LDWF News Release

L.D.W.F. Announces the Opening of White Lake WCA Birding and Nature Trail

Release Date: 04/12/2012

April 12, 2012– Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) opened a new, two-mile birding and nature trail at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.

  “The White Lake property contains thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and the new birding and nature trail offers easy access for anyone wishing to see a diverse sample of the species which inhabit that ecosystem,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We encourage the public to utilize this wonderful resource.”

The trail, open daily from sunrise to sunset, is located on 32 acres on the north side of the property. There is no fee or permit required for visitors.

Visitor parking spaces are available at the entrance to White Lake WCA, located 7.4 miles south of Gueydan at the south end of Hwy. 91. The trail area includes a covered pavilion with tables, two educational kiosks with information on the trail and the species of plants and animals in and around the WCA, and an observation tower located at the southeast corner of the trail. This tower provides visitors a panoramic view of the trail and surrounding White Lake WCA property.

White Lake WCA includes numerous species of plants, birds and mammals. The trail provides an array of habitat types that attracts a high diversity of avian species. Visitors to the trail can expect to see a variety of bird species including waterfowl, wading birds, and songbirds. 

White Lake WCA was included in the Audubon National Christmas Bird Count for the first time in 2011, which marked the 112th year of the longest running citizen science survey in the world. Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they saw or heard throughout the day. The counts provide critical data on bird population trends.

Several species were documented for the first time on the White Lake WCA during the 2011 survey. Highlights from this year’s survey included: a pair of nesting Great Kiskadees, representing one of only two or three known breeding pairs in the state; the second state record of a Gray Flycatcher, observed by the LDWF state ornithologist, Michael Seymour; and the first state record of a Prairie Falcon, observed by leading ornithologists, Steve Cardiff and Donna Dittmann. Based upon this survey and other sightings, White Lake’s list of bird species could include 300 species, 174 of which have been documented by sight, sound, or video on the property.

“The White Lake WCA Birding and Nature Trail will be a tremendous asset for outdoor enthusiasts,” said White Lake Advisory Board Chairman Armond Schwing. “The area provides an excellent opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of the region while observing an abundance of native and migratory waterfowl.”

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 on the White Lake WCA birding trail visithttp://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-wca-birding-and-nature-trail, or contact Carrie Salyers at 337-536-9400 or csalyers@wlf.la.gov.


Event Video


Shrimp Season Set To Open Saturday In Portion Of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters

Release Date: 04/10/2012

April 10, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries  announced the shrimp season in the portion of Louisiana offshore territorial waters south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, from the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy line, will reopen to shrimping at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 14. 

Click here for a map detailing this opening:  

According to the most recent trawl samples taken by LDWF biologists, small white shrimp which previously occupied portions of state outside waters from December through mid-April have reached marketable sizes and the closure is no longer necessary.

Because significant numbers of juvenile white shrimp remain in state outside waters west of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal, this area will remain closed until further notice. 

The opening dates for the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 3, meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.

For more information please contact Marty Bourgeois at mbourgeios@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-2401 or Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.


White Lake Property Advisory Board

Release Date: 04/10/2012


The next regular Advisory Board meeting will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2012 immediately following the 10 a.m. opening of the new Birding and Nature Trail at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area located at 15926 Louisiana Highway 91 in Gueydan, LA.    

The following items will be discussed:

1.Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of August 10, 2011 Meeting

3. Introduction of New Board Members

4. Department Financial Report – Wayne Sweeney

5.White Lake Wetlands Conservation Staff Structure – Buddy Baker and  Schuyler Dartez

6. Birding Trail – Carrie Salyers

7.Update on White Lake Leases – Buddy Baker

8. White Lake Marshland Management

  • Vegetative Monitoring – Carrie Salyers
  • Water Level/Salinity Monitoring, Impact of Drought – Schuyler Dartez

9. White Lake Shoreline Management

  • GIWW – Schuyler Dartez
  • Florence Canal – Wayne Sweeney

10.  White Lake  Mineral Development – Wayne Sweeney

11.  White Lake Facilities Master Plan – Wayne Sweeney

12.  Safety Planning – Wayne Sweeney

13.  Whooping Crane Project Assistance – Carrie Salyers

14.  Alligator Management – Schuyler Dartez

15.  Public Waterfowl Hunts 2011-2012 and Expansion of Public Hunts –  Wayne Sweeney

16.  Reconstruction of 700 Acre Impoundment – Schuyler Dartez

17. Non-Consumptive Activities – Carrie Salyers

18.  Other Business

19.  Public Comment

20.  Adjournment

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


Two Men Arrested For Shark Violations In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 04/10/2012

Agents confiscated 2,073 shark fins from poachers on April 8


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents participated in a joint enforcement patrol that resulted in two men arrested for alleged fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on April 8.

Agents arrested Rick Nguyen, 37, of Buras, and Hung Anh Tiet, 29, of Dallas, Texas, for over the limit of sharks taken commercially, shark “finning” and intentional concealment of illegal fish and booked them into the Plaquemines Parish Jail.

Agents made contact with Nguyen and Tiet while responding to an anonymous complaint.  Agents stopped the vessel “Lady Lyanna” in Tiger Pass located in Venice.

Agents found 11 whole sharks located on the deck and a hidden compartment in the bow of the vessel that contained 12 large sacks of shark fins totaling 2,073 fins.  The bodies of the fins found in the sacks were not found on the vessel.

The 2,073 individual fins represent a total of 518 sharks possessed by the two fishermen bringing the total number of sharks possessed to 529.  The daily commercial limit for sharks in Louisiana is 33 per vessel placing the two men 496 sharks over their daily limit.

Shark “finning” is an illegal practice of removing the shark’s fins, which are the most profitable part of the shark, and then discarding the rest of the shark’s body overboard.

Over the daily commercial limit of sharks and shark “finning” each bring up to a $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Intentional concealment of illegal fish or game carries a fine up to $950 and up to 120 days in jail.

LDWF agents are continuing their investigation into this case and more penalties could be pending including civil restitution for the value of the illegally taken sharks.  Nguyen and Tiet face up to $26,450 in civil restitution penalties based off of an estimated value of $50 per shark.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

LWF Commission Approves Action to Modify Creel Limit on D’Arbonne Lake

Release Date: 04/09/2012

(April 9, 2012)- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission during their April 5 monthly meeting took action to decrease the daily creel limit for crappie in D'Arbonne Lake from 50 to 25.  The proposed action is in response to concerns of overfishing that some anglers have expressed.   

Public comment on the proposed changes will be accepted no later than July 5, 2012.  Comments should be submitted to Mike Wood, Director, Inland Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or mwood@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.comldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.



Shrimp Task Force Marketing Subcommittee to Meet Tomorrow

Release Date: 04/09/2012

April 9, 2012 – Tomorrow, at 10:30 a.m. the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Marketing Subcommittee will meet in New Orleans at the UNO Advanced Technology Building in Suite 210.  The subcommittee is expected to discuss shrimp marketing/advertising initiatives with staff members of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. 

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force was created by Act 606 of the Louisiana Legislature to study and monitor the shrimp industry and to make recommendations to the state.

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.

This meeting is open to the public.

For more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.


Body of Missing Man Found in Barataria Bay

Release Date: 04/06/2012


Search and rescue teams located the deceased body of a missing person in Jefferson Parish in Barataria Bay today, April 6.

Louis Adams, 64, of Barataria, was found by two fishermen early this morning.  The two fishermen then directed Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) deputies to the location of the body.  LDWF agents and JPSO deputies recovered the body at 7:30 a.m. and turned it over to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office.

According to his wife, on April 4 Adams left for work at Nunez Seafood in Barataria in his pirogue, which he used almost every day to get to and from work across the bayou from their house.  After hearing that her husband didn’t make it to work, Adams’ wife contacted authorities around noon.

Adams’ body was found less than a half mile from where authorities believe his pirogue went under.  Search crews recovered his pirogue on April 5 using LDWF’s sidescan sonar.

LDWF is the lead investigative agency to determine the cause of this boating incident.  Investigators believe that heavy rain, winds and current were contributing factors to the incident.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Jefferson Parish Fire Department and the Lafitte Fire Department also participated in the search.

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

Greater Amberjack Commercial Season to Close

Release Date: 04/05/2012


April 5, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2012 commercial fishing season for greater amberjack will remain closed in state waters following the annual closed season (March 1 to June 1) until January 1, 2013 at 12:01 a.m., when it is scheduled to re-open. 

Following a review of current landings, data indicates the 2012 quota of 237,000 pounds has been met.  Louisiana commercial landings of greater amberjack average 100,000 pounds annually.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that federal waters will also remain closed to commercial amberjack fishing for the remainder of 2012. 

Greater amberjack are found throughout the Gulf of Mexico as well as in the temperate and tropical Atlantic Ocean.  Greater amberjack usually live in nearshore waters out to 300 feet deep.  This species is often found near offshore platforms, wrecks and artificial reefs.  Greater amberjack can reach sizes of 6 feet in length and weights of 120 pounds in the Gulf of Mexico. 

For more information contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.  

Commission Approves Action to Modify Reef Fish Rules

Release Date: 04/05/2012


April 5, 2012 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission considered actions today to amend rules for the harvest of reef fish, specifically the recreational seasons, bag limits and commercial size limits for grouper. 

Following the commission’s action to move forward with the proposed changes, there will be a public comment period through July 5, 2012.

The proposed changes include:

  • Change recreational bag limits for shallow and deep water groupers (red hind, rock hind, speckled hind, black grouper, misty grouper, red grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, Warsaw grouper, gag grouper and scamp) from an aggregate bag limit of five fish with no more than five gag grouper and two red grouper to an aggregate bag limit of four fish per day with no more than two gag grouper or four red grouper. 
  • The commercial size limit for gag grouper would be reduced from 24 inches total length to 22 inches total length.  This size limit change is intended to reduce regulatory discard mortality in the commercial sector. 
  • Establish a closed season for the recreational harvest of gag grouper from November 1 through May 31 (of the following year), and a closed season for the recreational harvest of greater amberjack from June 1 through July 31, of each year. 
  • Change the closed season for recreational harvest of black, red, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers as well as rock hind, red hind and scamp to February 1 through March 31, of each year.  Currently only black and red grouper are closed from February 15 through March 14.
  • Change the definition of crew size on a vessel, when operating commercially, which holds a Federal Charterboat/Headboat Reef Fish Permit and a Federal Commercial Reef Fish Permit, to be no more than four persons, including the operator and crew.  

In a separate action, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also took measures to create an emergency rule that modifies the aggregate bag limit for groupers from five fish to four fish per person, per day with no more than one speckled hind and one Warsaw grouper per vessel and not more than four red grouper and two gag grouper per person per day.  

Previously, the limit on gag grouper was the same as the aggregate grouper limit.

The emergency rule also establishes a gag grouper season from June 1 through October 31. 

The gag grouper season is currently closed.

Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed Rule to: Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898‑9000, or via e-mail to:  jadriance@wlf.la.gov prior to Thursday, July 5, 2012.

For more information please contact Laura Wooderson at (225) 610.2363 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov. 

LDWF Enforcement Agents Receive DWI and Litter Enforcement Awards

Release Date: 04/05/2012

Col. Winton Vidrine (left) presenting the LDWF “DWI Agent of the Year” award to Sgt. Toby Miller.
KLB’s Leigh Harris (left) and Col. Vidrine (right) present“Litter Enforcement Officer of the Year” awards to SA Cammack.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents received litter and driving or operating a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement awards at the April 5 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Senior Agent Byron Cammack, 42, of Pineville, accepted the 7th annual KLB "Litter Enforcement Officer of the Year" award from KLB Executive Director Leigh Harris.  Cammack also received the LDWF “Litter Enforcement Officer of the Year” award.  Sgt. Toby Miller, 33, of Kentwood, took home the LDWF Enforcement Division “DWI Agent of the Year” award from LDWF Chief of Enforcement Col. Winton Vidrine for emphasizing DWI enforcement on the water and land.

“These awards confirm another job well done by our Enforcement Division and agents in helping to keep our woods and waterways clean and safe at the same time,” said Col. Vidrine.  “In addition to protecting the state’s resources such as fish and game, our agents are well trained in DWI and litter detection and enforcement.”

Miller is a 12 year veteran of the Enforcement Division who works out of the LDWF Region 7 Office in Baton Rouge and is assigned to patrol the St. Helena Parish area.

Cammack is a seven-year veteran of the Enforcement Division who works out of the LDWF Region 3 Office in Pineville and is assigned to patrol the Rapides Parish area.  This is the third time he has won the KLB award for litter enforcement.

"This department is one of our best partners in litter prevention and enforcement," said Harris.  "With law enforcement agencies like LDWF, people now believe they can get ticketed for littering.  These littering tickets are a big reason in how we are going to change behaviors and attitudes towards littering in this state becoming unacceptable."

LDWF agents issued 186 DWI citations in 2011 statewide for those impaired operators of both vessels and vehicles.  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 on the water or on the road 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.

LDWF agents issued 904 citations for simple, intentional and gross littering during 2011.  The penalties for littering violations are fines between $75 and $1,000 and up to eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.

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


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