LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Announces Annual Caney Creek Reservoir Public Meeting

Release Date: 01/10/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public hearing on Caney Creek Reservoir issues, including an overview of aquatic vegetation issues and the results of recent fish population sampling.  The recent stock assessment studies on the bass and crappie populations in Caney Creek Reservoir are not complete and will be discussed in full detail at a future meeting. 

Who:       LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff
 
What:      Public meeting on Caney Creek Reservoir
 
When:     Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at 7 p.m.
 
Where:    Jimmie Davis State Park Conference Center
                1209 State Park Rd.
                Chatham, LA 71226
 
The meeting is open to the public, and all persons interested in the conservation and management of the fisheries resources and aquatic habitats in Caney Creek Reservoir are encouraged to attend.

LDWF established a comprehensive management plan for Caney Creek Reservoir in 2006; the plan includes annual public hearings to update the public concerning special projects, fisheries and aquatic vegetation management.

The current LDWF Caney Creek Reservoir Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
 
For additional information regarding the meeting, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.

Update from Interim Secretary Patrick Banks Regarding LDWF Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler

Release Date: 01/09/2017

Today at a joint press conference in Quachita Parish with Gov. John Bel Edwards, State Police Colonel Michael Edmonson and other law enforcement officials, LDWF Interim Secretary Patrick Banks provided an update on LDWF Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler.

“Everyone at our agency is praying for Senior Agent Wheeler and his family.  We are all stunned by this cowardly act and very proud of the law enforcement team bringing the suspects to justice,” said Interim LDWF Secretary Patrick Banks.

“We received some good news this morning by Agent Wheeler’s father.   He is responding well to treatment, and is able to respond to the commands of his family and hospital staff by making movements and squeezing hands."

“Our agency is strong, and is built on these brave men and women who protect us all.  The whole of our agency, brave enforcement agents, talented scientists and dedicated public servants are praying with that strength for Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler today.  We are grateful for his service."

 

“We are pleased with the progress and recovery of Senior Agent Wheeler, we will continue our work to ensure he and his family get the justice they deserve,” said LDWF Col. Joey Broussard.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules

Release Date: 01/06/2017

Jan. 6, 2017 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 hunting seasons, 2017-18 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, Experimental Dove Field Leasing Program, 2018 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2017-18 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations at its January meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.

 
The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons and provide for a public comment period.
 
Some of the proposed changes include:
 
·         Change in deer seasons in Deer Areas 4 and 10, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest. Also changing season limits in these areas from a limit of six (not to exceed three antlered or four antlerless), to a limit of three (not to exceed two antlered or two antlerless).
 
·         Change in deer seasons for Deer Area 7, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest while still maintaining the six deer season limit.
 
·         Modification to water level benchmark closure language to facilitate reopening the season at a lower level than the closure level in Deer Area 5.
 
·         Adding water level benchmark closure and reopening language for certain roads on Dewey Wills WMA.
 
·         Change in reporting time period for the validation of deer and turkey tags from seven days to 72 hours following harvest of deer or turkey.
 
·         Implementation of shot restrictions for dove hunters on WMAs and on LDWF leased dove fields, restricting shot to non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller.
 
·         Removal of restrictions on weapons that can be carried by deer hunters for personal protection during primitive seasons on private lands. Hunters must still abide by primitive weapon rules as previously defined in Louisiana hunting regulations.
 
·         Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Pomme de Terre WMA.
 
·         Addition of available days of opportunity within the Small Game Emphasis Areas on Richard K. Yancey and Sherburne WMAs.
 
·         Addition of youth squirrel season on Pomme de Terre and Grassy Lake WMAs, to be held the fourth Saturday of September for two days.
 
·         Elimination of live transport permits for feral hogs during February hog dog seasons on WMAs.
 
·         Modification of opening day of statewide turkey season from the last Saturday of March to the first Saturday of April.
 
·         Modification of teal season to change from the last three weekends in September to the last 16 days of September.
 
·         Change in daily bag limit for pintail from two to one.
 
·         Change in youth age requirements for youth waterfowl seasons, from 15 years of age and younger to 17 years of age and younger.
 
·         Elimination of Experimental Quality Deer seasons on WMAs.
 
·         Adjustments to deer seasons on Bodcau, Bayou Macon, Boeuf and Dewey W. Wills WMAs.
 
·         Addition of opportunity for youth deer and squirrel hunting on Kisatchie National Forest.
 
 
 
To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

 
Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from February through March and/or can be submitted in writing by mail to: Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m., March 5, 2017.
 
LDWF will also collect public comment at public hearings to be held Feb. 20-March 1 throughout the state. Locations and times for those meetings will be announced later this month.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359, 318-487-5885, or
ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF will close at Noon on Friday, January 6th Due to Dangerous Winter Weather Conditions

Release Date: 01/06/2017

Due to potential dangerous wintry weather conditions, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne is announcing the closure of state government offices in 44 parishes as of noon Friday.
 
Parishes included in the closure list include Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, Desoto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberville, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana and Winn.
 
For more information about the closures, visit Louisiana.gov

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Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp WMA Partially Reopened

Release Date: 01/05/2017

Jan. 5, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened Boyce Tower Road on Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area to the bridge. However, the road past the bridge remains closed due to flooding.
 
Once flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the remaining portion of the road.
 
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.
 
For more information, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest East of Mississippi River

Release Date: 01/05/2017

LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest East of Mississippi River

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close oyster harvest on all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish at one half-hour after sunset on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of oyster resources in these public oyster areas. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in these areas.

The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 

To view the latest oyster closure maps visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons

Louisiana Sets 2017 Recreational Red Snapper Season

Release Date: 01/05/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2017 recreational red snapper fishing season in state waters will begin on February 1, 2017, and remain open until further notice. The season will run seven days a week in state waters with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.
 
Last year, Louisiana anglers had 272 days of opportunity for red snapper fishing during a combined state and federal season. 
 
Recreational Offshore Landing Permit
 
The department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
 
Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need a permit as long as the charter captain has a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

Chad Courville, Bill Hogan Elected as Chair, Vice-Chair of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 01/05/2017

January 5, 2017 – Chad Courville, of Lafayette, was elected chair of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) and Bill Hogan, of Ruston, vice-chair during the Commission’s January meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge. The two Commissioners will serve in those positions through 2017.

Courville, who previously served as vice chair, is a lifelong Louisiana resident and is employed as the land manager for Miami Corporation. He has served as chairman of the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association and the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists.

Hogan is a longtime Louisiana resident and president and CEO of Ruston Bank. He was born in Nashville, Tenn., grew up in Fort Smith, Ark., and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Finance. A member of Ducks Unlimited for 26 years, Hogan has served as state chairman of DU and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

LDWF Reminds Harvesters of New Blue Crab Fishing Regulations

Release Date: 01/04/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced three new blue crab fishing regulations to take effect this year. Two changes were be implemented January 1 and will stay in effect through 2019.  An additional regulation regarding escape rings will go into effect on November 15, 2017.
 
A summary of regulation changes is as follows:
 
Regulation changes effective January 1, 2017, and to extend through 2019
 

  1. Ban on the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs

There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the restriction while held aboard an active fishing vessel.
 
An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen.  A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen.
 

  1. Seasonal closure of the commercial fishery and the use of crab traps

The commercial harvest of blue crabs and the use of all crab traps will be prohibited for a 30-day period beginning the third Monday in February. During this period, all crab traps must be removed from all state waters including the three-mile territorial seas. All remaining crab traps found during the closure will be presumed as actively fishing and considered illegal. During this closure period, LDWF will conduct derelict crab trap cleanups throughout the Louisiana coast. 
 
Regulation change effective November 15, 2017
 

  1. Changes to the number and size of escape rings required on crab traps

A minimum of three escape rings should be placed on the vertical, outside walls flush with the trap floor or baffle with at least two rings located in the upper chamber of each trap. The minimum size of rings should be 2 and 3/8 inches inside diameter. Any crab trap constructed of wire mesh 2 and 5/16 inches square or greater is exempt from escape ring requirements. 

Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 01/04/2017

Jan. 4, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding.
 
Once the flooding recedes, LDWF will inspect and repair any damage and reopen the road.
 
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.

For more information, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.

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