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LDWF News Release

LDWF to Host WETSHOP 2016 for Teachers July 10-15 at Grand Isle Research Lab

Release Date: 04/25/2016

April 25, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold WETSHOP 2016, a coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers, July 10-15 at the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab.
 
The focus of this six-day workshop will be to provide teachers with an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana. Participating teachers will accrue 55 hours of instruction covering a wide variety of topics, including wetland ecology, fisheries management and coastal restoration. Teachers will also spend a portion of each day in the field learning about maritime forests, barrier island beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats and marine organisms. This year, participants will visit one of the largest coastal restoration projects in the world.
 
All participating teachers will receive Grade Level Expectation (GLE) correlated wetland lessons and many other educational resources from numerous sponsoring agencies and organizations. Lodging and meals are provided once participants reach the workshop site. Upon completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $250 stipend.  An additional stipend is available during the Academic Year (AY) upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.
 
WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF with grant funding provided by the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  In addition to this funding, WETSHOP is a collaborative effort with partners that provide experts in the field for presentations and educational materials.  These agencies and organizations include:  BTNEP, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Coastal Planning Protection and Restoration Act and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
 
Teachers interested in WETSHOP 2016 can contact LDWF Biologist Supervisor Angela Capello at 318-623-4661 or acapello@wlf.la.gov.

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Four Louisiana Schools Honored As Earth Day-Green Ribbon Schools by U.S. Department of Education

Release Date: 04/22/2016

April 22, 2016 – Four Louisiana schools have been named Earth Day-Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, including Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School in Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
 
The schools were nominated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Education.
 
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and Managing Director of the White House Council of Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss made the announcement in Washington on Friday (April 22).
 
Across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts and 11 postsecondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education.
 
“I congratulate these schools, districts and postsecondary institutions for their commitment to sustainable facilities, health, and classroom practices,” King said. “The healthiest, most inspiring school facilities can and should be another tool to level the playing field, particularly for underserved students. These honorees are 21st century learning environments that encourage every student and teacher to perform at his or her best.”
 
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The postsecondary honorees include two community colleges and one work-college.
 
"Baton Rouge High Magnet High School is honored to be selected as a 2016 U. S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School,'' Principal Nanette McCann said. "Our entire faculty, staff, student body, administration and parents played a large part in this effort, but our environmental science teacher, Josetta LeBoeuf, made this happen through her dedication and hard work.  We want to give a special thanks to Aramark and Sandra Lizano for their help in the project." 
 
"We are honored that the U.S. Department of Education chose UL Lafayette as one of 11 universities to be named a Green Ribbon School,'' University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Joseph Savoie said. "From our founding president planting live oaks to all that we do today in the classroom, labs, research, community service and operational functions, the University remains committed to environmental sustainability and innovation.''
 
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission’s Green Schools Program offers educational and funding opportunities to help reduce schools’ environmental impact and health disparities that can provoke achievement gaps. It also engages students in hands-on learning. Instruction and activities complement state curriculum with a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) subjects while teaching civic skills and opening doors to green career pathways.
 
Louisiana’s nominations were submitted by Brian Gautreau, Green Schools Coordinator at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He can be reached at 225-765-2800 or bgautreau@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF’s License to Win! Sweepstakes Boat Winner to Soon Be Announced

Release Date: 04/18/2016

The end is in sight for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ License to Win! Sweepstakes, which means one lucky recreational angler will soon take home a brand new boat and trailer.
 
As part of the first annual License to Win! promotion, LDWF, in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, awards monthly prizes to winners selected from holders of 2015-16 recreational saltwater fishing licenses.  Donated prizes include a YETI Tundra 45 ice chest, Shimano Curado G-Loomis Combo or gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Texaco and Whole Foods Market.
 
Monthly winners drawn on April 1 include Patrick Baquet, Mark Chaney, Patrick Cortez, Mark Hornsby, Phillip Parker, Sherry Harris, Jacob Hoffman and Duy Nuguyen.
 
The department will continue to select five monthly winners through May, and in June one lucky angler will take home the grand prize, a 22 foot bay boat, trailer and motor donated by Venice Marina, Mercury Outboards and Mike Gerald’s Trailer Depot.
 
The License to Win! sweepstakes encourages anglers to provide accurate contact information to participate in LA Creel. LA Creel is the data-gathering survey that allows LDWF biologists to manage our fisheries at localized levels across the state. Accurate angler contact information is critical to performing science-based fishing effort surveys.  These surveys assist with successful management of fishery resources. The success of LA Creel will not only allow LDWF to better manage fisheries, but will ultimately maximize the amount of fishing opportunities for Louisiana anglers. 
 
Visit your nearest license vendor or go online (www.wildlifelicense.com) to purchase your recreational saltwater license to be eligible for next month’s drawing.
 
Rules, photos and additional information can be found at http://www.fishla.org/license-win-sweepstakes/

LDWF Reopens Hunt Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 04/18/2016

April 18, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has reopened Hunt Road on the Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
 
Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road remain closed due to flooding. Once flood waters recede, damage will be assessed to determine repairs needed before the roads can be reopened for safe travel.
  
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .

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Portions of Maurepas Swamp, Joyce Wildlife Management Areas Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 04/18/2016

April 18, 2016 – Strong easterly wind and high tides have flooded parts of the Maurepas Swamp and Joyce Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), resulting in closures in some portions of the WMAs.
 
Boyce Tower Road past the bridge and the nature trail off Old Hwy. 51 at the southeast end of Maurepas Swamp WMA have been closed. The Swamp Walk at Joyce WMA also has been closed due to flooding.
 
Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the closed areas.
 
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 is a 27,487 acre tract located in southern Tangipahoa Parish five miles south of Hammond, La. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774.
 
For more information on both WMAs, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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LDWF Reopens Bayou Macon and Big Lake Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 04/15/2016

April 15, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened Bayou Macon and Big Lake Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) except for Mill Road, the Hog Lake (year-round) Trail, and Little Lake (year-round) Trail at Big Lake WMA.
 
Those roads will remain closed until flood water subsides, the roads are inspected and deemed safe for travel. Both management areas were closed March 17 due to severe flooding.
 
Bayou Macon WMA consists of 6,919 acres located in East Carroll Parish, approximately four miles east of Oak Grove and eight miles northwest of Lake Providence. For more information on Bayou Macon WMA go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/32643.
 
Big Lake WMA consists of 19,231 acres located in Franklin, Tensas and Madison parishes, 12 miles east of Gilbert. For more information on Big Lake WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/32646.
 
For further information, contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF to Host Six NASP Basic Archery Instructor Certification Courses

Release Date: 04/14/2016

April 14, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host six National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) basic instructor courses, beginning April 29.
 
Teachers who take the eight-hour course, which will run from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., will be certified in the NASP/Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) program. The 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 training material and equipment will be provided and there is no cost for the course for teachers. There are a limited number of spots available in each course and they will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
 
The upcoming courses include:
 
April 29 at Ben’s Ford Christian School in Bogalusa, La.;
 
May 7 at St. Frances Cabrini School in Alexandria, La.;
 
May 11 at Jena Junior High in Jena, La.;
 
May 26 at Woodland Park Elementary in Hammond, La.;
 
June 10 and July 29 at Haughton Middle School in Haughton, La.;
 
To register for the class, go to http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA
 
For more information, contact ALAS state coordinator Robert Stroede at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov.

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Registration for Second Spring Women's Fish Tagging Workshop Now Open

Release Date: 04/14/2016

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, CCA Louisiana and the National Wildlife Federation are teaming up to present a second, free Women’s Fish Tagging Workshop on Saturday, April 21 at Cabela’s in Gonzales.
 
Staff biologists will provide a host of educational opportunities including fish identification, tagging methods, best handling practices, equipment preparation, basic fishing skills as well as how to catch, clean and prepare fish. Select participants will also have the opportunity to apply their newfound skills during an overnight fishing trip in Grand Isle under the direction of LDWF biologists. 
 
Those interested can register here for the workshop, which is limited to the first 30 registrants. Registration will end on Wednesday, May 11, and those selected will be notified via email or phone by Friday, May 13.
 
The Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, implemented by LDWF in conjunction with CCA Louisiana, aims to improve understanding of marine fish movements, habitat preferences and population size.  The program provides interested volunteer anglers with free, saltwater fish tagging kits and focuses on several popular game fish species including redfish, speckled trout, red snapper and yellowfin tuna.  Recapture reports are sent to volunteer taggers, providing details on the distance traveled and growth of the fish.

 

Shrimp Season to Open in Portion of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters on April 22

Release Date: 04/14/2016

Shrimp Season to Open in Portion of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters on April 22

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will open a portion of state outside waters to shrimping at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 22.
 
This area lies seaward of Terrebonne Parish and extends a distance of three nautical miles seaward from the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, beginning at the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude and extending westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy line.
 
Trawl samples taken by LDWF biologists indicate white shrimp in the area have reached marketable sizes, and the closure is no longer necessary.
 
Significant numbers of smaller white shrimp remain in State Outside Waters west of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude, and these waters will remain closed to shrimping until further notice.
 
The opening dates for the 2016 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their May 5 meeting.
 
For additional season information, click here.
 
For more information, contact Jeff Marx (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov.

Second Louisiana Whooping Crane Chick Hatch Recorded on Wednesday

Release Date: 04/14/2016

An adult whooping crane attends to its two newly hatched chicks.
A male and female whooping crane nest along with their newly hatched chick.

April 14, 2016 – For the second time this week, a Whooping Crane chick hatched in Jefferson Davis Parish to the same nesting pair that brought forth the first chick hatched in Louisiana in the wild in more than 75 years.
 
The second chick hatched Wednesday (April 13), two days after the first Monday (April 11).
 
The hatchings, the first seen in Louisiana’s wild since 1939, represents another step forward in the program established in February of 2011 when the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reintroduced Whooping Cranes back into the state at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) in Vermilion Parish.
  
LDWF has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Service (USGS) and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state. Project funding comes from LDWF Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge funds, State Wildlife Grants Program, and private/corporate donations, which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Chevron has been a major corporate donor in the program. 

The new parents paired earlier this winter and nested and produced eggs for the first time in mid-March. The female is 4 years old and the male just 3 years old.
 
Once abundant in Louisiana in the 1800s, the Whooping Cranes dwindled to two in 1945 and had disappeared by 1950 in the state.
  
 Whooping Cranes in Louisiana are designated as a non-essential, experimental population (NEP) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation were developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area. The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of Whooping Cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.
 
The WLWCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds before their release into the wild. The cranes which make up the Louisiana population were raised at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation.
 
 Anyone encountering a Whooping Crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report their sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).
 
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 harassment or shooting of 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. 
 
Additional information on LDWF’s Whooping Crane project is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or on the LDWF Whooping Crane Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lawhoopingcranes/?fref=ts). For more information, contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, ext. 4.

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