LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Shrimp Season to Close Saturday in Portion of Zone 2

Release Date: 06/22/2011

Shrimp Season Closure - Portion of Zone 2

 

June 22, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2011 spring inshore shrimp season in a portion of Shrimp Management Zone 2 will close at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25. 

This shrimp season closure includes state inside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel Red Buoy line, with the exception of the following waters north of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line:

•             Those inshore waters south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

•             Those inshore waters south of 29 degrees 06 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 46 minutes 00 seconds west longitude.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small juvenile white shrimp within this portion of Zone 2.  The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp.

Shrimp Management Zones 1 and 3, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice with the exception of those areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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 on this contact Marty Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-2401.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Enforcement Division Cooperating In Operation Dry Water June 24-26

Release Date: 06/22/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 24-26 with increased patrols for operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"We want people to be safe and have fun while boating recreationally," commented Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "But alcohol use has become the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents.  We recommend that boaters avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at all times, and we will have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters."

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 32 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2009.  Alcohol was again the leading primary cause of those boating fatal incidents leading to 24 percent of the fatalities.  Nationwide, statistics from 2009 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

“There will be arrests this weekend and some boaters will face the consequences of operating a boat while impaired," added Lt. Col. Mayne.  "But we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back."

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

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

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

 

June 21, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, will drawdown Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish beginning September 6, 2011.

The water level will be lowered 4 1/2 feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until December 15, 2011.  The drawdown is being conducted to allow for replacement of a disabled water control structure, vegetation control in the Brushy Lake area, fisheries improvement and also to allow homeowners to conduct shoreline and property maintenance. 

All homeowners are advised to take appropriate prepartory measures as boat access into the lake will be limited. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 343-4044 or Gary Smith, President of the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, at (318) 766-4252.

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. 

Crab Task Force Scheduled to Meet June 23, 2011

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet Thursday, June 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. The agenda for Thursday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Call to order Roll call
  2. Approval of minutes/agenda
  3. Receive public comments
  4. Senior Commercial Fisherman’s License
  5. Whitespot disease (general information and discussion) 
  6. Reports of blue crab mortalities and laboratory findings
  7. Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for crab fishermen
  8. Impacts of freshwater flooding on the blue crab resource
  9. Exports of live blue crabs (opportunities and regulations)
  10. Status of Derelict Crab Trap Removal and Crab Promotion and Marketing Accounts
  11. Blue crab processing and solid waste disposal
  12. Update on MSC Certification of the blue crab fishery
  13. Indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the blue crab industry
  14. Task force vacancies and recruitment efforts
  15. Travel reimbursement for task force members
  16. H-2B visas and labor issues
  17. Status of HB 584
  18. Crab education day planning
  19. Other Business
  20. Next Meeting / Agenda
  21. Adjournment

For more meeting information, contact Carl Britt at (985)882-0027 or cbritt@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at (225)610-2363 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

Local Anglers Take Home Top Prize at Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament

Release Date: 06/21/2011

(Left to right) Tournament Director Dwayne Mills, Kory Matherne, Jason LeBlanc, Becky Chaney.

 

June 21, 2011 –Last Saturday, the second annual Louisiana Saltwater Series made its third stop on the tournament trail at Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix, La., with 44 boats entered and over $7,000 awarded in cash prizes.

The series was developed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

Taking home first place overall were Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne, of Marrero, with a two fish total weight of 16.57 pounds.

A total of 109 redfish were tagged and released during Saturday’s event.  The results of the tagging will aid conservation efforts for redfish in the future, helping to ensure healthy populations and a successful recreational fishing industry.

Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for more information, including event photographs and a complete listing of results. Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

Mark your calendars for our next tournament on July 23 at The Dock and Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell.  The Disney Radio Road Crew will be on-site to entertain kids of all ages with interactive, hands-on, music and contest-filled events, so be sure to bring the entire family. 

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 more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

Louisiana Boaters Can Take Free Boating Safety Course at Home

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now offering a new online boating safety course provided by the BoatUS Foundation.  The course can be found at www.BoatUS.org or www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

The new online course is approved by LDWF and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and allows Louisiana boaters to get their safe boating certification at no cost in the comfort of their own home.

"The department wants to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to get their boating safety certification," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "Since the course is free and people can take it at home, we want to encourage everybody to give it a try even those that don't need their certification.  This free online course will teach new boaters how to become safer on the water and old boaters some new tips."

Louisiana boaters born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

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.

With the free online course, those looking to get certified now have three options to choose from: the traditional classroom course taught in one day, the free online course from BoatUS.org and an online course for a small fee from boat-ed.com.

The free online course and exam is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

“We’ve loaded the course with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters, sailors and anglers an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Boating Safety Chris Edmonston. “It includes videos that demonstrate important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent and extinguish fires aboard your boat, and the best way to fit a life jacket to a child so they will not slip out.”

Upon successful completion of the course, boaters print out their own certificate of completion as proof of boater education.

About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation.

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

L.D.W.F. to Accept Public Bids for Premier Waterfowl Hunting Leases at White Lake

Release Date: 06/15/2011

Agricultural and hunting leases up for competitive public bid summer 2011

June 15, 2011 – Hunting and agricultural leases on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area will be open for competitive public bid in mid-summer 2011, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Nearly 35,000 acres of the 71,000-acre property will be available as existing leases expire.

“While we are very grateful to our current leaseholders who have all been good stewards of the land, we have a responsibility to the citizens of Louisiana to allow all who would like a hunting or agricultural lease the opportunity to bid on it,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Opening these leases up for competitive public bid ensures that the state will get fair market value for this land, as well as responsible tenants.”

Public waterfowl hunts and lease revenues offset LDWF’s operational costs to maintain the White Lake WCA acreage and facilities which exceed $1 million annually. The department is also facing erosion abatement costs along the Intracoastal Waterway that must be addressed.

The bid packets detailing land use stipulations and minimum per acre lease costs will be available July 17. Interested parties will have access to bid details online via the LDWF website or by mail upon request. Completed bid packages must be returned to LDWF by close of business on August 17. Following review of all bids submitted, winning bids will be announced in September.

To review the parcels and acreage totals that will be available during the bid process or request more information, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-leases on the LDWF website. Anyone without access to the LDWF website can call 225-765-2812 or send a letter of request to:

White Lake Wetlands WCA Bid Process 2011
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P. O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000

LDWF is currently working to secure an assessment of local leases values, which will aid in establishment of minimum bid values. Agricultural practices will also have to be maintained by those awarded leases in September. The term for all new leases will be 10 years with annual lease payments required.

LDWF’s public waterfowl hunts, including the annual youth hunt, lottery hunts and corporate hunts, will still be offered by the department on the White Lake property as they have been since 2005. Plans have been made to expand public hunting opportunities beginning this fall.

LDWF began management of White Lake Preserve in 2005 as part of a transition agreement entered into between White Lake Preservation, Inc., and the state of Louisiana, and approved by BP America Production.

The property, near Gueydan in Vermilion Parish, was donated to the state in 2002 by BP and the transfer of management authority was mandated by legislation passed during the 2004 session. The original donation framework granted management control to White Lake Preservation, Inc., a non-profit charitable entity overseen by a designated board. Legislative action, approved in Act 613, placed property management decision-making under the control of LDWF and a 10-member advisory board appointed by the governor.

To request a lease packet or inquire about the stipulations of the competitive bid process, please contact Buddy Baker at 225-765-2812 or bbaker@wlf.la.gov. For all media inquiries or interview requests, please contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Offering Safe Boating Patrol Ride Along Opportunities For Media Members For Operation Dry Water

Release Date: 06/15/2011

 

What: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 24-26 with increased patrols for operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

When: LDWF is offering safe boating ride along opportunities the week before the Operation Dry Water weekend from June 20 to the 24.  To schedule a media ride along opportunity on a safe boating patrol, please contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Where: Statewide

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

LOUISIANA SALTWATER SERIES HEATS UP WITH TEMPERATURES

Release Date: 06/13/2011

 

June 13, 2011 – As temperatures rise, fishing action heats up all across Louisiana, including at the Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament.  The series, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), continues to its next scheduled tournament site on June 18, 2011, in Delacroix, La., at Sweetwater Marina.  The series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

The grassroots-based tournament provides anglers with the opportunity to give back to the resource.  Contestants vie for cash prizes and test their skills while enjoying the thrill of the competitive sport. 

Thus far, the competition has attracted over 266 local anglers and more than 252 fish have been tagged.

Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized. 

The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast.  The remainder of the 2011 tournament schedule is as follows: 

  •  July 23 Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock;
  •  August 20 Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina; and
  • Championship October 7 and 8 Empire, The Delta Marina.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday, June 16 at noon, but those interested in participating can register at Sweetwater Marina from 4:45 to 5:45 a.m., the morning of the event.  Only cash or checks will be accepted for payment of registration fees the morning of the event. 

Food will be provided during weigh-in for all registered participants. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com

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 more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

LDWF Reopens Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 06/13/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at noon today, June 13.

The department closed an area from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side to all boat traffic on May 26.  The width of the previous closure ran from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line 1/2 a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area was due to the high water conditions that were caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway.  The elevated water in the area put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at a dangerous clearance level for boat traffic.

With water conditions slowly declining in the basin, the department has determined that the power line is now high enough above the water for boat traffic to safely travel under the line.

The reopened area consists of the portion of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway between the West Protection (Guide) levee and the Butte La Rose levee on the west bank of the Atchafalaya River, which is south of a line running from 30.331556, -91.7881 to 30.349317, -91.723331 and which is north of a line running from 30.323706, -91.788605 to 30.342755, -91.7196.

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

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