LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Delays Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/22/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has delayed a drawdown of Lake Bistineau, originally scheduled for July 25 until Monday, August 15, 2016, to provide additional time for recreational use and removal of watercraft in advance of low water conditions. This drawdown delay will also allow the Department to evaluate the efficacy of such actions, which will inform future aquatic plant control decisions.

The annual drawdown is a necessary component of the department’s integrated lake management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth, particularly giant salvinia, and to improve the sport fishery.   Although there is a significant amount of giant salvinia in the lake, much of the lower portion of the lake remains accessible for fishing and other recreational activities.

The lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day and will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below normal pool stage. The Lake Bistineau control gates are scheduled for closure on November 30, 2016, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early-spring recreational activities.

During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches:  Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.  Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 

Drawdown recommendations are designed to optimize benefits to the aquatic ecosystem and balance the desires of multiple user groups that enjoy the lake for fishing, boating, duck hunting, water sports, and other activities.

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 drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.  

LDWF Hosts Archery in Louisiana Schools Coaches Conference

Release Date: 07/22/2016

Teachers learn archery techniques during the ALAS Coaches Conference, hosted by the LDWF.

July 22, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted an Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) coaches conference July 15-16 to indoctrinate new coaches and assist veteran coaches in learning about the latest techniques and programs in the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP).
 
The two-day event, held at LDWF’s Woodworth Education Center, also allowed coaches to network and share best practices in the sport, which continues to grow in Louisiana schools.
 
“It was a wonderful opportunity for new and experienced coaches to come together in a summer setting to catch up on the latest in the NASP program and hear about upcoming archery opportunities,’’ said LDWF biologist supervisor Robert Stroede, who oversees the ALAS program. “New coaches got the inside scoop on implementing their program and tournament participation from some of our seasoned coaches and learned about helpful online resources. We’d like to thank everyone who attended.’’
 
Coaches also learned about new opportunities, including the Explore Bowhunting Program. They discussed setting up and running local tournaments, equipment maintenance tips, introducing the NASP/IBO 3D element, the upcoming Beyond NASP Academy to be hosted by LDWF in October and the NASP Coordinators Conference to be held at the end of July in Kentucky.
 
In addition, the coaches were instructed in crossbow and bowfishing and participated in a coaches’ archery competition with the winner taking home a Genesis Bow.
 
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are available to assist with funding.  For more information regarding the ALAS program, please contact NASP State Coordinator Robert Stroede at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276.

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LDWF’s Maria Davidson earns U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2015 Recovery Champions Award for Work in Restoring Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 07/21/2016

USFWS 2015 Recovery Champions award winners Maria Davidson (left) of LDWF, David Soileau (middle) and Deborah Fuller of USFWS.

July 21, 2016 - Maria Davidson, Large Carnivore Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), has been recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for her work in the recovery of the Louisiana Black Bear.
 
Davidson, along with Deborah Fuller and David Soileau of USFWS, have been named 2015 Recovery Champions for the USFWS’s Region 4. The trio earned the distinction because of their efforts in restoring the species and having it removed from the Endangered Species list in April of this year.
 
“The Louisiana Black Bear Recovery Team is recognized for their contributions to the recovery of the Louisiana black bear and the conservation of the habitat on which the species depends,’’ the USFWS said. “Their long history of working in partnership with federal, state, academic, non-governmental organizations, private landowners and the public to ensure long-term population viability have proven invaluable to the recovery of this species. 
 
“The recovery team worked to manage human-bear conflict, organized educational programs for the public and restored the subspecies to unoccupied portions of its historical range, thus contributing to population connectivity and the establishment of a new breeding population. These efforts improved the bear’s status and ultimately led to its removal from federal protection in April 2016.’’
 
Davidson began working at LDWF in 1996 doing habitat permitting work. In her first year at the agency, she began working in the bear program, then as the program manager for the past 15 years she has been a key cog in the recovery process for LDWF. The Louisiana black bear was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1992.
 
“When I started, we only had bears in three isolated populations,’’ Davidson said. “So knowing how much the population has grown and expanded its range during the recovery period of management is really special. That’s huge to me. I know the actions we have taken as a department with our partners in conservation have been key to the relatively rapid recovery of our Louisiana black bear.”
 
When the Louisiana black bear was listed under the ESA due to habitat loss, reduced quality of remaining habitat and human-related mortality, the three known breeding subpopulations were confined to the bottomland hardwood forests of Louisiana in the Tensas, and Upper and Lower Atchafalaya River basins. Those original subpopulations have all increased in number and have stable to increasing growth rates. Additional breeding subpopulations have developed in Louisiana and Mississippi, providing a healthier, long-term outlook for the subspecies.
 
“The tireless work by Maria and our wildlife staff has contributed significantly to the recovery process of the Louisiana black bear,’’ LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon said. “They are involved in every facet, from waking up in the middle of the night to take bear calls, to countless hours in the field tagging and taking DNA samples, to educating the public on coexisting with bears. I’d like to congratulate them on this much-deserved accolade.’’

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Public/Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet July 26

Release Date: 07/21/2016

Public/Private Oyster Grounds Committee

Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 10:30 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122

AGENDA

 

I.              Call to Order

II.             Discussion and Update on the 2016 Legislative Session

III.              Discussion of the Shrimping Industries’ Concerns of Oyster Lease Boundaries and Markers

IV.              Discussion of Dual Claimed Areas that Encompass Existing State Leases and Public Seed Grounds

V.             Public Comment

VI.          Set next meeting

VII.         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.

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.

For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

 

 

Green Ribbon Louisiana Schools Honored During Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Release Date: 07/20/2016

July 20, 2016 – Four Louisiana schools named Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education were honored Wednesday (July 20) during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
 
Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, Westdale Heights Academic Magnet in Baton Rouge and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette were nominated for the award by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Education.
 
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Christine Harada and Deputy Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council Anisa Baldwin-Metzger joined U.S. Secretary of Education John King on Wednesday to congratulate the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees on their achievements.
 
A total of 47 schools, 15 districts and 11 postsecondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education.
 
Examples of accomplishments from the award winners include Benjamin Franklin High eliminating over 44,000 plastic water bottles from landfills and Westdale Heights diverting approximately 70 percent of its solid waste from landfills. Westdale has reduced energy usage by 27 percent and Baton Rouge Magnet High School by more than 60 percent.
 
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The postsecondary honorees include two community colleges and one work-college.
 
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission’s Green Schools Program offers educational and funding opportunities to help reduce schools’ environmental impact and health disparities that can provoke achievement gaps. It also engages students in hands-on learning. Instruction and activities complement state curriculum with a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) subjects while teaching civic skills and opening doors to green career pathways.
 
Louisiana’s nominations were submitted by Brian Gautreau, Green Schools Coordinator at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He can be reached at 225-765-2800 or bgautreau@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/18/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau (Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes) for giant salvinia control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement.  The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.
 
The water control structure is scheduled to open on July 25, 2016, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day.  The water level will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below normal pool stage.  The Lake Bistineau control gates are scheduled for closure on November 30, 2016, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early-spring recreational activities.
 
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches:  Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.  Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 
 
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery.  An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
 
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 drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066. 

LDWF to Hold Lake Bistineau Public Meeting

Release Date: 07/15/2016

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:  Tuesday, July 26, 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 along with a presentation on some of the issues facing Bistineau.  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.

 

 

NOAA to Hold Public Meetings about Expanding Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Release Date: 07/14/2016

For Immediate Release

 

 

(July 14, 2016) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to notify the public that NOAA will be holding two meetings in Louisiana to explain and get feedback on their proposal to expand the boundaries of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Meeting details are as follows:

 

Where: Hilton New Orleans Airport, Segnette Room, 901 Airline Drive, Kenner, Louisiana 70062

When: Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 5:30-7:30 pm

 

Where: Estuarine Habitats and Coastal Fisheries Center, 646 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, Louisiana 70506

When: Thursday, July 21, 2016, 5:30-7:30 pm

NOAA is considering five different options for expanding the sanctuary to better manage and protect important habitat and cultural resources and provide more opportunities for research and restoration. Options range from keeping the status quo to expanding the sanctuary up to 935 square miles.

NOAA’s preferred option would expand the sanctuary 383 square miles to include an additional 15 banks, located from 70 to 120 miles offshore and comprised of reefs and bottom features that provide habitat for fish and other biological resources in the Gulf of Mexico. This proposal would extend the existing protections of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to these additional areas to limit any activities considered bottom-disturbing. These protections allow for commercial and recreational fishing by hook and line only; shrimp trawls, longlines, spear guns, and other fishing gear are prohibited. Additionally, anchoring any vessel within protected areas is prohibited.

FAQs regarding impacts of the expansion can be found here: flowergarden.noaa.gov/management/expansionfaq.html

For additional details about the five alternatives being considered, click here: flowergarden.noaa.gov/management/expansiondeis.html

If you cannot attend one of these public meetings, you may also submit comments electronically or by mail.

·      Electronically: go to www.regulations.gov using docket number NOAA-NOS-2016-0059. Click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

·      Mail: George P. Schmahl, Sanctuary Superintendent, Flower Garden Banks NMS, 4700 Avenue U, Building 216, Galveston, TX 77551

Public comments must be received by August 19, 2016

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/14/2016

News Release

 

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2016

 

Contact: Ashley Wethey

Public Information
LDWF

(504) 286-8733

awethey@wlf.la.gov

 

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau (Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes) for giant salvinia control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement.  The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.

 

The water control structure is scheduled to open on July 25, 2016, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day.  The water level will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below normal pool stage.  The Lake Bistineau control gates are scheduled for closure on November 30, 2016, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early-spring recreational activities.

 

During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches:  Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.  Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 

 

This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery.  An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.

 

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 drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066. 

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF Accepting Lottery Applications for Disabled Veterans Hunts on Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 07/14/2016

July 14, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting lottery hunt applications for disabled veterans wishing to participate in a deer hunt to be held on Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and a waterfowl hunt to be held on Sherburne WMA for the 2016-17 hunting season.
 
These special hunts are restricted to hunters selected through the lottery application process. These hunts offer the opportunity for selected hunters to experience an enjoyable, wildlife oriented outdoor experience on these WMAs.
 
Details on the qualifications, application requirements, application deadlines and dates of the hunts are listed on the application forms.
 
Successful applicants will be selected by a random computer drawing.  Applications for the lottery must be submitted to LDWF by the deadline listed on the application. A $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application.
 
Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office or by visiting the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts .
 
Applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 of the LDWF headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge or by mail.  The mailing address is: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

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