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LDWF News Release

LWFC Okays Resolutions Adding Acreage to Peason Ridge, Tunica Hills WMAs

Release Date: 09/29/2016

Sept. 29, 2016 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved resolutions to add land to the Peason Ridge and Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) during its monthly meeting in September in Baton Rouge.
 
Peason Ridge WMA will add 23,300 acres and Tunica Hills WMA 627 acres.
 
The Peason Ridge WMA acreage addition increases the WMA’s size to more than 74,000 acres. Peason Ridge WMA is located 18 miles north of Leesville and in Vernon, Sabine and Natchitoches parishes.
 
Tunica Hills WMA will grow to more than 6,500 acres with the added land, being provided by the Office of State Parks. Tunica Hills WMA is composed of two separate tracts lying northwest of St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish.
 
Peason Ridge WMA is owned by the U.S. Army and maintained by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Hunting, fishing and trapping are permitted on the WMA. Camping is not permitted but is allowed on adjacent U.S. Forest Service lands.
 
Game species available for hunting include deer, squirrel, rabbit, quail, woodcock, dove and turkey. Bow hunting is allowed for deer. Trapping is allowed for raccoon, fox, bobcat, skunk, opossum, mink and coyote. All hunters and trappers must obtain an annual permit from the U.S. Army and daily check-in is required.
 
Tunica Hills WMA, owned by LDWF and Department of Recreation and Tourism, Office of State Parks, is open to a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, trapping, birdwatching, hiking, horseback riding, bike riding, sightseeing and photography. Hunting is allowed at specified times for deer, turkey and small game. Trapping is allowed for coyote, fox, bobcat, raccoon and opossum. A tent-only camping area is located off of Parker Road on the South Tract. 
 
For more information on Peason Ridge WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2792 or contact the LDWF Lake Charles field office at 337-491-2575.
 
For more information on Tunica Hills WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2752 or contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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Fordoche Men Cited for Deer Hunting Violations in Parish

Release Date: 09/27/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged deer hunting violations on Sept. 25 in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Agents cited Ashton J. Prejean, 22, and James Scott 19, both of Fordoche, for taking deer during a closed season, taking deer during illegal hours with artificial light and possession of illegally taken deer.

Agents found Prejean and Scott in possession of an illegally taken four point buck.  During the investigation agents learned that the deer was taken several nights prior to the investigation with a crossbow and spotlight at night in the vicinity of Fordoche.

Agents seized a crossbow, spotlight and the deer.

Taking deer during a closed season and during illegal hours with artificial light each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Prejean and Scott could face civil restitution for the illegally taken deer totaling $1624.61.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agents Channing Duvall and Tyler Smith.

Gulf Council to Host Coral Stakeholder Engagement Meeting

Release Date: 09/26/2016

The Gulf of Mexico will host a Coral Stakeholder Engagement Meeting in Louisiana to educate fishermen using bottom contacting gear on the importance of deep-water coral reef habitats, and to gather input on potential coral protection mechanisms and proposed areas that may warrant Habitat Area of Particular concern designation. 
 
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. local time with a brief presentation on deep-water corals. Staff will then describe proposed protections on priority areas that have been identified by the Council’s scientific and fishermen advisors. The proposed expansion of the Flower Garden Sanctuary will be included in the presentation. Finally, staff will take comments to gather local knowledge on deep-water coral areas and discuss any unintended consequences that may occur as a result of management action.
 
Monday, September 26, 2016 
Courtyard Marriott
142 Library Drive
Houma, Louisiana
(985)223-8996 
 
Click here to submit comments online: 
 
http://gulfcouncil.org/council_meetings/comment_forms/Deep%20Sea%20Coral%20Amendment%205.php

Sabine Island Wildlife Management Area Will Have Limited Access for 4-6 Weeks

Release Date: 09/23/2016

Sept. 23, 2016 – Sabine Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Calcasieu Parish will have limited access for the next 4-6 weeks due to the closure of Niblett’s Bluff Park in Vinton, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced.
 
The Pier Road public boat launch in Orange, Texas, can still be used to access Sabine Island WMA.
 
Niblett’s Bluff Park was severely damaged during floods in March and is not expected to reopen for another 4-6 weeks. It is the primary boat launch point for Sabine Island WMA.
 
Self clearing permit regulations for the use of Sabine Island WMA will be suspended until Nov. 1, 2016. Hunters are encouraged to report game harvested on Sabine Island WMA to the LDWF Lake Charles Field Office (337-491-2575).
 
Sabine Island WMA is located on 8,743 acres in west-central Calcasieu Parish between Vinton and Starks. It is completely surrounded by water and access to the WMA is by boat only. For more information on the Sabine Island WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2775 .
 
For more information, contact Wendell Smith at the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2575, extension 3022, or at wsmith@wlf.la.gov.

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Temporary Boat Launch Opened at Catahoula Lake Diversion Canal on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 09/23/2016

Temporary boat launch at Catahoula Lake Diversion Canal at Dewey W. Wills WMA.

Sept. 23, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has opened a temporary boat launch at the Catahoula Lake Diversion Canal at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area. The temporary launch is located adjacent to the permanent one.
 
LDWF is repairing the permanent launch, which was damaged by severe erosion, and will announce its reopening at a later date.

Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .
 

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Oyster Task Force Coastal Restoration Subcommittee to Meet

Release Date: 09/23/2016

OTF Coastal Restoration Subcommittee

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 11:00 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122

 

AGENDA

 

I.               Call to Order

II.             To hear the presentation: Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert

Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs- Natalie Peyronnin

III.           Public Comment

IV.           Set next meeting

V.             Adjourn

 

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/590619541043204097

 

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.

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 09/22/2016

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m. in the second floor conference room of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.  

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1.     Roll Call of Board Members

2.     Approval of Minutes from August 23, 2016 Meeting

3.     Hearing of Deferred Renewal Permit Appeals

a.     Randy Chaisson, Sr.

4.     Update on Recommendations Made at August 23, 2016 Meeting

5.     Receive Public Comments

6.     Set next meeting date

7.     Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.

 

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov.  

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 09/21/2016

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

AGENDA:

I.Roll call and introduction of guests

II.Approval of August 23, 2016 Meeting Minutes and September 27, 2016 Agenda

III.Treasury Report

A.      Oyster Tag Sales

B.      LOTF Financial Report

IV.Committee Reports

A.      Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)

B.      Enforcement (Captain Chad Hebert)

C.      Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.     Research (Earl Melancon)

E.      Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.      Marketing (LDWF)

G.      Health (Lance Broussard)

H.     Sustainability (LDWF)

I.        Professionalism (LDWF)

J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)

 

V.New Business

A.Update on the Findings of Surveying Area 1-N and Calcasieu Lake- LDWF

B.Discussion of the NOI to Amend Title 76 as it Pertains to Oyster Leasing- LDWF

C.Update on oyster sampling in Barataria Basin for System Wide Assessment & Monitoring Program (SWAMP) – CPRA

D. To Hear a Presentation on the Pearl River Project- Andrew Whitehurst

E.Discussion of the Hardships Facing Oystermen Engaged in Aquaculture- Byron Encalade

 

VI.Public Comment

VII.Set Next Meeting

VIII.Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/693968136452161794

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.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LDWF releases stock assessments previously held due to DWH litigation

Release Date: 09/20/2016

Today, LDWF published several stock assessments that were previously unreleased due to ongoing Deepwater Horizon litigation. 

Recently released assessments include:

·     Update Assessment of Blue Crab

·     Update Assessment of Striped Mullet

·     Assessment of Black Drum

·     Assessment of Southern Flounder

·     Assessment of Sheepshead

·     Update Assessment of Spotted Seatrout

·     Oyster Stock Assessment - 2014

 

A list of recent LDWF fisheries stock assessments can be found at: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/stock-assessments. Earlier stock assessments may be obtained upon request from Rene LeBreton, rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.

On April 4th, 2016, the Court approved the settlement between the United States, the five Gulf States and BP for damages stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

 

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.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF Explores Lifting Moratorium on Special Artificial Reef Sites

Release Date: 09/20/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Program is considering lifting an 8-year moratorium on Special Artificial Reef Sites (SARS). The program feels unique opportunities for creating reef sites outside of artificial reef planning areas still exist and should explore these potential opportunities and improve guidelines for SARS development.
 
In the 1990s, the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program amended the Louisiana Artificial Reef Plan to allow the program to take advantage of unusual opportunities to create reef sites outside of the program’s existing planning areas, referred to as SARS.  Twenty-two SARS were established or permitted, but a moratorium was established on news SARS in 2008.
 
The program is seeking both questions and comment on this proposal for 30 days.  For more information or to submit a comment, contact Mike McDonough at (225) 765-5418 or mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov.

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