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L.D.W.F. Providing Public Dove Hunting Opportunities on Private Land Leases and Wildlife Management Areas for Sept. 3 Season Opening

Release Date: 08/30/2011

August 30, 2011 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will provide public dove hunting opportunities for the Sept. 3 season opening on leased private land and state wildlife management areas.
 
The 2011-12 dove season opens this Saturday in the north and south zones and hunters have multiple options available. LDWF has leased private land in the following parishes for Sept. 3 only, from noon to sunset:
 

  •  Beauregard Parish, DeRidder: 500 acres shredded or cut corn. Directions: Take Hwy. 190 west from DeRidder.  The field is approximately 5 miles west of DeRidder on the north side of Hwy 190.  Check-in will be at the rice dryers.                                     

 

  • Grant Parish: 310 acres harvested milo. Directions: Exit I-49 at Boyce and travel Hwy. 8 north across the Red River.  Turn left after bridge and follow levee road less than 1 mile, follow signs.

 

  • Jefferson Davis Parish, Welsh: 325-acre partially plowed fallow field, planted in rice last year.  Directions: Take I-10 to Exit 59 (Roanoke).  Head north on Hwy. 395, then turn west (left) on Blanchard Rd.  Follow Blanchard Rd. to Compton Rd.  Field is located on the southwest corner of Blanchard and Compton roads.Bottom of Form

 

  • Rapides Parish, Dream Hunts Resort: 100 acres planted in browntop millet.  Directions: Intersection of Hwy. 3170 and Hwy. 1, next to Elbow Slough WMA.

 

The leased fields will be open to public dove hunting on Sept. 3 only and LDWF personnel will be present at the field to issue permits and monitor the hunt.  Hunters 16 years of age and older are charged $10 to hunt, while hunters 15 years of age and younger hunt for free. Permits will be issued on a first come, first serve basis until each field is filled.
 
Additionally, LDWF provides public dove hunting opportunities on state wildlife management areas including: Bayou Pierre WMA, northwest Red River Parish; Big Colewa WMA, West Carroll Parish; Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish; Clear Creek WMA, Vernon Parish; Elbow Slough WMA, southeastern Rapides Parish; Floy McElroy WMA, Richland Parish; Fort Polk WMA, Vernon Parish; Loggy Bayou WMA, Bossier Parish; Red River WMA, Concordia Parish; Sandy Hollow WMA, Tangipahoa Parish; and West Bay WMA, Allen Parish.
 
For more information about public dove hunting opportunities, go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove or contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov.

The 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.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Speckled Trout Tournament Joins the Ranks of the Louisiana Saltwater Series

Release Date: 08/30/2011

(Aug. 30, 2011)– Trout anglers hungry for competition can look forward to an exciting new tournament to hit Lake Pontchartrain this fall.  With the success of the 2011 redfish tournaments, the Louisiana Saltwater Series recently expanded to include speckled trout and yellowfin tuna.    

Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the seriesis dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.  The tag-and-release tournament is scheduled for Saturday, October 22 at The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell. LDWF officials will be on hand to help weigh, measure tag and release the trout.  

Since its inception in 2004, over 38,000 speckled trout have been tagged through Louisiana’s Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program.  The program has been a cooperative project of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association for seven years.  However, tagging data on the species dates back to 1989. 

“It is through the tagging process and the supporting information provided by cooperating fishermen that we collect the data necessary for tagging projects to succeed,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “Utilizing volunteer taggers allows us to tag a greater number of fish from a wider geographic area.”

There is a $100 entry fee for the event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout, and payout is determined based upon the total number of boats entered.  In addition, there will be hourly prize winners.  Scales will be open all day, and the overall winners will be determined at weigh in close.  

“The purpose of this tournament is to not only provide a competitive opportunity to the large number of anglers who reside in the area, but to introduce as many anglers as possible to our tagging program and the benefits it can yield,” said Pausina.  

For complete information, including rules, regulations and online registration, go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

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.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

 

Belle Chase Man Cited for DWI on the Water

Release Date: 08/30/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Belle Chase man for allegedly driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) on Aug. 27.

Agents performed a boating safety inspection of a personal watercraft (PWC) being operated by Kevin Hoots, 40, in the Intracoastal Waterway near Lafitte.  During the inspection, agents detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on Hoots' breath.

During the standard field sobriety test, agents determined Hoots was impaired.  Hoots also registered a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of .08 after agreeing to take a Breathalyzer test.  Agents booked Hoots into the Gretna Correctional Facility for a first offense DWI.

First offense DWI brings a fine between $300 and $1,000, up to six months in jail or both.

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

Agents participating in the case were Senior Agent Doug Danna and Agent Jared Taylor.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Greater Amberjack Commercial Season to Reopen Sept. 1

Release Date: 08/30/2011

August 29, 2011– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2011 commercial fishing season for greater amberjack will reopen in state waters on September 1, at 12:01 a.m., and will remain open until October 30 at 11:59 p.m. 

The 2011 season had previously been closed on June 18 as it was predicted that the 2011 quota had been met. However, after reviewing the landings (total amberjack caught and brought to dock measured in pounds) for the 2010 commercial greater amberjack season, fisheries biologists determined that an additional 86,452 pounds were available for harvest. That means commercial fishermen will have an additional 23 percent of the annual harvest available when they hit the waters this fall.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also open federal waters for commercial amberjack fishing September 1 through October 30. 

Greater amberjack are found throughout the Gulf of Mexico as well as in the temperate and tropical Atlantic Ocean.  Greater amberjack usually live in nearshore waters out to 300 feet deep.  This species is found throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and is often found near offshore platforms, wrecks and artificial reefs.  Greater amberjack can reach sizes of three feet in length and weights of 170 pounds. 

Louisianacommercial landings of greater amberjack average 100,000 pounds annually.

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.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meetings

Date: 
Thu, 12/01/2011

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled the next regular public board meeting for 9:30 a.m. on December 1, 2011, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meetings

Date: 
Thu, 11/03/2011

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled the next regular public board meeting for 9:30 a.m. on November 3, 2011, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meetings

Date: 
Thu, 10/06/2011

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled the next regular public board meeting for 9:30 a.m. on October 6, 2011, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meetings

Date: 
Thu, 09/01/2011

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled the next regular public board meeting for 9:30 a.m. on September 1, 2011, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room.

Agents Respond to Boating Crash Incident on Diversion Canal

Release Date: 08/29/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents responded to a boating crash incident on Aug. 27 in the Amite River Diversion Canal area of Livingston Parish around 7 p.m.

The occupants of a civilian vessel advised LDWF agents patrolling the area of a boating crash incident that just occurred one mile up river.  Agents immediately responded and were first on scene.

Upon arrival agents found that the 19-foot vessel had struck and was lodged under a pier.  The five occupants of the vessel are listed below:

Jack Riffle, 41, operator; Elizabeth Riffle, 44, wife of Jack; 15 year old girl, daughter of the Riffles; 13-year-old boy, son of the Riffles; and Chico Garcia, 29.  All involved are from Baton Rouge and found to have injuries ranging from moderate to very serious

Agents immediately summoned emergency medical responders and began removing debris in order to access and provide basic first-aid to the injured until the advanced medical responders were able to arrive.  The cause of the incident is currently under investigation by LDWF.

Agents involved in the response were Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Todd Lewis, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Agent Terry Hicks and Agent Dale Wheat.

For more information contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Verifies Cougar Sighting in Vernon Parish

Release Date: 08/29/2011

Cougar

Aug. 29, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has received photographic evidence of the presence of a cougar in Vernon Parish. 

A private citizen sent LDWF a trail camera picture taken Aug. 13, 2011. LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager Maria Davidson and biologist Brandon Wear conducted a site investigation that confirmed the authenticity of the photograph.

“It is quite possible for this animal to be captured on other trail cameras placed at deer bait sites,” Davidson said.  “Deer are the primary prey item for cougars; therefore, they are drawn to areas where deer congregate.”

It is unlikely this cougar will remain in any one area longer than it would take to consume a kill.  Cougars do not prefer to eat spoiled meat and will move on as soon as the Louisiana heat and humidity take its toll on the kill.

“It is impossible to determine if the animal in the photograph is a wild, free-ranging cougar, or an escaped captive," Davidson added.  “Although it is illegal to own a cougar in Louisiana, it is possible that there are some illegally held ’pets’ in the state.”

LDWF has documented several occurrences since 2002.  The first cougar sighting was in 2002 by an employee at Lake Fausse Point State Park.  That sighting was later confirmed with DNA analysis from scat found at the site.  Three trail camera photos were taken of a cougar in Winn, Vernon and Allen parishes in 2008.   Subsequently on Nov. 30, 2008, a cougar was shot and killed in a neighborhood by Bossier City Police Department.

The mountain lion, cougar, panther or puma are names that all refer to the same animal.  Their color ranges from lighter tan to brownish grey.  The only species of big cats that occur as black are the jaguar and leopard.  Jaguars are native to South America and leopards are native to Africa.  Both species can occur as spotted or black, although in both cases the spotted variety is much more common.  Although LDWF receives numerous calls about black panthers, there has never been a documented case of a black cougar anywhere in North America. 

The vast majority of these reports received by LDWF cannot be verified due to the very nature of a sighting.  Many of the calls are determined to be cases of mistaken identity, with dog tracks making up the majority of the evidence submitted by those reporting cougar sightings.  Other animals commonly mistaken for cougars are bobcats and house cats, usually seen from a distance or in varying shades of light.

The significant lack of physical evidence indicates that Louisiana does not have an established, breeding population of cougars.  In states that have verified small populations of cougars, physical evidence can readily be found in the form of tracks, cached deer kills, scat and road kills. 

The recent sightingsof cougars in Louisiana are believed to be young animals dispersing from existing populations.  An expanding population in Texas can produce dispersing individual cougars that move into suitable habitat in Louisiana.  Young males are known to disperse from their birthplace and travel hundreds of miles seeking their own territories. 

Cougars that occur in Louisiana are protected under state and federal law.  Penalties for taking a cougar in Louisiana may include up to one year in jail and/or a $100,000 fine.  Anyone with any information regarding the taking of a cougar should call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Callers may remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward.

To report verifiable sightings of cougars with physical evidence such as photos, tracks and/or scat, please call your nearest LDWF Field Office at:

Minden                      318-371-3050

Monroe                      318-343-4044

Pineville                    318-487-5885

Lake Charles            337-491-2575

Opelousas                 337-948-0255

Hammond                 985-543-4779          

For more information, please contact Maria Davidson at 225-931-3061 or mdavidson@wlf.la.gov .

The 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.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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