L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

GREATER AMBERJACK 2011 COMMERCIAL AND RECREATION SEASONS SET

Release Date: 05/20/2011

May 20, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2011 seasons for the commercial and recreational harvest of greater amberjack.  LDWF Secretary Robert Barham set the seasons to coincide with federal seasons issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Commercial Greater Amberjack Season
The commercial fishery for greater amberjack in Louisiana waters will close at 12:01 a.m. on June 18, 2011 and will remain closed until 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2012.

Recreational Greater Amberjack Season
The 2011 recreational season for greater amberjack will close for a two month period beginning June 1 and reopening August 1. 

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

REMAINDER OF STATE WATERS OPEN TO SHRIMP HARVESTING MONDAY

Release Date: 05/20/2011

May 20, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds shrimp harvesters that remainder of state waters open for harvest at 6 a.m. Monday, May 23. 

This opening specifically includes inshore waters north of the northern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.  State waters south of the MRGO opened to shrimping on May 16. Effective with this opening, all state inside and outside waters will be open to shrimp harvesting.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set this shrimp season dates along with those for Shrimp Management Zones 2 and 3 at its May 5 meeting.  The commission also provided authority to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham to delay or modify shrimp season opening dates if biological and/or technical data indicate the need. 

LDWF has received reports of small size shrimp in commercial harvests from certain waters and is closely monitoring the shrimp resource statewide through extensive trawl sampling surveys and boarding and dockside interviews.  LDWF biologists are also monitoring the movement of flood waters into coastal waters and their impacts on estuarine and marine species.  Secretary Barham is prepared to take appropriate action to modify shrimp seasons if the resource is at risk.

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

STATE SETS SEASON FOR RECREATIONAL CATCH OF RED SNAPPER

Release Date: 05/20/2011

 

May 20, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the 2011 recreational fishing season for red snapper will open on June 1 and close on July 19.  LDWF Secretary Robert Barham set this season to reflect the season set in federal waters by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

The recreational fishing season for red snapper will close in federal and state waters at 12:01 a.m., July 19, 2011 and is set to remain closed until 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2012.

The daily limit for red snapper is two fish per licensed angler with a minimum size of 16 inches. 

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

L.D.W.F. ANNOUNCES 2011 ALLIGATOR LOTTERY HUNTS

Release Date: 05/19/2011

 

May 19, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in an effort to increase alligator harvest opportunities, will conduct alligator lottery hunts on four Coastal & Nongame Resources (CNR) Division Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 13 Wildlife Division WMAs and 22 public lakes during the 2011 alligator harvest season.

The CNR Division WMAs include: Atchafalaya Delta WMA, St. Mary Parish; Pass A Loutre WMA, Plaquemines Parish; Pointe Aux Chenes WMA, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes; and Salvador/Timken WMAs, St. Charles Parish. 

The Wildlife Division WMAs include: Big Lake WMA, Tensas Parish; Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish; Buckhorn WMA, Tensas Parish; Elm Hall WMA, Assumption Parish; Grassy Lake WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Joyce WMA, Tangipahoa Parish; Manchac WMA, St. John the Baptist Parish; Maurepas Swamp WMA, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Ascension parishes; Sherburne WMA (state portion only), Pointe Coupee and St. Martin parishes; Spring Bayou WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Pearl River WMA, St. Tammany Parish; Red River WMA, Concordia Parish; and Three Rivers WMA, Concordia Parish.

The public lakes include: Lake Bistineau, Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes; Lake Wallace, Caddo Parish; Black/Cypress Lake, Bossier Parish; Cross Lake, Caddo Parish; Kepler Lake, Bienville Parish; Bayou Desiard North, Ouachita Parish; Caney Lake, Jackson Parish; Bayou Bartholomew, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes; Kincaid Lake, Rapides Parish; Indian Creek, Rapides Parish; Lake Iatt, Grant Parish; Cotile Lake, Rapides Parish; Nantachie Lake, Grant Parish; Saline Lake, Winn Parish; Toledo Bend, Desoto and Sabine parishes; Lake Bruin, Tensas Parish; Lake Concordia, Concordia Parish; Lake St. John, Tensas Parish; Lake St. Joseph, Tensas Parish; Anacoco Lake, Vernon Parish; Caddo Lake, Caddo Parish; and Black Lake, Natchitoches Parish.

Interested participants may print out an application from LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts or request an application by phone for CNR Division WMAs at 337-373-0032 or Wildlife Division WMAs and public lakes at 225-765-2346.

To assist applicants in selecting specific WMAs/public lakes, LDWF has posted the percentage of lottery alligator harvest applicants selected in 2010 by WMA or public lake on its website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lottery-alligator-harvest-program.

Applications and non-refundable application fees ($5) must be submitted to the address indicated on corresponding applications and be postmarked by July 8, 2011.  Only one of the three available lottery alligator harvest applications may be submitted per applicant.  Additional applications will result in voiding all applications of the applicant.

The lottery alligator harvests will be conducted between Aug. 31 and Oct. 6, 2011.  Exact harvest dates will vary by WMA/public lake and will be specified at the time selected hunters are notified.

Applicants must be a legal Louisiana resident and 16 years of age or older.  All successful applicants will be required to purchase an alligator hunting license ($25).  Successful applicants for WMAs will be required to submit payments ($40) for each alligator tag allocated.

All applicants meeting the application requirements will be entered into a randomized computer drawing, which will take place in August 2011.  Selected hunters will be notified by mail.

For more information concerning CNR Division WMAs, contact Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@wlf.la.gov.  For more information concerning Wildlife Division WMAs or public lakes, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2346 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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Governor Jindal Requests Assistance from Dept. of Interior for Flooding Resulting from Morganza Spillway

Release Date: 05/19/2011

May 19, 2011 - Governor Bobby Jindal yesterday sent the below letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior requesting consideration of available assistance and recovery programs for Louisiana recreational and commercial fishing, hunting, and eco-tourism industries.

 

May 18, 2011
 
The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary
US Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N. W.
Washington, DC 20240
 
Dear Secretary Salazar:
 
In recent days, the US Army Corps of Engineers began diverting high waters from the rising Mississippi River. As water from the Morganza Spillway is released into the Atchafalaya Basin, the impact to our rural communities and the industries upon which they rely will be dramatic and long-lasting. I am requesting your immediate consideration of available assistance and recovery programs for our recreational and commercial fishing, hunting, and eco-tourism industries.
 
The Atchafalaya Basin is a North American treasure with hunting, fishing, camping and other nature-based opportunities that simply are unparalleled. The basin, in surveys conducted by Louisiana State University, was named the number one recreational fishing destination in Louisiana. Countless industries rely on the Basin's fertile farmland, lakes, and wildlife management areas.
 
Approximately 1,400 commercial fishermen are dependent upon species harvested from the Basin, including the Louisiana crawfish. On average, more than 10 million pounds of crawfish are harvested commercially from the Basin each year representing approximately 95 percent of all crawfish harvested in Louisiana that makes it to market. Access to this essential Louisiana commercial industry will be hampered by damage to roadways, docks and access points that support the industry.
 
The same is true of other commercial and recreational fisheries in the Atchafalaya Basin. The basin is home to a large commercial catfish industry, frogging, crabbing, recreational crawfishing, waterfowl and large game hunting, trapping and nature-based tourism activities, such as birding and camping. All of these activities require access points for residents and tourists. The total economic impact of this region on Louisiana and the Gulf Coast is substantial. As a small snapshot, commercial fisheries’ landings in the Basin were valued at more than $28 million before even taking into account sales to consumers and supporting businesses. Confirmation of support from the Interior now is crucial to reassuring our residents, industries and communities that a recovery is possible.
 
Our state has worked diligently over the last six years and through four major hurricanes to restore commercial and recreational nature-based activities. Much of that progress, including the millions of fish stocked in the basin, may be lost after the flood waters recede. We will be aggressive in our efforts to rebuild these resources, even as we see fish kills, large-scale habitat loss, and restructuring of the Basin's ecosystem. We implore you to identify clear methods for helping to restore these resources that will provide our rural communities with the tools they need to rebuild.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bobby Jindal
Governor

 

 

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.

First Annual Boating Education Lagniappe Day Certifies 264 Boaters

Release Date: 05/18/2011

May 18, 2011 -  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 264 boaters statewide after their first ever "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 14.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the NASBLA boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more than 250 boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals."

The National Associations of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

Each location provided a free lunch that included crawfish fettuccine, jambalaya, pizza, chicken tenders and chilidogs.  Sponsors also provided door prizes and giveaways such as gift cards, ice chests, personal flotation devices, sunglasses, sunscreen and boating whistles.  LDWF also gave away key chains and cups with the LDWF logo.

"This won't be the last 'Boating Education Lagniappe Day' in this state and we are already planning on next year's event to make it even bigger," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "We heard nothing but good things from the public that attended the event.  Even some of the parents that didn't need the course said they learned a lot about boating safety."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, CCA of Louisiana, All Star Pontiac in Sulphur, Coca-Cola of Lake Charles, Songy's Sporting Goods of Houma, and Gene Kile Inc.

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Below is the list of the class locations from this past weekend:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beane Dr.
Bossier City, LA 71111

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301

Eunice
Walmart
1538 Hwy. 190
Eunice, LA 70535

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602

Houma
Holiday Inn
1800 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360

Gonzales
Cabela's
Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737

Chalmette
St. Bernard Parish Government Complex
8201 W. Judge Perez
Chalmette, LA 70043

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

LDWF Closes Additional Access Roadways on Dewey Wills W.M.A.

Release Date: 05/16/2011

May 16, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed that portion of Hunt Road on Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) from the Diversion Canal south, effective immediately, due to floodwater impacts.

This closure is in addition to the May 13 closure of Muddy Bayou Road from Saline Bayou, eastward to Nolan Bayou Road, and Sandy Bayou Road southward from Highway 28, within the LaSalle Parish WMA.

The access road closures are being implemented in the interest of public and employee safety and to provide undisturbed refuge for wildlife species seeking high ground as flood waters rise.

The closure is necessary due to rising backwater from the Red River, associated with the record Mississippi River water levels. These roads will remain closed until further notice.

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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

State Closes Two Oyster Harvest Areas, Allows Some Oyster Relocation

Release Date: 05/13/2011

Special Bedding-Only Oyster Season Map

Precautionary closures protect human health; relocation of oysters helps prevent further damage to commercial industry

May 13, 2011 -- Today Louisiana officials announced precautionary closures of two oyster harvesting areas that are receiving large amounts of freshwater intrusion from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and from the Mississippi River.

Officials also announced that oysters in some areas east of the Mississippi River may be relocated from beds that will be inundated with fresh water to other seed grounds or oyster leases out of the way of the flood waters coming through the spillway into Lake Pontchartrain and into the Gulf of Mexico. A special permit is required for relocation of oysters from an area closed for traditional harvest to an area specifically for bedding purposes. The permit is not required if the harvest area is open for harvest.

Closures

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is closing oyster harvest areas 1 and 7. The closures will take effect at sunset, Saturday, May 14, 2011. Area 1 is in Lake Borgne in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, and Area 7 in Plaquemines Parish. Both oyster harvesting areas are on the east side of the Mississippi river.

Louisiana State Health Officer, Jimmy Guidry, M.D., and Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein signed the orders today. The closures will remain in effect until officials are able to verify the safety of the resource for human consumption. 

DHH is monitoring all impacted oyster beds and doing routine water testing to ensure public health. State officials have notified local oyster harvesters that work in the affected areas, as well as the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

Resource Relocation

A special bedding-only season has also been announced by state officials today. At an emergency Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, the commission voted to open a special "bedding-only" oyster season for public seed grounds in the Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound area in St. Bernard Parish. The special season, which will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Saturday, May 14, 2011 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on May 31, will allow the oyster industry an opportunity to relocate oysters ahead of possible freshwater impacts from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. 

This special oyster season allows the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes only in the public oyster seed grounds within:

  • Harvest area 1
  • Harvest area 2
  • That portion of Harvest area 3 located north of a line of latitude 30 degrees 00 minutes 00.0 seconds N and east of a line of longitude 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W.

The special "bedding-only" season described above shall be opened with the following provisions:

1. All oysters on board a vessel actively harvesting oysters in the public seed grounds described above shall be presumed to have been taken from the public seed grounds described above.
2. No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters in the public seed ground described above shall have on board his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market.
3. No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds described above.

Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist on these public oyster seed grounds. The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway places those resources in imminent peril. As significant oyster mortalities could be experienced due to the anticipated depression, the special season is a necessary step to protect and preserve Louisiana's oyster resources. 

The Commission gave the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Robert Barham, authorization to take emergency action as necessary to open or close public oyster areas based on the best available biological data.

Beginning Sunday, May 15, 2011, harvesters that seek to participate in the oyster relocation or "bedding-only" season in Harvest Area 1 must have a special permit that requires notification of where transplanted oysters will be relocated. A permit is not required on Saturday, May 14, 2011, because Harvest Area 1 will still be open. Oysters harvested and relocated to a new lease may not be harvested for consumption or for the public marketplace for at least 14 days -- ample time for the oysters to filter any contaminants. Permits can be obtained at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health Commercial Seafood Program, located at 628 North 4th St., room 156, in downtown Baton Rouge. The special permit requires a $5,000 bond. 

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook page.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining 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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Closures for State Wildlife Management Areas in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Release Date: 05/13/2011

May 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today a schedule of closures for state wildlife management areas (WMAs) within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley due to flood water impacts.

The site closures or WMA access road closures are being implemented in the interest of public and employee safety and to provide undisturbed refuge for wildlife species seeking high ground as flood waters rise.

Effective today, within Dewey Wills WMA in LaSalle Parish, a portion of Muddy Bayou Road from Saline Bayou, eastward to Nolan Bayou Road, and Sandy Bayou Road southward from Highway 28, has been closed to vehicular traffic.

Effective May 16, the following areas will be completely closed:

  • Attakapas Island WMA (St. Martin/St. Mary/Iberia Parishes)
  • Grassy Lake WMA (Avoyelles Parish)
  • Sherburne WMA (Pointe Coupee/St. Martin/Iberville Parishes)
  • Three Rivers WMA (Concordia Parish)

The closures will remain in effect until the flood waters recede and all WMA access roads are determined to be safe for vehicle passage.

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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

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

LDWF Reminds Residents to be Mindful of Wildlife Displaced by Flooding

Release Date: 05/13/2011

May 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds the public to be mindful of wildlife species forced into populated areas by flood waters from the Mississippi River and spillways.

Rising waters force wildlife from flooded habitat into adjacent residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents. LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range.

Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed. Feeding wild animals will encourage those animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.

Basic Tips:

  • Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.
  • Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.
  • Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

Species of Concern:

Black Bears: The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List. The black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident, when high water moves bears out of their habitat within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat.

Poisonous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake. For more information on snake species found in Louisiana, including frequently asked questions, visit LDWF's website at this link: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resource/snakes-louisiana.

Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable. LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.

For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:

  • Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
  • Hammond 985-543-4777
  • Monroe 318-343-4044
  • New Iberia 337-373-0032
  • Opelousas 337-948-0255
  • Pineville 318-487-5885

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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at www.facebook.com/gohsep.

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