LDWF News Release

Hefty Prizes and Bragging Rights on the Line at the 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Championship

Release Date: 10/15/2013

(Oct. 15, 2013) – The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Championship is an exciting event for so many people in so many ways.  It’s a year-end reward for the Gulf Coast’s best redfish anglers who have fished so hard during the regular tournament season to make it here.

For the past four years, this tournament has grown exponentially and been a tremendous support mechanism for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in fulfilling its mission, which is two-fold.  First, to manage and conserve and protect the natural resources of the state.  Second, to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities to the citizens of Louisiana.  The LASS tournament series has been instrumental in helping the Department meet their mission.

The LASS is also important to LDWF for another different reason which is that the format for this tournament is much different than any other format that you see today.  The LASS is a catch, tag and release tournament, ensuring that nearly 100 percent of the fish caught in this tournament survive and later provide valuable data to the Department.  It gives LDWF a great platform and opportunity to showcase its fisheries management efforts and public programs to thousands of people.

Each year, the tournament continues to grow in numbers with 2,832 redfish tagged during the six regular season tournaments and 58 teams qualified to participate in the weekend event.

The 2013 Championship is slated for October 18 and 19 out of Venice Marina, with a full itinerary available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com. The Championship is a two-day tournament, with a two-fish total weight per day to determine the champion.  There’s no entry fee, and there’s a guaranteed hefty paycheck for the top finishing team.

Food will be provided on both days of the tournament, sponsored by Venice Marina and Marsh and Bayou Magazine.

Tournament sponsorship support includes Shimano, PowerPro, Coors Light, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Daybrook Fisheries, Omega Protein, Plaquemines Parish Tourism, Dockside Marine, Mercury, Conservation Force, Standard Mapping, Marsh and Bayou, Faux Pas Prints, 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 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation 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.

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 or 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.




Hunter Education Requirements

Release Date: 10/11/2013

Oct. 11, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds hunters that they must have successfully completed an approved Hunter Education class prior to hunting if they were born on or after September 1, 1969.

Younger hunters may hunt without Hunter Education certification if they are under the direct supervision of a person 18 years or older who has proof of Hunter Education certification or are directly supervised by a person born prior to September 1, 1969 and who has a valid hunting license.  Direct supervision means the hunter is within hearing distance of a normal voice and in direct line of sight of the supervising adult.

The Louisiana Hunter Education Program certifies about 18,000 hunters annually and provides the foundation for safe and responsible hunting.  The Hunter Education course covers firearms and outdoor safety, wildlife management and ethics.   Courses include a live-fire exercise and participants must demonstrate safe firearm handling skills.  Hunting accidents have dropped significantly since Hunter Education became mandatory in 1984.

Two options are available for taking Hunter Education.  Students may attend a traditional classroom course that consists of 10 hours of instruction, usually taught over 2-3 days.  Alternatively, students may take the home study version available on-line or by CD-Rom.  Hunters who choose the home study version must also attend a mandatory 6-hour field day event. 

There is no minimum age for attending a Hunter Education course; however, persons under 10 years old cannot receive Hunter Education certification.  The Louisiana Hunter Education certification is recognized and accepted in all 50 states.

There is no charge for the classroom course or CD-ROM version of the home study course.  There is a $15 charge to take the on-line version of the home course.   Home study CD-ROMs are available from LDWF Education Program offices.

To register for a class or to learn more about Hunter Education in Louisiana, visit www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/hunter-education .   There are multiple websites offering Hunter Education information and class schedules, however, some of these contain outdated information and schedules.  Hunters are advised to refer only to the department’s website or links accessed from the department website for current and reliable Hunter Education information.

For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .





Louisiana Officer Receives NASBLA President’s Award

Release Date: 10/10/2013

NASBLA President Toby Velasquez and LDWF Capt. Spencer Cole

During its 54th annual conference, held in Boise, Idaho, Sept. 14-18, 2013, Toby Velasquez, president of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), presented a President’s Award to Capt. Spencer Cole with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, for his inspiring leadership of the organization’s Preparedness & Response Committee.

At the end of his/her term, the NASBLA President selects individuals to honor with this special recognition for their contributions during the past year to boating safety and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Under Capt. Cole’s leadership, the Preparedness & Response Committee has delivered exceptional value to NASBLA, always aware of the financial impact.  When appropriate, Capt. Cole deferred actual committee meetings in favor of a far more cost-effective virtual meeting, allowing the committee to remain productive and proactive.  Those cost savings leveraged limited resources and afforded his committee the opportunities to participate on a national stage in Washington when needed most.

“The Preparedness & Response Committee has been instrumental in several of NASBLA’s finest moments with regards to safety and security. Preparedness comes in many forms and this committee has played an important role in shaping national legislation and policy,” said Velasquez when presenting the award.

A few of the committee’s accomplishments include:

Congressional drafting assistance in the FEMA Port Security Grant Program;
FEMA and USCG accepted narrative within Port Security Grant applications;
Drafting assistance in support of the USCG Re-Authorization, regarding training;
First National Scholarship delivery of the Tactical Operators Course in Washington, D.C.; and
First memorandum of understanding between the USCG and NASBLA on National Training Standards.

Along the way Capt. Cole built new partnerships with NASBLA’s associates and partners from every corner of the maritime community. His committee has kept stakeholders informed of funding and training opportunities.

“We look upon Capt. Cole as a valued committee chair, always prepared and articulate in his delivery, a model for future NASBLA committee chairs to emulate,” added Velasquez.


The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, the organization affects the lives of over 76 million American boaters. To learn more about how NASBLA continues to make the waterways safe, secure and enjoyable, visit http://www.nasbla.org.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465 or NASBLA at 859-225-9487.

L.D.W.F. Reminding Deer Hunters That Either Sex Tag Option Available During 2013-14 Season

Release Date: 10/10/2013

Oct. 10, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries is reminding deer hunters that the six tags issued with big game licenses for the 2013-2014 season include an either sex tag.

During the season, licensed hunters can legally harvest three antlerless, two antlered and one deer of either sex. This means hunters may choose either a fourth antlerless deer, or a third antlered deer with the either sex tag. The total season harvest limit remains six. 

Changes have also been implemented in the number and boundaries of some Deer Management Areas. Please refer to the printed 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet or the on-line version available at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations .

Hunters are reminded that all deer must be tagged before being moved from the field and each harvested deer must be reported via phone at 1-866-484-4805 or via the on-line reporting system at https://www.la.wildlifelicense.com/start.php . Click on “Validate Deer Tags” when using the on-line reporting system.

Hunters must report each deer harvested within seven days.

Lifetime license holders, youth hunters 15-and-under, and seniors who are not required to purchase hunting licenses can obtain deer tags free of charge at any license vendor.

For more information, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov.



L.W.F.C. Approves 2014 Wild Turkey Season Framework

Release Date: 10/04/2013

Oct. 4, 2013 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the proposed 2014 wild turkey season dates and regulation changes during their Oct. 3 meeting.  The proposed season framework was presented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Wildlife Division at the Commission’s July meeting.

The 2014 wild turkey season will open March 22 in three designated areas with varying end of season dates as follows:  Area A, March 22 - April 20; Area B, March 22 - April 13; and Area C, March 22 - April 6 using the same geographic boundaries utilized in 2013 with the exception of a small portion of Area B within Caddo Parish to be closed.

The private lands youth and physically challenged hunter weekend will be March 15-16 in all designated areas.

Additionally, on USFWS-managed national wildlife refuges and US Army Corps of Engineer properties the following turkey hunting dates will be available:

* Bogue Chitto NWR, March 15-16 (youth), plus March 22 - April 13.

* Lake Ophelia NWR, March 15 (youth lottery), plus March 22 - April 6 (hunts end at 12 noon).

* Tensas NWR, March 15-16 (youth), plus March 22 - April 6.

* Upper Ouachita NWR, March 15 (youth lottery).

* Indian Bayou USACOE, March 15-16 (youth/physically challenged), March 22-23 and 29-30; All lottery hunts.

* Old River USACOE, March 22 - April 6. 

[This paragraph has been revised to correct information originally posted on Oct. 4, 2013.] In 2014, there are no youth lottery hunts, or applications to complete and submit for hunters 17 years of age or younger wishing to hunt on these KNF properties. Youth hunting dates for wild turkey on Kisatchie National Forest have been approved for the weekend of March 15-16 on the Caney, Calcasieu (except Forest Service / Vernon Unit lands within Ft. Polk/Vernon WMA) and Kisatchie Ranger Districts; and March 15 on Catahoula and Winn Ranger Districts.

The regular turkey season within the Caney Ranger District would run from March 22 to April 6; and from March 22 to April 13 on all other Ranger Districts.

WMA turkey season and rule changes include:

* Noting the name change of Three Rivers / Red River WMAs to Richard K. Yancey WMA

* Clarification of lottery hunt rules to allow youth to apply for both youth and regular lottery hunts

* Dropping the GPS requirement on Tunica Hills WMA

* Adding an open hunt on Pomme de Terre WMA from April 16-20

* Replacing two, 3-day lottery hunts on Union WMA with a 2-day lottery hunt March 29-30 and a 7-day open hunt March 31 to April 6 and youth lottery hunt weekend March 15-16

* Moving Sabine WMA’s first regular lottery hunt to March 28-30

* Dropping the second Pearl River WMA youth hunt

For more information on WMA hunting opportunities and hunting seasons in Louisiana, visit www.wlf.la.gov.  For information on turkey season dates and regulations, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov .






LDWF Closes Elmer’s Island Due to Tropical Storm Karen

Release Date: 10/04/2013

October 4, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announces the temporary closing of Elmer's Island, located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish. The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a tropical storm warning from Grand Isle to the Mouth of the Pearl River. As a precautionary and preparedness measure Elmer's Island will remain closed until further notice.

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 Rene LeBreton at 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.



LWFC Adopts Revised Protocol for Adopting Hunting Season Rules and Regulations

Release Date: 10/04/2013

Oct. 4, 2013 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a revised protocol for adoption of amendments to hunting seasons and regulations during their Oct. 3 meeting.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries requested the change to combine the proposals presented annually for season dates with the general and WMA hunting season rules and regulations. The new protocol will also provide earlier dissemination of season dates and rules for public comment.

Starting in 2014, the Commission will  receive LDWF staff recommendations in January and will announce a notice of intent at their January meeting, instead of February.  Public meetings around the state will occur during the period February 24 to March 1 each year, allowing hearings to be held on Saturday in most years. Following receipt of public comments and any amendments to the notice, the Commission will adopt the provisions of the notice of intent, with any amendments, in April.

The Legislative oversight committee will then review all proposed rules, regulations and dates prior to June, allowing final ratification of the rule in early June..

The new time frame will provide for a more timely printing and distribution schedule for the department’s hunting regulations pamphlet in mid-summer, instead of late summer.

For more information, contact Kenny Ribbeck, Chief of Wildlife Division, kribbeck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.




LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized at October Commission Meeting

Release Date: 10/03/2013

LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized at October Commission Meeting

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was honored at the Oct. 3 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International presented their Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Sgt. Lance Devillier, of Lawtell.  The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement.

Devillier has been an LDWF agent for seven years and was recently promoted to sergeant and mainly patrols St. Landry, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes.

Devillier also received the LDWF Enforcement Division’s “2013 Agent of the Year” award.  Devillier teaches boating safety classes and is one of the leading agents in making driving or operating a vessel or vehicle while under the influence cases.

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

L.D.W.F. Proposes Revised Rules for Scenic River Regulations

Release Date: 10/03/2013

Oct. 3, 2013 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a notice of intent today to amend the rules governing the Natural and Scenic Rivers System.

Recommendations to amend the existing rules were made by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

Some of the NOI proposed changes include:

  • Prohibiting the use of a motor vehicle or other wheeled or tracked vehicle on a designated system stream, except for permitted uses and direct crossings by immediately adjacent landowners, lessees, and persons who have written permission from the landowner for non-commercial activities that do not significantly degrade the ecological integrity of the stream.
  • Requiring a permit for a moored houseboat or floating camp, except when moored to a legally permitted piling, pier or bulkhead or moored to trees using connections that do not damage the trees and with written permission of the owner of the trees. A permit or letter of certification from the parish health unit, verifying an approved sewerage disposal system is on board, would also be required.

To review the full NOI document, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Interested persons may submit comments on the proposed changes to Keith Cascio, Scenic Rivers Coordinator, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email at kcascio@wlf.la.gov through Dec. 20, 2013 [the original Nov. 29, 2013 deadline for comments has been extended].



Recreational Harvest of Gray Triggerfish to Close in Louisiana State Waters

Release Date: 10/02/2013

Oct. 2, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced recreational fishing for gray triggerfish will close in Louisiana waters, at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and will remain closed until January 1, 2014.

NOAA Fisheries has determined that the recreational quota of 217,000 pounds was met, and the closure is necessary to prevent further overfishing. Federal waters will also close on Oct. 15.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at its January 2013 meeting to change or modify the opening and closing dates for any recreational reef fish season in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters will be consistent with regulations for federally managed waters.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance @wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.



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