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LDWF News Release

New Bird Dog Training Area Opened on Kisatchie National Forest

Release Date: 09/14/2012

Sept. 14, 2012 -- The U. S. Forest Service, in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), has opened a bird dog training area (BDTA) on the Vernon Unit of the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF), similar to those on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

The approximately 80-acre site locally known as the “Dove Field” is east of LA 399 and about 1 mile north of the Fullerton community in Vernon Parish.  Similar to bird dog training areas within Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Lake Ramsay Savannah, and Bodcau WMAs, the KNF Dove Field BDTA will provide quail hunters a place to train bird dogs during and outside of the regular upland bird hunting seasons. 

The KNF BDTA is part of a long range plan to enhance wild bobwhite quail habitat on the Vernon Unit. In addition, the U. S. Forest Service, LDWF, the National Wild Turkey Federation, U. S. Army, and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative are working together to improve quail habitat on thousands of acres surrounding the BDTA.  Within the BDTA, the USFS and LDWF are intensively managing the 80 acres with prescribed burning, fallow disking, food plots and timber harvests to encourage wild quail to remain on the site year round.

Dog training can be conducted on the Dove Field BDTA year-round, except during turkey season, without any special permit.  However, dog trainers using birds may release and harvest up to six leg-banded, pen-raised quail per day, but must have a special, no-charge permit. To obtain this permit, contact LDWF’s Small Game and Wild Turkey Program Leader Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov.

KNF users are reminded to comply with all hunter orange, vehicle access, and other site requirements while training dogs.  Other hunting and recreational uses within the KNF Dove Field BDTA will continue to be allowed as described in Forest Service regulations.For more information on KNF regulations for site use, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie/hunting/index.html.

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LDWF Enforcement Division Wins National Boating Award

Release Date: 09/13/2012

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division received the 2012 Compass Award at the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) annual conference from Sept. 8 to 12 in Mobile, Ala.

LDWF received the award for becoming the first agency in the United States to earn national accreditation in the Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program administered by NASBLA and for continuing to set an example in leadership for its boating safety and waterway enforcement program.

NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety.  NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

According to NASBLA.org, the Compass Award is a means of recognizing a NASBLA member agency for significant measures and leadership it has taken to develop a model of performance in a specific area.  Receipt of this award identifies an agency whose program, effort, or initiative has truly enhanced the nation’s safety and security and one that has become a model for all to follow.

“Winning this award is a great achievement for our agency and acknowledges all of the hard work we put in to making Louisiana’s waterways safer for everyone to enjoy,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, Louisiana’s State Boating Law Administrator.  “We feel that this new training program will allow our agency to train with others more efficiently, which will provide a great public safety services on our states waterways.”

The BOAT program establishes a national standard for the training and qualification of maritime law enforcement and rescue personnel.  Adoption and implementation of the BOAT program provides a true national standard for the purpose of maritime interoperability at the federal, state and local levels.  Standardization ensures maritime agencies can interact together and will bolster their ability to act as force multipliers nationwide.

The LDWF Enforcement Division is the first agency to implement the BOAT standard in all aspects of operations and training including cadet training at the academy level and training of partners throughout the state across all jurisdictions.  The BOAT program will enhance LDWF's training plans in the areas of basic crewmember, boat operator for search and rescue and tactical operations.

The LDWF Enforcement Division is an active participant in Louisiana's Homeland Security Plan and represents the state in waterborne emergencies.  Through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, LDWF is the lead agency for search and rescue operations and maritime security.

As members of the Governor's Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Area Maritime Security Executive Steering Committee and all major port security committees within the state, LDWF Law Enforcement Division agents frequently respond to requests to deploy LDWF marine resources for security concerns.

The LDWF Enforcement Division's specialized training and equipment and its ability to operate throughout the state's vast maze of waterways and wild areas has complemented Louisiana's ability to respond to emergencies on the water.

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

Commission Proposal Would Increase Live Bait Availability To Saltwater Anglers

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012 – At last week’s meeting the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent to amend the Special Bait Dealer Permit rule. Amendments to the current rule would allow businesses that hold a “Special Live Bait Dealer Permit” added opportunities to meet the growing demand for live bait shrimp and live croaker from recreational saltwater anglers.

These changes would allow qualified businesses to apply for permits and conduct bait fishing operations year-round and at night provided permitted vessels are equipped with a working vessel monitoring system (VMS). Other changes include the following:

  •  Allows use of skimmer net frames up to the legal maximum size (16’ horizontally; 12’ vertically and 20’ diagonally)
  • Allows transfer of live bait from one vessel to another under the following provisions:
  • Both vessels must be permitted under the same wholesale/retail seafood dealer
  • Captain of the harvesting vessel must possess a signed trip ticket for the harvested bait
  • Bait is transported directly to the wholesale/retails seafood dealer under which both vessels are operating
  • Upon receiving the harvested bait, the dealer shall complete the trip ticket
  • Persons convicted of a Class Three or greater fisheries violation within the previous three years prior to the date of application shall not qualify to obtain a permit or be onboard any vessel engaged in permitted activities
  • Prohibits sale of live shrimp or crabs directly from a permitted vessel to anyone other than the wholesale/retail seafood dealer listed on the permit during closed shrimp season

Current regulations limit special bait dealer permittees to the harvest and sale of live shrimp and live croaker beginning May 1 of each year and between the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons. No special permits are required to harvest and sell live bait during open shrimp season.

The proposed rule is in response to increased public demand for live bait, which often exceeds available bait dealer supplies.  

"These proposed changes should enhance live bait availabilities by providing permitted dealers greater bait harvesting opportunities," said Randy Pausina, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Assistant Secretary of Fisheries. "The rule will also boost fishing success for their long-standing favorite and Louisiana's most targeted recreational saltwater species, speckled trout."

Last amended in 2010, the Special Bait Dealer Permit Rule is intended solely for the benefit of the recreational fishing public which desires to use live shrimp and live croaker as bait during closed shrimp season between the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons. Its purpose is to allow the uninterrupted operation of those commercial establishments that sell live bait to the fishing public during the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons.

The special bait dealer permit is not intended for the direct use of recreational fishermen, charter boats, commercial fishermen who sell dead bait or for any other entity which may wish to catch bait for their own use during closed shrimp season.

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.

Written comments relative to the proposed rule may be submitted to Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 189, Bourg, LA 70343 prior to Nov. 1, 2012.

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

 

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LWF Commission Moves Forward With 2013 Crab Trap Removal Program

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012- At last week’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting a motion was approved to continue the abandoned crab trap removal program for 2013. Two winter crab trap closures and clean-ups are planned for portions of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes on designated dates in February and March next year.

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 22,200 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. Last year, volunteer organizations and individual volunteers including members of the Coastal Conservation Association and Nature Conservancy as well as volunteers from LSU, Nicholls State, LUMCON, National Relief Network, NOAA Fisheries Service, St. Bernard Parish Government and commercial crab and shrimp fishermen contributed to the removal of nearly 2,800 crab traps from coastal waters.

LDWF will again partner with Louisiana Sea Grant for the 2013 crab trap removal efforts. As the 2013 removal weekends approach, Louisiana Sea Grant will help organize volunteers, provide educational outreach on marine debris, as well as establish a recycling effort for crab traps.

Plaquemines Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., February 16 through 6 a.m., February 25, 2013:

  • From a point originating along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River at 29 degrees 44 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence eastward along 29 degrees 44 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 40 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 40 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to the eastern shore of the Mississippi River; thence northward along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River terminating at the point of beginning.

St.Bernard Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., March 9 through 6 a.m. March 18, 2013:

  • From a point originating from the intersection of the northwestern shore of Bayou Yscloskey and the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; thence northward to the southwestern shore of Shell Beach Cut; thence northward along the western shore of Shell Beach Cut to the southern shore of Lake Borgne; thence northward a distance of one-half mile from the southern shore of Lake Borgne; thence eastward and northward along a line extending one-half mile offshore along the southern and western shore of Lake Borgne to 29 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds north latitude;thence eastward along 29 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; thence westward along the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet to the eastern shore of Bayou La Loutre; thence southward along the eastern shore of Bayou La Loutre; thence westward along the southern shore of Bayou La Loutre to the western shore of Bayou Yscloskey; thence northward along the western shore of Bayou Yscloskey and terminating at the point of beginning.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.

In the weeks leading up to the closure periods, LDWF will send notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within these and adjacent parishes.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.

Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Anyone may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.

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.

Written comments may be submitted to Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist, Marine Fisheries Section, P.O. Box 189, Bourg, LA 70343, prior to November 1, 2013.

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

 

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LDWF and Cabela’s Host “Women in the Wild” Hunting Basics Workshop

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012  --The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in conjunction with Cabela’s, presented the second annual Louisiana Women in the Wild-Hunting Basics Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.

Twenty seven participants received a full day of instruction on the basics of hunting from LDWF Education Section staff members and Hunter Ed volunteer instructors.

The eight-hour workshop focused on wildlife conservation through our hunting heritage, types of hunting available in Louisiana, hunting opportunities on public land, safe hunting and firearm skills, scouting and blood trailing, rifle and shotgun shooting techniques, and archery.  In addition, tree stand safety and duck hunting demonstrations were provided, followed by a game cleaning session at the end of the day-long workshop.

The activities offered hands-on practice time for every participant and each one received complimentary outdoor items from Cabela’s. Sample wild game dishes were also provided for attendees at the end of the day, basically bringing the participants from classroom, to field, to table in their learning of basic hunting skills and enjoyment of wild game.

During the 2012-13 hunting season, workshop participants will be eligible to participate in deer or duck hunts that will be conducted on Tensas National Wildlife Refuge, Atchafalaya Delta WMA, or Pass-a-Loutre WMA. The program was established to develop new hunters by providing women the basic skills and confidence they need to venture afield and become active hunters with family and friends.

For more information on future workshops, contact Gene Cavalier at 985-882-9159 or gcavalier@wlf.la.gov, or Karen Crabtree at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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LDWF Reopens Elm Hall WMA

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today reopened for public use the Elm Hall Wildlife Management Area in Assumption Parish. The WMA had been closed prior to Hurricane Isaac’s landfall on Aug. 29.

LDWF’s Elmer’s Island (Jefferson Parish) remains closed until further notice. Storm impact assessment and beach cleaning operations are ongoing. 

For a complete list of state WMAs and refuges, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.

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.

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2012 White Lake W.C.A. Marsh and Rice Field Lottery Hunts Announced

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for 2012 marsh and rice field lottery waterfowl hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.

The available dates for rice field hunts are: Nov. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30; Dec. 1, 2, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 27, 28, 30 and 31; and Jan. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Marsh hunts are available on: Nov. 10, 11, 15, 19, and 25; Dec. 20, 22, 23 and 29; and Jan. 2 and 15.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and applications for both hunts must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 11, 2012.

Applications may be obtained by contacting any of LDWF's field offices or by visiting the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.  Completed applications may be delivered in person to Room 422 of the LDWF Building in Baton Rouge, or by mail.  The mailing address is: La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,  P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.  Please note on envelope: Attention: White Lake Marsh (or Rice Field) Lottery Hunt, whichever is applicable.

Each application will be assessed a non-refundable $5 administrative fee. Applications must be accompanied by a check or money order payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Successful applicants will be notified by mail.

Selected applicants will be allowed two guests for the rice field hunts and one guest for the marsh hunts. An additional payment of $225 will be required for the rice field hunts and $350 for the marsh hunts.

For more information on White Lake WCA marsh and rice field lottery waterfowl hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 or wsweeney@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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA Boat Launch Closed for Repair

Release Date: 09/11/2012

 

Sept. 11, 2012  – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed a boat launch at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for repair. The launch, off LA 665 in Lafourche Parish, provides access into the St. Louis canal and the marsh north of the WMA’s Grand Bayou management units.

Dirt and limestone must be replaced in the parking area and ramp approaches to facilitate safe launching by the public. Repairs are scheduled to be completed for the Sept. 15 teal season opening. A privately owned and operated boat launch at the end of LA 665 is open and providing access to the marsh on the northern portion of the WMA.

For more information, contact LDWF’s New Iberia office at 337-373-0032.

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.

 

LDWF Reopens Pearl River WMA

Release Date: 09/11/2012

Sept. 11, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today reopened for public use all acres within Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in St. Tammany Parish. The WMA had been partially reopened following Hurricane Isaac, but only those acres south of Interstate 10. Today’s opening provides for public access to that part of the WMA north of I-10, as well.

Access to the WMA via Old Highway 11, within the WMA, will remain closed however, until Thursday, Sept. 13. Floodwater levels still present unsafe conditions for the public on Old Highway 11 and repairs by LDWF staff are underway.

LDWF sites that remain closed until further notice include the following WMAs and refuges:  Elm Hall (Assumption Parish) and Elmer’s Island (Jefferson Parish). Storm impacts affecting vehicle access and debris removal are ongoing at sites still closed. 

For a complete list of state WMAs and refuges, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.

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.

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LDWF Agents Conclude Three Year Illegal Fish Sales Investigation

Release Date: 09/10/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Bridge City man on Sept. 9 for alleged commercial finfish violations.

Agents arrested and cited Yoan C. Hernandez, 26, of Bridge City after agents concluded a three year investigation into the illegal sale of red snapper.  Undercover agents with the department’s Special Investigation Unit bought a total of 655 pounds of illegal red snapper from Hernandez.

Agents cited Hernandez for six counts of violating individual reef fish quota allotment, three counts of selling fish without a wholesale/retail dealer permit, three counts of failing to maintain records, three counts of failing to fill out trip tickets and three counts of failing to report commercial fisheries data.

Violating individual reef fish quotas carries a fine up to $350 and up to 60 days in jail for each count.  Selling fish without a wholesale/retail dealer permit, failing to maintain records, failing to complete trip tickets and failing to report commercial fisheries data brings up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense and count.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young, Sgt. Kris Bourgeois, Sgt. Tim Fox, and Senior Agents Mitch Saunders, Jared Taylor, and Villere Reggio.

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

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