LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Recreational For-Hire Meetings Scheduled Across the Coast

Release Date: 08/10/2017

Louisiana Fisheries Forward (LFF), in conjunction with the Louisiana Charter Boat Association (LCBA), will host a series of educational meetings for inshore recreational for-hire captains. Discussion topics include the importance of the LaCreel Recreational Survey; current charter captain license requirements, including insurance; opportunities for reaching new customers; and a Q & A with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana Sea Grant staff.
 
Meeting dates and times are as follows: 
 
September 12, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Lake Pontchartain Basin Maritime Museum, 133 Mabel Dr., Madisonville
 
September 13, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
St. Bernard Parish Government Bldg. (council chambers), 8201 W Judge Perez Dr., Chalmette
 
September 14, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Terrebonne Parish Library (upstairs room), 151 Library Dr., Houma
 
September 18, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
LSU AgCenter Calcasieu Office, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles 
 
Interested inshore charter captains should contact Thomas Hymel, Louisiana Sea Grant, at (337) 296-6133 or thymel@agcenter.lsu.edu, for more information.
 
A collaboration of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Louisiana Sea Grant College Program at LSU (Sea Grant), LFF was established with the goal of improving the economic success and environmental sustainability of Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry.

 

Louisiana anglers roll into another red snapper fishing weekend

Release Date: 08/10/2017

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana anglers moved the needle only slightly in the latest catch numbers of red snapper meaning there will be yet another weekend to reel in the prized game fish.

The latest catch stats from LDWF’s LA Creel, the agency’s near real-time data collecting program, are 764,283 as of July 30. This level represents only slightly more than the last reported amount of 736,159.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to shut down the red snapper season when it appears anglers will meet the self-imposed limit of 1.04 million pounds.

LDWF believes that being accountable for the catch limit will help the state’s chances of receiving federal government permission allowing Louisiana to manage its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.

The red snapper fishing season was extended 39 days as part of an agreement reached earlier this summer involving Louisiana, the four other Gulf states – Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida - and the U.S. Department of Commerce. It allowed recreational anglers to fish out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper for 39 days. The dates left on the schedule are Aug. 11-13, Aug 18-20, Aug. 25-27, and Sept. 1-4.

Any dates after this weekend will be cancelled immediately if the limit is reached before Sept. 4.

Also under the agreement, there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out nine miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and September 4. Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches, per day.

*For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page/41176-red-snapper-long-range-plan-facts/redsnapperharvestupdate.pdf

Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting Set For Sept. 6 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 08/08/2017

Aug. 8, 2017 – The Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force will meet Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge (2000 Quail Drive) in the Louisiana Room. The meeting was previously scheduled for July.
 
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.
 
For more information on the task force, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF Wildlife Veterinarian, at jmlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.

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LDWF’s Coastwide Nutria Control Program Seeks Coastal Landowners, Hunters and Trappers to Aid in Battle Against Invasive Rodent

Release Date: 08/07/2017

Aug. 7, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Coastwide Nutria Control Program (CNCP) has removed almost five million nutria from the state’s marshes and wetlands since CNCP was established 15 years ago.
 
LDWF is looking to add more landowners, hunters, and trappers in its battle against the destructive rodent, which has damaged tens of thousands of acres of coastal land since its introduction into the state in the 1930s.
 
“The Coastwide Nutria Control Program is essential for keeping nutria populations at manageable levels to prevent their destruction of our valuable marshlands,’’ said LDWF biologist Catherine Normand, who oversees the program. “There remains a large amount of privately-owned property along the coast that is not currently enrolled in our program and people are missing out on this opportunity to protect their property, protect our coast, and earn money by controlling this invasive species.’’
 
The CNCP program is incentive based, paying registered participants $5 per nutria harvested from Nov. 20-March 31 each year. Registration for the program is free.
 
For landowners to enroll, their property must be located south of I-10 from the Texas-Louisiana border to Baton Rouge, south of I-12 from Baton Rouge to Slidell and south of I-10 from Slidell to the Mississippi-Louisiana border. Landowners can harvest nutria themselves or can be connected with interested hunters or trappers.
 
Information about the program can be found at http://nutria.com/site.php . Applications for hunters and trappers will be available at the website in September. For more information, contact Catherine Normand at cnormand@wlf.la.gov or 337-373-0032.

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LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Approved Domestic Aquatic Organisms

Release Date: 08/04/2017

 

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission considered a Notice of Intent (NOI) to modify rules and regulations for approved Domestic Aquatic Organisms to include Sterlet sturgeon.

An application for consideration was submitted to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to add Sterlet sturgeon to the list of approved species for aquaculture purposes including processing for meat and caviar. 

The LWF Commission opted to allow a public comment period prior to their final ruling. 

The department heavily monitors this process to limit the impacts from non-native aquatic organisms into aquaculture.  Species are considered for approval by evaluating their potential negative risks to native species, their habitats, and human health.

Permit restrictions and the full notice of intent are available here: 

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/41405-noi-dao-sterlet-sturgeon-mark/noi_-_dao_-_sterlet_sturgeon_mark-up.pdf

Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Robert Bourgeois, LDWF Permit Manager, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 or via email to rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov prior to September 29, 2017.

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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Louisiana Fall Shrimp Season to Open Friday, August 18

Release Date: 08/04/2017

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the opening date for the Louisiana fall shrimp season for Friday, August 18 at 6 a.m. The date was selected based on information provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and public comments.

 

To view a map of the opening area visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons

 

The Commission granted authority to the secretary of the department to delay 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.  He is also granted the authority to close shrimping in state outside waters to protect sublegal size white shrimp and to reopen any area closed to shrimping when the closure is no longer necessary. 

 

The secretary is further granted the authority to open any area, or reopen any previously closed area, and to open and close special shrimp seasons in any portion of state waters. 

 

Tow Time Regulations Reminder

Federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations require skimmer net fishermen to limit tow times. Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 through October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 through March 31.

 

For more information, contact Jeffrey Marx (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@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 email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LWFC Approves Resolutions To Add Waterfowl Habitat Property to Joyce And Salvador WMAs

Release Date: 08/03/2017

Joyce Wildlife Management Area
Salvador Wildlife Management Area

Aug. 3, 2017 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved resolutions to add more than 1,900 acres of waterfowl habitat property to two Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Wildlife Management  Areas (WMAs) during its August meeting Thursday (Aug. 3) in Grand Isle.
 
Joyce WMA in Tangipahoa Parish adds 160 acres, known as the Ponder Tract, and Salvador WMA in St. Charles Parish gets 1,777 acres, known as the White Tract. Both WMAs are wetlands habitat located in southeast Louisiana.
 
The property at Joyce WMA was acquired in September of 2016 through an act of donation by the Conservation Fund to LDWF.
 
The White Tract at Salvador WMA, acquired in June, was purchased with the assistance of Wetlands America Trust, one of the nation’s largest accredited land trusts and the land trust for Ducks Unlimited. Additional support came from the property owners, Ducks Unlimited’s Gulf Coast Initiative, LDWF, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant.
 
Joyce WMA consists of more than 27,000 acres and is located five miles south of Hammond. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774.
 
Salvador WMA is made up of more than 32,000 acres and is located along the northwestern shore of Lake Salvador about 12 miles southwest of New Orleans. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2765.

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Louisiana anglers get another red snapper weekend

Release Date: 08/03/2017

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana is definitely the Sportsman Paradise for anglers hoping to catch red snapper.

Latest estimates from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries show that the catch total is still thousands of pounds below the mark that would signal the end of the red snapper season.

The latest catch statistics recorded by LDWF’s LA Creel, the department’s near real-time data collecting program, is 736,159 pounds covering the period ending July 23. The last reported catch amount was 709,595 pounds, covering the period through July 16.

The state’s self-imposed cutoff number is 1.04 million pounds for 2017. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to end the red snapper season when it appears Louisiana’s harvest will meet the set limit.

LDWF believes that being accountable for the state’s catch limit will improve its chances of receiving federal government permission allowing Louisiana to oversee its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.

The red snapper fishing season was extended 39 days as part of an agreement reached earlier this summer involving Louisiana, the four other Gulf states – Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida - and the U.S. Department of Commerce. It allowed recreational anglers to fish out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper for 39 days. The dates left on the schedule are Aug. 4-6, Aug. 11-13, Aug 18-20, Aug. 25-27, and Sept. 1-4.

Any dates after this weekend will be cancelled immediately if the limit is reached before Sept. 4.

Also under the agreement there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out nine miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and September 4. Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches, per day.

*For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates, visit:

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page/41176-red-snapper-long-range-plan-facts/redsnapperwebsitedocument7-23-17.pdf

Sherburne WMA South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Viewing Event on Aug. 12

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Aug. 2, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a wood stork and wading bird viewing event on Aug. 12 from 7 a.m.-noon within the South Farm area of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) complex. The South Farm area is located in Iberville Parish and is accessible via I-10.
 
There is no entry fee for the event. However, participants are reminded that anyone between the ages of 16-60 is required to have either a valid Louisiana hunting or fishing license or a Wild Louisiana Stamp to visit a LDWF WMA. These can be purchased at any license vendor selling LDWF hunting or fishing licenses, on-line at www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at 1-888-765-2602.
 
This event provides an excellent opportunity for bird watchers, photographers and anyone who enjoys wildlife. The South Farm habitat also attracts alligators, white-tailed deer and many other species of birds. Individuals and professionals will be on hand to discuss the management of the area and provide wildlife identification assistance. Participants are advised to arrive early for improved wood stork viewing opportunities.
 
Wood storks and other wading and shorebirds are readily visible at this time due to the management provided by wildlife division staff. A number of large, moist soil impoundments are flooded in the fall to provide habitat for water birds, especially shorebirds and waterfowl. Aside from seed bearing herbaceous plants, the developed habitat contains an abundance of small fish and crawfish, ideal food sources for wading birds.
 
The South Farm impoundments are drawn down in mid-summer to enhance the growth of wetland plants for wintering waterfowl. The drawdown period is extended almost a month at times due to the size of the impoundments and the management strategy, which is focused on providing mud flats and very shallow water with concentrated prey for shorebirds (sandpipers and others) and wading birds (egrets, herons, spoonbills, storks and ibis).
 
The wood stork is the only stork native to North America. These large wading birds, which can grow as tall as four feet with a 66-inch wingspan, are an indicator of the condition of our nation’s wetlands.  As wetlands disappear, wood stork numbers also diminish. Although many of these birds are from Mexico, the water management units at the South Farm have become critical habitat for the species survival.
 
To get to South Farm take I-10 to the Ramah Exit (Exit 135). Drive north to the first road on the left, located near the small bait stand/store, then past the store take a right to cross the bridge and turn right on the levee road, which is a gravel road. Drive approximately one mile or until you see the South Farm sign, cross over the levee and enter the parking lot. Event coordinators will be there to provide additional information.
 
For more information about the South Farm birding event, call the LDWF Wildlife Division Opelousas Field Office at 337-948-0255.

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Body of Missing Boater Found in Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents recovered the body of a missing boater in Lake Pontchartrain this morning, Aug. 2.

The body of Lawrence Guimont, 57, of New Orleans, was found about 7 a.m. near where his capsized vessel was found the previous day under the Hwy. 11 Bridge in Orleans Parish.

LDWF agents along with the U.S. Coast Guard, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police responded to a report of a capsized vessel under the Hwy. 11 Bridge on the morning of Aug. 1.  LDWF agents were able to recover the vessel along with the attached trolling motor.

The search and rescue crews were able to link Guimont to the vessel and a truck at a nearby boat launch and then contacted his family who confirmed he went out fishing.  The search and rescue crews searched throughout the night before finding his body this morning.

It is unknown at this time what caused the vessel to capsize.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Guimont was found without wearing a personal flotation device and his body was turned over to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

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