Last week, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016-17 oyster season in Calcasieu Lake. The season was set based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.


Both the East Side and West Cove portions of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area will open one-half hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.  However, this action does not supersede public health closures.



During the 2016-17 oyster season, the following provisions will be in effect:

1.              Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above are limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed seven sacks of oysters per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. 


2.              If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above, all oysters contained on that vessel will be deemed to have been taken from said public oyster area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.


3.              Prior to leaving the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area with oysters harvested from said oyster area, all oysters must be sacked. The number of sacks should be recorded in a log book, and each sack shall be properly tagged.


4.              All vessels located in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise should have all oyster dredges unshackled.


The following areas shall remain closed for the 2016/2017 oyster season:

1. The 2015 Calcasieu Lake West Cove Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

A.    29 degrees 52 minutes 39.66 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 42.14 seconds

B.    29 degrees 52 minutes 28.94 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 42.20 seconds

C.    29 degrees 52 minutes 39.60 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

D.    29 degrees 52 minutes 29.01 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

2.  The 2015 Calcasieu Lake Southeast Side Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

                A.    29 degrees 50 minutes 25.46 seconds

93 degrees 17 minutes 05.83 seconds

        B.    29 degrees 50 minutes 19.83 seconds

93 degrees 17 minutes 04.64 seconds

C.    29 degrees 50 minutes 28.52 seconds

93 degrees 16 minutes 51.37 seconds

        D.    29 degrees 50 minutes 22.86 seconds

93 degrees 16 minutes 50.19 seconds

3.  The Cheniere Reef Artificial Reef Planning Area within the following coordinates:

        A.    29 degrees 51 minutes 09.10 seconds

93 degrees 17 minutes 06.96 seconds

        B.    29 degrees 51 minutes 09.35 seconds

93 degrees 16 minutes 50.20 seconds

C.    29 degrees 51 minutes 05.33 seconds

93 degrees 16 minutes 46.06 seconds

D.    29 degrees 50 minutes 50.72 seconds

93 degrees 16 minutes 45.78 seconds

E.    29 degrees 50 minutes 50.96 seconds

93 degrees 17 minutes 09.62 seconds

F.     29 degrees 51 minutes 05.56 seconds

93 degrees 17 minutes 09.90 seconds

4.   The Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area (as described in R.S. 56:435.1).


Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Melancon on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 


Public notice of any opening, delay or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours in advance, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

Visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons for more information on Louisiana oyster seasons.

Oil Spill Seminar



Researchers and agency members learn from each other as they
explore policy and societal issues in the affected communities.

Join in person
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 @ 1 PM – 3 PM CST
LSU Baton Rouge Campus
Efferson Hall, Room 214


Join via webinar – http://tinyurl.com/zmqmhf3


Michigan Panelists

Christine Kosmowski: Water Resources Commissioner, Calhoun County

Paul Makoski: Environmental Health Director, Health Department, Calhoun County

Heather Triezenberg: Extension Leader, Michigan Sea Grant/MSU


Louisiana Panelists

Katie Cherry: Professor, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University

Melissa Daigle: Research Associate, Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program

Julie Falgout: Seafood Industry Liaison, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program

FB16-069: NOAA Fisheries Announces Modifications to Increase Red Grouper Allowable Harvest in the Gulf of Mexico – Small Entity Compliance Guide

Red Grouper

Red Grouper- Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles

NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule modifying the red grouper commercial and recreational allowable harvest in the Gulf of Mexico. The new regulations become effective on October 12, 2016. The changes include:


1)  Increases to the Gulf of Mexico red grouper annual catch limit and quota (annual catch target) for the commercial sector from 6.03 and 5.72 million pounds gutted weight, to 8.19 and 7.78 million pounds gutted weight, respectively.


2)  Increases to the Gulf of Mexico red grouper annual catch limit and annual catch target for the recreational sector from 1.9 and 1.73 million pounds gutted weight, to 2.58 and 2.37 million pounds gutted weight, respectively.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has chosen to increase red grouper allowable harvest to allow the opportunity for the recreational fishing season to remain open yearlong instead of closing late in the season. In addition, the increase in quota will provide commercial fishermen an increase in their Individual Fishing Quota allocations.


The increase in quota will be effective October 12, 2016. The commercial increase will not include additional multi-use allocation for 2016 to prevent the red grouper or gag annual catch limit from being exceeded.


Electronic Copies of the final rule and supporting documents may be obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Web site:



This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.






NOAA Fisheries Southeast is pleased to announce the introduction of our Text Message Alert Program.  The program will allow you to sign up to receive important fishery related alerts via text message. Text alerts you may receive include immediate fishery openings and closures, and any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly.


How to opt-in

Sign up for related alerts for one or more of the following groups. Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries: Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries: Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries: Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries: Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries: Text CARIBFISH to 888777

FB16-070: Western Gulf of Mexico Closing to King Mackerel Commercial Fishing

King Mackerel

Illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles

NOAA Fisheries will close the Western Zone of the Gulf of Mexico to commercial fishing for king mackerel effective 12:00 noon (local time) October 14, 2016. The commercial quota of 1,071,360 pounds for this zone is projected to be reached by this date. The Western Zone is in federal waters from the U.S./Mexico border to the Alabama/Florida boundary. Gulf states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) are expected to close adjoining state waters at the same time. The closure will remain in effect until the end of the fishing year, June 30, 2017.


During the closure, no commercial fisherman may fish for or keep king mackerel in or from the closed zone. There is an exception for people aboard a vessel that has a charter/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish and a commercial king mackerel permit. Those people may keep the two-fish per person daily king mackerel bag limit from the closed zone, if the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat. Vessels are considered to be operating as a charter vessel or headboat when they carry a passenger who pays a fee or when more than three people are aboard, including operator and crew.


During the closure, no king mackerel caught in the closed zone may be bought, sold, or traded. This includes recreational and tournament-caught fish. King mackerel that were traded or sold before the closure and held in cold storage by a dealer or processor may still be sold.


This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations. We encourage you to read the full text of the regulations, available at


Louisiana Updates List of Established Recreational Reef Sites

Louisiana Oysters

Louisiana Oysters Credit: Paula Ouder

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action at today’s monthly meeting on a Notice of Intent (NOI) to update the list of established recreational reef sites in Louisiana inshore waters.


In Calcasieu Lake, the Commission proposes to remove the inshore planning area encompassing Oyster Reefs 1, 2, and 3 (also known as the Chenier Reefs) from to the list of established recreational reef sites. This action would allow for the future harvest of market-size oysters known to exist in the area. A new area of water bottoms in the lake would be designated and set aside as a recreational reef (planned East Calcasieu Reef in Cameron Parish), and oyster harvest would be restricted in this area. 


New reef sites in Lake Pontchartrain include the recently created 10-acre West End reef site near the south shore of the lake in Orleans Parish, and the new 10-acre St. John reef site in the southwestern part of the lake in St. John the Baptist Parish.


Other site changes include the removal of duplicate reef sites coordinates, consistency corrections and subsequent renumbering of reef sites.


To view the full notice of intent and for reef site coordinates, please visit here.


Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed modifications to Craig Gothreaux, Artificial Reef Program Manager, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries – Fisheries Extension, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to cgothreaux@wlf.la.gov prior to November 28, 2016.

LDWF to Open Fall Red Snapper Season in State Waters

red snapper copy

Red Snapper Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, at its regularly scheduled October meeting, took action allowing recreational anglers to harvest additional red snapper in state waters beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, October 7, 2016, during weekends only.  Weekends are restricted to Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.  


This action was taken by the Commission after receiving a red snapper landings update from the Department.  Preliminary estimates from the Department’s LA Creel Program indicate Louisiana’s recreational fishermen (private anglers and charter-for-hire) landed a total of 1,041,321 pounds of red snapper through September 6, 2016, when Louisiana’s state water red snapper season closed. These landings account for approximately 93 percent of our historical average for both the private angler and charter boat components of the recreational sector (1,116,732 pounds).


This fall season will allow recreational anglers the opportunity to harvest the remaining 75,411 pounds of red snapper in state waters, with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.  The department will monitor harvest, and the Secretary was given the authority to close the season when necessary to protect the resource.


Recreational Offshore Landing Permit


LDWF reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.


Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need a permit as long as the charter captain has a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

October Lagniappe Fisheries Newsletter

LagniappeTwo Derelict Crab Trap Closures for 2017 During The Statewide Trap Closure


Notice of Intent for a rule that describes two different regions along the entire Louisiana coast to be closed for the purpose of removing derelict crab traps has been approved.


These closures for trap removal fall during a new seasonal closure of the commercial harvest and the use of all crab traps for 30 days beginning on the third Monday in February. Only Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) personnel or their designees may remove and dispose of abandoned crab traps during the closure periods.


Read more…



Special Artificial Reef Sites


LDWF’s Artificial Reef Program is considering lifting an eight-year moratorium on Special Artificial Reef Sites (SARS). The program feels unique opportunities for creating reef sites outside of artificial reef planning areas still exist and should explore these potential opportunities and improve guidelines for SARS development.


Read more…



More articles in this month’s edition of Lagniappe:


  • LDWF Releases Stock Assessments
  • Fish Gear Coordinates-August 2016
  • 2016-2017 Louisiana Oyster Seasons
  • Louisiana Shrimp Watch
  • The Gumbo Pot – Grilled Shrimp with Corn Macque Choux


View full October 2016 edition of Lagniappe



Past copies of Lagniappe Fisheries newsletter are available online at:


Community Conversations Being Held Across Coastal Louisiana to Inform Development of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan


As part of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) – in partnership with Restore or Retreat and numerous community partners throughout coastal Louisiana – will host a series of six Community Conversations during October to update residents on the master plan and receive valuable input and feedback that will be used in developing the draft plan, which will be released in January 2017 for formal public comment and review. Each Community Conversation will include:

  • An open house beginning at 5:00 p.m. designed to share information about the master plan and ongoing efforts by CPRA and its community partners; and
  • Dinner served to all participants at 5:40 p.m., followed by a CPRA presentation at 6:00 p.m. and group discussion about the master plan, potential projects and programs, and more.

The Community Conversation schedule is as follows:

October 4, 2016
Buras Community Center
36342 Highway 11
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

October 6, 2016
Dulac Community Center
125 Coast Guard Road
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Lake Charles
October 12 2016
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Drive
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

October 13, 2016
Larose Civic Center
307 E 5th Street
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

October 18, 2016
Lafitte Multipurpose Center
4917 City Park Drive
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

New Orleans
October 19, 2016
Dillard University PSB
2601 Gentilly Boulevard
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
For more information, please visit http://coastal.la.gov/a-common-vision/master-plan or contact masterplan@la.gov.
Click here for event flyer.

October 2016 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

red snapper copy

Red Snapper Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, October 6, 2016, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA


The following items will be discussed:


1.     Call to Order

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Adoption of July 07, 2016; August 04, 2016; and September 01, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege         

6.     Enforcement Reports September, 2016 – Captain Edward Skena

7.     Receive Report on Delinquent and/or Non-Filed Notices of Intent and Declarations of Emergency – Angela Thomas, LWF Commission Secretary and Catherine Brindley, Office of State Register Editor

8.     Receive and Consider an Amended Notice of Intent to Modify the Gag Season and Increase the Gag and Black Grouper Size Limit – Jason Adriance, Biologist

9.     Receive and Consider Red Snapper Season Update and Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency for Reopening of State Waters to Red Snapper Recreational Harvest – Jason Adriance, Biologist

10.  Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Amend LAC 76:VII.5.537 to Update List of Established Recreational Reef Sites – Craig Gothreaux, Biologist

11.  Receive and Consider Updated Report on Calcasieu Lake Oysters and Consider a Declaration of Emergency for the Calcasieu Lake Oyster Season – Steven Beck, Biologist

12.  Receive an Update on Special Artificial Reef Sites (SARS) Moratorium – Mike McDonough, Biologist

13.  Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent Modifying the Ban on Commercial Fishing Gear and Establishing a Commercial Fishing Season in Poverty Point Reservoir – Ryan Daniel, Biologist

14.  Receive Summary Report of Recent LDWF Assessments, Including Blue Crab, Mullet, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Flounder, Spotted Seatrout and Red Drum – Jason Adriance, Biologist

15.  Receive Update on Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council – Myron Fischer, Biologist

16.  Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Reduce the Wild Alligator Return Rate  – Edmond Mouton, Biologist

17.  Public Hearing to Receive Comment on Amended Provisions to Notice of Intent for the Cervid Carcass Importation Ban – Johnathan Bordelon, Biologist

18.  Set January, 2017 Commission Meeting Date

19.  Receive Public Comments

20.  Consider Holding an Executive Session, Pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(2) for Discussion of Settlement Offer in the Matter Entitled Stroud Petroleum, Inc. v. Pintail Properties, L.L.C., et al; NO. 34865, 39th JDC, Parish of Red River and other related cases involving the Albritton Servitude – Ryan Seidemann, Assistant Attorney General and Yolanda Martin, LDWF General Counsel

21.  Consider Holding an Executive Session, Pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(2) for Discussion of Settlement Payment for Valuation of Loss of the Guitreau and Lambert Tracts from Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area from Old Republic National Title Insurance Company – Yolanda Martin, General Counsel

22.  Adjournment 


A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 



After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to Convene its Reef Fish Advisory Panel

gray triggerfish copy

Illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will convene its Reef Fish Advisory Panel October 4-5, 2016. The meeting will be held in the Gulf Council’s Conference Room at 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, Florida 33607. The meeting begins at 8:30 am on Tuesday, October 4, and concludes no later than 4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 5.


The Reef Fish Advisory Panel will meet to discuss and provide recommendations to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council regarding numerous reef fish issues.


The Advisory Panel will review:

  • A draft of proposed regulations for Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Expansion
  • A draft scoping document to Evaluate Recommended Coral Areas as Habitat Areas of Particular concern
  • Reef Fish Amendment 36A – Commercial IFQ Modifications
  • Reef Fish Amendment 46 – Gray Triggerfish Rebuilding Plan
  • Framework Action to Modify Mutton Snapper Annual Catch Limits and the Commercial Gag Minimum Size Limit
  • Vermillion snapper stock assessment results
  • Goliath grouper assessment report
  • A draft amendment addressing Modifications to Charter Vessel and Headboat Reporting Requirements
  • Framework Action to Carryover Under Harvested Red Snapper to the Following Season
  • Recreational and commercial allocation exchange


For a complete agenda and meeting materials click here.

To register for the webinar click here.