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LDWF News Release

Louisiana Environmental Education Commission November Agenda

Release Date: 11/08/2010

Meeting Agenda
November 10, 2010
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries
Baton RougeOffice, Louisiana Room
1 PM

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll Call/Sign-in
  3. Introduction
  4. Minutes from last meeting
  5. Financial Report
  6. Coordinator’s Report
  7. Old Business
    1. 2011 Symposium Committee reports
      1. Audio Visual
      2. Door Prize/Hospitality
      3. Evaluation
      4. Exhibitor
      5. Finance
      6. Keynote
      7. Lodging Assistance
      8. Programs
      9. Public Relations
      10. Registration
    2. Environmental Literacy Plan
  8. New Business
    1. 2011 Environmental Awareness Art & Language Arts Contest
    2. 2011 Grants Program
    3. LEEC vote of officers
  9. Announcements
    1. 2011 Calendars are ready for pick up
  10. Next Meeting Dates: February 12, 2011 (at Symposium), May 10, 2011, August 9, 2011
  11. Adjournment   

For more information, please contact Venise Ortego at 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov.

Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area Lease Renewed

Release Date: 11/05/2010

John R. "Ric" Thistlethwaite III, Patrick F. Thistlethwaite, LDWF Sec. Robert Barham and Lawrence Thistlethwaite III

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Thistlethwaite heirs announced the renewal of the lease agreement for Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at the Nov. 5 commission meeting.  

This agreement renews the 10-year lease, free of charge, for Thistlethwaite WMA, encompassing 11,000 acres in St. Landry Parish.  Through the cooperative effort of the private landowners, Thistlethwaite WMA has been a part of LDWF’s WMA system since 1966.

“The Thistlethwaite’s gift is a perfect example of the commitment outdoorsmen have to conservation,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “We honor the Thistlethwaite family for their generous contribution and for ensuring future generations enjoy wildlife and related recreation in this area.”

This property features a vast array of outdoor recreational opportunities for the public. The WMA includes 11 miles of nature trails to make hunting as well as birding and nature walks more accessible.

The WMA is a bottomland hardwood area and is home to a variety of game and non-game wildlife species including whitetail deer, squirrels, rabbits, woodcock and wood ducks.  Various species of songbirds and wading birds reside on the property as well.  

Additional information may be obtained by calling 337-948-0255.

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LDWF, State Officials Partner with New Orleans Hornets, Launch Louisiana Seafood Market

Release Date: 11/05/2010

Three-year partnership will fund concessions stand selling only La. seafood, helps promote fishing industry.

(Baton Rouge, La.) November 5, 2010 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) joined officials with the Office of Community Development (OCD), and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB) today to announce a partnership with the New Orleans Hornets to launch a Louisiana-only seafood concessions stand. Located inside the New Orleans Arena, the Louisiana Seafood Market will promote the state’s seafood industry while serving safe, quality commercial seafood caught in Louisiana waters.

“Louisiana’s fishing industry has battled back from four major hurricanes over the last five years only to face the challenges created by the BP oil spill,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fisheries Randy Pausina. “We have seen a dramatic drop in the value of our seafood this year, and we have to address the industry’s issues now. This partnership is an exciting opportunity to support our fishermen and to help reinforce that Louisiana seafood is safe and healthy. We’re grateful to the Hornets for their incredible support of the industry, and I challenge everyone who comes to the arena to stop by the market for some of the safest, most delicious commercial seafood in the country.”

“The entire Hornets family is proud to support the Louisiana seafood industry and provide our fans at the arena with the freshest seafood straight out of the Gulf,” said Hornets President Hugh Weber.  “Through our partnership with the Office of Community Development, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, we are able to send the message to our fans and the entire community that Louisiana seafood is safe, fresh and back open for business.  The new Louisiana Seafood Market concession stand is just another way we can provide our fans with options for top-notch local cuisine as they cheer on the Hornets at the Hive.”

The Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit worked closely with LDWF and LSPMB to secure $300,000 in funding from a Community Block Development Grant for the Louisiana-only seafood concessions stand to support the state’s fishing industry. In addition to the three-year agreement for the concessions stand, the Hornets have also committed to working with the state to promote Louisiana seafood with their fans, and in cities across the country as they travel to away games.

“This oil spill could not have come at a worse time for our fishing industry, which was still struggling to recover from the affects of four hurricanes in three years. It’s crucial that we continue to help rebuild and restore our fishing industry and communities by reinforcing the safety and quality of Louisiana seafood, both with our own residents and with those who join us at the arena from out of state,” said Office of Community Development Director Robin Keegan. “I’m incredibly grateful to President Weber and his staff for working to make this concession stand happen. It takes Louisiana companies purchasing Louisiana seafood to help rebuild our industry and our brand – the Hornets are playing an integral part in that today.”

“The Louisiana seafood stand at the New Orleans arena offers attendees a true taste of Louisiana. Whether it is a fan attending a Hornets game, or watching a performance by a world-renowned entertainer, the experience will be complete with flavorful dishes created from fresh Louisiana seafood,” said LSPMB Assistant Executive Director Rene LeBreton.

In addition to supporting the seafood industry through the Louisiana Seafood Market concession stand, the Hornets have teamed up with Chevron and several other corporate partners including Rouses Supermarkets, CVS pharmacies and Take 5 Oil Change  to launch the “Believe in Blue” campaign which will serve to raise awareness and funds for the residents of communities affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, restore local coastal wetlands and help return the gulf’s water back to its original color—blue.  In the last month alone, the team has raised over $40,000 for Gulf Coast restoration.

All proceeds raised through the entire “Believe in Blue” campaign will benefit the Friends of the Fisherman fund, the officially endorsed fund of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board created to help Louisiana's fishermen, America’s WETLAND Foundation, established to preserve Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans.  All funds will be collected and distributed through the United Way.

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, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

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2010-2011 Louisiana Oyster Season Modified by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 11/04/2010

2010-2011 Louisiana Oyster Season Modified by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

The 2010-2011 oyster season for public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and in Hackberry Bay was delayed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in an effort to protect and enrich oysters for future harvest. These public oyster areas were originally scheduled to open on November 15, 2010. 

Biological data gathered by LDWF biologists indicates the presence of a recent reproductive event in some areas east of the Mississippi River resulting in the presence of significant numbers of oyster spat (young oysters less than one inch in length). Harvest in these areas was postponed to allow these juvenile oysters appropriate time to mature and become viable for future harvests. 

Significant oyster mortalities were also documented during biological sampling in some areas which has further decreased an already reduced oyster resource. The commission took action to delay the season in order to protect and conserve the remaining oyster resources located in these areas. The public grounds east of the Mississippi River contribute approximately 28 percent of all oyster harvest in Louisiana on an annual basis.

The remaining public oyster areas throughout the coast will continue with the current oyster season framework as set by the commission at their August 2010 meeting. Most of these areas will open on November 15, 2010.

The commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 For more information, contact Patrick Banks at 225.765.2370 (pbanks@wlf.louisiana.gov).

Documents: 

L.D.W.F. Enforcement Agent Recognized at November Commission Meeting

Release Date: 11/04/2010

Winton Vidrine, Ryan Brasher and Tom Montgomery

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was honored at the Nov. 4 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International representative Tom Montgomery was at the commission meeting to present this year's Shikar-Safari Club International Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Sgt. Ryan Brasher, 38, of Minden.

The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement.  Sgt. Brasher, an LDWF agent for eight years who patrols the Claiborne Parish area, received the award partly for his teamwork with other law enforcement units on joint cases, diligent work on turkey baiting cases and leadership roles as a field-training officer.

"Sgt. Brasher has always demonstrated a strong work ethic and professionalism since he came to the department and now his leadership roles are rising to the surface," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "He does a great job of doing whatever is asked of him and always carries a high case load."

Sgt. Brasher was recently selected as the LDWF Statewide Agent of the Year in March.  He is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where he attained the rank of Corporal.

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

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Kansas Man Wins 2011 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/04/2010

2011 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp

A Kansas man took home first place in the 2011 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on the LDWF hunting permit commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.

Wes Dewey unanimously beat out 14 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 4 meeting as the 2011 winner.  Dale Pousson of Egan, LA, the 2003 winner, came in second place, and third place went to 1994 winner Don Edwards from Keithville, LA.  Last year, Richard Clifton of Delaware won the contest.

Dewey has previously won the 1990 Kansas Duck Stamp, was the 2007 Kansas Ducks Unlimited sponsored print artist and has placed eighth two different years in the Federal Duck Stamp contest.  Dewey's painting of a male and female wood duck perched on a weathered stump will be featured on the 2011 Louisiana Duck Stamp.

"The department was happy with the quantity of entries this year, but we were blown away by the quality of the paintings," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  "Dewey's painting showed exceptional attention to detail with the features and scale of wood ducks and will make a fine duck stamp."  

For this years' competition, LDWF let the artist choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana except for pintails, which were featured on this year's duck stamp.

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese.  This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $400,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.

The 2011 stamp, featuring Dewey's work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2011.  The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.

Judges for the competition were Luke Laborde, R.C. Davis, Dean Bergeaux, Jerry Bowers, and Dr. Clint Jeske.  Laborde is a PhD student at LSU on a Delta Waterfowl scholarship doing research on human dimensions in waterfowl management; Davis, a professional artist in Amite, is a past winner of the Louisiana Duck Stamp contest for the 1998-99 stamp design; Bergeaux is a pharmacist in Crowley and current State Chairman for Ducks Unlimited; Bowers is a duck stamp collector and owns Stitch and Frame gallery and frame shop in Lafayette; and Dr. Jeske is a research ecologist specializing in wetland birds for the USGS National Wetland Research Center in Lafayette as well as a decoy carver.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

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EDITORS: Contact Thomas Gresham at tgresham@wlf.la.gov to request a high-resolution copy of the 2011 duck stamp.

L.D.W.F. Agents Rescue Missing Father And Two Sons

Release Date: 11/03/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued a missing father and his two sons on Nov. 3 in Union Parish.

Agents received a call from the Union Parish Sheriff's Office shortly after 9 p.m. on Nov. 2 about Timothy Thomas, 36, and his two sons, age 7 and 10, who hadn't returned from a deer-scouting trip in D'arbonne National Refuge.  The man and his two sons left the Holland's Bluff boat launch around 2 p.m. on Nov. 2.

LDWF agents found Thomas and his two sons shortly after midnight on Nov. 3 on the bank of Bayou D'arbonne about five miles from the Holland's Bluff boat launch.

Agents transported the family back to the Joe Bob's landing where medical personnel were already standing by.  Everyone was treated for mild dehydration and hypothermia and released.

"These agents performed a search and rescue mission under very adverse conditions and successfully returned a man and his two sons to safety.  The rainy, foggy and nighttime conditions made it very difficult to traverse the waterway and to find the lost party, but these agents were able to persevere," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "This is a very fortunate event as now the man and his two sons can reunite with the rest of the family and move forward with a good story to tell."

Agents participating in the search and rescue were Sgt. Lane Kincaid, Agent Scott Jeansonne, Agent Mike Jones, Agents Scott Bullitt, Lt. Rick Owens, Sgt. Duane Taylor, Agent David Harrell and Scott Bullitt.  The Union Parish Sheriff's Office also participated in the search.

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

2010-299

LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest

Release Date: 10/28/2010

LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest
LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest

State waters now 98.5 percent open to recreational and commercial fishing; reopening coincides with federal reopening

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has ordered the reopening of additional state waters with the Mississippi River Delta to commercial and recreational shrimp and finfish harvest effective immediately. This reopening of waters previously closed to fishing due to the BP oil spill, is done in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered the reopening as comprehensive sensory and chemical testing by the state and the FDA concluded that seafood from these areas is safe for consumption. Including the current reopening, 98.5 percent of state waters are now open to commercial and recreational fishing.

Commercial fishing for the harvest of finfish and shrimp is immediately open today, October 28, seaward a minimum distance of one-quarter mile or more from the shoreline between the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. This reopening includes waters in the following areas:

  • Pass a Loutre,
  • North Pass,
  • Northeast Pass,
  • Southeast Pass,
  • South Pass and
  • Southwest Pass.

Portions of the following areas are also being reopened:

  • Blind Bay,
  • Redfish Bay,
  • Garden Island Bay and
  • East Bay.

Additional portions of state outside territorial waters between Pass a Loutre and Southwest Pass are also included in the reopening. 

This reopening does not extend to the harvest of crabs and oysters as LDWF officials are still awaiting hydrocarbon test results on crabs, and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals regulates the harvest of oysters.

The following state waters, however, will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice:

  • The area south of the southern shore of Pass a Loutre extending westward to the eastern shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River inside of a line extending a minimum of one-quarter mile or more seaward from the shoreline except for Pass a Loutre, North Pass, Northeast Pass, Southeast Pass and South Pass;
  • A portion of Barataria Bay north of Grand Isle, east of the Barataria Waterway and west of 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude between 29 degrees 30 minutes and 29 degrees 26 minutes north latitude; and
  • An area from near Quatre Bayou Pass westward including Grand Terre Island to Barataria Pass.

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, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

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Documents: 

L.D.W.F. Agents Rescue Boaters in Vermilion Bay

Release Date: 10/28/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued two boaters this morning, Oct. 28, from the rough waters of Vermilion Bay in St. Mary Parish.

Responding to a 911 call around 7:30 a.m., LDWF Senior Agents Jason Romero and David Ducote found Rocky Romero, 45, and Willie Reaux, 52, both of New Iberia, clinging to a wharf piling after their 17-foot vessel had capsized and sank.

Agents threw a personal flotation device (PFD) connected to a rope to one of the men and were able to pull the man to their 32-foot whaler. Assisting the agents was a shrimp boat and its crew as they were able to pull the other man to their boat. Both men were wearing their PFDs, which helped them keep afloat as help arrived.

"Our agents are highly trained and have the equipment necessary for search and rescue missions. These two agents with assistance from the public did a great job in responding as fast as possible and getting the two men out of the water and back to shore," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division. "The men that were rescued should also be congratulated as they did the right thing by notifying 911 before it was too late and wearing their lifejackets."

Agents and the local shrimp boat transported the men to Cypremort Point where Emergency Medical Specialists were waiting. The men were treated for minor injuries and released. LDWF agents will conduct a boating incident investigation to determine why the vessel capsized and sank.

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

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Agenda for November Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 10/28/2010

The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 4, 2010, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of October 7, 2010
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To receive and hear Presentation of Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award
  5. To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/October
  6. To receive and Announce Winners of the Duck Stamp Competition
  7. To receive and hear Presentation of Thistlethwaite WMA Lease by Landowners
  8. To receive and hear Overview of Mississippi Alluvial Valley WMAs
  9. To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill
  10. To receive and hear Request by Oyster Task Force to Discuss 2010 Oyster Season East of Mississippi River and Hackberry Bay
  11. Set March 2011 Meeting Date
  12. Receive Public Comments
  13. Adjournment

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