LDWF News

LDWF News Release

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

Release Date: 01/06/2017

Jan. 6, 2017 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 hunting seasons, 2017-18 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, Experimental Dove Field Leasing Program, 2018 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2017-18 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 regulation changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons and provide for a public comment period.
 
Some of the proposed changes include:
 
·         Change in deer seasons in Deer Areas 4 and 10, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest. Also changing season limits in these areas from a limit of six (not to exceed three antlered or four antlerless), to a limit of three (not to exceed two antlered or two antlerless).
 
·         Change in deer seasons for Deer Area 7, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest while still maintaining the six deer season limit.
 
·         Modification to water level benchmark closure language to facilitate reopening the season at a lower level than the closure level in Deer Area 5.
 
·         Adding water level benchmark closure and reopening language for certain roads on Dewey Wills WMA.
 
·         Change in reporting time period for the validation of deer and turkey tags from seven days to 72 hours following harvest of deer or turkey.
 
·         Implementation of shot restrictions for dove hunters on WMAs and on LDWF leased dove fields, restricting shot to non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller.
 
·         Removal of restrictions on weapons that can be carried by deer hunters for personal protection during primitive seasons on private lands. Hunters must still abide by primitive weapon rules as previously defined in Louisiana hunting regulations.
 
·         Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Pomme de Terre WMA.
 
·         Addition of available days of opportunity within the Small Game Emphasis Areas on Richard K. Yancey and Sherburne WMAs.
 
·         Addition of youth squirrel season on Pomme de Terre and Grassy Lake WMAs, to be held the fourth Saturday of September for two days.
 
·         Elimination of live transport permits for feral hogs during February hog dog seasons on WMAs.
 
·         Modification of opening day of statewide turkey season from the last Saturday of March to the first Saturday of April.
 
·         Modification of teal season to change from the last three weekends in September to the last 16 days of September.
 
·         Change in daily bag limit for pintail from two to one.
 
·         Change in youth age requirements for youth waterfowl seasons, from 15 years of age and younger to 17 years of age and younger.
 
·         Elimination of Experimental Quality Deer seasons on WMAs.
 
·         Adjustments to deer seasons on Bodcau, Bayou Macon, Boeuf and Dewey W. Wills WMAs.
 
·         Addition of opportunity for youth deer and squirrel hunting on Kisatchie National Forest.
 
 
 
To view the full notice 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 March 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., March 5, 2017.
 
LDWF will also collect public comment at public hearings to be held Feb. 20-March 1 throughout the state. Locations and times for those meetings will be announced later this month.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359, 318-487-5885, or
ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF will close at Noon on Friday, January 6th Due to Dangerous Winter Weather Conditions

Release Date: 01/06/2017

Due to potential dangerous wintry weather conditions, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne is announcing the closure of state government offices in 44 parishes as of noon Friday.
 
Parishes included in the closure list include Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, Desoto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberville, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana and Winn.
 
For more information about the closures, visit Louisiana.gov

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Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp WMA Partially Reopened

Release Date: 01/05/2017

Jan. 5, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened Boyce Tower Road on Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area to the bridge. However, the road past the bridge remains closed due to flooding.
 
Once flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the remaining portion of the road.
 
Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of 122,098 acres, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west to near Sorrento. The WMA includes property in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2791.
 
For more information, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest East of Mississippi River

Release Date: 01/05/2017

LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest East of Mississippi River

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close oyster harvest on all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish at one half-hour after sunset on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of oyster resources in these public oyster areas. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in these areas.

The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized 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.

 

To view the latest oyster closure maps visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons

Louisiana Sets 2017 Recreational Red Snapper Season

Release Date: 01/05/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2017 recreational red snapper fishing season in state waters will begin on February 1, 2017, and remain open until further notice. The season will run seven days a week in state waters with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.
 
Last year, Louisiana anglers had 272 days of opportunity for red snapper fishing during a combined state and federal season. 
 
Recreational Offshore Landing Permit
 
The department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
 
Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need a permit as long as the charter captain has a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

Chad Courville, Bill Hogan Elected as Chair, Vice-Chair of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 01/05/2017

January 5, 2017 – Chad Courville, of Lafayette, was elected chair of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) and Bill Hogan, of Ruston, vice-chair during the Commission’s January meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge. The two Commissioners will serve in those positions through 2017.

Courville, who previously served as vice chair, is a lifelong Louisiana resident and is employed as the land manager for Miami Corporation. He has served as chairman of the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association and the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists.

Hogan is a longtime Louisiana resident and president and CEO of Ruston Bank. He was born in Nashville, Tenn., grew up in Fort Smith, Ark., and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Finance. A member of Ducks Unlimited for 26 years, Hogan has served as state chairman of DU and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

LDWF Reminds Harvesters of New Blue Crab Fishing Regulations

Release Date: 01/04/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced three new blue crab fishing regulations to take effect this year. Two changes were be implemented January 1 and will stay in effect through 2019.  An additional regulation regarding escape rings will go into effect on November 15, 2017.
 
A summary of regulation changes is as follows:
 
Regulation changes effective January 1, 2017, and to extend through 2019
 

  1. Ban on the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs

There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the restriction while held aboard an active fishing vessel.
 
An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen.  A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen.
 

  1. Seasonal closure of the commercial fishery and the use of crab traps

The commercial harvest of blue crabs and the use of all crab traps will be prohibited for a 30-day period beginning the third Monday in February. During this period, all crab traps must be removed from all state waters including the three-mile territorial seas. All remaining crab traps found during the closure will be presumed as actively fishing and considered illegal. During this closure period, LDWF will conduct derelict crab trap cleanups throughout the Louisiana coast. 
 
Regulation change effective November 15, 2017
 

  1. Changes to the number and size of escape rings required on crab traps

A minimum of three escape rings should be placed on the vertical, outside walls flush with the trap floor or baffle with at least two rings located in the upper chamber of each trap. The minimum size of rings should be 2 and 3/8 inches inside diameter. Any crab trap constructed of wire mesh 2 and 5/16 inches square or greater is exempt from escape ring requirements. 

Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 01/04/2017

Jan. 4, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding.
 
Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the road.
 
Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of 122,098 acres, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west to near Sorrento. The WMA includes property in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2791.

For more information, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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January 2017 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Committee Agenda

Release Date: 01/03/2017

News Release

 

For Immediate Release
January 3, 2017

 

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public Information

(504) 286-8745

rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Committee Agenda

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, January 5, 2017, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

 

1.     Call to Order        

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Adoption of December 01, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege         

6.     Enforcement Reports December, 2016 – Captain Edward Skena

7.     Recognize Cameron LNG for their Contribution to the Whooping Crane Recovery Program – Amity Bass, Director of Coastal and Non-Game Resources

8.     Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Amend the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the 2017-2018 Season, the Resident Game Hunting Season for the 2017-2019 Hunting Seasons, the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the Turkey Season, the Turkey Hunting Areas, and Seasons, and Bag Limits for the 2018 Turkey Season, and the Migratory Bird Seasons, Regulations, and Bag Limits for the 2017-2018 Hunting Season – Steve Smith, WMA Program Manager

9.     Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify Commercial Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark Daily Harvest Limits – Jason Adriance, Biologist

10.  Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Modify Commercial Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark Daily Harvest Limits for the 2017 Season – Jason Adriance, Biologist

11.  Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Set the 2017-18 Commercial King Mackerel Season – Jason Adriance, Biologist

12.  Receive Presentation for 2017 Recreational Red Snapper Season and Consider Options for 2017 Recreational Red Snapper Season – Jason Adriance, Biologist 

13.  Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman

14.  Set April, 2017 Commission Meeting Date

15.  Receive Public Comments

 

16.  Adjournment  

 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8957410449466546946

 

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

 

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

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

LDWF To Close Shrimp Season in Portions of State Outside Waters

Release Date: 12/28/2016

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that portions of state outside waters will be closed to shrimping effective Monday, January 2, 2017, at official sunset.

Those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • That portion of state outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line as described in R.S. 56:495(A) from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

  • Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), a section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Orleans parish from the GIWW East Closure Sector Gate westward to the GIWW intersection with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as bounded by the double-rig line described in R.S. 56:495.1(A) 
  • State outside waters not listed above

For a map detailing today’s actions click here.

Existing data do not currently support shrimping closures in additional state inside or outside waters. However, historic data suggest additional closures may be needed in the near future and the department will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters.

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp should average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon with authority to close state outside waters when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF biologists indicates the average white shrimp size in the waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

 

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov .

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