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First Annual Boating Education Lagniappe Day Certifies 264 Boaters

Release Date: 05/18/2011

May 18, 2011 -  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 264 boaters statewide after their first ever "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 14.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the NASBLA boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more than 250 boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals."

The National Associations of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved 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.  Each student that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

Each location provided a free lunch that included crawfish fettuccine, jambalaya, pizza, chicken tenders and chilidogs.  Sponsors also provided door prizes and giveaways such as gift cards, ice chests, personal flotation devices, sunglasses, sunscreen and boating whistles.  LDWF also gave away key chains and cups with the LDWF logo.

"This won't be the last 'Boating Education Lagniappe Day' in this state and we are already planning on next year's event to make it even bigger," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "We heard nothing but good things from the public that attended the event.  Even some of the parents that didn't need the course said they learned a lot about boating safety."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, CCA of Louisiana, All Star Pontiac in Sulphur, Coca-Cola of Lake Charles, Songy's Sporting Goods of Houma, and Gene Kile Inc.

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Below is the list of the class locations from this past weekend:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beane Dr.
Bossier City, LA 71111

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301

Eunice
Walmart
1538 Hwy. 190
Eunice, LA 70535

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602

Houma
Holiday Inn
1800 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360

Gonzales
Cabela's
Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737

Chalmette
St. Bernard Parish Government Complex
8201 W. Judge Perez
Chalmette, LA 70043

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or  aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Closes Additional Access Roadways on Dewey Wills W.M.A.

Release Date: 05/16/2011

May 16, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed that portion of Hunt Road on Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) from the Diversion Canal south, effective immediately, due to floodwater impacts.

This closure is in addition to the May 13 closure of Muddy Bayou Road from Saline Bayou, eastward to Nolan Bayou Road, and Sandy Bayou Road southward from Highway 28, within the LaSalle Parish WMA.

The access road closures are being implemented in the interest of public and employee safety and to provide undisturbed refuge for wildlife species seeking high ground as flood waters rise.

The closure is necessary due to rising backwater from the Red River, associated with the record Mississippi River water levels. These roads will remain closed until further notice.

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.

For emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Seven Louisiana Residents Cited For Vandalism to Sherburne W.M.A.

Release Date: 05/16/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited seven Louisiana residents on vandalism and alcohol related charges on the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on May 15 in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Agents cited David Wayne Stear, 21, of Metairie; Darryl Kent Deville, 19, of Krotz Springs; Natache Brooke Coates, 20, of Lottie; Michael Joseph Guitreau, 21, of Metarie; Kristen Ann Jarreau, 27, of Jarreau; and two juveniles for criminal damage to state property.

Stear, Guitreau, Deville, Coates and Jarreau were also cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Agents also cited Deville, Coates, and two juveniles for possession of alcohol under the age of 21.

Subjects were cited after agents found them drinking and damaging Sherburne WMA signs at the Little Alabama boat launch.

St. Landry Emergency Medical Services transported one of the juveniles to Opelousas General Hospital after she was found passed out from drinking.  All other subjects were cited and then released.  The juveniles were released to their parents.

Criminal damage to state property carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail or both.  Contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail or both.  Possession of alcohol under the age of 21 carries up to a $100 fine or up to six months in jail or both.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Cliff Ortis, Senior Agents Lance Devillier, Ryan Faul, Michael Williams and Agent Mitchell Saunder.

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

State Closes Two Oyster Harvest Areas, Allows Some Oyster Relocation

Release Date: 05/13/2011

Special Bedding-Only Oyster Season Map

Precautionary closures protect human health; relocation of oysters helps prevent further damage to commercial industry

May 13, 2011 -- Today Louisiana officials announced precautionary closures of two oyster harvesting areas that are receiving large amounts of freshwater intrusion from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and from the Mississippi River.

Officials also announced that oysters in some areas east of the Mississippi River may be relocated from beds that will be inundated with fresh water to other seed grounds or oyster leases out of the way of the flood waters coming through the spillway into Lake Pontchartrain and into the Gulf of Mexico. A special permit is required for relocation of oysters from an area closed for traditional harvest to an area specifically for bedding purposes. The permit is not required if the harvest area is open for harvest.

Closures

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is closing oyster harvest areas 1 and 7. The closures will take effect at sunset, Saturday, May 14, 2011. Area 1 is in Lake Borgne in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, and Area 7 in Plaquemines Parish. Both oyster harvesting areas are on the east side of the Mississippi river.

Louisiana State Health Officer, Jimmy Guidry, M.D., and Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein signed the orders today. The closures will remain in effect until officials are able to verify the safety of the resource for human consumption. 

DHH is monitoring all impacted oyster beds and doing routine water testing to ensure public health. State officials have notified local oyster harvesters that work in the affected areas, as well as the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

Resource Relocation

A special bedding-only season has also been announced by state officials today. At an emergency Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, the commission voted to open a special "bedding-only" oyster season for public seed grounds in the Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound area in St. Bernard Parish. The special season, which will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Saturday, May 14, 2011 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on May 31, will allow the oyster industry an opportunity to relocate oysters ahead of possible freshwater impacts from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. 

This special oyster season allows the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes only in the public oyster seed grounds within:

  • Harvest area 1
  • Harvest area 2
  • That portion of Harvest area 3 located north of a line of latitude 30 degrees 00 minutes 00.0 seconds N and east of a line of longitude 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W.

The special "bedding-only" season described above shall be opened with the following provisions:

1. All oysters on board a vessel actively harvesting oysters in the public seed grounds described above shall be presumed to have been taken from the public seed grounds described above.
2. No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters in the public seed ground described above shall have on board his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market.
3. No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds described above.

Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist on these public oyster seed grounds. The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway places those resources in imminent peril. As significant oyster mortalities could be experienced due to the anticipated depression, the special season is a necessary step to protect and preserve Louisiana's oyster resources. 

The Commission gave the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Robert Barham, authorization to take emergency action as necessary to open or close public oyster areas based on the best available biological data.

Beginning Sunday, May 15, 2011, harvesters that seek to participate in the oyster relocation or "bedding-only" season in Harvest Area 1 must have a special permit that requires notification of where transplanted oysters will be relocated. A permit is not required on Saturday, May 14, 2011, because Harvest Area 1 will still be open. Oysters harvested and relocated to a new lease may not be harvested for consumption or for the public marketplace for at least 14 days -- ample time for the oysters to filter any contaminants. Permits can be obtained at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health Commercial Seafood Program, located at 628 North 4th St., room 156, in downtown Baton Rouge. The special permit requires a $5,000 bond. 

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook page.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining 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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Closures for State Wildlife Management Areas in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Release Date: 05/13/2011

May 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today a schedule of closures for state wildlife management areas (WMAs) within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley due to flood water impacts.

The site closures or WMA access road closures are being implemented in the interest of public and employee safety and to provide undisturbed refuge for wildlife species seeking high ground as flood waters rise.

Effective today, within Dewey Wills WMA in LaSalle Parish, a portion of Muddy Bayou Road from Saline Bayou, eastward to Nolan Bayou Road, and Sandy Bayou Road southward from Highway 28, has been closed to vehicular traffic.

Effective May 16, the following areas will be completely closed:

  • Attakapas Island WMA (St. Martin/St. Mary/Iberia Parishes)
  • Grassy Lake WMA (Avoyelles Parish)
  • Sherburne WMA (Pointe Coupee/St. Martin/Iberville Parishes)
  • Three Rivers WMA (Concordia Parish)

The closures will remain in effect until the flood waters recede and all WMA access roads are determined to be safe for vehicle passage.

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.

For emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

For more information contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

Lottery Alligator Harvest Program

General

Lottery alligator harvests were originally conducted on public lakes only.  The lottery alligator harvest program began to incorporate WMAs in 2008 by providing the opportunity for 90 hunters to harvest 270 alligators on 9 WMAs located in south Louisiana.  The program has continued to expand and currently provides the opportunity for over 325 resident alligator hunters to harvest approximately 850 alligators on over 40 WMAs/public lakes located throughout the state.  In order to increase the chance of previous year unsuccessful applicants and new applicants to be selected, the Department has incorporated a preference system for 2012 for the lottery alligator harvest program.  Lottery alligator harvest applications submitted from 2011 forward will be included in preference system assessments.  Successful applicants will continue to be selected by random computer drawing by August of each year.  Lottery alligator harvest applications become available mid to late May of each year and lists all available WMAs/public lakes.  When available, lottery applications can be found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.

 

Application Requirements/Completion for Lottery Alligator Harvests

Applicants must be Louisiana residents, at least 16 years of age and comply with hunter education requirements (see Hunter Education Requirements below for specifics).  Applications must be filled out completely and returned/postmarked by the date indicated on the application (usually around the first week of July).  Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable $5 check or money order made payable to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  Only one of the three available lottery alligator harvest applications (CNR Division WMA, Wildlife Division WMA or Wildlife Division Public Lakes) may be submitted per person.  An applicant may only apply for one WMA/public lake.

 

Hunter Education Requirements

Persons born on or after September 1, 1969 must have successfully completed an approved hunter education course OR be under the direct supervision of a person: 1) who was born before September 1, 1969 and who has a valid hunting license or 2) who is at least 18 years old and has successfully completed an approved hunter education course. 

 

What are the Chances of Being Selected for Lottery Alligator Harvests on a Specific WMA or Public Lake?

The chance of being selected to participate in the lottery alligator harvest (applicant success rate) varies tremendously by specific WMA or public lake.  Applicant success rates by WMA or public lake are linked below.

Successful Lottery Alligator Harvest Applicants

 

Selected Applicants

 

WMAs

Public Lakes

1) will receive the number of alligator tags indicated

3

2

2) must purchase a resident alligator hunting license ($25)

3) must pay a set fee per alligator tag issued (~$40 per tag)

N/A

4) must appear in person at a designated time and location to receive harvest tags, hunter license and specific instructions

5) must sign and abide by alligator hunting agreement

6) must follow all LDWF and all applicable WMA/public lake rules, regulations and ordinances

7) must report alligator harvest information to LDWF

Indicates this item applies, N/A – not applicable

 

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