L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Whooping Crane Eggs Produced in March Yield Vital Research Data, But No Hatchlings

Release Date: 05/02/2014

*LDWF PHOTO CAPTION – Infertile whooping crane eggs recovered this week from nest site in Louisiana.

 

May 2, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the first eggs produced by Louisiana’s experimental whooping crane population will not result in hatchlings this year, a result most experts had anticipated.

The young pair of adult cranes, nesting in a crawfish pond on the northern end of the Cajun prairie, has been under observation by project biologists since eggs were spotted in their nest in March.  The 30-day incubation period has passed for what would have been the first whooping crane chicks hatched on the Louisiana landscape in over 75 years.  Whooping cranes are not expected to become successful nesters until they reach four to six years of age, and only a few of Louisiana’s whooping cranes will soon be four years old.  LDWF has collected the eggs and has determined they were not fertile.

“Although this nest did not produce chicks, it is still a very positive and progressive step for the reintroduction project for many reasons,” said Robert Love, LDWF Coastal and Non-game Resources Division administrator.  “This seems to be a strongly bonded pair, which produced two normal eggs, early in the spring and incubated them full term.”

LDWF biologists collected vital data on the cranes’ nest building schedule, nest attentiveness and their reactions to nearby farming activity. Throughout the process, biologists kept the farmer and landowner informed about the cranes’ activity.

The state’s whooping crane reintroduction project began with the release of an initial cohort of juvenile cranes in 2011 at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish. There are three bonded pairs among the 30 surviving birds that are reaching maturity.

“From the beginning of this reintroduction, the department realized how vulnerable this species is to human harm, and knew one of the challenges would be to elevate the public’s respect for this wildlife species, through a stepwise process of awareness, appreciation and protection,” said Love. “That education and outreach challenge is being addressed through corporate sponsorship.”

The largest corporate supporter for the project is Chevron.

“Chevron believes that environmental stewardship is vital to sustainable economic progress and human development not only here in south Louisiana but throughout the world,” said Chevron Public Affairs General Manager Sakari Morrison. “The success of the whooping crane reintroduction program is encouraging for our area’s biodiversity goals but it’s also encouraging because it shows what can be accomplished through public-private partnerships. We look forward to continuing our support of the whooping cranes with LDWF.”

Team partners who assisted in bringing juvenile cranes to Louisiana annually since 2011 include the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, the International Crane Foundation, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes to learn more about whooping cranes in Louisiana.

For information on LDWF’s whooping crane reintroduction project, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 orbboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

*LDWF PHOTO CAPTION – Infertile whooping crane eggs recovered this week from nest site in Louisiana.

Old Highway 11 Re-opened on Pearl River WMA

Release Date: 05/02/2014

May 2, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has re-opened Old Highway 11 on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in St. Tammany Parish.
 
Old Highway 11 was closed on April 11, 2014, due to the Pearl River stage at Pearl River, La., reaching 16.5 feet.  The river stage has fallen below 16.5 feet and is forecast to continue falling.  Indian Bayou, Oil Well, and Po-Boy Roads will remain closed until water levels recede, the roads have time to dry, and any necessary repairs are made.     
To monitor water levels, visit the National Weather Service link at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lix&gage=perl1.
 
For additional information, contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.
 
 

USFS Recognized for Assistance Provided for LDWF Turkey Trapping Project on Kisatchie National Forest

Release Date: 05/02/2014

May 2, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) formally recognized the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for assistance provided for the department’s turkey research projects on Kisatchie National Forest. That assistance was noted at the May 1 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
 
Since 2011, LDWF staff and partners have captured 116 gobblers on Kisatchie National Forest in an effort to evaluate harvest rates. In 2014, 34 hens were also captured and fitted with GPS-telemetry units as part of a hen-brood habitat use study.
 
“Success at capturing turkeys for these research projects has been due to dedicated efforts of the team that participated,” said LDWF Biologist Program Manager Jimmy Stafford. “Both LDWF and USFS wildlife staff, plus researchers from the University of Georgia and support from the National Wild Turkey Federation made it happen.”
 
Those honored with letters of appreciation from LDWF Secretary Robert Barham include the following:
 
U.S. Forest Service
-- Karen Anderson, Jason Beaubouef, Charles Boles, Al Brazzel, Jonny Fryar, Jessica Husbands, Ernie Noel, Jason Nolde, Steven Pace, Danielle Reed, Doug Rhodes, Ashley Semerena and Emlyn Smith.
 
LDWF -- John Avis, Lynn Bennett, Todd Bridges, Todd Buffington, Forest Burke, John Hanks, Kate Hasapes, David Hayden, Ben Holten, Jarrod Hughes, Ryan Ipes, Jeff Johnson, Seth Miller, Chad Moore, Kenneth Parker, James Stewart and Tony Vidrine.
 
University of Georgia -- Jeremy Wood and Nathan Yeldell
 
NWTF -- Luke Lewis
 
For more information on the turkey research project, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov.
 
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.

Commission Resolutions Formally Enroll WMAs in Wildlife Division Program

Release Date: 05/01/2014

May 1, 2014 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission today adopted resolutions that formally enroll five state wildlife management areas (WMA) in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’  WMA program.

The specific properties include Ben Lilly WMA in Morehouse Parish, Big Colewa WMA in West Carroll Parish, Hutchinson Creek WMA in St. Helena Parish, Marsh Bayou WMA in Evangeline Parish and Walnut Hill WMA in Vernon Parish.

The Commission’s resolution procedure is part of the formal regulatory process that must be followed in the establishment of WMAs.

For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov

Louisiana WFC Sets 2014 Spring Shrimp Season

Release Date: 05/01/2014

Louisiana WFC Sets 2014 Spring Shrimp Season

May 1, 2014 – The dates for the 2014 Louisiana spring shrimp season were set today at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission based on information provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and on public comments.

LDWF provided projections of the dates when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population would reach 100 count per pound or larger.

The opening dates for the 2014 Louisiana shrimp season are as follows:

1. Monday, May 26, 6 a.m. - The portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal, and the portion of state outside waters extending three nautical miles seaward from the shoreline from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude.

2.  Monday, June 2, 6 a.m. - The portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. June 2.  However, the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line are currently open to shrimping.

3.  Monday, June 2, 6 a.m. - The portion of state inside waters from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line.

State Outside Waters

In addition to the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds, all state outside waters are currently open to shrimping except for outside waters extending three nautical miles seaward from the shoreline from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island westward to the to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.

The Commission granted authority to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham to delay or advance these opening dates if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and; to close any portion of Louisiana's inside waters to protect small juvenile white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or enforcement problems develop.  The Secretary is further granted the authority to open any area, or re-open any previously closed area, and to open and close special shrimp seasons in any portion of state waters. 

For a map detailing these openings please click here:

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 please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

 

 

LDWF Sets Recreational Closure for Gray Triggerfish

Release Date: 04/30/2014

 

(Apr. 30, 2014) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced recreational fishing for gray triggerfish will close in Louisiana waters on May 1, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. and will remain closed until January 1, 2015.

NOAA Fisheries has determined that the annual recreational catch target of 217,000 pounds will soon be met, and the closure is necessary to prevent catch target overruns.  NOAA Fisheries will close the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico on May 1, 2014. 

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to change or modify the opening and closing dates for any recreational reef fish season in Louisiana waters when notified by NOAA Fisheries or as he deems necessary.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters are consistent with regulations for federally managed waters for gray triggerfish.

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 721-0489 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

 

UPDATED - Agenda for May 1, 2014 LWF Commission Meeting

Release Date: 04/29/2014

April 29, 2014 -- The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, May 1, 2014, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA
The following items will be discussed:
 
1. Roll Call
 
2. Approval of Minutes of April 3, 2014
 
3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
 
4. WLF Presentation to the USFS Kisatchie National Forest Turkey Trapping Project
 
5. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports April
 
6. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Setting the Opening Dates of the Territorial Sea and 2014 Spring Inshore Shrimp Seasons
 
7. To Consider a Resolution to Recognize Ben Lilly Property as a WMA 
 
8. To Consider a Resolution to Establish Big Colewa as a WMA
 
9. To Consider a Resolution to Establish Hutchinson Creek as a WMA
 
10. To Consider a Resolution to Establish Marsh Bayou as a WMA
 
11. To Consider a Resolution to Establish Walnut Hill as a WMA
 
12. To Hear an Update on Aerial Hog Hunting Control Measures 
 
13. Set September 2014 Meeting Date
 
14. Receive Public Comments
 
15. Adjournment

Step Outside Day Set for May 10 at Sherburne W.M.A.

Release Date: 04/28/2014

April 28, 2014 -- The 10th Annual “Step Outside Day,” an outdoor education program, will be held on Saturday, May 10 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin.
 
“Step Outside Day” is open to all children and adults.  Sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this outdoors day targets youths and individuals with special needs to provide an opportunity to engage in safe, hands-on outdoor activities.  All activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the Sherburne WMA headquarters area and the event is free for all participants.
 
This year’s event will include fishing, archery, boating, target and trap shooting, bird watching, ATV and water safety, and many other outdoor activities for the whole family, such as trapping techniques, turkey and duck calling, and information on the Louisiana black bear and alligators.
 
Drinks and food will be provided on site for participants. No alcoholic beverages or glass containers will be allowed on the premises.
 
Directions to Sherburne WMA headquarters: From US Hwy. 190, take the Sherburne (LA 975) exit, and drive south approx. 3 miles; event activities will be on the left, near Big Alabama Bayou. From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay Exit, and drive north approx. 13 miles on LA 975, event activities will be on the right, near Big Alabama Bayou.

For more information about the event, call the LDWF Opelousas field office, 337-948-0255 or e-mail tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.

 
 
 
 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Adopts Seafood Certification Program Rule Changes

Release Date: 04/28/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Adopts Seafood Certification Program Rule Changes

(April 28, 2014) Based on feedback from the seafood industry, The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has adopted program rule changes to their Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP). The Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP) is a voluntary program for Louisiana wild seafood that was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010 and was developed with the intention of establishing a more professional seafood industry with better handling practices and higher quality products. The rule changes were adopted on April 20th of the 2014 LWSCP permit year and include additional program requirements that increase consumer confidence by ensuring that only wild-caught Louisiana seafood utilizes the LWSCP logo. The changes are as follows:

General Marketing use of LWSCP Logo

LDWF now requires additional verbiage be used when using the LWSCP Logo for general marketing purposes.  Examples of general marketing are: promotional materials, print and television advertising, banners, and digital mediums that promote LWSCP products or participation. The approved statements to be used with LWSCP Logo for general marketing are “ask us about our certified products,” or “ask us about our certified menu items.” Additional statements may be granted approval by LDWF on a case by case basis upon written request.  Contact Fisheries Oversight for more information on how to submit a request to use an LWSCP general marketing statement (OversightPrograms@wlf.la.gov).

Product Registration and Supply Chain Verification             

Product registration allows LDWF to better enforce and certify the use of the LWSCP logo as it is used in the marketplace. All seafood or seafood products packaged for retail sale are now required to be registered with LDWF before utilizing the LWSCP logo. Products produced, packaged, and sold exclusively at the location for retail sale are exempt from these registration requirements. The brand owner is responsible for obtaining a product registration, which is valid for 1 year and expires 12 months from the issue date. Product registration requires the following information: brand name, brand owner, processor/packer, species contained in the product, photo or image of package containing brand and name, and three months of invoices showing LWSCP certified seafood purchased specific to the product. Invoices may be submitted by the packager if the brand owner does not directly purchase seafood used in the product.

Application Requirements for Retailers and Restaurants

LDWF now requires supply chain verification for all retail/restaurants selling and/or serving un-packed seafood, prepared or un-prepared. For the initial applications, each retail/restaurant wanting to participate in LWSCP must provide three months of invoices showing LWSCP certified product purchases. Applications up for annual renewal will require invoices for six months out of the last 12 months showing purchases of LWSCP certified seafood.

How do you register a product or submit an application?

Brand owners wishing to register a product or retailers and restaurants needing to apply or renew their LWSCP permit must visit https://lwscpadmin.wlf.louisiana.gov to create user accounts. If you are a current LWSCP participant, you should have received a letter containing your unlocking key and instructions on how to link your existing application to your user account. If you have not received this, please contact Fisheries Oversight (OversightPrograms@wlf.la.gov).

Invoice Rules and Exceptions

Pricing information is not required and may be redacted if desired. Images of invoices will be kept for verification purposes only and will be considered confidential. Data from the invoices will not be entered into any database or other electronic format. Companies participating in a LDWF approved electronic traceability program and who allow LDWF access for verification purposes shall be exempt from all invoice submission requirements. 

The full program changes document can be found in the April edition of the Louisiana Register (R.S. 56:578. 15) starting on page 804:  http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/OSR/reg/regs2014.htm

For questions concerning this program or the rule change process please contact the LDWF Fisheries Oversight division at OversightPrograms@wlf.la.gov or toll-free at 855-262-1764. You can also submit questions by mail to P.O.Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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

Louisiana Youth Can Register Now for 2013 Hunter of The Year Awards

Release Date: 04/28/2014

April 28, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) are encouraging hunters 15 years of age or younger to enter the 2013 Youth Hunter of the Year competition.
 
The contest requires youth hunters to submit a story about their hunting experience along with photographs of the hunt.  LDWF and LOWA will then select a male and female youth hunter of the year based upon the stories and photos that are received.
 
Visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/yhrp for information on the Youth Hunter Registry Program and the 2013 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest.

 
Youth hunters who participated in any hunting activity during the 2013-14 hunting season are encouraged to participate.  This is not a big buck or turkey contest. The program is about youths enjoying a hunting experience, with or without success, and keeping the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana.
 
Completing a Youth Hunter Registry application and submitting the required photograph and short story about the hunt qualifies the young hunter for Youth Hunter of the Year consideration. The deadline to enter the 2013 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest is June 30, 2014.
 
The two winners will be recognized at the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Conference this summer as 2013 Youth Hunters of the Year.  Winners will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.
 
Additionally, all participants who register their 2013-14 hunting experiences with the Youth Hunter Registry Program will be eligible to win a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters (winner to be selected by a random drawing).  The Youth Hunter Registry Program and the Youth Hunter of the Year Program are coordinated jointly by LOWA and LDWF. These two programs are made possible by the generous donations of the South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, the Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, Andrew Harrison with Harrison Law, LLC., the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.

For more information, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or heflinroots@hotmail.com.

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.

 

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