LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Warns Public of Potential Fish Kills Due to Freezing Temps

Release Date: 01/05/2018

As an arctic blast continues to move across the state, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to warn the public of potential fish kills throughout coastal Louisiana as a result of freezing water temperatures.  

 

It is still too early to determine what, if any, impact the cooler temperatures may have on fish populations. Many fish that may have been killed by the freeze would still be on the bottom of water bodies, and may not be visible for a week or more.   

 

Coastal species commonly impacted by low water temperatures are sand seatrout, (a.k.a. "white trout"), red drum, black drum, and spotted seatrout.

 

“Typically water temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for any more than a day begin to cause problems for spotted seatrout, whereas red drum are slightly more tolerant and will begin to experience problems in the mid-30s,” explained LDWF fisheries biologist Jason Adriance. “The rate at which the water cools is also important. If fish have a chance to acclimate and move, the potential for survival is better.”

 

More definitive estimates of the effects of the freeze on fish population sizes and distribution within the coastal areas will be available as information is collected through the department’s fishery-independent monitoring programs.  Later, success rates from fishery-dependent monitoring, including both recreational and commercial sampling, will provide an indication of how the changes in population sizes affected the harvest.  

Should you come across significant numbers of dead or dying fish, LDWF encourages you to contact the department. Contact information along with requested reporting specifics, is available here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fish-kills.  Important information to include in your report are your name and phone number in case additional information is needed, along with the location including good directions to the fish kill site, the approximate numbers and species that you saw, and their condition (still dying, all dead, decomposing, etc.).

 

People should also be aware that legal creel and size limits are in effect, and harvest of fish beyond those limits is illegal.

 

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 Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules

Release Date: 01/05/2018

Jan. 5, 2018 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for 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 at its January meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
 
The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons and provide for a public comment period.
 
Some of the proposed changes include:
 
§  Deer Area 9 change in either-sex primitive and modern firearms days. Dates will occur earlier within the normal season framework to facilitate antlerless harvest earlier in the season with the intent to improve sex ratios in advance of breeding. There is no reduction or addition of available hunting days.
§  Move West Feliciana Parish from Deer Area 4 to Area 6. 
§  Prohibition on the use of drones on WMAs. Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Tunica Hills WMA.
§  Addition of PCHP wheelchair bound waterfowl blinds on Bayou Pierre and Russell Sage WMAs. 
§  Addition of vessel language for allowable means of camping on WMAs. 
§  Addition of language to clarify where camping can occur on WMAs. 
§  Reduction of available either-sex modern firearm days from 3 to 2 and reduction of primitive firearms bucks only days from 7 to 2 for deer on Attakapas WMA.
§  Allowance for use of yo-yo’s and trot lines for fishing in Big and Chain lakes on Big Lake WMA. 
§  Establishment of Limited Access Areas (LAAs) for the Topan Unit and the Old Waterfowl Refuge on Boeuf WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels. 
§  Reduction of deer youth lottery and PCHP Wheelchair bound opportunity on Buckhorn WMA.
§  Adjustment of dates for primitive weapon deer season on Clear Creek WMA.
§  Grassy Lake WMA reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from 7 to 2 days. 
§  Elimination of antlerless deer harvest on Pass-A-Loutre WMA.
§  Reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from 7 to 2 days on Richard K Yancey WMA.
§  Changing the Joyce WMA deer season structure to run concurrent with Maurepas Swamp WMA deer season.
§  Establishment of LAAs for all waterfowl impoundments EXCEPT Wham Brake on Russell Sage WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels.
§  Adjustment of Sabine WMA deer season(s) to make them later in the season.
§   Increase in the number of deer either-sex days for modern firearms from 5 to14 days on Thistlethwaite WMA.   
§  Adjustment of dates for primitive weapons deer season on West Bay WMA.
§   Addition of a part of St. Martin Parish into Area A for turkey hunting.
 
 
To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from February through March and/or can be submitted in writing by mail to: Tommy Tuma, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ttuma@wlf.la.gov until 9 p.m., March 1, 2018.
 
LDWF will also collect public comment at public hearings to be held Feb. 19-March 1 throughout the state. Locations and times for those meetings will be announced later this month.
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts Feral Hog Transport Notice of Intent

Release Date: 01/04/2018

Jan. 4, 2018 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent that would allow Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Agents to cite people in the state illegally transporting feral hogs.
 
The notice of intent reads in part: Feral hogs shall not be transported alive unless done so by a feral swine authorized transporter registered with the Board of Animal Health of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), who has proof of said registration in his/her possession. Feral hogs being transported in violation of this rule will be confiscated and disposed of in accordance with LDWF policy.
 
The notice of intent will have no effect on people moving feral hogs legally with proper LDAF documents.
 
To read the full notice of intent, go to  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
To comment on the notice of intent or for more information, contact LDWF State Wildlife Veterinarian Jim LaCour at jlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0823.

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Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet January 9 at 1:00 p.m.

Release Date: 01/04/2018

                                                                             

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, chairman

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 1:00pm

UNO Advanced Technology Center 

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70148

 

AGENDA

 

I. Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II. Approval of October 10, 2017 Minutes and January 9, 2018 Agenda

III. Financial Report

IV. New Business

     A. Discussion of an Amendment to the two-month crab season closure wherein, the carvest of all Crabs would be included in the closure of the season for an entire month and to consider scheduling the closure earlier in the year- Representative Jerry Gisclair    

     B. To Hear an Update on the 2018 Derelict Crab Trap Closures- Peyton Cagle

     C. To Hear a Presentation on Crab Import Data- Jack Isaacs

     D. To Submit 3 CTF Nominations for Consideration to be Appointed to the Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board  – CTF

     E. Discussion of Blue Crab Bycatch Regulations/ Limit Proposal- George Jackson

     F. Discussion of Task Force Name Tags and T-Shirts- Warren Delacroix

    G. Discussion of Crab Task Force Ethics Requirements- Warren Delacroix

    H. Officer Elections

V. Public Comment

VI. Set Next Meeting

VII. Adjourn

 

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.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register athttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2203924166716895747

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.

 

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

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 rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

 

 

RECREATIONAL GRAY TRIGGERFISH SEASON TO CLOSE FROM JANUARY 16 THROUGH THE END OF FEBRUARY.

Release Date: 01/03/2018

January 3, 2018 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the season for the recreational harvest of gray triggerfish will close in Louisiana waters on January 16, 2018 and remain closed through February 28, 2018. The recreational season will open as originally scheduled on January 1, 2018 and run through January 15, 2018 and then resume on March 1, 2018. NOAA Fisheries announced that new regulations are being enacted to help rebuild the gray triggerfish stock. NOAA Fisheries requested that Louisiana state waters also remain closed for that period.  The changes to the recreational season include an additional recreational fixed closed season from January 1 through the end of February of each year along with the currently established June 1 to July 31 fixed closed season.

 

Further changes enacted by NOAA Fisheries include size and bag limit changes which will also take effect in federal waters on January 16.  These changes include an increase in the recreational minimum size to 15 inches fork length and a reduction in the recreational bag limit to 1 gray triggerfish per angler per day within the 20-reef fish aggregate bag limit (species within the 20-reef fish aggregate are vermillion snapper, lane snapper, almaco jack, gray triggerfish, and tilefishes). Commercial trip limits have also changed to 16 gray triggerfish per trip. These additional changes to gray triggerfish regulations will be addressed at a future Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in previously promulgated rules (LAC 76.VII.335.G.5) to change or modify the opening and closing dates for any recreational reef fish season in Louisiana waters when notified of a modification to a season by NOAA Fisheries.  

 

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance@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.

NOAA Fisheries Certifies Louisiana Recreational Creel Survey

Release Date: 12/29/2017

Today, NOAA Fisheries announced the certification of the Louisiana Recreational Creel (LA Creel) survey design. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries uses LA Creel as an alternative general survey to estimate recreational fishing catch and effort, or number of angler trips. It was designed to provide catch estimates for offshore fisheries, that are more precise than the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) general survey estimates, to allow estimates by state drainage basin that were not currently feasible under MRIP, and also to provide preliminary estimates weekly during the fishing season.

On Background

Since 2014, the State and NOAA Fisheries, along with outside consultants, have been working collaboratively to develop and refine the LA Creel sampling and estimation methods. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries developed the survey design, and MRIP provided technical support for subsequent improvement that was a collaborative project between the agencies. MRIP also coordinated the independent peer review of the design.

Now that the LA Creel survey design has been certified, it is eligible for federal funding to support ongoing improvements and implementation. Use of LA Creel catch statistics in stock assessments and management actions, requires their conversion into a “common currency” that makes them comparable to historical MRIP estimates. Implementation of such a conversion requires development of peer-reviewed scientifically valid methods.

LA Creel is one of several Gulf of Mexico surveys that has been developed by the states with technical support from MRIP. Survey designs to supplement MRIP catch and effort estimates for red snapper are currently under review for certification in Alabama and Mississippi. Additionally, Florida has developed a supplemental reef fish survey design that will be peer reviewed in February 2018.

The process of supporting the development and certification of new survey designs demonstrates MRIP’s commitment to working with our state and regional partners to meet their unique data needs and advance new methods and technologies. This is critical to improving recreational fishing data collection efforts and ensuring fishing opportunities for future generations. The LA Creel program is intended to implement an approach to address Louisiana-specific needs such as monitoring of harvest by drainage basin, which is critical to understanding fisheries in the rapidly changing coastal landscape of the state.

Agenda for the January Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 12/29/2017

Note start time is 1:00 PM for this meeting.

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, January 4, 2017, 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 December 7, 2017 Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6. Enforcement Report December, 2017 – Captain Edward Skena

7. Consider Notice of Intent for the general and wildlife management area rules and regulations for the 2018-2019 season, the resident game hunting season for the 2018-2020 hunting seasons, the general and wildlife management area rules and regulations for the turkey season, the turkey hunting areas, and seasons, and bag limits for the 2019 turkey season, and the migratory bird seasons, regulations, and bag limits for the 2018-2020 hunting season – Tommy Tuma, Director, Habitat Stewardship and Operations

8. Update on the Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force – Dr. Kim Tolson, Chairwoman

9. Consider Notice of Intent for feral hog transport rule – Dr. Jim LaCour, DVM, Wildlife Disease Program Manager

10. To Receive a Report on Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) Application for Red Snapper –Myron Fischer, Fisheries Biologist

11. To receive presentation from the Louisiana Charter Boat Association (LCBA) on the results of our survey of federally-permitted charter captains – Richard Fischer, LCBA Communications Manager

12. To consider authorizing the Chairperson to sign a support letter for the Louisiana Only Amendment for the January Gulf Council meeting – Chairman Courville

13. To consider authorizing the Chairperson to sign a support letter for the Louisiana Habitat Based Exempted Fishing Permit for the January Gulf Council meeting – Chairman Courville

14. Elect Chairman and Vice Chairman

15. Set May 2018 Commission Meeting Date

16. Receive Public Comments

17. Adjournment

To access a live stream of the event, please register for the meeting at:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8320202787206143745 

 

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF installs the first artificial reefs in Vernon Lake

Release Date: 12/28/2017

LDWF installs the first artificial reefs in Vernon Lake

Baton Rouge – LDWF Inland Fisheries biologists deployed two new freshwater artificial reefs into Vernon Lake on Thursday, December 14, 2017.

The reefs, composed of PVC pipe donated by the Entergy office in Fort Polk, are held in place by concrete and will provide additional habitat for juvenile fish and offer anglers increased fishing opportunity on Vernon Lake. Inland Biologists will conduct surveys this summer to quantify fish utilizing the reefs.  This installation raises the LDWF freshwater artificial reef total to 70 reefs on 15 waterbodies across the state. 

Material for this project was secured through a partnership with Entergy Louisiana and the Vernon Parish Game and Fish Commission.  Volunteers included LDWF staff from 2 district offices, Vernon Parish Game and Fish Commission members, and Vernon Parish Police Jury employees. 

Location of the new reefs are listed below.

Vernon Lake Spillway Reef 1                  Vernon Lake Spillway Reef 2

N   31.18269                                             N   31.18497

W -93.35313                                              W -93.35339

For questions regarding the Vernon Lake artificial reefs , please contact LDWF Inland Fisheries Biologist Manager, Sean Kinney at (337) 491-2575 or skinney@wlf.la.gov

For more information about the locations of our artificial reefs across the state, check out our ‘Outdoor Explorer Map Tool’ at: http://arcg.is/0GuDKb.

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.

2018 Dates Announced for Use of White Lake WCA Facilities by Groups for Other Public Uses and Nature Trips

Release Date: 12/27/2017

Dec. 27, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has designated dates between Feb. 1-May 31, 2018, for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). For-profit or commercial activities are prohibited.
 
White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish. LDWF owns and manages lodge facilities and 71,000 acres of wetlands and marsh land. The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, will be available for day-use or overnight use at rental rates that vary based on level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access for 2018 group use dates.
 
The facilities and landscape are ideal for birding groups, nature photographers, environmental or wetland ecology students or small business retreats. LDWF can provide site staff for guided boat tours and biologists for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area, which includes freshwater marsh, coastal prairie and an experimental population of whooping cranes.
 
White Lake WCA and the surrounding Mermentau River Basin provide abundant habitat for a variety of avian and aquatic species. This property supports migrant passerine birds, shorebirds, wading birds, rails, gallinules and many species of raptors. Several large breeding rookeries of wading birds are present on the property. Access dates and fees for 2018 are as follows:
 
SCHEDULE FOR OTHER PUBLIC USES AND NATURE TRIPS AT WHITE LAKE WCA
Site visits may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between Feb. 1-May 31, 2018.
Site visits will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis pending facility and staff availability. At this time, WLWCA will only accommodate one group per day/week and all facility reservations must be made two weeks in advance to allow for staff scheduling.
 
FEE SCHEDULE FOR WHITE LAKE WCA FACILITY USE
 
Day Use (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
$300 - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. (For up to 15 people.)
 
$300 + $10/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided. (For up to 15 people.)
 
$300 + $20/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided (for up to 15 people) will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.
 
Exemptions from day-use Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).
 
Overnight Use (arrive 2-4 p.m. day 1; depart 1 p.m. day 2)
 $400 + $25/person/night --Includes overnight stay at Lodge with only linens provided.
 (For up to 12 people.)
 
$400 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.  (For up to 12 people.)
 
$900 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and linens provided. (For up to 12 people.)
 
Exemptions from overnight Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).
 
Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)
$10/person/25 clay pigeons.
                       
$15/person/25 clay pigeons, 25 shotgun shells provided.
 
Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events.
 
Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)
$10/person/ride. Limited to authorized function attendees.
 
Exemptions: Any state, local or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.
 
LDWF reserves the right to schedule other public use activities and nature trips, for educational purposes, outside the advertised dates should the need arise.
 
For more information on White Lake WCA facility use, visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/other-public-uses-and-nature-trips , or contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 ext. # 1 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Would Bring $18 Million Per Year to Louisiana

Release Date: 12/20/2017

Dec. 20, 2017 – The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, recently introduced to Congress, would bring $18 million per year to Louisiana to conserve more than 700 nongame fish and wildlife species and their habitats in our state.
 
U.S. Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced House Bill 4647 (HR 4647), or the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, on Dec. 14.  The legislation proposes to provide state fish and wildlife agencies with $1.3 billion annually to implement State Wildlife Action Plans. The source of funding is royalties and revenues collected from energy and mineral development on federal lands and waters. The bill would not require taxpayers or businesses to pay more but instead allows all Americans to become investors in fish and wildlife conservation.
 
“This legislation would bolster our Wildlife Action Plan which seeks to conserve our wildlife and its habitat,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “Going from $600,000 to $18 million annually would give us the capacity to fully implement that plan for nongame and threatened species and habitat in our state. We’ll be able to achieve some major conservation plans and objectives.”
 
It currently costs the American public hundreds of millions of dollars each year to restore threatened and endangered species, costs that could be avoided or greatly reduced if proactive conservation measures were implemented. Proactive conservation is good for wildlife, good for taxpayers, good for business and good for our communities. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, supported by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, would provide the needed resources for proactive conservation nationwide.
 
“Our state Wildlife Action Plan outlines conservation strategies to help address the decline of Louisiana species and habitats,’’ said Amity Bass, LDWF Assistant Chief for Coastal and Nongame Resources Division. “This funding will allow states to address wildlife conservation issues and keep species off the Endangered Species List.’’
 
These critical efforts are supported by the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife, whose purpose is to create a 21st-century funding model for critically needed conservation of our nation’s most precious natural resources, our fish and wildlife. This effort was built upon the strong partnership created by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources, consisting of members representing the outdoor recreation, retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state and federal fish and wildlife agencies.
 
For more information, go to OurNatureUSA.com . For more information on Louisiana’s State Wildlife Action Plan, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/wildlife-action-plan or contact Sam Holcomb at sholcomb@wlf.la.gov .
 
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The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.

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