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LDWF News Release

Joseph Harbor Boat Launch and East End Locks Road to Reopen Oct. 16 at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge

Release Date: 10/15/2012

Rockefeller SWR - Joseph Harbor Boat Launch Oct 2012
Rockefeller East End Locks Road - Oct 2012

Oct. 15, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today announced completion of a $2.6 million project at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) that replaced the boat launch and bulkheads at Joseph Harbor and upgraded the East End Locks Road. Both access points will open again Oct. 16for daily public use from sunrise to sunset.

“Rockefeller is a popular site for recreational fishermen and the improved access will benefit that user group plus boaters and nature watchers wishing to utilize the refuge’s abundant natural resources,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

The site improvements, three miles east of the refuge headquarters along Hwy. 82, were completed with Rockefeller Trust funds available for maintenance on the refuge.

The improved facilities provide for safer vehicle access to the refuge and boat launching into coastal marshes.

Rockefeller SWR is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation and and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Located at the terminus of the vast Mississippi Flyway, south Louisiana winters about four million waterfowl annually. The refuge provides high quality wetlands habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds and wading birds, spanning 26 miles of coastal Louisiana in Cameron and Vermilion parishes.  

An abundant fisheries population provides recreational opportunities to fishermen seeking shrimp, redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and largemouth bass, among others. No hunting is allowed on the refuge, but some regulated trapping is allowed for furbearers that could potentially damage the marsh if their populations are not controlled.

For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or call 337-491-2593.

 

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Dove Hunting Opportunities Available at Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA for South Zone, Second and Third Splits

Release Date: 10/11/2012

 

Oct. 11, 2012  – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is allowing vehicle access to the dove field parking area on Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area, just north of the dove field gate, on the mornings of Oct. 20 and  27, weather permitting.

The WMA’s dove field acreage in Terrebonne Parish, within the site’s Point Farm Unit, is accessible from Dolphin Street, off LA 55 in Montegut.

Except for the weekend of Oct. 13-14, when the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA youth lottery deer hunt is scheduled, dove hunters will also have to access the dove field on foot or by boat from Oct. 15 to Nov. 25 for the second split, and from Dec. 22 to Jan. 7 for the third split.

The public is reminded that vehicles must travel on the limestone access road only and non-toxic shot is required south of the dove field gate due to the presence of migratory waterfowl on the Point Farm Unit.  Also, dove hunting hours on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA are one half hour before sunrise until 12 p.m. (noon).

For more information on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA dove hunting, contact Shane Granier at 504-284-5264 or sgranier@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.

State to Launch Official “Louisiana Certified Seafood” Brand

Release Date: 10/11/2012

   

(October 11, 2012)–The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, LSU AgCenter, Louisiana SeaGrant, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and fisheries industry leaders, launched the Louisiana Certified Seafood Program this week.  This origin-based certification program aims to build a unified brand that will attract not only consumers, but also food service and seafood distribution buyers who want to ensure they are sourcing the best tasting seafood in the world – Louisiana seafood!

“Consumers are paying more attention to their seafood choices, particularly where it’s from and how it’s sourced.  People are demanding transparency in the seafood industry, so we’re giving it to them,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.   “This program is three years in the making and demonstrates our Department’s strong commitment to ensuring Louisiana’s delicious seafood will continue to be recognized as the world's finest.”

The program is a direct result of recommendations from the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, created by Governor Jindal in 2009, to establish rules and guidelines throughout the seafood supply chain enabling the state to certify that “Louisiana Certified Seafood” is taken, landed and processed in Louisiana. 

“We encourage buying and promoting Louisiana products whether it’s in stores, farmer’s markets or restaurants. Our goal is to make sure Louisiana residents seek home grown products to keep our industry strong. People at home and abroad want our produce and seafood because the quality speaks for itself,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

The Louisiana Seafood Certification program targets Louisiana fishermen, processors, dock owners, grocers and restaurants, to showcase and more importantly brand Louisiana seafood.  Across the globe, people are familiar with “geographically-based” branding including Maine Lobster and Idaho Potatoes.  In the coming years, we hope Louisiana wild-caught shrimp, oyster, crabs and finfish will be synonymous with our great state and the Louisiana Certified Seafood Brand.

“Louisiana’s seafood is recognized for its world-class taste and quality,” said DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. “This certification stamp lets consumers know they’re getting authentic Louisiana seafood that is held to the highest standards and strictest inspections in the world.”

 

Program goals include:

  • develop a NATIONALLY recognized brand that distinguishes Louisiana seafood from seafood of another origin;
  • certify and increase consumer confidence that branded seafood is from the Gulf of Mexico, landed, processed and packaged in Louisiana; and
  • promote and market all participants and seafood labeled with this logo.

“Through our current marketing efforts, chefs and consumers across the country are learning the superior taste and quality of Louisiana seafood,” said Ewell Smith, LSPMB executive director. “We are excited to work with the LDWF and other partners to bring customers the guarantee that they are purchasing authentic Louisiana seafood.” 

 

How to participate?

All commercially licensed fishermen automatically qualify for the program. 

This program is VOLUNTARY for docks, processors, dealers, grocers and restaurants, who can apply to receive a Louisiana Certified Seafood permit. 

Fresh Product dealers, docks, and processors must complete a brief online training.  Grocers and restaurants do not need to complete the online training, but are required to complete the application.  

"Louisiana restaurants have long served the bounty of fresh seafood from the rich waters of Louisiana and the Gulf, but until now, a certification program had not been developed," said Stan Harris, President/CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. "Shrimp, crab, oysters, crawfish and finfish have held prized positioning on restaurant menus and have been the ingredients for which Louisiana has become known for worldwide."

More information on training along with application forms may be found at Certified.LouisianaSeafood.com. 

 

Completed form can be mailed to:

Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program

P.O. Box 1870

Gray, LA 70359

 

Participants in the program may choose to be featured on the Certified Louisiana Seafood website as a provider of Louisiana Certified Seafood, in an effort to encourage additional business.

For more information, contact Rene LeBreton at 504-286-8745 or Jason Froeba at 225-765-0121.

For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (504)430-2623.

 

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Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Set for Oct. 16

Release Date: 10/10/2012

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 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 4th floor conference roomis as follows:

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of March 15, 2012 and June 12, 2012

3. Welcome and Opening Comments from Chairman

4. Enforcement Division Report

5. Office of Wildlife: Report on Hurricane Isaac Impacts

6. Office of Fisheries: Report on Aquatic Plant Control Program        

7. Office of Fisheries: Report on Bass Regulations in the Atchafalaya Basin

8. Council Discussion of Stated Mission

9. Set Next Meeting Date

10. Receive Public Comments

11. Adjournment

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

 

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L.D.W.F. Presents Proposed Falconry Rules and Regulations Changes To Commission

Release Date: 10/09/2012

Oct. 9, 2012  -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent (NOI) Oct. 4 to amend the rules and regulations governing falconry (hunting with a trained bird of prey such as a hawk).

The NOI presented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) replaces the existing rules for the sport with expanded rules that combine state rules with federal rules.

Currently, falconers are required to obtain a state and federal falconry permit and a Louisiana Game Breeder’s License.  Effective January 1, 2014, the USFWS will no longer issue falconry permits and individual states wishing to retain falconry programs must adopt their own regulations based on minimum criteria set forth by the USFWS.

The NOI provides for three classes of falconers including apprentice, general and master. A permit applicant is required to pass a written exam and serve a two-year apprenticeship with a general or master falconer. LDWF will also establish an electronic reporting system for falconers, replacing the current paper system.

To view the full notice of intent, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at any monthly LWFC meeting through Dec. 6, 2012 or can be submitted to Kenny Ribbeck, LDWF Wildlife Division, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000, or kribbeck@wlf.la.gov through Dec. 5, 2012.

For more information, contact Jimmy Ernst at 985-543-4777 or jernst@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.

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Louisiana Saltwater Series Goes Out With a Bang at Its 2012 Redfish Championship

Release Date: 10/08/2012

LASS 2012 Redfish Champions Luke Landry and Nash Roberts
LASS 2012 Youth of the Year Christopher McElveen
LASS 2012 Team of the Year Sean O’Connell and Joshua Romig

Oct. 8, 2012 The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Championship held on Oct. 5 and 6, came to an exciting finale with awards going to the Team of the Year, Youth of the Year and Tournament Champions.

In their third year competing in the LASS, Luke Landry and Nash Roberts, both of the New Orleans area, took home top honors with a four-fish total weight of 31.96 pounds.   After fishing the sand bars on both days, Landry and Roberts landed their trophy-winning fish in deep water.  “Due to the wind Friday, the sand bars had dirty water, so we turned to the deep water fish,” explained Landry.  “On day two, we returned to the deep water fish.  The bite was slower, but two large reds sealed the deal.” 

The LASS continues to draw redfish anglers from Texas to Florida and beyond, offering two-angler teams the opportunity to compete in six regular season events.  Low entry fees for the one-day, regular season tournaments allows anglers to fish close to home and minimize expenses, while still being part of a premier inshore, catch and release redfish tournament organization.

“We’ve created a fun, competitive tournament circuit that’s affordable for the weekend fisherman.  The format is one-day and the local stops make it feasible for any Louisiana angler to make the tournaments without investing a lot of time and money,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.

Teams fishing any four of the LASS’s six regular-season events or finishing within payout are automatically qualified for the no-entry championship event, pitting qualifiers for a combined payout of over $6,000 in cash and prizes.

As the tournament continues to grow, the series becomes more and more lucrative with each year, with a possible $73,000 in payouts over the course of the series. 

Tournament anglers weren’t the only ones to win big this season.  The Department tagged and released over 1,000 redfish throughout 2012 series, tagging 208 in the championship event alone, the largest single-event total thus far. 

The Department has been tagging fish for years as part of the Louisiana Cooperative Sport Fish Tagging Program.  Through the program, volunteer anglers provide information that is difficult, often impossible, and expensive to obtain by other means.  The impact the LASS tournament series has made on the program is astonishing, with the annual number of tagged fish nearly tripling since 2010. 

The duo of Kim Norton and Charlie Howell were honored at the championship for their tagging efforts with a total of 29 tagged redfish during the 2012 series.

Taking home the Team of the Year Award were the familiar faces of Sean O’Connell and Joshua Roming, who went home with cash in their pockets nearly every tournament this year. 

Christopher McElveen proves that tournament fishing isn’t just for the old folks, going home with the Youth of the Year Award.   Even at his young age, his 9.3 pound catch blew many of the adult competitors out of the water.  Also competing in the youth division was Kendall Gibbs with an 8.21 pound fish.   

The conservation-based tournament also offers multiple ways to win including awards for the most extra fish brought in for tagging and the lightest stringer.

Information on the 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series will soon be available at lasaltwaterseries.com.

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LDWF Releases Report on the 14” Minimum Length Limit for Largemouth Bass in the Atchafalaya Basin

Release Date: 10/08/2012

(Oct. 8, 2012)– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries today released a comprehensive report analyzing the 14” minimum length limit for largemouth bass in the Atchafalaya Basin and surrounding waters. 

The report examines the effectiveness of the regulation as a management tool.  Findings show the Atchafalaya Basin largemouth bass population does not exhibit necessary criteria for which a 14” minimum length limit would produce larger bass.  The study indicates that the basin bass population is more heavily influenced by environmental factors than anglers.

“The Atchafalaya Basin bass population will continue to produce the same number of nice size bass, with or without the 14” length limit,” explained LDWF Director of Inland Fisheries Mike Wood. 

Wood further explains the history behind the regulation as well as provides a detailed description of the study and results in his letter to basin anglers found on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/ldwf-releases-report-14-minimum-length-limit-largemouth-bass-atchafalaya-basin.   The link can also be used to access the full technical report.

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.

 

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Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issues $4,400 In Rewards To Tipsters

Release Date: 10/05/2012

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $4,400 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on Oct. 3 in Mansura.

The group approved and dispensed cash reward amounts for tipsters who reported wildlife violations that led to 21 subjects being apprehended in wildlife cases.  There were a total of 12 cases presented and 46 offenses associated with those cases.

Louisiana Department Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement LOGT Coordinator Lt. Will Roberts provided LOGT members with information on each case and a recommendation for reward amounts.

“We depend on Operation Game Thief and these public tips to help break a lot of cases that might have otherwise gone unsolved,” Roberts said.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's new tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can anonymously text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store 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.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

LOGT meets quarterly throughout the year to review cases and dispense rewards.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LWFC Approves Revised Harvest for 2012-13 Deer Season Due to Hurricane Isaac Impacts

Release Date: 10/04/2012

Maurepas Basin Deer 2012-2013 Season Changes
Plaquemines/St. Bernard Parishes 2012-2013 Deer Season Changes


View Maurepas Basin Defined Area in a larger map

St. Bernard and Plaquemines


View 2012-2013 Deer Season Changes in a larger map

 

Oct. 4, 2012 –The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved recommendations made today by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to revise hunting rules/regulations for the 2012-13 deer season. LDWF’s Wildlife Division recommended the changes following deer herd assessments made to determine the impact of Hurricane Isaac on the deer populations in parishes flooded by the storm.

In a presentation to the Commission, Wildlife Division Administrator Kenny Ribbeck outlined major areas of concern that included the Lake Maurepas Basin, and Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. He noted that those areas had historically lower deer densities and poorer habitat quality compared to other areas around the state.

Assessment methods utilized included biologists on the ground and in boats, as well as aerial reconnaissance. LDWF staff interviewed hunters, landowners, and LDWF Enforcement Division agents and included reports from the general public.

In the Lake Maurepas Basin, storm surge pushed water levels five to six feet above normal, major flooding lasted four days in some areas, encompassing an estimated 391,000 acres. The assessment noted light to moderate adult deer mortality, but high fawn mortality estimated at nearly 90 percent.

RECOMMENDATIONS / APPROVED for Maurepas Basin Defined Area: Portions of St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Livingston, Ascension, St. James, St. John and St. Charles parishes; beginning west of the Tchefuncte River from Lake Pontchartrain to LA 22; also south and east of LA 22 to LA 70, and east of LA 70 to LA 3125; and north and east of LA 3125 to LA 641; and west of LA 641 to US 61; then north of US 61 to the Jefferson Parish line.

·         Archery Season - no change

·         Youth, Bucks only, still: Oct. 27-28 (2 days)

·         Bucks only, still: Nov. 23 - Dec. 2 (10 days)

·         Bucks only, with or without dogs: Dec. 8 - 30 (23 days)

·         Bucks only, primitive: Jan. 19 - 27 (9 days)

 

RECOMMENDATIONS / APPROVED for Wildlife Management Areas:

*Biloxi WMA - Archery Season - no change

*Joyce WMA – same as Lake Maurepas Basin Defined Area, except still hunt only

*Manchac WMA - Archery Season - no change

*Maurepas Swamp WMA –

·         Archery Season - no change

·         Youth, Bucks only: Nov. 3-4 (2 days)

·         Bucks only, modern firearms, mandatory check: Nov. 23 (1 day)

·         Bucks only, modern firearms: Nov. 24 – 25 (2 days)

·         Bucks only, modern firearms: Dec. 22 – 28 (7 days)

·         Bucks only, primitive: Jan. 14 – 20 (7 days)

*Pass-a-Loutre WMA –

·         Archery Season - no change

·         Bucks only shotgun - no change

 

Severe flooding conditions in Plaquemines Parish, where protection levees were over-topped and the lower east bank was hit by a 14-foot storm surge, produced moderate adult deer mortality and high fawn mortality.  Severe habitat degradation was noted as the result of salt water shock and debris deposited by storm surge.

In those portions of St. Bernard, mainly areas outside the flood wall, lower marshlands that were severely flooded led to high fawn mortality and light adult deer mortality.

RECOMMENDATIONS / APPROVED for Plaquemines Parish and St. Bernard, outside the major flood wall.

·         Archery Season - no change

·         Youth, Bucks only, still: Oct. 27-28 (2 days)

·         Bucks only, still: Nov. 23 - 25 (3 days)

·         Bucks only, with or without dogs: Dec. 22 – Jan. 6 (16 days)

·         Bucks only, primitive: Jan. 19 - 27 (9 days)

 

For more information, contact Kenny Ribbeck 225-765-2942 or kribbeck@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.

LWF Commission Modifies Creel Limit on D’Arbonne Lake

Release Date: 10/04/2012

Oct. 4, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took final action to decrease the daily creel limit for crappie in D'Arbonne Lake from 50 to 25.  The change is in response to concerns of overfishing that some anglers have expressed.   

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.comldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.

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