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LDWF and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Announce Large-scale Opening to Recreational Fishing

Release Date: 07/13/2010

Today Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced significant openings to recreational fishing.  With this action, approximately 86 percent of recreational fishing in Louisiana will be open immediately today, July 14.

"The measures taken today by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will allow recreational anglers, including recreational shrimping, crabbing and fishing, to resume," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "While I am pleased and fully support today?s action, I caution all fishermen to exercise caution while fishing in areas closed to commercial fishing."

This opening includes licensed charter boat guides and bait fishermen or dealers who harvest for and sell to recreational fishermen exclusively.

Recreational fishing is being allowed subject to continual testing and monitoring, as this activity is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  To date the Environmental Protection Agency?s near shore water tests have shown chemical contamination levels below public health concern.

"I consider today's action the first step in opening state waters to all fishing, both recreational and commercial," added Barham.

Although recreational fishing will be allowed in portions of the previously closed fishing areas, certain delineated areas, including heavily oiled areas, areas associated with boom and areas of active cleanup continue to be closed to recreational fishing.

It is advised that recreational fishermen avoid areas where oil is observed, respect oil cleanup and removal activities and stay clear of areas being protected by boom material.  Smell and examine catch closely to ensure that there are no obvious oil or chemical residues.  Recreational fishermen fishing in areas closed to commercial fishermen do so at their own risk.

All previously issued commercial fishing closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit Connect with us and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at

For more information contact Marianne Burke at or 225-765-2917.




Release Date: 07/12/2010



The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has called a special meeting for 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, 2010 to consider opening areas closed to all fishing due to the BP oil spill to recreational fishing only. The meeting will be held in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The agenda is as follows:

1.    Roll call

2.   Consideration of Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent to allow recreational fishing only in those areas closed to all fishing due to the BP oil spill.

3.   Receive public comments

4.   Adjournment


Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative Begins

Release Date: 07/11/2010


USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) to improve the overall health of the basin.  Many activities contribute to nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), including farming.  Increased nutrients can result in diminished water quality, affecting fish and wildlife habitat locally as well as many miles downstream as exhibited by the hypoxic zone (Dead Zone) in the Gulf of Mexico.   Louisiana is one of twelve river states that was selected to develop systems of practices to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin (MRB).

Projects were developed by organizations or agencies that have historically worked closely with NRCS.  The projects constitute true partnerships with 11 - 16 partners represented on each project, hence the term cooperative conservation partnership initiative (CCPI) to describe each project.  The NRCS and its partners will help producers within four sub-segments of three watersheds in Louisiana's MRB to voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, or trap nutrient runoff, improve wildlife habitat, and maintain agricultural productivity.  As such, this program is not a crop retirement program, but rather a working lands program that provides a comprehensive approach to lands management.

A unique feature of this initiative is the required water quality monitoring within the watersheds, thus allowing the objective evaluation of impacts on water quality within the selected areas.  That is one reason the participation areas are limited in size.  Having the focused areas provide the venues for demonstrating effective management of nutrients with the system of practices voluntarily implemented can provide a blueprint for expansion of efforts.

Persons interested in learning more about the MRBI for the Bayou Chene watershed can contact: Mike Perry, Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator, Bayou Chene project coordinator; for the Bayou Lafourche watershed: Mike Schooler, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Bayou Lafourche project coordinator; and for Upper Joe's Bayou: Donna Remides, Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator, Upper Joe's Bayou project coordinator.

Areas selected for this multiyear project are within the work areas of three of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' private lands biologists who assist with development of wildlife interests into plans.  Kori Legleu (337-491-2574 will be working with partners on the Bayou Chene watershed.  John Hanks (318-343-4044 will be assisting the various partners delivering the program on the two Bayou Lafourche projects and Cliff Dailey (318-343-4044) or will be work with participants on the Upper Joe's Bayou watershed.

List of Participants

Important contacts:

Bayou Chene (Lower Mermentau Watershed)
Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator
Bayou Chene Project Coordinator
337-824-0975 ext.5
NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Charles Field Office
337-436-5020 ext. 3

Bayou Lafourche (Boeuf River Watershed) 
Office of Soil and Water Conservation
Bayou Lafourche Projects Coordinator
318-387-8683 ext. 19
NRCS District Conservationist
Rayville Field Office
318-728-4451 Ext.3

Upper Joe's Bayou (Bayou Macon Watershed)                    
Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator
Upper Joe's Bayou Project Coordinator
NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Providence Field Office
318-559-2604 ext.3

For more information, contact Mike Olinde at 225-765-2353 or


Artificial Reef Program


Oil & Gas PlatformsThe Louisiana Artificial Reef Program was established in 1986 to take advantage of obsolete oil and gas platforms which were recognized as providing habitat important to many of Louisiana's coastal fishes. Federal law and international treaty require these platforms to be removed one year after production ceases. The removal of these platforms results in a loss of reef habitat.

Rigs-to-Reef toppled structureSince the program's inception in 1986, 71 oil and gas related companies have participated in the program and donated primarily the jackets of oil and gas structures. In addition to the material, companies also donate one half their realized savings over a traditional onshore removal into Louisiana's Artificial Reef Trust Fund. In 1999, the Louisiana Program created the world's largest artificial reef from the Freeport sulfur mine off Grand Isle Louisiana. The sulfur mine, with over 1.5 miles of bridgework, is composed of more than 29 structures. The reef is in 42-50 feet of water and has 27 feet of clearance. For safety of navigation it is marked by 5 lighted buoys. Forty (40) Armored Personnel Carriers (APC's) and one offshore tug are also deployed within two offshore artificial reefs.                                

Limestone DeploymentThe reef program has also developed 30 inshore reefs in Louisiana's state waters, primarily low profile reefs composed of shell or limestone. Eight inshore artificial reefs  have been constructed using reef balls.  Recylced concrete from the decommissioning of the old I-10 Twin Span bridges and other concrete sources  have been utilized to develop new inshore reefs.  Seven inshore reefs were constructed by LDWF and twenty-three others were constructed in partnership with public conservation, private groups and other governmental entities.


 The Oil & Gas Industry

Rigs-to-Reef habitatLouisiana's offshore oil and gas industry began in 1947 when the first well was drilled out of sight of land south of Terrebonne parish. Over 7,000 offshore oil and gas platforms have been installed in the Gulf of Mexico which have supplied natural gas and oil to the United States. In addition to meeting the world's energy needs, these structures also form one of the world's most extensive de-facto artificial reef systems. However, Federal regulations require that these structures be removed within one year after the lease is terminated. Since 1973, 4,100 of these platforms have been decommissioned. Disposal of obsolete offshore oil and gas structures is not only a net financial liability for private industry but can be a public loss of productive marine habitat.

Rigs-to-Reef toppled structureThe Louisiana Fishing Enhancement Act was signed into law in 1986, creating the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program. This program was designed to take advantage of fishing opportunities provided by these obsolete platforms. Since the program's inception, 71 offshore reefs utilizing the jackets of 320 obsolete platforms, have been created off Louisiana's coast. Gulfwide, over 400 obsolete platforms have been converted into permanent artificial reefs.

Rigs-to-Reef habitatThe use of obsolete oil and gas platforms in Louisiana has proved to be highly successful. Their large numbers, design, longevity and stability have provided a number of advantages over the use of traditional artificial reef materials. The participating companies also save money by converting the structure into a reef rather than abandoning it onshore and are required to donate a portion of the savings to operate the state program.

Rigs-to-Reef: almaco jackOne disadvantage, however, is that their large size restricts the distance to shore where these platforms can be sited. To achieve the minimum clearance of 85 ft as required by the Coast Guard regulations, the platforms must be placed in waters in excess of 100 ft. Waters compatible with reef development are generally found between 30 and 70 miles off Louisiana's gently sloping continental shelf, making them accessible to anglers with offshore vessels.

Rigs-to-Reef toppled structureFunds generated by the program can be used to develop reefs closer to shore using alternative low profile materials.

Oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico region has and will continue to contribute to the Gulf's position as the nation's most productive and popular offshore marine fishing zone.


Artificial Reef Maps & Coordinates





Multi-beam Reef Survey Imagery & Coordinates

The surveying of the offshore reefs has been completed.  Click the links to view or download PDFs containing imagery of the reefs and coordinates for the structures.

Offshore Reefs by Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas:

For more information contact:

Mike McDonough
LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
PO Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council

The framework for the Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council was created during the 2001 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature by Act No. 322.

56 Section 699.21. Membership
A. The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council shall be established within the Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries to promote the many benefits of hunting and fishing among Louisiana citizens
and to educate the citizens of the state on those benefits.
B. Members of the council shall serve on a voluntary basis and shall not receive any compensation or
reimbursement for expenses. The council shall meet at least twice annually and shall consist of the
following members:
(1) One member appointed by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.
(2) One member appointed by the Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association.
(3) One member appointed by the Louisiana Wild Turkey Federation.
(4) One member appointed by the Louisiana Bass Federation.
(5) One member appointed by the Charter Boat Captain's Association.
(6) One member appointed by the Trapper and Alligator Hunter's Association.
(7) One member appointed by the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
(8) One member appointed by the Louisiana Outdoor Writer's Association.
(9) One member appointed by the Cajun Becasse Society.
(10) One member appointed by the Bayou State Bowhunter's Association.
(11) One member appointed by the chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
(12) One member appointed by the chairman of the House of Representatives Natural Resources
(13) One member appointed by the Louisiana Marine Trades Association.
(14) One member appointed by the Jefferson Parish Marine Fisheries Advisory Board.
(15) One member appointed by the director of the LSU Agriculture Center Cooperative Extension
Service who is a specialist or agent assigned to fisheries or wildlife advisory work.

Section 699.22. Council powers; duties; responsibilities
The council shall develop plans and strategies to promote public awareness that fees, taxes, and
traditional expenditures of hunters and anglers provide financial support for the management of fish and wildlife resources, habitat conservation and management, and the enforcement of fish and wildlife laws, and contribute to the local and national economy.

Council Members

Name/Organization Mailing Address Phone No./Email Address

Warren L. Singer                      La. Wildlife Federation

40138 Autumn Meadow Ave. Prairieville LA  70769

Ph. 225-622-6941    


Nelson "Snoop" Roth
La. Coastal Conservation Assoc.
1737 E. Hermitage St.
Gonzales, LA 70737
Mike Rainwater
La. Wild Turkey Federation
P.O. Box 691
Ruston, LA 71273
Alexander Perret
La. Bass Federation Nation
2000 Quail Drive, Rm. 362
Baton Rouge, LA   70808
Ph. 225-765-2328

Daryl Carpenter
LA Charter Boat Association

13824 Red River Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA. 70818


Ryan Schaefer
La. Trapper & Alligator Hunter's Assoc.

203 Natasha St.
Abbeville, LA 70510


Mike Windham
La. Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898
Lyle Johnson
La. Outdoor Writer's Assoc.
17677 Old Jefferson Hwy. Prarieville, LA 70769 225-485-7997
Stephen Pellessier
Cajun Becasse Society
815 Brentwood Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70503

Bayou State Bowhunters Assoc. is no longer an active organization.

Jeff DeBlieux IV
Ducks Unlimited
104 Mechant Drive Houma, LA 70363 985-853-3009

David Rousseau
Appointee, House Natural Resources & Environment Committee

218 Rue de Beauville
Napoleonville, LA   70390

La. Marine & Motorcycle Trades Assoc.


Seat currently vacant
Woody Crews
Jefferson Parish Marine Fisheries Advisory Board
P.O. Box 6202
Metairie, LA 70009
Dr. Donald Reed
LSU Ag Center Cooperative Extension Service
4419 Idlewild Rd.
Clinton, LA 70722


Catfish Lake

1,758 Acres

Calcasieu Lake

49,156 Acres


Release Date: 06/30/2010

The next regular public board meeting has been scheduled by the Commission for 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, July 8, 2010, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.
1.            Roll Call
2.            Approval of Minutes of June 3, 2010
3.            Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
4.            To receive and hear Update on Oil Spill and Current Response Efforts
5.            To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/June
6.            To receive an update on Dewey Wills WMA Resolution for purpose of Adding Land
7.            To receive and consider Notice of Intent on 2011 Turkey Hunting Areas, Seasons and Bag Limits
8.            To receive and consider Notice of Intent on 2011 General and WMA Turkey Hunting Regulations
9.            To receive and consider Department Recommendation on Waterfowl Breeding Grounds Projects Funding
10.            To receive and consider Early Migratory Bird Season Recommendations (Dove, Woodcock, Snipe, Rails, Gallinules and Teal)
11.            To receive and hear Presentation on the Louisiana Waterfowl Hunter Survey
12.            To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill
13.            Set November 2010 Meeting Date
14.            Receive Public Comments
15.            Adjournment



Release Date: 06/28/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is currently seeking interested candidates who want to become LDWF enforcement agents for the next LDWF Cadet Academy Training Program, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 1, 2010.

Interested applicants must submit an application for employment online at by July 18, 2010.  Paper applications may also be submitted via fax, mail or hand delivery LDWF.  If mailed, the envelope must be postmarked on or before the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

Applicants must have an active or converted score of 70 or above on the Civil Service Law Enforcement and Protective Services (LEAPS) exam.  Preference may be given to applicants with a score of 77 or higher.  Applicants may apply to take the test by accessing the Civil Service Web site at

All Enforcement Cadets receive full state benefits and pay from the first day of training.  The starting pay is $31,500 a year.  Training will last 22 weeks and mostly be held in Baton Rouge Monday through Friday.  Cadets will be allowed to go home on the weekends and holidays. 

"This is one of the greatest jobs in the world if you enjoy law enforcement work and have a love for the outdoors," LDWF Enforcement Division's Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze said.  "An agent?s life is never boring because it is seasonal in nature.  The job changes according to the time of year with hunting regulations enforcement in the fall and winter and boating and fishing in the spring and summer."

Cadets receive six months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy.  At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.  Cadets are also trained for search and rescue and are charged as the lead agency in search and rescue coordination under the Governor?s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

For more information about testing and application information, please visit or call the LDWF?s Human Resources Office at 225-765-2850.

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


Ouachita Parish Man Cited for Possession of Spotted Fawn

Release Date: 06/25/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Ouachita Parish man for allegedly possessing a spotted fawn on June 21.

Agents received a complaint that Danny Underwood, 45, of West Monroe, had a spotted fawn inside a mobile home in the Bawcomville community.  Agents made contact with Underwood and he admitted to catching the fawn earlier in the day.  The fawn was seized and released to the LDWF Wildlife Division.

The penalty for possessing a spotted fawn is a fine up to $750 and jail time between 15 and 30 days.

Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Duane Taylor and Agent Scott Bullitt.

For more information, contact Capt. Alan Bankston at or 318-362-3139.


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