LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Seafood Still Safe to Eat; Average Consumer Could Eat 63 lbs of Louisiana Shrimp, Each Day for 5 Years

Release Date: 02/10/2011

Louisiana state officials confirm seafood safety; state has tested more than 1,000 composite samples of Louisiana seafood since start of BP oil spill

(Feb. 10, 2011) – The average consumer could eat 63 pounds of shrimp each day for five years before reaching the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “levels of concern” for oil contamination according to Louisiana state officials. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that levels of contaminants being found in Gulf seafood are so low that the average consumer would have to consume extreme amounts of seafood before approaching a level that approaches a health risk, according to the FDA.

State officials with LDWF and the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) examined the levels of contaminates associated with the BP oil spill, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), being found in Louisiana seafood that have been collected throughout the spill and determined that the levels were so low that they do not pose a risk to consumers. The average consumer could eat any of the following amounts of seafood each day for up to five years without exceeding the health risks for contamination:

  • 63 pounds of peeled Louisiana shrimp, or 1,575 jumbo shrimp,
  • 5 pounds of Louisiana oyster meat, or 130 individual oysters, or
  • 9 pounds of Louisiana fish, or 18 8-ounce fish filets.

LDWF and the Department of Health and Hospitals have tested more than 1,000 individual seafood samples for contamination associated with the BP oil spill since May 9, 2010. Seafood samples often include more than one specimen. For example, one shrimp sample may include as many as 100 individual shrimp that are then ground into a composite paste and sampled. This composite sampling method provides a more complete picture of the health of seafood off Louisiana’s coast.

All of the seafood samples tested by Louisiana and federal officials have been safe for consumption.

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 more information contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov (225) 610-8860.

Environmental Education Commission Announces February Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 02/09/2011

February 11, 2011 – 1:00 p.m.
Bonaparte Room
Baton Rouge Marriott
550 Hilton Avenue

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll Call/Sign-in
  3. Introduction
  4. Minutes from last meeting
  5. Financial Report
  6. Coordinator’s Report
  7. Old Business
    1. Symposium Committee Reports, no more than 5 minutes each
      1. Audio Visual
      2. Door Prize/Hospitality
      3. Evaluation
      4. Exhibitor
      5. Finance
      6. Keynote
      7. Lodging Assistance
      8. Programs
      9. Public Relations
      10. Registration
    2. Symposium Volunteer Assignments
    3. Environmental Literacy Plan
  8. New Business
    1. Discuss date for 2012 Symposium
    2. New School Sustainability Grant, Grant reviews
    3. Art & Language Arts Contest judges
  9. Announcements      
  10. Next Meeting Dates: May 10, 2011, August 9, 2011, November 8, 2011
  11. Adjournment

For more information, contact Venise Ortego at 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Presents 2011-2013 Hunting Seasons, 2011-2012 W.M.A. Rules to Commission

Release Date: 02/09/2011

Feb. 9, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2011-13 hunting seasons and the 2011-12 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) General Rules and Regulations at their Feb. 8 meeting.

The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming fall hunting season and provide for a public comment period.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Combining Deer Hunting Area 4 with Area 1 for the 2012-13 hunting season.
  • Extending the primitive firearm season in Deer Hunting Areas 1 and 6 for the 2012-13 hunting season to the end of January.
  • Removal of the requirement that deer hunters must record the validation number on their license after validating their harvested deer and extension of the amount of time required to report harvested deer from 72 hours to seven days.
  • Amending the language pertaining to the take of crows, blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles on private land and WMAs due to a change in federal regulations. Non-toxic shot and an annual report submitted to USFWS will be required.
  • Modifying firearms regulations pertaining to WMAs to be consistent with state law.
  • Eliminating the vehicle tag requirement from the self-clearing permit required to use WMAs.
  • Establishing Limited Access Areas on Joyce and Manchac WMAs.
  • Modifying the hunting season on several WMAs to provide additional opportunities. 

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from March through May and can be submitted to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, until May 5.

The public meeting schedule for the proposed 2011-12 hunting season is as follows:

  • March 9 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas 
  • March 16 at 6 p.m., Ponchatoula High School Cafeteria, 19452 Hwy. 22. 
  • March 17 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 22 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close Friday

Release Date: 02/09/2011

Feb. 9, 2011 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel will close in state water this Friday, February 11, at noon. The decision was made by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, based on data gathered by LDWF and National Marine Fisheries Service biologists, anticipating the set quota of approximately 1 million pounds had been met.

The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the commercial season for king mackerel in federal waters on Friday at noon.

The season is expected to resume on July 1, 2011.

On average, Louisiana lands approximately 90 percent of the quota set for king mackerel in the western Gulf of Mexico. A significant portion of the species landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in northeast United States.

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 atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.
 

LDWF Works with Local Parish to Remove Abandoned Crab Traps

Release Date: 02/08/2011

Closure Map

Feb 8, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has authorized an emergency crab trap closure over an eight day period, from 6 a.m. February 26, 2011 through 6 a.m. March 5, 2011, in a portion of Plaquemines Parish west of the Mississippi River.

All crab traps must be removed from the designated area during the closure period. Any remaining crab traps within the closure area will be considered abandoned and subject to removal.

Removing derelict crab traps from fishing grounds reduces navigational risks and threats to public safety, while potentially increasing the number of crabs available for harvest, by preventing crab mortalities in abandoned, out-of-use traps.

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with local volunteers, has successfully removed and disposed of more than 18,000 abandoned and derelict crab traps.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Martin Bourgeois with LDWF at (225) 765-2401 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or visit the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program website at www.derelictcrabtrap.net.

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 more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363. 

Documents: 

LDWF Announces Whooping Cranes Return to Louisiana

Release Date: 02/07/2011

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that it will be re-introducing the whooping crane to Louisiana later this month. The Department of Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) cleared the way for the crane's return with approval for an experimental population in southwest Louisiana.

Governor Bobby Jindal said, “Adding the whooping crane to our diverse collection of bird species further demonstrates our state’s commitment to restoring and revitalizing our coastal regions. This announcement today is another step forward in growing and enriching our state’s wildlife species and preserving our one-of-a-kind Louisiana wetlands.”

The last record of a whooping crane in Louisiana dates back to 1950, when the last surviving whooping crane was removed from Vermilion Parish property that is now part of LDWF’s White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). Habitat loss and unrestricted hunting led to population declines nationwide and on the North American continent in the last century. The last bird in southwest Louisiana was removed to a sanctuary in 1950. LDWF in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit plan to release the first group of ten non-migratory whooping cranes at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in February. 

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said, “LDWF has proven through implementing recovery efforts for species like the American alligator and the brown pelican, our state’s expertise and willingness in implementing a long-term restoration plan for our most delicate wildlife.” 

The proposed designation of a non-migratory flock of whooping cranes for reintroduction to Louisiana was first published in the Federal Register on August 19, 2010. Public comments were received and two public hearings (Gueydan and Baton Rouge) were held to allow public comment. Comments were accepted through October 18, 2010 and were generally found to be supportive of the overall reintroduction effort.

The non-essential, experimental flock coming to Louisiana will carry that designation under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation, as announced February 3 in the Federal Register, are developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area. 

Whooping cranes are the most endangered of all of the world’s crane species, first added to the list of endangered species on March 11, 1967. Louisiana’s reintroduction is part of a larger ongoing recovery effort led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners for this highly imperiled species, which was on the verge of extinction in the 1940s and even today has only about 400 individuals in the wild.

The only self-sustaining wild population of whooping cranes migrates between Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Like those in the eastern migratory population, it remains vulnerable to extinction from continued loss of habitat or natural or man-made catastrophes. Multiple efforts are underway to reduce this risk and bring this magnificent bird further along its path to recovery. This includes increasing populations in the wild, ongoing efforts to establish a migratory population in the eastern United States, and establishing a resident population in Louisiana.

For more information on whooping cranes and the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit the LDWF’s website at www.wlf.la.gov or the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov/southeast and the International Crane Foundation at: http://www.savingcranes.org/

For more information contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Rescheduled

Release Date: 02/02/2011

The regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, due to the threat of severe winter weather conditions.  The Feb. 8 meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La.   The agenda remains unchanged from the original Feb. 3 meeting.

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Convicted Felon On Numerous Charges

Release Date: 02/02/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents with the Special Investigations Unit arrested a convicted felon for allegedly resisting arrest and numerous deer hunting violations on Jan. 27 in Iberville Parish.

Agents charged Kirkpatrick Juray Tasker, 28, of St. Gabriel, with flight from an officer, resisting arrest, felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, hunting deer during illegal hours, with an artificial light, from a moving a vehicle and from a public road and driving without a driver's license.

Later in the day, the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office (IBSO) charged Tasker with possession of a stolen firearm and felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after IBSO deputies raided his home with an existing search warrant. The IBSO also arrested four of Tasker's roommates on drug and stolen firearm charges. Tasker is also scheduled for court today, Feb. 2, 2011, for second-degree murder charges in Iberville Parish.

LDWF Senior Agent Robert Turner, Senior Agent Edward Ridgel and Lt. Jay Diez were working a night hunting complaint along La. Hwy. 75 in St. Gabriel when thy heard a gun shot coming from a white Ford Taurus around 1:30 a.m. Agents tried to stop the vehicle, but were led on a seven-mile high-speed pursuit that ended at Tasker's residence. Once at Tasker's residence, agents were able to subdue and arrest Tasker. Tasker was booked into the Iberville Parish Jail.

Agents found a spotlight and a 20-gauge shotgun in the car. Agents were also able to retrieve a freshly taken deer on top of the river levee close to the road where agents tried to stop Tasker's vehicle.

Agents have previously cited Tasker with failing to wear hunter's orange, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and gross littering.

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

Test Results Confirm Pointe Coupee Bird Deaths Caused by Trauma

Release Date: 01/27/2011

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has confirmed with tests conducted by three independent labs that the bird deaths in Pointe Coupee Parish on Jan. 3 were caused by trauma.
 
The 500 birds found dead along a stretch of LA Hwy. 1 between New Roads and Morganza included red wing blackbirds, starlings, brown-headed cowbirds and grackles. Sample carcasses were sent to the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia in Athens, the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, IA.
 
LDWF preliminary evaluations on Jan. 3 indicated trauma as a factor. Lab testing was needed to rule out other possible causes.
 
Lab reports confirmed subcutaneous hemorrhages, internal organ rupture and broken bones in all birds. Additional tests for organophosphate and carbamate insecticides were negative, and none of the birds tested positive for Avian influenza, Newcastle disease, Eastern or Western equine encephalitis or West Nile virus.  
 
LDWF staff evaluations point to a combination of strong winds from a rapidly moving cold front and disturbance from either vehicular or train traffic that flushed the birds out of the roost trees located across LA Hwy. 1, near two converging power lines. The birds’ apparent flight through those lines resulted in collisions with the power lines and subsequent mortalities. Nearly all of the dead birds were found beneath the wires.
 
For more information, please contact Bo Boehringer, 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

Fall Inshore Shrimp Season to Close in Parts of Zone 1, Jan. 29 At Sunset

Release Date: 01/26/2011

The fall inshore shrimp season will close in parts of Shrimp Management Zone 1 at sunset on January 29, 2011. This closure accompanies a previous closure made by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in portions of Zone 1 on December 21, 2010. Not included in the new closure are Breton and Chandeleur sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1.(A)2); those waters will remain open until 6:00 a.m., March 31.

All inshore shrimp harvesting was scheduled to close on December 21, but some waters were kept open due to a large quantity of marketable size shrimp. However, the remaining white shrimp populations in these waters are now averaging smaller than the minimum possession limit of 100 count per pound. Closing the season allows shrimp an opportunity to grow to larger and more valuable sizes.

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 more information please contact Olivia Watkins at (225)765-2396 or at owatkins@wlf.la.gov

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