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LDWF News Release

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts Notices of Intent for Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules

Release Date: 01/07/2016

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts Notices of Intent for Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules

Jan. 7, 2016 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 hunting seasons, 2016-17 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2017 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2016-17 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations at its January meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
 
The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons and provide for a public comment period.
This year is the first inclusion of waterfowl seasons, regulations and bag limits in the annual NOI process.
 
Some of the proposed changes include:
 
Incorporation of former Deer Area 5 into Deer Area 1 and the creation of a new Deer Area 5 within the levee protection system of the Atchafalaya Basin;
 
Implementation of mandatory hunter check-in for either-sex firearms deer hunts on several WMAs, including Bayou Macon, Boeuf, Big Lake, Buckhorn, Dewey W. Wills, Grassy Lake, Pomme de Terre, Richard K. Yancey, Russell Sage and Sherburne;
 
Modification of allowable weapons to be carried for protection purposes on WMAs, which will expand allowances on such weapons to be more consistent with changes to Title 56 last year;
 
Expansion on allowance for personal water craft on WMAs, to allow such on all WMAs rather than on a select few during a specified time of year;
 
Elimination of February hog dog season on Boeuf, Dewey W. Wills and Richard K. Yancey WMAs;
 
Creation of a limited access area within Dewey W. Wills WMA;
 
Elimination of a limited access area within Salvador/Timken WMA;
 
Benchmark deer season closure for Maurepas Swamp WMA;
 
Prohibition on the operation of mud boats and air cooled propulsion engines after 2 p.m. from September-January on Pass-a-Loutre WMA;
 
Change of youth turkey lottery hunts on Bodcau and Jackson Bienville WMAs to open youth turkey hunts;
 
Addition of squirrel and rabbit hunting with dogs during February on Thistlethwaite WMA.
To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from February through April and/or can be submitted in writing by mail to: Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m., April 6, 2016.
 
Additionally, LDWF will collect public comment at public hearings to be held at the following locations:
 
Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Louisiana Ecological Services Field Office, 646 Cajundome Blvd., Suite 400, Lafayette;
 
Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the LSU Ag Center (next to Burton Coliseum, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles;
 
Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Dry Prong Community Center, 705 2nd St., Dry Prong;
 
Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Ponchatoula High School Library, 19452 LA Hwy. 22, Ponchatoula
 
Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. at the LDWF Monroe Office, 368 CenturyLink Dr., Monroe;
 
Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. at the Houma Municipal Auditorium, 880 Verret St., Houma;
 
Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 3rd St., Alexandria;
 
Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Minden Office, 9961 Hwy. 80, Minden.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359, 318-487-5885, or
ssmith@wlf.la.gov.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

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LDWF’s Amity Bass Honored with Special Award by East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture

Release Date: 01/07/2016

LDWF’s Amity Bass Honored with Special Award by East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture

East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture’s Rob Holbrook (left) presents LDWF biologist director Amity Bass (center) with a special award from the organization along with CNR Chief Bob Love

 

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Crab Task Force to Meet January 12th at 1:00p.m.

Release Date: 01/07/2016

                                                                             

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, chairman

Tuesday, January 12, at 1:00 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Dr., Room 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

 

AGENDA

             I.            Roll Call and introduction of guests

            II.            Approval of November 17 meeting minutes and January 12 agenda

           III.             Financial Report

           IV.           Old Business

A.     Legislative Recommendations

B.      Discussion of Suspension of LFF Program

 

             V.            New Business

A.     Crab Trap Closures- Jeff Marx

B.     Blue Crab Tagging Project- Zack Darnell

C.     New Officer Elections

 

      V.             Public Comment

      VI.              Set Next Meeting

      VII.            Adjourn

 

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4579328862495864834

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.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup.

 

For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

LWF Commission Adopts Notice of Intent to Promulgate Rules Regarding Turtle Excluder Device (TED) Penalties

Release Date: 01/07/2016

News Release

For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 7, 2016

 

Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent to promulgate rules that mirror the current federal rules and regulations for turtle excluder devices.

 

This action would allow infractions concerning the illegal use of TEDs to be handled in the state courts, as opposed to the federal system. This action is similar to those that the Commission has taken to have concurrent state and federal fishery management regulations.

 

The Shrimp Task Force supported this action unanimously at their December 9, 2015 meeting.

 

To view the full notice of intent, please click here.

 

Interested persons may submit comments relevant to the proposed rule by 4:30 p.m. April 1, 2016 to Jeffrey Marx, Office of Fisheries, 2415 Darnall Road, New Iberia, LA 70560 or via email at jmarx@wlf.la.gov.

 

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

The LWFC acknowledges LDWF’s hard work regarding red snapper management

Release Date: 01/07/2016

January 7, 2016 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a resolution to commend and endorse LDWF on setting the 2016 recreational red snapper season in state waters, which begins tomorrow at 6:00 a.m.  The resolution acknowledges the work accomplished by LDWF to provide recreational red snapper anglers with additional fishing days while remaining within the states historic harvest percentage. 

The development of LA Creel (near real-time recreational harvest monitoring), the extension of state water boundaries, regional management actions at the Gulf Council, and outreach to the private recreational and charter fishing sectors are tools the agency has used to prove that the state is better suited to manage recreational fisheries.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioner, Billy Broussard said “LDWF, under Robert Barham’s leadership, has provided an example to state and federal fishery managers across the country, how a recreational fishery can be accountable and precisely managed.”

LDWF has recently announced a recreational red snapper season in state waters beginning January 8th at 6:00 a.m.

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

 

LWF Commission Sets Commercial King Mackerel Season

Release Date: 01/07/2016

(Jan. 7, 2016) - Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016 commercial king mackerel season to begin Friday, July 1.  The Commission granted the authority to the Secretary of the Department to close the season once the 2016-17 quota is met or projected to be met.
 
King mackerel is a substantial commercial fishery in Louisiana. From 2000 through 2014, Louisiana landed, on average, approximately 76 percent of the allotted western Gulf of Mexico quota.  In 2014, approximately 1,111,806 pounds were landed in Louisiana alone, with a significant portion shipped to markets in the northeastern U.S. 

AMENDED - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 01/06/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Agenda

January 7, 2016

9:30 AM

 

1.       Call to order

2.       Roll call

3.       Approval of minutes from December 03, 2015 Meeting

4.       Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

5.       To hear Enforcement Reports December 2015                                                    

6.       To consider a Declaration of Emergency for Partial Closure of State Outside Waters to Shrimping

7.       To consider a Declaration of Emergency for  setting the 2016-2017 Commercial King Mackerel Season

8.       To consider a Resolution on the 2016 Recreational Red Snapper Season in Louisiana waters 

9.       To hear a presentation on the Commission’s authority to establish management targets for black drum, sheepshead and southern flounder resulting from Act 205, 2015 Legislative Session

10.    To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the Rules for Turtle Excluder Devices (TED)

11.    To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the rules for Turtle Harvest and to place a Moratorium on the Commercial Harvest of Wild Razor-backed Musk Turtle

12.    To consider a Notice of Intent to modify the Rules for Alligator Farm Facility Requirements

13.    To consider a Notice of Intent for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 General and WMA Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations, 2017 General and WMA Turkey Hunting Season and Rules and Regulations, and 2016-2017 Migratory Birds Regulations, Seasons, and Bag Limits

14.    To hear a presentation on a Cooperative Endeavor to establish a Weevil Propagation Pond in Southwest Louisiana

15.    To consider a Declaration of Emergency to close the deer hunting seasons due to the recent flooding of the Mississippi River for the specific areas of:   All lands within the Morganza floodway, from the Morganza control structure, south to I-10, and from I-10 south, within the protection levees of the Atchafalaya basin, the Sherburne WMA, the Indian Bayou Area and the Bonnet Carre Spillway

16.    To consider Rescinding the Declaration of Emergency for Partial Deer Season Closure (by Secretary Barham, effective date January 3, 2016)

17.    Election of WLF Commission Chairman and Vice-Chairman

18.    Set May 2016 Meeting Date

19.    Receive Public Comments

20.    Adjournment

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Cas Cas Road at Grassy Lake WMA Closed to Traffic Because of High Water

Release Date: 01/06/2016

Jan. 5, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Cas Cas Road, also known as Grand Lake Road, at Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to all but ATV traffic because of high water brought on by flooding.

In addition, the Fools Bay low water crossing on North Bayou Natchitoches Road at Grassy Lake WMA has been closed because of high water.

Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares. Once the water recedes and necessary repairs have been made, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles northeast of Bordelonville.
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .

Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA

Release Date: 01/05/2016

Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA
Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA
Eleven Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Marsh at White Lake WCA

Jan. 5, 2016 -- Eleven juvenile whooping cranes were released into the wild last Tuesday (Dec. 29) at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) near Gueydan. The juvenile cranes join 35 adults that are part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
 
The cranes were delivered to southwest Louisiana on Dec. 3 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md.  LDWF is working cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to establish a non-migratory population in the state.
 
The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report their sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).
 
Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese.  However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-8 feet make them very distinctive.  In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
 
Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.
 
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. Citizen Observer, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 
 
Additional information on LDWF’s whooping crane project is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or on the LDWF whooping crane Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lawhoopingcranes/?fref=ts). For more information, contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, ext. 4.

Deer Hunting Closure in Atchafalaya Basin Could Come Friday Due to Rising Flood Waters

Release Date: 01/05/2016

Jan. 5, 2016 – Rising flood waters in the Atchafalaya Basin could trigger an automatic deer hunting season closure in parts of Deer Area 9 as early as Friday (Jan. 8).

The High Water Benchmark Closure, enacted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in Title 76, will close deer hunting in an area of the Atchafalaya Basin in portions of Iberia, Iberville, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes when the flood gauge reaches 18 feet at Butte LaRose. That benchmark water level is expected to be reached either Friday or Saturday (Jan. 9).

The area encompasses those parishes south of I-10, west of the East Guide Levee, east of the West Guide Levee and north of U.S. 90.

The public is encouraged to monitor river levels this week prior to planning deer hunting in this area.

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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