Wildlife

Sixteen Birds Saved from Deepwater Horizon Oil Impacts Released at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge

Release Date: 07/28/2010

State and federal biologists today released back into the wild 13 laughing gulls and two royal terns and one sandwich tern rehabilitated after rescue from oil impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) in Grand Chenier, LA, was selected by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as the release site because it has not been impacted by oil and it contains natural habitat for these species.

"This refuge and nearby natural areas provide these birds the best chance of survival and success," said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. "We hope to release more rehabilitated birds in state in coming weeks."

The birds released today were treated at the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Hammond.  To date, over 550 birds have been treated and released in this massive wildlife rescue and recovery effort.  Two other birds not injured from the spill, but rehabilitated at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, were released at Rockefeller SWR as well.

Rockefeller SWR, located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes, is managed by LDWF's Coastal and Non-game Resources Division.

The 76,000-acre refuge area borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 miles and extends inland toward the Grand Chenier ridge, six miles from the Gulf.

For more information related to Louisiana's response to Tropical Storm Bonnie and the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEPGOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

2010-225

WHITE LAKE PROPERTY ADVISORY BOARD TO MEET

Release Date: 07/19/2010

 

The next regular Advisory Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Room (first floor), located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.  

The following items will be discussed:

1.    Roll Call

2.    Approval of Minutes of October 15, 2009 Meeting

3.    Department Financial Report

4.    Report on Marsh Maneuvers Held at White Lake ? Dr. Steve Linscombe

5.    Update on Whooping Crane Re-Introduction ? Ms. Carrie Salyers/Mr. Bob Love

6.    Status of Agricultural and Hunting Leases ? Mr. Buddy Baker

7.    Ongoing and Potential Research Discussion ? Dr. Eddie Lyons

8.    Consider a proposal by Armond Schwing to amend the White Lake Property Advisory Board Bylaws to deal with absentee board members ? Mr. Armond Schwing

9.    Consider a Resolution Pertaining to the White Lake Fund ? Mr. Sean Gayle

10. Other Business

11. Public Comment

12. Adjournment

2010 -221

Water-Control Structure at Catahoula Lake now Automated

Release Date: 07/15/2010

 

The Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) has upgraded the water-control structure on the Diversion Canal at Catahoula Lake so that it can be operated remotely during periods of drawdown, reflooding, or in response to rainfall events.

The objectives in automating the structure operation were to eliminate the need for on-site personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?s (USFWS) Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge and reduce the response time when an operation is deemed necessary.

The public can expect more responsive management of water-levels at Catahoula Lake. Local citizens are encouraged to report any observed damage to the structure or associated equipment to the Corps of Engineers at 318-339-7839 or Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) at 318-487-5885.

Catahoula Lake is managed through a tri-party agreement between the USACOE, USFWS and LDWF with an established management plan. Operation of the water-control structure is an important component of that management plan, and remote operation will now take place from the Jonesville Lock and Dam on the Black River.

In addition, Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge will no longer be providing information on water levels on the lake via telephone. Catahoula Lake users are encouraged to use the data from the gauge located at the center of the lake which is posted at:

http://www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/WaterControl/stationinfo2.cfm?sid=CE5EEFD8&fid=&dt=S

For more information, please contact Steve Smith at 318-487-5885 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

2010-216

Update on Oiled Wildlife and Marine Life Recovered Along Louisiana's Coastline

Release Date: 07/14/2010

 

The rescue of oiled wildlife impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to be an important mission for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Working closely with state, federal and contracted forces assembled to rescue birds, sea turtles and marine mammals, LDWF biologists patrol coastal waters and marshes daily searching for wildlife in distress.

Wildlife rescue forces also respond to calls received via the oiled wildlife response hotline at 1-866-557-1401.

Through Wednesday, July 14, rescue numbers include the following breakdown:

BIRDS (Overview for duration of response) -

2,986 total birds collected within the five-state impact area (LA, MS, AL, FL, TX).

Louisiana bird collections only:

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/7x9/orange_arrow.gif); ">
  • 1,555 total birds processed in LA through Fort Jackson rehabilitation center in Buras, LA.
  • 837 birds collected alive.
  • 718 birds dead on arrival at rehabilitation center, euthanized due to extent of injury or dead after rehabilitation efforts unsuccessful.
  • 461 birds treated and released. 
    MARINE REPTILES & MAMMALS (Overview for duration of response) --

660 sea turtles collected in the five-state impact zone.

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/7x9/orange_arrow.gif); ">
  • 106 sea turtles of the total above were collected in LA waters (9 recovered alive; 97 dead).
  • 64 dolphins have been collected in the five-state impact area -
  • 35 dolphins were from LA waters (1 recovered alive; 34 dead).

Wildlife impact numbers are reported to the Unified Area Command from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, incident area commands, rehabilitation centers, and other authorized sources operating within the Deepwater Horizon/BP incident impact area.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

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

2010-214

Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative Begins

Release Date: 07/12/2010

 

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) to improve the overall health of the basin.  Many activities contribute to nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), including farming.  Increased nutrients can result in diminished water quality, affecting fish and wildlife habitat locally as well as many miles downstream as exhibited by the hypoxic zone (Dead Zone) in the Gulf of Mexico.   Louisiana is one of twelve river states that was selected to develop systems of practices to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin (MRB).

Projects were developed by organizations or agencies that have historically worked closely with NRCS.  The projects constitute true partnerships with 11 - 16 partners represented on each project, hence the term cooperative conservation partnership initiative (CCPI) to describe each project.  The NRCS and its partners will help producers within four sub-segments of three watersheds in Louisiana's MRB to voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, or trap nutrient runoff, improve wildlife habitat, and maintain agricultural productivity.  As such, this program is not a crop retirement program, but rather a working lands program that provides a comprehensive approach to lands management.

A unique feature of this initiative is the required water quality monitoring within the watersheds, thus allowing the objective evaluation of impacts on water quality within the selected areas.  That is one reason the participation areas are limited in size.  Having the focused areas provide the venues for demonstrating effective management of nutrients with the system of practices voluntarily implemented can provide a blueprint for expansion of efforts.

Persons interested in learning more about the MRBI for the Bayou Chene watershed can contact: Mike Perry, Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator, Bayou Chene project coordinator; for the Bayou Lafourche watershed: Mike Schooler, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Bayou Lafourche project coordinator; and for Upper Joe's Bayou: Donna Remides, Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator, Upper Joe's Bayou project coordinator.

Areas selected for this multiyear project are within the work areas of three of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' private lands biologists who assist with development of wildlife interests into plans.  Kori Legleu (337-491-2574 orklegleu@wlf.la.gov) will be working with partners on the Bayou Chene watershed.  John Hanks (318-343-4044 orjhanks@wlf.la.gov) will be assisting the various partners delivering the program on the two Bayou Lafourche projects and Cliff Dailey (318-343-4044) or cdailey@wlf.la.gov will be work with participants on the Upper Joe's Bayou watershed.

List of Participants

Important contacts:

Bayou Chene (Lower Mermentau Watershed)

mike.perry@la.usda.gov
Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator
Bayou Chene Project Coordinator
337-824-0975 ext.5

frank.chapman@la.usda.gov
NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Charles Field Office
337-436-5020 ext. 3

Bayou Lafourche (Boeuf River Watershed)

michael.schooler@la.nacdnet.net 
Office of Soil and Water Conservation
Bayou Lafourche Projects Coordinator
318-387-8683 ext. 19

larry.phillips@la.usda.gov
NRCS District Conservationist
Rayville Field Office
318-728-4451 Ext.3

Upper Joe's Bayou (Bayou Macon Watershed)                            

donna.remides@la.usda.gov
Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator
Upper Joe's Bayou Project Coordinator
318-435-7328

eran.robinson@la.usda.gov
NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Providence Field Office
318-559-2604 ext.3

For more information, contact Mike Olinde at 225-765-2353 or molinde@wlf.la.gov.

2010-212

Other Public Uses and Nature Trips

Other Public Uses and Nature Trips

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has established dates of Feb. 1st – May 31st for non-hunting public use of White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area facilities. Uses may include nature photography, bird watching, skeet shooting, marsh tours, educational trips and business retreats. For profit or commercial activities are prohibited.  

WLWCA is located south of Gueydan and includes 71,000 acres of wetlands, freshwater marsh, agricultural property, and lodge facilities that can accommodate group meetings for 12 to 15 attendees, depending upon day or overnight use requirements.

The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, are available at rental rates that vary based on the level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access. LDWF biologists will be available upon request for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area.

The following rules apply on these trips:

1.  Safety is a primary consideration. All visitors must adhere to posted safety rules and directions provided by site staff while on the property.

2.  Access will be provided at a designated parking area.

3.  Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access. Group participants must arrive at the White Lake WCA boat dock at the designated departure time (9:00AM for day use; no later than 4:00PM for overnight use). The site boat dock is located at the southernmost end of La. Highway 91, south of Gueydan.

4.  Boat guides for boat tours and biologists for lecture sessions must be requested in advance of group’s arrival on site.

5.  No permit or license is required for White Lake WCA visitors using the site for public access activities.

6.  No firearms may be brought onto the WCA unless authorized by LDWF.

7.  Visitors must adhere to No Littering rules on site.

8.  A deposit of $100.00 is required to reserve a date on the public access schedule.

9.  Site use may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from Feb. 1st to May 31st.

10.  Site use will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis pending facility and staff availability, which will only accommodate 1 group per day/week.

11.  Arrangements for site use must be made 2 weeks in advance to allow for staff scheduling.

 

The Fee Schedule for public use is as follows:

Day Use (9:00AM to 3:00PM, for up to 15 people)

  • $300- Includes one-day use of the lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. Typical uses include meetings or bird watching around the lodge facilities during the spring Neotropical bird migration.
  • $300 + $10/person- Includes one-day use of lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided.
  • $300 + $20/person- Includes one-day use of the lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.
  • Exemptions from day-use lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Overnight Use (Day 1: arrive between 2-4:00PM; Day 2: depart at 1:00PM; for up to 12 people)

  • $400 + $25/person/night – Includes overnight stay at the lodge with only linens provided
  • $400 + $35/person/night – Includes overnight stay at the lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.
  • $900 + $35/person/night – Includes overnight stay at the lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (supper, breakfast, and lunch) and linens provided.
  • Exemptions from overnight lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for day or overnight use)

  • $10/person for 25 clay targets
  • $15/person for 25 clay targets with 25 shotgun shells provided
  • Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events

Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for day or overnight use)

  • $10/person for a 1.5 hour ride through the marsh
  • Exemptions – Any state, local, or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects, or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.

For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1 or Schuyler Dartez at ext. 2.

 

 

BLACK BEAR KILLED IN WALKER FOLLOWING AUTO INCIDENT

Release Date: 06/30/2010

A Louisiana black bear was killed Tuesday night after being hit by an automobile and then shot by a Walker Police officer following a close encounter at the accident scene.

A Walker Police Department officer arrived on the scene at Burgess Ave. near Tiffany St. around 11 p.m. to investigate the auto incident and determine what kind of animal the vehicle had struck. The driver was not able to identify the animal before it moved into a wooded area near the accident site. While searching the wooded area for the animal that was struck, the officer came upon the black bear, startling the injured bear and forcing the officer to react in self defense.

Dr. Jim LaCour, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) veterinarian, determined the bear had moderate to severe internal injuries from the vehicle accident, but could not determine if the bear would have survived those injuries.

The bear was an adult male weighing between 350 and 400 pounds. LDWF records indicate the bear was previously captured in 2008 in Patterson, but had not been reported as a nuisance bear since.  Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.

"The breeding season is June and July for black bears in Louisiana, so we are right in the middle of their peak activity," said Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager.  "Male bears will travel miles daily to look for possible mates and will cross roadways in the process."

Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people.  Anyone seeing a bear in their neighborhood should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24-hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or 225-931-3061.

2010-201

Black Bear Killed on Hwy. 70 Near Belle River

Release Date: 06/29/2010

A Louisiana black bear was killed Sunday when struck accidentally by an automobile while crossing LA Hwy. 70 near Belle River on the St. Martin-Assumption Parish line.

The bear had been reported in the Oaks at Belle River subdivision around dusk and was struck by a passing motorist after sunset, as it accessed the highway by swimming across Belle River.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) records indicate the bear was previously captured in the Patterson area in the summer of 2008 and subjected to aversive conditioning on site. Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.

"It's the breeding season for the Louisiana black bear," according to Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager. "Male bears are traveling long distances in search of mates and consequently are crossing roadways in the process. This bear was a young adult male weighing approximately 250 pounds."

Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people.  If a person sees a bear in their neighborhood they should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24 hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.

The St. Martin Parish Sheriff?s Office, Assumption Parish Sheriff?s Office and LDWF Enforcement and Wildlife Division personnel were all part of the weekend response effort. 

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or 225-931-3061.

2010-201

Ouachita Parish Man Cited for Possession of Spotted Fawn

Release Date: 06/25/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Ouachita Parish man for allegedly possessing a spotted fawn on June 21.

Agents received a complaint that Danny Underwood, 45, of West Monroe, had a spotted fawn inside a mobile home in the Bawcomville community.  Agents made contact with Underwood and he admitted to catching the fawn earlier in the day.  The fawn was seized and released to the LDWF Wildlife Division.

The penalty for possessing a spotted fawn is a fine up to $750 and jail time between 15 and 30 days.

Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Duane Taylor and Agent Scott Bullitt.

For more information, contact Capt. Alan Bankston at abankston@wlf.la.gov or 318-362-3139.

2010-E37

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