LDWF News Release

Shrimp Season in Vermilion/Teche River Basin to Close July 3

Release Date: 06/27/2014

Shrimp Season in Vermilion/Teche River Basin to Close July 3

June 27, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will close at one-half hour after sunset on Thursday, July 3, in state inside waters extending from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp taken in trawl samples within these waters. The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

All remaining state inside waters, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice, with the exception of those closure areas outlined in the map linked below.
For a map that details the areas currently open and closed to harvesting shrimp click here.

The 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 Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov


LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water this Weekend June 27-29

Release Date: 06/26/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 27-29 with increased patrols for boaters operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"Alcohol is always one of the largest contributing factors for boating fatalities in Louisiana and nationwide," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to have a sober operator of the vessel for the safety of those in the vessel and everybody else on the water.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 15 boating fatalities in 2013 with alcohol playing a role in three fatalities or 20 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2012 reveal that 17 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued three DWI citations to boat operators during the 2013 Operation Dry Water weekend and 15 DWI citations over the same weekend the previous two years combined.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  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 with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years 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.

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

2014 L.O.W.A. Youth Journalism Competition Underway

Release Date: 06/26/2014

June 26, 2014 -- The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association’s 2014 Youth Journalism Contest is underway and young writers and photographers have until 5 p.m., July 22 to submit entries.
There are two writing divisions: Junior Essay is open to boys and girls ages 7-13; Senior Essay is for writers ages 14-18.
Essays must be an original, unpublished account of a personal experience while hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking or other related outdoor activity. Essays must be 300-1,000 words long, and must be typed, preferably with double-spaced lines.
The Photography Division includes boys and girls ages 7-18. Photos must be an original, unpublished black-and-white or color photo. Submitted photos must be sized 4x6 inches, 5x7 inches or 8x10 inches, and must be center-mounted on 8x10-inch card stock.
Each entry must have name, age, school, home address and home telephone number attached at the top of the essay or photo. If possible, please furnish an email address.
The top three and honorable mentions in each category receive cash prizes. The contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International with support from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Send all contest entries to:
Joe Macaluso
Advocate Outdoors
P.O. Box 588
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Winners will be honored at the LOWA’s annual convention banquet in Houma on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. For information, email: outdoors@theadvocate.com.



Release Date: 06/24/2014

The Artificial Reef Council will meet at 9:00 am on Tuesday, July 15 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.



1)    Introduction and Welcome                                                          

2)    Approval of Minutes & Agenda                                                 

3)    Reef Program Update---Michael McDonough

4)    Presentation of Inshore/Nearshore Reef Plan and Maps

         a)     Approval by Council

5)   Public Comments

6)   Other business

7)   Adjourn

The Inshore plan and maps are online at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/artificialreefcouncilmeeting.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.Louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For further information, contact Mike McDonough at 225-763-5418 or mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov.

Media inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.


Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored

Release Date: 06/23/2014

Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored
Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored
Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored

June 23, 2014 -- Ted Joanen, retired research leader at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, was recognized at the Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) meeting May 26-31 in Lake Charles.
Joanen, a wildlife biologist for over 30 years, was honored with two outstanding research awards in sustainable use management. His bachelor’s degree alma mater, Southeastern Louisiana University (SELU) in Hammond, presented an endowed professorship to further studies in sustainable marsh management and conservation of wetlands.  Dr. Chris Beachy, head of the SELU's Biology Department presented the $100,000 award on behalf of the University and benefactors.
A proclamation from Louisiana State University (LSU), where Joanen completed his master’s degree, established the "Ted Joanen Outstanding Research Award in Sustainable Marsh Management".   LSU graduate students will be eligible for annual grants to further studies and research focused on marsh and sustainable use management.  A founding fund of $30,000 was donated to the graduate studies program. Additional contributions can be made to the LSU Alumni Association through Jamie B. Bueche, Accountant, LSU Alumni Association, 3838 West Lakeshore Dr.  Baton Rouge, LA 70808. For more information, call 225-578-9259 or send email to jamie@lsualumni.org.
"This was extraordinary recognition by Louisiana and the trade of Ted Joanen's four decades of pioneer work to help protect Louisiana's wetlands through the sustainable use of the alligator and other renewable natural resources," said CSG Chair, Dr. Grahame Webb.  "Ted was a CSG pioneer as well from the very beginning.  He shared his Rockefeller research findings with all who knew him to encourage the concepts of sustained use management around the world and, as Ted always said, ‘find ways to keep the marsh wet and wild’.”
Joanen’s legacy at LDWF included development of the Department's sustained use program for the American alligator, one of the world's most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story. Louisiana's program has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world. Since the inception of the Department's program in 1972, over 810,000 wild alligators have been harvested and over 6.5 million alligator eggs have been collected. Additionally, over 3.5 million farm raised alligators have been sold bringing in millions of dollars of revenue to landowners, trappers and farmers.
Contributors to the Ted Joanen special recognition awards also helped create a CSG Conservation Education Fund (CEF).  Contributions to the CEF are tax-deductible and can be made to IACS (International Association of Crocodile Specialists).
For more information, contact Ruth Elsey at 337-538-2276 or relsey@wlf.la.gov or Don Ashley at Jdalligator@aol.com.
Photo 1 caption: SELU endowed professorship presentation - (left to right) Don and Pamela Ashley, Dr. Chris Beachy, Ted Joanen, Benny Cenac and Guillaume Dromel.
Photo 2 caption: A Turner bronze alligator hatchling emerging from the egg was presented to Ted Joanen by Don Ashley and CSG Chairman Dr. Grahame Webb in recognition of the CSG Conservation Education Fund.
Photo 3 caption: LSU proclamation for Ted Joanen Outstanding Research Award in Sustainable Marsh Management presentation - (left to right) Chad Courville, Nathan Wall, Tim Allen, Gerald Savoie, Ed Froehlich, Ted Joanen, Dr. Grahame Webb, Alejandro Larriera, Pamela and Don Ashley.


LDWF Secretary to Serve on NAWCA Council and Neotropical Migratory Bird Advisory Group

Release Date: 06/20/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham has been approved to serve on the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Council and Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) Advisory Group.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel and President Obama approved Barham’s nominations for the NAWCA Council and NMBCA Advisory Group today, June 20.

“I’m honored to be nominated and approved to serve on these important councils.  I’m ready to get started to work with other council and advisory group members, government agencies and the public to improve the quality of our wetlands and migratory bird habitats,” said LDWF Secretary Barham.

NAWCA was established in 1989 to provide matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife as part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

The NAWCA Council meets three times each year to review and select Standard Grant proposals that they take before the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) for funding approval.  The council also develops policy affecting the grant application and administration processes.

This NMBCA Advisory Group includes members of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, as well as other bird conservation professionals.  The Advisory Group meets at least once a year, in conjunction with a North American Wetlands Conservation Council meeting, to discuss the NMBCA and make recommendations to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the direction of the program.

Barham, of Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish, has served as LDWF Secretary since 2008.  Barham also served as State Senator for Louisiana’s 33rd District representing Morehouse, Union, East Carroll, West Carroll, and parts of Claiborne and Ouachita parishes from 1994 to 2007.

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

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Saline Lake

Release Date: 06/19/2014

(June 19, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown on Saline Lake in Winn Parish on July 1, 2014, to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.
Based on a recent aquatic plant survey, the aquatic weed giant salvinia currently covers 1,200 acres of the lake and is concentrated in heavily forested areas.  These areas are difficult to treat with spray equipment, and as a result they serve as nursery grounds for the plant.
Drawdown recommendations include a dewatering of 2 inches per day until the lake reaches 4 feet below spillway crest height.  Dewatering will then increase to 4 inches per day until the lake reaches a level of 8 feet below spillway crest height.  This staggered approach will prevent causing fish kills downstream.
After reaching the target drawdown level, a large-scale herbicide treatment will be applied.  Fluridone, an EPA approved herbicide, will be injected into the water at a specific treatment rate and must remain at an appropriate concentration for at least 30 days to be successful.   The treatment is not a threat to human health or animals; however, lake water should not be used for irrigation during the treatment period.
Results are dependent on weather conditions, with minimal rainfall resulting in the best results.  Excess rainfall can dilute to the concentration to an ineffective level, so whole-water treatments are not applied on a regular basis.  Weather conditions will also determine the gate closure date, which may be as soon as early fall if results are seen quickly.  However, the gates will close no later than November 20, 2014, to allow the lake to refill.
The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.  During the drawdown, boaters will be able to access the lake from Mulligan’s Inn Boat Ramp on Parish Road.
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, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwfffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Yeldell, LDWF Biologist Manager, at ryeldell@wlf.la.gov or (337) 286-5940.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.


Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Scheduled to Meet June 24, 2014

Release Date: 06/18/2014

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, June 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of Oct. 29, 2013 and March 11, 2014

3.  Welcome and Opening Comments

4.  Enforcement Division Report

5.  2014 Legislative Session Overview

6.  Aquatic Plant Control Report

7.  Council Discussion: Position on Management of Red Snapper Off Louisiana Coast

8.  Set Next Meeting Date

9.  Receive Public Comments

10.  Adjournment

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



Plaquemines Parish Man Cited For Oyster and Boating Violations

Release Date: 06/17/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Port Sulphur man for alleged oyster and boating safety violations on June 14 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents were on patrol in the area of Grand Bayou when they came into contact with Joel Gonzales, 30, on a vessel with 194 sacks of oysters.  Agents immediately noticed the vessel was not equipped with a tarp as per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations to protect the oysters from direct exposure to the sun and other adverse conditions.

Upon further investigation agents also determined Gonzales’ vessel did not have the required numbers for identification for the departments aircraft, the vessel was not registered by the department and was not licensed to transport seafood for sale.  The vessel also did not meet LDWF regulations for an oyster cargo vessel, which requires installation of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).

For having a vessel with no boat numbers, operating an unregistered motorboat and failing to display proper number on vessel each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  Violation of the state’s health code as it pertains to oysters carries a $450 fine and up to 10 days in jail.  Violation of VMS regulations carries a max fine of $950 and up to 120 days in jail plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license carries up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents seized and returned 194 sacks of oysters to the state’s water bottoms.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio, and Cadet Travis Bartlett.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-465-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

New Skimmer Net Regulations Take Effect August 1

Release Date: 06/17/2014

June 17, 2014- Officials with The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that beginning August 1, as a result of Act No. 14 of the 2014 regular legislative session, Louisiana commercial shrimp fishermen are allowed to modify the dimensions of their skimmer nets.

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force gathered input from industry members through public meetings and worked with Representative Joe Harrison to introduce Act No. 14 which includes the following changes:

  • Skimmer nets may be mounted to the horizontal net frame at any distance from the gunwale of the vessel as long as the mounting distance and horizontal length of the net frame does not exceed 20 feet from the gunwale.
  • Maximum length of the horizontal net frame increased from 16 feet to 20 feet from the gunwale of the vessel.
  • Maximum length of the vertical frame “down pipe” attached to the skid is removed and fishermen may use vertical frames of any length.
  • The entire opening of the skimmer net shall not exceed 72 feet as measured along the hanging.  This measurement includes the length of the cork line together with the depth of the wings and length of the lead line.
  • Maximum length of skimmer net lead line increased to 28 feet to 33 feet (same as maximum length of a 25 foot trawl lead line). 

It is important to note that legal skimmer net frames and nets in use today will remain legal and no fisherman is forced to purchase any new rigging or nets.  These new regulations are intended to provide fishermen with options for developing net configurations that work more efficiently in waters where they fish while providing greater economic opportunities.  These new changes affect skimmer net gear only; regulations on butterfly nets whether mounted on stationary platforms or vessels remain unchanged.

For clarification, an example sketch of legal and illegal skimmer net frames can be found here. This sketch provides an example only, as other skimmer net frame configurations using horizontal measurements less than 20 feet may be legal.

The 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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.


Syndicate content