Wildlife

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/11/2012

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 25-29 and again from July 23-27.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.

"Last year’s first ever summer camp proved so successful that we wanted to do two this year.  These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.  Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combo sets for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp2012 by May 25.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

“We want to teach children how much fun and exciting it can be by spending time outside enjoying all that Louisiana has to offer,” said Secretary Barham.  “These camps also get the kids out of the house away from their video games and computers for a week during their summer break.  They will catch some fish, paddle canoes and shoot skeet and for some this might be their first time ever doing any of these activities.”

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The 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.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

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

December 2011 Survey

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L.W.F.C. Welcomes New Commissioner, Elects Chairman and Vice Chairman

Release Date: 01/05/2012

January 5, 2012 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) today welcomed Pat Manuel of Eunice to the appointed panel. Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Manuel in December, replacing Pat Morrow, whose term had expired.

Manuel will serve as an at large representative on the commission, as required by statute. He owns and operates Manco Vegetation Management.

In other action, the commission elected Ann Taylor as chairman and Ronny Graham as vice chairman for 2012.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission was created to protect, conserve and replenish the natural resources and wildlife of the state, including all aquatic life. The commission promulgates regulations for hunting, fishing and trapping and approves programs and policies for the management and conservation of all fish and wildlife in the state. 

According to the statute, the commission is comprised of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to senate confirmation.  Members include three residents of the coastal parishes of the state who are representatives of the commercial fishing and fur industries and four members from the state at large.

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

 

 

L.D.W.F. Receives Second Group of Whooping Cranes at White Lake W.C.A. as Part of Restoration Project

Release Date: 12/05/2011

Dec. 5, 2011– A second group of juvenile whooping cranes was delivered Dec. 1 to White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan as part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) species’ restoration project in progress.

“Our biologists will continue their work to establish a non-migratory population of whooping cranes in coastal Louisiana to assist with this endangered species recovery effort,” said Robert Barham, LDWF Secretary.

Sixteen whooping cranes were flown to southwest Louisiana on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) aircraft from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md. The White Lake location in Vermilion Parish is the site where 10 whooping cranes, the first cohort in the long-term restoration, were released in March. That group of birds marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.

"This is an impressive project launched by the Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to bring the whooping crane back to this part of its historic range and marks a bold step for its ultimate recovery," said Cindy Dohner, USFWS Southeast Regional Director. "We are excited about their work and proud of our partnership with Secretary Barham and his agency as we continue working together to bring this majestic bird back to Louisiana."

LDWF continues to work cooperatively with USFWS, USGS, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit  and the International Crane Foundation to bring the species back to the state. Project funding is derived from LDWF species restoration dedicated funds, federal grants and private/corporate donations.

"The USFWS Migratory Bird Program is honored to participate in the efforts of adding additional birds to the group of reintroduced wild whooping cranes to Louisiana." says Jerome Ford,  Assistant Director,Migratory Birds Program."Our pilot biologists werethrilled to contribute by using their Kodiak planes to ensure the whooping cranes’ safearrival."

The whooping cranes Louisiana receives are designated as a non-essential, experimental population (NEP) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation were developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area.

Of the 10 cranes released in March from White Lake, three have survived and continue to be tracked by transmitter devices attached to each bird.  Two cranes were killed by predators, one was euthanized due to illness, two are missing and unaccounted for and two were shot and killed on Oct. 9 in Jefferson Davis Parish. LDWF Enforcement Division agents have charged two juveniles, who were alleged to have been involved with the two crane deaths on Oct. 9, with taking non-game birds/no season.

Hunters, fishermen and anyone who spends time in the marshes and rice fields of southwest Louisiana should welcome the opportunity to see these magnificent birds. Although whooping cranes in Louisiana are considered an “experimental, non-essential population” under the Endangered Species Act, they are still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.

Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Mature whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand five feet tall and have a wingspan of 7-8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail. Standing whooping cranes also exhibit the bustle of rump feathers more pronounced than other large white birds.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-251 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 

For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit www.wlf.la.gov; or contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-7292. News media outlets interested in visiting the White Lake WCA facility can contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115. For photos, video footage and research documentation please visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes.

L.D.W.F. Advises Hunters to Remain Alert, Know Basic Safety Measures for Encounters with Black Bears

Release Date: 11/12/2011

Nov. 12, 2011 -The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising hunters to remain alert for possible encounters with black bears during hunting season.

With Louisiana’s growing black bear population the opportunities for bear sightings and encounters with bears has increased. Additionally, bears are actively foraging at this time of year to gain weight for denning season. LDWF urges hunters to carry bear spray as a personal protection alternative to firearms.

Recent reports of black bears on Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area at the southern edge of the Atchafalaya Basin have prompted LDWF to post signage that hunters need to take necessary safety precautions when hunting in this remote location. LDWF recommends the following for all hunters on public and private hunting property:  

Basic Tips for Hunters Statewide:

  • Corn used as bait will concentrate bear activity – consider an alternative food source.  It is recommended that hunters utilize food plots such as soy beans, when possible, which will be less likely to attract bears.
  • Be aware that bears forage for mast crops and will be attracted to food sources that attract deer.  Heavy mast crop trees may become a food source that bears will defend.

If You Are Approached by a Bear While Hunting:

  • Stand your ground, raise your arms to appear larger, speak in a normal voice and make the bear aware of your presence.  Back away slowly when possible.

  • If the bear continues to approach, stand your ground.  Prepare to use your bear spray per the manufacturer’s recommendation. This product can be easily carried in a belt holster and can be obtained via the Internet.

  • Never run from a bear, as this may trigger the bear’s chase instinct.

  • If attacked by a bear, defend yourself with any available weapon.

The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List.  LDWF’s Black Bear Program needs any information hunters can provide on a close encounter with a bear. For assistance with black bears in any situation that public safety is threatened, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free, seven days a week.

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 337-948-0255 or mdavidson@wlf.la.gov.  

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.

Jeffery Klinefelter Wins 2012 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/03/2011

2012 Louisiana Duck Stamp -- American Wigeon

Nov. 3, 2011 – Jeffery Klinefelter of Etna Green, Indiana, took home first place in the 2012 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on what is commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.

Klinefelter, who also won this contest for the 2008 Louisiana Duck Stamp, beat out 16 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 3 meeting as the 2012 winner.  Tom Crain of Branson, Missouri, a first-time entrant, came in second place, and third place went to 2009 winner Anthony Padgett from Noblesville, Indiana.  Last year, Wes Dewey of Kansas won the contest.

In addition to winning the 2008 contest, Klinefelter has previously won the Indiana Duck Stamp contest for 2011 and the 2011 Gamebird Stamp competition in California.  His painting of a male and female American wigeon at a marsh edge will be featured on the 2012 Louisiana Duck Stamp.

"The department was happy with the quantity of entries this year, and we continue to be impressed by the quality of the paintings," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  "Klinefelter’s painting showed exceptional attention to detail with the features and scale of American wigeon and will make an outstanding duck stamp."  

For the third consecutive year, LDWF held an open contest that allowed the artist to choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana for entry in the contest.  Only northern pintails and wood ducks, which were featured on the 2010 and 2011 duck stamps respectively, were not allowed.

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese.  This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $270,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.

The 2012 stamp, featuring Klinefelter's work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2012.  The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.

Judges for the competition were Dr. Frank Rohwer, Dr. Tommy Michot, R.C. Davis, Tex Plumley, and Bonnie Camos.  Rohwer is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU, and the Scientific Director for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation. Michot is a long-time wetland/waterfowl research biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S.G.S. National Wetland Research Center and is now a faculty member at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Davis, a professional artist from Amite, is a past winner of the Louisiana Duck Stamp contest for the 1998-99 stamp design. Plumley is the president of Billeaud Companies, a real-estate development company in Lafayette, and the current state chairman of Ducks Unlimited. Camos is an exhibiting artist, curator and art instructor in Lafayette who was an official Festival International de Louisiane artist in 2010.

For more information on the contest, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456. To obtain a high-resolution digital image of the winning entry, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter@LDWF.

 

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