L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Next Episode of Alive In America’s Delta to Explore Endangered Species in the Gulf of Mexico March 18

Release Date: 03/13/2014

 

March 13, 2014 -The northern waters of the Gulf of Mexico are extraordinarily rich and diverse but some of the marine, mammals and bird species are in danger of being lost forever. The next installment of LPB’s six-part series Alive! In America’s Delta,entitled Endangered in the Gulf, focuses on endangered Gulf species, the perils, success stories and how cutting edge technology is being used to monitor and protect them.
 

 “Through the show, we hope to encourage the people of Louisiana to become educated about and aware of threats to species, success stories on species recovery and the opportunity to promote species conservation,” said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham.

One highlight includes the resurgence of the Brown Pelican in Louisiana. Widespread use of the pesticide DDT led to the extinction of the Brown Pelican in the 1960s. After the insecticide was banned in the early 1970s, Louisiana wildlife officials brought in 1,200 young pelicans from Florida and three decades later the pelicans were making a comeback. In 2009, the magnificent bird was removed from the Endangered Species List.  “At a time when so many species of wildlife are threatened, we once in a while have an opportunity to celebrate an amazing success story,” explained Barham.

The episode also touches on imperiled habitat in the Gulf and the species that rely on it. Five of the world's seven endangered sea turtle species rely on habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. Other endangered marine species like the West Indian Manatee, the Gulf Sturgeon, and Sperm and Right Whales and birds such as the Piping Plover and the Least Tern make the Gulf their home.

Five species of sea turtles who reside in the Gulf are also in danger, but the Kemp’s Ridley turtle faces particular challenges. Though an array of projects are helping with sea turtle protection, wildlife officials say the number of deaths have risen in the last four years. With 15,000 identified species in the Gulf, Wildlife and Fisheries personnel say they need the public’s help in reporting injured animals to make sure they get the life-saving treatment they need.

While there have been some success stories, the preservation and protection of the endangered species in the Gulf will always be a work in progress particularly in light of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Gulf is a resilient system, but one that needs growing attention if this vital resource for future generations is to be protected.

This program was produced for LPB by Christina Hendrick Melton. Rex Q. Fortenberry, Keith Crews, Gary Allen and Mark Carroll did the principal photography with Fortenberry editing the program. Mike Esnault composed the music.

The show premieres on Tuesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. followed by an encore showing of Delta Guardians at 8 p.m.  WLAE-TV in New Orleans will air Endangered in the Gulf on Friday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. 

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 press inquires, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Cooperators Gather for Annual Meeting

Release Date: 03/12/2014

Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Cooperators Gather for Annual Meeting

March 12, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) held the 3rd Annual Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) Safe Harbor Cooperators Meeting at the McGowan Brake Club Inc., near Bastrop, on Feb. 25.
 
Kent Anderson, president of the McGowan Brake Club Inc., hosted representatives from 13 safe harbor properties including, LDWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Alabama Natural Heritage Program.
 
Meeting participants viewed presentations on LDWF’s Deer Management Assistance Program, the status of the Louisiana pine snake listing, the West Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership, RCW and the ecosystem management at McGowan Brake Club Inc. and at Ouachita Partners ATP. A field tour was conducted on two safe harbor properties in Morehouse Parish.
 
Kent Anderson and David Cassels from BTG Pactual (representing Ouachita Partners ATP) were presented plaques by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham recognizing their efforts in co-hosting this year’s meeting.
 
LDWF received a USFWS, Section 10 permit, authorizing it to administer the RCW Safe Harbor Program in January of 2005. Multiple partners, including non-governmental organizations, private landowners, environmental consultants and state and federal agencies helped shaped the final document.
 
The RCW Safe Harbor Program is designed to encourage landowners to actively and voluntarily manage pine timberlands for the benefit of the RCW, while reducing the fear of having an endangered species on their property. Landowners agree to employ one or more of five voluntary habitat management strategies that have a net conservation benefit for the RCW. These management strategies include: forest management, hardwood midstory management, prescribed burning, RCW cavity management and RCW population management.
 
For information regarding enrolling in the RCW Safe Harbor Program, contact Eric Baka, RCW Safe Harbor Coordinator at 318-487-5885 or ebaka@wlf.la.gov.
 
*Photo caption: LDWF Secretary Robert Barham thanks co-hosts Kent Anderson and David Cassels at the 3rd Annual Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Cooperators Meeting.
 

 

Gulf Council Hosts Public Hearings on Red Snapper Allocation

Release Date: 03/11/2014

(Mar. 11, 2014) – The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council will host a public hearing in Kenner, Louisiana this Thursday, March 13, to solicit comments on Gulf red snapper allocation. The meeting will be held at LaQuinta Inn and Suites at 2610 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA at 6 p.m.

The Gulf Council is currently considering Reef Fish Amendment 28, which examines allocating red snapper resources between the commercial and recreational sectors. 

The current allocation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, which is 51% commercial and 49% recreational, was established in 1990 through Reef Fish Amendment 1. This allocation was based on the historical average of red snapper landings by sector from 1979 through 1987. The red snapper stock in the Gulf of Mexico has been under a rebuilding plan since 1997, and in 2012, NOAA Fisheries declared that overfishing of the stock had ended.

The Gulf Council recently held listening sessions throughout the Gulf coast regarding recreational fisheries management.   Louisiana anglers showed up in greater numbers than all other Gulf States combined and overwhelmingly supported the Gulf Council revisiting outdated red snapper reallocations.

The Gulf Council is considering seven allocation alternatives. Their preferred alternative (#5) states that if the red snapper quota is less than or equal to 9.12 million pounds, the commercial and recreational red snapper allocations of 51% and 49% respectively, will be maintained. If the red snapper quota is greater than 9.12 million pounds, then 75% of the amount in excess of 9.12 million pounds will be allocated to the recreational sector and 25% to the commercial sector.

Comments on Reef Fish Amendment 28 will also be accepted online at http://bit.ly/MS14U0.

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 press inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

108 Fish Tagged in LASS Redfish Opener

Release Date: 03/11/2014

1st place. Sidney Cantelli and Bubby Lamy
1st place youth.Noah Crane

 

Slidell Partners Bubby Lamy and Sidney Cantelli Take Home Top Prize
 
(Mar. 11, 2014) - The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament opened its 2014 season on Saturday at Boudreaux's Marina in Cocodrie, La.  Participating anglers brought in 108 fish to be tagged and released as part of the Department's flourishing Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program.
 
Taking home over $4,000 and a first place finish were Bubby Lamy and Sidney Cantelli of Slidell, La., with a two-fish total weight of 16.78 pounds.
 
"We had a great time fishing the opening tournament," said Lamy.  "We had our first big fish within the first 30 minutes of our first stop.  We had to grind it out to get our second big fish, taking up most of the morning."
 
Five young anglers participated on Saturday in the youth-exclusive division, with one younger angler, Noah Crane, traveling all the way from Sandwich, Ill. to compete.  He hooked a 7.75 pound redfish, earning him the title of Top Finishing Youth and loads of bragging rights and stories to bring home to Illinois.  
 
Lamy and Cantelli are no strangers to the series, but this is their first time to finish at the top of the ranks.  Of the twenty-eight participating teams, top finishers included: Barnie and Steve White, second place; Jimmy Matherne and Kevin Davis, third place; Hugh and Zack LeBeouf, fourth place; Chad and Kevin Harvey, fifth place; Paul Smith and Kyle Mitternight, sixth place.  Joel Porretto and Nathan Lepre took home the smallest fish prize.
 
Sponsors for the 2014 series include Shimano, King Cooker, SeaTow New Orleans, Bomber Baits, Cabela's, Standard Mapping, Frabill, Work Sharp Knife Sharpeners and Coors Light.  A special thanks to Front 2 Back Boat Service for providing a meal to all of the competitiors.  
 
The LASS is hosted annually by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the tournament's non-profit partner.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.
 
Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for the 2014 schedule, registration and additional details.  The tournament's next stop is Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles on April 5.
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.
 

 

L.D.W.F. Announces 2014 Feral Hog Trapping Lottery on Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 03/10/2014

March 10, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for an experimental spring/summer feral hog trapping season on select wildlife management areas around the state.
 
The experimental season will run from May 1 to Aug. 31, 2014, on the following WMAs: Boeuf, Clear Creek, Jackson-Bienville, Manchac, Pearl River, Richard K. Yancey, Sherburne, Thistlethwaite and West Bay.
 
Applications will be accepted through April 4, 2014 and forms can be obtained via the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts . For those without web access, call 225-765-2346 to obtain an application. A non-refundable $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application.
 
Lottery rules:

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Each selected applicant will be assigned to a specific unit on the WMA for the entire trapping period.
  • Traps will be corral type traps only. No snares will be allowed.
  • No live transport will be allowed.
  • Access allowances and restrictions will vary by area and by unit assigned, and will be specified on a permit issued to selected applicants.
  • Each selected applicant must attend a mandatory class prior to any activity on the WMA. This class will be scheduled by LDWF prior to the WMA feral hog trapping season and the selected applicants will be notified.
  • Selected applicant must possess a basic hunting license and WMA permit to participate.

The purpose of the experimental season is to reduce the feral hog numbers on the WMAs selected and subsequently reduce habitat destruction. Damage to wildlife management areas and private property in recent years has increased as the feral hog population in Louisiana has increased. Hog harvest by hunters on WMAs during fall-winter hunting seasons has not been successful in keeping hog populations under control.
 
To view a complete list of state WMAs, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma .
 
For more information: contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

 

Reward Increased to $20,000 for Information on Whooping Cranes Shot in Jefferson Davis Parish

Release Date: 03/10/2014

March 10, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the reward has been increased to $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the two whooping cranes found in Jefferson Davis Parish on Feb. 7.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program.

To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

Organizations contributing to the reward fund include the Humane Society of the U.S., Dr. Ben Burton, the Louisiana Operation Game Thief Program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Sara Simmonds, the Animal Welfare Institute, Operation Migration, Lake Charles Area Sportsmen, the International Crane Foundation, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Audubon Nature Institute, Zoo New England, King White, Lowry Park Zoo, Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, San Antonio Zoo, Joe Brooks and anonymous donors.

The whooping cranes were found near the corner of Compton Road and Radio Tower Road just north of Roanoke, about five miles north of Interstate 10. One bird was already dead when found and the second crane was transported to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, operated on and subsequently had to be euthanized when it failed to respond to recovery efforts.

LDWF has been working to restore a wild whooping crane population in Louisiana. Fifty juvenile cranes, brought to Louisiana in four separate cohort groups, have been released at LDWF’s White Lake property near Gueydan since 2011. Prior to this incident, 33 of those birds were alive and well on the landscape in central and southwest Louisiana.  Some have been lost to predators, some to naturally occurring health problems, and five in total have been confirmed as killed or wounded by firearms.

To learn more about LDWF’s whooping crane re-population project, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up Removes More Than 1,000 Abandoned Crab Traps from Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 03/10/2014

(March 10, 2014)  On February 15th more than 100 volunteers and 16 boats gathered at Toby Voisin’s oyster dock on Bayou Dularge for the annual Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo.   The volunteers, LDWF staff, and members of the commercial fishing industry assisted in retriveing more than 1,000 abandoned crab traps.

LDWF initiated the volunteer-based Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program in 2004 to address removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps.  The program is funded in part by the sale of Louisiana commercial crab fishing licenses. Since the program began volunteers have assisted in  removing more than 24,000 traps. Removal of these traps is imperative since they increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards, and reduce visual appeal of the environment. 

Volunteers received free hats, t-shirts, and lunch along with a number of door prizes provided by generous supporters.  A special congratulations to Marty Authement of Dularge and Eric Hanson of Port Sulphur, who won fabulous prizes for finding the famed “golden crabs” among the derelict traps.

LDWF would like to thank the following organizations for their generous donations and contributions for the event and their commitment to conserve Louisiana’s marine resources; Audubon Nature Institute; Coastal Conservation Association-Louisiana; Home Depot; Raising Canes; Songy’s Sporting Goods; and Walmart.  Also, a special thanks to student volunteers from Louisiana State University and Nicholls State University; Drs. Quenton Fontenot and Allyse Ferrara of NSU; Joe Malbrough with LUMCON; and Louisiana Sea Grant.

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.

Media inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click  here.

 

Oyster Transplant Permits Available

Release Date: 03/10/2014

(March 10)— Beginning next month, Louisiana oyster harvesters will have a two-week opportunity to move oysters from the public oyster seed grounds located southwest of Point Au Fer and the South Point area and transplant them to their private leases for later harvest. This is located in Oyster Harvest Areas 24 and 25.

This oyster transplant program, which will run from April 1 to April 14, 2014, is for the purposes of moving live oysters from the restricted areas of the public seed grounds to private oyster leases. It is a joint initiative of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The two state agencies allow such transplants on a permit-only basis. Permit applications will be accepted from March 7 to March 14, 2014 at DHH’s Baton Rouge headquarters, located at 628 N. 4th Street.

The oysters that are transplanted must remain in approved waters for a minimum of 15 days. In addition, leases on which shellfish have been transplanted may not be utilized for direct market harvesting during this period. Shellfish taken for transplanting purposes shall not be laid down within 500 feet of any adjoining lease where shellfish may be taken for sale as food during the active period of the transplant.

The transplant permit fee is $100 and a performance bond of $5,000 must accompany the transplant application. Oyster fishermen who are granted permits will be allowed to transplant between April 1, 2014 and April 14, 2014 only.

Each transplant vessel must be under the direct supervision of a commissioned officer. All costs associated with the commissioned officer are the responsibility of the person securing the permit. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Oyster fishermen who receive permits will be allowed to transplant oysters taken from the public oyster seed grounds southwest of Point Au Fer and the South Point area to only two leases in an approved bedding area, each pre-approved by DHH. A map detailing the area of the public oyster seed grounds available for transplanting activities can be found here.  A map identifying the lease where the transplanted oysters will be bedded must accompany each permit application.
 
Those interested in applying for a transplant permit should contact Gordon LeBlanc with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Molluscan Shellfish Program at (225) 342-7539 or (225) 342-7540. Applications for transplant permits may be obtained between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 628 N. 4th Street Baton Rouge, LA, 70821.

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.

Media inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click  here.

 

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Commission Approves Revisions to Notices of Intent for Upcoming Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 03/07/2014

March 7, 2014 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) today adopted amended notices of intent for the upcoming hunting seasons based on recommendations by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

If approved, beginning with the 2014-2015 small game season, hunters would be allowed a three-day possession limit for rabbit, squirrel and quail. The daily harvest limit would remain eight for rabbits and squirrels, and 10 daily for quail.

In additional action taken, the Commission amended the 2014-2015 deer season dates for Area 5 to close the still hunt season on the second Sunday in January, instead of the fourth Sunday in December. The still hunt season would remain “bucks only” unless “either sex” season is in progress.

To view the full, amended notice of intent, visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items . Public comment will be accepted at the LWFC monthly meetings through April 3. Comments will also be accepted by mail sent to Steve Smith, Wildlife Division, Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 9800, Baton Rouge, LA, 70898-9000 or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

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.

For more information, contact Steve Smith @ 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.  

 

 

 

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Scheduled for March 11, 2014

Release Date: 03/07/2014

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.  The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
     
  2. Approval of Minutes of Oct. 29, 2013
     
  3. Welcome and Opening Comments
     
  4. Office of Fisheries Report: Red Snapper Management
     
  5. Enforcement Division Report
     
  6. Office of Management and Finance: Annual Report
     
  7. Pre-Session Legislative Update
     
  8. Set Next Meeting Date
     
  9. Receive Public Comments
     
  10. Adjournment

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.
 
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.
 
 
 

 

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