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LDWF News Release

LDWF Public Meetings Set for February, March on Proposed Hunting Seasons and WMA Rules and Regulation Changes

Release Date: 02/02/2018

Feb. 2, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold six public meetings around the state to present and gather comments on the proposed 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 hunting season, 2018-2019 general and WMA hunting seasons, rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season rules and regulations and the 2018-2019 migratory bird hunting season rules and regulations.
 
Public comment will be taken on all items currently under consideration as notices of intent by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The meeting dates and locations include:
 
Feb. 20 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Minden Office, 9961 Highway 80, Minden;
 
Feb. 23 (Friday) at 6 p.m. at the LSU Ag Center Building, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles;
 
Feb. 26 (Monday) at 6 p.m. at the Ponchatoula High School library, 19452 Highway 22, Ponchatoula;
 
Feb. 27 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at the Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 Third Street, Alexandria;
 
Feb. 28 (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette;
 
March 1 (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Monroe office, 368 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe.
 
To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment will be accepted through April 5 at LWFC monthly meetings or may be submitted directly to Tommy Tuma, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA., 70898-9000 or via e-mail to ttuma@wlf.la.gov through April 3.
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF, Illinois DNR Support Effort to Utilize Invasive Asian Carp

Release Date: 02/01/2018

LDWF, Illinois DNR Support Effort  to Utilize Invasive Asian Carp

Feb. 1, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is supporting Silverfin™ Group, Inc., headed by Chef Philippe Parola, in its history-making effort to process the first invasive species into a value-added product for human consumption.

The product, fish cakes called Silverfin (also known as Asian carp), was on display at a recent product launch press conference at the University of Illinois. Chef Parola and Dr. Dawn Aubrey, Food Service Director for the University of Illinois, spearheaded the event. The product will be distributed nationally, primarily by SYSCO food distributors. 

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet and Bill Sherman from the Louisiana Lt. Gov.'s Office were guest speakers. Other attending the event were Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois Chief of Fisheries Dan Stephenson and University of Illinois Chancellor Dr. Robert J. Jones. 

Chef Philippe selected Illinois as the jump-start to launch his Silverfin™ fish products because of the serious problems the state is having with Asian carp.

Asian carp have also invaded Louisiana waterways, including Lake Pontchartrain, Vermillion Bay, Lake Verret and many of Louisiana’s rivers, canals and bayous. Asian carp can tolerate low salinity environments and therefore are a threat to our recreational and commercial fisheries throughout Louisiana. 

Asian carp can weigh up to 100 pounds. They eat large amounts of plankton each day.  Plankton is the base of the food chain for all aquatic life. So many Asian carp eating so much plankton daily will inevitably displace native aquatic species such as fish, frogs, crustaceans, mollusks and vegetation. 

“We see this effort by Chef Parola as a means of limiting the expansion of this unwanted species in the waterways of Louisiana,’’ Montoucet said. “If it can be turned into jobs for Louisiana while at the same time fighting the growth of the species, then it is a win-win for us.

“However, LDWF’s primary goal continues to be eradication of all destructive invasive species in Louisiana.”

Parola said, "Silverfin, or Asian carp, are natural proteins and a good source of vitamin B12, Omega-3 and many other healthy nutrients,’’ Parola said. “There is no better time to introduce a new and healthy domestic wild-caught fish product on American dining table, especially when the entire world is facing a wild-caught exhaustible commercial fisheries that now includes the popular Atlantic cod."

“Those Asian Carp cooked into Silverfin fish cakes surely won’t reproduce anymore,” Dr. Dawn Aubrey said.  

IMMINENT DANGER!  

Asian carp are known for jumping out of the water in large quantities when the water is agitated by boat motors. Due to their size and quantity, these jumping carp are extremely dangerous to boaters and water sports enthusiasts. Many injuries and a few fatalities have been blamed on Asian carp jumping out of the water. This threat is so severe that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has warned that collisions between boaters and jumping carp can potentially cause human fatalities. 

The Asian carp population in the Mississippi River Basin is growing fast and virtually unstoppable. An adult female Asian carp can spawn more than 1 million eggs per year with up to 80 percent of those eggs hatching and surviving. In the rivers of the northern states of the Mississippi River Basin, including Illinois, studies show that there are 35 tons of Asian carp per river mile.  Another 10-15 years of non-action, will put Louisiana in a similar situation.

Working closely with LDWF and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Silverfin™ Group’s “Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em” project will make eating this invasive fish a reality. Silverfin™ Group’s solution is to commercially harvest Asian carp, branded as Silverfin™, process it into Silverfin™ Fish Cakes, a value-added fish product for human consumption, and distribute it nationally, with SYSCO as the first primary distributor, to institutional food marketplaces such as restaurants, caterers and colleges/universities. 

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.

The mission of Silverfin™ Group is to provide the solution for the Asian carp that is threatening the aquatic eco-system of the entire Mississippi River Basin. By promoting commercial harvest of Asian carp throughout the entire Mississippi River Basin, we will reduce their population to minimize their threat so they can coexist with native species, minimize water sports accidents caused by jumping carp, create much-needed jobs, revitalize commercial fisheries, stimulate local economies and provide a clean and healthy fish product for consumers.

 

 

LDWF Makes Delinquent Oyster Lease List Available Online

Release Date: 02/01/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to make public notice regarding the nonpayment of fees related to oyster leases on both its website and in the official journal of the parish in which the delinquent lease is located.

 

As per Louisiana Revised Statute 56:429, any lessee who pays their rent on or after the first day of February owes the rent due plus an additional 10 percent penalty. Failure of the lessee to pay the rent punctually on or before the first of each January, or within 60 days thereafter, terminates and cancels the lease and forfeits to the department all the works, improvements, betterments and oysters on the previously leased water bottom.

 

The list of delinquent leases is available at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/delinquent-oyster-leases.   Notices were made by certified mail to each lessee who had not yet paid their rent. The current list shows those lessees who did not provide payment by February 1, 2018.  All fees must be collected for leases by close of business on March 1, 2018.

 

For questions regarding delinquent oyster lease payments, please contact Marc Maniscalco at (504) 284-5277.

 

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 www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

 
 

LDWF Launches Online Ordering for Oyster Hatchery Larvae

Release Date: 01/30/2018

(January 30, 2018) – Beginning at 8 a.m., CST, Tuesday, Feb. 06, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will launch an online ordering portal to provide the oyster industry with hatchery-reared oyster larvae and seed produced at the Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery.

Requests will only be accepted via the online ordering portal and will be filled based on the order that they are received. Priority will be given to in-state larvae orders. Requests made in writing or by phone will not be accepted. Larger orders may be reduced or split by the department based on availability of larvae and seed.

Payment will not be required at the time of requests. LDWF will contact those requesting hatchery products at a later date for payment.

 

The online ordering form can be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commercial-oyster by clicking the “Larvae Order Form” button or can be accessed directly by clicking this link: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/oyster-larvae-order-form.

 

For more information, or for assistance with completing the form, contact Program Development at 225-765-3980, 1-855-262-1764, or at Oversightprograms@wlf.la.gov .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 Secretary Jack Montoucet Pledges Agency Support for At-risk Youth Program

Release Date: 01/30/2018

January 30, 2018 – Minutes after touring the AMIKids facility for at-risk youth located in rural Branch, LA, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet pledged that LDWF would be bringing programs to the boys living there.

 

“We have an obligation to give these young people an opportunity to make changes in their lives. We have the opportunity to do it right now,” Montoucet said, adding that programs are on their way.

 

Montoucet’s comments came after three youth offenders led him and LDWF staff on a tour of the facility. The three boys described the various parts of the facility and gave the visitors a view into their lives and the others at the residential campus. The LDWF staff also met with teachers in classrooms.

 

AMIkids Acadiana, in Acadia Parish, partners with the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice to accept troubled youths assigned to its residential facility. The AMIkids is part of a state and national network of facilities with the goal of empowering kids to overcome their troubled past.

 

AMIkids Acadiana provides services to 36 students between the ages of 12-18 at the Branch facility. The juvenile offenders may be at the facility from several months to more than a year.

 

AMIkids Acadiana Executive Director Issac Williams introduced Montoucet to a number of the boys at the facility as they toured the classrooms, living quarters, cafeteria and recreation area.

 

He explained that the boys occasionally get a chance to fish, but having assistance from LDWF would enhance the outdoor experience. They have a few other activities they can receive for good conduct and work in the classrooms. “I think a partnership with (LDWF) could mean so much more for these boys,” Williams said.

 

Some of the possibilities mentioned by LDWF include archery, hiking, overnight stays at the agency’s research facilities and the establishment of on-campus outreach educational programs.

 

“With some of these things we can plant a memory with them that can stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Montoucet, an avid fisherman and hunter. He committed to Williams that his staff will develop and execute an activity plan for the facility. 

 

Montoucet also said that LDWF would explore the possibility of introducing outreach activities at AMIkids other facilities in the state.

 

Williams said he is “excited” about Montoucet’s pledge and foresees a great working relationship.

 

“I really appreciate Mr. Montoucet recognizing a tremendous opportunity to educate our students on how to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and respectful manner,’’ Williams said. “Furthermore, I truly believe that if our kids can pick up a hobby or take a liking to fishing and wildlife, it may have a positive effect on our recidivism.” 

 

Maggie Gladden, AMIkids Regional Development Officer, said: “Partnering with LDWF here at Acadiana and our other two Louisiana-based programs will be a wonderful benefit to our operations and more importantly the youth we serve. The potential for additional learning activities outside of the classroom will further strengthen our efforts to help at-risk youth find a brighter tomorrow.”

 

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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  www.wlf.la.gov/signup 

 

 

AMIkids is a national nonprofit organization that serves at-risk youth in 44 local programs in nine states throughout the country. Since 1969, AMIkids has empowered more than 135,000 boys and girls from across the nation, helping to transform their lives and guide them towards a bright future. For more information, visit: AMIkids.org 

LDWF Announces Road Closure in Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 01/30/2018

Jan. 30, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Dobbs Bay Road to vehicle traffic at the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding. Water levels have increased on Dobbs Bay Road due to recent heavy rainfall.
 
Other roads on the WMA will remain open. Dobbs Bay Road will reopen to traffic once waters level fall to acceptable levels and necessary repairs are made.
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA, which consists of 70,872 acres, is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15 in lower Concordia Parish.
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/36994 or contact Tony Vidrine or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at sdavid@wlf.la.gov or at 337-948-0255.

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Agenda for the February Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 01/29/2018

The next regular commission meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

AGENDA:

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call

4. Adoption of January 4, 2018 Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6. Enforcement Report January 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist Director

8. Consider amendments to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist Director

9. To inform LWFC of other 2018-2019 Federal public land hunting seasons – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist Director

10. Update on Louisiana black bear management – Maria Davidson, Wildlife Biologist

11. To Receive the Stock Assessment Report for Striped Mullet – Jason Adriance, Biologist

12. Set June 2018 Commission Meeting Date

13. Receive Public Comments

14. Adjournment

 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1855119496543179009 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

Drawdown of Lake Bistineau Concludes

Release Date: 01/26/2018

Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development closed the Lake Bistineau control structure gates to allow repair work to begin in the spillway outflow area. The gates were originally scheduled to close on November 30, 2017, but were left open until the repair contract was awarded. 
 
The area immediately south of the Lake Bistineau spillway needs to be dry for work to be completed in the outflow area. To prevent water levels from rising and exceeding the normal pool stage during construction, the gates were left open until work was ready to begin.

 
The management of Lake Bistineau and its aquatic resources is the responsibility of LDWF. DOTD is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Lake Bistineau dam, spillway and control structures.  
 
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. 

 

 

COLUMN: Westside Junior High gets special lesson from LDWF

Release Date: 01/26/2018

COLUMN:

January 26, 2018

Contact: epratt@wlf.la.gov

 

The Livingston Parish News

COLUMN: Westside Junior High sixth graders get special lesson from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

By: David Gray

 

WALKER — Biologist Megan MacMenamin held up the mounted speckled trout for all the sixth graders to see.

“Anybody have any idea how to tell how old a fish is?” she asked Alysha Guidry’s first-hour science class.

One student raised his hand and said “teeth.” A good guess, MacMenamin said, but not the answer.

Another student shouted “its tongue,” an “interesting” guess MacMenamin said she never heard, but still not the one she was looking for.

A third student said by the fish’s gills, and a fourth said by the its scales.

“Those are all really good guesses,” she said before pulling a small white chip from the back of the fish’s head. “We actually use the ear bones.” 

Stunned silence.

“I knew nobody was gonna guess that — surprise,” she said as the class burst out in laughter.

That was just one of the lessons Guidry’s students at Westside Junior High received during class on Thursday, Jan. 25, when three representatives from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries visited to discuss career opportunities and explain their work in natural resource conservation.

The presentations ran from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and were given by MacMenamin, fellow biologist Danielle Regitz, and LDWF press secretary Ed Pratt, who had to cancel an appearance at a career day event last November.

He made up for it in a big way Thursday.

“I know kids in sixth grade aren’t really thinking about jobs and career opportunities, but if we can spark something in them, that’s what we’re trying to do,” Pratt said.

The trio spoke to five of Guidry’s classes, and Pratt started each presentation by shedding light on the services Wildlife and Fisheries provides and how vital they are to Louisiana’s reputation as “The Sportsman’s Paradise.”

Pratt, a former newspaper editor, said there are 709,000 registered fishermen and fisherwomen in Louisiana — more than the populations of at least two states and almost as much as seven sold-out Tiger Stadiums.

During his talk, Pratt discussed the many career opportunities available at Wildlife and Fisheries, including but not limited to veterinarians, aircraft pilots, land specialists, student workers, marine operators, enforcement agents and wildlife/fisheries biologists.

Wildlife and Fisheries also offers several programs for youth and families to participate in covering cover an array of categories, such as rifle and shotgun shooting, archery, canoeing, fishing, compass reading, nature study hikes and camping.

MacMenamin, a fisheries biologist for four years, and Regitz, who began her career last October, took over after Pratt’s opening discussion and explained fishing regulations and how they are determined for each species of fish. They said that is accomplished by collecting data such as age, sex, reproductive rates, and length from fish across many bodies of water.

The goal, they said, is to make sure that these resources last for generations for come.

“We hope that when you’re kids grow up, there are just as many fish as there are today,” MacMenamin said. “Hopefully, that population stays healthy forever.”

One of the most important sources of information are the ear bones, or otoliths. Not only do the otoliths give fish a sense of balance in the water as well as hearing, MacMenamin and Regitz told students they provide an accurate age of the fish.

They explained that each year a fish lives, it lays down a layer — or a ring — of calcium on its ear bone, which grows larger each year. Each ring represents one winter and one summer in that fish’s life, a similar process to other material Guidry’s classes have covered.

“It’s just like trees,” shouted one excited student, referencing the age-defining rings on the inside of trees.

Students were given the opportunity to look at the ear bones through a microscope. The two biologists also show them a board with the otoliths of several fish species to show the varying shapes and sizes in different fish.

Near the end of the demonstrations, Regitz and MacMenamin passed around life cycle vials that showed the early stages of life for bass and paddlefish, with each vial containing a different-aged specimen.

It all made for what Guidry hopes will be a memorable science class.

“They’re going to take so much away from this,” Guidry said. “That’s why I wanted to do this. It’s going to stick with them for a long time.”

For the full article with video and photos, click here: https://www.livingstonparishnews.com/living/westside-junior-high-sixth-graders-get-special-lesson-from-louisiana/article_a634e9a0-0213-11e8-9533-b7ca885d53e0.html

 

LDWF Honored With 2018 Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partner Award

Release Date: 01/23/2018

Jan. 23, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) was recently named a recipient of a Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partner Award.
 
The citation was presented during the Keep America Beautiful National Conference held last week in Dallas.
 
The award recognizes state agency partners for their support of Keep America Beautiful state affiliates through joint partnership projects. The award recognizes the value Keep America Beautiful places on public-private partnerships.
 
LDWF was one of more than 80 individuals or organizations recognized at Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards for their commitment and passion to transform public spaces into beautiful places.
 
“Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards celebrates some of our country’s most dedicated community leaders – representatives from our affiliates and partner organizations,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “It’s my privilege to recognize such valuable, mission-based work that our state agency partners achieve with their respective Keep America Beautiful state affiliate partners to help communities become more environmentally healthy and economically sound.”
 
LDWF has pushed its anti-litter campaign by supporting education efforts such as the Watershed Webs workshop series for teachers and students. Watershed Webs, funded by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, includes professional development workshops where teachers conducted beach sweeps on the Gulf Coast, collected related data from the debris, received instruction on lesson activities and learned how to test for water quality. Students were also involved in the process.
 
LDWF has increased enforcement of litter laws in the state as well.
 
“Keeping Louisiana litter free is a priority with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,’’ said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “We continue to take steps to educate our residents and visitors on how important it is to keep the Sportsman’s Paradise clean. We’re honored that Keep America Beautiful has recognized our effort.’’
 
The Keep America Beautiful National Conference, its premier educational and networking event, brought together nearly 400 leaders from Keep America Beautiful’s national network of affiliates, business leaders, policymakers and other experts who shared innovative ideas and proven strategies to help End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. Celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful believes everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
 
The 2018 Keep America Beautiful National Conference was made possible through the support of some of America’s leading companies, including: Leadership Sponsors – Altria, Lowe’s, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, SC Johnson, A Family Company and Wrigley Company Foundation; Stewardship Sponsors – Anheuser-Busch, Carton Council, Pratt Industries – Recycling Division and Steel Recycling Institute; Strategic Sponsors – Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Owens-Illinois, Inc.; Supporting Sponsors – Dipjar, insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. – Donation Division and Irio. Scholarships are provided by Altria, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Southwest Airlines and Wrigley Company Foundation.
 
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. 
 
Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. For more information, go to kab.org.
 

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