News from the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

News from the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

ASIAN CARP CREATING PROBLEMS IN LOUISIANA WATERWAYS

Members of the Asian carp family, mostly bighead and silver carp, have been tied to a number of problems for both fishermen and the fish resources in Louisiana waterways.

These nuisance fish were introduced into the United States in the 1970s to help manage aquaculture ponds and wastewater lagoons.  They quickly escaped into the wild and eventually descended into Louisiana waters from the north in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Asian carp are commonly found in Louisiana in the Mississippi, Red and Ouachita rivers and Atchafalaya Basin. 

It is the silver carp, most recognized for its jumping ability, that can leap several feet out of the water when disturbed by boat propellers.

Silver carp can grow up to 50 pounds, posing a threat to boaters and their equipment.  A silver carp jumping out of the water can result in injury to the operator and damage to the boat, or in the most extreme cases, death to the boater.

Both silver and bighead carp pose a threat to the local Louisiana freshwater fishery by out competing local fish for food.  Both of these carp species primarily feed on plankton, which is also the main diet for shad, bigmouth buffalo and paddlefish.  Plankton is also the primary food of the larval stages of catfish, bass and other freshwater species.

"These Asian carp have been in Louisiana waters for close to 20 years and are sustaining their populations," said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Inland Fisheries Administrator Gary Tilyou.  "This is a problem we have to manage to minimize impacts to our natural resources and the people that enjoy our Louisiana waterways."

Included in LDWF's management plan for Asian carp is creating a demand for the white, delicious meat they possess and relaxing the regulations on fishing for these nuisance fish. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, LDWF along with Chef Philippe Parola will unveil a new marketing plan that will include a name change from Asian carp to "Silverfin".  At the event, some local chefs will be preparing silverfin and LDWF will announce the rollout of silverfin products being distributed by Rouses Super Market.

Because these fish feed on plankton, they are not susceptible to traditional angling methods.  On Thursday, Jan. 7, LDWF will be presenting the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission a notice of intent (NOI) that, if adopted, will allow fishermen to take Asian carp using dip nets, spears and snagging methods.  Additionally, since silver carp can jump into boats, fishermen would be able to use their boats as a legal catching method.  Asian carp also have no size or possession limits.

"We will never be able to fully eradicate these fish, so we are trying to make the best out of what these fish have to offer," said Tilyou.  "By creating a demand for the meat, we hope to create a commercial and recreational freshwater fishing industry for Asian carp."

EDITORS: For more information, contact Gary Tilyou at 225-765-2330 or gtilyou@wlf.la.gov.

 

2010-MA01

WEYERHAEUSER CORPORATION AND L.D.W.F. TO SIGN SAFE HARBOR AGREEMENT TO BENEFIT THE RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER JAN. 8

The Weyerhaeuser Corporation and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) Safe Harbor Management Agreement signing. 

The signing will enroll 58,865 acres of land owned and/or leased by the Weyerhaeuser Corporation into the program and represents the second largest population of RCWs on private lands in Louisiana.

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 8 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Jonesboro, La. in the Jackson Parish Community Center located at 182 Industrial Dr.

Lunch will be provided by the Weyerhaeuser Corporation following the signing ceremony.  After lunch, a short tour of the Jackson-Bienville Wildlife Management Area featuring RCW cluster sites and wild turkey habitat improvement areas will be provided.

The RCW is a federally and state-listed endangered species that inhabits open pine forests greater than 60 years old.  The RCW Safe Harbor Program is designed to encourage landowners to actively and voluntarily manage pine timberlands for the benefit of the RCW, while reducing the concern of having an endangered species on their property.

EDITORS: For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

 

2010-011

2010 DATES ANNOUNCED FOR WHITE LAKE FACILITIES USE BY GROUPS CONDUCTING NON-CONSUMPTIVE ACTIVITIES

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today a list of selected dates between March 9 and July 13, 2010 for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).

"We are again offering facility access at White Lake for non-consumptive use by educational groups, conservation organizations and anyone interested in an outdoor retreat opportunity in a unique wetland environment," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish. LDWF owns and manages lodge facilities and 71,000 acres of wetlands and marsh land. The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, will be available for day-use or overnight use at rental rates that vary based on level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access for 2010 group use dates.

"The facilities and landscape would be ideal for birding groups, nature photographers, environmental or wetland ecology students, or small business retreats," said LDWF's Jimmy Anthony, Office of Wildlife assistant secretary. "We can provide site staff for guided boat tours and biologists for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area."

White Lake WCA and the surrounding Mermentau River Basin provide abundant habitat for a variety of avian and aquatic species. The property will seasonally have migrant passerine birds, shorebirds, wading birds, rails, gallinules, and the common moorhen. Hawks and owls are also common. Coastal terns and gulls use habitat contained on White Lake at times. Several large breeding rookeries of waders are present on the property. Most notably, along Blackfish Bayou, buttonbush growth supports a rookery with a large number of black-crowned night herons.

Access dates and fees for 2010 are as follows:

SCHEDULE FOR NON-CONSUMPTIVE ACTIVITIES AT WHITE LAKE WCA
Day trips: March 23; April 13 and 20; May 4 and 18; June 1 and 22; and July 6 and 13.
Overnight trips: March 9-10; April 6-7; May 11-12; and June 8-9.

FEE SCHEDULE FOR WHITE LAKE WCA FACILITY USE

Day Use
$300 - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $10/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $20/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided (for up to 15 people) will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.

Exemptions from day-use Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Overnight Use
 $400 + $25/person/night --Includes overnight stay at Lodge with only linens provided.
 (For up to 12 people.)

$400 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.  (For up to 12 people.)

$900 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and linens provided. (For up to 12 people.)

Exemptions from overnight Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)
$10/person/25 clay pigeons.
               
$15/person/25 clay pigeons, 25 shotgun shells provided.

Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events.

Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)
$10/person/ride.  Limited to authorized function attendees.

Exemptions: Any state, local or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects, or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.

For more information, visit the LDWF Web site at ww.wlf.louisiana.gov or call 337-479-1894 or e-mail Wayne Sweeney at sweeneykw@bellsouth.net.

 

2010-007

SPECIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON LIFTING THE OYSTER LEASE MORATORIUM TO MEET JAN. 11

The special advisory committee to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on lifting the oyster lease moratorium will hold its seventh meeting on Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. 

The meeting will convene at 10 a.m. in the Bayou Terrebonne Water Life Museum located at 7910 Park Avenue in Houma. 

Act 808 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session requires that the commission promulgate rules to lift the moratorium and provides that the rules be developed in conjunction with a special committee composed of representatives of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the Louisiana Oyster Task Force, the Louisiana Landowner's Association, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.  The moratorium was imposed on March 7, 2002. 

EDITORS:  For more information, contact Heather Warner-Finley at 225-765-2956 or hfinley@wlf.la.gov.

 

2010-010

AMENDED AGENDA FOR LOUISIANA SHRIMP TASK FORCE ON WEDNESDAY, JAN. 6

The next meeting of the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force will be held Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Room at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda for Wednesday's meeting is as follows:

I.      Call to order
II.     Roll Call
III.    Approval of 12-07-09 Minutes
IV.     Discussion regarding next steps in Federal Recommendations
V.      Remarks from Robin Riechers
VI.     Presentation, Eddie Hayes, La. Shrimp Processor Association
VII.    Update on Shrimp Harvester Panel Meeting
VIII.   Agency Updates
IX.     Set Next Meeting Date
X.      Public Comment

In August, Governor Bobby Jindal issued Executive Order BJ09-13 creating the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force.  LDWF was delegated to house and staff the task force.  The membership, consisting of state agencies, was charged to examine the Louisiana shrimp industry as a whole, identify problems prevalent in the industry and develop plans or propose policies which can improve the economic sustainability of the industry. 

A live audio feed of the meeting will be available at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/streaming.

This meeting is open to the public.  Meeting agendas and minutes are posted as they become available. 

EDITORS: For more information on the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force visit www.wlf.la.gov or contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov, or 225-610-2363.

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