Tag Archives: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Gov. Edwards announces program to help Louisiana shrimpers

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the creation of a $250,000 program that will pay part of the cost shrimp fishermen will have to pay for mandated devices to protect sea turtles and other animals from getting trapped in their nets. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will operate the Skimmer Turtle Excluder Device Reimbursement Program (STEDRP), which will reimburse up to 60 percent of the cost for two skimmer Turtle Excluder Devices, commonly called TEDs. >click to read< 12:02

LDWF estimate: Louisiana fishing industry sustained $258M in losses during historic flooding

The Louisiana fishing industry suffered an estimated $258 million in losses due to the historic 2019 flooding event, according to a fisheries disaster economic impact analysis conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Governor John Bel Edwards announced today (11/15). The analysis was submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for helping the state qualify for its portion of the $165 million in fisheries disaster assistance currently available on the federal level. >click to read<  14:06

‘It’s grim.’ After spring floods, Louisiana oyster harvest slows to a trickle

Fall is when Louisiana normally begins harvesting a torrent of oysters. This year, the torrent is barely a trickle. Restaurants have resorted to rationing. They’re reaching far beyond their normal local supply chains to get whatever boxes and sacks of oysters they can find, revising menus and tapping stockpiles of frozen product to keep fried oysters on their po-boys and seafood platters. Many in the business are calling the shortage the worst they’ve ever seen, worse than the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 or the BP oil spill disaster in 2010, both of which devastated the local industry. Photo’s  >click to read< 08:29

Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries: report of loss linked to Bonnet Carre Spillway opening

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it in my life,” Shrimper Charles Robin said. Robin is a shrimper in Yscloskey. He said his catch dropped by more than half this year compared to last. “Last year on average I’d catch a thousand or 1,200 pounds a day on a slow day. Now, you can’t even catch 500 pounds,” Robin said. According to Wildlife and Fisheries, brown shrimp landings are down 34 to 44 percent compared to the five year average. St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said he’s actively pushing for an Emergency Fisheries Declaration in Washington, D.C.  Video, >click to read<16:33

Katrina, BP, 2019 Mississippi River — Oyster Industry Braces For Another Major Disaster

The commercial fishing industry on the Gulf Coast has seen two major disasters in the last 15 years: Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Now, some fear we’re on the cusp of a third. The culprit: historic flooding from the Mississippi River. Commercial oysterman Mitch Jurisich is picking through a pile of freshly harvested oysters at a dock in Empire, Louisiana. One hand clutches an oyster knife, the other grabs a bivalve from the top of the mound. “This one’s good right here,” he says before tossing it aside and picking up another. “This one’s not good.” Audio, >click to read< 20:28

Workshop aims to get more women to fish

Women make up just a quarter of the fishing licenses that the department sells each year. Around the country, only about 34 percent of people who participate in any kind of fishing are women, according to a report published in 2018 by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.,,, David said the department holds the workshop about twice a year, though she wished they could do it every weekend.,,, 43 photo’s, >click to read< 12:09

La. crabbers, fishers ask for federal aid amid spillway openings

The Louisiana Crab Task Force met Tuesday (June 4) in Chalmette to discuss the issues facing the commercial crabbing industry as a result of the spillway openings. The group motioned to work with other seafood industry task forces to write a joint letter requesting federal help. Dozens of fishermen attended the meeting, voicing their concerns about how the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway is affecting their livelihoods. A spokesperson with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said they have been monitoring the water quality and reports of fish kills. >click to read<21:43

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Open May 20 in the Remaining State Outside Waters

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the portion of state outside waters between the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island westward to western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal shall reopen to shrimping at 6:00 a.m. on May 20, 2019.  The area to open is defined as follows: >click to read<10:48

Louisiana: Shrimp Season to Open April 25 in a Portion of State Outside Waters

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the portion of state outside waters between Calliou Boca and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island shall reopen to shrimping at 12:00 p.m. on April 25, 2019. The closure area is defined as follows: >click to read<Recent biological sampling conducted by the department has indicated that small white shrimp, which have over-wintered in these waters from January through the present time, have reached marketable sizes and the closure is no longer necessary.11:30

Bayou Region Shrimpers hope blessings are on the way

A blessing of boats in Chauvin Sunday marked the continuation of a sacred tradition in the Bayou Region, as anticipation grows for word that the fleets of various communities can move out onto the water and lower their nets. If preliminary estimates continue on their course, that could happen sooner than later. Biologists for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported at a meeting last week that early tests show the potential for a sizeable crop this year. >click to read<10:18

Houma man cited on shrimping violations

A Houma man was cited last week for alleged shrimping violations on Nov. 9 in Pointe-Aux-Chenes. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited Dwayne T. Hotard, 44, who is accused of illegally taking commercial fish, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, blocking the passage of fish, possessing over the limit of shrimp on a Wildlife Management Area and being in a Wildlife Management Area after hours. Around 5:15 p.m. Nov. 9, agents received a complaint about a net that was stretched across a flood control structure,, click here to read the story 11:42

Biloxi Man Cited for Illegal Shrimping Violation in Breton Sound

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement agents cited a Biloxi man on Nov. 7 for allegedly shrimping in state waters with illegal turtle exclusion device’s (TED). Agents were patrolling in Breton Sound conducting a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol when they found a shrimping vessel in Breton Sound.  Agents made contact with the captain, Canh Huu Nguyen, 37, and performed a license compliance check and TED inspection. During the inspection, agents measured the two TEDS installed in the vessels two large nets and found them both out of compliance with state and federal regulations. click here to read the story 16:07

Louisiana: New restrictions create burden for local crabbers

For Whitney Curole of Des Allemands, being a fisherman is an “always” kind of thing — he’s been a crabber since his teenage years, following in the footsteps of his father, and that passion for fishing runs throughout his entire family. But all of that experience nonetheless doesn’t mean it’s not hard sometimes.  This year was the first in which the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries placed restrictions on blue crab harvest in an effort to restore the blue crab’s population in state waters.  “I fought against (the initial one-month ban),” said Curole, who catches crabs and ships them all over the country and who retails crabs himself through his family business in Donaldsonville. click here to read the story 09:05

Coast Guard, partner agencies search for missing fisherman in the Gulf

The Coast Guard is searching for a missing man who was last seen aboard a fishing vessel approximately 37 miles southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday. The missing man is reported to be Vietnamese and wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants. The vessel identified through inquiry is F/V Miss Quinh Chi II. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received the report of the missing person at approximately 11:30 p.m. and directed the launch of Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile to search for the man. Marine units from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office are also on scene searching for the man. –USCG– 15:34

More than a ton of shrimp seized from illegal shrimpers, as another one swims away!

The inshore shrimp season is currently closed in most of Louisiana, but the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it busted three shrimpers on two separate boats skimming for shrimp Thursday.  Agents cited Daniel Palmisano, 32, of Marrero, John Friedman Jr., 66, and Steve Rodi, 54, both of Buras, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season. A total of 2,355 pounds of shrimp were seized by the agents and sold at the dock to the highest bidder, the department said. click here to read the story 10:07  Illegal shrimper jumps in water, swims away from agents – A Montegut man who fled twice from authorities, including Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents, turned himself in to the Lafourche and Terrebonne Sheriff’s Offices Thursday, the state agency reported. Mel Guidry, 37, had outstanding warrants for using butterfly nets during a closed season, taking commercial fish without a commercial license, commercial gear license and commercial vessel license, failing to tag butterfly nets while unattended, improper running lights, misrepresentation during issuance of a misdemeanor, flight from an officer and failing to complete trip tickets by a fishermen. click here to read the story

Louisiana Shrimp Fishermen Face New Challenges – White Spot Disease

The experience is not universal within the nation’s eight shrimp-producing states, nor even within Louisiana. That’s why some shrimpers suspect that undiagnosed trouble may lurk within the local fishery itself. At the tail end of this year’s crawfish season, white spot disease was detected in Louisiana ponds. It’s not too far a jump, some in the industry, to suspect contamination with the virus as a cause for decline. “Is it the same strain that is in the Asian shrimp that gets imported here?” said Acy Cooper, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association.,,, Jeffrey Marx, the chief shrimp biologist at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, is skeptical.,,, Fishermen want more research to be done, and some precautions to be taken, however. click here to read the story  for links about White Spot here and Australia click here 08:34

White spot – Shellfish disease unlikely to become major threat to shrimp

A shellfish killing disease discovered in crawfish ponds around Louisiana about a month ago isn’t as likely to be a major threat to the shrimp population, state officials say. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Jeff Marx said the virus is most likely in wild populations, but it shouldn’t affect wild shrimp as much as the crawfish because shrimp aren’t in contained spaces like crawfish are. Although the disease has only been found in crawfish, it could also infect shrimp and crabs in coastal estuaries, according to a report by the LSU Ag Center. Shrimp and crab will be tested for the virus. click here to read the story 14:57

Unlikely to become a major threat? They thought that in Queensland. Australia: Fears grow as white spot detected in crab in Logan River, click here for more info.

Recreational IFQ’s? Louisiana wants to give 150 anglers almost unlimited access to red snapper

Despite vehement opposition from recreational-fishing advocacy groups, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it has worked up a pilot program that will award a significant portion of the state’s red snapper haul to select recreational anglers. The department announced the plan in a Thursday afternoon press release, just one day after meeting with pro-recreational fishing groups and mentioning nothing about the program. The structure would be similar to what exists in the commercial sector, where fishers have been awarded percentages of the overall commercial quota, and may harvest their red snapper at any time during the year. The system, called individual fishing quotas, has been panned by recreational-fishing organizations as well as good-government groups because it has set up so-called Sea Lords, who own quota and make hundreds of thousands of dollars on a public resource without ever leaving the dock. click here to read this story 20:20

New calendar check could be needed for shrimp seasons

This year’s brown shrimp season is in full swing, with boats small and large trawling and skimming the bayous, lakes and canals of Louisiana’s central coast since 6 a.m. Monday. Early reports were somewhat encouraging, but there are indications that policy-makers will need to consider more flexibility when charting seasons to come. “If we have another warm February or March we will be giving everybody a heads up,” said Jeffrey Marx, the biologist who manages the shrimp program for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “It is pretty much a year-to-year thing.” click here to read the story 16:07

Louisiana Inshore Shrimp Season Discussion, Commision Meeting on Thursday to be live streamed

The opening dates for this year’s spring inshore shrimp season in Louisiana will be discussed at a meeting this Thursday. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a commission meeting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the department’s headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Ideal conditions for shrimp to grow are when temperatures rise above 68 degree and salt levels in the water are high. So far, conditions are favorable to open the season with good-sized shrimp, said Jeff Marx, biologist for the department, at a previous department meeting in April. Earlier this month, there was even talk of having a special meeting before May 4 to set the inshore shrimp season. The meeting will be streamed online (click here) for those who cannot attend in person. The full agenda and more information can be found online at wlf.louisiana.gov  click here to read the story 08:09

Two inshore shrimpers busted for fishing during closed season, one with running lights off

Due to the unseasonably warm winter and spring, brown shrimp have grown quickly in Louisiana’s marshes, and some shrimpers have been trying to get a jump on their competition. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents say they busted two shrimpers Saturday who were using skimmer nets in English Bay near Buras even though the inshore season won’t open for several more weeks. According to the department, the men were pulling their nets at 10:30 p.m. without the boat’s navigation lights on. Agents cited John Berthelot, 37, of Covington, and Juan Cruz, 38, of Marrero, for using skimmers during a closed season. Agents also cited Berthelot for improper navigation lights. click here to read the story 10:08

Getting a Jump on the Competition! Two busted for shrimping in closed state waters

Two shrimpers got a jump on their competition Friday by dropping nets in an area where the season hasn’t opened yet, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported Monday. Enforcement agents say they spotted Hoang Nguyen, 55, of Katy, Texas, and Nile Franklin, 52, of Gretna actively shrimping inside state waters southeast of Marsh Island Refuge. The area is in Iberia Parish. Agents boarded the boat and found shrimp onboard as well as shrimp in the nets, the department said. The live shrimp were returned to the water, but the 3,409 pounds of sacked shrimp found onboard were seized and sold at the dock, according to the department. continue reading the story here 09:52

Crab ban timing aggravates fishermen – “It’s not too late. Give us an emergency opening.”

Crab fishermen are expressing frustration over how the state’s 30-day crab season moratorium was set for the weeks leading up to Lent when prices are higher. “Not during Lent, that’s what we’re saying. We don’t need to change the season, we need to change the date,” said Patrick Luke, a crab fisherman and the owner of P&S Seafood & Fuel in Dulac. Luke said crab fisherman wouldn’t be complaining if the closure was in October when prices are traditionally much lower. February is also “a period of time where we are allowed to pick up derelict crab traps. “So now you’re going to open back up this season, March 20, and you’re gonna have record crabs,” Luke said. “Say you had 50,000 pounds on that day. You’re gonna have like 500,000 pounds. The market can’t take it. So then what’s going to happen? The price is gonna drop. Who hurts? The fisherman.” Read the story here 10:58

Door-to-door shrimp salesmen busted shorting customers

Most door-to-door shrimp purveyors volunteer to remove the heads from the crustaceans after a customer agrees to a sale. For many, that’s not just a nice thing to do. It’s so that the consumer can’t check the weight to see that he or she has been shorted. Complaints from customers about not getting what they paid for led to the bust of two door-to-door shrimp salesmen in Calcasieu Parish in the last week, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The department said its agents arrested Kenny Menard, 45, of Rayne, and Jessie Dupuis Jr., 43, of Lafayette, and charged them with theft by fraudulent sales, selling shrimp without a retail seafood license and failing to maintain records. Read the rest here 11:38

Louisiana crabber busted twice with too many young females

A Violet commercial crabber failed to heed a warning about harvesting immature female crabs , and that resulted in a citation that could put him in jail for up to 60 days, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported Thursday. On Jan. 20, enforcement agents say they found Allan Campo, 51, to be in violation of the state’s new crabbing regulations, and issued him a written warning. Less than two weeks later, however, agents were on patrol in Plaquemines Parish’s Shell Lake when they observed Campo actively crabbing, the department said. The agents stopped Campo, and found him to be in possession of two crates of crabs holding an illegal amount of immature female crabs, according to the department. Under new regulations, no more than 2 percent of a commercial crabber’s take may be immature females. Read the story here 10:48

UPDATED: Charlie Melancon resigns from post as secretary of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Melancon spent most of his brief tenure either pissing people off or running another typical Louisiana corruption scheme. The biggest issue that has arisen in Melancon’s tenure was his opposition to the state taking over red snapper fisheries from the Federal government. Why would the state be opposed taking over red snapper jurisdiction from the Feds? Because as Scott wrote back in September, a JBE (Gov. John Bel Edwards) donor would be hurt. Read the story here  About that Sealord donor!  Charlie Melancon has resigned Wednesday as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “Charlie and I have agreed that we should move the agency in a different direction,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday. Read the rest here 09:44

Playing Politics? NOAA: Red snapper data can’t be shared with states

sobeckA letter written late last month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates  that if red snapper are ultimately removed from federal oversight to be managed by the five Gulf states, much of the data currently collected on the species by NOAA — including stock assessments — would not be shared with the states. The letter dated Sept. 22 from Eileen Sobeck to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon contradicts what Rep. Garret Graves — the author of H.R. 3094 that would strip red snapper from federal oversight and award it to the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority — has said about how potential costs associated with stock assessments and data collection for snapper will be covered if his legislation becomes law. But Graves said the letter is just another in a long list of allegations brought by the LDWF in an attempt to derail the bill. “The reality is this: NOAA is going to go out there and do fish surveys, and they don’t have any idea what type of fish is going to come up in that net or on that long line, so for them to suggest that they’re going to pretend that some fish isn’t there and another fish is there is completely bogus,” Graves said. “And if NOAA is going to jump in and play these political games with Charlie (Melancon), have at it. Y’all enjoy your next two and a half months of playing games because y’all are gone. It’s just continued silliness and obviously has no merit.” Read the story here 17:28

Charlie Melancon’s Department Of Wrongdoing And Falsehood

charlie-melanconHave you been paying attention to the chaos at hand with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries? It appears that there is a full three-ring circus going on with DWF and its secretary, the former Democrat congressman Charlie Melancon. And after eight months on the job it’s pretty clear that perception among the in-the-know crowd was largely correct. The department is awash in controversy, if not criminality, and those affected by it are furious. To full explain this, we should go back several years to a program set up at the federal level. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, which is a federal commission set up to govern offshore fishing in the five Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas), and the National Marine Fisheries Service set up something called the Individual Fishing Quota system, or IFQ, to govern commercial fishing for red snapper. Meaning, the federal government resorted to crony capitalism as a means to govern Gulf red snapper fisheries. If you were a big player in the red snapper harvest before the program got started, you were one of the cronies and your incumbency would be protected.  Read the story here. 19:20

Red snapper dispute continued at Wednesday meeting

red snapperThe war of words continued Wednesday during an all-day meeting in Baton Rouge designed to educate members of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on red snapper management. A surrogate of Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, presented a letter declaring states would not be responsible for research funding under HR 3094, a bill authored by Graves and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, that would transfer management authority to Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. That directly contradicted charges made by Charlie Melancon, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, that the bill became an unfunded mandate when Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, tacked an amendment to it. “Amending things to death is how you kill a bill,” Melancon told the crowd of industry leaders and interested anglers Wednesday. “What was done to (HR 3094) was an attempt to kill the bill.” But Paul Sawyer, Graves’ chief of staff, presented a letter, signed by Bishop, stating that his amendment merely banned the transfer of funds to the states for fisheries research because that research would continue to be conducted by NOAA Fisheries. Read the story here 12:31

Mississippi fishermen busted with more than three tons of illegally caught shrimp in Louisiana waters

20864012-mmmainA Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent Tuesday busted four Mississippi men with more than three tons of shrimp caught illegally in Louisiana waters, the agency reported. According to the department, Senior Agent Brett Nabors received a complaint about a boat actively shrimping in Lake Borgne near the Rigolets. After arriving in the area at 8:10 a.m., Nabors says he saw a boat with its nets in the water. He ordered the captain to retrieve his nets, and saw shrimp and bycatch in the closed tails of the trawls, the department reported. Nabors then cited Joe Tran, 48, Duc Le, 48, Tri Le, 55, and Phung Hoang, 59, for trawling in a closed season. He seized 6,100 pounds of shrimp, and sold them to the highest bidder. Using skimmers in a closed season brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized. Read the rest here 11:30