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LDWF News Release

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries To Host Four NASP Basic Archery Instructor Courses

Release Date: 07/07/2016

July 7, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host four National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) Basic Archery Instructor courses for the Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) program.
 
The courses include:
 
July 29: Doyle Elementary School, Livingston
July 29: Haughton Middle School, Haughton
Aug. 8: Northwood High School, Lena
Aug 8: West Feliciana Middle School, St. Francisville
 
The eight-hour course, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., will provide certification to educators who want to bring the NASP/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 material and equipment is provided and there is no cost for the course for professional educators. There are a limited number of spots available for each course and they will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register online, go to http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA.
 
For more information about the ALAS program, contact Robert Stroede at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276.

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts NOI to Establish Rules, Regulations for Importation of Cervid Carcasses

Release Date: 07/07/2016

July 7, 2016 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent to establish rules and regulations on the importation of cervid carcasses into the state during its July meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
 
The NOI would prohibit the importation of cervid carcasses except for deboned meat, antlers, clean skull plates with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth.
 
Cervids listed in the NOI include, but are not limited to, white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, fallow deer, axis deer, sika deer, red deer and reindeer.
 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Deer Program Manager Johnathan Bordelon said this regulation would be an additional effort aimed at preventing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD has not been found in Louisiana, though Texas and Arkansas have recently reported cases of it. It has been documented in 24 states and two Canadian provinces.
 
“This will serve as another tool to limit the spread of CWD and other wildlife diseases,’’ Bordelon said. “Louisiana would become the 37th state with rules and regulations governing cervid carcass importation.’’
 
To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment can be submitted in writing by mail to: Johnathan Bordelon, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to jbordelon@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2016.
 
For more information, contact Johnathan Bordelon at jbordelon@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2344.

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Natchez, Miss., Man Drowns in Tensas River Tuesday Night While Frog Hunting

Release Date: 07/07/2016

July 7, 2016 – A Natchez, Miss., man died Tuesday night when he fell overboard from his boat on the Tensas River in Catahoula Parish and drowned. Carroll Dobson, 44, was frog hunting with his two sons, stopped his boat, stood up and then fell into the river.
 
One of his sons jumped into the river to save him but was unsuccessful. Dobson was not wearing a personal floatation device and was drinking alcohol around the time of the accident, according to his son. Neither of his sons was wearing a personal floatation device.
 
The accident occurred at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

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Vernon Lake Drawdown Scheduled for Maintenance and Aquatic Vegetation Control

Release Date: 07/07/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown for parish/state/landowner maintenance, vegetation control, and fish habitat improvement on Vernon Lake in Vernon Parish.  The drawdown is scheduled to begin the first week of September 2016.  The control structure will be closed during the first week of January 2017 to allow water levels to return to normal..

The lake level will be lowered 8 feet below pool stage.  This level is required to achieve the desired effect and allow access for maintenance of private and public property.  

 LDWF and the Vernon Parish Police Jury / Vernon Parish Game and Fish Commission have cooperatively developed a schedule for drawdowns on Vernon Lake..  Under this agreement, Vernon Lake will be drawn down every 7 years for dam, spillway and boat ramp maintenance, vegetation control, and fish habitat improvement (compaction of bottom sediments).

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Sean Kinney, LDWF Biologist Manager, at skinney@wlf.la.gov (337) 491-2575.  

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.

 

 

Justin Keen of Choudrant Wins Grand Prize in LDWF’s Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Turkey Harvest Contest

Release Date: 07/06/2016

Justin Keen (middle) receives his grand prize from Cody Cedotal (left) and Bowie Outfitters Ruffin Moreland.

July 6, 2016 – Justin Keen of Choudrant said it was a surprisingly quiet spring for turkey at his hunt club in Jackson Parish. But Keen heard just enough to harvest his limit of two birds this season.
 
In doing so, he took home the grand prize in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Tag and Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Sweepstakes. Keen won a Mossberg Model 535 Triple Play 12-gauge shotgun provided by Bowie Outfitters. Two other hunters will be selected to receive lifetime hunting licenses provided by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.
 
An integral part of LDWF’s turkey management program is hunters reporting each harvested turkey, as required by Louisiana hunting regulations. During the 2016 turkey season, hunters had the added incentive provided by the Tag and Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Sweepstakes.
 
Hunters needed only to validate each tag for each turkey harvested during the 2016 season. Each validated tag equated to an entry in the prize drawing. Any hunter who validated his/her turkey tag information within seven days after harvest was automatically entered in the contest.
 
“Tagging information plays a vital role in our management of the state’s turkey population,’’ said Cody Cedotal, Wild Turkey/Small Game Program Manager for LDWF. “So we came up with the Tag and Validate to Gobble Up Prizes Sweepstakes as an extra incentive for turkey hunters to report their harvests. We thank Bowie Outfitters and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation for providing the prizes and congratulate Mr. Keen.’’
 
Turkey hunting is what Keen, 32, said he loves most. It’s a family affair and he often hunts with his wife, Laura. He schedules his vacation time around turkey season.
 
But he said he wasn’t sure he’d harvest his limit this season as he didn’t hear much when hunting.
 
“This wasn’t a good year for us as far as turkeys gobbling,’’ Keen said. “They weren’t very vocal this year. But I got lucky. On the first one, I didn’t hear any gobbling at daylight. But about an hour after daylight, I finally heard one just start gobbling in the clear cut. I was able to get a shot on him.
 
“The second one, I happened to go out one morning and he was gobbling right at the crack of dawn. I was able to set up pretty close to where he was roosted. Got him shortly after he flew down.’’
 
Keen said he’s seen first-hand how LDWF’s management of the state’s turkey population has helped numbers increase. He said he believes reporting harvested turkeys is a critical role in management.
 
“It’s really good where I hunt,’’ Keen said. “Over the years, I’ve seen the numbers go up. A lot of my buddies that hunt around the same area I do, they used to not have any birds and now they’re starting to see a lot more. Our birds are steadily spreading out. We’ve always had birds on our hunting club and in the area. We’re starting to see them in a lot of different spots now. They seem to be doing good in our area.’’
 
Turkey harvest validation, or reporting, provides parish-level data on the season harvest numbers and calendar information that illustrate trends in the state’s turkey harvest. That information plays a critical role in setting season lengths and bag limits. If harvest data is under-reported, LDWF biologists and managers cannot make accurate determinations on hunting success and turkey population parameters.
 
Prior to hunting turkeys, all turkey hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain turkey tags and have tags in possession while hunting. Immediately upon harvesting a turkey, the hunter must tag the turkey with the appropriate license tag before it is moved from the site, and the hunter must document the harvest on the attached report card portion of the turkey tag license.
 
For more information, contact Cody Cedotal at ccedotal@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2354.
 
 

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Toledo Bend Reservoir: A Fish Dynasty

Release Date: 07/05/2016

Louisiana lake named top bass fishing destination for a second year in a row
 
For the second year in a row, Bassmaster Magazine named Toledo Bend Reservoir the "Best Bass Lake" in the nation. In the history of rankings, this is the first time a fishery has held the number one spot for more than one year. 
 
Since 2012, the magazine has published the annual 100 best bass lakes in the country, and Toledo Bend has placed within the top 15 every year.
 
Four months of research went into the ranking, including information from state fisheries departments, B.A.S.S. Nation directors, Elite Series pros, the 3,500-member B.A.S.S. Council and B.A.S.S. Facebook fans. Plus reams of catch data from more than a dozen tournament organizations over the past 12 months were studied.
 
The Toledo Bend Lake Association provides replicas to sportsmen who land bass 10 pounds or larger and release the fish back into the lake alive. Replicas are awarded every June. In 2015, the fishery produced 81 verified fish over 10 pounds. During the 2016 lunker year, running from June 2015 through May 2016, the number of replicas awarded nearly doubled to 139 double-digit bass.
 
Toledo Bend Lake straddles the Louisiana and Texas border, and lake management is the responsibility of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These agencies, in addition to various local organizations, have released more than 28 million Florida-strain largemouth fingerlings into the reservoir.
 
Just last month, LDWF Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery personnel enlisted help from 20 B.A.S.S. Elite Series anglers to help distribute thousands of Florida-strain largemouth fingerlings throughout the lake. Booker Fowler is responsible for raising millions of bass fingerling each year, utilized to stock state water bodies.

Although the introduction of Florida bass into the lake through stocking was beneficial, it certainly was not the lone contributor in the recent increase of trophy bass. Mother Nature deserves much of the credit. 
 
Drought conditions in 2011 caused the lake water level to drop more than 12 feet below normal, exposing large areas of the lake bottom. Drawdowns, whether man-made or caused by Mother Nature, expose bottom sediments to oxygen and sunlight, increasing decomposition of organic materials.  This improves spawning habitat by solidifying the lake bottom, increasing available forage and releasing nutrients into the water when the lake refills. Improved spawning of all fish species provides greater food resources for the lake’s largemouth bass population.
 
“We’re honored that Toledo was selected for this title for a second year in a row,” said Ricky Moses, LDWF’s head of freshwater fisheries. “I would like to thank all of the state and private organizations the who helped to make this happen. Through aggressive stocking efforts coupled with day-to-day management decisions (and help from Mother Nature), the lake continues to thrive and produce trophy bass.”
 
Rounding out the top three spots for the Best Bass Lakes of 2016 were Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina at number two, and Clear Lake in California claimed the third spot.

 

LDWF Investigating Boat Accident That Kills Dry Prong Man on Cane River

Release Date: 07/04/2016

July 4, 2016 – A Dry Prong man was killed Saturday morning on the Cane River near Natchitoches when the boat in which he was fishing was struck by another vessel. William R. Morrison, 65, was ejected into the water and died when a boat driven by Shannon Mctire, 39, hit the vessel in which Morrison was fishing.
 
A passenger in Morrison’s boat, Teresa Halbert, wasn’t seriously injured in the accident.
 
Morrison and Halbert were stationary fishing in a bend on the Cane River at approximately 7:20 a.m. when the accident occurred. Mctire came around the bend in the river and collided with the vessel’s bow, knocking Morrison into the river. Morrison was in the bow of the boat fishing and Halbert in the aft.
 
Mctire immediately stopped his boat and jumped in the water to assist Morrison, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
Charges are pending in the case, however, alcohol was not a factor.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident led by LDWF Sgt. Joseph Melton.
 

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July 2016 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 07/01/2016

 

For immediate Release
July 1, 2016

 

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, July 7, 2016, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

 

The following items will be discussed:

1.     Call to Order        

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Approval of June 02, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege          

6.     To hear Enforcement Reports June 2016   

7.     To hear an update by Ducks Unlimited on the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission funded Waterfowl Breeding Grounds Habitat work in Canada  

8.     To hear an update on the White-Fronted Goose Telemetry Project   

9.     To consider a Declaration of Emergency for Extended Falconry Season for Rails and Gallinules

10.  To hear an update on the public comments received on the Black Bass regulations on the Sabine River Notice of Intent (presented May 5, 2016)  

11.  To consider an NOI to establish the rules and regulations on the importation of cervid carcasses

12.  To consider an NOI to prohibit commercial harvest of blue crabs during a thirty day period for the years 2017-2019 and restrict the commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs for the years 2017-2019

13.  To hear a presentation on information relating to the management of Red Snapper and related costs

14.  To hear an update on the Red Snapper Season

15.  Set November 2016 Meeting Date

16.  Receive Public Comments

17.  Adjournment  

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9114826425593768195

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

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.

LDWF to Begin Road Improvement Work at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area on July 5

Release Date: 07/01/2016

July 1, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will begin road improvements, including ditch work and culvert installation, Tuesday (July 5) at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
 
Roads included in the project are Muddy Bayou Road, Nolan’s Bayou Road, Hunt Road south of the diversion canal and Taylor Bayou Road. Signs will be posted along the roads to inform motorists of construction activities ahead. Motorists should exercise caution and expect potential delays when approaching a construction zone.
 
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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License to Win! Boat Giveaway Winner Announced

Release Date: 06/30/2016

22-foot Bullsbay boat donated by Venice Marina
LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis presenting winner Carla Pratt and son Colton with boat keys
Winner Carla Pratt of New Iberia with LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis
Mike Oncale, Jr. of Cajun Outboards showing winner Carla Pratt the basics of operating her new boat

Carla Pratt of New Iberia will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday much differently than years prior.  She and her family will take to Louisiana’s waterways on their brand new bay boat awarded to her via the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation’s License to Win! Sweepstakes.
 
The intent of the sweepstakes was twofold – to thank anglers for their unfettered support and improve the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ ability to contact anglers through a brief fishing effort survey, LA Creel. The success of LA Creel not only allows LDWF to better manage fisheries, but ultimately maximizes the amount of fishing opportunities for Louisiana anglers.  
 
LDWF biologists are on the dock every day, sampling catch and surveying anglers. Because of this intense coverage, LA Creel provides more precise landings estimates and allows the department to accurately count species as they are landed.
 
During yesterday’s announcement ceremony, LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis presented the boat keys to Pratt and her son Colton.  Pratt’s husband is currently working overseas, but that didn’t keep him from missing out on the event. Pratt FaceTimed with him on her cellphone, giving him a detailed tour of every inch of their new 22-foot Bullsbay.
 
“It felt like a dream. Actually, it still feels like a dream,” recalled Pratt when she received the call from McInnis informing her of her good fortune. When asked if she fished often, Pratt said, “We’re a family of fishermen, but haven’t done much saltwater fishing before. We definitely can now.”
 
Pratt’s son added they’re ready to take the boat out for its maiden voyage this weekend.
 
The boat package included a 22-foot Bullsbay boat donated by Venice Marina and fitted with a Mercury Outboard funded by Clean Water, Land & Coast, trailer donated by Mike Gerald’s Trailer Depot, prepping and rigging provided by Cajun Outboards and a credit towards a custom boat wrap donated by Picture This Advertising. In addition to the grand prize boat package, the sweepstakes included five monthly prize winners of a YETI Tundra 45 ice chest, Shimano Curado G-Loomis Combo or gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Texaco and Whole Foods Market.  Additional sponsors include Faux Pas Prints and Louisiana Fish Fry.
 
“We particularly want to thank the sponsors who donated prizes and made this promotion a reality,” said McInnis. “Through their generosity we were able to reward anglers who are committed to helping the department provide the best data possible on our fisheries.”
 
“When you purchase a fishing license, you help protect, preserve and manage Louisiana’s bountiful fishing grounds for generations to come,” explained McInnis. “Fishery conservation extends beyond our angling public and touches all Louisiana residents, so we hoped this promotion also served as a motivational tool to entice those outside of the angling community and those who left the sport to support the efforts of the department and purchase a license.”
 
Pratt and her son walked away with the keys to their new boat and huge grins on their faces with McInnis sending them off with wishes of “many hours of pleasure on the water.”
 
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation 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 fisheries resources. It is a nonprofit, public charitable foundation, tax exempt under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and so recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Its goals are to aid the Department in habitat conservation, youth recruitment, environmental education and training, natural resource research and management, regulation enforcement, and financial assistance to LDWF programs and projects.
 

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