Louisiana’s Free Fishing Weekend Set For June 9-10

Release Date: 05/31/2012

May 31, 2012  -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is encouraging licensed fishermen to help promote the outdoor sport by introducing someone to fishing during this year’s “Free Fishing Weekend” on June 9-10.

The promotional fishing dates are provided for novices and non-anglers, ages 16 and over, to experience recreational fishing in fresh or salt water without the purchase of a recreational fishing license.  The program is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) efforts to attract more participants into the ranks of licensed fishermen.  Fishing license fees support LDWF's conservation efforts including habitat management.

"No fishing license will be required for residents or non-residents on the weekend of June 9-10," said John Sturgis, LDWF education manager.  "If you fish regularly, use this opportunity to bring someone along who may not.” 

"Free Fishing Weekend" is a part of Fishing Week in Louisiana that runs from June 4 to 10. The state offers some of the best bank and pier fishing opportunities in the south within state and parish park facilities.

In conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend, LDWF is working with supporting sponsors to offer the following events on Saturday, June 9:

Kids Fishing Rodeo at Waddill Wildlife Refuge
4142 N. Flannery Road, Baton Rouge

  • Fishing competition from 7 to 11 a.m.
  • Loaner fishing gear will be available first come, first serve.
  • Prizes to be awarded at 11:15 a.m. provided by Bass Pro Shops-Denham Springs.
  • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
  • For more information, call 225-274-8089.


Lake D’Arbonne State Park Kids Fishing Derby
3628 Evergreen Road, Farmerville

  • Registration begins at 8 a.m. for the fishing contest at 9 a.m. and bait casting contest at 10 a.m. with awards to be presented before noon.Contest age groups, 6-9 and 10-14.
  • Grand prizes: 2 bicycles donated by Academy Sports & Outdoors; one per age group.
  • Fishing gear: 100 fiberglass fishing poles donated by the Association of LA Bass Clubs will be given out free to the first 100 kids.
  • LDWF will provide bait for the fishing contest.
  • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • For more information, call Lake D'Arbonne State Park at 318-368-6291.


Louisiana Saltwater Series Youth Fishing Event at Elmer’s Island
-- (Click here for more information!)
LA Hwy. 1, Grand Isle

  • Tournament hours: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • First 50 youth to sign up will receive a free rod and reel to bring home from Cabela’s.  Register online at .  
  • Additional activities: fish tagging, cast netting, seining, fish cleaning demo.
  • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Call Danica Williams for more information, ph. 504-628-7282.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter@LDWF.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series Hosts Its First Youth Tournament

Release Date: 05/30/2012

Louisiana Saltwater Series youth tournament

May 30, 2012 -- On Saturday, May 26, over 30 young anglers converged at Myrtle Grove Marina for the first annual Louisiana Saltwater Series youth tournament.  The tournament gave these young anglers the opportunity to watch their catch get tagged and released, thus becoming part of the ongoing Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Cooperative Sport Fish Tagging Program. 

Recreational anglers are increasingly conscious of the need to conserve the fish they love to pursue.  More and more tournaments are adopting an all-release format, including the Louisiana Saltwater Series, which was founded on conservation-based principles.  One of the primary goals of the youth tournament is to pass this mentality along to the next generation. 

Thirty-seven fish were tagged and released by the young anglers, including redfish, spotted seatrout, black drum and sheepshead. 

“It’s fun for the kids to get out and fish,” said LDWF Program Manager Danica Williams.  “There are so many tournaments out there for adults, but not many hands-on opportunities for kids, especially with regard to tag and release fishing.  This is one way to get kids out fishing and learning a lifelong skill.”

The event drew in more than 30 kids, ages 4 to 13.  Participants received a t-shirt plus lots of fishing goodies to take home. 

“This is the first time we’ve hosted a youth tournament, so any number of entrants was a record for us,” explained Williams.  “However, the number of kids pre-registered for our next youth tournament already exceeds this weekend’s total.”

Winners include: Michael Schieble, 1st place overall and redfish; Caleb Hooter, 1st place trout; Campbell Barcelona, 1st place black drum; and Trevor Logrande, 1st place sheepshead.

The LASS plans to host another youth tournament in conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend on Saturday, June 9 at Elmer’s Island from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For more information, visit

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquries, contact Ashley Wethey at or (225) 765-2396.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Next Week in New Orleans

Release Date: 05/29/2012


May 29, 2012 – The next meeting of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force will be next Tuesday, June 5, in New Orleans at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center in Suite 210.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1.   Roll Call

2.    Approval of April 3, 2012 minutes

3.    Treasury Report

       a.   Oyster Tag Sales

       b.   LOTF Financial Report

4.   Committee Reports

       a.     Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)

       b.     Enforcement  - (Steve McManus)

       c.     Legislative -  (Jakov Jurisic)

       d.     Research – (John Supan)

       e.     Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)

       f.      Marketing -

       g.     Health – (Tenney Sibley)

5.   Old Business

        a.    BP Oil Spill Remediation

                 i.   Claims Process

                 ii.   Public Reef Remediation

                 iii.  Oyster Lease Remediation

         b.    2012 Legislative Update

         c.    Update on Refrigeration Requirements and Compliance with the NSSP (DHH)

6.   New Business

           a.    Drue Banta- update on NRDA process.

           b.    Tom Soniat- Dermo study

7.   Set Next Meeting

8.   Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at or (504) 286-8735.

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet Next Week in New Orleans

Release Date: 05/29/2012


May 29, 2012 - The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, June 5, at 10 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans Advanced Technology Building located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1. Approval of Minutes from January 10, 2012 Meeting

2. Hearing of New Appeals

            a. Curtis J. Alfonso

3. Discussion of Act 85 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session

4. Set next meeting date

5. Adjourn

This board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information please contact Ty Lindsey at (225) 765-2387 or

Recreational Fishing and Hunting Licenses Expire June 30

Release Date: 05/24/2012

May 24, 2012 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) would like to remind recreational anglers and hunters that the 2011-2012 licenses will expire on June 30.  Licenses for the 2012-2013 seasons become available for purchase on June 1 and are valid until June 30, 2013.
Recreational fishing and hunting licenses can be purchased in several ways.  They may be purchased online at, by calling 1-888-765-2602, at local license vendors or at LDWF offices in Baton Rouge, Opelousas, Lake Charles, Pineville and Monroe.  Acceptable methods of payment for purchases made online or by phone are Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or E-Check.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information on fishing and hunting licenses, contact Janis Landry at 225-765-2881 or


Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament Weekend Results

Release Date: 05/23/2012

Pictured from left to right: Nash Roberts and Luke Landry with their winning fish, weighing in at 15.82 pounds.

(May 23, 2012) –Anglers from across the Gulf coast vied for cash, points and prizes at the Louisiana Saltwater Series redfish tournament this past Saturday in Lafitte. Weighing in the largest fish were Luke Landry and Nash Roberts, making it to the scales with a two-fish total of 15.82 pounds. 

"We left Lafitte and ran about 30 miles south of Empire. We sight fished all day with nice conditions and caught roughly 50 fish using Berkley Gulp Shrimp and Mud Minnow,” described Landry. “There was plenty of grass which helped clean the water. We probably caught 40 fish over 27 inches." 

The 53 participating teams brought in a total of 148 redfish that were tagged and released.  To date, over 400 redfish have been tagged and released through the 2012 series, nearly doubling last year’s effort.

The top finishing teams, taking home over $10,000 in cash and prizes, include: 2nd place, Barnie White and Steve White; 3rd place, Gary Wilson and Gus Wilson; 4th place, Paul Dufrene and Nicky Savoie; 5th place, Joe Barcelona and John Barcelona; 6th place, Stephen Sierra and Scott Benoit; 7th place, Bucky Boone and Brian Wiggins; 8th place, Adam Albarado and Rebecca Albarado; 9th place, Sean O’Connell Joshua Roming; and 10th place, Brandon Treadaway and Chris Bush.   The team of Ben Saucier and Adam Shields brought in the lightest stringer, weighing 3.26 pounds, earning them a $300 prize. 

Thomas Bush, Jr. took home first place in the tournament’s youth division.

For redfish tournaments, teams may consist of one, two, three or four members.  For teams consisting of three or more members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  There is a $200 entry fee per team for each event.  There is a 90 percent payout for the first six events with 10 percent retained for the championship. Payout is determined separately for each event based upon the total number of boats entered. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to

The LASS is hosting a youth tournament this Saturday at Myrtle Grove Marina kicking off at 7 a.m.  Participants can fish from the shore or a boat, and there will be lots of additional activities available for kids including fish tagging, fish identification, and knot tying, among many others.  Onsite registration will be available Saturday morning, prior to the event.   For more information, contact Danica Williams at (504) 628-7282. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Ashley Wethey at 765-2396.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for D’Arbonne Lake

Release Date: 05/22/2012

(May 22, 2012) – The water control structure on D’Arbonne Lake near Farmerville will be opened soon after Labor Day to conduct a lake drawdown.  The lake will be lowered five feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until December 15, 2012.

This action is taken in coordination with the Bayou D’Arbonne Lake Watershed District to allow for shoreline maintenance and to assist with the control of nuisance aquatic vegetation. 

D’Arbonne Lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of anglers as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 343-4044.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Elmer’s Island Beach Sweep Rescheduled for June 2

Release Date: 05/17/2012

(May 17, 2012) – Volunteers will get another chance to clean away the trash on Elmer’s Island beach.  Heavy rains last weekend forced the event to be canceled. 

The cleanup, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, has been rescheduled for 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 2.

The annual beach sweep is made possible by numerous partnerships including the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy and through the sponsorship of Barefoot Wines. 

Anyone can participate – individuals, families, schools, youth groups, civic and conservation clubs or businesses.  Lunch and all necessary supplies will be provided.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required.  To register, contact Joe Dantin at (985) 449-4715.

Elmer’s Island Refuge is a barrier island located in Jefferson Parish southwest of Grand Isle, bordered by LA 1 and the Gulf of Mexico.  The island is well known for excellent fishing opportunities for many popular species such as speckled trout, white trout, flounder, redfish, kingfish, black drum, croaker, Spanish mackerel and many other species that frequent the state's coastal beaches and passes. It also provides non-consumptive outdoor opportunities to observe wading, shore and seabirds as well as coastal marine life.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.govon Facebook at follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

BTNEP is one of 28 National Estuary Programs throughout the United States and its territories.  The National Estuary Program was established by Congress through section 320 of the Clean Water Act or 1987.  The Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex became a National Estuary in 1990.

For press inquiries, please contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 721-0489 or

Louisiana Shrimpers Encouraged to Report Asian Tiger Prawn Catches

Release Date: 05/16/2012


May 16, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is aware of and constantly monitoring the appearance of an increased number of Asian tiger prawns, a non-native species, in Louisiana waters.  LDWF officials are asking local shrimp harvesters to report catches of tiger prawns to the Department. 

While there is little known at this time about the impacts of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp, these reports are key in helping LDWF biologists monitor the distribution and relative abundance of these prawns and in determining the possible presence of spawning populations. 

To report catches of Asian tiger prawns please contact Robert Bourgeois at or (225) 765-0765 or Marty Bourgeois at or (225) 765-2401 with the date, location and size of capture. Pictures are encouraged.  Tiger prawns are easily identifiable by their large size, dark body color and white banding found along the head and between segments of the tail.  LDWF officials ask that harvesters retain the tiger prawns by freezing and contact the biologist listed above.

History of incidence in Gulf of Mexico

It is unknown when and how tiger prawns were first introduced into the Gulf of Mexico.  In 1988, a portion of a population of reared tiger prawns escaped from a facility on the east coast.  Approximately 1,000 adults were later recaptured as far south as Cape Canaveral, Florida. In September 2006, a single adult male was captured by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Mississippi Sound near Dauphin Island, Alabama and reports from Alabama and Mississippi have been increasing ever since.

LDWF first documented the occurrence of Asian tiger prawns in Louisiana in August 2007, when a single specimen was taken by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Vermilion Bay.  Prior to the 2011 fall inshore shrimp season, reported captures in Louisiana waters numbered fewer than 25 with none taken any farther westward than Vermilion Bay.  However, since the fall season began, reported captures have dramatically increased with approximately 80 new reports received.  One fisherman alone reported catching as many as 13 individuals over a three-day shrimping trip in Lake Pontchartrain.  A Dulac shrimp dock has reported fishermen capturing in excess of 100 tiger prawns following the 2011 fall season opening.  Most recently, there have also been incident reports west of Vermilion Bay. 

About the species

Asian tiger prawns are native to the Indo-Pacific rim and are both harvested in the wild and extensively farmed in a number of countries.

Tiger prawns belong to the same family (Penaeidae) as our native brown, white and pink shrimp but are non-indigenous to our waters. The life history of tiger prawns is also similar to that of brown and white shrimp with spawning and mating occurring in nearshore oceanic waters. One notable difference in tiger prawns and Louisiana shrimp is size as the research suggests tiger prawns may reach a maximum length of 14 inches and weigh as much as 23 ounces.

At this time, there is no evidence that tiger prawns feed on native Louisiana shrimp.  Any potential impacts over competition for food and resources remain unknown.  Tiger prawns as well as our native brown and white shrimp adopt different diets as they grow and mature and may become more predatory as body size increases.

For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at or (504) 430-2623.

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/11/2012


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 25-29 and again from July 23-27.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.

"Last year’s first ever summer camp proved so successful that we wanted to do two this year.  These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.  Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combo sets for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application located at by May 25.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

“We want to teach children how much fun and exciting it can be by spending time outside enjoying all that Louisiana has to offer,” said Secretary Barham.  “These camps also get the kids out of the house away from their video games and computers for a week during their summer break.  They will catch some fish, paddle canoes and shoot skeet and for some this might be their first time ever doing any of these activities.”

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at or 225-765-2465.

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