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LDWF News Release

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.

CWPPRA’s Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project Touted at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge

Release Date: 10/16/2018

Part of CWPPRA's Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.

Oct. 16, 2018 – With construction in progress for the Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and other partners celebrated last week the work done to minimize coastal erosion in the refuge, located in Cameron and Vermilion parishes.
 
The project, funded by the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection Restoration Act (CWPPRA), is a series of breakwaters along the coast of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge. Last week’s gathering highlighted this project along with other CWPPRA funded projects.
 
One of the sections of the project, dubbed ME-18 and located beginning at Joseph Harbor Outlet moving westward, began in July earlier this year at a cost of $34.3 million.
 
CWPPRA is federal legislation enacted in 1990 that is designed to identify, prepare and fund construction of coastal wetlands restoration projects. Since its inception, 210 coastal restoration or protection projects have been authorized, benefiting approximately 100,000 acres in Louisiana.
 
Gathering at last week’s event included participants from CWPPRA's five federal managing agencies (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service), the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), LDWF, state and local representatives and members of the public.
 
Additionally, ten students from South Cameron High School presented essays and art projects addressing how coastal restoration and protection is personally important to their lives.
 
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge is considered an erosional hotspot on Louisiana’s coastline with erosion rates averaging more than 50 feet a year. The refuge manages large marsh impoundments primarily for migrating waterfowl and other neotropical migrants.
 
“Our coastline must be protected first,” said Scooter Trosclair, Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge manager. “We are protecting crucial habitat with this project and we are also safeguarding a vital public use area too.”
 
Rockefeller is a state wildlife refuge where visitors are allowed to fish in the canal systems and areas surrounding water control structures on the refuge. With more than 200,000 visitors annually, it is the most visited state refuge in Louisiana.
 
Since Rockefeller’s founding in 1919, the refuge has lost more than 15,000 acres to coastal erosion. The Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project addresses the rapid rate of land-loss at the refuge with the use of segmented breakwaters.
 
Before the project was funded, experimental breakwaters were constructed utilizing different types of material. These experimental breakwaters were employed along Rockefeller’s coastline in 2011. These trials were conducted because most sites along Rockefeller’s shoreline cannot support the heavy weight of boulder style breakwaters utilized in other areas.
 
After testing various models, a specific style of breakwater was selected. Large pillow mats are filled with small, porous rocks called light-weight aggregate rock. These large pillows full of rock are laid as a foundation for the breakwater. The breakwater is then capped with larger rock to absorb wave energy from the Gulf. The pillow mats beneath the breakwater provided a strong enough foundation to stabilize the breakwater without increasing the breakwater’s weight to a point of subsidence.
 
The project, originally planned for nine miles along Rockefeller’s western coastline, would have cost an estimated $90 million. Current funding from CWPPRA will secure construction for approximately 4-5 miles of Rockefeller’s coastline. Additional funding is being proposed.
 
For more information about CWPPRA visit lacoast.gov. For more information about Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, visit https://www.rwrefuge.com/shoreline-stabilization or contact Gabe Giffin at ggiffin@wlf.la.gov. Images and video of ME-18 can be found at: https://ldwf.cantoflight.com/v/cwppra/landing
 

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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.

LOUISIANA ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Release Date: 10/05/2018

There's a breeze of hope sweeping across the state of Louisiana, with many of our most difficult challenges now in the rearview mirror. Not too long ago, our state was trapped in a cycle of budget battles that threatened everything from health care to education. But after lots of hard work and a sustained commitment to put Louisiana first, those days are now behind us.

 

There's a breeze of hope sweeping across the state of Louisiana, with many of our most difficult challenges now in the rearview mirror. Not too long ago, our state was trapped in a cycle of budget battles that threatened everything from health care to education. But after lots of hard work and a sustained commitment to put Louisiana first, those days are now behind us.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet names Robert Shadoin as Deputy Secretary

Release Date: 10/05/2018

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet names Robert Shadoin as Deputy Secretary

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet has named former State Representative Robert E. Shadoin as Deputy Secretary of LDWF. Shadoin will begin on Monday (Oct. 8).

The Ruston republican and attorney recently left the Louisiana Legislature where he represented the 12th District in the Louisiana House of Representatives. His district included Lincoln and Union parishes.

Shadoin is a graduate of Ruston High. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University and a law degree from the LSU Law Center. He served as Ruston City Attorney from 1991-1994 and from 1994-2006, he was a member of the Lincoln Parish School Board.

He and his wife, the former Carol Brasuell, have four children.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Names Louisiana Room For Former LDWF Secretary Joe L. Herring

Release Date: 10/05/2018

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet with members of Joe L. Herring's family.
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Names Louisiana Room For Former LDWF Secretary Joe L. Herring

Oct. 5, 2018 – A meeting room at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters now bears the name of former LDWF Secretary Joe L. Herring.
 
With members of his family in attendance, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted unanimously at its meeting Thursday to rename the auditorium the Joe L. Herring Louisiana Room. Commission meetings, public gatherings and major department events are held in the room.
 
Herring, who served as LDWF Secretary from 1992-96, died on June 9. He was 89.
 
“From his work as a field biologist with LDWF in the 1950s all the way to his run as LDWF Secretary in the middle 1990s, Joe had a profound effect on this department,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “He served this department and this state in an exemplary manner. We’re all pleased the commission extended this honor and we’ll always remember Joe and his work with LDWF.’’
 
Herring was born in Ruston, raised in Shreveport and graduated from Louisiana Tech in May 1949 with a wildlife management degree. He served in the U.S. Army.
 
He began his career at LDWF on Jan. 15, 1955. He served in many capacities, including as a district supervisor in Monroe from 1955-62, as LDWF’s Fish and Game Chief from 1962-71, then Chief of the Game Division from 1971-79. He was Assistant Secretary for Wildlife in 1979-80 and from 1984-92 when former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards appointed him LDWF secretary, a post he held until he retired in 1996.
 
Herring played a part in many of the success stories at LDWF. He had a hand in helping to bring back the white-tailed deer population in north Louisiana as well as restoring the alligator, the brown pelican and the bald eagle.
 
He also earned numerous state and national awards for his conservation work. Herring placed a major emphasis on educating the public about Louisiana’s outdoors and the need for conservation measures to keep those resources abundant and flourishing.
 
Even in retirement, Herring continued to work to protect and promote Louisiana’s wildlife resources. He was active with the East Ascension Sportsman’s League, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, the Baton Rouge Sportsman’s League and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation among other organizations.
 

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