LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Sherburne WMA Shooting Ranges Hours To Be Altered Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 2-3

Release Date: 11/10/2016

Nov. 10, 2016 – Hours of operation at the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) shooting ranges will be altered Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 2-3, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced. The ranges will be open only from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on those dates.
 
Normal range hours are from official sunrise to sunset each day. The ranges are free of charge.
 
The Sherburne WMA shooting range complex is located in Pointe Coupee Parish at 1132 Sherburne Road four miles south of U.S. Highway 190 on Louisiana Highway 975.
 
The shooting range provides for rifle and handgun target shooting at 25, 50 and 100 yards. Shotgun ranges offers manual target throwers and electric throwers. An archery range provides stationary field targets, 3-D targets and an elevated shooting platform.
 
For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/shooting-range/sherburne-shooting-range , call range headquarters call 337-566-2251 or contact Daniel Hurdle at 225-765-2920 or dhurdle@wlf.la.gov .  

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Important Legislative Changes to Oyster Harvest Regulations

Release Date: 11/07/2016

Several bills enacted during the spring 2016 Louisiana legislative session have a significant impact on state oyster harvesters. In response, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has put together a summary of these important changes to the 2017 commercial oyster regulations so harvesters can prepare.
 
Most notable is the Oyster Harvester License Training Requirements (Act 276), which will require ALL oyster harvesters to complete an education program before applying for their 2017 oyster harvester license. This program consists of an in-depth training video, which all harvesters must watch in full and answer the accompanying questions with a minimum score of 80 percent. Harvesters will be required to take this program every three years. The required course training material can be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-harvester-training-videos.
 
“This oyster harvester education program is actually a mandate from the National Shellfish Sanitation Program - a federal/state cooperative program for the sanitary control of shellfish produced and sold for human consumption,” said Darren Bourgeois, Fisheries Extension, Educational Program Manager, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. “The video, produced by our Louisiana Fisheries Forward initiative, meets NSSP requirements by presenting best practices in harvest, handling and transportation practices.”
 
Fishermen harvesting on natural reefs and public harvest areas should be aware of two new changes in the law. The New Gear Restrictions (Act 133) changed the name of certain gear ‘dredges,’ which should now be called ‘scrapers.’ The act also limited the size and use of scrapers on public harvest areas and Public Oyster Seed Grounds: scrapers must not be more than 54 inches in width (Calcasieu Lake maximum scraper width is 36 inches) measured along the tooth bar; cannot weigh more than 175 pounds; and diving boards, hydrofoils, or any other equipment intended to create downward pressure is now illegal (these changes apply to all public harvest areas and POSGs, including those in Calcasieu Lake). Scraper teeth cannot be longer than 5 inches, with a minimum of 2¼ inch spacing from the center of one tooth to the next. A tooth shall not exceed 11/16 of an inch in diameter. No more than two scrapers can be in use on any one vessel on public oyster grounds. An oyster scraper bag must be single mesh with a minimum mesh size of 3 inches stretched.
 
Changes to the POSG Permit (Act 291) bring about a fee increase, which will fund the Public Oyster Seed Ground Development Account. The permit cost for a single scraper vessel will be $250 for a resident and $1,000 for a non-resident. A double scraper vessel will be $500 for a resident and $2,000 for a non-resident. New POSG vessel permit applications will be accepted once a professionalism program is developed; this professionalism program should be complete by 2018.
 
New laws are also in place regarding leasing practices and the oyster lease moratorium. Leasing Practices for Oyster Harvest (Act 570) have changed, such that water bottoms claimed by both the state and a private claimant may now be leased for oyster harvest when LDWF and the private claimant agree to do so. This agreement does not indicate or determine ownership, and the lease is only in effect until a court rules on the ownership claim. This law recognizes those oyster leases issued by private claimants on dual claimed water bottoms in effect and properly recorded as of February 1, 2016, as valid, such that harvest off of those state claimed water bottoms by the private lessee is legal.
 
The Legislature has amended the oyster leasing application process, provided for subordination between new oyster leases and existing coastal activities, and established preferential rights for Lifting the Moratorium on Oyster Leases in phases (Act 595):
 
Phase 1: Certain identified oyster lessees who did not renew leases due to predicted coastal restoration activities get first priority in these areas.
 
Phase 2: Lease expansion. Lessees may take up space between shore and lease or lease and lease up to 500′ (CPRA can require a shoreline buffer).
 
Phase 3: Holders of privately issued oyster leases on water bottoms who are claimed by the state and a private claimant get first priority in these areas.
 
Phase 4: Open lottery – any applicant eligible to hold an oyster lease may submit a single lottery entry and will be randomly assigned an appointment priority to apply for a single lease. (Phase 4 not to be immediately implemented) .
 
Phase 5: Second open lottery if deemed necessary.
 
After Phase 5, the moratorium on oyster leasing will be fully lifted and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
If you have general questions concerning oyster management please contact Steven Beck at (225) 765-2956 or sbeck@wlf.la.gov.
 
If you have questions concerning the oyster harvester education program please contact Darren Bourgeois at (504) 284-2033 at dbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or Richard Williams at (225) 765-0121or rrwilliams@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Announces Commercial Fishing License Sale Locations and Dates

Release Date: 11/07/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will offer new commercial fishing licenses and renewals from the following locations:
 
Bourg Office
468 Texas Gulf Road
Bourg, La.
November 29 - December 1
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
 
Lake Charles Office
1213 North Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, La.
December 6 - 8
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
 
St. Bernard Parish Government Building
8201 West Judge Perez Drive
Chalmette, La.
December 13 - 15
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
 
Commercial fishermen are reminded that acceptable forms of payment will include personal checks, cashier's checks, money orders and cash.  To avoid processing delays, those purchasing licenses are asked to bring their license renewal notices with them. 
 
 First-time applicants can apply by mail or in-person.  Renewals can be completed online at www.wlf.la.gov. When applying in person you must provide the following:
 

  • Resident applicants must provide proof of residency such as a Louisiana driver’s license, (held continuously for 12 months) voter’s registration, vehicle registration and state income tax.
  • Non-residents applicants must provide proof of residency from their domiciliary state, such as driver's license, voter's registration, vehicle registration and state income tax.
  • Applicants applying for a license in a business name must provide documentation showing proof of valid federal tax ID# assigned to business name and proof of authorized signature, or an occupational license will be required.

For commercial licenses inquiries, contact (225) 765-2898.

Oyster Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 11/04/2016

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Monday, November 7, 2016, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

I.Roll call and introduction of guests

II.Approval of September 27, 2016 Meeting Minutes and November 7, 2016 Agenda

III.Treasury Report

A.      Oyster Tag Sales

B.      LOTF Financial Report

IV.Committee Reports

A.      Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)

B.      Enforcement (Captain Chad Hebert)

C.      Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.     Research (Earl Melancon)

E.      Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.      Marketing (LDWF)

G.      Health (Lance Broussard)

H.     Sustainability (LDWF)

I.        Professionalism (LDWF)

J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)

V.New Business

A.To Review and Consider Recommendations for Proposed Oyster Lease Rules- Cole Garrett

B.To Consider Funding to Continue Summer Dermo Sampling- Thomas Soniat

VI.Public Comment

VII.Set Next Meeting

VIII.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/406811984110665986

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.

Oyster Task Force Aquaculture Subcommittee to Meet

Release Date: 11/04/2016

Oyster Task Force Aquaculture Committee Meeting

Monday, November 7, 2016

UNO 3rd Floor Conference Room

10am-Noon

 

Agenda

1.     Review Alternative Oyster Culture (AOC) on private lands

a.     Dual claim?

b.     Permitting

i.     Mariculture permit

1.     Exempting oysters via changing legislative definition of “fish”

2.     AOC on existing oyster leases

a.     Suitability map

 i.     Review creation

ii.     Modification

 iii.     Elimination?

1.     Leave siting to CUP process

3.     Marine Enterprise Zones (aka Aquaculture Park)

a.     Review of Grand Isle Oyster Farming Zone

b.     Expansion to other areas and parishes

 

 i.     Modify existing legislation or new legislation?

Oyster Task Force Coastal Restoration Subcommittee to Meet

Release Date: 11/04/2016

Coastal Restoration Subcommittee

Monday, November 7, 2016, 10:30 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122

 

AGENDA

 

I.               Call to Order

II.             To hear a presentation on developing an oyster fishery and restoration strategy east of the Miss. River considering the changing basin conditions- Dr. john Lopez

III.           Public Comment

IV.           Set next meeting

V.             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/6193189837396556801

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.

 

LDWF, Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association to Hold Trapping Workshops Dec. 3, 10

Release Date: 11/04/2016

Nov. 4, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association will hold trapping workshops Dec. 3, in Abbeville, and Dec. 10, in Benton.
 
The Dec. 3 workshop will be held at Palmetto State Park in Abbeville, located at 19501 Pleasant Road. The Dec. 10 event will be held at Cypress Black Bayou in Benton, located at 135 Cypress Park Drive.
 
Both workshops, which are free, will begin at 8 a.m. with a meet-and-greet and run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Anyone age 14 and older interested in learning the basics of trapping is invited to attend. Lunch will be provided.
 
Topics to be discussed include state regulations, trapping equipment, trapping safety, ethics, historical considerations, best management practices and trapping demonstrations.
 
To register for either event or for more information, contact LDWF biologist supervisor Jennifer Hogue at 337-373-0032 or jhogue@wlf.la.gov. The registration deadline is Nov. 20.

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New Regulations on Mud Boats, Air-cooled Propulsion Engines in Effect at Pass-a-Loutre WMA

Release Date: 11/03/2016

Nov. 3, 2016 – New regulations on the use of mud boats and air-cooled propulsion engines at Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area are now in effect through Jan. 31, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. Waterfowl hunters who will be using Pass-a-Loutre WMA this season should be aware of these changes.
 
According to the regulations adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission earlier this year, operation of mud boats and air-cooled propulsion engines are prohibited after 2 p.m. Sept 1-Jan. 31. However, they will be allowed after 2 p.m. in South Pass, Pass-a-Loutre, Southeast Pass, Loomis Pass, Dennis Pass and Cadro Pass.
 
Go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/publication/37904-2016-2017-louisiana-hunting-regulations/2016-2017_ldwf_hunting_regulations_low-res1.pdf and scroll to page 88 for hunting regulations and dates for Pass-a-Loutre WMA.
 
Pass-a-Loutre WMA is located in southern Plaquemines Parish at the mouth of the Mississippi River, approximately 10 miles south of Venice. It is accessible only by boat. The nearest public launches are in Venice. The area is owned by LDWF and encompasses 115,000 acres.
 
For more information, contact Shane Granier at 504-284-5264.

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Richard Clifton Claims 2017 Louisiana Duck Stamp Artwork Competition

Release Date: 11/03/2016

The 2017 Louisiana Duck Stamp winning entry

Nov. 3, 2016 – Richard Clifton of Milford, Del., was selected the winner of the 2017 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The annual contest picks the artwork that will be used on what is called the Louisiana Duck Stamp.
 
It is the second time Clifton, Ducks Unlimited’s 2015 Artist of the Year, has won the competition. His 2010 entry of a hunting scene with northern pintails also captured first place. Clifton’s 2017 entry features three green winged teal in a scenic water setting.
 
Clifton has painted 44 duck stamps from various states and the 1996 Australian Duck Stamp. He also won the 2007-08 Federal Duck Stamp contest.
 
Garrett Jacobs of Orlando, Fla., who recently won the North Carolina duck stamp competition, finished second and Larry Wilburn of Dayton, Texas, was third for the second year in a row.
 
“We had 22 entries for this year’s contest, the most in 10 years,’’ said Larry Reynolds, LDWF’s Waterfowl Program Manager. “The judges commented that this year’s entries were the most difficult to judge in the first round because of the high number of quality works.’’
 
Judges for this year’s contest included Dr. Headley Adelmann, retired biology professor and artist from Hammond, Dr. Jim Bergan, Director of Freshwater and Wetland Conservation for The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Luke Laborde, instructor and researcher at LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources, Randy Caminita, professional artist from Folsom and Mark Callais, current Louisiana State Chairman of Ducks Unlimited.
 
The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands, benefitting migratory waterfowl overwintering in Louisiana. The program has generated more than $12 million for wetlands conservation in Louisiana since 1989.
 
The 2017 stamp will go on sale June 1, 2017. 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.
 
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

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LDWF and CPRA announce the reopening of Elmer’s Island Refuge

Release Date: 11/03/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) announced the completion of the Caminada Beach and Dune Restoration Project and the reopening of Elmer’s Island Refuge for October 31st. 

“Elmer’s Island has never looked better”, said LDWF Secretary, Charlie Melancon. “This is a great example of a project that is able to enhance habitat for wildlife and provide opportunities for recreational users while offering additional coastal protection to the area”.

CPRA began the restoration project on the western end of the Caminada headlands in 2012 and restored approximately 300 acres and 6 miles of beach and dune habitat. The eastern half of the project, which includes Elmer’s Island, began in 2013, and restored approximately 500 acres and 7 miles of beach and dune.

Designated as Increment 1 and Increment II, funding sources included state surplus, CIAP funds and funds resulting from the settlement of federal criminal charges against BP and Transocean, through NFWF.

In total, the two projects restored 13 miles of Louisiana’s barrier shoreline and represent one of the largest restoration projects ever constructed by the CPRA with a combined project investment of over $200 million.

“This is the largest single coastal and habitat restoration project in CPRA history,” said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry. “CPRA’s work to restore coastal beaches, dunes, and habitats along barrier islands, is vital to achieve a productive and resilient working coast, and a robust barricade to attenuate storm surge and flooding.”

Elmer’s Island is open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.  The public is reminded to pack out all trash and litter from the refuge. For more details on regulations regarding Elmer’s Island, please visit the LDWF website:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/elmers-island

 

For further information, contact Rene LeBreton at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov, 504-286-8745, or Chuck Perrodin CPRA Public Information Director at (225) 342-7615.

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