LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Launches Oyster Refrigeration Program First Phase of Department’s Seafood Technology and Equipment Program

Release Date: 11/09/2012

(November 08, 2012)– Today, officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries launched the first phase of the Seafood Technology and Equipment program, designed to aid the seafood industry in upgrading current equipment.  In this first phase, the department will assist oyster vessel owners in purchasing refrigeration equipment.  Participants in the program can qualify for 50 percent of their eligible refrigeration costs, up to $10,000.

Oyster refrigeration is an important component of the Department’s Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program, launching this fall.  Passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010, the program authorizes the Department to establish a voluntary certification program for Louisiana wild seafood.  Through the program, the Department hopes to create a more professional industry, better handling practices and a more consistent, quality product. 

"We are pleased to be able to provide these critical funds to members of the Louisiana Oyster Industry.  Advanced refrigeration equipment onboard vessels will help in our efforts to produce high-quality seafood products,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  "While this is a significant step forward for the industry, we understand that these funds are not enough.  We continue to explore every available resource to direct additional funds toward this program and intend to create similar programs for other Louisiana fisheries."

The Department is prioritizing the oyster industry in their assistance efforts based on an emergency rule that went into effect in May, changing the way oysters can be harvested.  The new rule places restrictions on the amount of time it takes to refrigerate restricted-use products.   This program will provide assistance to oyster fishermen in adhering to the new requirements.

Eligible Equipment

Refrigeration units, cooler boxes, generators and other equipment associated with refrigeration are eligible for this program .  LDWF will evaluate all equipment as a complete system to ensure it will meet the refrigeration needs of the vessel.  New equipment and currently installed equipment that was purchased beginning January 1, 2010 will be eligible for reimbursement provided it meets the programs requirements.New equipment to be installed must be approved   prior to purchase. 

Application Process

To apply for this program, contact South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) to request an application.

SCPDC

P.O. Box 1870, Gray, LA 70359

Toll-free #1-800-630-3791

Local # 985-655-1051

  Priority will be given to vessels with refrigeration equipment installed prior to October 1, 2012.  This week LDWF will send letters to vessel owners it could identify as meeting this priority qualification.  The deadline to submit applications to receive this priority is January 15, 2013.Applications submitted after January 15, 2013 will continue to be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.  As funding becomes available, approved applicants will be notified on how to proceed with the purchase and installation of equipment.

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, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Froeba (225)765-0121 jfroeba@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (504) 430-2623.

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US Forest Service Prohibiting Deer Hunting with Dogs on Kisatchie National Forest Effective with 2012-2013 Hunting Season

Release Date: 11/09/2012

Nov. 9, 2012 -- The US Forest Service has ruled that hunting deer with dogs will be prohibited in the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) effective with the 2012-2013 hunting season.  The decision is a federal action and overrules the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission which previously approved deer season dates for the KNF that included nine days in December 2012 for deer hunting with dogs.

All deer season dates within the KNF for the 2012-2013 season are now still hunting only and no special federal or state deer hunting permit is required.

The remaining deer season dates, within the Catahoula (Grant and Rapides parishes), Winn (Winn, Grant and Natchitoches parishes), Kisatchie Ranger Districts (Natchitoches Parish), and the Evangeline Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District (Rapides Parish), include the following:

  • Firearms, either sex: Nov. 23, still hunt only
  • Firearms, bucks only: Nov. 3-22 and 24-25, Dec. 15-30, still hunt only.

The public is advised that the deer hunting “with or without dogs” dates listed for the KNF in the printed 2012-2013 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet are no longer valid.  A revised version of the booklet is available on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) website with all deer season changes included. To access that document, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations.

For details, visit the Forest Service’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/kisatchieor the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov.

For additional information: KNF contacts are Jim Caldwell at 318-473-7168 or 318-613-1048, or Mike Balboni at 318-473-7102; LDWF contact is Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115.

Search and Rescue Personnel Locate Missing Hunter

Release Date: 11/06/2012

Nov. 6, 2012 -- Search and rescue authorities found a missing hunter alive on the Sabine Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) shortly after Midnight on Nov. 6.

Authorities found Virgil Conway, 74, of Vinton, at 12:15 a.m. this morning on the WMA after he became disoriented and could not find his way back to his boat.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents were notified at 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 5 about an overdue hunter on the WMA.  LDWF agents immediately coordinated a search effort with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ward 7 Fire Department and public volunteers who knew Conway and where he usually hunted.

Conway left to go hunting at 5 a.m. on Nov. 5, which was his last contact with family.  He launched his aluminum flat bottom boat to go to one of his familiar hunting spots on the Sabine Island WMA.  After hunting, Conway could not find his way back to his boat and was lost.  His family then contacted authorities when he did not arrive home at his usual time.

Authorities located his boat at 7:30 p.m. and almost five hours later found Conway at least a mile away from where his boat was found.  After Conway could not find his way back to his boat, he found an area that he could stay until help arrived.  He only had three shotgun shells and shot two of them into the air after dark in an effort to alert searchers of his location.

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

Elmer's Island Remains Closed to the Public

Release Date: 11/05/2012

(Nov. 5, 2012) -Elmer's Island, a wildlife refuge owned and maintained by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, remains closed to the public.  Ongoing oiling conditions as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill necessitate continued cleanup of remobilized and uncovered oil mats and tar balls.

The 230-acre tract of barrier beachfront, which is located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish, will remain closed to the public until further notice.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting many of 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 more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor 225-765-2396.

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International Paper Donates Bussey Brake, Wham Brake Reservoirs to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Release Date: 11/05/2012

November 5, 2012– International Paper (NYSE: IP) announced today that it will donate over 8,100 acres of land, which includes the Bussey Brake and Wham Brake reservoirs, to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).  The total donation is valued at over $7.8 million dollars. The fresh water reservoirs located near Bastrop, Louisiana in Morehouse Parish are popular recreational sites.

“This donation by International Paper will preserve these reservoirs for future generations to come for the citizens of Louisiana,” said Tommy Joseph, International Paper Senior Vice President. ”We are excited to be able to make this announcement today”.

“Preserving fish and game habitat for public use is a key component in the department’s conservation mission,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “IP’s generous donation falls right in line with our public access initiatives.”

Bussey Brake, a 2,600-acre fresh water reservoir, was constructed in the mid 1950’s by International Paper to serve as an alternative water source for the Louisiana Mill. International Paper owned 620 acres of the reservoir site with the remaining balance under leases with third parties. Under terms of the donation, the leases will be transferred to LDWF.

LDWF plans for Bussey Brake include a complete renovation of the reservoir’s fish population.  The impoundment will be drained and allowed to dry completely.  The current fish population will be removed and the reservoir stocked with popular game fish including bass, bream, catfish and crappie. Once re-stocked, the reservoir will be monitored and managed with recreational fisheries a priority.  The renovation process will take three to five years to achieve success and the resulting fish population, once established, would self-sustain as a healthy fisheries for several decades.

Wham Brake was also constructed in the 1950’s on IP lands through a joint effort with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The 5,550-acre reservoir will become part of the (21,948 acre) LDWF’s Russell-Sage Wildlife Management Area, providing preservation of wildlife habitat for future generations. LDWF will partner with Ducks Unlimited to initiate a hydrologic survey of Wham Brake to determine a management strategy for this vitally important waterfowl area. Planned site improvements include better hunter access through additional boat launches and parking areas, improved water delivery systems and more uniform moist soil management units creating added acres of waterfowl habitat.

International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global paper and packaging company with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include uncoated papers and industrial and consumer packaging, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs approximately 70,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide.   International Paper net sales for 2011 were $26 billion. Temple-Inland Inc., which was acquired in February 2012, had 2011 net sales of $4 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit internationalpaper.com.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Contacts: For LDWF, Bo Boehringer, 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.lg.gov; for IP, Thomas J. Ryan, 901-419-4333.

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Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Finance Committee to Meet November 7

Release Date: 11/05/2012

The following is the agenda for the Finance Committee of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

November 7, 2012

10 a.m.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 310, New Orleans, La. 70122

 

I. Call to order

II. Discussion on 2013 Legislative Session

III. Discussion on Statutory Funds

       A. Financial Report through 9/30/2012
       B. FY 2014 Recommended Statutory Budget
       C. Louisiana Asset Management Pool

IV. Discussion on BP Funds

       A. Financial Report through 9/30/2012
       B. Marketing Committee Recommendations
       C. Seafood Marketing Campaign Continuity Plan

V. LSU AgCenter Proposal

VI. Set Next Meeting

VII. Adjourn
 

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Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA Water Control Structure Damage Advisory

Release Date: 11/01/2012

Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA Water Control Structure Damage Advisory

Nov. 1, 2012  – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising the public that the western water control structure on the Montegut marsh management unit within Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area presents a navigation hazard for boaters due to Hurricane Isaac damage.

The water control structure, just south of the town of Montegut on the north side of Wonder Lake in Terrebonne Parish, is the first of two water control structures boaters will observe when traveling east from the Humble Canal. The structure was washed out by storm surge from the hurricane. The public is advised that crossing the breach created by the washout is prohibited and fishing near it is hazardous.

During high tide events, the current through the levee breach is extremely dangerous. There is also submerged debris present that could damage and capsize boats, and injure passengers.  LDWF is working with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Terrebonne Levee District to expedite repairs. 

Additionally, the Montegut marsh management unit is a “Limited Access Area” (LAA) and the use of watercraft with internal combustion engines from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31 is prohibited within that unit.

For more information, contact Shane Granier at 504-284-5264 or sgranier@wlf.la.gov.  

 

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Environmental Education Commission Meeting Scheduled For November 7, 2012

Release Date: 11/01/2012

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will meet in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, November 7at 1 p.m. in the 4th Floor Conference Room at theLouisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries main office located at 2000 Quail Drive.

I. Call to order

II. Roll Call/Sign-in

III. Minutes from last meeting

IV. Financial Report

V. Coordinator’s Report

VI.Old Business A.2013 Symposium Committee Reports

  1.  Audio Visual

  2.  Door Prize/Hospitality

  3. Evaluation

  4.Exhibitor

  5. Finance

  6.Keynote

  7. Programs

  8.Public Relations

  9. Registration

 10.Short Course

     B. Environmental Literacy Plan

     C.Art & Language Arts Contest update

     D. 2012 Grants Program update

VII. New Business

    A.Social Media Opportunities

    B.Symposium Awards C. LEEC Vote of Officers

VIII. Announcements

IX. Next Meeting Dates: February 22, 2013 (at Symposium in Baton Rouge), May 14, 2013, August 13, 2013

X. Adjournment It is anticipated that this meeting will end at approximately 3:00 p.m.

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Ron Louque Wins 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/01/2012

Ron Louque Wins 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Nov. 1, 2012 – Ron Louque of Charlottesville, Virginia, captured first place in the 2013 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on what is commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.

Mr. Louque, who also won this contest in 1993, 1996, and 1999, beat out 17 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 1 meeting as the 2013 winner.  Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Virginia, who has won the Virginia State Duck Stamp contest 3 times since 2005 placed second, and Dale Pousson of Egan, Louisiana, who won this contest in 2003, took third place.  Last year, Jeff Klinefelter of Noblesville, Indiana won the Louisiana contest.

Ron Louque was born in New Orleans and grew up in south Louisiana where he was captivated by the beauty of nature through hunting and fishing.  A professional artist since 1974, he won the 2003 Federal Duck Stamp competition, and this win marks his 30th conservation stamp victory.  His painting of a mallard pair resting on the roots of an old stump along a wooded bayou will be featured on the 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp.

"The department was extremely happy with the number of high-quality entries this year," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  "Louque’s painting combined an amazingly detailed depiction of the mallard pair, a favorite species of waterfowl hunters everywhere in Louisiana, with outstanding habitat features."  

For the fourth consecutive year, LDWF held an open contest that allows the artist to choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana for entry in the contest.  Only northern pintails, wood ducks, and American wigeon, which were featured on the 2010, 2011, and 2012 duck stamps respectively, were not allowed.

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese.  This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $270,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.

The 2013 stamp, featuring Louque’s work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2013.  The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.

Judges for the competition were Dr. Tommy Michot, Luke Laborde, Bonnie Camos, Jerry Bower, and Michael Patterson.  Michot is a long-time wetland/waterfowl research biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S.G.S. National Wetland Research Center and is now a faculty member at University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Laborde is a Ph.D. candidate in Wildlife Ecology in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU and past National Art Committee Chairman for Ducks Unlimited; Camos is an exhibiting artist, curator and art instructor in Lafayette who was an official Festival International de Louisiane artist in 2010; Bower is the owner of Stitch and Frame art studio and frame shop in Lafayette, and has been an active participant of the Louisiana State Duck Stamp Program since its inception; and Patterson is a financial consultant for Lee, Dougherty, and Ferrara Investment Management and is the incoming State Chairman-elect of Ducks Unlimited.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

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OYSTER SEASON TO CLOSE IN SMALL PORTION OF PUBLIC GROUNDS

Release Date: 10/31/2012

October 31, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced oyster season will close this Saturday, November 3, at one-half hour after sunset in the Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Terrebonne Parish.  In addition, the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes will close in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR), located in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes, at one half hour after sunset on Saturday, November 3.  Hackberry Bay remains open for sacking purposes.

These small public oyster seed grounds historically hold a very limited oyster supply and harvest pressure during the 2012 oyster season depleted the resource.  Protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in these public seed grounds.

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.

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, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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

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