LDWF News Release

LDWF to Hold Lake Bistineau Public Meeting

Release Date: 10/27/2016


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will conduct an informational meeting concerning Lake Bistineau.
Who:  LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff
What:  Public information meeting on Lake Bistineau
When:  Thursday, November 3, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.
Where:    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Region 1 Office
                Jonathan Glasscock Memorial Classroom
                9961 Hwy. 80
                Minden, LA 71055
The meeting will include an update on the current status of the lake, and LDWF staff will field questions concerning the management of the lake and giant salvinia.  Everyone interested in Lake Bistineau is encouraged to attend. 
Space is limited to 100 individuals, so please keep this in mind when making plans to attend.  
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
For additional information regarding the meetings, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.

Louisiana Shrimp Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 10/27/2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 10:00 a.m.
Terrebonne Council Meeting Room
8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360
I.       Roll call and introduction of guests
II.      Approval of July 13, 2016 meeting minutes and November 2, 2016 agenda
III.     Treasury Report
                A.  Budget report- LDWF
IV.     Old Business
                A.     Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Update- Myron Fischer
                B.     Update on the Status of Shrimp Permits- Myron Fischer
V.      New Business
                A.     Update on the Inside/ Outside Line- Jeff Marx
                B.     Sustainability Update- Fisheries Improvement Plan- Damon Morris
                C.     Discussion of Experimental Gear Program- Cole Garrett
                D.     Update on the Refrigeration Grant Program- Richard Williams
                E.     To Consider Funding the Seafood Promotions and Marketing Board-  
                F.     Discussion of Ethics Procedures, Reports, and Violations- George Barisich
                G.     Discussion of Trawl Board Gear Regulations- Acy Cooper
                H.    Discussion of Shrimp/ Crab Task Force Appointees- Acy Cooper
                I.      Discussion of the LA Authentic Wild Seafood Program- Acy Cooper
                J.       Discussion of Seafood Label of Origin- Acy Cooper
VI.       Public Comment
VII.      Set Quarterly Meetings
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:

Southeast Texas Man Sentenced to 5 Years Probation, Must Pay Nearly $26,000 for Killing Two Louisiana Whooping Cranes

Release Date: 10/27/2016

Oct. 27, 2016 – A Southeast Texas man was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation and ordered to pay nearly $26,000 in restitution for killing two endangered whooping cranes in January from an experimental Louisiana population.
Trey Joseph Frederick, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of taking a whooping crane under the Endangered Species Act in May, was sentenced by a federal magistrate in Beaumont, Texas. In addition to probation and the fine, Frederick, 19, is prohibited from possessing firearms and cannot hunt or fish in the United States for five years. He must also perform 200 hours of community service.
Frederick faced a fine of up to $50,000 and as much as a year in jail.
The cranes were found dead in Jefferson County, located in southeast Texas, on Jan. 11. These birds, a male and female, were almost two years old and were part of a group introduced in Louisiana in an effort to establish a self-sustaining population.
Although originally released in Louisiana at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) near Gueydan, the two whooping cranes, along with two other birds from Louisiana, had been in southeast Texas for more than eight months.
“We’re pleased with the sentence and appreciate how seriously the judge and prosecutor took this case,’’ said LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon. “We are grateful to the state and federal law enforcement agents who worked this case and to everyone else who assisted to ensure that justice was served. We hope this sentence sends a strong message that this type of crime won’t be tolerated. We also hope, in this tragedy, that we can further educate the public about whooping cranes.’’
The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by Texas and Louisiana state law.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is working cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state.
“It was incredibly frustrating to lose two birds in this senseless act,’’ said LDWF whooping crane biologist Sara Zimorski. “But it has not, in any way, discouraged our efforts in bringing back whooping cranes to Louisiana. We continue to move forward with our work and are seeing positive gains.’’
Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese. However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-8 feet make them very distinctive. In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.
Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report their sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 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. Citizen Observer, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.
Donations in support of the cranes can be made through the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation by contacting Kell McInnis at 225-765-5100, kmcinnis@wlf.la.gov, or visiting the Foundation’s website directly at http://lawff.org/index.html. Donations can also be mailed directly to the Foundation at P.O. Box 80378 Baton Rouge, LA 70898-0378.
For more information on the Louisiana Whooping Crane Project, contact Eva Szyszkoski at eszyszkoski@wlf.la.gov or 608-477-0270.


LDWF Temporarily Closes East Road at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 10/27/2016

Oct. 27, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has temporarily closed East Road to all traffic at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Replacement of the U.S. Highway 80 bridge across the LaFourche Canal has forced the closure. Construction activities will temporarily block vehicular, as well as ATV/UTV, access to the entrance of East Road. When the entrance is clear of equipment and construction activities, the road will be reopened.
Russell Sage WMA is located in Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, and Caldwell parishes and is approximately seven miles east of Monroe and ten miles west of Rayville.
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777 or contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.


LDWF to Extend False River Boat Launch to Aid Boaters During Drawdown

Release Date: 10/25/2016

Oct. 25, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the Point Coupee Parish Police Jury has begun work to extend the False River public boat launch adjacent to Morel’s Restaurant in New Roads. The project is designed to improve boating access during the current drawdown.
The drawdown, which began in September, will continue through Jan. 15, 2017. The drawdown structure will then be closed and the lake allowed to return to its normal level.
“The drawdown is a key component to the LDWF False River Restoration Plan,’’ LDWF Inland Fisheries Program Manager Ricky Moses said.
The drawdown is recommended as a management tool to improve water quality, decrease sedimentation and improve sportfish habitat.
The lake is open to fishing and other recreational use during the drawdown. However, caution is advised for boaters during the low-water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater structures. 
For additional information regarding the drawdown and boat launch extension, contact Brian Heimann, LDWF Biologist Manager, at bheimann@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2337. 


LDWF to Host Three NASP Basic Archery Instructor Certification Courses in November

Release Date: 10/25/2016

LDWF to Host Three NASP Basic Archery Instructor Certification Courses in November

Oct. 25, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold three National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) basic archery instructor courses Nov. 5, Nov. 10 and Nov. 12. The courses will be held in New Iberia (Nov. 5), Oak Grove (Nov. 10) and Elmer (Nov. 12).
All three courses will run from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  The courses are as follows:
Nov. 5 at Belle Place Middle School in New Iberia;
Nov. 10 at West Carroll Parish Media Center in Oak Grove;
Nov. 12 at Oak Hill Elementary in Elmer.
This eight-hour course will provide certification to educators who want to bring the NASP/Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) curriculum to their schools. The NASP/ALAS program introduces students in grades 3-12 to international target style archery as part of their in-school curriculum and is available to all schools in Louisiana.  All professional educators are welcome to attend. 
All training materials and equipment is provided and there is no cost for the course for professional educators. There are a limited number of spots available in each course and they will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  You may register for the class online at http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA
For more information, contact LDWF ALAS Coordinator Robert Stroede at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276.


New Duck Hunting Zone Boundaries Will Be in Effect for the 2016-17 Waterfowl Season

Release Date: 10/24/2016

New waterfowl zone boundaries

Oct. 24, 2016 – New zone boundaries for Louisiana duck hunters will go into effect beginning Nov. 5 as the season opens with youth waterfowl weekend in the coastal and west zones. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted the new boundaries in November of 2015 for the 2016-17 hunting season.
“We changed from two zones to three in 2012,” said Larry Reynolds, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Waterfowl Program Manager. “Now the boundaries of those zones are being modified to better fit the desires of rice growers and hunters in particular parts of the state.”
Zones can be changed every five years. These new boundaries will be in effect for the 2016-17 through the 2020-21 waterfowl hunting seasons.  
The accompanying map depicts the new zone boundaries with colored areas where hunters are now in different zones than in the previous four years.
Specifically, the new boundaries are:
East Zone: The area of the state between the Mississippi state line and the line going south on Hwy. 79 from the Arkansas  border to Homer; then south on Hwy. 9 to Arcadia; then south on Hwy. 147 to Hodge; then south on Hwy. 167 to Turkey Creek; then south on Hwy. 13 to Eunice; then west on Hwy.190 to Kinder; then south on Hwy. 165 to Iowa; then west on I-10 to its junction with Hwy. 14 at Lake Charles; then south and east on Hwy. 14 to its junction with Hwy. 90 in New Iberia; then east on Hwy. 90 to the Mississippi state line.
West Zone: The area between the Texas state line and the line going east on I-10 from the Texas border to Hwy. 165 at Iowa; then north on Hwy. 165 to Kinder; then east on Hwy. 190 to Eunice; then north on Hwy. 13 to Turkey Creek; then north on Hwy. 167 to Hodge; then north on Hwy. 147 to Arcadia; then north on Hwy. 9 to Homer; then north on Hwy. 79 to the Arkansas border.
Coastal Zone: Remainder of state.
The major changes include moving a large amount of rice-growing acreage in Evangeline, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, and Vermilion parishes from the coastal to the east zone; and moving a portion of northwest Louisiana from the east zone to the west zone. Hunters should review the new map to verify their waterfowl hunting zone and then check associated hunting season dates.
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.


New Regulations Governing Night-time Take of Outlaw Quadrupeds Now in Effect, LDWF Announces

Release Date: 10/21/2016

Oct. 21, 2016 – New regulations requiring permits for the night-time take of outlaw quadrupeds, nutria and beaver on private property have gone into effect, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced Thursday (Oct. 20).
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent for the regulations with amendments during its June meeting. To view the regulations, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
The permit will be valid for a period of one year from July 1-June 30 the following year, however, they may only be used from Sept. 1 of each year through the final day of February of the next year. Permits may be renewed annually without additional application.
Permittees may take outlaw quadrupeds, nutria or beaver during nighttime hours on private property from one-half hour after official sunset until one-half hour before official sunrise. 
The proposed changes are designed to streamline the application process and alleviate concerns relative to depredation and property damage by outlaw quadrupeds, nutria and beaver.
For more information, contact Melissa Collins at 225-763-8584 or


Elmer's Island to Close for Construction

Release Date: 10/13/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in coordination with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will close Elmer’s Island and its access road to the public on Monday, October 24 for construction.
The 7-day closure will allow time for road repairs and installation of a parking area at the end of the access road.  Vehicular traffic on the access road will resume once repairs are complete.
Elmer’s Island Refuge is located approximately 50 miles south of New Orleans, at the southern end of Jefferson Parish, where the Barataria Estuary meets the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge is bordered by Highway 1 to the north, Caminada Pass and Grand Isle to the east, Lafourche Parish to the west and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.


Release Date: 10/12/2016

Last week, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016-17 oyster season in Calcasieu Lake. The season was set based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

Both the East Side and West Cove portions of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area will open one-half hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.  However, this action does not supersede public health closures.

During the 2016-17 oyster season, the following provisions will be in effect:

1.              Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above are limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed seven sacks of oysters per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. 

2.              If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above, all oysters contained on that vessel will be deemed to have been taken from said public oyster area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.

3.              Prior to leaving the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area with oysters harvested from said oyster area, all oysters must be sacked. The number of sacks should be recorded in a log book, and each sack shall be properly tagged.

4.              All vessels located in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise should have all oyster dredges unshackled.

The following areas shall remain closed for the 2016/2017 oyster season:

1. The 2015 Calcasieu Lake West Cove Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

        A.          29 degrees 52 minutes 39.66 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 42.14 seconds

         B.         29 degrees 52 minutes 28.94 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 42.20 seconds

         C.         29 degrees 52 minutes 39.60 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

         D.         29 degrees 52 minutes 29.01 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

2.  The 2015 Calcasieu Lake Southeast Side Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

                        A.    29 degrees 50 minutes 25.46 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 05.83 seconds

                        B.    29 degrees 50 minutes 19.83 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 04.64 seconds

          C.      29 degrees 50 minutes 28.52 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 51.37 seconds

                        D.    29 degrees 50 minutes 22.86 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 50.19 seconds

            3.  The Cheniere Reef Artificial Reef Planning Area within the following coordinates:

                        A.     93 degrees 51 minutes 09.10 seconds

        93 degrees 17 minutes 06.96 seconds

                        B.     29 degrees 51 minutes 09.35 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 50.20 seconds

          C.      29 degrees 51 minutes 05.33 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 46.06 seconds

          D.      29 degrees 50 minutes 50.72 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 45.78 seconds

          E.      29 degrees 50 minutes 50.96 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 09.62 seconds

          F.       29 degrees 51 minutes 05.56 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 09.90 seconds

              4.         The Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area (as described in R.S. 56:435.1).

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Melancon on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours in advance, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For maps associated with the above season visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons
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