LDWF News Release

Lake Charles Residents Can Expect a Decline in Giant Salvinia Growth on Calcasieu River

Release Date: 07/25/2013

(July 25, 2013) – Lake Charles residents can expect to see some relief in the presence of giant salvinia on the Calcasieu River thanks to environmental factors in combination with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ control efforts.

Increased salinities on the Calcasieu River are taking a toll on giant salvinia growth on the water body.  A wetter than usual spring caused a decrease in salinity levels, creating an environment more conducive for plant growth.  However, conditions are returning to normal, and a recent boat assessment revealed that most of the plants below the saltwater barrier are dead or dying.  Allowing salinity to kill the salvinia proves to be the most cost-effective method in achieving maximum control of the plant.  With that in mind, the Department is focusing their control efforts on the upper end of the river.

Areas above the saltwater barrier, including the West Fork, have also shown signs of minimal growth, with only scattered plants observed at some locations.  Weevils were heavily stocked in these areas through the Department’s weevil stocking program.  Weevil damage was observed in these areas and adjacent public waters.  This evidence of weevil activity on the plant is encouraging for future control.

LDWF will continue to monitor the plant, particularly in places with lower salinities, and herbicide treatments will be made on public waterways as needed to maintain control of the plant throughout the year. 

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 Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.




Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 07/24/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, August 1, 2013, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Marine Lab located at 195 Ludwig Annex Room 253, Grand Isle, LA 70358

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of July 2, 2013

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/July

5.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for the 2013-2014 Waterfowl Season Dates

6.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Repeal the Closure of Hunting in a portion of Orleans Parish

7.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Repeal the Closure of Hunting in a portion of Orleans Parish

8.  To Consider a Notice of Intent on Tripletail Harvest Regulations

9.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify the Rules of Recreational Offshore Landing Permits

10.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify the Rules of Tuna Harvest Regulations

11.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify the Rules of Reef Fish Harvest Regulations

12.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency to set the 2013 Oyster Season on the Public Oyster Seed Ground

13.  To Receive Information and Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Setting the Opening Dates of the 2013 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season

14.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to the BP Oil Spill

15.  To Hear Final Public Comments on Notice of Intent to Amend Regulations Governing Yo-Yo Mechanical Fishing Devices

16.  Prize Winner Drawing for Participants that Participated in the 2013 Louisiana Waterfowl Survey

17. Set December 2013 Meeting Date

18.  Receive Public Comments

19.  Adjournment



Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 07/24/2013

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. The meeting will convene at 9:30 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

  1. Roll Call of Board Members
  2. Approval of Minutes from May 23, 2013 Meeting
  3. Hearing of Deferred New Permit Appeals
    1. Brett Johnson
    2. Marty Melerine
    3. Vlaho Mjehovich
  4. Hearing of Deferred Renewal Permit Appeals
    1. Kerry Cosse
  5. Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals
    1. Danny Smith
  6. Update on Recommendations Made at May 23, 2013 Meeting
  7. Receive Public Comments
  8. Set next meeting date
  9. Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov




Golden Meadow Man Dies from Injuries in Boating Incident

Release Date: 07/24/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal boating crash incident that occurred in Lafourche Parish this morning, July 24.

Richard Griffin Jr., 29, of Golden Meadow, was travelling north in Bayou Lafourche alone in his 16 foot vessel around 5:15 a.m. when he struck a piling.  Griffin Jr. sustained severe head trauma from his collision with the piling.

Griffin Jr. was taken to Lady of the Sea Hospital in Galliano and then transported to University Hospital in New Orleans where he was pronounced dead.

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

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

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet July 30

Release Date: 07/23/2013

Tuesday, July 30 , 1 PM
UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans

I.   Roll Call

II.  Approval of  May 23, 2013  MINUTES

III. Treasury Report
     A. Oyster Tag Sales
     B. LOTF Financial Report
         a. Accounting of Oyster Development Account from FY 2002
         b. Recommended budget spread for FY 2013

IV. Committee Reports
     A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
     B.  Enforcement   - (Steve McManus)
     C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
     D.  Research – (John Supan)
     E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
     F.  Marketing –
     G.  Health – (Tenney Sibley)
     H. Sustainability-

V. Old Business
    A. ISSC Meeting in San Antonio- October 26-November 1
    B.  BP Oil Spill Remediation
         1. Claims Process
         2. Public Reef Remediation
         3. Oyster Lease Remediation               

VI. New Business
     A. Response letter sent to CPRA and state legislators     
     B. Spat report-Tom Soniat
     C. Preliminary Stock Assessment Data and season recommendations   

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII. Adjourn

For more information please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

Deville Man Found Alive after Spending Night Lost in the Woods

Release Date: 07/22/2013

John L. Paul's Mother Hugs LDWF Agents After they Found Her Son Alive

July 22, 2013 -- After searching for over 15 hours, search and rescue teams found a missing Deville man alive on the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in LaSalle Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents along with the Louisiana State Police, LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office started searching for John L. Paul Jr., 29, after he was reported missing at 7:30 p.m. on July 20 on the Dewey Wills WMA.

LDWF agents found Paul on the banks of North Fork Bayou while conducting a search by boat of the area at 10:40 a.m. on July 21.  Paul was released to his family and did not need any medical treatment.  Paul told agents that he was out there with his dog and got turned around and lost.

The last known contact with Paul occurred around noon on July 20 when he called his girlfriend to bring him some water.  When the girlfriend arrived on the scene all she found was Paul’s truck.

The search and rescue teams used dogs, boats, a helicopter and infrared thermal imaging devices in the search.

LDWF agents participating in the search and rescue mission included Lt. Travis Burnett, Lt. Russ Kiser, Sgt. James Parish, Sgt. Marcus Constance, Sgt. Kevin Hill, Senior Agent Jay Callegari, Senior Agent John Volentine, Senior Agent Byron Cammack, Senior Agent Joey Tarver and Senior Agent David Nelson.

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

L.D.W.F. Accepting Bids for Houseboat Mooring Sites at Atchafalaya Delta W.M.A.

Release Date: 07/19/2013

July 19, 2013  – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting bids through July 31, 2013 for 40 percent of the available houseboat mooring sites at Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area in St. Mary Parish. The remaining sites will be awarded through a lottery at a later date.

Successful bidders will be awarded a five-season lease agreement allowing houseboat mooring from Sept. 1 to March 15 for the duration of the lease. LDWF will provide mooring pilings at the designated lease site on the WMA.

Houseboat permits will be issued to allow for outdoor opportunities at the WMA.  Houseboats can be used for hunting (deer, ducks, hogs, rabbits, etc.), fishing, boating, and other activities.  The permits will allow for mooring on the WMA from teal season through the end of rabbit season.  Please be aware that no houseboat permit holder or permit holder guest may act as a hunting guide, outfitter, or in any other capacity for which they are paid for services rendered on the WMA.

Additional bid application details and the bid application form are available on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/32639 or by mail upon request.

Completed bid applications and a check or money order for the bid amount must be submitted to LDWF by 10 a.m. on July 31, 2013. Bid applications can be mailed to LDWF Houseboat Bids, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000, ATTN: Purchasing Department Room 240. Applications can also be delivered to LDWF Headquarters Building at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

For questions about any bid details or to obtain an application form via US mail, call Cassidy Lejeune or David Leblanc at 337-373-0032 or send an email to lpcampbell@wlf.la.gov .

Bids will be opened on July 31 at 10:30 a.m. at LDWF’s Headquarters Building at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. The public can attend and all winning bidders not present will be notified by phone.

The Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area is a 141,000-acre area located at the mouths of the Atchafalaya River and the Wax Lake Outlet. The area is located 25 miles south of the towns of Morgan City and Calumet and is accessible only by boat. Hunting on the WMA is primarily for waterfowl, deer and rabbit. Deer hunting on the Main Delta is restricted to archery hunting by adults and youth lottery gun hunts. Deer hunting on the Wax Lake delta is not permitted. Recreational fishing opportunities are available for redfish, catfish, bass and bluegill.

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.


Where Angling and Science Meet

Release Date: 07/18/2013

Louisiana Saltwater Series to Host Inaugural Tarpon Tournament to Raise DNA Research Awareness

(July 18, 2013) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is taking an active role in tarpon fishery research to gain insight into the biology of this fascinating species, including plans to host their first annual tarpon tournament late this summer.  

The tarpon is a highly prized sport fish, widely distributed in warm temperature, subtropical and tropical waters.  Management practices for tarpon vary from limited to none because very little is known about the movements and migrations, population dynamics, life histories and reproduction that are needed to sustain a fishery for this amazing species.

Tarpon anglers are known for their passion for the sport while protecting it for future generations, so a catch-and-release ethic is becoming more commonplace.

Beginning in 2010, the Department in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Mote Marine Laboratory, extended the Tarpon Genetics Recapture Study to the coastal waters of Louisiana.

Engaging anglers in collecting DNA samples from the tarpon they catch is the key component of the study’s success.  When anglers catch a tarpon and collect a DNA sample for the study, they are contributing valuable information to a growing database.  The DNA fingerprint technique is a very easy, non-invasive and harmless way to “tag” the tarpon by scraping skin cells from the outer jaw or other bony surface with a small abrasive sponge.

Anglers from Louisiana have provided nearly 100 samples since 2011.  This data is incredibly valuable to fishery scientists trying to understand differences in tarpon populations from area to area.  “It’s great that we can track the migratory patterns of these fish and see where they are going, and if there are resident fish off the coast of Louisiana,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.

In support of furthering tarpon research efforts, the Louisiana Saltwater Series, sponsored by LDWF, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Shimano and PowerPro, will host a tarpon tournament during its 2013 tournament season on August 24 and 25 out of Venice Marina.  This is not your traditional fishing contest – while pride is derived from winning the event, the true motivation is to be part of the most comprehensive, coordinated and information gathering effort in the history of tarpon research.  That’s the prize.

“Tournaments are the most efficient method for tagging fish,” explained Pausina.  “The probability of tagging targeted fish goes up during tournaments because the experience level of participating anglers is very high.”

Cash prizes aren’t awarded to the team who catches the biggest fish.  It’s all about the number of fish tagged during the contest.  The tournament is 100 percent payout, with a $300 entry fee per team. 

The need for biological samples is specifically focused on the question of the reproductive capabilities of tarpon in Louisiana’s waters, as well as other scientific questions focused on Louisiana’s tarpon resource.  DNA samples will be collected from both landed and released fish to help us understand the population structure of tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent waters.  LDWF biologists will also be on hand during the tournament to attach electronic tags to some of the released tarpon which will generate data that will tell us more about the vertical behavior, migratory patterns, and post-release survival of tarpon.

A kill fish division will also be offered at the tournament, and the team who submits the largest fish will be honored with the Coon Pop Classic Harvie Hawthorne Memorial Trophy.

 “The Department’s intent in supporting a kill division is to obtain a small number of biological samples from Louisiana waters that will help to generate sound research-based regional management of Louisiana’s historically and biologically significant tarpon resource,” explained Pausina. 

Specifically, gonads will be removed for studies of reproductive biology, ear bones for age and growth studies, and stomachs for investigations of feeding behavior. 

For more information or to register, visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  Online registration will close at noon on Thursday, August 22, but interested anglers will still have the opportunity to register at the Captain’s Meetings on Friday night held in Grand Isle and Venice.

Tournament sponsors include Shimano, PowerPro, Daybrook Fisheries, Plaquemines Parish, Mercury Marine, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Standard Mapping, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh & Bayou, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers. 

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was founded 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. 

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.



Commercial Fishing for Large Coastal Sharks to Close in State Waters

Release Date: 07/17/2013

July 17, 2013 - Commercial fishing for Large Coastal Sharks will close in Louisiana waters at 11:30 p.m., this Friday, July 19.  
The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico at this time.  The commercial season will remain closed in federal waters until 30 days after promulgation of the 2014 seasonal rule for harvest of sharks in the Federal Register.  At this time, no date has been set for the re-opening of the commercial Large Coastal Shark fishery in Louisiana waters.
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell Large Coastal Sharks or their fins is prohibited.
The Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark, silky shark, spinner shark and tiger shark.
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
No person shall purchase, barter, trade, or exchange shark in excess of the designated trip limits or from any person who does not possess a commercial state shark permit or federal commercial directed or incidental limited access permit or federal shark research permit, if applicable.
There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include Basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.
The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal shark in Louisiana waters remains open at this time.
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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.



Louisiana Women in the Wild Fishing Workshop Participants Test Skills in Grand Isle

Release Date: 07/15/2013

Louisiana Women in the Wild Grand Isle Fishing Weekend, June 21-23, 2013

July 15, 2013 – Participants in the spring “Louisiana Women in the Wild” Fishing Basics Workshop” were able to test their skills during a June weekend fishing trip to Grand Isle.
Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Education Section, Fisheries Extension Office and Cabela’s, 14 anglers assembled at the LDWF Marine Research Lab.
The June 21-23 fishing trip participants were selected by a random drawing of attendees from last April’s workshop hosted by the Cabela’s Gonzales location.  The ladies arrived in Grand Isle on Friday evening where they learned to rig and bait their own rod/reels, and fished from the dock at the Marine Lab. 
On Saturday, the group experienced an inshore fishing excursion, learned to clean the fish they caught, and how to prepare and cook their catch. The ladies also learned the significance of collecting data for Louisiana’s important marine sport fishes and were treated to a tour of the Marine Lab. 
The participants enjoyed another inshore fishing trip on Sunday, cleaning and packed their catch, and headed home as knowledgeable, independent fisherwomen.    
The Louisiana Women in the Wild Program teaches the basics of hunting and fishing to women who have not had the opportunity to learn the skills they need to confidently participate in those activities.  The program consists of a one-day workshop that covers the basic skills needed to hunt or fish.  Participants then have the opportunity to put their new skills to use on hunting or fishing trips and are accompanied by an experienced LDWF staff member who serves as a guide and teacher in the field.
The next scheduled “Louisiana Women in the Wild” Workshop featuring “Hunting Basics” is scheduled for October 5, 2013 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.  For more information, contact Karen Crabtree at (318) 766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov or Gene Cavalier at (985) 882-9159 or gcavalier@wlf.la.gov.
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.

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