LDWF News Release

LDWF and TPWD Plan Joint Crab Trap Cleanup in Sabine Lake

Release Date: 09/08/2014

September 8, 2014- At today’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent that targets Sabine Lake for a joint crab trap cleanup by the Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 

In order to conduct the cleanup, both the Louisiana and Texas sides of Sabine Lake will be temporarily closed to the use of crab traps so staff from both agencies and volunteers can conduct the cleanup. The Sabine Lake crab trap closure is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. February 20, 2015 through 6 a.m. March 1, 2015 and also includes portions of the Sabine River and other parts of Cameron Parish immediately east of Sabine Lake.

In the past 10 years, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of more than 24,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts.

Last year, LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant staff, volunteer organizations and individual volunteers including members of the Coastal Conservation Association and Louisiana Crab Task Force as well as volunteer students and faculty from Nicholls State University and LSU, NOAA Fisheries Service, and charterboat captains, commercial crab and shrimp fishermen contributed to the removal of over 1,000 crab traps from coastal waters in Terrebonne Parish.

Sabine Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following area beginning at 6 a.m., February 20 through 6 a.m., March 1, 2015:

From a point originating at the Louisiana/Texas state line at the mouth of the Sabine River; thence northward along the Louisiana/Texas state line through the Sabine River and Sabine Lake; thence northward along the Louisiana/Texas state line through the Sabine River to the intersection of the Sabine River and the northern shore of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW); thence eastward along the northern shore of the GIWW to 93 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds West longitude; thence southward along 93 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds West longitude to a point along the inside-outside shrimp line as defined in R.S. 56:495(A); thence westward along the inside-outside shrimp line and terminating at the Louisiana/Texas state line and mouth of the Sabine River.

For a map detailing the closure area, click here:

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.

In the weeks leading up to the closure, LDWF will mail notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within Cameron and Calcasieu parishes as well as non-resident licensed crab fishermen who fish Louisiana waters and reside in Texas.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.

Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Anyone may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

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.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Mr. Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, Box 189, Bourg, LA 70343, or via e-mail to:  mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov prior to October 10, 2014.

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at (504) 430-2623 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.



LDWF Amends NOI to develop Fisheries Forward Program

Release Date: 09/08/2014

September 8, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host a public hearing on October 22, 2014, at 10 a.m. at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge to discuss the proposed rule change to the Fisheries Forward Notice of Intent.
In July, LDWF published a Notice of Intent in the Louisiana State Register to establish the Fisheries Forward program, a program that was created to elevate the professionalism in Louisiana’s seafood industry.
After thorough review and public input, LDWF has made the following substantive change to the original notice of intent:
The Department shall issue a special crab trap permit allowing the applicant to actively fish crabs under a sponsor’s crab trap gear license and report trip ticket sales of crabs using the applicant’s name and commercial fisherman’s license number. This permit shall only be issued once and shall only be valid for the duration of the sponsorship. The applicant must complete a minimum of 20 crab fishing trips evidenced by trip tickets. Any trips or landings conducted prior to the date the sponsorship is initiated shall not count toward the applicant’s total required crab fishing trips.
For more information on the Notice of Intent, contact  Jason Froeba at jfroeba@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-0121.


Louisiana Conservation Connection Now Available

Release Date: 09/04/2014

Louisiana Conservation Connection Now Available

Sept. 4, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) and the Resources First Foundation (RFF) announced today that the Louisiana Conservation Connection (LCC) is now available for landowners to use as a resource for information on land management.

“The goal with this new, web-based resource tool is easy access to information that any landowner or land manager can use to improve their property for whatever their need might be,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

Appearing before the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their monthly meeting, RFF President Amos Eno highlighted the partners and vast selection of sources that private landowners can contact for assistance in making sound decisions when managing for wildlife habitat, agricultural or forestry concerns.

“The conservation market in the 21st century is increasingly focused on the private sector and on the actions of individual private land owners,” said Eno. “The Louisiana Conservation Connection is RFF's 6th statewide conservation center and hosts 4,000 information resources. We are pleased to help position Louisiana in the fore front of our nations' private sector conservation leadership.”

The LCC information resource was created by RFF and built with grants from the Walton Family Foundation and LWFF. The web site -- http://www.stateconservation.org/louisiana  -- addresses the conservation needs of Louisiana’s private landowners.

“The LWFF Board of Directors were impressed by the previous work done by RFF and are proud to have provided grant funds for the development of the Louisiana Conservation Connection,” said Kell McInnis, LWFF executive director. “We believe that the web site will be a valuable tool for all Louisiana landowners to become better stewards of their property and the wildlife resources that depend on it.”

The web site provides information on conservation, family farms, forestry, federal and state conservation programs, invasive and native species, natural heritage tourism and outdoor recreation, tax and estate planning services and water and wildlife resources. Landowners can find information on their local service providers such as foresters, biologists, equipment suppliers, veterinarians, and tax consultants. Site users will find new ideas for boosting their income and innovative tools for a broad range of ranch, farm and forest best management practices and tax and estate legal advisory services.

RFF is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000 to provide conservation education tools and solutions to promote conservation and restoration activities for fish, wildlife and other natural resources primarily on privately owned lands across the United States.

RFF’s websites are designed for the whole conservation community including: private owners, professional staff (foresters, biologists, lawyers, appraisers, etc.), and conservation service providers. With all of RFF’s projects, the goal is to connect people to conservation by leveling the playing field, providing free access to critical conservation information, tools, and services.

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

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov  or Amos Eno at 207-221-2753 or aeno@resourcesfirstfoundation.org .

Photo caption: (left to right) Kell McInnis, LWFF executive director; LDWF Secretary Robert Barham; and RFF President Amos Eno at the Sept. 4 LWF Commission meeting following announcement of the Louisiana Conservation Connection, a new web resource for landowners.


L.D.W.F. Providing Public Dove Hunting Opportunities on Private Land Leases on Sept. 6 Opening Day

Release Date: 09/03/2014

Sept. 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will provide public dove hunting opportunities for the Sept. 6 season opening on leased private land in three parishes.
The 2014-15 dove season opens Saturday, Sept. 6 in the north and south zones and hunters have multiple options available. LDWF has leased private land in the following parishes for Sept. 6 only, from noon to sunset:
Beauregard Parish, DeRidder-500 acres harvested corn and milo:  Directions -- Take Hwy. 190 West from DeRidder.  The field is approximately 5 miles West of DeRidder on the North side of Hwy. 190, just past Hwy. 3226.  Check-in area will be near the storage tanks.  Contact Kori Legleu at 337-491-2575, extension 3021, for more information.  Maps will be available at LDWF’s Lake Charles field office, 1213 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA  70601.
Grant Parish, 120 acres of harvested milo:  Directions -- Take Hwy. 8 north approximately 2.3 miles from I-49 and turn east (right) on dirt road. Check-in area will be 0.3 miles from highway. Park on shoulder of road between highway and check-in area. ATVs and UTVs are not allowed. Contact David Hayden at LDWF’s Pineville field office at 318-487-5885 for more information.  Maps will also be available at the Pineville field office, 1995 Shreveport Hwy., Pineville, LA 71360.
Tangipahoa Parish, Wilmer - 152 acres prepared native grass pasture:  Directions -- Take Route 10 to Wilmer then Hwy. 1061 North to Olon Bankston Road.  Check-in area will be on Olon Bankston Road.  Contact Jimmy Ernst at 985-543-4784 for more information.  Maps will be available at LDWF’s Hammond field office, 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr., Hammond LA 70403.
The following rules will apply to all leased fields:
1.  Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
2.  Shot larger than size 7 ½ is prohibited (size 7 ½ , 8, 9 are allowed)
3.  All trash - including shell hulls - must be picked-up.
4.  Only legal doves may be taken.
5.  All hunters must have a daily permit as well as appropriate hunting license with HIP certification; note, hunters under 16 years of age do not need HIP certification.  The daily permit is available at the field and will be issued on a first-come first-served basis.  HIP certifications are available from hunting license vendors.  If hunters have formed a line prior to the time permits are issued, permits will then be issued to those in line in order of arrival.
6.  There is a $10 fee per hunter, 16 years of age and older. Cash or check. Hunters under 16 will be admitted free, but they must check-in and have a permit.
7.  When a predetermined number of hunters are admitted, the field will be closed.  Additional hunters may be admitted when someone leaves the field and surrenders his/her permit.  Use of vehicles, including ATV’s, may be restricted and will vary from field to field.  Check with Department personnel about restrictions when you check-in.
8.  These leased fields are open to the public Sept. 6 only.  Entrance at any other time is trespassing.
These leased fields have been made available through the cooperation of the landowners.  Future access to these fields and other private property is dependent on the conduct of the hunters using these fields.
For additional public dove hunting opportunities on state wildlife management areas, go to the LDWF web list posted at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove .
Shooting hours: The shooting hours during dove season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset except for opening day of the first split on WMAs and LDWF leased fields where shooting hours will be 12 p.m. (noon) to sunset.  However, the shooting hours for dove on the Point Farm Unit at Pointe Aux Chenes WMA in Terrebonne Parish will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset since all dove hunting hours for all dates within all splits end at noon on Pointe Aux Chenes WMA.
All licensed hunters are reminded that the appropriate Louisiana hunting license with HIP certification is required to hunt doves on public and private land.  Those hunters who are ages 18 to 59 are also required to have a WMA Hunting Permit when hunting doves on WMAs.
For more information about public dove hunting opportunities, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov .



Release Date: 09/03/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, September 4, 2014, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:           

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of August 7, 2014

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement Reports August  2014

5.  Louisiana Conservation Connection Web Source Presentation

6.  Recreational Trails Program Award for Russell Sage WMA ATV Trail Project

7.  National Archery in the Schools Program World Champions, Benton Elementary School Recognition Presentation

8.  To Recognize the Youth Hunter Education Challenge Champions 

9.  To Hear an Update on Red Snapper and LaCreel Survey 

10.  To Hear and Consider a Notice to Amend the Fisheries Forward NOI

11.  To Hear and Consider a Notice of Intent for the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program

12.  To Hear an Update on the False River Restoration Project 

13.  Set January 2015 Meeting Date

14. Receive Public Comments

15.  Adjournment

Please register for September 2014 LWF Commission Meeting on Sep 4, 2014 9:30 AM CDT at: 


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.



Marrero Man Sentenced for Illegal Fish Sales in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 08/29/2014

A Marrero man pleaded guilty on Aug. 28 to commercial fishing violations committed in Plaquemines Parish.

Joseph Morris III, 30, pleaded guilty to selling fish without a fresh products license, failing to maintain records, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, selling game fish illegally, selling spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout without a rod and reel license, taking/selling undersized spotted sea trout, possessing commercial red drum illegally and failing to comply with charter boat regulations.

Morris was ordered to pay a $2,250 fine plus court costs, serve 120 days in parish prison suspended, and have all commercial and recreational fishing privileges seized and revoked for a period of two years.  Continued litigation is pending in Jefferson Parish for additional alleged violations.

He is also facing a total of $8,329.68 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.  Jerry Lobrano for the 25th Judicial District prosecuted the case.

Agents arrested Morris on Jan. 24, 2014 for numerous commercial fishing violations after agents secured an arrest warrant from Plaquemines Parish when Morris sold spotted sea trout and red drum to undercover agents and took agents on chartered fishing trips without the required charter boat license.

LDWF Special Investigations and Sgt. Adam Young participated in the case.

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

LDWF to Host Sept. 2 Public Hearing on Proposed Amendment to the Rules and Regulations for Potentially Dangerous Quadrupeds, Big Exotic Cats and Non-Human Primates

Release Date: 08/28/2014

August 28, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to accept public comment on proposed amendments the rules and regulations for potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats and non-human primates. The hearing will be held in the Louisiana Room at LDWF’s headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
The proposed amendments were presented to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) at their July 3 meeting and the Commission adopted a notice of intent that provides public comment on the amendments through Aug. 30. However, additional oral and written comments will be accepted at the hearing.
The amendments, as proposed by LDWF, clarify some of the terms used in the regulations, modify some permit requirements, and remove some redundant language.
Specifically, the amendment defines “zoo” for the purposes of obtaining a permit under the regulations.  However, an entity that does not meet the definition of “zoo” as stated in the amendment may still qualify for a permit as long as the application has been received by July 1, 2014.
For the possession of non-human primates, the amendment removes an exemption to grant permits for “helper monkeys,” or trained primates kept by a disabled person to assist in daily tasks.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been amended so that only trained dogs qualify as service animals, and this change to Louisiana’s regulations will more closely reflect the federal statutes.
In order to renew their permits, owners of non-human primates will be required to complete the same type of paperwork that owners of large cats complete – including a hold harmless agreement, a financial responsibility statement, and a consent to inspection of the primate and its enclosure.
Finally, the amended rules would authorize LDWF to set a limit on the “grandfather” date, and the owner of any previously unpermitted primate that qualifies for a permit would be required to submit an application prior to June 30, 2015 in order for it to be considered.
To view the full July 3 notice of intent, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Melissa Collins, LDWF Wildlife Division, Post Office Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or mcollins@wlf.la.gov  until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2014.
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, contact Melissa Collins at 225-765-8584 or mcollins@wlf.la.gov .


Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge Public Access to Be Temporarily Restricted Beginning Sept. 3

Release Date: 08/28/2014

Aug. 28, 2014 -- Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge will begin the annual nuisance alligator harvest on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. During the harvest period, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will not open the refuge to the public each day until 10 a.m.
After 10 a.m., the public will be allowed to enter the refuge and utilize recreational areas until official sunset each day. The delayed openings will be in effect for seven days or until all alligator trappers have utilized their tags for this controlled harvest.
The refuge, spanning 26 miles of coastal Louisiana in Cameron and Vermilion parishes, provides recreational opportunities to fishermen seeking shrimp, redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and largemouth bass, among others.
Rockefeller SWR is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Located at the terminus of the vast Mississippi Flyway, south Louisiana winters about four million waterfowl annually. The refuge provides high quality wetlands habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds and wading birds.
For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or contact Phillip Trosclair at 337-491-2593.


Louisiana Shrimpers Encouraged to Report Asian Tiger Prawn Catches

Release Date: 08/27/2014

Louisiana Shrimpers Encouraged to Report Asian Tiger Prawn Catches

(Aug. 27, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is aware of and constantly monitoring the presence of Asian tiger prawns, a non-native species, in Louisiana waters.  LDWF officials are asking local shrimp harvesters to report catches of tiger prawns to the Department. 

While there is little known at this time about the impacts of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp, these reports are key in helping LDWF biologists monitor the distribution and relative abundance of these prawns and in determining the possible presence of spawning populations. 

To report catches of Asian tiger prawns please contact Robert Bourgeois at rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-0765 or Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (985) 594-4130, with the date, location and size of capture.  Photographs are encouraged. 

To aid shrimp dealers in documenting tiger prawn landings, the Department has added tiger prawns (species code 19) to the Commercial Trip Ticket reporting system.

Tiger prawns are easily identifiable by their large size, dark body color and white banding found along the head and between segments of the tail.  Occasionally, red or yellow stripes are present as well.  LDWF officials ask that harvesters retain the tiger prawns by freezing and contact one of the biologists listed above.

History of incidence in Gulf of Mexico

It is unknown when and how tiger prawns were first introduced into the Gulf of Mexico.  In 1988, a portion of a population of reared tiger prawns escaped from a facility on the east coast.  Approximately 1,000 adults were later recaptured as far south as Cape Canaveral, Florida.  In September 2006, a single adult male was captured by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Mississippi Sound near Dauphin Island, Alabama, and reports from Alabama and Mississippi have been increasing ever since.

LDWF first documented the occurrence of Asian tiger prawns in Louisiana in August 2007, when a single specimen was taken by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Vermilion Bay.  Prior to the 2011 fall inshore shrimp season, reported captures in Louisiana waters numbered fewer than 25, with none taken any farther westward than Vermilion Bay.  However, since 2011, commercial shrimpers have reported Asian tiger prawn catches in all of Louisiana’s major estuarine basins including adjacent offshore waters.  Reports of tiger prawns have remained between 70 and 100 over the last three years.  It is uncertain whether this is due to population stabilization or under reporting by the public.

About the species

Asian tiger prawns are native to the Indo-Pacific rim and are both harvested in the wild and extensively farmed in a number of countries.

Tiger prawns belong to the same family (Penaeidae) as our native brown, white and pink shrimp but are non-indigenous to our waters.  The life history of tiger prawns is also similar to that of brown and white shrimp, with spawning and mating occurring in nearshore oceanic waters.  One notable difference in tiger prawns and Louisiana shrimp is size.  Research suggests tiger prawns may reach a maximum length of 14 inches and weigh as much as 23 ounces.

At this time, there is no evidence that tiger prawns feed on native Louisiana shrimp.  Any potential impacts over competition for food and resources remain unknown.  Tiger prawns, as well as our native brown and white shrimp, adopt different diets as they grow and mature and may become more predatory as body size increases.

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 Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.



Drawdown Scheduled for Hardwater Lake

Release Date: 08/20/2014

(Aug. 20, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Grant Parish Police Jury have scheduled a drawdown for Hardwater Lake to begin on Tuesday, September 2 to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.

The water level will be lowered 4 feet from pool stage.  Water fluctuations are proven to yield significant beneficial effects for fisheries and aquatic vegetation control.

Control gates will be closed no later than December 31, 2014, and with normal rainfall, the lake will return to pool stage well in advance of the spring fish spawning season. 

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

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 additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rmoses@wlf.la.gov or (318) 487-5885. 

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



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