LDWF News Release

LDWF Recognizes Aquatic Education Volunteers

Release Date: 11/30/2017

Angela Capello (LDWF), Tim and Rhonda Dean (Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Jay Schwander, Tim Dean, Kaye Florane, Cory MacMenamin (back), Charlie Bush, Bob Batemen, Don Montgomery

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosted an Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (VIP) Continuing Education Workshop on Thursday, November 16 to show their appreciation for the agency’s aquatic volunteers. Volunteers from across the state were invited to Palmetto’s on the Bayou in Slidell to sharpen their skills through daytime workshops and to recognize those volunteers who’ve gone above and beyond during an appreciation dinner that followed.
Since the Aquatic VIP’s inception in September 2015, volunteers have offered aquatic education at 115 events and logged over 2,300 hours of service. Events range from fishing tournaments, to classroom visits, to church festivals and more. Volunteers are required to donate their time at least once after becoming certified; however, many volunteers well exceeded the minimum requirement.
Don Montgomery surpassed our highest expectations and donated 174 hours of his time to the program. “The Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program has been an inspiration to me,” explained Montgomery. “I was so impressed with the possibilities for sharing my experiences with the next generation. If I had to choose where to spend my volunteer hours, this program would be my first choice.”
His dedication was acknowledged with the 2017 Most Outstanding Volunteer Award.
The Toledo Bend Lake Association was acknowledged for their 20 years of service with the 2017 Most Outstanding Group of Volunteers award. The TBLA has assisted with the coordination of the Sabine Fishing Clinic for two decades, long before the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program was developed. They also donated an enclosed trailer to the department in 2009, which was outfitted with aquatic education equipment and supplies.
Exceptional volunteers were recognized at the following levels: 
Tier One Volunteers: (8 days of service and 40 hours) 
Bob Bateman
Charlie Bush
Cory MacMenamin
Don Montgomery
Honda Brown
Jay Schwander
John Eddleman
Justin Ammon
Kaye Florane
Nathan Clophus
Shannon Burton
Tim and Rhonda Dean representing the Toledo Bend Lake Association
Tier Two Volunteers: (4 days of service and 20 hours) 
Alfred Levy
Bill Lejeune
Gail Klostermeyer
Joann Haydel
Joe France
Joe Guinta
John Kinabrew
Kelsie Jolly
Natalie Weiss
Rachael Mathews
Rachel Duplechain
Robert Johnson
Stephanie Vidrine
Sue Marchal
Wanda Stewart
If you or someone you know, including teachers, is interested in becoming an Aquatic Volunteer Instructor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, please visit our website at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs. For questions, contact Alayna McGarry at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4050.
This event is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.


Oyster Possession Limit Reduced On Certain Public Oyster Seed Grounds

Release Date: 11/30/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the daily take and possession limit of oysters will be reduced to 25 sacks on all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), including Lake Borgne, as well as the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation in Terrebonne Parish, effective one half-hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.
Since the season opening on November 13, 2017, harvest activities have significantly reduced oyster stocks. Continued commercial harvest at the current rate may threaten the long-term sustainability of the remaining oyster resources and reefs in these areas. Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the best interest of oyster conservation for these areas.
The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet to take emergency action to modify daily take and possession limits, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to close or reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.
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.

Wycoff Road in Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area Closed Due to Hazardous Conditions

Release Date: 11/29/2017

Nov. 29, 2017 – Wycoff Road in Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been closed due to hazardous conditions, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. The road is closed just beyond the boundary of the private property on Wycoff Road, which leads to Hog Pen Lake, Ross Road, Lower Sunk Lake and Silver Lakes.
The road bed has caved next to the river and is a hazard for traffic. Upon repair, LDWF will reopen the road.
Richard K. Yancey WMA, which consists of 70,872 acres in Concordia Parish, lies between the Mississippi and Red rivers, beginning north of Lower Old River. It is located about 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15. For more information on the WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/36994 .
For more information contact Tony Vidrine @ 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.


Finfish Task Force to Meet Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Release Date: 11/29/2017

Finfish Task Force Agenda

Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 1:00p.m.

The Louisiana Room

2000 Quail Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

I.                    Call to Order

II.                  Introductions

III.                Adoption of the December 5, 2017 Meeting Agenda

IV.                Charge of the Task Force- LDWF

V.                  Discussion of Ethics Requirements- Brett Robinson

 i.      Required Documentation and Training

 ii.     Discussion of Travel Reimbursement Requirements

VI.                Discussion on the Establishment and Adoption of Bylaws-LDWF

                               i. Discussion of Alternate Designees

VII.              Discussion of Chairman and Vice Chairman- LDWF

VIII.            Future Agenda Items for Consideration

IX.                Public Comment

X.                  Set Next Meeting Date and Location

XI.                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


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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup. . For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.




Lake Bistineau Drawdown Extended for Repairs

Release Date: 11/29/2017

Lake Bistineau Drawdown Extended for Repairs

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has delayed closure of the drawdown structure gates on Lake Bistineau to facilitate repairs to the spillway outflow area. The gates were originally scheduled to close on November 30, 2017, but repair contracts have not been awarded. 
The area immediately south of the Lake Bistineau spillway needs to be dry in order for work to be completed in the outflow area. To prevent water levels from rising and exceeding the normal pool stage during the construction, the gates will not be closed until necessary equipment and personnel are in place. 
A gate closure date has not been determined, but will likely occur in early January.  The department will make a formal announcement once an exact date is known.
The management of Lake Bistineau and its aquatic resources is the responsibility of LDWF. DOTD is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Lake Bistineau dam, spillway and control structures.  
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at  jsibley@wlf.la.gov  or (318) 371-3066. 

LDWF, IHEA-USA Stressing Four Gun Safety Rules For a Safe Hunt

Release Date: 11/28/2017

Nov. 28, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA)-USA want to remind hunters of the four basic firearm safety rules that are of utmost importance.
Following these rules, which should be adhered to at all times, can make for a safe hunt. They include:

1) Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
2) Always maintain muzzle control and know where your firearm is pointed.
3) Keep your safety on and your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. 
4) Be sure of your target and what is in front of and behind it.
For a video illustration of the four rules from hunter-ed.com click here:
For more hunter safety related videos from LDWF, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting-safety-videos .
The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) - USA is the professional hunter education association affiliated with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the 50 state fish and hunter education programs. The programs employ 57,000 instructors, many of whom are volunteers, that teach hunting and shooting safety and responsibilities throughout the United States.
Hunter education courses train and certify more than 700,000 students annually. Since 1949, almost 44 million students have completed hunter education courses that cover firearm safety, bowhunting, wildlife management, field care of game, responsible hunting, landowner relations, wildlife identification, and much more. For more information, go to www.ihea-usa.org .




LDWF to Hold Basic Archery Instructor Workshop on Dec. 6 at Glencoe Charter School in Franklin

Release Date: 11/28/2017

Nov. 28, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a basic archery instructor workshop Dec. 6 at Glencoe Charter School in Franklin from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for the Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS). Preregistration for the event is required.
ALAS is a part of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) that is designed to introduce student’s grades 4-12 to international target style archery. The program is designed to be taught as part of the in-school curriculum. Most commonly the program is integrated into the schools physical education curriculum and is taught in the school’s gymnasium. Students in schools that teach the ALAS curriculum are then eligible to compete in state, national and world tournaments. Once exposed to the program many schools develop after school programs and archery clubs. 
The sport of archery is a great way to get students involved in not only a lifelong sport, but also in their school, and into the outdoors. ALAS is a program that looks to inspire confidence through focus and discipline that the sport of archery instills. Nationwide, more than 16 million students have participated in the NASP program in its first 15 year. More than 2.4 million students participate in NASP annually.
To register for the workshop and for more information, contact John Sturgis at jsturgis@wlf.la.gov or 337-948-0255.


LDWF to Construct New Oyster Reef in Calcasieu Lake

Release Date: 11/21/2017

Nov. 21, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will construct a new oyster reef in Calcasieu Lake soon for the purposes of increasing oyster habitat and fisheries production. The construction process, known as cultch planting, is a proven habitat improvement technique in use by LDWF since 1917.
The project will consist of spreading approximately 12,500 cubic yards of crushed limestone on the lake bottom to create approximately 100 acres of artificial oyster reef near Long Point on the east side of Calcasieu Lake. Project construction is tentatively set to begin construction Nov. 27 and should be completed in approximately two weeks. 
The contractor, Quality First Marine, will utilize high-pressure water cannons to spray the cultch material (crushed limestone) off the barges and into the water. Boaters should use caution while the operations are underway to avoid potentially dangerous flying cultch material. Light-loaded barges will ferry the material from a staging area in the Calcasieu ship channel near 9-mile cut to the project site to avoid excessive disturbance to the lake bottom while in transit.
The cultch planting method involves spreading clean cultch materials on the bottom of the lake as a base for small oyster larvae to settle.  Oyster cultch can include any hard, clean material, but LDWF traditionally uses old oyster shells, crushed concrete, or crushed limestone.  Cultch plants have been successfully utilized to establish or enhance oyster reefs state-wide, including Calcasieu Lake, as well as for mitigation for damages incurred to the Calcasieu Lake public oyster area. 
LDWF has overseen the construction of several cultch plants within the area.  The earliest documented artificial reefs constructed in Calcasieu Lake go back to 1963 and 1969.  Respectively, these artificial reefs were 59 and 24 acres in size; oyster shell was the material used in the creation of the 1963 reef, while clam shell was used to construct the 1969 reef near Commissary Point. 
Since 2007, there have been several small cultch plants constructed in Calcasieu Lake.  The most recent cultch plants constructed consisted of three reefs in 2015.  Two of the three 2015 cultch plants constructed in Calcasieu Lake were designed to serve as commercially harvestable reefs, while one was constructed outside of the harvest area. 
One reef was constructed in West Cove and was the largest of the three reefs (25 acres).  Another reef was constructed in the southern end of the east side of Calcasieu Lake and was 20 acres in size.  The artificial reef located just north of the harvest area totaled 18 acres.  All three reefs were constructed using crushed limestone.
Other efforts utilized by LDWF to enhance oyster populations in the lake have consisted of deploying hatchery reared oysters (over 788 million larvae from 2012 through 2015 and over 34 million oyster spat in 2013), increasing the amount of biological sampling of the resource, reducing daily sack limits, reducing season lengths as well as total closures of some areas to harvest.  Additionally, the Louisiana Legislature recently restricted the method of harvest to hand tongs only.  


Woodworth, Bodcau Shooting Ranges to be Closed on Nov. 23-24; Sherburne WMA Range Hours to be Altered on Nov. 24-25, Dec. 2-3

Release Date: 11/20/2017

Nov. 20, 2017 – The Woodworth shooting range will be closed Thanksgiving and Friday (Nov. 23-24) and the Bodcau shooting range Friday (Nov. 24) in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. Both ranges will be open Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 25-26) with normal hours.
The Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) shooting range will be open only from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Nov. 24-25 and Dec. 2-3.
The Woodworth shooting range is located at 661 Robinson Bridge Road in Woodworth. For more information on the Woodworth shooting range, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/shooting-range/woodworth-shooting-range or call 318-484-2212.
The Bodcau shooting range is located at 168 Ben Durden Road in Benton. For more information on the Bodcau shooting range, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/bodcau-wma or call 318-326-3225.
The Sherburne WMA shooting range is located at 1132 Sherburne Road in Lottie. For more information on the Sherburne shooting range, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/shooting-range/sherburne-shooting-range or call 337-566-2251.
Information on all LDWF shooting ranges can be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges .


Portions of Waterways Used to Access Pearl River WMA to be Included in U.S. Navy Danger Zone Beginning Nov. 23

Release Date: 11/20/2017

Portions of Waterways Used to Access Pearl River WMA to be Included in U.S. Navy Danger Zone Beginning Nov. 23

Nov. 20, 2017 – A portion of Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) waterways will be subject to periodic closures beginning Thursday (Nov. 23) due to U.S. Navy training exercise that will be conducted in the area, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced. These intermittent closures will be in effect until further notice.
The established danger zone is in the northeast portion of the WMA. It is along the East Pearl River south (latitude 30.4030° N., longitude -89.6815° W.) to a point below the confluence of Mike’s River (latitude 30.3561° N., longitude -89.6514° W) within the acoustic buffer area of the John C. Stennis Space Center, and to adjacent lands, in Hancock County, Miss.
The training may occur any day or night of the week. Prior to closure Navy picket boats will patrol the area that will be off limits. Once the danger zone area has been cleared the boats will remain in position until it is safe to reopen the area to public access.
For more information, go to
http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.aspx  .
Pearl River WMA, made up of 35,619 acres in St. Tammany Parish, is located about six miles east of Slidell and about one mile east of the town of Pearl River on the Louisiana-Mississippi border.
For more information, contact Jill Day at jday@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4777.

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