LDWF News

LDWF News Release

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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Oyster Season To Close in Small Portion of Public Grounds

Release Date: 10/31/2012

 

Oct. 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

Former Chauvin Resident Arrested for Outstanding Warrants and Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Release Date: 10/30/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a man for allegedly possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and migratory game bird violations on Oct. 27 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Christopher Verdin, 35, of Georgia who recently moved from Chauvin, for possessing a 12 gauge shotgun by a convicted felon.  Verdin was convicted of distributing cocaine in 2006. 

Agents received a complaint from the public about Verdin duck hunting in the Chauvin area.  Agents arrived on the scene at 7 a.m. on Oct. 27 and observed Verdin hunting ducks.  At 8:30 a.m. agents made contact with Verdin and found him in possession of one mottled duck, one teal and four ibis.

Agents cited Verdin for hunting ducks during a closed season, taking ibis for which there is no season, violating the non-toxic shot requirement, field possession of migratory game birds (MGBs), harvesting MGBs during a closed season, hunting MGBs without the required harvest information program (HIP) certification, hunting MGBs with an unplugged shotgun, hunting without a basic hunting license and hunting MGBs without state and federal duck stamps.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Hunting without a basic license brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  For the remaining eight charges, Verdin faces a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each charge. 

During the background check, agents learned that Verdin had three outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for back child support and traffic violations.  Agents booked him into the Terrebonne Parish jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Louis Burnett.

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

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 10/29/2012

***NOTE LOCATION CHANGE***

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 1, 2012, in the Grand Isle Marine Lab, 195 Ludwig Annex, Grand Isle, LA 70358.

The following items will be discussed:

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of October 4, 2012

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/September

5. Award Presentation

6. Presentation of the Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest Winner

7. To receive and consider a Notice of Intent for Rules Governing Alternative Oyster Culture Permits

8. Set March Commission Meeting Date

9. Receive Public Comments

10. Adjournment

 

LDWF Agents Arrest Pontchartrain Blue Crab Owner

Release Date: 10/29/2012

 

Oct. 29, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested Gary M. Bauer, owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, for filing false public records and injuring public records in accordance with an arrest warrant issued by East Baton Rouge Parish.

Agents conducted an inspection of purchase records of commercial fish by Ponchartrain Blue Crab from commercial fishermen.  During the inspection, agents determined that Pontchartrain Blue Crab failed to report to the LDWF, by way of the trip ticket system, the purchase of 170,215 pounds of blue crab, 104,489 pounds of shrimp, 8,564 soft shell crab, 2,122 pounds of sheepshead, 5 pounds of flounder, and 113 pounds of black drum from January 2010 through July 2011.

An arrest warrant was obtained by agents in East Baton Rouge Parish on Oct. 25 for the owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, Gary M. Bauer, 54, of Slidell for 18 counts of filing false public records and 18 counts of injuring public records.  Bauer was notified of the warrants and turned himself into agents on Oct. 26.

LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood and the management of the state's seafood resources.

Filing false public records and injuring public records each brings up to five years with or without hard labor or up to a $5,000 fine for each count.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Robert Turner, Louis Burnett, and Edward Ridgel.  The investigation for this case is ongoing.

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

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