General

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Mud Hole Area Within Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge to Reopen Aug. 5

Release Date: 08/03/2011

Aug. 3, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will reopen on Friday,Aug. 5 that portion of Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) known locally as Mud Hole.

The Mud Hole water management control structure area had been closed in July due to litter problems created by recreational fishermen. The structure, within Cameron Parish, has been cleaned and will again be available for public use.

The public is reminded that refuge regulations prohibit littering, which includes not returning bycatch of recreational cast-netting to the water. Violators can receive a citation for failure to comply.  To report littering on Rockefeller SWR or any LDWF property, individuals are encouraged to report violators to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-442-2511.

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 more information, call Rockefeller SWR Refuge at 337-491-2593.

Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday Good for the Outdoors

Release Date: 08/03/2011

August 3, 2011 – Louisiana’s sales tax holiday provides a great opportunity to stock up and save on outdoor gear!
 
This weekend, the four percent state sales tax will be waived on the first $2,500 spent on individual items of tangible personal use. The tax-free holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 5 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, August 6.  Only state tax is exempt and all other sales taxes, such as parish taxes still apply.
 
The time is now for outdoor enthusiasts to gear up and save money on the items they want. A tax-free holiday provides a savings opportunity for the hunter to be properly outfitted, birdwatchers to get the correct optics and anglers to update their tackle box. Whether it’s hunting, fishing or outdoor photography equipment, it is all available for less this weekend.
 
Not only are items bought this weekend included but also items put on layaway during the holiday are eligible for the exemption. Items that are already in layaway can also be purchased this weekend and receive the tax credit.
 
Taking time to step outside with family and friends is beneficial for the body and mind. Getting outside provides physical benefits, such as aerobic, cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Mentally, it helps prevent or reduce stress, gives an increased sense of exhilaration and provides an adventure from everyday routines.  
 
For more information on the tax-fee weekend go to the Louisiana Department of Revenue at http://revenue.louisiana.gov/sections/general/hottopics/salestaxholiday.aspx .
 
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.

Grants, Events, Workshops, and Public Meetings

GRANTS

KEEP LOUISIANA BEAUTIFUL OFFERS GRANTS TO GROUPS (August 31)
          Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB), the state’s non-profit organization dedicated to litter prevention and waste reduction, is now accepting grant applications for its 2011 KLB Healthy Communities Grants Program. The deadline to apply is August 31. KLB awarded close to $200,000 in grants to groups around the state in 2010. Grant applications can be submitted via the KLB website and awards will be announced September 12.
          The KLB Grants Program is designed to help community organizations, governmental agencies, and educational groups implement projects with a specific focus on litter abatement through community education, recycling programs, enforcement and more. All grantees are required to participate in the annual Great American Cleanup held March through May each year or in America Recycles Day, held on November 15th each year. To learn more about the KLB Healthy Communities Grant Program, two technical assistance conference calls are available in August for interested grant applicants. Visit www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org for more submission information. A complete list of guidelines, terms and conditions and eligibility requirements, as well as application information are available on the KLB website. Find KLB on Facebook by searching “Keep Louisiana Beautiful” and on Twitter @keeplabeautiful.

Grant Opportunity: Gulf of Mexico Community-based Restoration Partnership (September 15)
          The GCRP is a multi-year, regional partnership between the Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Community-based Restoration Program (CRP), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program (GoMP), and the Gulf States and Caribbean Territories. The purpose of this partnership is to strengthen the conservation efforts of the NOAA CRP and EPA GoMP by supporting on-the-ground restoration activities and fostering local stewardship of ecologically significant areas.
For project ideas, you can see what other Community Based Restoration recipients have done across the gulf and elsewhere by visiting the NOAA Restoration Atlas at: http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/restoration/restorationatlas/index.html
For details, visit: http://www.gulfmex.org/contact-us/  Submittal Due Date: September 15, 2011


EVENTS

Coastal America International Student Ocean Art Contest
          Contact a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center (CELC) near you to learn more. The "Coastal America International Student Art Contest" draws upon young people's artistic expression to convey the importance of the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes. The Ocean Art Contest encourages students to learn about marine issues we face as a nation by creating art based on the National Ocean Policy and "Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy". Beginning in Fall 2011, students from primary school to university will have a unique opportunity to participate on the Ocean Art Contest. CELCS will host Regional Art Contests and support local student artists. Winners of the Regional Contests will travel to Washington DC for the International Competition. Don't miss this opportunity to express your love of the Ocean through art!
For contest rules and guidelines and information about Coastal America go to http://www.coastalamerica.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1563&Itemid=182
Contestants must submit their artwork to the CELC closest to them. For more information on CELCs and their locations please visit http://www.coastalamerica.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1591&Itemid=202


WORKSHOPS

LPBF's 2011 Beach Sweep is Saturday, Sept 17th!!
          Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation's 22nd annual Beach Sweep, LPBF's Beach Sweep 2011 will be held Saturday, September 17th from 9am-noon followed by a thank-you picnic for registered volunteers. Visit www.saveourlake.org for more information. The theme this year is "Trash Free Lake."  As in the past, we will work with the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), www.oceanconservancy.org. Come out and join us!
          Email joann@saveourlake.org if you can be a zone captain and bring out a group. Your responsibilities will include gathering volunteers, and attending a zone captain meeting the evening of Thursday, September 1st to pick up supplies and get your clean up zone and information. On Beach Sweep Day you will go out with your group, hand out data cards and trash bags, work in your assigned zone, turn in your group's data cards and fill in your summary card. Then you are all invited to come to celebrate at a free picnic from 11:30am-2:00pm at Pontchartrain Beach or with one of our partners (Friends of LA Wildlife Refuges, Keep Covington Beautiful, Keep Madisonville Beautiful, Keep Mandeville Beautiful).
          This year in Orleans and Jefferson Parish, we will be putting storm drain curb markers on storm drains that say "No Dumping, Drains to Lake." We will also clean street curbs, storm drains and ditches as well as some lakefront areas in parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. Please see our 2011 Beach Sweep flyer. Please distribute to office and civic groups, school clubs, scout troops and neighborhood friends. Remember a group can be as small as 3 or as large as you like. RSVP by to JoAnne Burke at (504)836-2238 or joann@saveourlake.org.

Elmer’s Island Summer Beach Sweep Volunteers Needed (August 18, 8am -1pm)
          Elmer’s Island Refuge is a barrier island located in Jefferson Parish southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana bordered by LA 1 and the Gulf of Mexico. The area includes a tidal zone, natural and restored dunes, and an expanse of open area leading to the Back Bay. The island is well known for the excellent fishing opportunities it has provided over the years for many popular species such as speckled trout, white trout, flounder, redfish, channel mullet, 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. There are no buildings or facilities on the island, and any visitors are required to carry out everything they bring onto the property. It will be extremely hot and there will be limited shade. Elmer’s Island is remote; the Back Bay area is very wet and muddy. Bring sunscreen, bug spray, and a smile! Lunch, water, and gloves will be provided. For more information please contact Julia Lightner, at jlightner@wlf.la.gov or 504-913-7849.

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (August 9, 1pm)
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – Baton Rouge Office, Louisiana Room
Meeting agenda is attached.

Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project Information Meeting (August 16)
          Program managers, guidance counselors, business partners, technical professionals, teachers, and representatives from professional organizations and higher education are invited to join us at an informational meeting announcing the implementation of the Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project. This initiative will provide mini-grants, professional development, and other free resources to project participants to help increase the participation of girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Join us to learn more about the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) model, how this initiative can help your program or organization, and to network with colleagues to identify collaboration opportunities. The Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project will be sponsored by Sci-Port: LOUSIANA'S Science Center.
          The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 16 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana (5525 Reitz Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70809) in Conference Rooms CSC 2A& 2B.  A map and directions are located here: http://www.mapquest.com/?version=1.0&hk=1-P5Z1jicp. An event agenda is attached. For more details and to register: http://www.ngcproject.org/events/events.cfm?eventid=203. Pre-registration is required. Contact Amy Foster, National Program Manager (afoster@edlabgroup.org), with questions about the National Girls Collaborative (http://www.ngcproject.org).

Trapping Workshop Set for SEPT. 9-11 at Waddill Outdoor Education Center

Release Date: 08/02/2011

Aug. 2, 2011 --The Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association will be hosting a Trapping Workshop on the weekend of Sept. 9 – 11.  The workshop will be presented at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Waddill Outdoor Education Center, 4142 N. Flannery Road in Baton Rouge.

The workshop will begin on Friday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. and run through Sunday at noon, providing classroom activity and field exercises. Students will learn the basic fundamentals of trapping including equipment selection, scouting, set making, bait and lure usage, bait making, fur handling, ethics, skull identification, snare making and more.

The registration fee is $25 per student and will cover food costs. Accommodations are provided on a first come, first serve basis, if needed.  Overnight participants will need to bring sheets, blanket, and a pillow to fit a full size bed. Students under 13 must have an adult guardian with them to attend. Only 25 openings are available and interested participants are encouraged to reserve their spot as soon as possible.

For additional information, or to pre-register, contact Wesley Blanchard at 337-375-1932.

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.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting August 3 in New Orleans

Release Date: 08/02/2011

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will hold a meeting on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 10 a.m.  The meeting will take place in room 206 of the Lindy C. Boggs Conference Center located at 2045 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The agenda for the meeting is below.

 

I.                 Roll Call

II.          New Business

       A. Cultch plant locations

      B. Oyster substitution/moratorium legislation

 

For more information contact Laura Deslatte-Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

 

L.D.W.F. to Lease Catahoula Lake Acreage for Haying

Release Date: 08/01/2011

August 1, 2011 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be leasing areas for cutting hay around Catahoula Lake as part of the department’s 10-year management and research plan to improve waterfowl habitat.

A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held in September when exact locations, acreages and timeframes will be specified.  Approximate acreage available could include a 270-acre unit and a 500-acre unit, although unit sizes and the number of units may change in advance of bids being accepted. Hay collection will be allowed from the date winning bids are awarded through Oct. 31. Individuals who have notified LDWF of their interest in participating will be notified in advance of the pre-bid meeting.

The department’s experimental management plan for the lake will include varying water levels, utilizing a variety of vegetation control activities such as hay cutting, and collection of vegetation data from permanent monitoring plots. Through analysis of this data, the department hopes to determine effective measures that can be implemented to control woody vegetation on the lake.

For more information, or to have your name placed on a bid notification list, contact Steve Smith at 318-487-5885 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov or Paul Link at 225-765-2358 or plink@wlf.la.gov.

 

Reviving Eunice City Lake

Release Date: 07/29/2011

 

$1 million rehabilitation project scheduled for lake in central Louisiana

July 29, 2011 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the City of Eunice plan to launch a project to rehabilitate Eunice City Lake after a Union Pacific Railroad explosion in May 2000 potentially released hazardous materials and chemicals into the surrounding area. 

Thirty-three of the 113 cars making up an eastbound Union Pacific Railroad train derailed northwest of Eunice, Louisiana.  The derailment occurred on a bridge crossing an unnamed tributary to Bayou Des Cannes.  Fifteen of the derailed cars contained a variety of hazardous materials and chemicals, and two rail cars exploded, potentially sending their contents into the surrounding area, including Eunice City Lake. 

The total amount for environmental rehabilitation projects that will be executed by the LWFF and LDWF exceeds $1 million.  After all claimants had been paid following the incident, residual funds were left in the account.  The Honorable Richard T. Haik of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the presiding Judge overseeing the train derailment litigation, awarded the monies to the LWFF to fund the improvement projects on the lake.

Although it was determined that there were no health risks involved in eating fish from the lake, concerns about fish contamination discouraged recreational use of the lake.  Improvement projects will include draining the lake, removing the existing fish population and restocking the lake with bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and sac-a-lait.

Existing facilities will also be revitalized to accommodate those seeking an outdoor recreational refuge within the community.  A large pavilion will be constructed as a revenue generating space available to the community for private outdoor events.

Other site improvements include the construction of a deck and pier, restroom facility, picnic pavilions, nature walk, welcome center and asphalt road and parking.  Repairs will be made to the existing fishing and boat dock, boat slip and the existing lake control structure will be replaced. 

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113. 

LDWF Releases 2010 Atchafalaya Basin Fishing Survey Results

Release Date: 07/28/2011

 

July 28, 2011 – In an effort to better capture the requests of the fishing community of the Atchafalaya Basin, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)  issued surveys to 2,000 resident recreational fishermen within 60 miles of the basin.  In addition to biological data, department biologists recognize the importance of angler opinion in fish management.   The intent of the survey was to determine desired management for bass in waters than include the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and the Verret/Grassy/Palourde Complex. 

Preferences for bass regulations in all three water bodies varied based upon regional differences of respondents. 

For the Atchafalaya Basin, results show that the majority of survey respondents want to keep the current 10 fish daily limit for bass.  This finding was constant among all survey respondents.  Results for desired creel limits in Henderson Lake and the Verret/Grassy/Palourde Complex were less pronounced.  The most common response was a preference for the current 10 fish daily limit. 

Responses indicate Atchafalaya Basin anglers are satisfied with the current 14-inch minimum size limit.  Angler opinions for bass size limits in Henderson Lake were similar to those for the Atchafalaya Basin, with 36 percent of responses indicating a desire to keep the current size limit.  However, opinion differed for the Verret/Grassy/Palourde Complex.  Thirty-seven percent of responses indicated a preference to decrease or remove the size limit. 

For all three water bodies, results show that respondents who prefer lower creel limits also prefer no change to the current size limit.  Anglers who prefer increased daily limits want to eliminate or reduce the current 14-inch size limit. 

To access the full report on the survey results, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/publication/2010-atchafalaya-henderson-and-verret-black-bass-survey

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113. 

application/pdf icon 2010 Atchafalaya, Henderson, and Verret Black Bass Survey (formatted for duplex printing)
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