LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Portions of Maurepas Swamp, Joyce Wildlife Management Areas Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 04/18/2016

April 18, 2016 – Strong easterly wind and high tides have flooded parts of the Maurepas Swamp and Joyce Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), resulting in closures in some portions of the WMAs.
 
Boyce Tower Road past the bridge and the nature trail off Old Hwy. 51 at the southeast end of Maurepas Swamp WMA have been closed. The Swamp Walk at Joyce WMA also has been closed due to flooding.
 
Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the closed areas.
 
Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of 122,098 acres, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west to near Sorrento. The WMA includes property in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2791.
 
Joyce WMA is a 27,487 acre tract located in southern Tangipahoa Parish five miles south of Hammond, La. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774.
 
For more information on both WMAs, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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LDWF Reopens Bayou Macon and Big Lake Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 04/15/2016

April 15, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened Bayou Macon and Big Lake Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) except for Mill Road, the Hog Lake (year-round) Trail, and Little Lake (year-round) Trail at Big Lake WMA.
 
Those roads will remain closed until flood water subsides, the roads are inspected and deemed safe for travel. Both management areas were closed March 17 due to severe flooding.
 
Bayou Macon WMA consists of 6,919 acres located in East Carroll Parish, approximately four miles east of Oak Grove and eight miles northwest of Lake Providence. For more information on Bayou Macon WMA go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/32643.
 
Big Lake WMA consists of 19,231 acres located in Franklin, Tensas and Madison parishes, 12 miles east of Gilbert. For more information on Big Lake WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/32646.
 
For further information, contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF to Host Six NASP Basic Archery Instructor Certification Courses

Release Date: 04/14/2016

April 14, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host six National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) basic instructor courses, beginning April 29.
 
Teachers who take the eight-hour course, which will run from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., will be certified in the NASP/Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) program. The 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 training material and equipment will be provided and there is no cost for the course for teachers. There are a limited number of spots available in each course and they will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
 
The upcoming courses include:
 
April 29 at Ben’s Ford Christian School in Bogalusa, La.;
 
May 7 at St. Frances Cabrini School in Alexandria, La.;
 
May 11 at Jena Junior High in Jena, La.;
 
May 26 at Woodland Park Elementary in Hammond, La.;
 
June 10 and July 29 at Haughton Middle School in Haughton, La.;
 
To register for the class, go to http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA
 
For more information, contact ALAS state coordinator Robert Stroede at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov.

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Registration for Second Spring Women's Fish Tagging Workshop Now Open

Release Date: 04/14/2016

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, CCA Louisiana and the National Wildlife Federation are teaming up to present a second, free Women’s Fish Tagging Workshop on Saturday, April 21 at Cabela’s in Gonzales.
 
Staff biologists will provide a host of educational opportunities including fish identification, tagging methods, best handling practices, equipment preparation, basic fishing skills as well as how to catch, clean and prepare fish. Select participants will also have the opportunity to apply their newfound skills during an overnight fishing trip in Grand Isle under the direction of LDWF biologists. 
 
Those interested can register here for the workshop, which is limited to the first 30 registrants. Registration will end on Wednesday, May 11, and those selected will be notified via email or phone by Friday, May 13.
 
The Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, implemented by LDWF in conjunction with CCA Louisiana, aims to improve understanding of marine fish movements, habitat preferences and population size.  The program provides interested volunteer anglers with free, saltwater fish tagging kits and focuses on several popular game fish species including redfish, speckled trout, red snapper and yellowfin tuna.  Recapture reports are sent to volunteer taggers, providing details on the distance traveled and growth of the fish.

 

Shrimp Season to Open in Portion of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters on April 22

Release Date: 04/14/2016

Shrimp Season to Open in Portion of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters on April 22

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will open a portion of state outside waters to shrimping at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 22.
 
This area lies seaward of Terrebonne Parish and extends a distance of three nautical miles seaward from the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, beginning at the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude and extending westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy line.
 
Trawl samples taken by LDWF biologists indicate white shrimp in the area have reached marketable sizes, and the closure is no longer necessary.
 
Significant numbers of smaller white shrimp remain in State Outside Waters west of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude, and these waters will remain closed to shrimping until further notice.
 
The opening dates for the 2016 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their May 5 meeting.
 
For additional season information, click here.
 
For more information, contact Jeff Marx (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov.

Second Louisiana Whooping Crane Chick Hatch Recorded on Wednesday

Release Date: 04/14/2016

An adult whooping crane attends to its two newly hatched chicks.
A male and female whooping crane nest along with their newly hatched chick.

April 14, 2016 – For the second time this week, a Whooping Crane chick hatched in Jefferson Davis Parish to the same nesting pair that brought forth the first chick hatched in Louisiana in the wild in more than 75 years.
 
The second chick hatched Wednesday (April 13), two days after the first Monday (April 11).
 
The hatchings, the first seen in Louisiana’s wild since 1939, represents another step forward in the program established in February of 2011 when the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reintroduced Whooping Cranes back into the state at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) in Vermilion Parish.
  
LDWF has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Service (USGS) and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state. Project funding comes from LDWF Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge funds, State Wildlife Grants Program, and private/corporate donations, which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Chevron has been a major corporate donor in the program. 

The new parents paired earlier this winter and nested and produced eggs for the first time in mid-March. The female is 4 years old and the male just 3 years old.
 
Once abundant in Louisiana in the 1800s, the Whooping Cranes dwindled to two in 1945 and had disappeared by 1950 in the state.
  
 Whooping Cranes in Louisiana 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. The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of Whooping Cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.
 
The WLWCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds before their release into the wild. The cranes which make up the Louisiana population were raised at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation.
 
 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).
 
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 witnessing suspicious activity involving harassment or shooting of 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. 
 
Additional information on LDWF’s Whooping Crane project is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or on the LDWF Whooping Crane Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lawhoopingcranes/?fref=ts). For more information, contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, ext. 4.

Shrimp Task Force to Meet April 20, 2016

Release Date: 04/14/2016

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

I.               Roll call and introduction of guests

II.             Approval of February 17, 2016 meeting minutes and April 20, 2016 agenda

III.           Treasury Report

A.     Budget report- LDWF

IV.            Old Business

A.     Legislative Update- LDWF

B.     Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Update- Myron Fischer

V.              New Business

A.     Potential New Rulemaking Under Consideration for the Southeastern Shrimp Fisheries- Michael Barnette

B.     Discussion of Appointment of LSA Representative Alternates- Acy Cooper

C.     Draft Resolution to Reduce the Gulf Hypoxic Zone- Doug Daigle

D.     2016 Shrimp Season Preview- Jeff Marx

E.     Officer Elections

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

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1463525117222710529

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.

Historic Hatch: Whooping Crane Hatches in Wild in Louisiana for First Time Since 1939

Release Date: 04/12/2016

A whooping crane mother and father attend to their newly hatched chick in Jefferson Davis Parish.

April 12, 2016 – A major milestone was reached this week in the reintroduction of the whooping crane in Louisiana when the first hatching of a chick in the state in more than 75 years occurred in Jefferson Davis Parish.
 
The hatching, the first seen in Louisiana’s wild since 1939, represents another step forward in the program established in February of 2011 when the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reintroduced whooping cranes back into the state at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish.
 
LDWF has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serve, U.S. Geological Survey and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state. Project funding comes from the LDWF Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge funds, federal funds and private/corporate donations, which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Chevron has been a major corporate donor in the program.
 
“This is something we’ve been looking forward to and anticipating since the reintroduction began in 2011,’’ said LDWF biologist Sara Zimorski, who leads the Louisiana whooping crane project. “One of the major steps in restoring the species is successful reproduction. We’ve had several pairs nesting the last couple of years but until now no favorable outcomes. It’s an exciting time for us and all of our partners who have worked so hard alongside us.
 
“This couldn’t have been done without the assistance of private landowners. The support and cooperation of the many landowners and farmers on whose property the birds spend time is critical to the success of the project.’’
 
The new parents paired earlier this winter and nested and produced eggs for the first time in mid-March.  The female, is 4 years old and the male, is just 3 years old.
 
Once abundant in Louisiana in the 1800s, the species dwindled to two in 1945 and had disappeared by 1950 in the state.
 
 “I’d like to commend and congratulate our hard-working biologists and partners who have shepherded our program so well,’’ LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon said. “The ultimate goal is to establish a self-sustaining whooping crane population in Louisiana so that this beautiful bird can thrive for generations to come. The first chick hatched here is a step in that direction.’’
 
The whooping cranes in Louisiana 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. The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.
 
The White Lake WCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds before their release into the wild. The cranes which make up the Louisiana population were raised at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation.
 
 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).
 
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 witnessing suspicious activity involving harassment or shooting of 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. 
 
Additional information on LDWF’s whooping crane project is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or on the LDWF whooping crane Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lawhoopingcranes/?fref=ts). For more information, contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, ext. 4.

Pearl River Wildlife Management Area Roads Opened, Shooting Range to Reopen Friday

Release Date: 04/12/2016

April 12, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has reopened all roads in the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Pearl River-Honey Island Shooting Range, located in the Pearl River WMA, will open Friday as scheduled.
 
The Pearl River-Honey Island Shooting Range is opened weekends; Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
 
Flooding on the Pearl River caused the WMA to close on March 13 when the flood gauge on the river reached 16.5 feet, initiating an automatic benchmark closure set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
 
All roads have been inspected and are safe for travel.
  
The Pearl River WMA, which consists of 35,618 acres, is located approximately six miles east of Slidell and approximately one mile east of Pearl River.
 
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789 or contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781. For more information on the shooting range, call 985-643-3938.

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LDWF Reopens Bayou Pierre, Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Areas to All Activities

Release Date: 04/12/2016

April 12, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has reopened Bayou Pierre and Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). The general turkey lottery hunt scheduled for Loggy Bayou will be held Friday-Sunday (April 15-17) as scheduled.
 
Both WMAs were closed March 17 due to flooding.
 
Bayou Pierre WMA is located in northwest Red River and east-central Desoto parishes, 20 miles south of Shreveport. For more information on Bayou Pierre WMA go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/32644.
 
Loggy Bayou WMA is located in Bossier Parish approximately 20 miles southeast of Bossier City. For more information on Loggy Bayou WMA go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2784.
 
For further information about either of these WMAs, contact Jeff Johnson at jjohnson@wlf.la.gov  or 318-371-3050.

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