LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Three Men Cited For Illegal Oyster Activity in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 08/27/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited three men for alleged oyster and boating safety violations in Bayou Stephan in Plaquemines Parish on Aug. 26.

Agents cited John Phillipe, 32, Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., for harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill.

Phillipe, the licensed captain, was also cited for twice violating the state’s health code for not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book and vessel sanitation requirements.  He was also cited for taking commercial fish without a vessel license, no visible boat numbers, improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal.

The incident occurred when agents witnessed Phillipe and his deckhands harvesting oysters from a lease near Port Sulphur that did not belong to them and under the cover of darkness after legal sunset.  The boating safety and health code violations were discovered during the stop.

Unlawfully harvesting oysters from a private lease, without written permission from the lease holder, and during illegal hours each carries up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license brings up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Each count of the state’s health code violations carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail and forfeiture of the product.  Each of the boating safety violations brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Agents issued 20 citations, seized one oyster dredge and 11 sacks of oysters were returned to the water.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

2013 Alligator Hunting Season Set to Open Aug. 28

Release Date: 08/27/2013

Aug. 27, 2013 -- The East Zone Louisiana alligator season is scheduled to open Wednesday, Aug. 28, followed by the West Zone opening on Sept. 4.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be issuing tags to licensed hunters through Sept. 4. Over 38,000 tags will be issued and an estimated 34,000 alligators will be harvested during the 2013 season.

Harvested alligators will range from 4 to 12 feet in length with the average size estimated to be 7 feet, 6 inches.

According to LDWF Alligator Program Manager Noel Kinler, “There is good demand for alligator skins and meat, and we expect to see a good harvest season with prices at least equal to last year’s average of $23.50 per foot. We will issue an estimated 3,000 licenses to Louisiana residents and over 500 to non-resident sport hunters.”

Like other outdoor activities, youngsters participate at a very early age since alligator hunting is often a family affair and women also participate as hunters during the alligator season.  Lifelong hunters still enjoy the challenge into their 70s and 80s, and alligator hunting leases are passed down from father to son to grandson.

For more information, contact Noel Kinler at 337-373-0032 or nkinler@wlf.la.gov or Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@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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Agents Arrest Man for Possession of Stolen Crab Traps in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 08/26/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a DeRidder man on Aug. 23 for alleged crabbing and fishing violations on Calcasieu Lake.

Agents arrested Robby Joe Wiley, 38, for illegal possession of stolen things, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, taking or possessing commercial fish without a vessel license, using crab traps without required markings, violating crab trap escape ring requirements, taking commercial fish without a commercial license and improper boat numbers.  Wiley was booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.

Agents received a complaint from a fisherman who reported he had crab traps stolen from him.  Agents discovered that several crab traps in Calcasieu Lake were tagged with two commercial fishing numbers.  One of the numbers belonged to the victim and another belonged to Wiley.  Wiley replaced the victim’s lines and corks attached to the crab traps with his own.

On Aug. 23, Agents went back to the area and checked all the crab traps in the area with Wiley’s corks.  Agents then seized crab traps tagged with the two commercial fishermen numbers on them.

While Agents were conducting the investigation, they were met by Wiley.  Wiley identified the seized crab traps as his own.  Agents did a compliance check and discovered that Wiley was commercial fishing under another person’s commercial fishing license and possessed no commercial licenses of his own.  Agents also discovered several traps were not tagged and crab traps that did not have escape rings.

Agents seized 46 crab traps, Wiley’s boat, motor and trailer along with the fraudulent commercial licenses.

Possession of stolen thing things brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Using crab traps without the required markings and violating crap trap escape ring requirements each carries up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, without a vessel license, or without a commercial license each carries up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Improper boat numbers brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Stuart Guillory, Sgt. Justin Sonnier, Senior Agent Anthony Verret and Senior Agent Sean Moreau.

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

2013-14 Migratory Game Bird Regulations Pamphlet Now Available on L.D.W.F.’s Website

Release Date: 08/26/2013

Aug. 26, 2013 -- The 2013-14 Migratory Game Bird Regulations pamphlet is now available on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations.

The pamphlet includes early hunting season dates for doves, gallinules, rails and teal in September, as well as the November opening dates for ducks, coots, geese and mergansers, and woodcock in December.

Dates are provided per zone, where applicable, and youth hunting dates are also listed.

Correction / clarifications:

A) Office locations and phone numbers for US Fish and Wildlife Service special agents are incorrectly listed in the printed pamphlet. Corrected listings, which do appear within the pamphlet posted on the LDWF website, include the following three USFWS offices:

Lacombe (985) 882-3756

Lafayette (337) 291-3114

Metairie (504) 219-8870

B) The LDWF press release of Aug. 1, that announced the youth hunt dates for migratory waterfowl season in the West Zone, contained an incorrect January date. The correct date for the second Saturday for youth-only waterfowl hunting in the West Zone is Jan. 25. That date is correctly noted in the printed and LDWF web-posted 2013-14 Migratory Game Bird Regulations pamphlet.

Printed copies of the 2013-14 Migratory Game Bird Regulations pamphlet will be available at license vendor outlets and LDWF Wildlife Division field offices by mid-September.

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

 

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Crab Task Force to Meet August 29 in New Orleans

Release Date: 08/23/2013

 

The following is the agenda for the Crab Task Force Meeting. The Public is invited to attend.

Thursday, August 29, 1:30 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

 

AGENDA

I.   Roll Call and introduction of guests
II.  Approval of meeting Agenda and July 11,2013 minutes
III. Financial Report- Rene LeBreton
            A. MSC payment update

IV. Old Business
            A. Serviceable Crab Trap Law
            B. Derelict Crab Trap Pilot Program

V. New Business
            A. MSC marketing- Kristin McLaren (LSPMB)
            B. Soft Shell Crab Shedding Grant
            C. 2014 Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up
            D. Hard and Soft Crab Landings-LDWF Rep
            E. Lake Pontchartrain Basin- Keith Watts

VI.  Public Comment
VII. Set Next Meeting
VIII. Adjourn

 

Shrimp Task Force Management Committee to meet Tuesday August 27 in Houma

Release Date: 08/23/2013

 The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Management Committee Meeting

Tuesday, August 27, 2:30 p.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, Louisiana 70360

 

AGENDA

  1.   Roll Call and introduction of guests
  2.   New Business
    1. Proposed projects for Artificial Reef Fund- LDWF Representative
    2. Skimmer Size Legislation-LDWF Representative
    3. Monterey Bay Updated Rating- LDWF Representative
  3. Public Comment
  4. Adjourn

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force was created by Act 606 of the Louisiana Legislature to study and monitor the shrimp industry and to make recommendations to the state.

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.

This meeting is open to the public.

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (228)342-0659.

 

 

 

LASS Tarpon Tournament to be Postponed

Release Date: 08/23/2013

(Aug. 23, 2013) - Event organizers have postponed this weekend’s Louisiana Saltwater Series Tarpon Tournament at Venice Marina due to the threat of inclement weather. 

Updates regarding the rescheduled event date will be posted to www.lasaltwaterseries.com and announced via email to all registered participants.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was founded 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 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.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225)721-0489.

 

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Small, Urban Lake Offers Big Incentives

Release Date: 08/22/2013


Click Image to View Map PDF

(Aug. 22, 2013) - For obvious reasons, the Department focuses a large amount of effort on big, marquee water bodies that are widely known and heavily utilized by anglers, but don’t let small, urban lakes fall under your radar. 

In many instances, smaller lakes may have fisheries that parallel or exceed those of big lakes when it comes to catch rates and size structure of fish.  City Park Lake falls right in the backyard of many New Orleans residents, and offers a world-class fishing opportunity.

Tim Zissis’s monstrous bass, landed just last week, is a perfect example of the fishery excelling in both numbers and size.  Zissis set a City Park record with his 9.05 pound catch.   It was the second 9 pound bass caught this year from the 110-acre lagoon complex.

When LDWF first got involved, the lagoons system was neglected as a fishing resource, but even before Hurricane Katrina hit, we had already turned the corner.  “Since the storm, we’ve regained those improvements and created arguably the best urban fishing system in the nation, if not the world,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “Water quality in the lagoons, a problem for decades, is now better than ever thanks to our restoration efforts.”

Post-Katrina, the Department installed a water monitoring system, funded by federal grants, which monitors both water flow and salinity, to improve fisheries habitat and stock. Additional projects include water circulation improvements, herbicide treatments of invasive aquatic plant species and the construction of additional habitat by using recycled Christmas trees to create artificial fishing reefs.

The Department began stocking City Park waters in 1999, with the goal of improving urban fishing opportunities.  Since 2009, over 18,000 bluegill fingerlings, 204 channel catfish fingerlings and 256 Florida bass pre-spawn adults have been stocked by the LDWF.

In addition to stocking efforts, the Department is also involved in many cooperative projects to improve the City Park lagoons as well as the Bayou St. John fishery, the system which feeds water to the City Park Lakes.  Although improvement efforts were initiated nearly ten years ago, the system suffered significant setbacks due to Hurricane Katrina.  Saltwater and flooding not only drove freshwater fish from the park’s lagoons, but it also left behind a great deal of debris and decimated shorelines.

LDWF staff, working along with New Orleans City Park and scores of dedicated volunteers, have spent years removing non-native vegetation and replacing it with native plants, providing excellent casting access for area anglers, which is great news for City Park Big Bass Rodeo organizers.  The nation’s oldest freshwater fishing contest is held annually each spring and attracts more than 600 participants of all ages and backgrounds hoping to catch those elusive lunkers for bragging rights and trophies. 

Another event, sponsored by the Department, that’s no stranger to City Park Lake, is the Rio Removal Rodeo, a free fishing rodeo to help reduce the Rio Grande cichlid population in the Greater New Orleans area.  The invasive species is known to outcompete native sportfish for habitat and bedding areas.

Throughout the year, LDWF staff also team up with the Louisiana Outdoors Outreach Program to provide local youth with fishing instructions and demonstrations, with targeted information on how to fish City Park Lake and its surrounding waters. 

For a map of the City Park Lake complex including common species and recommended gear, click the following link: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/36951-lawf....

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 press inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.

 

 

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Pearl River WMA Road Closure Announced

Release Date: 08/22/2013

Aug. 22, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that effective today, Old Highway 11 on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in southeastern St. Tammany Parish has been closed to motorized traffic due to the recent discovery of a damaged portion of the road.
 
LDWF is working to resolve the issue and have repairs made as soon as possible.  The road will be reopened once repairs are made and inspections are complete. 
 
For more information on the road closure, contact Christian Winslow 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.

 

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Release Rehabilitated Endangered Sea Turtle Back into the Gulf of Mexico

Release Date: 08/21/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Release Rehabilitated Endangered Sea Turtle Back into the Gulf of Mexico
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Release Rehabilitated Endangered Sea Turtle Back into the Gulf of Mexico
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Release Rehabilitated Endangered Sea Turtle Back into the Gulf of Mexico
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Release Rehabilitated Endangered Sea Turtle Back into the Gulf of Mexico

New Orleans (Aug. 21, 2013) – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in cooperation with the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas released a rehabilitated Kemp’s ridley Sea Turtle back into the Gulf of Mexico.

A concerned boater reported the injured turtle to LDWF on July 2, 2012 and LDWF biologist Paul Cook rescued the turtle that same day.  The turtle had severe head injuries, including damage to the right eye and the upper and lower mandible, or jaw.

The turtle, affectionately known as “Jaws” was transported to the Audubon Nature Institute’s Aquatic Center in New Orleans for evaluation and eventually underwent surgery at the Louisiana Veterinary Referral Center (LVRC) in Mandeville, La.  The turtle’s rehabilitation has been overseen by Audubon Aquarium of the Americas’ veterinary staff.

Today, LDWF fisheries biologists transported Jaws offshore for its release back into the Gulf of Mexico near a production platform, south of Marsh Island.  This location was chosen because platforms are known to harbor various marine life forms and will provide a steady food supply and shelter as the turtle acclimates to its new environment.

“The cooperation between our public, Audubon Nature Institute and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has produced an incredible response and rehabilitation program”, said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We rely heavily on the public’s help in reporting these encounters; their help has allowed us to return an endangered sea turtle today.”

Five species of sea turtles including: Eretmochelys imbricate, Hawksbill; Chelonia mydas, Green; Caretta caretta, Loggerhead; Dermochelys coriacea, Leatherback; and Lepidochelys kempii, Kemp’s ridley may be found in Louisiana’s intricate marsh system, on our beaches or in Gulf of Mexico waters off of our coastline. Kemp’s ridleys are considered the smallest sea turtles, usually weighing between 80 to 100 pounds when fully matured.

To report an injured or dead marine mammal or sea turtle in Louisiana, call the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hotline at (337) 962-7092.

For more information about the LDWF sea turtle rescue program contact Mandy Tumlin at 225-765-2377 or mtumlin@wlf.la.gov, for press inquiries contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.

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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