LDWF News Release

Application Period for Shrimp Refrigeration Cost-Share Program is Closed

Release Date: 04/08/2014

(April 8, 2014) – Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that the application period for the shrimp refrigeration cost-share program has closed.

The program, announced in January, provided eligible shrimp vessel owners, docks, and processing facilities the opportunity to qualify for 50 percent of any authorized refrigeration equipment costs, up to $30,000. The application period opened on January 24, 2014 and by March 31 more than 350 applications were received.

Staff with the Department will review the submitted applications and work directly with the applicants to determine eligibility.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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


L.W.F.C. Briefed on Feral Hog Population in Louisiana

Release Date: 04/08/2014

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) received an overview report on the feral hog population in Louisiana at the Commission’s April 3 meeting. The overview provided details on agriculture and wildlife habitat impacts, diseases carried by feral hogs and control efforts implemented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

LDWF veterinarian Jim LaCour’s presentation provided feral hog facts including:

  • Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) are present in all 64 parishes in Louisiana. Louisiana’s population is estimated at 500,000.
  • Gestation is 114 days and feral sows can have 2 litters per year averaging 6 piglets per litter. Statisticians have determined that 75 percent of the population must be harvested to maintain a static population.
  • Feral hogs are omnivores and can adapt to nearly any environment from desert to marsh to piney woods and hardwoods and can even survive in sub-arctic conditions.
  • Feral hogs impact wildlife by direct competition for hard mast resources and by predation on reptiles, amphibians, ground-nesting bird eggs and mammals including deer fawns.
  • Feral hogs uproot both planted and naturally regenerated coniferous and hardwood seedlings. Additionally, their heavy consumption of hard mast significantly reduces natural forest regeneration.
  • They increase erosion and shed coliform bacteria into waterways. • Feral hogs heavily impact agriculture, uprooting planted seeds, destroying mature crops and uprooting hayfields making hay cutting difficult to impossible.
  • LDWF surveillance testing of over 1,000 feral swine statewide revealed that 3.5 percent were serologically positive to Brucella antigen (Swine Brucellosis).
  • Other diseases found in feral hogs include Pseudorabies, Leptospira, and Trichinosis .
  • Hog control methods now currently used in Louisiana include recreational hunting and trapping by private landowners, daylight and night time shooting and aerial gunning via helicopter.
  • Possible hog control methods being researched including toxicants such as sodium nitrite and genetically-based contraception.

To view the full presentation, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/nuisance-wildlife.

The Commission also heard a presentation by a representative of Vertex Aviation Group of Houston on helicopter gunning operations used in Texas that allow recreational hunters to purchase aerial feral hog hunts now legal in that state. LDWF is currently working with Texas Parks and Wildlife to develop a permitting framework that could provide a similar option for recreational hunters in Louisiana.

For more information: contact Jim LaCour at 225-765-0823 or jlacour@wlf.la.gov; or Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.


Tagged Fish Count Continues to Grow with Second LASS Tournament of 2014

Release Date: 04/07/2014

Todd McKellar and Bart Crader land a two-fish total weight of 15.29 pounds, earning them fir

(Apr. 7, 2014) - Anglers landed, tagged and released 71 redfish at Saturday’s Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament in Lake Charles at Calcasieu Point Landing.  This iconic fishing tournament continues to welcome anglers from across the Gulf Coast to fish in Louisiana’s bountiful waters.
Bart Crader and Todd McKellar, a pair of hard-fishing Louisiana buddies, claimed victory this weekend, competing in their first LASS tournament with a two-fish total weight of 15.29 pounds, earning them over $3000 in cash and prizes.
McKellar said they had a great week of practice and pre-fishing, which in turn helped the team to eliminate many locations that weren’t producing.  “Many of the ponds we were fishing lost water from the tide, and we had to change plans, which worked out to our advantage.  To win against this caliber of anglers is pretty special,” explained McKellar. 
Top finishers included: Gary and Gus Wilson, III, second place; Jason Ellender and Robbie Trahan, third place; Vince Theriot and Ray Christy, fourth place.  Charlie and Hunter Howell took home the smallest fish prize.
The tournament continues its secondary mission of exposing youth to the sport of fishing and the catch-and-release approach to conservation.  Christopher McElveen, who fished alongside his father Michael, is practically a celebrity within the tournament series, and has competed in well over a handful of LASS tournaments in the Youth Division.  
Sponsors for the 2014 series include Shimano, King Cooker, SeaTow New Orleans, Bomber Baits, Cabela's, Standard Mapping, Omega Protein, Chevron, YETI Coolers, Frabill, Work Sharp Knife Sharpeners, PowerPro, Costa del Mar and Coors Light.  A special thanks to Front 2 Back Boat Service for providing a meal to all of the competitors.  
The LASS is hosted annually by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the tournament's non-profit partner.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.
Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for the 2014 schedule, registration and additional details.  The tournament's next stop is The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle in Lake Slidell on May 3.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.


Monterey Man Pleads Guilty for Illegally Killing a Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 04/04/2014

A Monterey man pleaded guilty and was sentenced on April 3 in Concordia Parish for illegally killing a Louisiana Black Bear.

Seventh Judicial District of Louisiana Judge Kathy Johnson took Duell Moreland's, 24, guilty plea and sentenced him to a $10,000 civil restitution fee for replacement value of the black bear, a $950 fine, $254 in court fees, two years of probation, 120 days in Concordia Parish Jail with 60 days suspended and 60 days mandatory, suspended his hunting license for five years and he cannot possess a firearm or bow for five years.

Moreland turned himself into the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 18, 2013, for the illegal killing of a Louisiana Black Bear.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents got an arrest warrant for Moreland on Nov. 14, 2013.  Agents began the investigation after receiving a mortality signal from a radio collared black bear that was a part of LDWF’s Black Bear Program.  A mortality signal is sent after a certain amount of inactivity.

Upon arriving to the scene of the radio collar off of Pete Davis Road in Wildsville in Concordia Parish, agents found the collar and a burn pile next to the collar containing bear parts.  Agents also noticed an abandoned broke down pickup truck on the property that they later found belonged to Moreland.

Agents interviewed the two leaseholders of the property whom both disclosed that Moreland was the person responsible for the illegal killing of the black bear.  Agents seized a rifle and crossbow from Moreland’s truck and a knife from the scene.

Agents assisting in the case were Senior Agent Joey Merrill and US Fish and Wildlife Agents Mark Cupit and John Tarver.

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


LDWF Introduces Youth to Fish Tagging and Fisheries Conservation

Release Date: 04/04/2014

LDWF Introduces Youth to Fish Tagging and Fisheries Conservation

(Apr. 4, 2014) - It’s no secret that Louisiana boasts a large number of recreational anglers who are both avid sportsmen and devoted conservationists, but what many don’t know is that youth across the Gulf Coast are also getting involved in fisheries conservation projects.

One such project is the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, implemented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana. The program focuses on tagging redfish, speckled trout, red snapper and yellowfin tuna, and provides interested volunteer anglers with free, saltwater fish tagging kits. If a fish is later reported as a recapture, a report is sent to the volunteer tagger to inform them on the distance traveled and how much the fish grew. Several of these dedicated “citizen scientists” tag well over 100 fish per year.

Volunteer fish taggers are getting their entire families in on the action, and many kids have been introduced to the experience of tag and release fishing. Our youth are the next generation of anglers, and it is extremely important to introduce them not only to the sport of fishing, but also to the importance of conserving our fisheries for future generations.

This year, LDWF is hosting several Family Fish Fest events to increase youth and family involvement in fishing and fisheries conservation. Each event will include fishing opportunities, with live redfish and speckled trout tagging at all saltwater locations. The public is invited to bring out their entire family for an exciting day of fishing, hands-on activities, educational exhibits and great prize giveaways courtesy of Pure Fishing and CCA Louisiana.

Be sure to mark your calendars for:

May 17, Forsythe Point Recreation Area, Monroe, La. (in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House Bass Tournament)

May 24, Campo’s Marina, Shell Beach, La.

June 7, Myrtle Grove Marina , Port Sulphur, La.

June 28, Quintana Landing, Cypremort Point, La. (in conjunction with CCA-LA’s Specks and Spots Tournament)

July 12, Elmer’s Island, Grand Isle, La.

September 27, Waddill Outdoor Education Center, Baton Rouge, La. (in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day Festival)

Additional details will be provided closer to event dates. Entry fees may be required at some events.

For more information on the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program or to become a volunteer fish tagger, visit www.TagLouisiana.com or www.facebook.com/Tag.Louisiana. For more information on Family Fish Fests, contact Danica Williams at (504) 628-7282 or dwilliams@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.


L.W.F.C. Approves Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations, Turkey Hunting Seasons, Turkey Hunting Regulations and W.M.A. Rules for Upcoming Seasons

Release Date: 04/04/2014

April 4, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2014-16 hunting season dates and the 2014-15 General and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) rules and regulations at their April 3 meeting. The season dates approved include the 2015 Turkey season and associated rules and regulations.

The notices of intent presented in January by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons were approved with amendments made subsequently in February and March, and following the public comment period.

Changes in the final approvals include but are not limited to:

• Allowing small game hunters to carry buckshot and/or slug while small game hunting on private lands.

• Beginning with the 2014-2015 small game season, increasing the possession limit for rabbit, squirrel, and quail from two to three times the daily bag limit. The daily bag limit will remain eight for rabbits and squirrels, and 10 for quail.

• Specific to Deer Area 4 - Added language to prevent the overlap of “still hunt only” and the opening of “with or without dogs” seasons for the first weekend of December on years when there are five Saturdays in November. This amendment removes any potential conflicts arising from having the two seasons open at the same time, without the loss of “either sex” opportunities for hunters.

• Modification of the 2014-2015 deer season dates for Area 5 to close the still hunt season on the second Sunday in January, instead of the fourth Sunday in December.

• Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish from Deer Area 9 to Area 6.

• Modification of a portion of St. Mary Parish from Deer Area 7 to Area 9.

• Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish within Deer Area 9 from gun with dogs to still hunt only.

• Elimination of requirement for an annual military permit on Camp Beauregard, Fort Polk, and Peason Ridge WMAs. Self-Clearing Permits will still be required, and hunters must continue to check daily on area closures for military training.

• Addition of general turkey lottery hunt on Pearl River WMA.

• Addition of youth turkey lottery hunt on Richard K. Yancey WMA.

• Implementation of a Self-Clearing Permit requirement for turkey hunters on Catahoula and Red Dirt National Wildlife Management Preserves within Kisatchie National Forest.

• Expansion of deer hunting opportunities on Lake Boeuf WMA.

• Addition of a youth shotgun deer season on Pass-a-Loutre WMA.

• Expansion of fishing opportunities on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA.

• Establishment of small game emphasis areas on select WMAs, with associated dates and rules/regulations.

To view the full notices of intent and all proposed and approved hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

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


L.W.F.C. Adopts Notice of Intent to Establish Permit Regulations for Louisiana Native Wildlife Used in the Entertainment and Film Industry in Louisiana

Release Date: 04/03/2014

April 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent today for the establishment of permit regulations for Louisiana native wildlife used in the entertainment and film industry.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) developed the regulations in response to Act 550, passed by the State Legislature in 2012. This act added language to R.S. 56:105(A) to allow possession of Louisiana native wildlife for entertainment purposes.

The permit regulations establish general rules regarding permit requirements, animal origin, purchase and use of the animals, holding pen specifications, travel enclosure requirements and reporting requirements. Among the general rules are stipulations that the permit allows use of Louisiana wildlife species only and that animals must have been obtained from a licensed trapper, licensed Game Breeder or a licensed Nongame Quadruped Breeder.

Potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats, and non-human primates, as listed in R.S. 56:6 and LAC 76.V.1.115 are specifically prohibited from being included under this permit.

By their nature, animals used in the film and entertainment industry are subjected to temperament testing, training, and handling for their use in this type of industry. The Film and Entertainment Industry Animal permit (FEIAP) has been developed by LDWF to protect potential human health hazards and animal welfare issues inherent in holding, training, and handling of non-domesticated animal species. It also addresses possessing native bird, reptile, and amphibian species in addition to mammals.

To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at the LWFC May 1st meeting and/or can be submitted in writing by mail to: Camille Warbington, LDWF Wildlife Permits Coordinator, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to cwarbington@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m., May 23, 2014. For more information, contact Camille Warbington at 225-763-8584.


LWF Commission Amends NOI to Adjust the Boundary for the Three Day Possession Limit of Black Bass

Release Date: 04/03/2014

(Apr. 3, 2014) – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission amended a Notice of Intent to change the northern boundary to U.S. Highway 90 for the three day possession limit of black bass.

The proposed change will include additional boat launches and provide a more defined boundary.

To view the full notice, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Interested persons may submit related comments regarding the proposed rule through June 4, 2014, to Mike Wood, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at comment@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.


Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Welcomes New Member Edward W. Swindell

Release Date: 04/03/2014

April 3, 2014 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission welcomed newly appointed member Edward “Ed” W. Swindell at their monthly commission meeting today in Baton Rouge. Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Swindell in March.

Commissioner Swindell was raised in Cameron Parish and currently resides in Hammond. He worked for 38 years in the menhaden fishing and processing business and is now retired from 11 years of service with Daybrook Fisheries, Inc. in Empire, La. He will serve on the Commission as a representative of the coastal parishes and the commercial fishing and fur industries.

He currently serves on a fisheries advisory panel for the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and is a member of CCA of Louisiana, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Louisiana Society of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

“Active management plans and programs benefit resource protection and utilization by a wide diversity of user groups that depend on the availability of wildlife and fish for their livelihood and personal enjoyment,” said Swindell. “I aim to assist the Commission in the ongoing development and adjustment of management programs to ensure that Louisiana continues to be a leader in the seafood industry.”

Commissioner Swindell received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from LSU and holds a Professional Engineer license with present status of retired. He met his wife, Rebecca Landry of Gonzales, while both were members of the LSU Marching Band. The Swindells have three sons and five grand children.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .


Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 04/03/2014

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.
Tuesday, April 8 , 2014 1 p.m.
UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans


I. Roll Call and introduction of guests

II. Approval of February 10 minutes and April 8 agenda

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 - (Sammy Martin)
   C. Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
   D. Research – (John Supan)
   E. Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
   F. Marketing – (Ashley Roth) G. Health – (Lance Broussard)
   H. Sustainability- (LDWF)

V. Old Business
  A. BP Oil Spill Remediation
    1. Claims Process
    2. Public Reef Remediation
    3. Oyster Lease Remediation

VI. New Business
   A. Dermo Study- Tom Soniat
   B. Artificial Reef Plan- LDWF 
   C. Travel- LDWF 
   D. LDWF Survey Fee- Sam Slavich

VII. Public Comment

VIII. Set Next Meeting

IX. 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 at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/921549431219760897

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device 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.

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