LDWF News Release

Aerial Spraying of Giant Salvinia on Lake Bistineau to Begin Tuesday

Release Date: 11/20/2012

(Nov. 20, 2012) -Helicopters are expected to be hovering over Lake Bistineau in the near future for a periodic, aerial herbicide spray to treat giant salvinia.  LDWF has contracted two days of helicopter spraying to control plants in the large, open areas starting Tuesday, November 27.  Following the aerial treatment, airboats will concentrate on those areas with thick concentrations among dense cypress tree stands. 

The aerial spraying will be applied to selected areas where giant salvinia growth is particularly heavy.   “A helicopter will be used to spray herbicide on approximately 800 acres of giant salvinia,” explained LDWF Aquatic Plant Control Coordinator Alex Perret.  “Areas that will be treated include the southern portion of the lake, which has recently experienced a surge in growth.  Most of the large mats are located on the western side of the lake.”

The heavier concentrations of were restricted to the northern portion of the lake.  However, heavy rains have pushed the plant material over a Department-installed control boom into the southern portion of the lake, which is relatively open.  With nothing to restrict the plant’s reproduction, growth exploded in these open areas.  Fortunately, these large mats are easily treated in open waters.

With cooler temperatures moving in, results may be delayed, but the overall effectiveness of the herbicide will not be impacted. Results are expected within three days, but it could take up to three weeks for the plants to completely sink. 

None of the herbicides to be used are harmful to lake ecosystems, animal life or humans, and are approved by the EPA.  Activities will not be restricted on the lake, but notices indicating the areas to be sprayed will be posted at all boat ramps in the area.  Department personnel will also be on hand to ensure no boaters are in the areas to be sprayed. 

Giant salvinia is a free floating plant that does not attach to the soil, but instead remains buoyant on the surface of a body of water.  The invasive, aquatic plant was discovered on Lake Bistineau in February of 2006 and has the potential to double in biomass every three to five days. 

 The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting many of Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor 225-765-2396.


Maurepas Swamp WMA Small Game and Waterfowl Hunting Will Be Open Nov. 23-25

Release Date: 11/20/2012

Nov. 20, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that small game and waterfowl hunting on Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area will be open Nov.  23-25, 2012.

Small game and waterfowl hunting is usually closed on the WMA during the three days after Thanksgiving each year for the first segment of the either-sex modern firearm deer season.  However, the 2012-13 deer season on Maurepas Swamp WMA was revised due to Hurricane Isaac impacts, and all firearm deer hunting on the WMA will be bucks only.

The Maurepas Swamp WMA deer season, revised by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Oct. 4, is as follows:

  • Archery Season - no change
  • Youth, Bucks only: Nov. 3-4 (2 days)
  • Bucks only, modern firearms, mandatory check: Nov. 23 (1 day)
  • Bucks only, modern firearms: Nov. 24 – 25 (2 days)
  • Bucks only, modern firearms: Dec. 22 – 28 (7 days)
  • Bucks only, primitive: Jan. 14 – 20 (7 days)

For more information, contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.




Waddill Outdoor Education Center to Be Closed Nov. 22-26

Release Date: 11/20/2012

Nov. 20, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge will be closed from Nov. 22 through 26 for the Thanksgiving holidays.

The facility, located at 4142 North Flannery Road, will reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 27 for public use at 7:30 a.m. Access to the site is free of charge during the normal hours of operation, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on the programs and facilities available at Waddill, contact Bradley Breland at 225-274-8192or bbreland@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.


Oyster Season To Close In Hackberry Bay

Release Date: 11/15/2012

November 15, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the oyster season will close this Sunday, November 18, at one-half hour after sunset in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR) located in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes.  Protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area.

This small public oyster area historically holds a limited oyster supply.  Harvest pressure since the October 29 season opening has provided the industry with an estimated 4700 sacks of oysters.

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For more information please contact lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623



LDWF Biologists Available for Private Lands Technical Assistance

Release Date: 11/15/2012

LDWF Biologists Available for Private Lands Technical Assistance

Nov. 15, 2012 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) offers wildlife management assistance to private landowners and managers through its Private Lands/Technical Services Program.  Technical Services Biologists (TSBs) can help landowners with deer management, dove field establishment, management of waterfowl impoundments and habitat management for a wide variety of wildlife. 

One of the most important things these biologists do is listen.  Landowners own and manage land for a variety of reasons.  The assistance provided by the Private Lands/Technical Services program is guided by the objectives, needs and resources of the landowner.  If a landowner needs financial assistance to implement certain management activities, the TSB may be able to help locate appropriate funding sources.

Some landowners may already be working with a natural resource professional, such as a consulting forester.  The TSB will not replace these other professionals, but will work closely with them to integrate the landowner’s wildlife objectives with other management objectives and programs. 

Landowners are encouraged to seek a written plan to help them maintain a long-term and consistent management approach and TSBs can provide that plan.  Even the best plan will need to be modified as experience and conditions dictate, so landowners are encouraged to maintain contact with their TSB.  The landowner and TSB should regularly evaluate the habitat, assess the impacts of management and make changes when needed.       

There is no cost to landowners to utilize the services of the department’s TSBs.  Whether a landowner is interested in hummingbirds or trophy bucks, looking for a comprehensive management plan or simply has a management question, the department’s technical services biologists can help.  To contact a LDWF technical services biologist in your area, call an LDWF field office in Monroe (318-343-4044), Minden (318-371-3050), Pineville (318-487-5885), Lake Charles (337/491-2575), Hammond (985-543-4777), Opelousas (337-948-0255) or New Iberia (337-373-0032).

For additional information, contact David Breithaupt at 318-487-5885 or dbreithaupt@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.


Ducks Unlimited, LDWF Improve North Louisiana Waterfowl Habitat

Release Date: 11/15/2012

Nov. 15,2012 – Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recently completed a project to improve waterfowl habitat on Bayou Pierre Wildlife Management Area, 20 miles south of Shreveport.

“This area now has the potential to be our flagship moist-soil habitat unit thanks to the management capabilities this project has given us. We’re very pleased with how it has turned out,” said Paul Link, LDWF North American Waterfowl Management Plan coordinator.

The original bottomland hardwood forest that covered what is now Bayou Pierre WMA was cleared and drained in an attempt to convert the area to farming during the mid-1900s. Following several failed farming attempts due to the area’s poor drainage and frequent annual flooding, the 2,200-acre area was deeded to the LDWF in 1992.

DU collaborated with LDWF to restore functional hydrology and install dependable water management infrastructure needed for proper habitat manipulation on approximately 275 acres of critical wetland habitat. The improved conditions on Bayou Pierre WMA will ensure greater quality wetlands capable of supporting thousands of ducks and other wetland-dependent wildlife.

“Partnering with state agencies to provide quality waterfowl habitat on public lands is a critical part of DU’s mission to provide sufficient habitat for waterfowl across North America,” said Bob Dew, DU manager of conservation programs. “Public lands provide critical resources for these migratory birds across the continent, and Louisiana is particularly important for migrating and wintering waterfowl.”

Funding for the Bayou Pierre project came from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and Shell Oil Company.

“DU constantly seeks ways to meet the needs of waterfowl, and partnering on both the state and federal levels has proven to be an efficient way to set the table for migratory waterfowl,” Dew said.

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/ducksunlimitedand watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.

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.

For more information, contact Paul Link at 225-765-2358 or plink@wlf.la.govor Andi Cooper at 601-956-1936 or acooper@ducks.org.


Hunters Reminded to Practice Treestand Safety

Release Date: 11/14/2012

Nov. 14, 2012-- Most hunters are aware of the need to safely handle their firearms, but too often hunters overlook basic treestand safety.  According to the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association (TMA), one out of three treestand hunters will fall from a treestand during their lifetime and require medical treatment. Furthermore, 75 percent of treestand falls happen to hunters between the ages of 30 to 60 years old.

Hunting from an elevated position has many advantages, two of which are a birds-eye-view of the immediate area, and the confidence of knowing that a hunter’s scent is less detectable by game than hunting from the ground; however, these advantages come at a high risk if safety precautions are not followed. In everything we do, safety always has a priority. We put on our seatbelt before driving a car, we look both ways before crossing a street; hunting from treestands should demand the same common safety sense. Below are some safety tips that every treestand hunter should follow before, during, and after the hunt:

Never use a homemade stand. Only use TMA certified stands. The TMA performs rigorous testing on all manufacturers’ stands to ensure safety of hunters in the field. Many hunters have had a homemade stand collapse due to environmental conditions or engineering flaws.

Wear a TMA approved full-body harness. Every stand sold with the TMA certification label includes a full-body harness. Older, chest-type straps are dangerous and can cause more injury than a fall. Become familiar with the harness and practice putting it on and off several times before the hunt. Many companies now offer a jacket-style full-body harness which is much easier to wear than standard harnesses and are very affordable. If you are a treestand hunter, a harness should be as important as the clothing you wear.

Know your treestand.This seems elementary, but every treestand is different and models change every year. Attachment devices change and new developments are always being added. Just like every firearm is slightly different, so are treestands. Read the directions included with the stand and follow them exactly.                      

Use a pull up rope and attach it to the opposite side of your treestand climbing aide. Never try to climb or enter a treestand with your firearm, bow, or backpack on your person. Use a secure rope to haul your gear up to the treestand AFTER you are secure and fastened to the tree. Placing the rope on the opposite side of the treestand climbing aide ensures that you won’t become entangled on your ascent/decent.

Choose healthy, straight trees, and never rely on limbs for support. Choose a tree that is the correct diameter for your stand and that is not diseased. Never use a utility pole or power supply pole to place a treestand. Relying on a branch for support is very dangerous as they can break without warning.

Climb with care. Most accidents occur while getting into or getting out of stands. Place your climbing aid at least 2 feet above the level of the stand so that you can step down into the stand and have a secure handle when you exit. Take extra precaution if there is ice present on cold days.

Let someone know where you are hunting. In addition to common courtesy, this one rule could save your life if you fall and are unable to call for help. Let someone who knows the area well know where you will be, what time you are expected to be back, and stick to your plans.  Providing them with GPS coordinates will be a big help to a search and rescue team if one is needed.

Most hunters eventually will have the confidence to hunt alone. By following good, sound treestand safety practices, these same hunters can ensure they can hunt for the rest of their lives.

For more information, contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov.



Louisiana Women in the Wild Participants Experience First Deer Hunt

Release Date: 11/13/2012

Louisiana Women in the Wild participants experience first deer hunt, Oct. 27-28, 2012 at Atchafalaya Delta WMA.
Louisiana Women in the Wild participants experience first deer hunt, Oct. 27-28, 2012 at Atchafalaya Delta WMA.
Louisiana Women in the Wild participants experience first deer hunt, Oct. 27-28, 2012 at Atchafalaya Delta WMA.

Nov. 13, 2012  -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in conjunction with Cabela’s, held a lottery deer hunt for the Louisiana Women in the Wild-Hunting Basics Workshopparticipants on October 27-28, 2012 at the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area. 

The five ladies selected arrived on the island on Saturday, made camp, and set out to experience their first hunt.  LDWF Education Section staff members served as guides for each of the participants. Three of the five hunters were successful in harvesting a deer, which had been tracked by all of the hunters. The group then gained hands-on experience field dressing the deer. Cabela’s provided the mandatory hunter’s orange caps and vests for each participant, along with flashlights to help them find their way safely to their hunting location.

Prior to the hunt, participants attended an eight-hour workshop focused on conservation, safe hunting and firearm skills, game basics, scouting/blood trailing, rifle and shotgun shooting techniques, and archery.  In addition, tree stand safety, duck hunting, and game cleaning demonstrations were provided.

During the 2012-13 hunting season, other workshop participants will participate in additional deer or duck hunts that will be conducted on Tensas National Wildlife Refuge and Pass-a-Loutre WMA.  The goals of the program are to develop new hunters by providing women with limited hunting experience the basic skills and confidence they need to venture afield and become active hunters with their families and friends.

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.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on future workshops, call Gene Cavalier at 985-882-9159 or gcavalier@wlf.la.gov, or Karen Crabtree at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov.


Authorities Locate Missing Hunter

Release Date: 11/13/2012

Nov. 13, 2012 -- Search and rescue personnel located a missing hunter alive at 12:45 p.m. today, Nov. 13, on the bank of Grand Lake in St. Bernard Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and the U.S. Coast Guard found Daniel Madere, 25, of Metairie, after searching for him most of the morning.

According to Madere and his hunting partners, they were crossing Grand Lake on their way to their duck blinds at 5:15 a.m.  Madere’s duck blind partner noticed that Madere was not at the blind when he was supposed to be there and doubled back to see if he was having trouble.  After a brief search of the area, Madere’s duck blind partner called authorities to assist in the search.

Madere’s 16 foot flat bottom boat sank in Grand Lake in rough water.  Madere was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and was able to grab another PFD to hold as he made his way to the bank.

Search and rescue personnel were able to get dry clothes for Madere and transported him back to the launch near Delacroix where a medical staff was waiting to check his condition.

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

LDWF Launches Oyster Refrigeration Program First Phase of Department’s Seafood Technology and Equipment Program

Release Date: 11/09/2012

(November 08, 2012)– Today, officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries launched the first phase of the Seafood Technology and Equipment program, designed to aid the seafood industry in upgrading current equipment.  In this first phase, the department will assist oyster vessel owners in purchasing refrigeration equipment.  Participants in the program can qualify for 50 percent of their eligible refrigeration costs, up to $10,000.

Oyster refrigeration is an important component of the Department’s Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program, launching this fall.  Passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010, the program authorizes the Department to establish a voluntary certification program for Louisiana wild seafood.  Through the program, the Department hopes to create a more professional industry, better handling practices and a more consistent, quality product. 

"We are pleased to be able to provide these critical funds to members of the Louisiana Oyster Industry.  Advanced refrigeration equipment onboard vessels will help in our efforts to produce high-quality seafood products,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  "While this is a significant step forward for the industry, we understand that these funds are not enough.  We continue to explore every available resource to direct additional funds toward this program and intend to create similar programs for other Louisiana fisheries."

The Department is prioritizing the oyster industry in their assistance efforts based on an emergency rule that went into effect in May, changing the way oysters can be harvested.  The new rule places restrictions on the amount of time it takes to refrigerate restricted-use products.   This program will provide assistance to oyster fishermen in adhering to the new requirements.

Eligible Equipment

Refrigeration units, cooler boxes, generators and other equipment associated with refrigeration are eligible for this program .  LDWF will evaluate all equipment as a complete system to ensure it will meet the refrigeration needs of the vessel.  New equipment and currently installed equipment that was purchased beginning January 1, 2010 will be eligible for reimbursement provided it meets the programs requirements.New equipment to be installed must be approved   prior to purchase. 

Application Process

To apply for this program, contact South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) to request an application.


P.O. Box 1870, Gray, LA 70359

Toll-free #1-800-630-3791

Local # 985-655-1051

  Priority will be given to vessels with refrigeration equipment installed prior to October 1, 2012.  This week LDWF will send letters to vessel owners it could identify as meeting this priority qualification.  The deadline to submit applications to receive this priority is January 15, 2013.Applications submitted after January 15, 2013 will continue to be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.  As funding becomes available, approved applicants will be notified on how to proceed with the purchase and installation of equipment.

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.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Froeba (225)765-0121 jfroeba@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (504) 430-2623.

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