LDWF News Release

Environmental Education Commission Meeting Scheduled For March 9

Release Date: 03/06/2012

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will meet in Lafayette on Friday, March 9 at 5 p.m. in the Evangeline Room at theLafayette Crowne Plaza located at 1801 W. Pinhook Road.

I.  Call to order

II.  Roll Call/Sign-in

III.  Introduction

IV.  Minutes from last meeting

V.  Financial Report

VI. Coordinator’s Report

VII. Old Business

     A.  Symposium Committee Reports, no more than 5 minutes each

          1. Audio Visual

          2. Door Prize/Hospitality

          3. Evaluation

          4. Exhibitor

          5.  Finance

          6.  Keynote

          7.  Lodging Assistance

          8.  Programs

          9.  Public Relations

       10.   Registration

     B.  Symposium Volunteer Assignments

     C.  Environmental Literacy Plan

VIII.  New Business

     A.  Discuss date for 2013 Symposium

     B.  2012 Grants Program

     C.  Art & Language Arts Contest judges

IX.  Announcements 

X.  Next Meeting Dates: May 8, 2012, August 14, 2012, November 13, 2012

XI.  Adjournment   

Contact: Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-1390


State’s Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative Adds 29,630 Acres To Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 03/02/2012

State’s Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative Adds 29,630 Acres To Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area

March 2, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) today announced a property acquisition that will conserve and preserve the largest contiguous tract of wetland forest remaining in the lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley.Partners in the transaction made the announcement at the Livingston Parish governmental complex.

The 29,630 acres acquired by LDWF will link with the eastern and western sections of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to create a 103,374-acre public outdoor recreation property. The purchasefromThe Conservation Fund will ensure that the acreage remains undeveloped and continue to provide inland coastal protection to adjacent communities. 

“Our citizens, and visitors to the state, now have additional outdoor recreation acreage available within easy driving distance from two major metropolitan areas,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We commend the efforts of The Conservation Fund, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, CPRA and Mr. M.C. Davis in the transfer of these lands to the state.The Louisiana congressional delegation played a key role in securing federal funding from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program for this acquisition.”

The newly-acquired land includes acreage in Livingston, Ascension, St. James and St. John the Baptist Parishes and is accessible from I-10 between Sorrento and Laplace, and located approximately 30 to 45 minutes from Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The acquisition, together with nearby protected lands, connects approximately 140,000 acres within the Maurepas / Pontchartrain Basin.  The linking of these critical wetland areas enables LDWF and CPRA to meet various long-term goals that include:

  • protecting important habitat for a myriad of wildlife species including habitat for threatened species, neotropical migrants, wading birds, and waterfowl, as well as resident game species;
  • protecting important nursery grounds for a variety of aquatic species, whose sustained populations are important to both the commercial and recreational fishing industries;
  • expanding public recreation opportunities, which contribute statewide more than $4.7 billion annually  to Louisiana’s economy; and
  • providing protection from future storm surges and their destructive impacts to personal property and municipal infrastructure within and adjacent to the Maurepas / Pontchartrain Basin.

Recognizing the environmental value of the property, the previous owner, M.C. Davis, sold the tract to The Conservation Fund in April 2011. The Fund utilized a generous program related investment, also known as a PRI, from The McKnight Foundation to purchase the property. CPRA, through its Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative, provided $4.5 million from the federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) provided $2 million, enabling the transfer of the property to LDWF last month.

“Coastal forests such as the Maurepas Swamp are one of the most effective natural barriers to hurricane storm surge. We must protect these assets.  This partnership with Wildlife and Fisheries is a win-win. It allows us to protect these ecological treasures while providing additional hunting and fishing opportunities for our sportsmen,” said CPRA Executive Director Jerome Zeringue. “This acquisition is just the first through the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative. And I want to point out that this is a completely voluntary program. Its primary focus is to acquire land rights from willing landowners like Mr. Davis to give us the opportunity to restore or enhance the sustainability of coastal forest tracts. They provide significant ecological value and serve to reduce storm damage.”

Significant hydrological restoration work on the property is expected to restore freshwater and nutrient flow, increasing the quality of the coastal wetland habitat and providing a buffer against the impact of storms battering the coast. Louisiana’s coastal forests face threats from levees, navigation, historic oil and gas canals, railway embankments, and other factors. Over time, these factors have contributed to degradation of the state’s coastal forests.

Additionally, alterations to hydrology have led to saltwater intrusion, prevention of river inflow (thereby accelerating subsidence and reducing nutrient input), and the retention of water on the forest floor for greater periods of time, lessening or eliminating the productivity that second-growth forests once had and severely compromising the potential for forest regeneration. The CPRA’s Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative is part of an overall strategy for restoring, protecting, and conserving Louisiana’s coastal communities.

"The expansion of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area is a victory for Louisiana's environmental heritage,” said Congressman Bill Cassidy.  This will open new lands for hunting and outdoor recreation and preserve a pristine part of our outdoors. Louisiana should be proud of the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative."

“The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation is pleased to be a partner in this project as Wetland Protection and Wildlife Management Area Programs are part of our major initiatives,” said Kell McInnis, LWFF executive director. “The Foundation was formed to provide a means by which individuals and corporations can become partners with the Department and the Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources. Funding from mitigation agreements required us to focus on land acquisition in the coastal zone and this opportunity is a perfect fit.”

“Our ultimate goal is to protect and enhance the connectivity of this quintessential South Louisiana coastal wetland environment across a large landscape, and this acquisition was a very important piece of the puzzle,” said Ray Herndon, Louisiana state director for The Conservation Fund. “To date, together with numerous partners,the Fund has conserved approximately 160,000 acres across the Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain Basin, much of which connects the Joyce, Manchac and Maurepas Swamp WMAs. We are proud to be a part of this partnership that has completed the very first Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative.”

"The Audubon Society is thrilled to see this tract of bottomlands set aside for conservation of birds and other wildlife in the West Pontchartrain-Maurepas Swamp Important Bird Area, a site that is continentally important for many bird species, including the Prothonotary Warbler, locally known as the golden swamp canary,” said Melanie Driscoll, Audubon Society's director of Bird Conservation for the Mississippi Flyway.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer, La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, (225) 765-5115, bboehringer@wlf.la.gov; Chuck Perrodin, CPRA, 225-342-7615, chuck.perrodin@la.gov; or Ann Barrett, The Conservation Fund, (703) 908-5809, abarrett@conservationfund.org



Event Video


Wildlife and Fisheries March Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 02/27/2012

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.   Approval of Minutes of February 2, 2012

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.   To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/February

5.   To receive Public Comment on Notice of Intent on 2013 – 14 Hunting Season Dates

6.   To receive Public Comment on Notice of Intent on General/WMA Hunting Regulations

7.   To receive and consider a Notice of Intent on Snare Regulations in Trapping

8.   To receive and consider a Notice of Intent for Hog Trapping

9.   To hear a presentation of Proposed Waterfowl Zones and Splits

10. To hear an update on Land Acquisition – Maurepas Swamp

11. Set July 2012 Meeting Date

12. Receive Public Comments

13. Executive Session to Discuss Prospective Litigation Relative to Return of Artificial Reef Fund Monies





Three Louisianans Cited For Shark Fishing Violation

Release Date: 02/24/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division Strike Force agents cited three Louisianans for an alleged shark fishing violation near Venice in Plaquemines Parish on Feb. 22.

Agents were patrolling the Tiger Pass area when they observed a commercial fishing vessel occupied by three subjects.  Upon stopping the vessel, agents discovered that the three subjects were commercial fishing for sharks and in possession of 61 sharks.  Louisiana law only allows 33 sharks per day per vessel.

Agents cited Huy Nguyen, 21, of Boothville, Hua Nguyen, 53, of Buras, and Anh Nguyen, 25, of Buras, for over limit of shark.

Over limit of shark carries fine between $250 and $350 and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Todd Laviolette and Senior Agent Doug Danna.

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

Three Subjects Cited For Hunting Violations On Three Rivers WMA

Release Date: 02/22/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division Strike Force agents cited three Louisiana residents for alleged night hunting violations on the Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Feb. 17.

Agents patrolling the WMA at night observed an all terrain vehicle (ATV) occupied by three subjects traveling the roadways and shining the fields and wood lines with a spotlight.  When agents stopped the ATV, the subjects were in possession of a loaded 30-06 center fire rifle.

Agents cited Jordan M. Brister, 23, of Prairieville, Richard D. Magee, 23, of Denham Springs, and Justin L. Durand, 23, of Denham Springs, for driving an ATV on a WMA with oversized tires, spotlighting on a WMA, possessing a loaded firearm on an ATV, hunting with an illegal weapon on a WMA, hunting from a moving vehicle and hunting wild quadrupeds during illegal hours with artificial light.  Agents also cited Magee and Durand for hunting without a WMA permit and Durand for hunting without a basic hunting license.

Agents seized a 30-06 rifle, spotlight and a Suzuki ATV.

Hunting wild quadrupeds during illegal hours with an artificial light carries a fine between $350 and $750 and up to 180 days in jail.  Each violation of WMA rules carries a fine between $250 and $350 and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Senior Agents Ronnie Engelhard and Cody Soileau.

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

Oyster Task Force and Subcommittees to Meet Thursday in New Orleans

Release Date: 02/20/2012

Oyster Task Force and Subcommittees to Meet Thursday in New Orleans

February 20, 2012 – The Louisiana Oyster Task Force as well as the subcommittees on legislation and health are scheduled to meet this Thursday, February 23, in New Orleans at the UNO Advanced Technology Building in Suite 210. 

The agenda for Thursday’s meetings are as follows:

Oyster Task Force, 1 p.m.
I.       Roll Call
II.      Approval of  January 12,  2012 MINUTES
III.     Treasury Report
                  A. Oyster Tag Sales
                  B. LOTF Financial Report
IV.   Committee Reports
                 A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
                 B.  Enforcement   - (Steve McManus)
                 C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
                 D.  Research – (John Supan)
                 E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
                 F.  Marketing -
                 G.  Health – (Tenney Sibley)
V.     Old Business
                 A.   BP Oil Spill Remediation
                       1. Claims Process
                       2. Public Reef Remediation
                       3. Oyster Lease Remediation
VI.       New Business
                A. Cole Garrett-LDWF
                B. Master Plan Presentation-Kirk Rhinehart- OCPR
                C. Dr. Thomas Soniat-Oyster Habitat Suitability Index/Coastal Master Plan
                D. NRDA update-Drue Banta
VII. Set Next Meeting
VIII. Adjourn

The health subcommittee will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss refrigeration rules and outreach to industry. 

The legislative subcommittee will meet at 10:30 a.m. 

The agenda is as follows:

I. Cole Garrett- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
II. Amendments to seed ground permit
III. Set aside areas for hatcheries
IV. Moratorium
V. Legislation that will require CPRA to develop a mitigation plan for oyster lease owners, oyster harvesters, other fishermen, and families that are displaced by coastal restoration projects.
VI. Citations for captains and not for crew members.
VII. Standard of measurement for baskets
VIII. Tickets that stay on record even though an individual was not officially charged
IX. Marking of leases
X. Oyster poaching fines

These meetings are open to the public.

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8735.


LDWF Agents Issue Citations for Illegal Deer Hunting Activity

Release Date: 02/17/2012

February 17, 2012 Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited ten Louisiana citizens for alleged deer hunting violations from December of 2011 to February of 2012 in Webster and Bienville parishes.

After receiving a public tip about illegal night hunting activities in Webster and Bienville parishes, agents initiated an investigation in December of 2011 that led to several illegal hunting violations.

Agents cited Devan Lucas, 20, of Haughton, for hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting deer using illegal methods, discharging a firearm from a public road, taking deer from a public road, taking deer during illegal hours, hunting without muzzleloader, big game or resident licenses and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Michael Jay Brunson, 19, of Heflin, was cited for hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting deer from a public road, discharging a firearm from a public road, hunting from a moving vehicle and taking deer with artificial light.

Max Boyd, 21, of Ringgold, was cited for hunting and taking deer during illegal hours, hunting deer from a public road, discharging a firearm from a public road, taking a spotted fawn and hunting from a moving vehicle.

Nathan Jensen, 19, of Minden, was cited for discharging a firearm from a public road, hunting and taking deer during illegal hours, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, hunting and taking deer from a public road and hunting from a moving vehicle.

Sean Tyler Tobin Gray, 18, of Sibley, was cited for hunting and taking deer during illegal hours, hunting deer from a public road, hunting from a moving vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public road, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Taylor Collins, 18, and Jonathon Turner, 20, both of Minden, and Richard Watkins, 18, of Haughton, were each cited for hunting and taking deer during illegal hours, hunting from a moving vehicle and hunting and taking deer from a public road.

Asa Crownover, 19, and Michael Franklin, 18, both of Minden, were each cited for hunting and taking deer during illegal hours.

Agents are still investigating how many deer were taken, but as of now have allegedly confirmed 15 deer taken illegally. 

Hunting without a resident license, hunting without a resident big game license and hunting without a muzzleloader license carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days of jail for each offense.  Hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting deer using an illegal method and taking deer from a public road each carry a fine of $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Taking and a spotted fawn carries a fine of $500 to $750 and 15 to 30 days in jail.

Hunting deer during illegal hours or with artificial light carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized.

Possession of marijuana carries a fine up to $5,000 or jail time between two and five years.

Agents involved in the case were Capt. Richie McCarthy, Sgt. Michael Kelley, Senior Agent Jared McIver, Senior Agent Cullom Schexnyder, Senior Agent Bryant Coburn and Senior Agent Wesley Duck.

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



L.D.W.F. Receives Grant Funding to Renovate Slidell Municipal Marina

Release Date: 02/16/2012

February 16, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has received $1.5 million through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG-P), Tier II awards that will provide for the renovation of the Slidell Municipal Marina.

“This project garnered the largest award of all projects funded by BIG Program, Tier II dollars this fiscal year,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The renovated facility will benefit the citizens of Slidell and those who visit the waterways of St. Tammany Parish for many years to come.”

LDWF will partner with the City of Slidell to renovate existing bulkheads, construct 42 additional floating lay-along docking spaces, and install safe walkways for boaters to access the park and downtown area at the marina located within Heritage Park. The $1.5 million in BIG funds will be combined with $1 million in non-federal match funds to cover the $2.5 million total project cost.

The competitive grants from USFWS provide quality opportunities and access to
America’s great outdoors for boaters and anglers. Recreational boaters and anglers contribute to the outdoor recreation economy and play an important role in conservation of the nation’s rivers, watersheds and oceans. It is estimated that outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing, contributes an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy annually.

“We are honored to be one of 10 states to receive grant money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for our exciting Slidell Municipal Marina project at Heritage Park,” said Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan. “I would like to thank the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for partnering with us to help complete this project and Councilman Bill Borchert and the Slidell City Council for their help in securing these funds for the City of Slidell. This is part of a long term goal to develop this entire bayou area to its full potential as a tourist destination.”

Boating Infrastructure Grant recipients can use funds to construct, renovate, and maintain facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and used for recreation. Grantees may also use funds to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuel.

For more information, contact LDWF Boating Access Coordinator Manuel Ruiz at 225-765-2373 or mruiz@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.




LDWF Seeks Volunteers For Derelict Crab Trap Clean-Up

Release Date: 02/07/2012

(Feb. 7, 2012) – Once again, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with Louisiana Sea Grant, with assistance from the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana Crab Task Force, the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Program, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy, will host the 2012 Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up in portions of St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Terrebonne parishes over the next two months.

Since the program began in 2004, the state has removed and disposed of more than 19,000 derelict and abandoned crab traps.  The removal of these traps is not only vital in conserving the blue crab resource, but also improves safety and navigability of waterways.

The schedule for clean-ups is as follows:

St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes clean-ups will begin Feb. 25 at 6 a.m. and end March 5 at 6 a.m.  Volunteer clean-up days, hosted by LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, March 3 at Sweetwater Marina on Delacroix Island.

The Terrebonne Parish clean-up will begin March 17 at 6 a.m. and end March 26 at 6 a.m.  A volunteer clean-up day will be hosted by LDWF on Saturday, March 17 at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium in Cocodrie. 

Derelict traps may be collected anytime during the cleanup period. Representative with LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant will be available at each disposal site on the volunteer days beginning at 8:30 a.m. to distribute instructions, maps and supplies to volunteers, assist with the unloading of derelict traps and document the number of traps removed.

In order to conduct the trap clean-ups, crabfishermen must remove their crab traps from within the closure area during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers. 

Restrictions to clean-up activities are as follows:

  • Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Individuals removing crab traps may not possess these traps outside of the closure area; and, abandoned traps must be brought to designated    disposal sites.
  • Regulations do not provide authorization for public access to private property, as access can only be provided by individual landowners.


LDWF continues to seek volunteers to assist with the crab trap removal. Volunteers willing to participate in the trap clean-ups are encouraged to pre-register with Louisiana Sea Grant. Registration information, along with other clean-up information is available at: http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/.

Volunteers collecting crab traps are asked to place the traps and buoys at the predetermined disposal sites.

Additional information may also be obtained from the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program web site www.derelictcrabtrap.net.

To view a map of the closures areas click here:

For St. Bernard/Plaquemines Parish description area and map, click here: 

For Terrebonne Parish description area and map, click here:

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.

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 please contact Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2401 or Dr. Julie Anderson at janderson@agcenter.lsu.edu or (225) 578-0771.



Crab Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 02/06/2012


Feb. 6, 2011 - The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet on Thursday, February 09, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) building in Baton Rouge. 

Agenda items will include: Update on Louisiana Wild-Caught Seafood Certification Program; Soft-Shell Crab Shedder Reporting; Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for Crab Fishermen; H-2B Visas and Immigrant Labor issues; Derelict Crab Trap Removal Rodeos; MSC Certification and Chain of Custody Certifications; Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board efforts; and Election of Crab Task Force officers.

The Crab Task Force is an industry advisory group comprised of fishermen, soft crab shedders, and crab dealers and processors, as well as state and university representatives.  The task force, established by Act No. 57 of the 2001 regular legislative session, advises LDWF and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on matters pertaining to the management and development of the Louisiana crab industry. 

 For more information, contact Carl Britt at 985-882-0027, or cbritt@wlf.la.gov


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