LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Join L.D.W.F. For F.U.N. Camp Oct. 7 - 9

Release Date: 09/22/2011

Sept. 22, 2011-- "FUN Camp" is a weekend adventure of outdoor fun for a parent and child designed to help Families Understand Nature. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is offering a mother-child FUN Camp from Oct. 7 through 9 to educate participants about Louisiana's wildlife resources.

The fall FUN Camp, scheduled at LDWF’s Woodworth Outdoor Education Facility, is for mothers and children (boys or girls) age 10-13.  Activities include fishing, canoeing, shooting, hiking and archery.  The program goals for participants include developing a greater appreciation for the outdoors, becoming comfortable in an outdoor environment and having fun.

Mothers and children will arrive Friday evening by 7 p.m. at Woodworth Outdoor Education Facility, 661 Robinson Bridge Road, Woodworth, LA 71485.  All participants go camping Saturday night with tents and cooking gear provided by LDWF.  All activities conclude  around noon on Sunday.  A father-child FUN Camp will be offered April 13-15, 2012.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited and filled on a first come, first served basis.  Registration is $50 for each family (a parent and child).  Each additional child is $25.  The fee covers meals, lodging and supplies used over the weekend.  Bed linens and sleeping bags are NOT provided.

To obtain a registration form on-line, visit LDWF’s website at

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/fun-camp or contact Karen Edwards at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Whale Shark Tagging Expedition Deemed a Huge Success

Release Date: 09/21/2011

Whale Shark Tagging 1
Whale Shark Tagging 2
Whale Shark Tagging 3

Effort represents the largest number of individuals tagged at one time in the northern Gulf

(Sept. 21, 2011) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in a collaborative effort with several fisheries-based agencies, successfully tagged 10 whale sharks during two recent trips in the Gulf of Mexico.  This represents the largest number of whale sharks tagged at one time in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The tagging effort is a joint venture between the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, Mississippi Laboratories, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, On the Wings of Care and LDWF.  The team is hoping the project will reveal precious information about the little-studied fish.

“Historical information on whale sharks in the northern Gulf of Mexico is lacking,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We’ve had great success with many other fish tagging ventures and hope that this effort has similar results, providing a wealth of data to assist in the conservation of this species.”

Despite being the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark is one of the most elusive animals to scientists due to their offshore, nomadic existence.  They are extremely difficult to find outside of a few known seasonal hotspots; therefore, obtaining data on this species is extremely challenging and expensive. 

“If the tags stay on for a significant amount of time, we will learn a great deal about how these sharks use the waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico, as well as where they go in the winter time, which is still a mystery to us,” said Dr. Eric Hoffmayer, a Research Fishery Biologist with NOAA Fisheries Service, who has been studying whale sharks in the northern Gulf for 10 years.  “It is still unclear whether whale sharks are residents in northern Gulf waters or simply seasonal migrants from the Caribbean Sea or beyond.  Hopefully the data acquired from these tags will shed some light onto this research question.”

One of the most accurate and useful tools for studying whale shark movements is telemetry, which involves attaching satellite transmitters to the sharks.  Other behavioral information beyond the shark’s movements can be inferred by assessing oceanic and physical conditions around the shark. 

The satellite tags provide temperature and depth data every 10 to 15 minutes as well as an estimated position each day for the duration of the tag.  The deployment periods for these tags ranged between four to 12 months.  In addition to the standard satellite tags, three position tags were also deployed, which send real-time location estimates to the satellite when the shark surfaces and the satellites are overhead.  These tags should report for up to six months. 

Funding for the satellite tags was provided by the International Foundation for Animal Welfare and World Wildlife Fund. 

“Another important factor contributing to the success of this project and our whale shark research over the years has been the participation by the public in our Whale Shark Sighting Survey,” said Jennifer McKinney, Research Technician with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  “After receiving several reports from the offshore community about whale sharks in region, we mobilized a trip to conduct the tagging.  Due to public participation, we knew exactly where to focus our efforts and therefore had great success.”

The Whale Shark Sighting Survey can be found at www.usm.edu/gcrl/whaleshark.  The survey has been an increasing success over the years, in which the general public has been actively involved in the whale shark research program through their participation. 

For more information about this species, please reference the following: Whale Shark Fact Sheet

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

The mission of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is scientific discovery related to coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. For more information, visit us at www.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usnoaagov or follow us on  Twitter @usnoaagov.

Bonny Schumaker with On the Wings of Care, a non-profit agency, has provided aerial support for whale shark tagging trips since 2010.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113 or Kim Amendola at kim.amendola@noaa.gov (727) 551-5707.

Hunting Season Dates Revised for Camp Beauregard W.M.A.

Release Date: 09/20/2011

Sept. 20, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is announcing revised hunting season dates on Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  The WMA will be closed to all hunting from January 7-13, 2012 due to recently scheduled military activities.  LDWF is announcing the closure now to minimize any inconvenience for the WMA users.

At this time, no other closures are scheduled.  WMA users are reminded that daily military clearance is required for all recreational use.  Additionally, all or portions of the area may be closed daily due to military activities.  Contact Range Control at 318-641-3365 for information on daily closures.

Camp Beauregard WMA, located in central Louisiana near Alexandria, contains 12,500 acres and is owned by the Louisiana National Guard. The primary use is as a troop training facility.  However, the WMA offers hunting for squirrel, turkey, deer, rabbits, quail, dove, ducks and woodcock.

For more information and directions to Camp Beauregard WMA, visit the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma or contact Randy Myers, Biologist Program Manager, ph. 225-765-2359 or rmyers@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 http://www.facebook.com/ldwffb<br />
www.facebook.com/ldwffb">www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Drawndown Underway at Eunice City Lake

Release Date: 09/20/2011

(Sept. 20, 2011) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is currently lowering the water level of Eunice City Lake as part of a $1 million rehabilitation project.  The Department will completely drain the lake in order to remove the existing fish population and will restock it with bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and sac-a-lait. 

The water level in the lake will remain lowered for approximately 18 months in order to complete the project.

The Department, in cooperation with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the city of Eunice,are launching a project to rehabilitate Eunice City Lake after a Union Pacific Railroad explosion in May 2000 potentially released hazardous materials and chemicals into the surrounding area.  Although it was determined that there were no health risks involved in eating fish from the lake, concerns about fish contamination discouraged recreational use of the lake. 

Other site improvements include the construction of a deck and pier, restroom facility, picnic pavilions, nature walk, welcome center and asphalt road, and parking.  Repairs will be made to the existing fishing and boat dock, boat slip and the existing lake control structure will be replaced. 

Existing facilities will also be revitalized to accommodate those seeking an outdoor recreational refuge within the community.  A large pavilion will be constructed as a revenue-generating space available to the community for private outdoor events.

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

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

West Monroe Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Bald Eagle

Release Date: 09/20/2011

 

A West Monroe Man pled guilty for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act in the Federal Western District Court of Louisiana in Monroe on Sept. 19.

Jeffrey M. Miles, 22, entered his guilty plea to U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Hayes for shooting a mature bald eagle in Franklin Parish on April 4, 2011.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents initiated the investigation on April 4 after finding a dead bald eagle in a drainage ditch along Camphouse Road.

After a thorough investigation and receiving tips from the public through the department's Operation Game Thief hotline, agents were able to cite Miles on April 22 for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

"Getting a guilty plea in federal court proves that the investigative work our agents did was factual and sound," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Law Enforcement Division.  "Utilizing the public tips, gathering crucial evidence and interviewing suspects or people with information about this case all led to a successful conviction."

Hayes ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be completed by federal investigators.  A sentencing date has been set for Jan. 3, 2012 in Monroe.  Violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act brings up to a $100,000 fine and up to 12 months in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Capt. Alan Bankston, Lt. Scott Watson, Senior Agent Albert Tarver and Senior Agent Johnny Wilson.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Support Clean Out Your Freezer Day

Release Date: 09/19/2011

Sept. 19, 2011The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries urges all hunters to support Hunters for the Hungry on Clean Out Your Freezer Day set for Sunday, Sept. 25.

As the 2011-12 hunting season gets underway, hunters can donate frozen game to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank in support of the needy within the community.  Between 1 and 4 p.m. on Sept. 25, frozen game and fish will be accepted at the following collection points:

Ascension Parish

Cabela’s – Interstate 10 at La. Hwy. 30, Gonzales

East Baton Rouge Parish

Old Alex Box Stadium (LSU) – Parking lot at corner of Nicholson and Skip Bertman Dr.

Baker Fire Department – 3701 Groom Road

Baton Rouge Fire Dept. – 545 Lobdell Drive and 835 Sharp Road

Bowie Outfitters – 8630 Perkins Road

CCA Louisiana – 12241 Industriplex Blvd.

Central Fire Dept. – 11646 Sullivan Road

St. George Fire Dept. – 7027 Antioch Road and 16415 George O’Neal Lane

Zachary Fire Dept. – 4525 Main Street

West Baton Rouge Parish

Spillway Sportsman – La. Hwy. 1, Brusly

West Feliciana Parish

Feliciana Seafood and Deli – 7555 Highway 61 North, St. Francisville

Iberville Parish

Basin River Electrical Supply – 24310 Railroad Avenue, Plaquemine

Livingston Parish

Bass Pro Shop – Interstate 12 at Range Avenue, Denham Springs

Pointe Coupee Parish

Soprano’s Supermarket – 8389 Hwy. 190, Livonia

For more information, contact the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank at 225-359-9940, ext. 206 or amy@brfoodbank.org.

Belle Chasse Man Cited for Filing False Boat Registration

Release Date: 09/19/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division Strike Force and undercover agents cited a Belle Chasse man for alleged boat registration violations on Sept. 18.

Agents cited Benjamin Vodopija, 24, for possessing a motorboat with an altered hull identification number in Plaquemines Parish.  Vodopija was also cited for injuring public records and filing false public records in East Baton Rouge Parish in his attempt to illegally register a boat.

Undercover agents answered an Internet classified ad in reference to a subject wanting to purchase a Louisiana boat registration for a vessel that he was unable to obtain a registration for legally.  Undercover agents made contact with Vodopija and sold him a false registration for $200.  Vodopija allegedly registered the vessel in his name with the false registration.

For filing false public records and injuring public records, Vodopija faces up to five years in jail, or up to $5,000 in fines or both for each offense.  Agents seized the vessel along with a Yamaha outboard motor and boat trailer.

Agents involved in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Todd Laviolette, Agents Charles Talbert, Justin Lowry, Ronnie Engelhard and LDWF undercover agents.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF to Begin Accepting Lake Calcasieu Oyster Permit Application September 26

Release Date: 09/15/2011

September 15, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds interested oyster harvesters that Lake Calcasieu oyster permit applications will begin being accepted at 9 a.m., Monday, September 26.  Applications may be submitted online only.

To view a sample application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/image/sample-application-calcasieu-lake-oyster-permits

For more information on the Lake Calcasieu oyster permit application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/calcasieu-lake-oyster-harvester-permit

For questions concerning the application process, contact Cole Garrett at (225) 763-5577 or at cgarrett@wlf.la.gov.

As required by Act 329 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session, anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Lake Calcasieu must have one of 126 special Oyster Harvester Permits issued by LDWF. 

Of the 126 permits available, 63 will be issued exclusively to eligible fishermen who have historically harvested in Lake Calcasieu since January 1, 2001.  The remaining 63 permits will be issued to any person who is otherwise eligible.

Permits will be valid for a period of one year beginning October 1, of a given year and ending September 30, of the following year.  Applicants are required to hold a current and valid commercial fishing license and oyster harvester license.

At its September meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011 limit at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day at Lake Calcasieu.  Only the portion of the Lake known as West Cove will be open for harvest.  The season is set to open on November 1st.

Applications for permits will be available exclusively online on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website (www.wlf.louisiana.gov).  Permits will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis, determined by the order in which completed applications are submitted through the LDWF website.  Online submission is the ONLY acceptable method to submit completed applications.

Completed applications will be reviewed by LDWF and permits will be issued prior to the opening of the oyster harvest season in Lake Calcasieu West Cove.

Harvesters will be required to reapply on the last Monday of September each year.

A completed application consists of the following information:  applicant’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, commercial license number, and oyster harvester license number.

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

 

LDWF Sets Public Meetings to discuss Drawdown for Anococo Lake

Release Date: 09/14/2011

(Sept. 14, 2011)– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Vernon Parish Lake Commission will hold two public meetings in Leesville, La., to discuss a drawdown for Anacoco Lake in Vernon Parish.  The meetings are being held to provide additional information and address public concerns. 

The lake will be lowered approximately 18 feet below pool stage beginning January 9, 2012, and will remain lowered until November 1, 2012.

The drawdown is being conducted to reduce muddy water and renovate the lake bottom.  It will also allow property owners the opportunity to conduct shoreline and property maintenance. 

The meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:

  • Sept. 20 – 6:30 p.m. at the Vernon Parish Fairgrounds Auditorium, 276 HM Stephens Blvd., Leesville
     
  • Oct. 11 – 6:30 p.m. at the Vernon Parish Government Complex Building, 300 S. Third St., Leesville

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Eric Shanks, LDWF Inland Fisheries Manager, at (337) 491-2577.

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

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

2011 White Lake W.C.A. Marsh and Rice Field Lottery Waterfowl Hunts Announced

Release Date: 09/14/2011

Sept. 14, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for the 2011-12 marsh and rice field lottery waterfowl hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.

The available dates for rice field hunts are: Nov. 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 22 and 30; Dec. 3, 4, 17, 18, 21, 28 and 30; Jan. 4, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21 and 22. Marsh hunts are available on: Nov.16, 21, 23, 26 and 27; Dec. 27, 29 and 31; and Jan. 18 and 19.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and applications for both hunts must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2011.

Applications may be obtained by contacting any of LDWF's field offices or by visiting the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts .  Completed applications may be delivered in person to Room 458 of the LDWF Building in Baton Rouge, or by mail.  The mailing address is: La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: White Lake Marsh/Rice Field Lottery Hunt, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.

Each application will be assessed a non-refundable $5 administrative fee. Applications must be accompanied by a check or money order payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Successful applicants will be notified by mail.

Selected applicants will be allowed two guests for the rice field hunts and one guest for the marsh hunts. An additional payment of $225 will be required for the rice field hunts and $350 for the marsh hunts.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on White Lake WCA rice field and marsh lottery waterfowl hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-479-1894 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .

 

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