LDWF News Release

NOAA Announces Recreational Red Snapper Season in Federal Waters

Release Date: 04/29/2016

News Release

For Immediate Release

April 28, 2016

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public Information LDWF

(504) 286-8745


NOAA Announces Recreational Red Snapper Season in Federal Waters

(4-28-16) – NOAA Fisheries has announced the recreational season for the harvest of red snapper in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will open at 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2016. The bag and possession limit is two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.

Last year, NOAA Fisheries, through the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council), made the decision to split the recreational red snapper quota into two distinct components – private anglers and charter vessels and headboats (for-hire). Each component has its own quota allocations based upon NOAA’s recreational red snapper harvest estimates. Private anglers will have a 9-day federal season running through June 9th closing at 11:59 p.m., and charter vessels / headboats will have a 46-day federal season, closing July 16th at 11:59 p.m.

The “Louisiana-only” season

The season for the recreational harvest of red snapper in Louisiana state waters is currently open, will remain open during the federal season, and will continue to be open after the federal season closes. LDWF monitors real-time red snapper harvest during 2016 through the LA Creel program.

Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

The Department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to posses certain species, including red snapper. Anglers may obtain or new the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov.

The permit is required for any angler possessing tuna, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, wahoo, cobia and dolphin, except for anglers under 16 years of age or anglers fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.

Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.

The Louisiana Gulfward Boundary

The fishermen of Louisiana have the benefit of Louisiana’s reef fish management to 9 nautical miles during the state red snapper season.

LDWF reminds charter fishermen with federal reef fish permits that they are only allowed to fish these new boundary waters when the federal recreational reef fish season is open. Federal reef fish permit regulations restrict the permit holder to the most restrictive season. Please also note that red drum are not considered reef fish; therefore, there is no change to regulations impacting this species.

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


Tom’s Bayou at State Wildlife Refuge in Vermilion Parish to be Closed From May 1-30

Release Date: 04/28/2016

April 28, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close Tom’s Bayou at State Wildlife Refuge in Vermilion Parish on May 1-30 for construction of two rock weirs.
Refuge visitors should also use caution when navigating Fearman Lake in State Wildlife Refuge due to current dredging equipment and activity in the area.
The construction project will take approximately two months to complete. However, all other canals and public access areas on the refuge will remain open from official sunrise to sunset.
State Wildlife Refuge is approximately 13,000 acres of marshland located on the southwestern shore of Vermilion Bay. It is located approximately six miles south of Intracoastal City, La., and is bordered by the Audubon/Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary to the west and Vermilion Bay to the east.
For more information about State Wildlife Refuge, go to http://www.wlf.la.gov/refuge/state-wildlife-refuge or contact Tyson Crouch at 337-373-0032 or tcrouch@wlf.la.gov


LDWF to Host 12th Annual Step Outside Day on May 7 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 04/27/2016

April 27, 2016 – The 12th annual Step Outside Day, an outdoor education program hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), will be held May 7 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Lottie on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The event, which is free, will take place next to scenic Big Alabama Bayou near Sherburne WMA headquarters.
Some of the events planned for Step Outside Day include pontoon boat rides, canoeing, target and trap shooting, fishing and archery. Children can take part in blue bird box building, turkey and duck calling. All equipment will be provided.
Exhibits on the Louisiana black bear, other wildlife and fish species and water safety will be available.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided as well as drawings for door prizes. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
The Sherburne WMA headquarters is located at 1132 Sherburne Road in Lottie. From U.S. Hwy. 190, take the Sherburne (LA. 975) exit and drive south approximately three miles. The venue will be on the left near Big Alabama Bayou. From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay exit and drive north approximately 13 miles on LA. 975. The venue will be on the right near Big Alabama Bayou.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Cody Haynes at 337-948-0255 or jhaynes@wlf.la.gov.


LDWF Family Fishing Event Draws Hundreds of Baton Rouge Area Families

Release Date: 04/27/2016

LDWF Family Fishing Event Draws Hundreds of Baton Rouge Area Families
LDWF Family Fishing Event Draws Hundreds of Baton Rouge Area Families

On Saturday, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and BREC partnered to host a Get Out and Fish! event at BREC’s Burbank Pond in Baton Rouge.  Over 1000 pounds of catchable size channel catfish were stocked prior to event, creating a fun and successful day of fishing for all ages. With over 350 participants, the event was a huge success.
Winners include Little Angler Catfish, 1st Zachary Nguyen with a 4.65lb channel catfish; 2nd Blake Houng; 3rd Leland Andrews Little Angler “Other” 1st Kate Davenport, 2nd Adelyn Combert, 3rd Ellis Davenport, Junior Angler Catfish 1st Anderson Nguyen with a 5.46lb channel catfish, 2nd Nathan Caillouet, 3rd Trent Bergeron, Junior Angler “Other”1st Brian Balser, 2nd Kevin Feng, Adult Angler Catfish1st Thai Brandon Houng with a 5.35lb channel catfish, 2nd Sharon Vincent, 3rd Gregory Pikes Adult Angler Other 1st Tri Lam, 2nd Heather Martinez.
Saturday’s sponsors include the BREC Foundation, Coca-Cola Company of Baton Rouge, Bass Pro Shops, H&H Tackle and Louisiana Fish Fry.
Fresh shrimp fished on the bottom proved to be the most successful bait of the day, and over 200 catfish were reeled in. Despite Saturday’s hefty haul, there are still plenty of fish in the pond waiting to be caught.
LDWF’s Get Out & Fish! 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 Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources. 
For more information on the Get Out & Fish! program, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov


Commercial Shrimpers Urged to Provide Input on Potential Skimmer Trawl Regulations

Release Date: 04/27/2016

Louisiana commercial shrimpers are encouraged to provide their input regarding potential changes to existing shrimp fishery regulations.
NOAA Fisheries is considering new regulations citing new information that sea turtles are vulnerable to capture by skimmer trawls and that tow times may not be as effective in reducing bycatch-related mortality as turtle excluder devices. 
NOAA is currently receiving input from fishermen and other constituents on this issue.  Comments can be sent electronically via email to Michael.Barnette@noaa.gov, or physically via U.S. mail to Michael Barnette, Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division, 263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5505 until April 29.
The NOAA Scoping Document can be found here.

Flooding Closes Some Roads at Pearl River, Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 04/26/2016

April 26, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Oil Well Road in the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding. In addition, Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp WMA remains closed past the bridge also due to flooding.
The nature trail off Old Hwy. 51 at Maurepas Swamp WMA has reopened as has the Swamp Walk at Joyce WMA.
Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the closed roads.
Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of 122,098 acres, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west to near Sorrento. The WMA includes property in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2791.
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 more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789
Joyce WMA is a 27,487 acre tract located in southern Tangipahoa Parish five miles south of Hammond, La. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774.
For more information on these WMAs, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.


LDWF to Host WETSHOP 2016 for Teachers July 10-15 at Grand Isle Research Lab

Release Date: 04/25/2016

April 25, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold WETSHOP 2016, a coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers, July 10-15 at the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab.
The focus of this six-day workshop will be to provide teachers with an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana. Participating teachers will accrue 55 hours of instruction covering a wide variety of topics, including wetland ecology, fisheries management and coastal restoration. Teachers will also spend a portion of each day in the field learning about maritime forests, barrier island beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats and marine organisms. This year, participants will visit one of the largest coastal restoration projects in the world.
All participating teachers will receive Grade Level Expectation (GLE) correlated wetland lessons and many other educational resources from numerous sponsoring agencies and organizations. Lodging and meals are provided once participants reach the workshop site. Upon completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $250 stipend.  An additional stipend is available during the Academic Year (AY) upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.
WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF with grant funding provided by the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  In addition to this funding, WETSHOP is a collaborative effort with partners that provide experts in the field for presentations and educational materials.  These agencies and organizations include:  BTNEP, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Coastal Planning Protection and Restoration Act and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
Teachers interested in WETSHOP 2016 can contact LDWF Biologist Supervisor Angela Capello at 318-623-4661 or acapello@wlf.la.gov.


Four Louisiana Schools Honored As Earth Day-Green Ribbon Schools by U.S. Department of Education

Release Date: 04/22/2016

April 22, 2016 – Four Louisiana schools have been named Earth Day-Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, including Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School in Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The schools were nominated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Education.
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and Managing Director of the White House Council of Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss made the announcement in Washington on Friday (April 22).
Across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts and 11 postsecondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education.
“I congratulate these schools, districts and postsecondary institutions for their commitment to sustainable facilities, health, and classroom practices,” King said. “The healthiest, most inspiring school facilities can and should be another tool to level the playing field, particularly for underserved students. These honorees are 21st century learning environments that encourage every student and teacher to perform at his or her best.”
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The postsecondary honorees include two community colleges and one work-college.
"Baton Rouge High Magnet High School is honored to be selected as a 2016 U. S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School,'' Principal Nanette McCann said. "Our entire faculty, staff, student body, administration and parents played a large part in this effort, but our environmental science teacher, Josetta LeBoeuf, made this happen through her dedication and hard work.  We want to give a special thanks to Aramark and Sandra Lizano for their help in the project." 
"We are honored that the U.S. Department of Education chose UL Lafayette as one of 11 universities to be named a Green Ribbon School,'' University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Joseph Savoie said. "From our founding president planting live oaks to all that we do today in the classroom, labs, research, community service and operational functions, the University remains committed to environmental sustainability and innovation.''
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission’s Green Schools Program offers educational and funding opportunities to help reduce schools’ environmental impact and health disparities that can provoke achievement gaps. It also engages students in hands-on learning. Instruction and activities complement state curriculum with a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) subjects while teaching civic skills and opening doors to green career pathways.
Louisiana’s nominations were submitted by Brian Gautreau, Green Schools Coordinator at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He can be reached at 225-765-2800 or bgautreau@wlf.la.gov.


LDWF’s License to Win! Sweepstakes Boat Winner to Soon Be Announced

Release Date: 04/18/2016

The end is in sight for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ License to Win! Sweepstakes, which means one lucky recreational angler will soon take home a brand new boat and trailer.
As part of the first annual License to Win! promotion, LDWF, in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, awards monthly prizes to winners selected from holders of 2015-16 recreational saltwater fishing licenses.  Donated prizes include a YETI Tundra 45 ice chest, Shimano Curado G-Loomis Combo or gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Texaco and Whole Foods Market.
Monthly winners drawn on April 1 include Patrick Baquet, Mark Chaney, Patrick Cortez, Mark Hornsby, Phillip Parker, Sherry Harris, Jacob Hoffman and Duy Nuguyen.
The department will continue to select five monthly winners through May, and in June one lucky angler will take home the grand prize, a 22 foot bay boat, trailer and motor donated by Venice Marina, Mercury Outboards and Mike Gerald’s Trailer Depot.
The License to Win! sweepstakes encourages anglers to provide accurate contact information to participate in LA Creel. LA Creel is the data-gathering survey that allows LDWF biologists to manage our fisheries at localized levels across the state. Accurate angler contact information is critical to performing science-based fishing effort surveys.  These surveys assist with successful management of fishery resources. The success of LA Creel will not only allow LDWF to better manage fisheries, but will ultimately maximize the amount of fishing opportunities for Louisiana anglers. 
Visit your nearest license vendor or go online (www.wildlifelicense.com) to purchase your recreational saltwater license to be eligible for next month’s drawing.
Rules, photos and additional information can be found at http://www.fishla.org/license-win-sweepstakes/

LDWF Reopens Hunt Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 04/18/2016

April 18, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has reopened Hunt Road on the Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road remain closed due to flooding. Once flood waters recede, damage will be assessed to determine repairs needed before the roads can be reopened for safe travel.
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .

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