LDWF News

LDWF News Release

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.

 

Tags:

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.

 

 

Tags:

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.

 

Tags:

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.

 

Tags:

Two Men Cited For Crab Trap Theft in Calcasieu Parish

Release Date: 08/21/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a man on Aug. 14 and another on Aug. 19 for alleged crab trap violations in Calcasieu Parish.

Agents cited Nicholas Wayne Erny, 35, of Lake Charles, and Eric L. Linden, 33, of Grand Lake, for theft, destroying legal crab traps, violating crab escape ring requirements, using crab traps without the required markings, and taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license.  Linden was also cited for selling fish to a consumer without a fresh products license.

Agents heard from an anonymous crab fisherman on Black Bayou in Calcasieu Parish who was missing crap traps.  After further investigation, agents found several crab traps near Fred’s Lounge on Black Bayou with the anonymous crab fishermen’s license number on the trap, but with different corks and lines from what the crab fishermen uses.  Agents were able to bring the crab fishermen to the traps for positive identification.

Agents also observed several traps without any tag numbers and some with no escape rings.

On Aug. 14 agents located Erny who admitted to having stolen crab traps, cutting the lines and corks of the stolen traps, using traps without tag numbers and escape rings.  Erny stated he and Linden ran the traps a couple of times for commercial use.

On Aug. 19, agents located Linden who also admitted to stealing crab traps, cutting the lines and corks of the stolen traps, and using traps without tag numbers and escape rings.

Neither Linden nor Erny possessed a commercial gear license.  Agents seized 22 crab traps and Linden’s vessel.

Violating crab escape ring requirements, destroying legal crab traps and using crab traps without the required markings brings a fine up to $950 and 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license and selling fish to a consumer without a fresh products license carries a fine up to $500 and 90 days in jail.  Theft brings a $500 to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Stuart Guillory, Senior Agent Anthony Verret and Senior Agent Sean Moreau.

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

Louisiana Saltwater Series Announces Top Ten Team of the Year Anglers for the 2013 Redfish Series

Release Date: 08/21/2013

From left to right: John Garrison and Steve Smith, 2013 LASS Redfish Series Team of the Year winners

(Aug.  21, 2013) – Please join the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation in congratulating the top ten Team of the Year anglers for the 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series.  The competition was very close throughout the year, and the final standings came down to the wire at the final tournament of the year, held last weekend at the Delta Marina in Empire.

The 2013 top ten teams are as follows:

Team                                                                                  Place                          Payout
Steve Smith & John Garrison                                                  1st                              $3,000
Nash Roberts, IV & Luke Landry                                             2nd                             $1,500
Jacob Leininger & Jeff Rogers                                                 3rd                             $950
Joe Barcelona & John Barcelona                                             4th                             $800
Tony Grose & Sal Fontana                                                       5th                             $750
Matthew Whitman & Ryan Schellhaas                                     6th                             $700
Michael McElveen & Rob Folsom                                             7th                             $650
Gary Wilson & Gus Wilson                                                       8th                            $600
Brandon Treadaway & Ryan Dolese/ Kevin Bergeron              9th                            $550
Charlie Howell & Hunter Howell/ Benjamin Behel                     10th                          $500
           
 

In order for teams to be considered for the Team of the Year top ten standings, they must have registered for all six of the redfish series events.  Points are awarded to teams depending on their placing during each regular season event.  Points from each team’s best five finishes are calculated to count toward the Team of the Year standings, which allows each team to drop their lowest score.

“My sincere congratulations to the Team of the Year anglers and all of our LASS anglers for another successful year, as they are the key to success of this tournament series,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “The information the Department gathers from citizen scientists is truly invaluable.”

Cash payouts for the Team of the Year top ten are generated solely from sponsorship support including Shimano, PowerPro, Coors Light, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Daybrook Fisheries, Omega Protein, Plaquemines Parish Tourism, Dockside Marine, Mercury, Conservation Force, Standard Mapping, Marsh and Bayou, Faux Pas Prints, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers. 

The next scheduled LASS event is our inaugural tarpon tournament scheduled for August 24 and 25 in Venice at Venice Marina.  The Redfish Series Championship will be held on October 18 and 19 at Venice Marina, and the public is invited to attend and find out which team will take home the 2013 title.  Our next LASS youth event is scheduled for November 2 at Myrtle Grove Marina.  For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration, visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed 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 or 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) 765-2396.

 

 

 

 

Tags:

Denham Springs Man Cited for Alligator Violations

Release Date: 08/19/2013

Senior Agent Clarence Marques and Sgt. Randy Lanoux document seized alligator hides.
Lt. Will Roberts documents seized alligator hides

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Denham Springs man with 26 alligator violations on Aug. 15.
 
Agents cited David Caveretta, 51, for four counts of taking alligators without a license, four counts of taking alligators during a closed season, four counts of failing to comply with alligator tagging requirements, 10 counts of illegal possession of alligator skins and parts and four counts of not abiding the nuisance alligator program rules and regulations.  All violations occurred in Ascension and Livingston parishes over the course of the last two years.
 
Caveretta was enrolled in LDWF’s nuisance animal program and was a permitted nuisance alligator hunter.  During the investigation, LDWF agents learned that Caveretta was using nuisance alligator complaint tags on alligators that were not nuisances.  Agents found that if Caveretta was given a complaint tag for a specific nuisance alligator and if that alligator was too small or if he couldn’t find that particular alligator, that he would use the nuisance tag on a larger alligator taken from a different area than the original complaint.
 
Agents seized 10 alligator hides, Caveretta’s remaining 13 unused alligator tags and his nuisance hunter permit.  LDWF also removed Caveretta from the nuisance alligator program.
 
Failing to adhere to nuisance alligator program rules and regulations and failing to comply with alligator tagging requirements each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each count.  Taking alligators without a license carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each count.  Taking alligators during a closed season and possessing alligator skins and parts each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each count.
 
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Senior Agent Clarence Marques and Senior Agent Garrett Kimble.
 
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

 

LPB Presents: Alive! In America’s Delta -- The Whooping Crane’s Majestic Return

Release Date: 08/15/2013

 
Aug. 15, 2013 -- Louisiana Public Broadcasting unveils a special presentation of the first episode of its new six-part series Alive! In America’s Delta on Monday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. on LPB and Friday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. on WLAE in New Orleans.
 
“The Whooping Crane’s Majestic Return” features the biologist team leading the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ whooping crane reintroduction project.
 
This documentary follows the initiative to reintroduce whooping cranes into their ancestral territory in southwest Louisiana. By increasing the numbers of whooping cranes, the bird could eventually be removed from the list of critically endangered species.
 
For an exclusive view of these remarkable animals and the professionals who prepare them to thrive successfully in the wild, LPB producer Donna LaFleur and photographer Rex Q. Fortenberry followed alongside the LDWF staff members as they worked with the cranes. Fortenberry even donned the required crane costume to disguise himself and his camera to capture the arrival of the young birds to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area and throughout their release into the Louisiana marshlands south of Gueydan.
 
Future episodes in the Alive! In America’s Delta series explore Louisiana black bears, wildlife enforcement, and endangered species on land and in the water.
 
Additional broadcasts of the “The Whooping Crane’s Majestic Return” on LPB are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug.  21 at 10 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. and again on LPB 2 at 9 p.m. Live streaming access to the program will be available on www.lpb.org/live on Monday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. The program will then be available on-line through the end of August at www.lpb.org/alive.
 
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes ; or contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115.
 
 
 
 

LDWF Names New Boating Law Administrator for Louisiana

Release Date: 08/15/2013

Capt. Rachel Zechenelly

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has appointed a new state Boating Law Administrator (BLA), which will represent Louisiana on the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, of Baton Rouge, is replacing Col. Jeff Mayne as Louisiana’s BLA after Col. Mayne stepped down from the position when he was promoted to the head of the LDWF Enforcement Division in June.

“I’m honored to be named Louisiana’s Boating Law Administrator as we strive to make our waterways safer for everyone to enjoy,” said Capt. Zechenelly.  “We’ve made a lot of progress in making boating a safer experience and we will continue to look at ways to make it even safer in the future.”

Capt. Zechenelly also said she will expand education outreach programs to paddle sports due to a significant increase in people kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing.

Capt. Zechenelly is originally from Pearl River and joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999.  Capt. Zechenelly started as an agent working out of the New Orleans office where she primarily handled fishery patrols and boating safety enforcement on the water including on the coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Capt. Zechenelly was assigned to LDWF Enforcement Division’s Headquarters Staff in 2005 in Baton Rouge as the boating education coordinator.  In May of 2011, she was promoted to captain and put in charge of LDWF’s Boating Safety Enforcement and Waterways Management.  She currently oversees the Enforcement Division’s marine theft investigations, boating crash incident investigations, and the statewide boating safety education program.

“I have the utmost confidence in Capt. Zechenelly’s ability and experience to spearhead our boating safety programs,” said Col. Jeff Mayne.  “She has led our boating education program almost from the beginning and is familiar with NASBLA’s training curriculum and key personnel.”

Capt. Zechenelly has participated and coordinated the Enforcement Division’s emergency response for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac, the BP Oil Spill in 2010, and the Mississippi River Spring 2011 Flood event.

Capt. Zechenelly completed the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Patrol Officer Course and the month long National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Law Enforcement Training Program.  She also completed the NASBLA Comprehensive Boating Accident Investigation and Analysis Course.

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.

NASBLA’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.

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

Syndicate content