LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Temporary Road Closure Within Maurepas Swamp WMA

Release Date: 12/12/2014

Dec. 12, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising outdoorsmen and women that the access road to the Hope Canal boat launch within Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in St. John the Baptist Parish will be temporarily closed beginning at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, due to bridge repair activities.

This closure restricts access to the Hope Canal boat launch. Access to the self-clearing check station at the entrance to this road from US 61 will remain available. Completion of bridge repairs is anticipated within two weeks. Alternative boat launches are available from US 61 at the Reserve Canal and from the St. James Boat Club.

Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans along 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 or contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF Agents Cite Seven Men on Closed Sister Lake Seed Ground

Release Date: 12/11/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited seven men for oyster fishing violations in the past month on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation in Terrebonne Parish.

On Nov. 7, agents cited Angel Torres-Cuevas, 36, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season and taking oysters from a polluted area.  Agents seized his oyster dredge and dumped a sack of oysters back into the water.

Agents cited Policarpo D. Olivier, 41, and Maximo Aguilar-Lara, 32, both of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season on Nov. 10.  Agents dumped 12 sacks of oysters back into the water and seized Olivier’s two dredges.

On Dec. 1, agents cited Alfredo Oanaya, 31, of Houma, Eliazar Macedo, 28, of Beaumont, Texas, Esteban Reyes-Morelos, of Houma, and Francisco Ruiz-Maradiaga, 34, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season and for using an illegal dredge.  Agents also cited the captain, Oanaya, for violating the logbook sanitation code.  Agents seized two dredges and dumped 10 sacks of oysters back into the water.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the 2014/15 oyster season.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters from a polluted area carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Using an illegal dredge brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Violating the logbook sanitation code carries up to a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Coushatta Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/11/2014

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited a Coushatta man on Dec. 4 in Red River Parish for alleged deer hunting violations.

LDWF Sgt. Charles Dison cited Jason Ivey, 46, for taking over the daily limit of antlered deer, taking over the season limit of antlered deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Sgt. Dison stopped Ivey’s truck on Highway 71 after observing two deer on an all-terrain vehicle in the bed of Ivey’s truck without tags.

After further investigation, Dison found that Ivey had an antlerless tag attached to a spike buck that was not filled out.  Both deer in the bed of the truck were antlered deer.  Dison also found that Ivey had already harvested two antlered deer already this season putting these two antlered deer one over his season limit of three.

Possessing over the daily and season limit of deer each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Ivey could also face civil restitution charges of $1,624 for the replacement value of the deer.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Outgoing Commission Member Honored at December LWFC Meeting

Release Date: 12/10/2014

Col. Broussard and Ann Taylor.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) honored an outgoing commission member at the Dec. 4 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) meeting in Baton Rouge.

LWFC board member Ann Taylor, of Luling, was awarded an LDWF Honorary Agent award by Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, for her six years of exemplary service as an at-large appointed commission member.

Taylor, a lifelong Louisiana resident, is co-owner of the Louisiana Sportsman Magazine, the state's largest periodical covering the outdoors of the Bayou State.   She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and has worked in the outdoor news publishing business for 24 years.  She is also a former president of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association.

Taylor's affiliations with conservation organizations include memberships in CCA Louisiana, Ducks Unlimited and the International Women's Fishing Association.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF ANNOUNCES REOPENING OF CERTAIN RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING WATERS EFFECTIVE ONE-HALF HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE ON DECEMBER 10, 2014

Release Date: 12/09/2014

December 9, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the reopening of state waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the beaches of Elmers and Grand Terre Islands that were previously closed due to oiling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Waters will be open ½ hour before sunrise on December 10, 2014.
 
These waters have been closed to all commercial and recreational fishing except for recreational and charter boat angling.  The waters to re-open to all commercial and recreational fishing are as follows:

  • State waters seaward one quarter mile from the shoreline of the Grand Terre Islands
  • State waters seaward one quarter mile from the shoreline from Caminada Pass westward to Belle Pass

Fishermen are reminded that commercial fishing and recreational fishing except for recreational and charterboat angling remains closed within a 100-yard buffer from any shoreline in a portion of the upper Barataria Basin centered near Bay Jimmy and Bay Batiste.
LDWF is re-opening these areas to commercial fishing pursuant to agreements by state and federal officials for re-opening waters closed as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. These areas will also be re-opened to all recreational fishing.
LDWF will continue monitoring conditions to determine whether additional waters can be re-opened or whether additional closures are warranted. Reports of oil, tarballs or tar mats should be reported to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 and the Louisiana State Police at 1-877-925-6595.

State rules, regulations and seasons for individual saltwater species are still effective within these areas. To view current regulations click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations

To view maps detailing these modifications and the latest updates on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill please visit: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill

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.

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

 

LDWF Encourages Landowners to Use Prescribed Fire as a Tool for Effective Wildlife Habitat Management

Release Date: 12/09/2014

Dec. 9, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is encouraging citizens to consider prescribed fire to enhance wildlife habitat on the landscape.
 
Fire is a safe and cost-effective science-based land management tool. Prescribed fire reduces the risk of wildfires by decreasing fuel loads on the ground.   Used properly, prescribed fire can restore, enhance, and sustain the ecosystem health of fire-dependent systems such as open pine systems, woodlands, and prairies.
 
Almost all Southeastern upland systems, as well as some types of wetlands, have been shaped and maintained by periodic fire. However, decades of fire suppression have degraded these systems and have changed the human perception of fire and its role on our landscapes. Prescribed fire serves as a crucial management tool to restore and maintain these habitats, and its use is a critically important issue in the Southeast. Many organizations are working in multiple ways and with many partners to educate the public on prescribed burning and promote and implement prescribed fire on the landscape.
 
Louisiana currently has guidelines in place for the use of prescribed fire as a tool for managing acreage. LDWF biologists in the Natural Heritage Program and Private Lands  Program are familiar with a variety of programs and sources of funding that can provide financial assistance for management. For landowners who have an interest in financial assistance, funding may be available for practices such as prescribed burning, tree planting, native grass establishment, or invasive plant control.
 
Navigating the myriad of funding sources can be daunting for many landowners, but LDWF staff can be a valuable resource to help landowners find the financial assistance they need.
 
For more information on prescribed fire, contact :
 
Amity Bass
Louisiana Natural Heritage Program
Phone:  225-765-2975
Email: abass@wlf.la.gov
 
Cody Cedotal
Farm Bill / Grants Coordinator
Phone: 225-765-2354
Email: ccedotal@wlf.la.gov
 
 

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Commercial Fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks to Open in State Waters January 1

Release Date: 12/09/2014

December 9, 2014- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that commercial fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2015, federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.

The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2015 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2015 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.   The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings, as laid out in federal and state regulations. 

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.  While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. 

Commercial fishing for Small Coastal Sharks will also resume in Louisiana waters on Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2015, or until 80 percent of the federal quota has been met.  The commercial Small Coastal Shark fishery consists of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark.  Blacknose sharks, though part of the Small Coastal Shark group, are managed under a separate quota that is linked to the overall Small Coastal Shark quota. The Small Coastal Group fishery remained open for all of 2014.

There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.

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.

For press release inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162. 

LWFC Hears Ducks Unlimited Update on Breeding Grounds Progress in Canada

Release Date: 12/05/2014

Dec. 5, 2014 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) was updated on 50 years of progress made through its partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada during the Commission’s Dec. 4 meeting.
 
DU Canada’s Manager of State Partnerships Dave Kostersky presented information on the waterfowl connection between the Canadian prairies and the numbers of ducks seen in Louisiana at the end of the Mississippi flyway. Kostersky additionally thanked the Commission and the Department for the support provided.
 
The partnership formed in 1964 when the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agreed to begin funding acquisition and preservation of prime Canadian breeding grounds for a variety of duck species. Since 1965, LDWF has contributed $10.5 million in support of Canadian breeding habitat.  Through matching funds provided by Ducks Unlimited in the United States and Canada, the North American Wetland Conservation Act, and other partners in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, that funding has generated over $40 million for breeding grounds preservation and development.
 
The conservation needs addressed with funding utilized by DU Canada include the continued loss of and degradation of wetlands which reduces the carrying capacity for breeding pairs and brood rearing, as well as the loss of grasslands vital for nesting habitat. The changing agricultural landscape, driven by high commodity prices and associated reduction in cattle ranching in Canada are currently threats on breeding ground habitat.
 
Ducks Unlimited, a world leader in wetland and waterfowl conservation, guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with DU on Facebook at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, and watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.
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.

For more information, contact  Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov .

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14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population

Release Date: 12/05/2014

14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population
14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population
14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population

Dec. 5, 2014 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists have received a fifth cohort of juvenile whooping cranes at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan. The 14 young cranes received Dec. 4 add to the state’s resident population established through an LDWF species restoration project.

 “As we prepare to enter year five of this project, I encourage the public to continue to support our biologists in this effort by observing these birds from a distance and reporting any sightings of injured birds or anyone attempting to harm them in any way,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We are fortunate to have a number of private landowners who have assisted us by working with our staff when the cranes roost on their property and I thank them for their participation.”

The White Lake WCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds prior to their release into the wild. The cranes were raised at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wis., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation. This month’s delivery increases the Louisiana whooping crane population to 40.

LDWF continues to work cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, ICF and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state. Project funding is derived from LDWF species restoration dedicated funds, federal funds and private/corporate donations which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Major corporate funding support to date has been provided by Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

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.

Hunters, fishermen and anyone who spends time in the marshes and rice fields of Louisiana are reminded that whooping cranes in Louisiana are still protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.

Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Mature whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand five feet tall and have a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-251 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.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 

For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit www.wlf.la.gov; or contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115.

 

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 12/04/2014

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m. in Suite 210 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 October 7, 2014 Meeting
     
  3. Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals
    1. B & W Seafood
    2. Dale Chaisson
       
  4. Update on Recommendation Made at October 7, 2014 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.

 

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