LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopts notice of intent on inshore recreational reef sites

Release Date: 04/02/2015

(April 2, 2015) - Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries commission adopted a notice of intent to designate and protect 31 inshore fishing reefs as part of the LDWF Artificial Reef Program.
 
 Louisiana’s Artificial Reef Program includes a robust offshore ‘Rigs to Reef’ component, the backbone of our reef program.  ‘Rigs to Reef’ was established in 1986 to transform decommissioned oil platforms into artificial reefs to create vital offshore habitat for marine life across the food chain. These platforms also provide productive fishing grounds and dive sites and an economical and responsible way to retire obsolete, donated rigs.
 
 In the last two years the Artificial Reef Council have added inshore and nearshore components to the program that are modeled after the successful ‘Rigs to Reef’ program.   Today’s commission action designates and protects the 31 inshore artificial reef sites into the future.  In the first 20 years of the artificial reef program LDWF built 16 inshore reefs, during the last 8 years we have nearly doubled that number.
 
 To view the full notice of intent, please visit here.
 
 Interested persons may submit comments relevant to the proposed rule by June 4, 2015, to Mike McDonough, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-1000 or via email at mmcdonough@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 www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
 For press inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 765-2396.

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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: 04/02/2015

April 2, 2015 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2015-17 hunting season dates and the 2015-16 General and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) rules and regulations at their April 2 meeting. The season dates approved include the 2016 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 an amendment made subsequently in March, and following the public comment period.
 
That amendment pertained to Biloxi Wildlife Management Area and the use of mud boats or air-cooled propulsion vessels that can only be powered by straight shaft “long tail” air-cooled, mud motors. The original NOI had set the maximum total power limit at 16 hp and the amendment changed the maximum total power limit to 25 total hp or less on the WMA. All other types of mud boats or air cooled propulsion vessels (including “surface drive” boats) are prohibited.
 
Changes from previous hunting seasons in the approved NOIs include but are not limited to:
 
*Change to Area 5 Deer Season for the 2016-17 Season, in which Area 5 will become part of Area 1.
 
*Addition of pistols to allowable gear for primitive firearms season for deer.
 
*Addition of bird dog training to allowable uses on some Small Game Emphasis Areas on certain WMAs.
 
*Prohibition on the “possession” of bait on WMAs
 
*Allowance for certain UTVs to be utilized on ATV trails on WMAs, if the manufacturers specification for weight, length, and width do not exceed those limits set for ATVs.
 
*Vessel restrictions for Biloxi WMA.
 
*Prohibition on nighttime activity during open waterfowl seasons on Wham Brake, on Russell Sage WMA.
 
*Conversion of youth lottery to open youth weekend for turkey on Big Lake WMA.
 
*Modification to open all ranger districts of Kisatchie National Forest for entire youth weekend for turkey.
 
*Addition of two days of open season for turkey on US Army Corps of Engineers Indian Bayou Area.
 
*Addition of youth squirrel season on Maurepas Swamp WMA.
 
*Addition of six days of firearms either sex deer season on Sherburne WMA.
 
*Addition of shotgun youth either sex deer season on National Park Service Barataria Preserve.
 
*Addition of small game opportunity on Bogue Chitto, Black Bayou, Catahoula, and Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuges.
 
*Change in waterfowl closure times from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm on Cameron Prairie, Lacassine, and Sabine National Wildlife Refuges.
 
*Addition of youth waterfowl opportunity on Grand Cote, Lake Ophelia, and Red River National Wildlife Refuges.
 
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.
 
 

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Chad J. Courville Welcomed to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 04/02/2015

Chad J. Courville

 

April 2, 2015 – Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission members welcomed Chad J. Courville at their monthly meeting in Baton Rouge today.
 
Governor Bobby Jindal announced Courville’s appointment to the Commission on March 20. He will serve as an at-large member through March 2021, replacing Ann Taylor, whose term ended in December.
 
Commenting on the opportunity to serve Courville said, “I appreciate Governor Jindal’s confidence in me and my ability to serve on the Commission. It is a great honor to serve the people of the State of Louisiana, and with my fellow Commissioners, as we strive to manage fish and wildlife populations within Louisiana’s vast habitats.  I have been very blessed to have parents who exposed me to Louisiana’s outdoors, and I look forward to my time with fellow Commissioners to ensure that my children, and future generations, have that same opportunity.”
 
Courville, a lifelong Louisiana resident, resides in Lafayette and is employed as the land manager for Miami Corporation. He is currently chairman of the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council and a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association, and the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists.
 
Courville received his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Sustainable Resources from the from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then USL).  He and wife Kylee have two children. 
 
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet on Tuesday, April 7th at 1 pm

Release Date: 04/02/2015

 

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

 

Tuesday, April 7, 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 24 meeting minutes and April 7 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 (Lt. Colonel Sammy Martin)

C.      Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.     Research (Patrick Banks)

E.      Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.      Marketing (Ashley Roth)

G.      Health (Lance Broussard)

H.     Sustainability (LDWF)

I.        Professionalism (LDWF)

V.     Old Business

A.      Status update of the public oyster grounds-Patrick Banks

VI.   New Business

                        A.    Change in Appointees from Louisiana Oyster Dealers and Growers Association

                        B.    Response to  Mr. Kline’s letter to LDWF Secretary and WLF Commission

C.     Educational/promotional “Louisiana Oystermen” video and presentation

D.   D. C. Mardi Gras 2016

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/6687807329262283778

 

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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Louisiana Oyster Task Force Legislative Committee to Meet on Tuesday April 7th at 11 am

Release Date: 04/02/2015

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Legislative Committee Meeting
Jakov Jurisic, Chairman

Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans

AGENDA

I. Roll Call and introduction of guests

II. Discuss proposed 2015 legislation

III.         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/6982653466878391298

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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Louisiana Shrimp Task Force votes to repeal TED enforcement prohibition

Release Date: 04/01/2015

In a significant vote at the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force meeting today, members came together and voted unanimously to support the repeal of legislation that prohibits LDWF agents from enforcing federal TED regulations.
 
Their motion was to, “Support legislation to repeal La. R.S. 56:57.2 (both sections) for a period of two years, after which time the Shrimp Task Force shall review the efficacy of the repeal and recommend to the Legislature whether to reinstate the prohibition of enforcement, or to permanently repeal the legislation.”
 
Existing legislation adopted in 1987 (R.S. 56.57.2), has prevented Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents from enforcing federal TED laws or regulations.  The Shrimp Task Force has been working with industry members and attending public meetings over the course of the last year to better understand the industry’s concerns regarding the repeal of this legislation.  This outreach has helped them garner support for the motion made today.
 
“This is a historic vote that shows our processors, dock owners and shrimpers all have common ground when it comes to preserving our fishery for future generations”, says Mark Abraham, Chairman of the Shrimp Task Force.
 
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 release inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.   

 

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LDWF Hosting Kids Fishing Day Camp in July at Woodworth Outdoor Education Center

Release Date: 04/01/2015

April 1, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is hosting a Kids Fishing Day Camp for children 10 to 15 years of age at Woodworth Outdoor Education Center from July 6 through 9.
 
The Monday through Thursday day camp will provide activities from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the education center located at 661 Robinson Bridge Road in Woodworth, south of Alexandria.  The camp is designed to create responsible anglers by providing campers with an appreciation for the sport of fishing and the basic skills needed to enjoy this outdoor recreation activity.
 
Campers will be supervised by LDWF education staff and volunteers during activities that will include how to rig fishing equipment, fish identification, casting, lure selection, how to clean the catch, boating safety and much more.
 
Registration fees are $75 per child and the registration deadline is June 30, 2015. The camp is limited to the first 20 participants registered. Lunch will be provided daily and each child will receive a rod/reel combo and stocked tackle box provided by the Association of Louisiana Bass Clubs and the Woodmen of the World.
 
For more information, or to obtain a registration form, contact Todd Buffington at (318) 773-2402 or tbuffington@wlf.la.gov . Registration forms are also available via the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp .
 

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Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 04/01/2015

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The meeting will convene at 9:30 a.m. in second floor conference room of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.  
Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

  1. Roll Call of Board Members
     
  2. Approval of Minutes from February 24, 2015 Meeting
     
  3. Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals
    1. Purified Oysters & Food
    2. S & C Oyster Co., LLC
       
  4. Hearing of New Re-Issuance Permit Appeals
    1. Michael P. Williams
       
  5. Update on Recommendation Made at February 24, 2015 Meeting
     
  6. Receive Public Comments
     
  7. Set next meeting date
     
  8. Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.
 
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.
 
For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov.

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Three Galliano Men Cited for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 03/31/2015

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited three subjects in Lafourche Parish for alleged oyster violations on March 30.

While on patrol, the agent spotted a vessel and its crew harvesting oysters in an unapproved area on Bayou Faleau.  The agent also observed the crew harvesting on a private lease without permission from the owner.

Agents made contact with the occupants and cited John P. Bruce, 50, Jace P. Griffin, 28, and Jarrod P. Bruce, 29, all from Galliano, for harvesting oysters from an unapproved polluted area, unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease without written permission.

The agent seized the dredges and returned 10 sacks of oysters to the water.  He also seized the vessel on a department seizure order.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area and without permission from the owner each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

The agent participating in the case is Sgt. Bryan Marie.

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

$8,500 Reward for Information on Bald Eagle Shooting

Release Date: 03/31/2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are seeking information on the shooting of a bald eagle that was found near Cavett River Road in Gilliam.  

The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a reward of up to $8,500 for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for this unlawful act.

On March 22, 2015, an incapacitated, mature, American bald eagle was recovered in Caddo Parish near Cavett River Road.  The bald eagle displayed wounds to its chest and left wing.  The eagle was transported to the Louisiana State University Veterinary Hospital for treatment.  X-rays confirmed that the injuries were due to a gunshot.  The eagle was euthanized as a result of the severity of its injuries.

Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Violations of these statutes carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $100,000 and $15,000 respectively and/or up to one year in federal prison.

Anyone with information concerning this eagle is asked to contact U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Brad Rabalais at 601-331-0292 or call the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.

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