Tag Archives: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

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

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries sets fall inshore shrimp season opening dates

louisiana shrimpThe fall inshore shrimp season will have a split opening with the eastern part of the state opening at 6 p.m. on August 15 and the west side opening at 6 a.m. on August 22. The Atchafalaya River is the boundary line between the regions. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries unanimously approved the dates at its meeting Thursday morning. LDWF biologists set the dates based on research and samples. All locals who spoke at the meeting supported the dates. When samples were taken last week, the shrimp in the western part of the state in Vermilion, Cote Blanc and Calcasieu basins were still very small. The shrimp in the eastern part in Barataria and Terrebonne basins were significantly larger. The extra week for the west will allow the shrimp time to grow to the proper size for catching. Read the rest here 17:47

Three face shrimping-related charges in Terrebonne

Three Chauvin residents face charges after complaints over the past two weeks about fishermen illegally catching shrimp in Bayou Little Caillou, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said. David Blanchard, 35, and his deckhand Ellis Gilling, 35, were cited Wednesday on charges of taking commercial fish without a commercial license, failing to comply with bait dealer permit regulations and using skimmers in a closed season. Kenneth McDuff, 59, was cited on charges of allowing unlicensed fishermen to use a vessel license and gear license, and failing to comply with bait dealer permit regulations. Agents said they spotted Blanchard and Gilling unloading shrimp from a boat about 1 a.m. and asked to see their licenses. Read the rest here 09:46

Burglars nabbed during out of season shrimping roust in Terrebonne Parish

Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Fisheries busted three alleged thieves last weekend on their way back from writing up commercial shrimpers accused of fishing in a closed season. According to a press release, agents cited Shawn T. Tran, 30, of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Dung T. Hong, 48, of New Orleans, for allegedly using skimmer nets during a closed season on July 9. Agents acting on a complaint observed the vessel actively shrimping 3,671 feet inside the closed waters line in Caillou Boca, and seized more than 1,700 pounds of shrimp that were ultimately sold at the dock. While escorting that vessel back to port, agents came across a small vessel with no navigational lights about 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, July 10. Read the rest here 16:53

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Agents seize catch from illegal shrimper

 gulf white shrimpThe inshore shrimp season closed across most of the Louisiana coast on July 3, but the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says that was just a formality to one Buras man. Department enforcement agents say they caught ., 32, using skimmers to catch shrimp Tuesday. The agents seized and sold 1,413 pounds of shrimp, the department said. Agents were in the area in response to complaints they had received of illegal shrimping taking place near Buras, the department reported in a news release Wednesday. Read the rest here 13:18

Louisiana spring shrimp season to close for inshore waters

dulac shrimper barry rogersThe spring inshore shrimp season, marked by low prices this year, will close at 6 p.m. Sunday in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries today announced inshore shrimping will end from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the western shore of the Freshwater Bayou Canal in Vermilion Parish. Meanwhile, shrimpers have continued to see low prices and small shrimp in their catch. Dulac fisherman Barry Rogers called this season “terrible,” “catastrophic” and “the worst” he’s seen in his 40 years as a shrimper. Rogers said the only way things will change for the shrimping industry is if politicians in Washington begin fighting the dumping of imported shrimp on the domestic market that is driving down prices and creating a surplus. It’ll also take those in the industry banding together. Video, read the rest here 09:54

Overharvest means changes coming to Louisiana blue-crab fishery

blue-crabs-hopedalejpg-dc4bd1b64022cab0Most bays and tidal lakes in Louisiana these days look like obstacle courses, where the first boater to make it across without wrapping a crab-trap line in his prop wins. Hard to believe that less than half a century ago, the crab trap hadn’t yet been invented. Now, they’re more prevalent in state marshes than mosquitoes. All those wire cages mean it’s getting harder for female crabs to run the gauntlet and make it to the salty waters of the coast to lay their eggs. As a result, Louisiana has seen a concerning decline in its blue-crab population, according to Jeff Marx, a crustacean biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Marx has spent two of the last 10 days explaining to two different boards the challenges currently facing Louisiana’s crab population. The first presentation was to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, the regulatory board that ultimately will make decisions on how to attack the problem. The second was to the state’s blue-crab task force, which serves as a policy liaison between the department and crabbers in the field. Read the rest here 15:11

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Agents bust four men for illegal shrimping

louisiana shrimpFour Plaquemines Parish men sought to get a jump on their competition by shrimping in inshore waters Tuesday (May 10), according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The inshore shrimp season won’t open until May 23 at 6 a.m. Agents say they saw the vessel Captain Bean actively shrimping with skimmers in the Bayou Grand Liard area near Buras around 9 p.m. They cited Eulice J. Ordoyne Jr, 67, of Buras, and Trebor Fabiano, 33, of Belle Chasse, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season. Additionally, Ordoyne was cited for using improper navigation lights. Agents seized 60 pounds of shrimp. That same evening at around 9:30, agents say they watched a boat use skimmers near Yellow Cotton Bay. After making contact with the vessel, agents cited Bradon Granger, 19, of Boothville, and Deiontae James, 19, of Venice, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season. Granger was also cited for not using any of the required navigation lights. Read the rest here 15:15

Thief busted for stealing crabs from traps near Delacroix

blue_crabThere are at least a couple of ways to catch crabs in the rich waters along Louisiana’s coast. One is to bait traps, set them out, kill some time tending to other tasks and then return hours later to harvest the contents of your traps. The other way is to run traps that were set out by someone else. The only problem is one method is legal, and the other isn’t. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents say a Slidell man went with the latter option Wednesday. Broward Barwick, 26, was cited for removing the contents of crab traps that were not owned by him, failing to mark crab traps and theft of crab traps. Read the rest here 08:45

Grand Isle commercial fisherman high on drugs, sentenced to 20 years for his sixth DUI conviction

judgement44-year-old Rockey Burnham, 44, was convicted as charged of his second fourth-offense DUI on April 20. Fourth-offense DUI is the most serious offense available to prosecutors under Louisiana law. Burnham was arrested on April 28, 2015, after he crashed a boat into moored vessels and the shrimp dock owned by Dean Blanchard Seafood. The U.S. Coast Guard investigated the boat wreck, while the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries handled the DUI investigation. The state agents concluded that Burnham did poorly on the field sobriety test, leading to blood work that yielded the presence of diazepam, nordiazepam and methamphetamine, according to evidence presented at the trial. His last conviction before this year’s was in 2011, for an arrest a year earlier for driving a trawler without authorization while under the influence of alcohol and crystal methamphetamine, crashing it into a dock. Read the story here 15:24

Terrebonne Parish men cited for shrimping and fishing violations

logol f&wFour Terrebonne Parish men are accused of illegally trawling for shrimp and fishing for red snapper in two separate incidents this week, according to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Tracy Trahan, 37, of Houma,and Sterlin Billiot Jr., 22, of Dulac, were charged Wednesday for trawling during a closed shrimp season, agents said. According to the report, the two were caught trawling for shrimp around 11:30 p.m. in a boat without any navigation lights about four miles inside state waters in Terrebonne Bay. Agents seized more than 660 pounds of shrimp, two trawls and Trahan’s boat, according to the news release. Trahan and Billiot were booked Wednesday into the Terrebonne Parish jail. Read the rest here  20:44

Louisiana’s Upcoming shrimp season could be similar to last year

louisiana shrimp season preparationLDWF biologist Jeff Marx told the Shrimp Task Force Wednesday in Houma that while he doesn’t have the data to make predictions on how the upcoming season will unfold, he can show parallels to previous years. That leads to the conclusion that this year’s season has the characteristics of 2015, which was a hot year. Marx said small shrimp aren’t being seen in the basins yet. “It’s a good spread, but things change. If we get a big influx of small shrimp, it changes things. There’s a big difference between a cold year and what’s going on this year,” he said. Two things worth keeping an eye on are the “huge discharge” of water from the Mississippi River in the early parts of the year and the salinity levels. Read the rest here 08:31

Shrimp Task Force discusses penalties for fishing out of season

State officials and district attorneys continue to hammer out stricter penalties for shrimpers. At its meeting today in Houma, the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force continued discussions on its plans to get legislation passed to strengthen the penalties for violators. Currently, shrimpers face fines, revocation of gear licenses, community service and potential jail time if accused of multiple violations. Officials said the issue with the current penalties is that an owner of a vessel with multiple violations can use another licensed captain who does not have violations out on the same boat. Read the rest here 10:58

Oyster fishermen on private lease without permission lose boat, dredges, and twenty five sacks!

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents seized a boat used by two men Thursday to dredge for oysters on a private lease logol f&w from the owner, according to the department. While on routine patrol, agents say they spotted Chance Lovell, 37, of Theriot, and Russell Callahan, 28, of Dulac, dredging oysters illegally in Terrebonne Parish. They cited the men for unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease, failure to have written permission, sanitation codebook violation, no commercial fishing license and no oyster-harvester license. Read the rest here 08:59

Louisiana stops issuing new crabbing licenses, citing overfishing

State stops issuing new crabbing licensesThe state has stopped issuing new commercial crab licenses due to overfishing, a move local crab wholesalers say has long been needed in an industry flooded with newcomers. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials declared an emergency Thursday following a low blue crab count. The decision “aims to prevent increased fishing pressure and mortality by temporarily prohibiting new entrants into the fishery until more permanent regulatory and legislative measures can be developed to address the reduced stock status,” Read the rest here 07:29