LDWF News

LDWF News Release

High Water Threat in the Larto-Saline Lake Complex LaSalle/Catahoula/Concordia/Avoyelles Parishes

Release Date: 03/11/2016

 (March 11, 2016) -  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is notifying the public of the immediate threat of flooding in the Larto-Saline Lake Complex.  The water level is currently rising and is predicted to reach a level of 50.0 feet MSL on March the 18th, 2016. 

 The predicted water level would be 2 feet higher than the previous high water experienced in January 2016.  This will close many of the access roads in the area and is expected to cause flooding of numerous homes and camps. 

Water levels in local rivers, including the Black, Ouachita, and Red Rivers, are rising fast.  Water from these rivers is currently flowing into the Larto-Saline Lake complex at the Larto Lake structure and the Cross Bayou Weir.

All property owners in flood prone areas are encouraged to make preparations for this flooding immediately.  Water levels are expected to rise quickly over the next several days.

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 additional information regarding this situation, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rmoses@wlf.la.gov or (318)487-5888. 

LDWF to Close Pearl River Wildlife Management Area on Sunday Because of Flooding

Release Date: 03/11/2016

March 11, 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, which is expected Sunday (March 13). The closure is an automatic benchmark 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.
 
Heavy rain from a storm system that has moved through Louisiana the last few days has increased water levels in the Pearl River and will cause 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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Aidan Haire of Benton Middle School earns $6,250 in Scholarships in LDWF Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament

Release Date: 03/11/2016

The Benton Middle School archery team captured first place in the middle school division at the ALAS State Tournament.
Benton Elementary's archery team won the elementary division of the ALAS State Tournament.
Airline High's archery squad won top honors in the high school division of the ALAS State Tournament.

March 11, 2016 - Aidan Haire, an eighth grader from Benton Middle School, won both the bulls eye and 3-D overall competition in the 2016 Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament, held in Alexandria on March 4-5. Haire’s performance earned him $6,250 in scholarships in the tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
 
Haire had a score of 294 in the bulls eye competition and 283 in the 3-D contest. Those were the best scores in any of the divisions.
 
A total of 822 students from 37 Louisiana schools took part in the ALAS state event, competing to qualify for the National Archery in Schools Program National Tournament and for $17,500 in scholarships.
 
Two competitions were held, including the bull’s eye contest and the ALAS 3-D event. Students competed in three divisions, including elementary (grades 3-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12).
 
Haire helped lead Benton Middle School to the team title in the middle school division for both the bulls eye and 3-D events. Benton Elementary also captured both events in the elementary division. Airline High won the bulls eye competition and Benton High the 3-D division in the high school divisions.
 
The teams from Benton Elementary, Benton Middle and Airline High qualified for the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Ky., on May 12-14. The top 10 male and female archers in each division also receive an automatic berth to the NASP National Tournament.
 
A list of all national qualifiers can be found at the Archery in Louisiana Schools Facebook page. For complete results, logon to www.nasptournaments.org.
 
The top male and female in each division received a state prize bow. The top three male and female shooters in the bulls eye portion receive scholarships as do the top male and female overall shooter in the 3-D competition.
 
Emma Bunch, of Benton Middle School, took home top honors for females in 3-D and received a $1,250 scholarship. Anna Robins of Benton Middle School won top female honors in bulls eye with a score of 289, which earned her a $5,000 scholarship. Kaitlyn Masters (288) and Kaitlyn Misenheimer (285), both of Benton Middle School, rounded out the top three in bulls eye for the females and took home $2,000 and $500, respectively, in scholarships.
 
Nathan Delill of Buckeye High School finished first in bulls eye in the high school division with a score of 290 and received a $2,000 scholarship. His 290 score was second overall in the state event. Shelby Stout a sixth grader from Northwood High School took home a $500 scholarship, finishing third overall in bulls eye with a score of 288.
 
Scholarships were made possible thanks to donations by the National Archery in the Schools Program, Central Louisiana Quality Deer Management Association, Louisiana Archery and Sports Center and Man Cave Archery. The LDWF would like to extend a special thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and staff that made this year’s event possible.
 
The LDWF would like to congratulate all the students, coaches and schools who participated in this year’s ALAS State Tournament and wish the best of luck to all those traveling to the NASP National Tournament.
 
All of the students and schools that participated at the ALAS State Tournament are members of the ALAS program, which teaches NASP to students in grades 3-12 as part of its in-school curriculum.  All schools in the state are eligible to participate in the ALAS program. The program is facilitated and funded by the LDWF.
 
For more information about the ALAS program contact ALAS state coordinator Robert Stroede at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 381-484-2276.

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Russell Sage WMA Roads Closed to All Traffic Due to High Water

Release Date: 03/11/2016

March 11, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed all interior roads and trails in Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA) because of high water brought on by flooding.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares. Once the water recedes, traffic will be permitted.
 
Russell Sage WMA is located in Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, and Caldwell parishes and is approximately seven miles east of Monroe and 10 miles west of Rayville.
 
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777 or contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF will be closed AT 1PM, Thursday March 10th, through Friday March 11th due to severe weather.

Release Date: 03/10/2016

Due to continued severe weather and flooding risk throughout the state, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne is announcing the closure of all state government offices beginning Thursday, March 10, at 1 p.m. in the following parishes: Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupée, St. Bernard, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

 

State offices in the following parishes remain closed Thursday: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Union, Webster, West Carroll and Winn.

 

State offices in all 36 parishes listed above will remain closed through Friday, March 11.

 

State officials continue to monitor weather conditions throughout the state, and this announcement may be updated.

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LDWF and CPRA announce vehicle access restriction on Elmer’s Island for beach and dune restoration

Release Date: 03/10/2016

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public Information
LDWF

(504) 286-8745

rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

LDWF and CPRA announce vehicle access restriction on Elmer’s Island for beach and dune restoration

(March 10, 2016) – Access to the east side of Elmer’s Island will be restricted to foot traffic starting on March 21 as active construction continues on the largest coastal restoration project in state history, the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration project. A parking area at the end of the access road will be available for visitors who would like to access the beach to the east by foot. Parking and pedestrian access areas will be marked accordingly. Areas to the west of the access road will remain closed to all visitors while restoration activities continue. Project construction is anticipated to continue through early fall.

 “We understand the inconvenience to fishermen and recreational users,” said Charlie Melancon, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “However, once completed this restored beach will offer visitors a pristine recreational area for many years to come.”

The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is in the process of rebuilding the 13 mile stretch of beach and dune from Belle Pass eastward to Caminada Pass. The project is restoring approximately 800 acres of beach and dune habitat using more than 8.4 million cubic yards of sand barged in from Ship Shoal, a site 30 miles to the southeast in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The project is the largest coastal restoration project ever constructed by the CPRA with an investment of over $200 million.

“This barrier area is very important for protecting the port, the road and the homes just north of the beach and marsh,” said Johnny Bradberry, chairman of the CPRA Board and the executive assistant to the governor for all coastal activities. “This project urgently needs to be completed, and I appreciate the cooperation of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Mayor Camardelle and the public to ensure construction activities continue safely throughout the summer.”

To view a map of the area to be closed, click here.

For further information, contact Rene LeBreton at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov, 504-286-8745, or Chuck Perrodin CPRA public information director at (225) 342-7615.

 

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Closes Road at Russell Sage WMA Because of Flooding

Release Date: 03/10/2016

March 10, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Main Road from Millhaven at I-20 to Ruby Road at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA) because of high water brought on by flooding.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on this thoroughfare. Once the water recedes, traffic will be permitted.
 
Russell Sage WMA is located in Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, and Caldwell parishes and is approximately seven miles east of Monroe and 10 miles west of Rayville.
 
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777 or contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, USFWS Announce Recovery of Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 03/10/2016

Contact: Trey Iles
Public Information - LDWF
(225) 765-5115
riles@wlf.la.gov
 
 
TALLULAH, La. – After almost a quarter of a century of tireless work, collaborative research and private-public partnership, the Louisiana black bear joins an impressive Bayou State recovery list.
 
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charles Melancon jointly announced the bear is recovered and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to remove it from the list of species protected by the Endangered Species Act at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Thursday (March 10).
 
Service Director Dan Ashe, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Jewell and Melancon said the determination came because of a combination of partnerships with private landowners, conservation groups, universities and other federal agencies for about 24 years that led to more bears and more subpopulations of bears meeting recovering requirements.
 
At the same time, the Service released a post-delisting monitoring plan for the next seven years to help ensure the bear’s future remains secure. The delisting follows a comprehensive scientific review by the Service of the bear’s status.
 
“Growing up in the Sportsman’s Paradise, I’m proud to join in the announcement of the recovery of the Louisiana black bear,’’ Edwards said. “The resurrection of this iconic symbol of our nation and Louisiana shows the value of science and collaborative research.
 
"It also represents a commitment to conservation with so many willing partners from private landowners to state and federal agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations coming together to make sure the Louisiana black bear will be around for many generations to come.’’
 
“I want to commend our department staff for the tireless work they put in to make this become reality,’’ said Charlie Melancon, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “It’s another success story for LDWF with recovering species. The Louisiana black bear joins a distinguished recovery list, which includes the American alligator, the bald eagle and the brown pelican. We will work toward making sure the black bear’s renaissance continues.’’
 
The Louisiana black bear is a subspecies of black bear unique to Louisiana, western Mississippi and eastern Texas. In 1902, it became part of American culture when, during a hunting trip near Onward, Miss., President Theodore Roosevelt spared one from his trophy collection. An editorial cartoon in The Washington Post relayed the story, sparking an idea from a Brooklyn candy store owner to create the “Teddy Bear.”
 
“I think President Theodore Roosevelt would have really enjoyed why we are gathered here today,” Jewell said Thursday. “Working together across private and public lands with so many partners embodies the conservation ethic he stood for when he established the National Wildlife Refuge System as part of the solution to address troubling trends for the nation’s wildlife at that time. As I said last spring when the proposal was announced, the Louisiana black bear is yet another success story for the Endangered Species Act.”
 
“Our partners have been incredible and our employees that dedicated much of their life’s work to this recovery have been equally incredible,” Ashe said.  “Led by Louisiana and former Secretary Robert Barham, our state partners in Texas and Mississippi and private landowners have been crucial to this success. The ESA, its flexibility, and many partners have ensured that 99 percent of the species protected by it are surviving, staving off extinction, and yes, in some cases, doing much better now.”
 
When the Louisiana black bear was listed under the ESA in 1992 due to habitat loss, reduced quality of remaining habitat and human-related mortality, the three known breeding subpopulations were confined to the bottomland hardwood forests of Louisiana in the Tensas, and Upper and Lower Atchafalaya River basins. Those original subpopulations have all increased in number and have stable to increasing growth rates. Additional breeding subpopulations are forming in Louisiana and Mississippi, providing a healthy long-term outlook for the species.
 
“It is gratifying to see the work put in by so many talented people at the LDWF and our conservation partners pay off,’’ said Randy Myers, Assistant Secretary for Wildlife at LDWF. “Part of the reason for this success story has been making sure habitat for not only the black bear but other species has flourished in Louisiana. We’ve seen that happen.’’
 
For almost 24 years, partners including the LDWF, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Tennessee, the Service, Black Bear Conservation Coalition and private landowners, have been working to address the threat of habitat loss in the bear’s range.
 
The partners conducted research into the status of the existing populations, established additional subpopulations, and protected or restored more than 750,000 acres of habitat. A large proportion of habitat-supporting and connecting breeding subpopulations has been protected and restored voluntarily through private landowner restoration efforts.  
 
The Service published a proposed delisting of the bear in May 2015 due to recovery after determining the recovery criteria, as defined in the 1995 Louisiana Black Bear Recovery Plan,­ have been met and the threats to the bear have been reduced or eliminated so it is not likely to become threatened with extinction now or within the foreseeable future. 
 
According to the plan, delisting would be considered when:
 
Long-term habitat protection is defined as having sufficient assurances that degradation is not likely to occur for at least 100 years.  These assurances rest heavily on voluntary conservation agreements with private landowners and public conservation agencies.
 
The ESA stipulates delisted species require monitoring for a minimum of five years but the bear will be monitored for seven years. The post-delisting monitoring plan, a joint effort of the LDWF and the Service, will ensure the population continues to thrive into the future under state management.

  • There are at least two long-term viable breeding bear subpopulations; one each in the Tensas and Atchafalaya River Basins;
  • Habitat that supports movement between the two required breeding subpopulations is assured; and
  • There is long-term protection of the habitat and interconnecting corridors that support the two required breeding populations.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast. For more information about the Louisiana black bear, go to www.fws.gov/southeast/wildlife/mammal/louisiana-black-bear/.
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. Visit our Louisiana black bear page at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/american-black-bear.
 
 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Gobble Up Prizes Contest Provides Turkey Hunters With Chances to Win

Release Date: 03/08/2016

March 8, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) wants all turkey hunters to validate their harvested turkey to support the department’s turkey program. During the 2016 turkey season, which begins this month, Louisiana turkey hunters have the added incentive provided by the Validate to Gobble Up Prizes contest.
 
Any hunter who validates his or her turkey tag information within seven days after harvest will be automatically entered for an end of season drawing for prizes.
The grand prize provided by Bowie Outfitters is a Mossberg Model 535 Triple Play 12 gauge shotgun. Additionally, two other winners will be selected to receive Louisiana lifetime hunting licenses provided by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The lifetime license recipients will have the option of gifting their prize to a relative or friend if they already possess a lifetime license.
 
There are no entry forms to complete and no entry fees. Hunters need only validate each tag for each turkey harvested during the 2016 season, as required by Louisiana hunting regulations, and each validated tag equates to an entry in the prize drawing.
 
Turkey harvest validation, or reporting, provides parish-level data on the season harvest numbers, sex ratios and calendar information that illustrate trends in the state’s turkey harvest. That information plays a critical role in setting season lengths and bag limits. If harvest data is under-reported, LDWF biologists and managers cannot make accurate determinations on hunting success and turkey population parameters.
 
Prior to hunting wild turkeys, all turkey hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain turkey tags and have tags in possession when hunting turkey. Immediately upon harvesting a wild turkey, the hunter must tag the turkey with the appropriate license tag before it is moved from the site, and the hunter must document the harvest on the attached report card portion of the turkey tag license.
 
The hunter must record the date of harvest and the parish on the carcass tag. The tag must remain attached to the turkey while kept at camp, or while it is transported to the domicile of the hunter, or to a cold storage facility. Hunters who keep the carcass or meat at camp must also comply with the game possession tag regulations.
 
Additional rules and eligibility for the Validate to Gobble Up Prizes contest are available on the Department’s website; http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/validate-gobble-prizes-sweepstakes .
 
For more information, contact Cody Cedotal at ccedotal@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2354.

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LDWF Reminds Anglers of Several Items Prior to Fishing Offshore

Release Date: 03/05/2016

With great offshore weather approaching, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries takes this opportunity to remind anglers of a few important items:

 

1.   The state water boundary for Louisiana waters has been extended from three to nine nautical miles for reef fish management purposes.

2.   The daily limit for red snapper is 2 per person with a 16-inch minimum length (note: an error in the quick-reference guide of  our printed regulations indicated 3 per person – this is an error)

3.   The free, Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required for all anglers possessing tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers and snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin.  This does not apply to anglers under 16 years of age or anglers fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit. Anglers wishing to obtain or renew a permit can register at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov.

 

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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