LDWF News

LDWF News Release

REVISED Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Modify Black Bass Regulations in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde Complex; Lake Fausse Point/Lake Dauterive Complex

Release Date: 06/06/2013

(June 6, 2013) – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the removal of the 14” minimum length limit on black bass in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde Complex; Lake Fausse Point/Lake Dauterive Complex.  The new rule will go into effect on Thursday, June 20, 2013.
 
As a temporary transition measure, LDWF staff recommends a reduction in daily creel limit from 10 to 7 bass for a two-year period.  After the two years, black bass regulations on these waterbodies would be consistent with statewide regulations – no length limit with a 10 fish daily creel.
 
An extensive, three-year study examined the effectiveness of the regulation as a management tool.  Findings show the Atchafalaya Basin largemouth bass population does not exhibit necessary criteria for which a 14” minimum length limit would produce larger bass.  The study indicates that the basin bass population is more heavily influenced by environmental factors, including water fluctuation and the effects of tropical storms, rather than angler harvest.
 
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 inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.
 

 

Tags:

Final 2013 Federal Red Snapper Season Set for Louisiana

Release Date: 06/06/2013

Four days added to Louisiana’s Federal Season
 
June 6, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries took official action to match the modified 2013 federal red snapper season.  The seven-day season will now last through June 29, at 12:01 a.m., with a two fish limit at 16-inch minimum total length.
 
Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the change to the federal season, as a result of a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas which set aside an emergency rule that would allow NOAA the authority to adjust seasons off each Gulf of Mexico state based on whether their state-water seasons and bag limits were consistent with federal regulations.
 
As a result of this court decision, the federal recreational red snapper season must be the same in federal waters off all five Gulf States. NOAA extended federal seasons off Louisiana, Texas and Florida. NOAA Fisheries projects the Gulf-wide federal recreational red snapper season can be 28 days long. Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close to recreational red snapper harvest at 12:01 a.m., June 29, 2013.
 
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, whose office represented the state of Louisiana in U.S. District Court proceedings, said, "I am very pleased with the Court’s decision. NOAA’s new announcement of a 28-day federal Red Snapper season gives all Gulf Coast citizens an equal opportunity to fish for Red Snapper.”
 
The weekend-only Louisiana state red snapper season will resume following the completion of the federal season on June 29, with a bag and possession limit of three fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.  A weekend is defined as a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Labor Day when Monday will be considered a weekend as well. 
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.
 

 

Tags:

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Modify Black Bass Regulations in the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and Lake Verrett Complex

Release Date: 06/06/2013

(June 6, 2013) – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the removal of the 14” minimum length limit on black bass in the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and Lake Verret Complex.  The new rule will go into effect on Thursday, June 20, 2013.
 
As a temporary transition measure, LDWF staff recommends a reduction in daily creel limit from 10 to 7 bass for a two-year period.  After the two years, black bass regulations on these waterbodies would be consistent with statewide regulations – no length limit with a 10 fish daily creel.
 
An extensive, three-year study examined the effectiveness of the regulation as a management tool.  Findings show the Atchafalaya Basin largemouth bass population does not exhibit necessary criteria for which a 14” minimum length limit would produce larger bass.  The study indicates that the basin bass population is more heavily influenced by environmental factors, including water fluctuation and the effects of tropical storms, rather than angler harvest.
 
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 inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.
 

 

Tags:

LDWF Names New Chief of Enforcement Division

Release Date: 06/06/2013

LDWF Names New Chief of Enforcement Division

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) promoted Jeff Mayne to colonel, which is the highest ranking position in the Enforcement Division.  Col. Mayne takes over for the recently retired Col. Winton Vidrine, who served the department for 43 years of which the last 25 years were as colonel.

Col. Mayne, 42, of Baton Rouge, graduated from the LDWF cadet academy in 1991 and has been an agent for 22 years.  In 2008, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and has served as an assistant chief since that time.  Col. Mayne served as the department’s legislative liaison from 1999 to 2011 and the state’s boating law administrator since 2008.

“The department’s law enforcement division will be in good hands with Col. Mayne at the helm.  He is a seasoned veteran who has a lot of experience to take over such an important position,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “He has served time as an agent patrolling the outdoors and waterways upholding conservation laws.  He has also served as legislative liaison for the department and has worked during traumatic events such as hurricanes and the oil spill in the gulf.”

In 1997, Col. Mayne was honored as LDWF’s Outstanding Agent of the Year.  He also received the LDWF Chief’s Award in 2001 and a state civil service Charles Dunbar award in 2011 for his civil service career.

Col. Mayne earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2003 and his Masters of Public Administration in 2011 also from LSU.

“I’m very honored to be promoted to such a prestigious position and will continue to advance the Enforcement Division as we take on new challenges and missions in the future,” said Col. Mayne.  “We will continue to uphold conservation game laws as well as perform search and rescue missions after hurricanes, maritime security protecting our vital ports and continue to put an emphasis on boating safety.”

Col. Mayne serves on the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Law Enforcement Committee, Joint Terrorism Task Force Executive Board for the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Louisiana State Analytical and Fusion Exchange Executive Steering Committee, National Marine Fisheries Service Joint Enforcement Advisory Committee, Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel, Keep Louisiana Beautiful Advisory Board, Louisiana Seafood Industry Advisory Board, Louisiana Crab Task Force, Saltwater Recreational Fishing Task Force, Louisiana Seafood Certification Steering Committee, National Association of Boating Law Administrators, and the National Safe Boating Council.

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

Chief of LDWF’s Enforcement Division Retiring

Release Date: 06/05/2013

Chief of LDWF’s Enforcement Division Retiring

After more than 43 years of service to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, Col. Winton Vidrine, 69, of Washington, has announced his retirement and will be leaving the department effective June 7, 2013.

In January of 1970, Vidrine was hired as an LDWF Enforcement Division agent.  Vidrine reached the highest rank of colonel in 1988 and served the last 25 years as the division’s chief of enforcement at the Baton Rouge headquarters office.

“We wish the best to Col. Vidrine in his retirement years.  He has certainly deserved his retirement for all of the years he has served the state of Louisiana.  I’m proud to say that I was able to work with him these past years,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “He was instrumental in many programs and initiatives that improved the enforcement division over the years that have also benefitted conservation of our outdoor resources.”

When Vidrine started there was no formal training for LDWF agents and he was put out in the field on his first day in civilian clothes, driving his own truck and carrying his personal pistol.  He received his Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification in the fall of 1970.  Vidrine worked out of the Opelousas office mostly working boating, night hunting and fish shocking cases.

In 1972, Vidrine was instrumental in creating the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association to help organize agents statewide into a collective unit.  Vidrine was awarded as the LDWF “Outstanding Agent of the Year” in 1975.

After his hiring, Vidrine quickly rose through the ranks achieving captain of the Opelousas office in 1976 and then being promoted to major in 1978 overseeing the Baton Rouge and Opelousas offices.  In 1980, Vidrine was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and worked out of the New Orleans office.

“I’ve had a great career that I wouldn’t have traded for anything,” said Col. Vidrine.  “Just becoming a game warden was satisfying by itself as I was an avid hunter and fisherman and got the chance to uphold rules and regulations that conserved our outdoor resources for my grandkids and their grandkids to enjoy.”

After becoming Colonel in 1988, Vidrine's top priority for the enforcement division was training.  Beginning in 1990, he implemented a more tailored training program for LDWF Wildlife Cadets that included classes on the laws for fisheries and wildlife management, driving while intoxicated detection, migratory game bird and fish identification, boating, and search and rescue training.  These changes increased the training a cadet receives from 12 weeks to over 20 weeks.  In 2001, LDWF initiated their first fully accredited and POST certified Cadet Academy that was completely taught and ran by LDWF agents.

Vidrine also oversaw every agent being issued a pistol beginning in the 1990s, initiation of the Maritime Search and Rescue course in the 2000s, the Maritime Special Response Team in 2010, and the first state to be accredited in the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrator's Boat Operation and Training program in 2011.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes to the enforcement division in my 43 years of service,” said Vidrine.  “Thankfully, I was able to be in a position to make a lot of changes over the years that made us a more professional, efficient and improved law enforcement agency.”

Vidrine will be retiring back to his farm in Washington with his wife of 50 years, one child, two grandkids and two great-grandkids.

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

$10,000 in Reward Money Now Being Offered for Information in Whooping Crane Shooting

Release Date: 06/05/2013

June 5, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are still looking for leads regarding a whooping crane that was found shot to death in Red River Parish in April.

LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the USFWS each initially offered up to $1,000 in rewards, for a total of up to $3,000.

LDWF Whooping Crane Biologist Sara Zimorski said, “We are grateful to the organizations and individuals who have contributed to the reward fund and we hope this extra incentive will bring forward some leads to help solve this case.”

The Humane Society of the United States and the The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering $5,000, John Perilloux is offering $1,000, the International Crane Foundation, through the restitution money from the South Dakota whooping crane shooting case is offering $500, the Audubon Nature Institute is offering $250, and an anonymous donor is offering $250.  This brings the total in rewards to $10,000 for anybody that has any information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

If any group or person wants to donate funds to increase the reward amount, please contact LDWF Biologist Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400 ext. 4.

To report any information regarding this whooping crane shooting, please call 1-800-442-2511.

The whooping crane was found and recovered from the bank of the Red River about two miles northwest of Loggy Bayou on April 16.  After a necropsy of the crane, it was determined that the bird was shot with a 6.5mm/.264 caliber projectile.

Investigators believe the bird was shot between April 10 and 14.  The whooping crane was a part of LDWF's whooping crane reintroduction program and was fitted with a GPS tracking device.  The last tracking point of the crane moving was on April 10 near where she was eventually found dead on April 16.  The last tracking point received was on April 14 at the location she was found.

This whooping crane was released in Louisiana on March 14, 2011.

LDWF has released 40 whooping cranes since 2011 and currently have 25 whooping cranes they are tracking.  This is the third whooping crane that has been found shot with the previous two having been shot in Jefferson Davis Parish in October of 2011.

The reintroduced whooping cranes came from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD, and they were placed in the coastal marsh of Vermilion Parish within LDWF’s White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).  This reintroduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.

LDWF is working cooperatively with the USFWS, USGS, and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state.  This non-migratory flock of whooping cranes is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is still protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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

False River Remains Top Priority for LDWF

Release Date: 06/04/2013

(June 4, 2013) - The fishery of False River in Pointe Coupee Parish continues to remain a top priority for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  The Department continues to work with the Department of Natural Resources, Pointe Coupee Parish, local legislators, other state agencies and private citizens to address the health of the lake.

Representatives from each of these groups make up the False River Watershed Council, who was charged with developing a plan of action to make improvements to False River and its watershed.  The council recently released a report to the Louisiana Legislature, which includes actions that are currently underway as well as future projects that will be implemented when funding becomes available. 

As the council awaits additional funding from the legislature to initiate major construction projects, the Department continues to monitor fish populations and has implemented a recurring commercial fishing season.   The season allows commercial fisherman to remove the overabundance of rough fish, including buffalo, garfish and carp, in the lake. 

In addition, the Department has also ramped up fish stocking efforts in anticipation of future habitat improvement.  Since December of 2011, LDWF has stocked over 230,000 redear sunfish fingerlings, over 6,500 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings, and 301 adult Florida largemouth bass.  Redear sunfish and largemouth bass have historically been popular sportfish for False River. 

In an attempt to ensure greater survival, LDWF is taking a different approach to stocking bass, shifting their efforts from stocking greater quantities of smaller fish to stocking fingerlings and adults. 

As future projects are underway, Department biologists will continue to monitor any changes in fish populations. 

For more information about the False River Watershed Council plan please visit LADNR False River Restoration Page.

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 (225) 765-2396.

 

Tags:

June 13 Deadline Approaching for Alligator Hunting Bids on WMAs and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Properties for the 2013-2015 Alligator Harvest Seasons

Release Date: 06/04/2013

 

June 4, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) continues to accept bids for alligator hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) properties for the 2013-2015 alligator harvest seasons.  Eligible alligator hunters are chosen through a bid system every three years on selected WMAs/USACOE properties.

Completed bid application forms must be received by 10 a.m. on June 13, 2013 in Room 240 of the LDWF Headquarters Building at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La. 70808.

Bids for alligator hunting continue to be solicited for the following WMAs and USACOE properties: Grassy Lake, Spring Bayou, and Pomme de Terre (Avoyelles Parish), Attakapas (Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary Parishes), Sherburne - USACOE Lands (Iberville, Pointe Coupee and St. Martin Parishes), Dewey Wills (La Salle and Catahoula Parishes), Manchac (St. John Parish), Pearl River - North of Interstate 10,  Pearl River - Between Interstate 10 and US Hwy 90 and Pearl River - South of US Hwy 90 (St. Tammany Parish), Joyce (Tangipahoa Parish), Maurepas Swamp (St. John, St. James, Ascension, Livingston and Tangipahoa Parishes), Indian Bayou - USACOE property (St. Landry and St. Martin Parishes), Atchafalaya Delta (St. Mary Parish), Pointe-aux-Chenes (Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes), Salvador (St. Charles Parish) and Pass-a-Loutre (Plaquemines Parish).

A total of 29 alligator hunting opportunities are available for bid on 13 WMAs and 2 USACOE properties.  The number of alligator tags that will be issued to successful bidders in 2013 will range from 12 to 83 tags depending on area awarded.  For specific details on the number of alligator hunter opportunities and tags available by area, please see the public notice or bid application notification. 

Interested participants may review and print out the public notice and bid application notifications and forms from LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/alligator-hunting, or request by phone at the phone numbers below, or request in writing from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 2013-2015 WMA Alligator Harvest Bids, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, La. 70898-9000.

If additional information is needed, call the appropriate LDWF office (Hammond 985-543-4777, Opelousas 337-948-0255, Monroe 318-343-4044, New Iberia 337-373-0032, New Orleans 504-284-5264) or send an email to LAalligatorprogram@wlf.la.gov.

NO guiding/outfitting activities for sport alligator hunting will be allowed while conducting alligator harvest activities on WMAs/USACOE properties.  Selected hunters will not be allowed to participate in any television or reality show production.  Any video activity must be specifically approved by the Alligator Program Manager.

An individual can apply and bid on more than one WMA/USACOE property but will only be selected for one WMA/USACOE property.  Bidders applying for more than one area must fill out individual applications for each WMA/USACOE property.  Only one winner allowed per household.

Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to submit a bid:

1. Applicants must be a Louisiana resident at least 18 years of age.

2. Evidence of previous alligator hunting experience in Louisiana.

3. Ownership of or access to essential equipment for alligator hunting on the WMA/USACOE property they are bidding on.

4. Each applicant must be able to report to the WMA/USACOE property each morning until alligator tag quota is completed.

5. Ability to follow specific instructions issued by Department personnel.

6. Ability to maintain required records.

7. All applicants will be screened for past wildlife and criminal violations.  Applicants with felony convictions or with Class Two or above wildlife convictions, WMA/USACOE violations or littering within the last five years, as determined by the Enforcement Division, shall be disqualified.

Bid opening will be held at the LDWF Headquarters Building, 4th Floor Conference Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.  Winning bidders will be notified of selection by phone and are required to come in and sign a contract at a later date.  LDWF reserves the right to reject any and all bids.

For more information, contact Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@wlf.la.gov.

 

 

Tags:

LDWF Declares Another Victory for Louisiana Anglers in Red Snapper Regulation Battle

Release Date: 06/04/2013

Courts force feds to reconsider Louisiana’s Federal Season
 
June 3, 2013 – This past April, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, filed a joint lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Texas, challenging the emergency rule enacted by the National Marine Fisheries Service that would allow the NMFS regional administrator to significantly reduce the recreational red snapper season in federal waters off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. 
 
Last week, a judgment was rendered in favor of Louisiana and Texas that declares the emergency rule null and void. The ruling means that NMFS must recalculate the 2013 red snapper fishing season in federal waters off to be equal for all Gulf States. 
 
As a result of the ruling, Louisiana officials expect that additional days will be added to the current 24-day federal season, but await NMFS’ official announcement. The federal season began June 1, with a bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length. 
 
“This battle with NOAA has been a long and tedious one, but we are glad to have persevered once again for the people of Louisiana,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “Louisiana is the Sportsman’s Paradise, and we intend to take every action necessary to make sure it remains so.  It is my sincere hope, that as we move forward we can work with officials at NMFS and NOAA to make joint decisions on what is best for the waters we know and monitor so closely.”
 
Judge Andrew Hanen issued a 25-page opinion that carefully studied the issues of the emergency rule that could force a shortened snapper fishing season in federal waters off Louisiana.
 
In his ruling, Judge Hanen contends, “The emergency rule does not change the total catch allowed.  It does not enhance the conservation of red snapper in any way. All it does is redistribute the right to fish from Texas, Louisiana and Florida fishermen to the anglers of Mississippi and Alabama.”
 
He goes on to say, “The only rationale, regardless as how characterizes the underlying motive, behind the Emergency Rule is that NMFS is going to penalize the anglers living in the states that enact fishing seasons that do not match the federal season and reward those that do.  The NMFS should not be in the business of penalizing state.”
 
“I thank Judge Hanan for his unbiased and candid opinion regarding the measures NMFS was willing to take to penalize Louisiana anglers,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “Our federal counterparts thought they could use this heavy-handed approach to control regulations in Louisiana waters and that we would not fight back.  They were wrong and once again we have shown that you cannot lose when science and facts are on your side.”
 
The weekend-only Louisiana state red snapper season will resume following the completion of the federal season, with a bag and possession limit of three fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.  A weekend is defined as a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Labor Day when Monday will be considered a weekend as well. 
 
For a complete transcript of the 25-page ruling, click here
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.
 

 

Tags:

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 06/04/2013

Louisiana Oyster Task Force

The Oyster Task Force Public and Private Grounds Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Friday June 7 at the UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, suite 210, New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

Friday, June 7, 9:30 A.M.

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

AGENDA

I.  Weights and Measures

 

Tags:
Syndicate content