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The TAG Louisiana program, a study that uses volunteers to both tag fish and report recaptures, is being axed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries because the department says it isn't delivering useful information to biologists.

LDWF to axe TAG Louisiana program

In the wake of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ move to axe the popular TAG Louisiana program, the executive director of Coastal Conservation Association - Louisiana sent out a strong email Wednesday critical of the decision, hinting the move was a political one to punish CCA.

December 01 at 9:25am
Simple tackle is all that is needed to catch bull reds once they are located. Both men used spinning reels.

Bulling it out — How to catch and clean big reds

When the guide slid the landing net under the fish, the chef’s face lit up like a Hollywood marquee.

Was it a tender-fleshed and delectable speckled trout? No.

Was it a savory, mild-tasting red snapper. No.

It wasn’t a flounder, tripletail or grouper, either.

December 01 at 7:00am
Robert Barham, who served as secretary of the LDWF from 2008 to 2016, responded to allegations in a leaked audit report and said he personally saw no evidence of any misappropriation of BP oil spill funds during his tenure at the department.

Former LDWF secretary refutes alleged misappropriation of BP funds

Robert Barham is no longer biting his tongue.

October 20 at 10:38am
When the surf’s up, kayakers need to paddle swiftly and directly into the breaking waves. Once across the sandbar, things settle down — until the return to the beach.

Kayak snapper

A chunk of dead bait swirls through clear blue water toward the bottom. Before it lands, it’s inhaled by a fat red snapper.

October 18 at 12:55am
Most of the night’s hunting was done near the edges of ponds where the water was slightly clearer.

Bowfishing ‘black eye’ undeserved, bowfishermen say

After the hunt, while floating quietly in the black night and enjoying a soda, I found out why David Lastrapes asked me before the hunt what I expected.

October 15 at 7:00am
According to a letter from NOAA, the federal agency could be prohibited from sharing red snapper data with the five Gulf states if Rep. Garret Graves' legislation pushing for state-managed red snapper becomes law.

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

A 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.

October 11 at 2:25pm
Louisiana anglers will enjoy a Friday through Sunday fall red snapper season beginning tomorrow (Oct. 7). The season is expected to last until Dec. 2.

Weekend red snapper season opens Friday

The 2016 red snapper season reopens Friday for weekends-only fishing, with a two fish daily limit and 16-inch total length minimum size.

The fall season was announced at today’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge.

The regular 2016 state season closed Labor Day, but LDWF’s Jason Adriance said this year’s total allowable catch had not been reached.

October 06 at 4:43pm
The first few months of Charlie Melancon’s tenure as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has been one marked by chaos.

Chaos reigns at LDWF headquarters

My threadbare but trusty 1995 edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “chaos” as being a state of utter confusion. 

October 01 at 7:00am
In a letter on Sept. 29, the head of Florida's FWCC said in a letter that LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon was

Melancon snapper letter 'inaccurate,' Florida agency head says

The ongoing turmoil at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries continued Thursday in the wake of its opposition to regional management of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico — but this time another state is involved in the dust-up.

September 30 at 2:30pm
Gov. John Bel Edwards told he supports the idea of state-managed red snapper in the Gulf, but said he's asked Rep. Garret Graves to work to try to get federal funding back into the bill so the LDWF can afford to cover the expected costs.

Governor supports state management of red snapper — but not H.R. 3094

On the same day embattled Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Charlie Melancon called a full staff meeting to tell employees he was remaining in charge of the agency, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he still believed in state management of red snapper — even though funding concerns prevented him from getting behind a congressional bill that would give the Gulf states full control of the fishery. 

September 16 at 8:27am
Allegations of alterations to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission minutes and a break-in of the LWFC's secretary are the latest controversies surrounding the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries under the administration of Charlie Melanc

Questions raised about LDWF after alleged office break-in, tampering of minutes reported

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is again embroiled in controversy — and this time it has nothing to do with Secretary Charlie Melancon’s opposition to a congressional bill that would turn over red snapper management to the Gulf states.

Now there are questions about alleged unauthorized changes to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission minutes and an apparent break-in of the commission secretary’s office during the recent flooding, according to news reports.

September 12 at 11:29am
The author of a Congressional amendment confirmed this week the federal government will stay pay for red snapper research and stock assessments in the Gulf if a bill that strips management of the fishery from the federal government eventually passes.

LDWF snapper-management cost estimate undermined

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ contention that state-run management of red snapper would cost more than $10 million in its first year alone was undermined Wednesday when Congressional officials confirmed the federal government would still pay for stock assessments and research efforts in the Gulf of Mexico — absorbing most of the LDWF cost estimate.

September 09 at 11:40am
Bull reds like this one caught during the Iberia Rod & Gun Club Saltwater Fishing Rodeo can be caught at Boxcar Reef this month.

Boxcar Reef - Find the ditches to locate big bulls

Fishermen who want to feel the brute force of a sizeable redfish on the business end of their fishing line in Vermilion Bay invariably point the bow of their boat to legendary Boxcar Reef.

September 08 at 5:22pm
The red snapper season in state waters will close at 11:59 p.m. on Labor Day, when officials believe the state's quota of 1,116,732 pounds will be reached, according to the LDWF.

State's red snapper season to close on Labor Day, LDWF says

The recreational red snapper season in state waters will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 5, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

August 29 at 7:29am