LDWF News Release

LDWF Initiates Drawdown on Clear-Smithport Lake

Release Date: 07/02/2014

(July 2, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries initiated a drawdown on Clear-Smithport Lake in Desoto Parish on July 1 to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.
Biologists will also use this low water period to assess the lake bottom and make restoration recommendations regarding fisheries habitat.
A gate closure date will be determined by LDWF staff following vegetation surveys and habitat assessments. 
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.


LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boat Incident on Amite River

Release Date: 07/02/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal boating incident on the Amite River in Livingston Parish on July 1.

LDWF agents were notified about a single vessel incident around 6:30 p.m. involving a husband and wife of Livingston Parish.

It is believed at this time that the 17 foot surface drive vessel operated by Richard Ledoux, 58, hit a tree near the bank in the Killian area near Pete’s Landing.  The collision with the tree resulted in the death of Deborah Ledoux, 59, and injuries for Richard.

Richard was airlifted to the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge for treatment.  It is not suspected that his injuries are life threatening at this time.

Deborah's body was turned over to the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.  An autopsy will be performed to determine a cause of death.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

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

Veteran Team wins LASS Tournament in Delacroix

Release Date: 07/01/2014

Veteran Team wins LASS Tournament in Delacroix

June 30, 2014 – In its fourth year, the Louisiana Saltwater Series continues to attract anglers from across the state with an average payout of more than $10,000 per venue.  This past Saturday, 86 redfish were tagged and released at the LASS Tournament in Delacroix.

Veteran tournament anglers, Josh Hall and Mitchell Chevalier (both from Metairie)  won their first LASS tournament with a two-fish total weight of 15.61 pounds, earning over $4000 in cash.
Top finishers included: Brandon Treadaway and Kevin Bergeron, second place; Barnie White and Steve White, third place; Chris Kennedy and Steven Hooter, fourth place. 

The LASS is hosted annually by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the tournament's non-profit partner.  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 fish resources.
Please visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for the remainder of the 2014 schedule, complete results, and a full list of sponsors.  
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.



Release Date: 06/30/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of June 5, 2014

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement Reports June 2014

5.  To Consider a Resolution  to establish certain acreage as a Wildlife Management Area and include the acreage in the Peason Ridge WMA

6.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to promulgate a rule and governing the taking of feral hogs using a helicopter

7.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to amend the rules and regulations governing the possession of potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats, and non-human primates

8.  To Hear a Report from Ducks Unlimited Canada on the accomplishments of the 2014 Breeding Waterfowl Statutory-Dedicated Funding

9.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for Early Migratory Game Birds (Dove, Teal, Woodcock, Rail, and Gallinule) Hunting Seasons

10.  To Hear a Report on the Consideration of having Regular Duck Season Dates

11.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Establish the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program to increase and elevate professionalism in the Commercial Crab Industry

12.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Establish a rule to change the renewal date for participants in the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program

13.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to remove Creel Limits and closed seasons from Red Hind Grouper and Rock Hind Grouper

14.  To Hear a Presentation -  Review of the 2014 Legislative Session

15.  To Hear a Presentation on the Characteristics of Louisiana’s Crappie Fishery

16.  Set November 2014 Meeting Date

17.  Receive Public Comments

18.  Adjournment



Sherburne WMA Handgun and Rifle Range Construction Update

Release Date: 06/27/2014

June 27, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that construction on the handgun range at the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been completed and the range is now open. Both shotgun ranges and archery ranges are also open.
The completed construction involved replacement of the overhead cover and installation of new shooting rails. These structures were damaged during the 2011 Morganza Spillway opening. Only handguns and .22 rimfire rifles may be used on the handgun range.
The rifle range remains closed and will remain closed until July 31, 2014 due to the second phase of the construction project which involves installation of baffles on the range.
Sherburne WMA is located within the Morganza Floodway portion of the Atchafalaya Basin, between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Levee, in Pointe Coupee, St. Martin and Iberville parishes. The WMA is accessible from US Hwy. 190 and I-10.
For additional information on shooting ranges on state wildlife management areas, visit  www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges, or contact Daniel Hurdle at 225-765-2920 or dhurdle@wlf.la.gov.


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.

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