LDWF News Release

Commercial Fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks to Open in State Waters January 1

Release Date: 12/09/2014

December 9, 2014- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that commercial fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2015, federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.

The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2015 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2015 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.   The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings, as laid out in federal and state regulations. 

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.  While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. 

Commercial fishing for Small Coastal Sharks will also resume in Louisiana waters on Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2015, or until 80 percent of the federal quota has been met.  The commercial Small Coastal Shark fishery consists of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark.  Blacknose sharks, though part of the Small Coastal Shark group, are managed under a separate quota that is linked to the overall Small Coastal Shark quota. The Small Coastal Group fishery remained open for all of 2014.

There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.

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 release inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162. 

LWFC Hears Ducks Unlimited Update on Breeding Grounds Progress in Canada

Release Date: 12/05/2014

Dec. 5, 2014 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) was updated on 50 years of progress made through its partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada during the Commission’s Dec. 4 meeting.
DU Canada’s Manager of State Partnerships Dave Kostersky presented information on the waterfowl connection between the Canadian prairies and the numbers of ducks seen in Louisiana at the end of the Mississippi flyway. Kostersky additionally thanked the Commission and the Department for the support provided.
The partnership formed in 1964 when the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agreed to begin funding acquisition and preservation of prime Canadian breeding grounds for a variety of duck species. Since 1965, LDWF has contributed $10.5 million in support of Canadian breeding habitat.  Through matching funds provided by Ducks Unlimited in the United States and Canada, the North American Wetland Conservation Act, and other partners in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, that funding has generated over $40 million for breeding grounds preservation and development.
The conservation needs addressed with funding utilized by DU Canada include the continued loss of and degradation of wetlands which reduces the carrying capacity for breeding pairs and brood rearing, as well as the loss of grasslands vital for nesting habitat. The changing agricultural landscape, driven by high commodity prices and associated reduction in cattle ranching in Canada are currently threats on breeding ground habitat.
Ducks Unlimited, a world leader in wetland and waterfowl conservation, guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with DU on Facebook at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, and watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.
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 more information, contact  Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov .


14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population

Release Date: 12/05/2014

14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population
14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population
14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population

Dec. 5, 2014 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists have received a fifth cohort of juvenile whooping cranes at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan. The 14 young cranes received Dec. 4 add to the state’s resident population established through an LDWF species restoration project.

 “As we prepare to enter year five of this project, I encourage the public to continue to support our biologists in this effort by observing these birds from a distance and reporting any sightings of injured birds or anyone attempting to harm them in any way,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We are fortunate to have a number of private landowners who have assisted us by working with our staff when the cranes roost on their property and I thank them for their participation.”

The White Lake WCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds prior to their release into the wild. The cranes were raised at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wis., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation. This month’s delivery increases the Louisiana whooping crane population to 40.

LDWF continues to work cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, ICF and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state. Project funding is derived from LDWF species restoration dedicated funds, federal funds and private/corporate donations which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Major corporate funding support to date has been provided by Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

The whooping cranes in Louisiana are designated as a non-essential, experimental population (NEP) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation were developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area. The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.

Hunters, fishermen and anyone who spends time in the marshes and rice fields of Louisiana are reminded that whooping cranes in Louisiana are still protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.

Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Mature whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand five feet tall and have a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-251 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 

For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit www.wlf.la.gov; or contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115.


Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 12/04/2014

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m. in Suite 210 of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.  

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

  1. Roll Call of Board Members
  2. Approval of Minutes from October 7, 2014 Meeting
  3. Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals
    1. B & W Seafood
    2. Dale Chaisson
  4. Update on Recommendation Made at October 7, 2014 Meeting
  5. Receive Public Comments
  6. Set next meeting date
  7. Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov.



LWF Commission Approves Notice of Intent to Make Modifications to Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

Release Date: 12/04/2014

LDWF also reminds anglers and charter boat captains to renew their current ROLP

December 4, 2014 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a notice of intent to modify regulations pertaining to the Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP).

The proposed rule would exempt anglers under the age of 16 as an adjustment in the program so that juvenile anglers who are not required to possess a recreational fishing license would have consistent rules, avoiding confusion.  LDWF has implemented other survey methods to estimate the number of anglers under 16 participating in the harvest of those species requiring a ROLP.

Further proposed changes would clarify existing language in the rule which specifies that the ROLP term be the same as the annual saltwater license as well as add language exempting anglers on a paid for-hire trip from the ROLP when the captain of that vessel has a valid ROLP.

To view the Notice of Intent, as passed by the LWFC, in its entirety, please click here.

Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed Rule to: Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898- 9000, or via e-mail to:  jadriance@wlf.la.gov prior to Thursday, February 5, 2015.

Renew Current Permits

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also take this opportunity to remind recreational anglers and charter boat captain to renew their current ROLP.  As the regulations currently stand, the ROLP must be renewed annually from initial sign-up date.

Anglers and charter boat captains may renew their ROLP by visiting http://rolp.wlf.la.gov, it is simple and free.  There is retrieval link under the login portion of the website in cases of forgotten username and/or password.

One important note:  users must print out a new permit with the new expiration date.  Permits can be printed once logged in by clicking the “View printable permit” link below a user’s profile.  The link will not automatically print the permit but displays a printable version.

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


LDWF Seeking Leads About Deer Hunting and Trespassing Violations

Release Date: 12/03/2014

Two Men Caught on Game Camera

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is asking the public for help about deer hunting and trespassing violations that occurred in Rapides Parish on Nov. 22.

A landowner alerted agents about a photo that his game camera took of two men with deer at 8:37 p.m. on Nov. 22 in the Kolin and Effie area of Rapides Parish.  In the photo one man has a deer draped around his back to haul it out of the area and the other man lying on the ground to drape another deer to his back for transportation.

LDWF is offering up to a $1,000 reward for anybody that volunteers information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.  Anyone with tips or leads can call LDWF’s Operation Game Thief’s (OGT) toll free hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or text LDWF OGT by texting LADWF and their tip to 847411.  Tipsters can also download the LADWF Tips iPhone and Android apps from iTunes and Google Play stores free of charge.

Agents believe that the men were trespassing on private land without permission and may have committed other deer hunting violations such as hunting during illegal hours and with lights or night vision.

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

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 12/02/2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 1 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, suite 210, New Orleans


I.  Roll call and introduction of guests

II.  Approval of October 7, 2014 meeting minutes and December 9, 2014 agenda

III. Treasury Report

  1. Oyster Tag Sales
  2. LOTF Financial Report

IV.  Committee Reports

  1. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee (Buddy Pausina)
  2. Enforcement (Lt. Colonel Sammy Martin)
  3. Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)
  4. Research (Patrick Banks)
  5. Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)
  6. Marketing (Ashley Roth)
  7. Health (Lance Broussard)
  8. Sustainability (LDWF)
  9. Professionalism (LDWF)

V. Old Business

   A. BP Oil Spill Remediation

VI. New Business

   A. Stock Assessment Workshop recommendations-Tom Soniat

VII. Public Comment

VIII. Set Next Meeting

IX. Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6315262000810383361

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click  here.

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.



Temporary Road Restriction on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 12/02/2014

Dec. 2, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is informing sportsmen and women that Alligator Bayou Road on Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is currently available as an ATV/UTV trail only.
Vehicle parking is permitted before the ATV/UTV signs along Alligator Bayou Road.  The road is scheduled to be improved after hunting season.  Once repaired, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
All WMA rules and regulations relating to trails will also apply to use of Alligator Bayou Road as an ATV/UTV trail.

Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov.


Handling Firearms Safely After the Hunt

Release Date: 12/01/2014

Dec. 1, 2014 -- With Louisiana hunting seasons in full swing, hunters are reminded that safe firearm handling does not end with the hunt. Proper transport and storage of firearms will keep everyone safe when the hunt is over. Hunters are reminded of the following basic safety practices:

  • Completely unload firearms at the conclusion of the hunt and keep the action open.  Be sure all shells or cartridges are removed from both the chamber and the magazine. 
  • When in a vehicle, boat or on an ATV, transport firearms unloaded with the action open and in a secure position - preferably in a case. 
  • Always be sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction.  This basic rule applies in the field, in a vehicle and in the home.
  • When cleaning a firearm or putting it away for storage, double check to be sure it is completely unloaded.  Anytime you pick up a firearm, make it a habit to make sure it is unloaded before doing anything else.
  • Keep fingers off the trigger and outside of the trigger guard whenever handling firearms in a situation where you do not intend to shoot.
  • Store unloaded firearms and ammunition in separate and locked locations.
  • Consider use of a lock to make your firearms inoperable while being stored or transported.
  • Children and even adults are often curious about firearms, so make sure your firearms are inaccessible to persons who may be visiting your home.
  • Discuss firearm safety with members of your household and set rules for firearm access and handling.  

Gifts of shotguns, rifles and handguns will be received during the holiday season.  Be sure that anyone receiving these gifts understands and practices safe firearm handling.  A Hunter Education class is an excellent way to acquaint a new hunter or shooter with firearm safety.

Additional tips and reminders for safe firearm handling in the home are available from the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe http://www.projectchildsafe.org/ .

For more information about Hunter Education, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education or contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .


LDWF Agents Cite Five Men for Wildlife Violations in Caddo and Bossier Parishes

Release Date: 11/26/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited five Louisiana residents for alleged hunting violations and Migratory Game Bird violations in Caddo and Bossier parishes.

Agents cited Daniel D. Owens, 44, of Vivian; Tristen N. Owens, 17, of Vivian; Ethan L. Mikesell, 19, of Shreveport; and Devynn E. England, 18, of Shreveport, for taking over limit of ducks and wanton waste on Nov. 15 in Caddo Parish.  Tristen Owens was also cited for intentionally destroying, concealing or disposing of wildlife or fish evidence.

Agents observed the hunters shooting ducks and leaving the field without making an effort to retrieve several dead and crippled birds.  Agents found a total of 14 ducks left in the field or concealed under their duck blind.  Agents seized a total of 38 ducks, which are 14 over the legal limit for the four hunters.

On Nov. 14 agents cited Daniel M. Currie, 27, of Bossier City, for allegedly obtaining a hunting license by fraud and hunting without non-resident licenses in Bossier Parish.

LDWF agents conducted a joint investigation with Arkansas Game and Fish and discovered that Currie was in possession of both Louisiana resident and Arkansas resident hunting licenses.  According to Currie he had killed one deer in Arkansas and three deer in Louisiana.

After a brief interview with Louisiana and Arkansas agents, Currie was cited for his violations in Louisiana and Arkansas.

Taking over the limit of ducks, intentional concealment of wildlife evidence and wanton waste each brings up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Obtaining a license by fraud carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without non-resident licenses brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents involved in these cases are Lt. Roy Schufft, Sgt. Troy Parker, and Sgt. Frank Reger, and Arkansas wildlife officers Clay Raborn and Blake Broomfield.

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

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