Content tagged with general will appear on the About LDWF Page.

Commercial Fishermen/Vessel Owner Grant Recovery Program

The Commercial Fishermen Vessel Owner Program is designed to assist fishermen and vessel owners whose businesses have been negatively impacted by storm related losses from hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Specifically, this program pays down high-interest rate debts and provides funding for repairs and re-purchases attributed to Gustav and/or Ike. The program will work closely with other LDWF federal fishery recovery programs to ensure that qualifying applicants receive the maximum amount of funds for recovery.

Program Size: - Initial Allocation $9 million
After a six-week open application period, the program size will be determined based on the demand and response from the commercial fisheries industry.

Eligible: Commercial Fishermen and Vessel Owners
Eligible applicants are commercial fishermen that held a LDWF resident commercial fishing license in 2008 and 2010, can prove $5,000 tangible loss and/or business experienced a decline in gross receipts and sales in 2006, 2007 or 2008 (pre-storm) versus 2008 or 2009 (post-storm) and document other factors -or- held a LDWF resident vessel license in 2008 and 2010 and can document other factors.

Individuals or businesses currently in bankruptcy proceeding are NOT eligible.

The program is open only to Louisiana licensed commercial fishermen and vessel owners that can show storm related economic impacts of losses of $5,000 or more with other appropriate financial materials. Fishermen can request up to $100,000 for this 100% grant, to address demonstrated losses and for capital needs with the 2010 fishery.
If, after the close of the application period, the total request for funds exceeds the program allocation, the state will use a pro-rata allocation process to make individual awards that is based on applicants? income that is earned from commercial fishing.

If a pro-rata allocation is necessary, applicants that earn 50% or more of their income from commercial fishing will be placed into a pool that receives a minimum of 75% of the total allocation. Applicants earning less 50% of their income from commercial fishing will be placed in into the 2nd pool and receive the remaining allocation.

Based on program demand at the close of the application process, the state will announce the final pro-rata formula and allocation between the groups if it is found to be necessary.

NOAA Reimbursement Program

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) launched a $30 million reimbursement program, designed to assist the commercial fishing industry following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The funds for this program are part of the $40 million appropriation by U.S. Congress allocated to Louisiana for fisheries disaster assistance to the commercial fishing industry.

Who is eligible?

Licensed, resident commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail seafood dealers must have reported sales or purchases of saltwater species on LDWF trip tickets during September 1, 2005 through August 31, 2008 (and received by LDWF by November 30, 2008) and held a 2008 resident Louisiana commercial fishing or wholesale/retail dealer license.

Important Information & Deadlines for Program Participants

This reimbursement program is structured as a two part process.

  • In June, over 4000 application packets were sent to those commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers who were eligible for the program.
  • The first half of eligible reimbursement will be issued after the initial application packet is mailed (postmarked no later than September 30, 2009) to the South Central Planning and Development Commission.
  • The second half of eligible reimbursement will be issued after the participant submits acceptable receipts/invoices dated after July 1, 2009.
  • Receipts/invoices must document the use of the entire initial payment on eligible items.
  • Original receipts/invoices may be brought to one of the satellite offices or mailed to South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC). 

*Note: LDWF is distributing relief money in the order in which the applications were received.


1-800-630-3791 (toll free)
985-655-1051 (local)
P.O. Box 1240,
Gray, LA 70359-9902

**It is estimated that the total infrastructure and economic loss from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 totaled over $750 million. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was charged with the coordination and distribution of federal recovery funds to the fishing industry.**

Boating Courses

Boating Safety Classes
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries offers a free boating class that lasts between 6 and 8 hours that is usually completed in a day. The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements, many navigation rules, navigation charts, trailering, sailboats, and related subjects that include canoeing, personal watercraft and more. Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.
Boating Classes with LDWF are offered year-round but are most popular in the spring and summer. These classes are offered free of charge to the public.  LDWF classes are offered in the following areas:
Registration for classes - It is not required that students pre-register for all classes listed. You only need to register for classes that request pre-registration as part of their notice.
Mandatory Boating Education - All persons born after January 1, 1984, must complete a boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower. The person may operate the boat if accompanied by someone over 18 years of age who if required has completed the course.
Personal Watercraft Age - It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (PWC).
Boating Education Online
If a classroom course is not a convenient option, a student may take the state approved online boating course provided by or These courses are not administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, but they are approved by the state to satisfy boating education requirements. The course is free, while there is a fee for the online course charged by Boat-Ed.  Upon successful completion the student is provided a temporary certificate from the website. The student is issued a state boating education card approximately 3-4 weeks later. For more information, visit or (clicking on these links will take you to an external website).

State Boating Courses:

Marine Theft Prevention

Thousands of boats and motors are stolen every year. Most stolen boats and equipment are resold and thieves pocket the profit. This also means millions of dollars are stolen because:

1.Crime victims must replace boats, motors and equipment.
2.Boat owners must pay higher insurance fees.
3.Taxpayers must pay for time law enforcement agencies spend on investigations

Thieves often steal boats under 20' because boats are easily transported and stored. Many of these boats are similar and harder to identify.

Favorite Times:

1.When owners are not around
2.Before daybreak
3.Just before sunset
4.During the off season
5.During bad-rainy weather


1.Know your hull identification number.
2.Know your registration number
3.Do not leave registration card on board when not in use
4.Photograph or videotape your boat, include HIN and registration number - IN COLOR
5.Keep copies of registration and titles at home


1.Make a list of what you have on board
2.Make sure your insurance covers the equipment
3.Engrave additional hidden HIN's or identifiers
4.Engrave your gear
5.Mark flotation devices, covers, sail with waterproof marker


1.Install dead bolt locks or strong padlock with hasps
2.Add small locks and fasteners to windows
3.Secure outboard motors through transom with bolts and clamping locks
4.Put spare trailer tire in trunk of car


1.Lock boat to trailer
2.Lock trailer tongue or lock to tree or other secure object
3.Keep boat, trailer and motor out of sight in fenced area or locked building
4.Park car between trailer and wall
5.Use trailer hitch lock at all times
6.Put spare trailer tire in trunk of car
7.Do not make your driveway an easy target


1.Back boat into slip
2.Insist on good lighting
3.Secure boat at slip, chain and lock
4.Know your neighbors
5.Visit boat at random times
6.Inform the dockmaster who can be on board
7.Inform dockmaster if boat will be gone for trip or repairs


1. Install a kill switch in a hidden location
a. Remove propellers
b. Remove spark plugs


1.Compare registration and title to boat and motor, make sure HIN or serial number matches the boat and motor and is not altered
2.Make sure all serial numbers are on outboard motors and other equipment
3.Be careful of buying if price is too low for value
4.Do not buy if seller cannot produce ownership documents such as registration card or title, if required

For more information, please email questions to Lt. Rachel Zechenelly

Marine Investigations

This Section within the Enforcement Division specializes in boating crash incidents, marine events, and marine theft.

1. Boating Crash Incidents
An operator involved in a boating crash, collision or other casualty must stop his or her vessel immediately at the scene of the incident. The operator must also render assistance to injured persons or attempt to minimize any danger caused by the incident unless doing so would create serious danger to his own vessel, crew, and passengers.

The operator must give his or her name, address, and the identifying number of his or her vessel in writing to anyone injured from the incident and to the owner of any damaged property.

The operator of a vessel involved in a collision, crash, or other casualty involving a recreational vessel and resulting in death or injury to a person, disappearance of a person from a vessel, property damage in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), or complete loss of a vessel must give notice of the incident immediately, by the most prompt means of communication, to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED), the nearest law enforcement agency, or to state police. The number to report an incident to LDWF/LED is 1-800-442-2511.

The driver of any vessel involved in a collision, crash, or other casualty as described previously must forward a department-approved incident report form to LDWF/LED, within five days after the incident.

Reports must be submitted to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Boating Safety & Waterway Enforcement, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70898-9000.
Reports in other cases must be submitted within 5 days.


Any time there is any marine event on any state-controlled waterway the sponsor of the event must submit an application at least thirty days prior to the event to the Boating Law Administrator for approval. Click here for the marine event permit form. There is no fee for this service. All applications should be sent to Marine Investigations, ATTENTION: Marine Events, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70898-9000.


  1. Local and state police with correct information, registration number, hull ID number, or serial number of motor
  2. Notify your registration authority
  3. Notify Harbormaster
  4. Notify your insurance company
  5. Contact other marinas and dealers

For more information, please email questions to Lt. Rachel Zechenelly

Private Land Management Assistance

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

        Private Lands Program


There are now 13 wildlife biologists throughout the state whose primary responsibility is to help private landowners and land managers with their wildlife management activities.  Private Lands Biologists (PLBs) can perform a variety of duties on private properties around the state.  One of the most common activities is assisting landowners and hunting clubs with management of their deer herd.  This may involve established programs such as the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) which provides landowners with tags and guidance regarding their deer harvest.  Other landowners simply want advice and suggestions to help them manage their harvest.  Even though deer get a lot of attention, assistance from PLBs is not limited to deer.  Private Lands biologists can also help landowners with dove field establishment, management of waterfowl impoundments, forest management, and general habitat management for a wide variety of wildlife.

One of the most important things these biologists do is to listen.  Landowners own and manage land for a variety of reasons.  For some it is purely for recreation, for others, income generation is a very important consideration.  Some landowners and managers have the desire and resources to engage in very intensive management, while others take a low maintenance approach.  Some landowners have very specific interests, bobwhite quail management, for example.  Others simply want to see and enjoy a wide array of wildlife on their property.  The assistance provided by the Private Lands Program is guided by the objectives, needs and resources of the landowner.

The department’s private lands biologists are familiar with a variety of programs and sources of funding that can provide financial assistance for management.  Not all landowners need or want financial assistance, but for those who do, funding may be available for practices such as prescribed burning, tree planting, native grassland establishment, field border development, or invasive plant control.  Navigating the myriad of funding sources can be daunting for many landowners, but PLBs can be a valuable resource to help landowners find the financial assistance they need.


While landowners will have varying interests and needs, one common thread in all private lands work is the need for the biologist to evaluate the quality and quantity of the habitat.  The biologist may conduct a systematic assessment such as a browse survey or may be able to evaluate the habitat simply by an overall inspection of the property.  The biologist will be evaluating the amount of food and cover the property provides and noting factors that limit the abundance of wildlife on the property.  One thing that will receive consideration is how the property fits into the landscape.  In other words, what kind of habitat does the neighboring property provide and how does that impact the subject property?  This landscape consideration is most important on smaller tracts.  Once the biologist has completed the habitat evaluation, a plan can be developed.

The plan can range from a simple conversation with the landowner to a comprehensive written document.  Landowners are encouraged to seek a written plan to help them maintain a long-term and consistent management approach.  Even the best plan will have to be modified as experience and conditions dictate, so landowners are encouraged to maintain contact with their PLB.  The landowner and PLB should regularly evaluate the habitat, assess the impacts of management and make changes when needed.

Some landowners may already be working with a natural resource professional such as a consultant forester.  The PLB will not replace these other professionals, but will work closely with them to integrate the landowner’s wildlife objectives with other management objectives and programs.  If the landowner is not working with other natural resource professionals, but needs their assistance, the PLP can help find one.

The department’s PLBs can be a valuable resource for landowners and managers.  Each PLB is responsible for 4-7 parishes and is familiar with local conditions, activity on other properties and programs that can benefit local landowners.  PLBs may be able to offer ideas and suggestions that landowners may not have considered.  For instance, landowners in some areas may want to consider replanting a harvested loblolly pine stand with longleaf pine, others may benefit from using native vegetation as a food plot to reduce costs, still others may find that creation of small openings in the forest are an effective way to improve habitat. 


There is no cost to landowners to utilize the services of the department’s PLBs (there is a cost associated with enrollment in the Deer Management Assistance Program).  Whether interested in hummingbirds or trophy bucks, looking for a comprehensive management plan or simply have a management question, your local PLP can help. Contact one of these professional biologists to help you improve your wildlife habitats, today. Offices are located in Monroe (318/343-4044), Minden (318/371-3052), Pineville (318/487-5885), Lake Charles (337/491-2575), Hammond (985/543-4777), Opelousas (337/948-0255), and New Iberia (337/373-0032).







WETshop 2014

WETshop 2014
WETshop 2014
WETshop 2014

Discover the extensive bounty of our coast with a week-long wetland workshop that introduces educators to the importance of Louisiana’s shores, its battle with wetland loss, and the need for restoration efforts.  Open to all science/history teachers, WETSHOP presents management, stewardship, and ecological concepts through hands-on, real science activities that teachers can bring back to their classrooms. 
Dates:  July 6 – 11, 2014
Location:  LDWF Marine Research Lab, Grand Isle, LA
Application Deadline:  May 20, 2014
Number of Participants:  20 teachers
Contact:  Angela Capello, (318) 748-6914,
Registration fee:  $50.00

  • A week-long, dynamic teacher workshop that allows teachers to work with educator/scientists to learn about Louisiana coastal wetlands, issues and history.  The focus of the summer workshop is to create wetland stewards of teachers in order for them to educate co-workers and students in their home parishes about coastal land loss.  Fifty-five professional contact hours will be accrued upon the completion of this wetland institute. 
  • Implementation of a six hour wetland dissemination workshop in your parish after completion of the summer workshop.
  • Teacher stipend available for summer workshop and dissemination workshop during AY.

Workshop Highlights

  • Fisheries management; research trawling, seining Barrier islands and their role in coastal health
  • Coastal  Botany & Ornithology (visit Brown Pelican rookery)
  • Water Quality Testing along fresh to salt water gradient
  • Visit transitional Coastal Ecosystems
  • Tour one of the largest oil ports in U.S.
  • Visit coastal restoration site / Oil Spill impact sites
  • Invasive Species (role in coastal land loss)

Wonders of Wetlands Teacher Guidebook                                 Numerous Classroom Resources
Networking with Wetland Scientists                                            Up to 55 Professional Contact Hours

Workshop Scholarships

Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Christine L. Thomas, founder of the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program, announces a scholarship endowment: the Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship. Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Inc. has set an endowment fund to start things off. Interest from the endowment fund will provide a scholarship to each Louisiana BOW workshop. The BOW Coordinators raffle items each year at the coordinaotrs conference to raise additional funds so women in other states can benefit. I Contributions can be sent to BOW Inc, Barthel Fund, P.O. Box 1026, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

Low-income women who have children under age 18 will be eligible to receive the Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship pays $125 of the $170 registration fee. The scholarship recipeint will be responsbile for a $45 fee. We hope Liz will live through other outdoor women in this way.
To apply for the Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship:

  •  You may nominate an individual by submitting the following information or
  • You may submit the information about yourself

Please send a completed one page essay by with the following information. (Please include your name, phone number, address, amount of yearly income and ages of children.) Essays are being taken now.

  • Why I would like to attend a B.O.W. workshop.
  • What benefits I hope to achieve from the workshop.
  • I plan to pursue and develop my outdoor experiences through . . . .

Send completed essay to:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship
ATTN: Bill Breed
368 CenturyTel Drive
Monroe, LA 71203

Grand Isle Marine Lab


195 Ludwig Annex
P.O. Box 37
Grand Isle, LA 70358

Grand Isle Marine Lab
Grand Isle Marine Lab

Lab Director: Myron Fischer

Located in the center of Grand Isle, this state of the art facility will serve as a research hub for LDWF biologists, as well as university research and cooperative efforts with other states.

The lab complex consists of a 12,000 square foot laboratory containing a wet lab, library, conference room, offices and many other work areas.  An adjacent dormitory building has 13 bedrooms, two bunk rooms, bath facilities, a kitchen, dining and entertainment area, large conference room and a laboratory for visiting researchers.  A covered boathouse has slips to accommodate 14 vessels and the underside of the lab building serves as a hatchery area for both shellfish and finfish.  Also on site is a large maintenance area. 

Since its opening, the lab staff has conducted individual and group tours of the facility, hosted local and national media representatives, and provided accommodations for university researchers from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, LSU, Tulane, University of Louisiana Lafayette, University of Florida and UNO.  Other individuals engaged in short-duration fieldwork are also accommodated on a regular basis.  

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