LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Planning a Better Future for Louisiana’s Outdoor Legacy

Release Date: 11/06/2014

(Nov. 6, 2014) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and The Conservation Fund released an innovative vision for the wild places that make Louisiana the Sportsman’s Paradise. The 2014 Master Plan for Wildlife Management Areas and Refuges maps and evaluates every inch of the state’s rich tapestry of ecological and recreational resources – including 1.6 million acres managed by LDWF – and establishes a comprehensive strategic direction for management, future conservation, connectivity and restoration of these public lands.
 
“This document provides a comprehensive guide that our land managers can utilize today and for future decision making on how to best manage properties within the WMA program,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The Conservation Fund, which assisted in this cooperative planning effort, continues to be an extremely valuable resource in our conservation mission.”
 
The state’s wide array of landscapes – from vast forests to remote barrier islands to immense wetlands – make Louisiana a popular destination for hunters, anglers, crabbers and nature enthusiasts alike. According to a recent report1, wildlife tourism is one of the largest industries in the Gulf region, contributing nearly $2 billion to the state economy, generating over $200 million in tax revenue and supporting approximately 82,000 jobs in Louisiana alone. Recent trends suggest an increase in Louisianans residing in metropolitan areas, with over 70 percent of the state’s population now concentrated in the cities. These shifting populations pose a number of challenges to the state’s refuges and wildlife management areas (WMAs). Namely, the LDWF and other public land managers must accommodate this regional growth and strike a balance between enhancing public access to a variety of outdoor experiences while addressing ecosystem needs and preventing habitat fragmentation.
 
“Louisiana’s beautiful and diverse landscapes, abundant hunting and fishing opportunities and unmatched biodiversity attract residents and visitors alike to experience nature in a variety of ways,” said Ole Amundsen, program manager of strategic conservation at The Conservation Fund. “With states across the country looking for efficient and economical ways to balance natural resource stewardship and public needs, the LDWF recognized that it needed be able to invest smartly when deciding what lands to protect, how to manage them successfully and how to encourage the next generation to get out and enjoy its renowned natural wonders.”
 
The new master plan will guide the LDWF in these efforts by providing an informed and proactive vision that addresses specific landscape scale conservation goals. For the first time, the plan provides comprehensive descriptions of each and every one of the Department’s 62 WMAs and refuges, highlighting current public uses, opportunities for ecological research and future threats and needs. This valuable data will provide a framework for the development of site level management plans for each location that will be completed by the LDWF within the next three years. In addition, the plan establishes strategic project selection criteria for future land acquisition decisions that focus on treating landowners fairly and using public funds wisely.
 
“The department’s WMA Program was created to manage the habitat on public-accessible properties for the various wildlife and fisheries resources contained within each and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, both consumptive and non-consumptive, for our citizens and those visiting Louisiana,” said Jimmy Anthony, assistant secretary, LDWF Office of Wildlife. “The number of WMAs has grown through the years to the extent that a comprehensive planning document was needed.”
 
Over the past 20 years, The Conservation Fund and its partners have protected more than 205,000 acres across Louisiana, including approximately 160,000 acres of coastal forests and wetlands within the Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain Basin, connecting the Joyce, Manchac and Maurepas Swamp WMAs. The new plan builds on the state’s commitment to land conservation by providing a strategic framework to guide land conservation decisions and future growth. The impetus for the plan emerged in 2009, when the state legislature directed the LDWF to evaluate its existing land portfolio and develop comprehensive acquisition and management plans. With a long track record of successful land conservation projects together, the LDWF turned to the Fund to lead the development of the master plan.
 
To create the plan, the Fund inventoried and evaluated the state’s natural areas to develop a statewide green infrastructure network – linking Wildlife Management Areas, Refuges and other public lands. The network is based on the latest peer reviewed science and benefitted from the input of LDWF field staff. The Fund examined the portfolio of existing LDWF lands and found several key gaps. Reconnecting urban areas with wildlife and corridors to make existing WMAs less isolated was an overarching theme that developed out of the planning process. The Fund also assessed existing federal, state and private sector financing sources and implementation strategies to provide guidance on next steps for the LDWF.
 
To read the full master plan document, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.
 
1. “Wildlife Tourism and the Gulf Coast Economy,” Economic study released by Datu Research LLC, funded by Environmental Defense Fund and Walton Family Foundation, July 2013.

About the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

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.

About The Conservation Fund

At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America. www.conservationfund.org.

Contacts: Bo Boehringer, La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, (225) 765-5115, bboehringer@wlf.la.gov; and Ann Simonelli, The Conservation Fund (703) 908-5809, asimonelli@conservationfund.org.
 
 

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LEEC eNews: Commission Agenda for November 12 Meeting

Release Date: 11/05/2014

The next regular Environmental Education Commission Meeting will be November 12, 2014 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Headquarters Building in Baton Rouge at 1 PM. Agenda follows.

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll Call/Sign-in
  3. Minutes from last meeting
  4. Financial Report
  5. Coordinator’s Report
  6. Old Business
    1. 2015 Symposium Committee Reports
      1. Audio Visual
      2. Door Prize/Hospitality
      3. Evaluation
      4. Exhibitor
      5. Finance
      6. Keynote
      7. Program
      8. Promotion
      9. Registration
      10. Short Course
    2. Environmental Literacy Plan
    3. Art & Language Arts Contest updates
    4. EPA Sub-Grant field experiences
    5. Outreach Program
  7. New Business
    1. LEEC Vote of Officers
  8. Announcements
  9. Next Meeting Dates: February 27, 2015 (at Symposium in Baton Rouge), May 12, 2015, August 11, 2015
  10. Adjournment
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Louisiana Crab Task Force Legislative Committee Meeting

Release Date: 11/03/2014

Wednesday, November 5,  2014 1:00 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

 

I.  Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.  New Business

   A.  2015 legislative discussion

  1. Gear license fee structure and trap limits
  2. Expand crab trap gear license professionalism exemption to include dealer landings
  3. Regulations to reduce maiden crab harvest
  4. Establish funding source and allow for travel/per diem for Crab Task Force members

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 join the meeting via webinar register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5544517543238154241

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

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device 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.

 

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AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 10/31/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 6, 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 October 2, 2014
     
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
     
  4. To Hear Enforcement Reports October 2014
     
  5. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency Establishing the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program for the Commercial Crab Industry
     
  6. To Consider a Resolution to Establish the Crusel Tract Acquisition as a Wildlife Management Area and Incorporate it into the Maurepas Swamp WMA
     
  7. To Hear a Presentation of the Wildlife Management Area Master Plan
     
  8. To Hear an Update on the Rockefeller Hurricane Recovery
     
  9. Presentation of the Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest Winner
     
  10. Set March 2015 Meeting Date
     
  11. Receive Public Comments
     
  12. To consider holding an executive session, pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(2), to discuss on-going litigation in Michael Sandlin et al v. LDWF et al, No. C608,050, Div. D, 19th JDC, Parish of East Baton Rouge and USZA et al v. LDWF et al, No. 632,770, Sec. 26, 19th JDC, Parish of East Baton Rouge, and Triche, et al. v. State of Louisiana, Docket No. 631535, Div. 23, 19th JDC.
     
  13. Adjournment

 

 

Live audio streaming of the November Commission meeting is available:

To access the live audio stream, please register for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission November 2014 Meeting on Nov 6, 2014 9:30 AM CST at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7811757798649584898

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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COMMERCIAL KING MACKEREL SEASON TO CLOSE NOVEMBER 7

Release Date: 10/31/2014

October 31, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at noon on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.
 
The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met.  The commercial fishing season for king mackerel closed in federal waters at noon on October 17. 
 
Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico was harvested or projected to be harvested.
 
The commercial king mackerel season in Louisiana waters has previously been closed on March 27, 2009 (08-09 season), Sept. 12, 2009 (09-10 season), Feb.11, 2011 (10-11 season), Sept.16, 2011 (11-12 season), Aug.22, 2012 (12-13 season), and Sept. 20, 2013 (13-14 season).
 
While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.
 
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 release inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

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Two Men Sentenced In Jefferson Parish for Illegal Red Snapper Sales

Release Date: 10/30/2014

Two Bridge City men pled guilty to violations for the illegal red snapper sales in Jefferson Parish on Oct. 28.

Yoan Hernandez, 29, and Manuel Hernandez, 47, were ordered to pay $1,650 in restitution to the state by the 2nd Parish Court in the 26 Judicial District.  Yoan Hernandez was ordered to pay a fine of $835.50 with suspended jail term of 60 days.  Manuel Hernandez was ordered to pay a fine of $715.50 with a suspended jail term of 60 days.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents on a Joint Enforcement Agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration arrested and cited both men on Sept. 9, 2012.  Agents with the Special Investigations Unit purchased a total of 655 pounds of red snapper from the two men in Bridge City.

Agents cited the men with three counts of not having federal reef fish permits, three counts of not having or acquiring individual fish quota (IFQ) of red snapper, three counts of selling fish without wholesale retail licenses, three counts of failing to maintain records and three counts of failing to complete commercial trip tickets.

Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Adam Young, Sgt. Kris Bourgeois, Sgt. Tim Fox and Senior Agent Mitchell Saunders.

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

LDWF Hosts Mother-Child FUN Camp

Release Date: 10/30/2014

LDWF Hosts Mother-Child FUN Camp
LDWF Hosts Mother-Child FUN Camp
LDWF Hosts Mother-Child FUN Camp
LDWF Hosts Mother-Child FUN Camp

Oct. 30, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Education Program coordinated activities at the annual Mother-Child FUN Camp Oct. 3 through 5 at the Woodworth Outdoor Education facility.

Eight families participated in various activities including .22 rifle and shotgun target shooting, archery, kayaking, outdoor cooking, fire building, orienteering, nature hiking, toad abodes, spider sniffing night hike, fishing and overnight camping in tents.

FUN means Families Understanding Nature and offers parents and their children an opportunity to spend a weekend in the outdoors, re-establishing bonds and honing outdoor skills.

The dates scheduled for future camps include: Father/Child FUN Camp, March 6-8, 2015; and Mother/Child FUN Camp, Oct. 2-4, 2015. Both will be held at the Woodworth Outdoor Education facility, south of Alexandria.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited and filled on a first come, first served basis. Registration is $50 for each family (a parent and child). Each additional child is $25. The fee covers meals, lodging and supplies (including tents) used over the weekend. Bed linens and sleeping bags are not provided.

To obtain a registration form on-line, visit LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/fun-camp or contact Karen Crabtree at 318-766-8144 or kcrabtree@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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16 Year Olds Survive Boating Incident

Release Date: 10/29/2014

Two 16 year old boys from the Crowley area survived a boating incident on the Indian Creek Reservoir in Rapides Parish on Oct. 26.

The juveniles were fishing and traveling in a boat channel on the north end of the reservoir in a boat when they struck a tree.  Both boys were ejected from the 16 foot aluminum vessel and sustained minor to moderate cuts and bruises.

Because the operator was wearing the engine cut-off switch lanyard, the vessel shut off after the boys were ejected.  The boys were able to get back into the stalled vessel where a fisherman found them shortly after the incident and transported them to the boat launch where Acadian Ambulance was then able to transport the passenger to the Rapides General Hospital to treat a leg injury.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division will be the leading investigative agency for this incident.

LDWF agents believe at this time that the boys greatly increased their chance of survival because the operator took a safe boating education class, both boys were wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) and the operator utilized the engine cut-off switch lanyard.

“These boys took all the right precautions to increase their chance of survival,” said Col. Joey Broussard, head of the Enforcement Division.  “We believe that this could have been a fatal outcome had they not been wearing PFDs that kept them afloat in case they wouldn’t have been able to swim from their injuries and the cut-off switch lanyard that prevented the boat from turning into a weapon and hitting one or both of the boys.”

PFDs are required for anyone 16 years of age and younger when in a vessel less than 26 foot long while underway.  An engine cut-off switch is required for anyone operating a vessel with a hand tiller outboard motor that is less than 26 foot long and in excess of 10 horsepower that is designed to have a cut-off switch.

“While this vessel was not required to have the cut-off switch since it was not a hand tiller engine, we always teach people to use it if the boat has one,” said Lt. Col. Sammy Martin, the state’s Boating Law Administrator.  “We are hoping that other people will see how these boys took the extra couple of safety precautions by wearing their PFDs and cut-off switch that may have been the difference between life and death.”

The free boating education safety class is mandatory for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984 operating a vessel in excess of 10 horsepower.  The classes are available statewide and year-round and the schedule can be found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

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

LDWF’s Get Out and Fish Louisiana! Launches in Lafayette

Release Date: 10/23/2014

(Oct. 23, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with the City of Lafayette, will launch its new Get Out and Fish! Program on Saturday, November 15 at Girard Park in Lafayette.  Join us for a fun fishing competition and educational activities for all ages.
 
LDWF biologists will demonstrate fishing fundamentals including bait and tackle selection tips to fish identification. Other activities will include knot tying, casting practice and an interative mobile touch tank.  LDWF’s mascot, Robbie the Redfish, will make appearances throughout the day to greet attendees and take photographs.

Fishing competition categories include heaviest catfish and heaviest “other” fish.  Age divisions include Little Angler (ages 10 and under), Junior Angler (ages 11-15) and Adult Angler (ages 16 and older). 
Prior to the event, Girard Park Pond will be stocked with adult channel catfish, so don’t forget to bring your own gear, bait and an ice chest to keep your fish.  Anglers 16 and older must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. 
 
The event is free, and the first 100 registrants in attendance will receive a complimentary rod and reel, courtesy of Pure Fishing, and a goody bag.  In addition, every participant will be entered into raffle drawings throughout the day for a chance to win prizes from sponsors including Raising Canes, Louisiana Nursery, Home Depot, Buckfins-N-Feathers, Cajun Guns and Tackle and others.  Lunch will be provided courtesy of the Beaver Club of Lafayette.  Pre-registration is available online at www.wlf.la.gov/getoutandfish.

The Get Out and Fish! Program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing. The program intends to recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing and promote outdoor activities for future generations. In order to accomplish this mission, public water bodies that meet the required specifications will be chosen by LDWF biologists and stocked on a regular basis for up to one year. LDWF will promote the launch of each new site with a Get Out and Fish! event.

This event is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  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.

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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on Get Out and Fish! Program, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Terrebonne Parish Man Arrested After Boat Chase

Release Date: 10/21/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Houma man after a boat chase on Oct. 20 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Charlie Use`, 32, for aggravated flight from an officer, careless operation of a vessel, taking or possessing more than 10 redfish, taking or possessing undersized redfish, no navigation lights, intentional concealment of fish and not possessing a basic or saltwater fishing license.  Agents booked him into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

Agents made contact with Use` in Bayou DeCade south of Houma around 6 a.m. on Oct. 20.  Agents stopped Use` because he didn’t have the required navigation lights on his 18 foot vessel.

While making contact with Use`, agents observed him dump redfish into the water.  While the agents were trying to retrieve the redfish, Use` took off in his vessel in an effort to escape.  After a brief one mile chase, agents were able to get Use` to stop his vessel and arrest him.

Agents were able to determine that Use` possessed over 10 redfish of which some were undersized by observing the fish that were dumped and by questioning Use`.

Aggravated flight from an officer brings up to a $2,000 fine and five years in jail.  Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $300 fine and 30 days in jail.  Intentional concealment of fish brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possessing more than 10 redfish brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possessing undersized redfish carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Failing to possess basic and saltwater fishing licenses and for not having navigation lights each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joe Arnaud and Senior Agent Stephen Rhodes.

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

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