LDWF News

LDWF News Release

High School Angling Competition Joins the Ranks of Big Bass Rodeo

Release Date: 02/18/2016

(Feb. 18, 2016) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries invites high school students throughout the state to join us on April 2, 2016, for the first annual Battle for the Bass, a fishing tournament hosted in conjunction with the 69th annual Big Bass Rodeo in New Orleans City Park.
 
Teams of up to five high school students will represent their respective school and compete to take the coveted first place trophy. The best combined weight of two bass from each team will determine the winner, and those who place will receive a plaque and fishing gear courtesy of Berkley.
 
Registration is required to participate and will close at noon on April 1. Online registration is available at www.fishla.org/community-outreach/bfb.  Students interested in registering to become a Berkley Fishing Club member can register at hs.berkley-fishing.com. The first 50 students who register for both the Berkley Fishing Club and Battle for the Bass will also receive a Berkley tackle bag.
 
Two additional events, the Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival and Boats on the Bayou, will run concurrent to Battle for the Bass and are open to the public.  
 
The 69th annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival has grown into one of the most popular youth fishing events in the country.  This non-professional rodeo provides fishing categories and activities for all ages and is a great opportunity to teach novice anglers about the sport of fishing.  In addition, fisheries staff will be on hand to assist anglers and answer questions about fishing basics and fish identification. Other exciting features include a mobile touch tank, fish tagging demonstrations and photo opportunities with Robbie the Redfish.
 
Boats on the Bayou is held on Bayou St. John and offers an opportunity for those with non-motorized boats including kayaks and canoes to compete.  This event is limited to 100 participants, so those interested are encouraged to register early.
 
Additional details and online registration for the Big Bass Rodeo and Boats on the Bayou can be found at http://www.neworleanscitypark.com/big-bass-fishing-rodeo-and-fishtival.  Registration fees range from $5 to $10, depending on the age of the angler.
 
For event related questions, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov

Bodcau WMA Shooting Range Reopened After Facility Improvement Project

Release Date: 02/17/2016

Feb. 17, 2016 – The Bodcau Wildlife Management Area (WMA) shooting range has been reopened by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries following a facility improvement project that began in December.
 
Bodcau WMA is located in Bossier and Webster parishes, approximately 30 miles northeast of Shreveport. The shooting range provides for rifle and handgun target shooting at 25, 50, 100 and 200 yards. A shotgun range offers manual target throwers and an archery range provides stationary field targets.
 
The range facility is located at 168 Ben Durden Road, Haughton, La., within the WMA.
 
Range hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and there are no fees charged for range use.
 
For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/bodcau-wma or contact Todd Buffington at LDWF’s Minden office, ph. 318-371-3050 or tbuffington@wlf.la.gov.

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Reopens Pearl River Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 02/17/2016

Feb. 17, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reopened the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in St. Tammany Parish on Wednesday (Feb. 17).
 
Flooding in the Pearl River forced the closure of the WMA on Saturday (Feb. 13) when the flood gauge reached 16.5 feet, an automatic benchmark for closure set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
 
The Pearl River WMA, which consists of 35,618 acres, is located approximately six miles east of Slidell and approximately one mile east of Pearl River.
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789 or contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards Reappoints Julie M. Hebert, Nathan D. Wall to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 02/16/2016

Feb. 16, 2016 – Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the reappointment of Julie M. Hebert of Luling and Nathan D. Wall of Springfield to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
 
Hebert, a representative for the commercial fisheries and fur industries, owns Coastal Permitting, an environmental consulting group located in Luling. Hebert was born in Michigan and grew up on Diamond Lake in Cassopolis, Mich. She has been a Louisiana resident for 20 years.
 
Wall, a representative of the commercial fisheries and fur industries, is the CEO of Wall’s Gator Farm, Nathan Wall and Sons Alligator Consulting, Wall 2 Wall Alligator Farm, WG Alligator Farm and Wall’s Gator Farm II, all located in Springfield. Wall, a Louisiana and Springfield native, is also the CEO of Pinnacle Alligator Farm in Covington.
 
To see the complete release on Gov. Edwards’ appointments, go to http://gov.louisiana.gov/news/gov-edwards-announces-boards-and-commissions-appointments.

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Louisiana DHH has announced the reopening of Oyster Harvest Area 1

Release Date: 02/15/2016

 

(February 15, 2015) – The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has announced that oyster harvest area 1 on east side of the Mississippi River will reopen one-half hour prior to sunrise on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued a molluscan shellfish closure order on December 11, 2015 for harvest areas 1 – 7 due to the presence of Karenia brevis (Red Tide).  Harvest area 5 was reopened on January 20th, areas 6 & 7 were reopened on January 13th and areas 2,3 and 4 were reopened on February 7th.  With this announcement, the last remaining closure, area 1, will be lifted tomorrow morning.

To view a map of the Louisiana oyster harvest area grids, click here.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

Save the Date for 2016 Fisheries Summit

Release Date: 02/15/2016

(Feb. 15, 2016) - The fourth annual Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit will be held on March 1, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, La. This free event will run as an expo, with hands-on demonstrations running throughout the day.
 
Example demonstrations include:
·      Fisheries biology, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
·      Water chill, brine and plate freezing systems, LFF Quality Trailer
·      Seafood packaging, Louisiana State University AgCenter Food Incubator
·      Crab shedding & black spot research, Louisiana Sea Grant
·      Marine vessel stability, University of New Orleans
·      Nano ice machine, Louisiana Sea Grant
·      Turtle excluder devices, National Marine Fisheries Service/NOAA
·      Refrigeration repair, LeBlanc & Associates
 
Experts will cover important industry topics such as H2B visas, harbor of refuge, new U.S. Coast Guard regulations and an update on fisheries management and regulations. The expo will also feature a buyers’ panel to help fishermen learn ways to sell their catch; panelists will represent a variety of buyers, including a farmer’s market, direct sales program, grocery store and chef.
 
The Summit is part of the Louisiana Fisheries Forward initiative, a voluntary education program for the commercial seafood community. A collaboration of LDWF, Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter, LFF was established with the goal of improving the economic success and environmental sustainability of the commercial fishing industry.
 
Though free, participants should register online in advance at http://LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit to secure a seat and lunch ticket.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at http://www.wlf.la.gov or http://www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 
Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant (www.laseagrant.org) has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.

Save the Date for 2016 Fisheries Summit

Release Date: 02/15/2016

(Feb. 15, 2016) - The fourth annual Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit will be held on March 1, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, La. This free event will run as an expo, with hands-on demonstrations running throughout the day.
 
Example demonstrations include:
·      Fisheries biology, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
·      Water chill, brine and plate freezing systems, LFF Quality Trailer
·      Seafood packaging, Louisiana State University AgCenter Food Incubator
·      Crab shedding & black spot research, Louisiana Sea Grant
·      Marine vessel stability, University of New Orleans
·      Nano ice machine, Louisiana Sea Grant
·      Turtle excluder devices, National Marine Fisheries Service/NOAA
·      Refrigeration repair, LeBlanc & Associates
 
Experts will cover important industry topics such as H2B visas, harbor of refuge, new U.S. Coast Guard regulations and an update on fisheries management and regulations. The expo will also feature a buyers’ panel to help fishermen learn ways to sell their catch; panelists will represent a variety of buyers, including a farmer’s market, direct sales program, grocery store and chef.
 
The Summit is part of the Louisiana Fisheries Forward initiative, a voluntary education program for the commercial seafood community. A collaboration of LDWF, Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter, LFF was established with the goal of improving the economic success and environmental sustainability of the commercial fishing industry.
 
Though free, participants should register online in advance at http://LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit to secure a seat and lunch ticket.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at http://www.wlf.la.gov or http://www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 
Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant (www.laseagrant.org) has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to Close Pearl River Wildlife Management Area Due to Flooding

Release Date: 02/12/2016

Feb. 12, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in St. Tammany Parish when the Pearl River flood gauge reaches 16.5 feet on Saturday (Feb. 13). The closure is an automatic benchmark as set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
 
The gate at the entrance to the WMA on Old Hwy. 11 will be closed and locked when the flood gauge reaches 16.5 feet. Included in the closure is the Pearl River-Honey Island Shooting Range, located in the Pearl River WMA.
 
Increasing water levels in the Pearl River has caused backwater flooding in the WMA. Once the gauge goes below 16.5 feet, the WMA will reopen.
The Pearl River WMA, which consists of 35,618 acres, is located approximately six miles east of Slidell and approximately one mile east of Pearl River.
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789 or contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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Governor John Bel Edwards Appoints Charlie Melancon Secretary of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Release Date: 02/12/2016

Feb. 11, 2016 – Governor John Bel Edwards has appointed former Congressman Charlie Melancon, a native of Napoleonville, La., as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Secretary Melancon replaces Robert Barham who previously served as the Department’s Secretary since 2008.

Melancon’s chief duty as Secretary will be to manage, conserve and promote wise utilization of Louisiana's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their supporting habitats through replenishment, protection, enhancement, research, development and education for the social and economic benefit of current and future generations.

Secretary Melancon’s career in public service to Louisiana has spanned over three decades. He was elected to three terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives (1987-1993). Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Melancon was elected to serve three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Louisiana’s Third Congressional District (2006-2011). He is also the former President and General Manager of the American Sugar Cane League U.S.A. and Executive Director of the South Central Planning and Development Commission.

As a member of Congress, Secretary Melancon served on the Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, Agriculture, Science and Budget committees. Melancon is best known for his role in coordinating the private and intergovernmental responses for disaster recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as the BP oil spill.  

Melancon grew up in Louisiana hunting and fishing.

“Some of my best memories as a child growing up in Louisiana come from learning how to hunt and fish from a family friend, Sonny Thibeaux,” said Melancon. “He instilled in me the importance of safety and the conservation of our resources.

“The charge that Governor Edwards gave me was to provide opportunities for, knowledge of and use and enjoyment of our resources, regardless of one’s socioeconomic status, making them equally available to every citizen of our sportsman’s paradise for generations to come.”

With seasoned and knowledgeable employees at LDWF, Melancon said, “I will rely heavily on the expertise of the dedicated employees within the department. I will look to the best available science and socioeconomic data when making regulatory decisions. As a member of the Science Committee in Congress, I came to the understanding that we have a better world because of science.”

Charlie and his wife, Peachy, reside in Baton Rouge and have two adult children. He holds a B.S. in Agriculture Business from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Louisiana Oyster Task Force Legislative Committee to Meet

Release Date: 02/11/2016

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Legislative Committee Meeting

Jakov Jurisic, Chairman

Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 10 a.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans

AGENDA

I.             Roll Call and introduction of guests

II.            Severance Tax

III.           Vessel Permit Fees

IV.           Usage of Dedicated Funds in the Oyster Development Account

V.            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/8992421091469846285

 

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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