L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

LDWF Family Fish Fest Brings Summer Fun to Coastal Louisiana

Release Date: 07/03/2014

(July 3, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host its fifth installment of Family Fish Fest on Saturday, July 12 at Elmer’s Island in Grand Isle.  This is the Department’s last saltwater event in 2014, so don’t miss the opportunity to join anglers of all experience levels for a day of education and fun.

Join your family in learning fishing basics and participate in activities that will increase your fishing knowledge and skill.  Competitive categories are available for nearly every legal species, and every participant is eligible for a myriad of raffle prizes compliments of event sponsors.

Divisions include Little Angler (ages 10 and under), Junior Angler (ages 11-16) and Team (adult and youth).  A list of categories for each division can be viewed on the event website www.wlf.la.gov/familyfishfest.  Participants are asked to bring their own equipment, bait and live fish transport containers.  Live redfish and speckled trout will be tagged and released by LDWF biologists in conjunction with the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program.

Activities include a mobile touch tank, fish identification, knot tying lessons, fish ageing, fish tagging, cast net lessons, seining, minnow races, arts and crafts and casting tutorials.  Robbie the Redfish, LDWF’s newest mascot, will be onsite for photo opportunities and to greet guests.

Entry for the event is $10 and includes a t-shirt and lunch.  The first 50 youth registrants will receive a complimentary rod and reel, courtesy of Pure Fishing, and the first 100 youth registrants will receive a fishing goodie bag.  Every registrant will automatically be entered into numerous prize drawings.  Pre-registration is available online at www.wlf.la.gov/familyfishfest.
 
Saturday’s sponsors include CCA Louisiana, Coca Cola Bottling Company Baton Rouge, Pure Fishing, New Orleans Zephyrs, Coon Neck Wildlife and Art Gallery, Dufrene Building Materials, Faux Pas Prints, Whole Foods, Home Depot, Grand Isle Development Community Team, Frank’s Supermarket, Marsh and Bayou Outfitters, Friends of Grand Isle and Emprint Moran Printing.

The LDWF Family Fish Fest is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  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.
 
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information on Family Fish Fest, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489. 
 

LDWF Initiates Drawdown on Clear-Smithport Lake

Release Date: 07/02/2014

(July 2, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries initiated a drawdown on Clear-Smithport Lake in Desoto Parish on July 1 to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.
 
Biologists will also use this low water period to assess the lake bottom and make restoration recommendations regarding fisheries habitat.
 
A gate closure date will be determined by LDWF staff following vegetation surveys and habitat assessments. 
 
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, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwfffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Yeldell, LDWF Biologist Manager, at ryeldell@wlf.la.gov or (337) 286-5940.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boat Incident on Amite River

Release Date: 07/02/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal boating incident on the Amite River in Livingston Parish on July 1.

LDWF agents were notified about a single vessel incident around 6:30 p.m. involving a husband and wife of Livingston Parish.

It is believed at this time that the 17 foot surface drive vessel operated by Richard Ledoux, 58, hit a tree near the bank in the Killian area near Pete’s Landing.  The collision with the tree resulted in the death of Deborah Ledoux, 59, and injuries for Richard.

Richard was airlifted to the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge for treatment.  It is not suspected that his injuries are life threatening at this time.

Deborah's body was turned over to the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.  An autopsy will be performed to determine a cause of death.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

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

Veteran Team wins LASS Tournament in Delacroix

Release Date: 07/01/2014

Veteran Team wins LASS Tournament in Delacroix

June 30, 2014 – In its fourth year, the Louisiana Saltwater Series continues to attract anglers from across the state with an average payout of more than $10,000 per venue.  This past Saturday, 86 redfish were tagged and released at the LASS Tournament in Delacroix.

 
Veteran tournament anglers, Josh Hall and Mitchell Chevalier (both from Metairie)  won their first LASS tournament with a two-fish total weight of 15.61 pounds, earning over $4000 in cash.
 
Top finishers included: Brandon Treadaway and Kevin Bergeron, second place; Barnie White and Steve White, third place; Chris Kennedy and Steven Hooter, fourth place. 

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.
 
Please visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for the remainder of the 2014 schedule, complete results, and a full list of sponsors.  
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit www.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.

AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 06/30/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of June 5, 2014

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement Reports June 2014

5.  To Consider a Resolution  to establish certain acreage as a Wildlife Management Area and include the acreage in the Peason Ridge WMA

6.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to promulgate a rule and governing the taking of feral hogs using a helicopter

7.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to amend the rules and regulations governing the possession of potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats, and non-human primates

8.  To Hear a Report from Ducks Unlimited Canada on the accomplishments of the 2014 Breeding Waterfowl Statutory-Dedicated Funding

9.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for Early Migratory Game Birds (Dove, Teal, Woodcock, Rail, and Gallinule) Hunting Seasons

10.  To Hear a Report on the Consideration of having Regular Duck Season Dates

11.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Establish the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program to increase and elevate professionalism in the Commercial Crab Industry

12.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Establish a rule to change the renewal date for participants in the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program

13.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to remove Creel Limits and closed seasons from Red Hind Grouper and Rock Hind Grouper

14.  To Hear a Presentation -  Review of the 2014 Legislative Session

15.  To Hear a Presentation on the Characteristics of Louisiana’s Crappie Fishery

16.  Set November 2014 Meeting Date

17.  Receive Public Comments

18.  Adjournment

 

Sherburne WMA Handgun and Rifle Range Construction Update

Release Date: 06/27/2014

June 27, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that construction on the handgun range at the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been completed and the range is now open. Both shotgun ranges and archery ranges are also open.
 
The completed construction involved replacement of the overhead cover and installation of new shooting rails. These structures were damaged during the 2011 Morganza Spillway opening. Only handguns and .22 rimfire rifles may be used on the handgun range.
 
The rifle range remains closed and will remain closed until July 31, 2014 due to the second phase of the construction project which involves installation of baffles on the range.
 
Sherburne WMA is located within the Morganza Floodway portion of the Atchafalaya Basin, between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Levee, in Pointe Coupee, St. Martin and Iberville parishes. The WMA is accessible from US Hwy. 190 and I-10.
 
For additional information on shooting ranges on state wildlife management areas, visit  www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges, or contact Daniel Hurdle at 225-765-2920 or dhurdle@wlf.la.gov.

Shrimp Season in Vermilion/Teche River Basin to Close July 3

Release Date: 06/27/2014

Shrimp Season in Vermilion/Teche River Basin to Close July 3

June 27, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will close at one-half hour after sunset on Thursday, July 3, in state inside waters extending from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp taken in trawl samples within these waters. The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

All remaining state inside waters, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice, with the exception of those closure areas outlined in the map linked below.
For a map that details the areas currently open and closed to harvesting shrimp click here.

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 Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water this Weekend June 27-29

Release Date: 06/26/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 27-29 with increased patrols for boaters operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"Alcohol is always one of the largest contributing factors for boating fatalities in Louisiana and nationwide," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to have a sober operator of the vessel for the safety of those in the vessel and everybody else on the water.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 15 boating fatalities in 2013 with alcohol playing a role in three fatalities or 20 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2012 reveal that 17 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued three DWI citations to boat operators during the 2013 Operation Dry Water weekend and 15 DWI citations over the same weekend the previous two years combined.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

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

2014 L.O.W.A. Youth Journalism Competition Underway

Release Date: 06/26/2014

June 26, 2014 -- The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association’s 2014 Youth Journalism Contest is underway and young writers and photographers have until 5 p.m., July 22 to submit entries.
 
There are two writing divisions: Junior Essay is open to boys and girls ages 7-13; Senior Essay is for writers ages 14-18.
 
Essays must be an original, unpublished account of a personal experience while hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking or other related outdoor activity. Essays must be 300-1,000 words long, and must be typed, preferably with double-spaced lines.
 
The Photography Division includes boys and girls ages 7-18. Photos must be an original, unpublished black-and-white or color photo. Submitted photos must be sized 4x6 inches, 5x7 inches or 8x10 inches, and must be center-mounted on 8x10-inch card stock.
 
Each entry must have name, age, school, home address and home telephone number attached at the top of the essay or photo. If possible, please furnish an email address.
 
The top three and honorable mentions in each category receive cash prizes. The contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International with support from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
 
Send all contest entries to:
 
Joe Macaluso
Advocate Outdoors
P.O. Box 588
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
ATTN: L.O.W.A.
 
Winners will be honored at the LOWA’s annual convention banquet in Houma on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. For information, email: outdoors@theadvocate.com.
 
 

LOUISIANA ARTIFICIAL REEF COUNCIL TO MEET

Release Date: 06/24/2014

The Artificial Reef Council will meet at 9:00 am on Tuesday, July 15 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.

                       

LOUISIANA ARTIFICIAL REEF COUNCIL TO MEET

1)    Introduction and Welcome                                                          

2)    Approval of Minutes & Agenda                                                 

3)    Reef Program Update---Michael McDonough

4)    Presentation of Inshore/Nearshore Reef Plan and Maps

         a)     Approval by Council

5)   Public Comments

6)   Other business

7)   Adjourn

The Inshore plan and maps are online at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/artificialreefcouncilmeeting.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining 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 further information, contact Mike McDonough at 225-763-5418 or mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov.

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

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