LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force July Meeting Cancelled

Release Date: 07/11/2017

July 11, 2017 – The July meeting of the Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force has been cancelled. The meeting was to be held July 13 at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge.
 
No new meeting date has been set.
 
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.
 
For more information on the task force, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF Wildlife Veterinarian, at jmlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.

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August Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting to be Held in Grand Isle, LA

Release Date: 07/11/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will be meeting in Grand Isle, LA for the meeting on August 3, 2017.  An agenda will be published prior to the meeting date.

 

What:  Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

 

When:  Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 1:30 P.M.

 

Where: 195 Ludwig Annex, Grand Isle, LA 70358

 

 

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.

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close July 14 in the Majority of Inside Waters

Release Date: 07/10/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2017 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 14 from the Louisiana/Mississippi state line westward to the eastern shore of the Mississippi River and from Freshwater Bayou canal westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line except for the following waters: Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, the Louisiana portion of Mississippi Sound, and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.

For a map detailing these closures please click here.

All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in R.S. 56:495 will remain open to shrimping until further notice. 

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these waters was made to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes. The areas that remain open will continue to be monitored and will close when the presence of smaller white shrimp make it biologically inappropriate to remain open.  

LDWF would also like to remind shrimpers there is a possession count on saltwater white shrimp taken in either inside or outside (offshore) waters of Louisiana of 100 count (whole shrimp per pound). This size restriction applies to the taking or possession of such shrimp aboard a vessel, EXCEPT from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no possession count on saltwater white shrimp taken or possessed. When more than 50 percent by weight of the saltwater shrimp taken or possessed is seabobs or brown shrimp, then the maximum allowable amount of undersized white shrimp taken or possessed should not exceed 10 percent by weight of the total saltwater shrimp taken or possessed.  If compliance issues develop, remaining open areas can be closed by the Secretary of the Department.

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov .

Portions of Pearl River WMA Reopened After Being Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 07/09/2017

July 9, 2017 – The main gate at Old Highway 11 at Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been reopened, however, parts of the WMA remain impassable due to flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy.
 
A barricade remains in place at the southern end of Oil Well Road and water is flowing over Poboy Road at the shooting range bridge. Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage to the closed roads prior to reopening.
 
Pearl River WMA, which consists of 35,618 acres, is located approximately six miles east of Slidell and one mile east of Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789.

 For more information contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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Agents Cite Three Subjects for Shrimping Violations

Release Date: 07/07/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited multiple people for alleged shrimping violations on July 7 in Yellow Cotton Bay in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited David Pitre Jr., 45, of Empire, Tommy Berthelot, 39, of Buras, and Jessica Frelich, 30, of Buras, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents found the subjects actively skimming for shrimp in Yellow Cotton Bay this morning, July 7.  During the stop agents seized 170 pounds of shrimp.

Using skimmers in a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.

In addition for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Travis Bartlett and Agent Johnathan Boudreaux.

LDWF, NOAA, CPRA Release 21 Diamondback Terrapin Hatchlings On Louisiana Coastal Barrier Island

Release Date: 07/07/2017

A diamondback terrapin is released on Chenier Ronquille barrier island. (Photo by Louisiana Sea Grant).

July 7, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) joined citizen volunteers in releasing 21 diamondback terrapin hatchlings back into the wild Thursday (July 6).
 
The hatchlings, whose eggs were discovered by scientists at a Deepwater Horizon restoration site last year, were released on Chenier Ronquille, a coastal barrier island northeast of Grand Isle. The island’s restoration was funded by Early Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) dollars (Phase III) that went to NOAA for their Outer Coast Restoration Project to restore beach, dune and back-barrier marsh habitats, as well as brown pelicans, terns, skimmers and gulls to help compensate the public for spill-related injuries and losses to these resources.
 
“Partnerships and cooperation between public agencies are crucial to successfully managing wildlife,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “Having private citizens assist us is a prime example of how that cooperation can be extremely effective. Diamondback terrapins are one of our species of greatest conservation need. So having a chance to return some to their natural environment aids in making sure the population remains stable.’’
 
“CPRA’s coastal work oftentimes goes beyond the obvious building, preserving and restoring land and habitat,” said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry. “In many cases, our attention is called to the preservation of species that once called a location home, along the coast. It’s good to see that these terrapins are now back where they belong.”
 
The story began in July of 2016 when Keri Landry, an endangered species biologist with LDWF’s Louisiana Natural Heritage Program, was contacted by NOAA about diamondback terrapin eggs found on the Chenier Ronquille Barrier Island Restoration Project.
 
Chenier Ronquille is a barrier island located at the entrance to the Barataria Basin in Louisiana that is being restored through Deepwater Horizon early restoration efforts. The restoration is a component of the Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration Project, which restores beach, dune and back-barrier marsh at four barrier island locations. Other project components are being implemented by the CPRA and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
“Louisiana’s barrier islands and headlands are the first line of defense during storms, reducing the effects of wind, waves and flooding on coastal marshes,” said Pat Montanio, Director of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Habitat Conservation. “They also provide habitat for fish, shrimp, birds and other wildlife, but have been impacted by storms and oil spills like Deepwater Horizon. We’re happy to support this important effort, restoring habitat that helps protect coastal communities in Louisiana.”
 
Landry traveled to the barrier island to collect the diamondback terrapin eggs. Unable to incubate the eggs or raise the hatchlings, she contacted David and Karen Milliken, who assist  LDWF with its work with gopher tortoises, a federal and state-protected species. The Millikens incubated the eggs during July 2016. 
 
The eggs were then turned to Steven and Rachael Creech in August 2016. They hatched in August 2016. The Creechs raised them since that time. Under their constant care, the terrapins have nearly tripled in size since hatching and are now ready to be released into Louisiana’s coastal barrier island system.
 
“LDWF didn’t have the ability to incubate and raise the terrapin eggs,’’ Landry said. “The Millikens and the Creechs have worked with LDWF in the past and came alongside again to help out. They were instrumental in caring for these hatchlings with their willingness to assist LDWF. LDWF’s partnerships with other agencies, like NOAA and CPRA, and with the Millikens and Creechs, make conservation of our most imperiled species a reality.”
 
To see photos and video from the release, click here.

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LDWF Photo Exhibit Underscores Beauty of Louisiana

Release Date: 07/07/2017

Jared Loper, left and Danny Doliro stop to observe the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries photo exhibition.

July 7, 2017 – Sometimes along the course of a day’s work, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists, outreach workers and others capture awesome views of the state and its people that many of us rarely get a chance to see.
 
What they witness is often captured in photographs that include the allure and serenity of lakes and rivers at sunset, a colorful butterfly on a flower, and the joy on the faces of children and their parents participating together in various outdoor programs. And, there are the extra rare sights found in the nooks and crannies deep into the woods.
 
Those photographs are part of a LDWF photo exhibit on display through July at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library in Baton Rouge, at 7711 Goodwood Blvd.
 
The dozens of photos not only capture great vistas and animals of Louisiana, but they also tell a pictorial story of the programs operated by LDWF. The LDWF exhibit includes three walls of photographs displayed on the first and second floor of the library.
 
“These photos provide vivid proof of the beauty of our Sportsman’s Paradise as seen through the eyes of LDWF’s finest who work in virtually every corner of the state,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “We are delighted that the East Baton Rouge Parish Library provided this great venue to show this exhibit and to tell our story.
 
“I think the idea of seeing photos of children and parents enjoying our programs underscores how hunting, fishing, boating and other outdoor activities brings families together in Louisiana.’’ 

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Commission adopts notice of intent regarding recreational bag limit and commercial seasons of king mackerel

Release Date: 07/06/2017

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on a Notice of Intent to increase the recreational bag limit of king mackerel from two to three fish per person. This increase in the recreational bag limit mirrors actions taken at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council seeking to maximize harvest of the recreational king mackerel quota for the Gulf of Mexico.
 
In the same Notice of Intent, the Commission also took action to set the opening date of the commercial king mackerel season as July 1 of each year.  The commercial season has typically opened by Declaration of Emergency on July 1 of each year and this Notice of Intent will codify that long standing practice.
 
To view the full notice of intent or for species-specific data, please visit here.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to jadriance@wlf.la.gov prior to Thursday September 7, 2017.
 
 
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.

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LDWF Agents Make Five DWI’s on the Water During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 07/05/2017

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested five boaters statewide for alleged driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2.

On July 1 agents arrested Bryce Busby, 23, of Monroe, on the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish; Timothy Leblanc Jr., 21, of Jarreau, on False River in Pointe Coupee Parish; Christopher Edmond, 42, of Maurepas, on the Amite River in Livingston Parish; and Christopher Ferachi, 21, of Baton Rouge, on the Tickfaw River in Livingston Parish all for DWI on the water.

Agents also arrested Paul Dehart, 47, of Morgan City, on Grassy Lake in St. Martin Parish on July 2 for DWI on the water.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

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.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Portion of Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area Reopened

Release Date: 07/05/2017

July 5, 2017 – Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been reopened to the bridge. The nature trail at the WMA has also been reopened.
 
High water levels from Tropical Storm Cindy caused LDWF to close these areas on the WMA.
 
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 or contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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