces the temporary closure of Elmer's Island, located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish beginning October 9 at 3 p.m.
 
As a precautionary measure due to the projected path of Hurricane Michael and anticipated impacts from this storm, Elmer's Island will remain closed until further notice.

LDWF Plans Five Crab Trap Closures Along Louisiana Coast in 2019

Release Date: 10/05/2018

At today’s monthly meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent (NOI) allowing the removal of derelict crab traps from five different areas along Louisiana’s coast in 2019.

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 37,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. Last year, LDWF, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation members, volunteers, BTNEP, CCA and members of the recreational fishing community assisted in retrieving more than 4,000 abandoned crab traps.

After two highly successful years and the removal of 9,700 derelict crab traps, the Commission and the Department aim to keep up the momentum by scheduling the following five closure areas in 2019.

1. Upper Barataria basin and adjacent marshes west of Port Sulphur - 12 a.m. Friday, February 1, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 14, 2019.

2. Lake Pontchartrain, west of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway - 12 a.m. Friday, February 1, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, February 10, 2019. 

3. Terrebonne Basin, in an area east of Four League Bay to Bayou Grand Caillou - 12 a.m. Friday, February 15, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 28, 2019.

4. Pontchartrain Basin, in an area east of the Mississippi River to Bayou Terre Aux Boeufs -12 a.m. Friday, February 15, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 28, 2019.

5. Sabine Basin, within the area from the LA/TX state line easterly to a point east of Vinton - 12 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2019.

Barataria Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 14-day period from 12 a.m. February 1, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. February 14, 2019:

  • From a point originating on the western boundary of the Barataria Waterway (29 degrees 34 minutes 54.52 seconds north latitude, 90 degrees 3 minutes 41.24 seconds west longitude); thence easterly to the intersection of Highway 23 and Reddick Lane (29 degrees 34 minutes 53.36 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 49 minutes 38.29 seconds west longitude); thence southerly on Highway 23 to the intersection of Caroline Avenue and Highway 23; thence southwesterly to a point where Little Pass and the southern bank of the Freeport Sulphur Canal intersect (29 degrees 27 minutes 19.15 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 42 minutes 25.96 seconds west longitude); thence southwesterly following the southern bank of the Freeport Sulphur Canal to a point located at 29 degrees 23 minutes 51.08 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 46 minutes 30.00 seconds west longitude; thence westerly to a point located on the western shore of the Barataria Waterway at 29 degrees 24 minutes 17.19 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 59 minutes 24.00 seconds west longitude; thence northerly following the western shore of the Barataria Waterway and terminating at the origin.

Western Lake Pontchartrain Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 10-day period from 12 a.m. February 1, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. February 10, 2019:

 

  • From a point of origin where I-55 intersects Pass Manchac (30 degrees 17 minutes 7.08 seconds north latitude, 90 degrees 24 minutes 6.07 seconds west longitude; thence easterly following the northern bank of Pass Manchac to the point where Pass Manchac exits at the northwest bank of Lake Pontchartrain; thence northerly following the bank of Lake Pontchartrain to the south bound lane of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (30 degrees 21 minutes 51.75 seconds north latitude, 90 degrees 5 minutes 38.59 seconds west longitude); thence southerly to a point where the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway crosses the Lakefront Trail located at 30 degrees 1 minutes 10.06 seconds north latitude, 90 degrees 9 minutes 17.28 seconds west longitude; thence westerly following the Lakefront Trail along the  south bank of Lake Pontchartrain until it intersects the Duncan Canal (30 degrees 2 minutes 50.56 seconds north latitude, 90 degrees 16 minutes 45.21 seconds west longitude); thence westerly past the Duncan Canal continuing to follow the south bank of Lake Pontchartrain to  a point where I-10 passes over the southern bank of Lake Pontchartrain (30 degrees 3 minutes 21.43 seconds north latitude, 90 degrees 22 minutes 17.79 seconds west longitude); thence westerly on I-10 to the intersection of I-55, thence northerly on I-55 and terminating at the origin.

Terrebonne Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 14-day period from 12 a.m. February 15, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. February 28, 2019:

  • From a point originating at the intersection of the eastern shoreline of Bayou Dularge and the northern shoreline of Falgout Canal (29 degrees 24 minutes 44.098 seconds north latitude, 90 degrees 46 minutes 58.47 seconds west longitude); thence westerly along the northern shoreline of Falgout Canal to Lake de Cade; thence westerly along the northern shoreline of Lake de Cade to the mouth of Bayou de Cade; thence southwesterly along the northern shoreline of Bayou de Cade to Lost Lake; thence westerly along the northern shoreline of Lost Lake to the mouth of Rice Bayou; thence southerly along the western shoreline of Rice Bayou to Blue Hammock Bayou; thence westerly along the  northern shore of Blue Hammock Bayou to Four League Bay; thence southerly along the eastern shoreline of Four League  Bay to the mouth of Oyster Bayou; thence southerly along the eastern shoreline of Oyster Bayou to a point along the inside-outside shrimp line as defined in LAC 76:VII.370 (29 degrees 13 minutes 12.001 seconds north latitude, 91 degrees 07 minutes 48.002 seconds west longitude); thence easterly along the inside-outside shrimp line to the eastern shoreline of Bayou Grand Caillou; thence northerly along the eastern shoreline of Bayou Grand Caillou to 29 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence westerly across Bayou Grand Caillou to the northern shoreline of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline canal; thence westerly  along the northern shoreline of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline canal to the eastern shore of Bayou Dularge; thence northerly along the eastern shoreline of Bayou Dularge and terminating at its origin.

South Pontchartrain Basin Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 14-day period from 12 a.m. February 15, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. February 28, 2019:

 

  • From a point  of originating along the eastern shoreline of the Mississippi River at 29 degrees 46 minutes 11.835 seconds north latitude; thence westerly along 29 degrees 46 minutes 11.835 seconds north latitude to its intersection with the eastern bank of Bayou Terre Aux Boeufs at 29 degrees 46 minutes 11.835 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 47 minutes 20.53 seconds west longitude; thence southerly along the eastern bank of Bayou Terre Aux Boeufs to  29 degrees 41 minutes 15.19 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence southerly along 89 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 34 minutes 12 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence westerly along 29 degrees 34 minutes 12 seconds north latitude to 29 degrees 34 minutes 12.00 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 42 minutes 36 seconds west longitude; thence southerly along 89 degrees 42 minutes 36 seconds west longitude to its intersection with the eastern bank of the Mississippi River at 29 degrees 30 minutes 51.57 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 42 minutes 36.24 seconds west longitude; thence northerly along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River to its point of origin.

 

Sabine Basin Crab Trap Removal

 

The use of crab traps shall be prohibited for a 10-day period from 12 a.m. March 13, 2019, through 11:59 p.m. March 22, 2019:

 

  • From a point originating at the Louisiana/Texas state line at 29 degrees 57 minutes 00 seconds north latitude, 93 degrees 48 minutes 29.67 seconds west longitude; thence northerly along the Louisiana/Texas state line to its intersection with the southernmost east bound lane on Interstate 10; thence northeasterly along the southernmost east bound lane on Interstate 10 to 30 degrees 11 minutes 15.16 seconds north latitude, 93 degrees 33 minutes 18 seconds west longitude; thence southerly along 93 degrees 33 minutes 18 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 57 minutes 00 seconds north latitude, 93 degrees 33 minutes 18.00 seconds west longitude; thence westerly along 29 degrees 57 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to its point of origin.

For maps of the 2019 designated closure areas, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/derelict-crab-trap-removal.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.

In the weeks leading up to the closure, LDWF will mail notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within affected parishes as well as non-resident licensed crab fishermen who fish Louisiana waters and reside in Texas.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.

Crab traps may be removed only between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Only LDWF or those designated by LDWF will be authorized to remove derelict crab traps in the closure areas. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

Interested persons may submit written 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 November 28, 2018.

 

 

LDWF Cites Two Men for Over Limit of Bass

Release Date: 10/04/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two Louisiana men for alleged fishing violations on Sept. 21 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Ray Louviere Jr., 65, of Prairieville, and Robert Holland, 80, of Livingston, for possessing over the limit of black bass.

Agents received a complaint about fishermen possessing over the legal limit of bass on Bayou Black.  Agents setup surveillance at a boat launch near Gibson where they found a truck and empty boat trailer.

When a vessel with Louviere Jr. and Holland approached the marina, agents made contact with the men.  Agents found the men in possession of 53 bass, which put them 33 over the legal limit of 10 bass per day per fisherman.

Over the limit of black bass brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  The men may also face civil restitution totaling $443 for the replacement value of the illegally possessed fish.

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