LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Portions of roads at state Wildlife Management Areas Closed Because of Flooding

Release Date: 08/15/2016

Aug. 15, 2016 – Heavy rain in south Louisiana the past few days has flooded parts of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Wildlife Management Areas, forcing closure of some roads and walk areas.
 
Boyce Tower Road on Maurepas Swamp WMA has been closed. It will be reopened once the flooding recedes and LDWF has inspected and repaired any damage.
 
The Swamp Walk at Joyce WMA has been closed.  LDWF will reopen the Swamp Walk once the flood waters recede.
 
At Pearl River WMA, the south end of Oil Well Road has been closed. LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the road once the flood waters recede.
 
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.
 
Joyce WMA, which consists of 27,487 acres, is located in southern Tangipahoa Parish about five miles south of Hammond in the Pontchartrain Basin.  For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774.
 
Pearl River WMA, which consists of 35,032 acres, is located in St. Tammany Parish, five miles east of Slidell.  For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789.
 
For more information on these WMAs, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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LDWF Provides Update on Search and Rescue Missions in South Louisiana by Enforcement Agents

Release Date: 08/15/2016

Agents rescuing people in Zachary on Aug. 14.
Agents rescuing people in the Pontchatoula area on Aug. 14.
Agents rescuing people in the Pontchatoula area on Aug. 14.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents have currently rescued a total of 2,982 people and 566 animals to date due to the flooding in Louisiana.

Agents began search and rescue missions around 4 a.m. on Aug. 12 and have ran search and rescue missions around the clock ever since. The following are the rescues by parish since 4 a.m. on Aug. 12 till 5 a.m. on Aug. 15.

Tangipahoa - 305 people and 108 animals
Washington - 3 people
Livingston - 143 people and 57 animals
St. Helena - 25 people
East Baton Rouge - 1,422 people and 223 animals
Iberia - 41 people and 3 animals
Lafayette - 828 people and 113 animals
East Feliciana - 49 people and 5 animals
West Feliciana - 2 people
Vermilion - 92 people and 27 animals
Acadia - 22 people and 2 animals
St. Landry - 22 people and 14 animals
Ascension - 28 people and 14 pets
 

Search and rescue operations are still ongoing and the number of people and animals rescued will rise. Agents will also remain on alert and be ready for further search and rescue activities until the flood waters recede.

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.

LOUISIANA ARTIFICIAL REEF COUNCIL TO MEET

Release Date: 08/12/2016

The Artificial Reef Council will meet at 9:00 am on Thursday, August 25 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.

Agenda

1)   Introduction and Welcome                                                          

2)   Approval of Minutes & Agenda                                                 

3)   Reef Program Update---Michael McDonough & Craig Gothreaux

4)   Presentation of Nearshore Reef Planning Area Maps

            -Decision by Council

5)   Presentation of Inshore Reef Proposals:

            a) Lake Pontchartrain

                        -Decision by Council

            b) Calcasieu Lake

                        -Decision by Council

6)   Public Comments

7)   Other business

8)   Adjourn

For more information contact Mike McDonough at 225-763-5418.

 

LDWF, CPRA and DNR Visit Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Discuss Coastal Restoration

Release Date: 08/11/2016

Aug. 11, 2016 – Coastal restoration in southwest Louisiana and the importance of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in the process were the primary topics as the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Coastal Protection Restoration Authority (CPRA),  the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Chenier Plain Authority met Aug. 4 at the refuge.
 
Scooter Trosclair, program manager at Rockefeller Refuge, explained to the assembled groups why the refuge is such a crucial component to the hydrology of the Mermentau Basin in southwest Louisiana. The meeting was coordinated by Trosclair and Cameron Parish Administrator Ryan Bourriaque.
 
“What you’ll see here are the same coastal issues that are occurring in all of southwest Louisiana,’’ Trosclair said. “The ways we are trying to learn how to fix problems here could help Cameron, Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes. The solutions we try to discover at Rockefeller not only help the sub-Mermentau Basin but are just as important to our neighbors all the way up to I-10.’’
 
In addition to discussing hydrological issues facing the Mermentau Basin, the group visited several projects at the refuge, including the new LSU-Tom Hess Water Control Structure, which fuses gravity drainage, estuary management and recreational fishing piers into one structure.
 
The group also visited the site of the upcoming ME-18 Shoreline Protection project. This project will build segmented breakwaters, or rock walls, 75 yards off the coastline in order to slow the rate of erosion and begin building land outward toward the gulf. This project will begin next spring, running from Joseph Harbor west for 3-4 miles.
 
Cameron, Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes are located in a critical area for draining much of southwestern Louisiana. The Chenier Plain Authority, a tri-parish organization consisting of representatives from Cameron, Calcasieu, and Vermillion parishes, is involved working in the planning stages of these projects to ensure concerns are met on a local level.
 
For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at ggiffin@wlf.la.gov or 337-491-2000. 

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Caddo Lake, Lake Bistineau Among Nation’s Top Bass Fishing Spots, According to National Publication

Release Date: 08/11/2016

Northwest Louisiana may be the bass-fishing Mecca of the Sportsman’s Paradise.  According to Bassmaster Magazine, three lakes located in that part of the state are among the top 25 bass fishing lakes in the central United States.

Toledo Bend’s reputation is well documented. For two straight years, Bassmaster Magazine named it the nation’s top destination for bass fishing (see recent story, Toledo Bend Reservoir: A Fish Dynasty). 

But two other northwest Louisiana lakes made the recent 2016 list as well, including Caddo Lake at No. 7 and Lake Bistineau at No. 16. (See full list at Bassmaster Magazine)

Quality fish and beautiful scenery make Caddo Lake a bass angler’s dream. A total of 129 bass weighing in double digits were registered with the Bass Life Associates Replica Program from this cypress-studded fishery from 2007-2016, including bass topping the 16-pound mark. 

It was one of the first water bodies in Louisiana to be stocked with Florida bass and has been stocked annually for nearly 20 years. The Florida gene has certainly changed the landscape of the lake, as it has been known locally for producing trophy bass for years.  

Caddo Lake, which straddles the Louisiana- Texas border, is managed by both the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These agencies, in addition to some local organizations, have released nearly 12 million Florida-strain largemouth fingerlings into the reservoir.

For a lake that wasn’t even on the radar of the bass fishing world in the past, Lake Bistineau, which encompasses 17,200 acres in Bienville, Bossier and Webster parishes, is a rising star and provides a unique opportunity to anglers.

Unranked in previous years, the lake was listed as No. 27 on the 2015 list published by the magazine and maintained its elite status this year.

Drawdowns deserve all the credit for the improvement. That process exposes bottom sediments to oxygen and sunlight, increasing the decomposition of organic materials. This improves spawning habitat by solidifying the lake bottom, increasing available forage and releasing nutrients into the water when the lake refills. Improved spawning of all fish species provides greater food resources for the lake’s largemouth bass population.

In 2009, the lake was thought to be nearly lost as almost 7,500 acres were covered with giant salvinia. To combat the invasive weed, LDWF has dewatered the lake annually in the late summer. Lake Bistineau is a flooded swamp with acres of cypress trees lining old slough channels.

The current management strategy closely resembles the natural fluctuation of water in a swamp, has controlled the plant and has provided ample opportunities for recreation. 

Florida bass stockings have increased in recent years and the larger fish are beginning to show up. A total of 46 bass have been registered in the Bass Life Replica Program since 2007 and it typically takes more than 20 pounds to win a tournament. 

When the summer doldrums hit and fishing gets tough, come to Lake Bistineau and fish the lake on a drawdown. The weather isn’t the only thing that is hot. Whether you prefer to pitch to cypress trees, fish channel ledges with a crankbait or catch schools of three-pounders, Bistineau has something for everyone.

 

 

LDWF to bring back the Louisiana Conservationist

Release Date: 08/11/2016

Louisiana's longest running outdoor magazine will return to print in the fall of 2016.

The Louisiana Conservationist had been the long-standing outdoor publication for Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries enthusiasts.   For decades the magazine was mailed to the home of every hunting and fishing license holder in the state.  In 2011, the production of this historical publication ceased due to proliferation of less expensive information vehicles, particularly online content distribution.

“For generations, the Conservationist’s descriptive sto­ries and informative features have resonated with families across the state”, said Governor John Bel Edwards. “When the magazine was discontinued in 2010, it left a void in both homes and classrooms that benefited from the bridge it created between the state and the public.

I am thrilled that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reviving this 87-year-old tradition. The Conservationist serves as both an educational asset and a treasured portrayal of Louisiana’s wondrous outdoors.”

“I grew up reading the Louisiana Conservationist and credit this publication for my interest in the Louisiana outdoors as a kid,” said LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon.  “Many sportsmen and nature lovers across the state have a very close connection to this magazine and have requested we revive this historical publication.  This is not only a great educational resource for our constituents, it’s a tremendous introduction of the Louisiana outdoors to our youth.”

The Louisiana Conservationist is a 90-year-old publication that began in 1917 when Lucy Powell Russell became the first female to serve as the Secretary of the state's wildlife agency.

During her progressive tenure, she led the Louisiana Fisheries Commission in publishing its first wildlife magazine. Its first issue was titled Louisiana Conservation News. Over the years, the magazine has taken several forms, all the while, maintaining its mission of serving as a medium between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the residents of Louisiana.

The magazine will return to print this fall on a small-scale basis as the magazine reestablishes writers, photographers and other contributors. The long-term goal of the magazine is to serve as an educational outlet for anyone yearning to know more about Louisiana’s outdoors, especially students. 

The print publication will be a product of existing Department staff, and available free of charge on a quarterly basis from LDWF field offices across the state. The current issue, and archived issues back to the magazine’s inception in 1927 will be available on the Louisiana Conservationist website: http://LAConservationist.wlf.la.gov in the near future.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown on False River

Release Date: 08/10/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in conjunction with the False River Watershed Council and Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury, has scheduled a drawdown for False River on Tuesday, September 6, 2016, as a management tool to improve water quality, decrease sedimentation and improve sportfish habitat.

The lake will be lowered at a rate of 1.5 inches per day to a maximum of 6 feet below pool stage.

The drawdown structure is scheduled to close on January 15, 2017, and the lake will be allowed to refill.

Property owners should take necessary action to secure or remove vessels, floating docks and other items potentially impacted by the drawdown prior to its commencement.

The lake will remain open to fishing and other recreational use during the drawdown. However, caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater structures.

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Brian Heimann, LDWF Biologist Manager, at bheimann@wlf.la.gov, or (225) 765-2337.  

 

 

Drawdown Announced for Bayou D’Arbonne Lake

Release Date: 08/10/2016

Drawdown Announced for Bayou D’Arbonne Lake

(August 8, 2016) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has announced a drawdown for Bayou D’Arbonne Lake in Union Parish.  The drawdown is scheduled to begin on September 6th and continue through November 15th, 2016.  The lake will be lowered to a level of 5 feet below pool stage at a rate of approximately 4 inches per day.

The LDWF action is taken in coordination with the Bayou D’Arbonne Lake Watershed District to allow for maintenance of shoreline properties and to provide control of nuisance aquatic vegetation.  The Bayou D’ Arbonne Lake Commission adopted a policy in 2004 that provides for drawdowns every 4 years for these purposes.   The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised for boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions. 

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

 

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ryan Daniel in the LDWF Monroe office at (318) 343-4044.

LDWF to Hold Lake Bistineau Public Meeting

Release Date: 08/09/2016

 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will conduct an informational meeting concerning Lake Bistineau.
 
Who:  LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff
 
What:  Public information meeting on Lake Bistineau
 
When:  Tuesday, August 23, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.
 
Where:    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Region 1 Office
                Jonathan Glasscock Memorial Classroom
                9961 Hwy. 80
                Minden, LA 71055
 
The meeting will include an update on the current status of the lake, and LDWF staff will field questions concerning the management of the lake and giant salvinia.  Everyone interested in Lake Bistineau is encouraged to attend. 
 
Space is limited to 100 individuals, so please keep this in mind when making plans to attend.  
 
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
 
For additional information regarding the meetings, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.

LDWF to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Cervid Carcass Importation Ban

Release Date: 08/09/2016

Aug. 9, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will conduct six public hearings beginning Aug. 22 to discuss a proposed cervid carcass importation. The ban was proposed to assist in preventing the introduction of chronic wasting disease (CWD) into Louisiana’s white-tailed deer population.
 
Meetings include:
 
Aug. 22 at St. Tammany Parish Council Chambers, 21490 Koop Dr., Mandeville, 7 p.m.,
 
Aug. 22 at Lake Charles’ LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles, 6:30 p.m.,
 
Aug. 23 at LDWF Monroe Field Office, 368 Century Link Dr., Monroe, 6:30 p.m.,
 
Aug. 23 at USGS National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette, 6:30 p.m.,
 
Aug. 24 at LDWF Minden Field Office, 9961 Hwy. 80, Minden, 6:30 p.m.,
 
Aug. 25 at Woodworth Outdoor Education Center, 661 Robinson Bridge Road, Woodworth, 6:30 p.m.
 
An importation ban on carcasses of cervids harvested out-of-state was proposed by LDWF during the July LWFC meeting and is in the public comment period. The ban defines a cervid as animals of the family Cervidae, including but not limited to white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, fallow deer, axis deer, sika deer, red deer and reindeer. 
 
The proposed ban would prohibit the importation of cervid carcasses except for deboned meat, antlers, clean skull plates with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth.
 
This proposed ban is strictly for the purpose of reducing the likelihood that CWD will enter Louisiana through carcass importation. Approved parts and deboned meat from other states must contain a possession tag with the hunter’s name, out-of-state license number (if required), address, species, date and location (county and state) of harvest.  Each state has different possession requirements for game once processed.

To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment can be submitted in writing by mail to: Johnathan Bordelon, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to jbordelon@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 26, 2016.
 
For more information, contact Bordelon at 225-765-2344.

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