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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Wednesday, October 19 • 8:00am - 8:20am
Fisheries. Louisiana Artificial Reef Program: Past, Present, and into the Future

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AUTHORS: Craig Gothreaux, Mike McDonough, Rebecca Hillebrandt, Mariana Steen, Ashley Ferguson - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

ABSTRACT: The Louisiana Artificial Reef Program has been very successful since its inception in 1987 thanks to mutually beneficial partnerships and an adaptive management approach. Artificial reef development in Louisiana began at offshore sites using donated oil and gas structures through a process commonly referred to as Rigs-to-Reefs. Over time, efforts have expanded towards developing, monitoring, and enhancing the artificial reef potential of Louisiana including the creation of fishing opportunities closer to shore. Louisiana’s artificial reef sites are categorized into zones based on location and water depth: offshore, nearshore, and inshore. A preponderance of reef sites are located offshore, which are comprised primarily of decommissioned oil and gas platforms. Nearshore reef sites lie between the 100-ft depth contour and the coastline, representing an area containing the bulk of platforms slated for removal. Inshore reef sites are located within the coastline, spread throughout each of Louisiana’s coastal basins, and provide access to the largest number of anglers. Within each zone, artificial reef development presents both challenges and opportunities. Nearshore and inshore zones are unique due to the shallower waters and utilization by multiple user groups. At the same time, these areas are also much more accessible to anglers; therefore, site selection, reef design, and material utilization are tailored to the situational conditions. To balance these issues, distinctive plans have recently been established which embrace an adaptive management approach that maximizes the economic and biological benefits of artificial reef development across Louisiana’s coastal waters.

Wednesday October 19, 2016 8:00am - 8:20am
Riverview A

Attendees (7)