LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon chats with P.J. Marshall, co-founder and executive director of Restore the Earth Foundation.
Amended - Melancon pledges LDWF support to “Restore the Earth’s” restoration effort
Oct. 28, 2016 - “You have our total support,” Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon pledged Thursday to a national organization attempting to restore some 1 million acres of land along the Lower Mississippi River Basin, or as Restore the Earth Foundations calls it, “North America’s Amazon”.
Melancon was a guest speaker at the Restore the Earth Foundation’s kick off activity – the planting of trees at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish. Volunteers from several public and private businesses and groups participated in the effort that will eventually reach 4,000 acres planted along the coast.
“This is a great public and private partnership for a great cause,” Melancon said. He told REF officials that Louisiana will “work alongside you as long as it takes to get this done.”
The tree-planting ceremony kicked off Restore the Earth’s long range plan to restore Mississippi River Basin land which it calls North America’s Amazon. The commitment in Louisiana is part of a larger 15-year commitment to restore 1 million acres in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.
P.J. Marshall, co-founder and executive director of REF said, "To address the significant coastal wetland loss here in Louisiana, and the bigger issues of environmental degredation in the United States and around the world, we need big picture goals and diverse, collaborative partnerships which bring together visionaries from government, non-profits and companies to restore the Earth! Its projects like these where collaboration becomes impact.”
REF says if its goals are met, the result will be: the reduction of America’s carbon foot print by 2 percent, the reversal of the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico by 12 percent; improved water quality; mitigation contaminates reaching the Gulf of Mexico; and the creation of jobs.
REFs has created partnerships with the Entergy, Shell Oil, CITGO, VMware, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture, the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and others.
Dozens of volunteers from REF’s partners participated in Thursday’s tree planting Groundbreaking ceremony, planting over 600 trees.
REF, based in Ithaca, NY, with offices in New Orleans, was founded in 2010 and set its mission to restore the Earth’s essential forest ecosystems.
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. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
Submitted by rlebreton on Mon, 10/31/2016 - 8:18am
AMENDED - Restore the Earth Foundation donates “Marsh Master” to LDWF
Restore the Earth Foundation, donated the “Marsh Master”, built by Baton Rouge-based Coast Machinery, LLC, on Thursday to LDWF
Oct. 28, 2016 - Restore the Earth Foundation announced its gift of a Marsh Master to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at its groundbreaking at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area on October 27th.
The Marsh Master, built by Coast Machinery LLC of Baton Rouge, will support the 4,000-acre restoration at Pointe-aux-Chenes and will be used by LDWF for any and all land management needs in the future.
Restore the Earth Foundation donated Marsh Master to LDWF as a gift to honor the 6-year partnership between REF and LDWF.
According to REF, the longstanding partnership has made many large scale coastal restoration projects possible in the past 6 years including projects at Pass a Loutre, Raccoon Island and Pointe-aux-Chenes
The Marsh Master, with its multiple attachments, is valued at about $150,000. It will be used by LDWF to control vegetation in the areas where the trees, up to 4,000, will eventually be planted along the state’s Mississippi River Basin.
Another Marsh Master was used to clear away vegetation for the Oct. 27 tree planting.
Shane Granier, a biologist manager with LDWF, said the Marsh Master will be used on a regular basis to clear away vegetation that may crowd out and eventually kill the newly planted trees. Additionally, he said, LDWF will be able to use the March Master for many of its projects in water-soaked areas.
“There will be a multitude of projects that we will be able to use this machine to take care of,” Grainier said. For instance, he said, “it can be used to maintain some of the swampier areas for deer hunters.”
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.
Submitted by rlebreton on Mon, 10/31/2016 - 8:17am
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: Thursday, November 3, 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.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 10:00 a.m. Terrebonne Council Meeting Room 8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360
I. Roll call and introduction of guests
II. Approval of July 13, 2016 meeting minutes and November 2, 2016 agenda
III. Treasury Report
A. Budget report- LDWF
IV. Old Business
A. Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Update- Myron Fischer
B. Update on the Status of Shrimp Permits- Myron Fischer
V. New Business
A. Update on the Inside/ Outside Line- Jeff Marx
B. Sustainability Update- Fisheries Improvement Plan- Damon Morris
C. Discussion of Experimental Gear Program- Cole Garrett
D. Update on the Refrigeration Grant Program- Richard Williams
E. To Consider Funding the Seafood Promotions and Marketing Board-
F. Discussion of Ethics Procedures, Reports, and Violations- George Barisich
G. Discussion of Trawl Board Gear Regulations- Acy Cooper
H. Discussion of Shrimp/ Crab Task Force Appointees- Acy Cooper
I. Discussion of the LA Authentic Wild Seafood Program- Acy Cooper
J. Discussion of Seafood Label of Origin- Acy Cooper
VI. Public Comment
VII. Set Quarterly Meetings
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:
Oct. 27, 2016 – A Southeast Texas man was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation and ordered to pay nearly $26,000 in restitution for killing two endangered whooping cranes in January from an experimental Louisiana population.
Trey Joseph Frederick, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of taking a whooping crane under the Endangered Species Act in May, was sentenced by a federal magistrate in Beaumont, Texas. In addition to probation and the fine, Frederick, 19, is prohibited from possessing firearms and cannot hunt or fish in the United States for five years. He must also perform 200 hours of community service.
Frederick faced a fine of up to $50,000 and as much as a year in jail.
The cranes were found dead in Jefferson County, located in southeast Texas, on Jan. 11. These birds, a male and female, were almost two years old and were part of a group introduced in Louisiana in an effort to establish a self-sustaining population.
Although originally released in Louisiana at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) near Gueydan, the two whooping cranes, along with two other birds from Louisiana, had been in southeast Texas for more than eight months.
“We’re pleased with the sentence and appreciate how seriously the judge and prosecutor took this case,’’ said LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon. “We are grateful to the state and federal law enforcement agents who worked this case and to everyone else who assisted to ensure that justice was served. We hope this sentence sends a strong message that this type of crime won’t be tolerated. We also hope, in this tragedy, that we can further educate the public about whooping cranes.’’
The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by Texas and Louisiana state law.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is working cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state.
“It was incredibly frustrating to lose two birds in this senseless act,’’ said LDWF whooping crane biologist Sara Zimorski. “But it has not, in any way, discouraged our efforts in bringing back whooping cranes to Louisiana. We continue to move forward with our work and are seeing positive gains.’’
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.
Donations in support of the cranes can be made through the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation by contacting Kell McInnis at 225-765-5100, email@example.com, or visiting the Foundation’s website directly at http://lawff.org/index.html. Donations can also be mailed directly to the Foundation at P.O. Box 80378 Baton Rouge, LA 70898-0378.
For more information on the Louisiana Whooping Crane Project, contact Eva Szyszkoski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-477-0270.
Oct. 27, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has temporarily closed East Road to all traffic at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Replacement of the U.S. Highway 80 bridge across the LaFourche Canal has forced the closure. Construction activities will temporarily block vehicular, as well as ATV/UTV, access to the entrance of East Road. When the entrance is clear of equipment and construction activities, the road will be reopened.
Russell Sage WMA is located in Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, and Caldwell parishes and is approximately seven miles east of Monroe and ten miles west of Rayville.
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777 or contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or email@example.com.
Oct. 25, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the Point Coupee Parish Police Jury has begun work to extend the False River public boat launch adjacent to Morel’s Restaurant in New Roads. The project is designed to improve boating access during the current drawdown.
The drawdown, which began in September, will continue through Jan. 15, 2017. The drawdown structure will then be closed and the lake allowed to return to its normal level.
“The drawdown is a key component to the LDWF False River Restoration Plan,’’ LDWF Inland Fisheries Program Manager Ricky Moses said.
The drawdown is recommended as a management tool to improve water quality, decrease sedimentation and improve sportfish habitat.
The lake is 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 and boat launch extension, contact Brian Heimann, LDWF Biologist Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 765-2337.
Oct. 25, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold three National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) basic archery instructor courses Nov. 5, Nov. 10 and Nov. 12. The courses will be held in New Iberia (Nov. 5), Oak Grove (Nov. 10) and Elmer (Nov. 12).
All three courses will run from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The courses are as follows:
Nov. 5 at Belle Place Middle School in New Iberia;
Nov. 10 at West Carroll Parish Media Center in Oak Grove;
Nov. 12 at Oak Hill Elementary in Elmer.
This eight-hour course will provide certification to educators who want to bring the NASP/Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) curriculum to their schools. The NASP/ALAS program introduces students in grades 3-12 to international target style archery as part of their in-school curriculum and is available to all schools in Louisiana. All professional educators are welcome to attend.
All training materials and equipment is provided and there is no cost for the course for professional educators. There are a limited number of spots available in each course and they will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. You may register for the class online at http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA
For more information, contact LDWF ALAS Coordinator Robert Stroede at email@example.com or 318-484-2276.
Oct. 24, 2016 – New zone boundaries for Louisiana duck hunters will go into effect beginning Nov. 5 as the season opens with youth waterfowl weekend in the coastal and west zones. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted the new boundaries in November of 2015 for the 2016-17 hunting season.
“We changed from two zones to three in 2012,” said Larry Reynolds, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Waterfowl Program Manager. “Now the boundaries of those zones are being modified to better fit the desires of rice growers and hunters in particular parts of the state.”
Zones can be changed every five years. These new boundaries will be in effect for the 2016-17 through the 2020-21 waterfowl hunting seasons.
The accompanying map depicts the new zone boundaries with colored areas where hunters are now in different zones than in the previous four years.
Specifically, the new boundaries are:
East Zone: The area of the state between the Mississippi state line and the line going south on Hwy. 79 from the Arkansas border to Homer; then south on Hwy. 9 to Arcadia; then south on Hwy. 147 to Hodge; then south on Hwy. 167 to Turkey Creek; then south on Hwy. 13 to Eunice; then west on Hwy.190 to Kinder; then south on Hwy. 165 to Iowa; then west on I-10 to its junction with Hwy. 14 at Lake Charles; then south and east on Hwy. 14 to its junction with Hwy. 90 in New Iberia; then east on Hwy. 90 to the Mississippi state line.
West Zone: The area between the Texas state line and the line going east on I-10 from the Texas border to Hwy. 165 at Iowa; then north on Hwy. 165 to Kinder; then east on Hwy. 190 to Eunice; then north on Hwy. 13 to Turkey Creek; then north on Hwy. 167 to Hodge; then north on Hwy. 147 to Arcadia; then north on Hwy. 9 to Homer; then north on Hwy. 79 to the Arkansas border.
Coastal Zone: Remainder of state.
The major changes include moving a large amount of rice-growing acreage in Evangeline, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, and Vermilion parishes from the coastal to the east zone; and moving a portion of northwest Louisiana from the east zone to the west zone. Hunters should review the new map to verify their waterfowl hunting zone and then check associated hunting season dates.
Oct. 21, 2016 – New regulations requiring permits for the night-time take of outlaw quadrupeds, nutria and beaver on private property have gone into effect, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced Thursday (Oct. 20).
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent for the regulations with amendments during its June meeting. To view the regulations, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
The permit will be valid for a period of one year from July 1-June 30 the following year, however, they may only be used from Sept. 1 of each year through the final day of February of the next year. Permits may be renewed annually without additional application.
Permittees may take outlaw quadrupeds, nutria or beaver during nighttime hours on private property from one-half hour after official sunset until one-half hour before official sunrise.
The proposed changes are designed to streamline the application process and alleviate concerns relative to depredation and property damage by outlaw quadrupeds, nutria and beaver.