LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Scheduled to Meet June 14, 2011

Release Date: 06/10/2011

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, June 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

      1. Roll Call

      2. Approval of Minutes of March 15, 2011

      3. Welcome and Opening Comments from Chairman

      4. Enforcement Division Report

      5. Office of Fisheries: Report on Spillway Floodwaters in Lake Pontchartrain and the Atchafalaya Basin

      6. Office of Wildlife: Report on Flood Impacts to the Atchafalaya Basin and Batture Lands

      7. Office of Fisheries: Report on the Aquatic Vegetation Control Program

      8. HB 477: Expropriation from Artificial Reef Trust Fund - Discussion

      9. Sector Separation - Discussion

    10. Set Next Meeting Date

    11. Receive Public Comments

    12. Adjournment

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

LOUISIANA ARTIFICIAL REEF COUNCIL TO MEET

Release Date: 06/09/2011

 

The Artificial Reef Council has scheduled a meeting for 1:00 p.m. June 13, 2011 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

  1. Introduction                      
  2. Approval of minutes
  3. Program Update
  4. To consider Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s June 2, 2011 request to fully utilize the Artificial Reef Fund and remove the Artificial Reef Council’s January 21, 2005 motion to preserve a base fund.
  5. To discuss the development of inshore and nearshore artificial reef plans.
  6. Presentation on the use of reclaimed oyster shell and recycled concrete for constructing inshore and nearshore artificial reefs.
  7. Other business
  8. Public comments
  9. Council action
  10. Adjourn

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 Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.govor (225) 610-2363.

Construction Completed on Louisiana’s Largest Limestone Inshore Artificial Reef

Release Date: 06/07/2011

Construction Completed on Louisiana’s Largest Limestone Inshore Artificial Reef
Construction Completed on Louisiana’s Largest Limestone Inshore Artificial Reef

 

CCA, LDWF and partners complete historic project at Independence Island Reef

JUNE 7, 2011- The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) have completed construction on Independence Island Reef, believed to be the largest limestone inshore artificial reef project ever in Louisiana. Work crews finished the job on Monday afternoon.

“This project is the result of nearly two years of hard work and dedication by CCA volunteers, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and NOAA,” said David Cresson, CCA Louisiana Executive Director. “We are so appreciative of all of them for their incredible commitment to this important project. Anglers and their families will enjoy the benefits of this reef for generations.”

“The recreational fishing industry has sustained a number of challenges over the last six years – hurricanes, the BP oil spill and recent flood waters from the Mississippi River have and will continue to impact our inshore reefs along Louisiana’s coast,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “Projects like this one are an essential component in restoring our recreational fisheries. We are incredibly grateful for Governor Jindal, Secretary Barham, CCA and of all our partners for their leadership in what is an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast that have been damaged by erosion.”

Nearly 8,000 tons of limestone were dropped from barges onto four acres about three miles Northeast of Grand Isle, where Independence Island was once located. The total site acreage is more than 50 acres. The center of the reef is located at 29° 18' 26.98" N, -89° 56' 01.01"W and will be marked by several mooring buoys.  The buoys will be deployed later this month.

Cresson also thanked a number of additional partners who helped make the project possible, namely Shell Oil Company, The Paul Candies Family, Vulcan Materials and Bertucci Contractors.

“Without their generosity and their commitment to conservation, this project would not have been possible,” Cresson said.

Shell Oil Company made a lead gift to CCA Building Conservation Program and helped announce the project last December.

“Shell is proud to have been part of this project through CCA’s Building Conservation Program,” said John Hollowell, Executive Vice President, Deep Water for Shell Upstream Americas.  “Shell remains committed the Gulf Coast and the people who live there, so the Independence Island Reef project was a great way for us to give back.”

Funding for the project was also made available through LDWF’s Artificial Reef Development Fund.

CCA Conservation Committee Chairman John Walther says he expects the reef to start holding fish in the coming months.

“Reefs we have built in the past have proven to provide great habitat for our favorite species, like speckled trout and redfish,” said Walther. “I expect anglers will be landing nice catches from the new reef before the end of the summer.”

CCA Louisiana is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the state. With more than 30,000 members and volunteers in 24 local chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit CCA at www.CCALouisiana.com for more information, on Facebook or Twitter @CCALouisiana.

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 Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

June 11-12 Free Fishing Weekend Provides Opportunity to Enjoy Louisiana's Outdoors

Release Date: 06/06/2011

June 6, 2011 – Louisiana’s “Free Fishing Weekend” provides a great opportunity for Louisiana citizens and visitors to enjoy the state’s bountiful fisheries resources on June 11 and 12.

The event is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) efforts to attract more participants into the ranks of licensed fishermen.  Fishing license fees support LDWF's conservation efforts including habitat management.

The promotional fishing dates offer novices, and anglers who haven’t been on the water recently, an opportunity to experience recreational fishing in fresh or salt water without the purchase of a recreational fishing license. 

"The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission waives the fishing license requirement once a year to encourage the public to participate and we hope  licensed recreational fishermen use this weekend to introduce someone to this outdoor activity that can last a lifetime," said John Sturgis, LDWF education manager.

In conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend, LDWF and the Office of State Parks will host Family Fishing Day on Saturday, June 11 at the following sites: Bogue Chitto State Park, Franklinton; Chicot State Park, Ville Platte; Lake D’Arbonne State Park, Farmerville; and within New Orleans City Park. Family Fishing Day at these park sites will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear for pier or bank fishing. LDWF will provide basic fishing gear for anyone needing gear for the day.

Entrance fees at the three state parks hosting Family Fishing Day will be waived on June 11. For information and directions to all Louisiana State Parks and New Orleans City Park, visit www.lastateparks.com.

 

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 John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov.

 

LDWF, LSU Begin Initial Phase of Oyster Reef Rehabilitation

Release Date: 06/02/2011

 

June 2, 2011 - Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists along with Louisiana Sea Grant scientists, deployed more than 100 million oyster larvae and 500,000 oyster spat (or immature oysters approximately one-quarter inch in size.)  This joint effort between LDWF and Louisiana State University (LSU), is part of a $500,000 grant provided to LSU to help rehabilitate vital oyster grounds impacted by hurricanes in the last six years. 

The oyster larvae and spat were released in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation, located in north Barataria Bay.  The specimens were deployed on test plots of reef to enable biologists to track progress.

This effort is the first of many ventures to help rehabilitate Louisiana’s oyster grounds.  The state plans to institute similar deployments of larvae and spat on other public grounds and private leases. 

Figures prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 indicate that Louisiana produces approximately one-third of all oysters harvested in the U.S. and 50 percent of oysters harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.  

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 Laura Wooderson with LDWF at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or 225.610.2363.

 

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. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program.

For more information about Louisiana Sea Grant contact Roy Kron at (225)578-6451 or rkron@lsu.edu

L.W.F.C. BRIEFED ON PROPOSED CHANGES FOR 2012 WILD TURKEY SEASON

Release Date: 06/02/2011

 

June 2, 2011 --The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today summarized the changes in the turkey hunting regulations that it expects to make when the formal season proposal is made at the July meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.  The department expects to propose two turkey hunting zones with different opening dates.
 
It is expected that the season would open in the south on the Saturday closest to March 22, and in the north on the Saturday closest to March 29. Youth turkey hunt weekends would be set a week prior to the season openings.
 
The length of the turkey season would vary and be based on the area A, B and C breakdowns similar to that used in 2011. The zone boundaries will be announced at the July commission meeting when the formal turkey season notice of intent is presented. A 60-day comment period will begin then to gather public input on the proposed season framework and WMA regulations.
 
Turkey Program Study Leader Jimmy Stafford told commission meeting attendees that the 2011 floodwaters may impact seasons along the Mississippi River, but that impact is still to be determined.

 

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@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.

LDWF Announces 2012 Duck Stamp Contest

Release Date: 05/31/2011

May 31, 2011 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced the contest rules for the 2012 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp, or Louisiana Duck Stamp, competition.

“The competition returned to a featured waterfowl species two years ago and the artists competing were allowed to choose the species they wished to illustrate,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Program Manager. “The 2010 contest was won with a striking pair of northern pintails in flight, and the winning design for the 2011 stamp was a pair of incredibly realistic wood ducks. Allowing the artist to choose the featured species has resulted in a variety of quality entries for the last two contests, and again this year competitors can choose the species to be featured, except for northern pintails or wood ducks."

Any species of waterfowl known to winter in Louisiana, other than northern pintail and wood duck, can be the subject of this year’s contest for the 2012 stamp with the requirement that associated habitat is also featured.

“The main objective of the fund raising element of this program is to provide resources to create, enhance, and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife,” said Reynolds. “That is why a habitat component is required in each entry and is one of the five judging criteria.” 

To enter, an artist must submit an original, unpublished work of art, along with a signed and notarized artist's agreement and a $50 entry fee. 

Entries should be addressed to:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attn: Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Program
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Entries will be accepted from Monday, October 17 through Tuesday, October 25, 2011 with the contest judging to be held in the Louisiana Room at the LDWF Baton Rouge headquarters building starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.  The public is invited to attend.

Please visit this link to view the 2012 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition artist agreement and full list of rules:
http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/2012-louisiana-duck-stamp-contest

The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988.  The program was created to generate revenues for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana.  During the last 22 years, over $10 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $5 million spent on land acquisition.  In addition, revenues have supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.

Judging for the art competition will be based on the following criteria:

1. Accuracy of form, size, proportion, color and posture.
2. Level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the waterfowl.
3. Appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the habitat.
4. Attractiveness and creativity in composition, subject, background and lighting.
5. Suitability for reproduction as stamps and prints.

A panel of judges with experience in waterfowl biology and/or artistic method will select the winning design. The competition is open to all artists 18 years of age and older.  Employees of LDWF and members of their immediate families are ineligible.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@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

10 DWI Arrests Made on the Water During Memorial Day Weekend

Release Date: 05/31/2011

May 31, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents made 10 driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) arrests statewide this Memorial Day Weekend.

The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  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.

LDWF Strikeforce agents made DWI cases against Rouddy A. Pierce, 43, of Galliano, on Bayou Blue in Lafourche Parish on May 28; Brandon B. Vice, 25, of Houma, on the Intracoastal Waterway in Terrebonne Parish on May 29; and Phillip J. Trahna, 25, of Gibson, on the Intracoastal Waterway in Terrebonne Parish on May 29.  Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Michael Williams participated in these DWI arrests.

Agents in Livingston Parish made DWI cases on the Tickfaw River against David A. Weber, 48, of Destrehan, on May 28; Wilbert K. Black, 53, of Kenner, on May 29; and Michael E. Triplett, 31, of Flora, Miss., on May 29.  Sgt. Toby Miller, Senior Agent Brody Roberts and Senior Agent Clay Marques participated in these DWI arrests.

On Toledo Bend, Lt. Bill Tyree and Senior Agent Eric Droddy made one DWI case against Caster D. Caisson, 56, of Duson, on May 30.

Agents in the northwestern part of the state made DWI cases against Austin Frye, 21, of Arcadia, on Lake Claiborne in Claiborne Parish on May 30; and Marcus Hooker, 39, of Logansport, on the Sabine River in Desoto Parish on May 28.  Sgt. Ryan Brasher, Senior Agent Joey Melton and Senior Agent Michael Dunn participated in these cases.

Agents made a DWI case against James Davis Jr., 66, of Newellton, on the backwater of the Mississippi River on May 30.  Senior Agent Johnny Wilson, Sgt. Joe Chandler and Senior Agent Leya Grover participated in this case.

"Alcohol use and operating a boat do not mix as it impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "Alcohol also increases fatigue and intensifies the effect from the sun, wind and movement while on the water.  All of these alcohol related side effects have shown an increase in fatal boating crash incidents in Louisiana and the country."

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  Alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths in Louisiana in 2009. 

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 on the water or on the road 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.  Every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

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

 

Amended Agenda for June Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 05/31/2011

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, June 2, 2011, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of May 5, 2011 and May 13, 2011

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To hear Report on State’s Current Reef Program Including a Scheduled of Planned Reefs and Future Plans for Reef Development and Inshore and Offshore Enhanced Fishing Areas

5. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/May

6. To present public comments on Waterfowl Zone Alternatives

7. To present Ducks Unlimited Project Progress

8. To hear an Update on WMA Reforestation Program

9. To receive general information on Upcoming 2012 Wild Turkey Season and Regulations Recommendations

10. Set October 2011 Meeting Date

11. Receive Public Comments

12. Adjournment
 

LDWF Closes Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 05/25/2011

May 25, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at 6 a.m. on May 26.

The closure area length is from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side. The width of the closure is from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line half a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area is due to the current high water conditions that are caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway. The elevated water in the area has put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at an expected dangerous clearance level of seven feet for boat traffic.

These lower than usual electrical lines could be a deadly hazard for boaters. In order to avoid de-energizing the lines that would result in loss of electricity to many citizens and the Butte La Rose Welcome Center, LDWF decided to restrict boat traffic in the area described below.

The entirety of that 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.

Click here to view a map of the closure.

The closure will remain in effect until further notice.

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

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