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LDWF Reminds Residents to be Mindful of Wildlife Displaced by Flooding

Release Date: 05/13/2011

May 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds the public to be mindful of wildlife species forced into populated areas by flood waters from the Mississippi River and spillways.

Rising waters force wildlife from flooded habitat into adjacent residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents. LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range.

Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed. Feeding wild animals will encourage those animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.

Basic Tips:

  • Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.
  • Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.
  • Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

Species of Concern:

Black Bears: The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List. The black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident, when high water moves bears out of their habitat within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat.

Poisonous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake. For more information on snake species found in Louisiana, including frequently asked questions, visit LDWF's website at this link: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resource/snakes-louisiana.

Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable. LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.

For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:

  • Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
  • Hammond 985-543-4777
  • Monroe 318-343-4044
  • New Iberia 337-373-0032
  • Opelousas 337-948-0255
  • Pineville 318-487-5885

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 www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Wildlife Displaced by Flooding

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising the public to be alert for wildlife species forced into populated areas by flood waters from the Mississippi River and spillways.

 

Rising waters will move wildlife from flooded habitat into adjacent residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents.  LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range.

 

Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed. Feeding wild animals will encourage those animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.

 

Basic Tips:

 

*Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.

*Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.

*Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

 

Species of Concern:

 

Black Bears: The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List. The black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident, when high water moves bears out of their habitat within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

 

Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat.

 

Poisonous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake.  For more information on snake species found in Louisiana, including frequently asked questions, visit LDWF’s website here.

 

Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations within theMississippi Alluvial Valley represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable.  LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.

 

For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:

 

Baton Rouge          225-765-2800

Hammond              985-543-4777

Monroe                   318-343-4044
New Iberia             337-373-0032

Opelousas             337-948-0255
Pineville                  318-487-5885

 

Ninth Environmental Awareness Art & Language Arts Contest - 2011 WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

2011 WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

Ninth Environmental Awareness Art & Language Arts Contest
Louisiana Outdoors: A Beautiful Experience

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR WINNERS!

This year we received over 1,300 entries! We want to thank all students who put forth time and effort to submit an entry. We want to thank the parents and teachers who encouraged and supported their child/student to enter our contest. You all did an outstanding job!

The list of winning entries is attached below or visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/environmental-awareness-art-language-arts-contest.
 

If you have any questions, please contact Juliet Raffray, jraffray@wlf.la.gov.

Cabela's "Wanna Go Fishing For Millions" Partners with LDWF

Release Date: 05/12/2011

Fish worth up to $2.2 million could soon be swimming in Louisiana waters

May 12, 2011 – Get out your shiny lures and round up your fishing gear.  Cabela’s announced Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win millions of dollars in cash and prizes by enjoying one of America’s favorite pastimes – fishing.

Cabela’s is tagging hundreds of fish in selected waters in states that have Cabela’s retail stores – including Louisiana – and every one of them is a winner.  Among the winning fish, there are grand prize winners that may qualify for additional bonuses based on the winning angler using or wearing sponsors’ products when they catch a tagged fish.

LDWF is Cabela’s state partner and will tag fish in selected waters, which will be publicly announced on May 14, the official start of the contest.  The contest runs through July 14.

“This competition is a great way to generate angler interest,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We encourage anglers of all ages and skill levels to experience the sport of fishing and enjoy the beautiful resources Louisiana has to offer.”

Winning is as easy as baiting a hook.  Go to LDWF’s website for contest information at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/recreational-fishing.  Anglers need to pre-register and hit their local waters between May 14 and July 14 for their chance at winning a fish worth $2.2 million.  Anglers also need a valid fishing license in order to participate in the contest.  To purchase a Louisiana fishing license, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses/fishing.

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.

L.W.F.C. ANNOUNCES SPECIAL COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 05/12/2011

 

 

AGENDA 

May 12, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled a special meeting for 12:00 noon on Friday, May 13, 2011, at the LSU Cooperative Extension Office, 1105 West Port Street, Abbeville, Louisiana, 70510.

  1.            Roll Call

 2.            To consider Declaration of Emergency to open Public Oyster Seed Grounds in the Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound Area for Bedding Purposes Only

3.            Public Comments

 4.            Adjourn

 

For more information contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

TOP FISHING DESTINATION NEXT STOP ON LOUISIANA SALTWATER SERIES TOURNAMENT TRAIL

Release Date: 05/10/2011

 

(May 10, 2011) -The Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), heads to popular fishing destination Venice, La., on May 14, 2011, at the Venice Marina.  The series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

The grassroots-based tournament provides anglers with the opportunity to give back to the resource.  Contestants vie for cash prizes and test their skill while enjoying the thrill of the competitive sport. 

Thus far, the competition has attracted over 175 local anglers and more than 180 fish have been tagged.

Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized. 

The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast.  The 2011 tournament schedule is as follows: 

  • April 2 Lafitte, Seaway Marina;
  • April 30 Lake Calcasieu, Calcasieu Point Landing;
  • May 14 Venice, Venice Marina;
  • June 18 Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina;
  • July 23 Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock;
  •  August 20 Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina; and
  • Championship October 7 and 8 Empire, The Delta Marina.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday, May 12 at noon, but those interested in participating can register at Venice Marina from 5 to 6 a.m., the morning of the event.  Only cash or checks will be accepted for payment of registration fees the morning of the event. 

Venice Marina will provide food during weigh-in for all registered participants. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms 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.

 

LDWF Reminds Commercial Fishermen of Spring Shrimp Season Dates

Release Date: 05/09/2011

2011 spring shrimp season

Seasons remain unchanged for now

May 9, 2011 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials remind fishermen the 2011 Spring Shrimp Season will remain unchanged.  The season for Louisiana waters was set at last week’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. 

The 2011 Louisiana shrimp season will open as follows:

Shrimp Management Zone 1

  • The portion of Zone 1 from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the northern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) will open at 6 a.m., May 23.
  • The portion of Zone 1 from the northern shore of the MRGO to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

Shrimp Management Zone 2

  • The portion of Zone 2 west of the western shore of Bayou Lafourche to open at 6 a.m., May 13.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from Bayou Lafourche to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m., May 16.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from the Atchafalaya River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island open last Friday May 6, at 6 a.m. and remains open.

Shrimp Management Zone 3

  • All of Zone 3, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line, to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

 

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 the latest information on rising levels Mississippi River visit www.emergency.la.gov

 

State Officials Advise Public to Stay Off of Levees, Remain Safe During Flood Conditions

Release Date: 05/09/2011

May 9, 2011 - As area spillways are opened in an effort to relieve pressure on levee systems, state officials today cautioned residents that state law prohibits driving on levees and parking on shoulders of roadways. In addition to motorists exposing themselves to hazardous conditions from rising water levels, vehicles driven on top of levees can cause damage to levee infrastructures and obstruct official vehicles.

Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas warns, "By driving on our levees, citizens are undermining the stability of our levee system and interfering with flood prevention work.  Additionally, given the height and speed of the water, it is extremely dangerous to be so close to the river."

Louisiana State Police along with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be patrolling affected areas throughout the state for potentially dangerous situations and motorists and/or boaters creating a hazard.

LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne states, "As the rivers continue to rise and flood waters are expected in certain areas we urge everyone to put safety first, high river levels and flood waters can be extremely dangerous, please exercise extreme caution."

If members of the public observe unsafe drivers or situations, they are urged to call *LSP (*577) and report this activity to the nearest State Police office. For information on road construction or detours, please use the motorist information system and dial "511" or visit www.lsp.org

 

Motorists are reminded to follow the following safety guidelines when encountering flooded roadways:

Do not drive through flooded areas. If you come across a flooded road, turn around and find another route to your destination. Do not drive around barricades.

Do not try to cross flooded roads where the water appears to be shallow.

Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water.

If your car stalls, abandon it and climb to higher ground. Wait for the waters to subside.

One foot of water will float many vehicles.

Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger vehicles, causing drivers to lose control of the car or possible stalling.

Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles, including pick-up trucks and SUVs.

Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

 

With the potential of floodwaters affecting residential communities, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals offers the following safety guidelines:

There is always the possibility that flooding will cause sewage treatment systems (both community and residential) to fail, contaminating the floodwaters and exposing people to disease-causing bacteria.

Wading in the water could pose a health risk if it enters the body through an exposed wound.

If you have been in contact with floodwaters, showering with soap and water is sufficient.  There is no risk for hepatitis A, typhoid or cholera.

Be on the lookout for dangerous wildlife in the floodwaters such as snakes, rats, alligators or any frightened animal. If you see wild animals, stay away.

Do not drink or ingest floodwater because it may contain disease-causing bacteria or viruses.

If you live in an area that has experienced recent flooding and your private water well has lost power or been contaminated by floodwater, boil the water before drinking it.

Assume everything touched by floodwater is contaminated with bacteria and will have to be disinfected.  People are advised to wash their hands frequently during cleanup and always wear rubber gloves.

 

LDWF personnel will be available to respond to situations involving wildlife species that move into populated areas or become stranded by high water.

For assistance with the removal of black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

For assistance with any other wildlife issues, within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley flood plain, call one of the following LDWF Field Offices: Monroe, ph. 318-343-4044; Opelousas, ph. 337-948-0255; Pineville, ph. 318-487-5885; Hammond, ph. 985-543-4777; and New Iberia, ph. 337-373-0032. The public is directed not to feed stranded wildlife and avoid disturbance of wildlife displaced by flood waters.

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