LDWF News

LDWF News Release

2012-13 Dove Season Opening Day Shooting Hours Clarification

Release Date: 08/24/2012

Aug. 24, 2012 – Dove hunters are advised that the printed version of the 2012-13 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet contains an incorrect date referencing shooting hours for doves.

The shooting hours note on page 28 of the printed booklet indicates Sept. 3 is the exception to the standard “one-half hour before sunrise to sunset” dove hunting timeframe for approved dove hunting dates. That note should read: Mourning Dove: One-Half Hour before sunrise to sunset EXCEPT on Sept. 1, when shooting hours will be 12 p.m. (noon) to sunset. That correction has been made in the on-line version of the 2012-13 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet posted on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations. For more information about Louisiana’s dove hunting season, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov .

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Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

Release Date: 08/23/2012

Finance Committee

The following is the agenda for the Finance Committee of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

Regular Meeting Agenda

August 28, 2012 9 a.m.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 310, New Orleans, La. 70122

I.  Call to order

II.  Financial Report through 6/30/2012

  A  LAMP

III.  Natural Resource Commodity Marketing Board Funding Study

IV.  Set Next Meeting

V.  Adjourn

This meeting is being held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by La. R.S. 42:11, et seq.

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Poachers Busted by Tip from Operation Game Thief

Release Date: 08/23/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited five men on alleged poaching violations in St. Charles Parish on Aug. 18.

Agents received a complaint from their Operation Game Thief (OGT) program of individuals cleaning freshly harvested migratory game birds and rabbits in their back yard.  The agents responded quickly to the residence where they made contact with the alleged suspects still cleaning the game.

Agents cited Rico Hernandez, 45, of Bridge City, Yoan Hernandez-Casanova, 27, of Bridge City, Juan Munoz, 25, of Metairie, Miguel Farradas, 33, of Davie, Fla., and Yandry Almeida, 27, of Cutler Bay, Fla., for violating state migratory game bird regulations and possessing rabbits during a closed season.

The agents seized six whistling ducks and eight rabbits taken out of season. Agents also seized three guns which were in the possession of the suspects and believed to be used to illegally take the game.

State violations of migratory game bird regulations brings a fine between $400 and $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of rabbits during a closed season carries a fine between $250 and $500 and up to 90 days in jail.  If convicted, the men also face civil restitution in the amount of $413.34.

If someone witnesses or has information concerning a violation, they should call Operation Game Thief's toll-free 24-hour phone line or use the department's tip411 program.  The toll free number is 1-800-442-2511.

To use the tip411 program, tipsters 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.  Texting or downloading the app enables the public to send anonymous tips to LDWF and lets LDWF respond back, creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.  Users of the app or texters can also send in photos to help support their claim and be used as evidence.

The information is received by a Wildlife and Fisheries operator and immediately relayed to a wildlife agent who will investigate. If the information results in an arrest, the caller is eligible for a cash reward. 

Since the program began, more than $280,000 in rewards has been paid. Information provided by OGT informants has resulted in the apprehension of more than 700 violators who were convicted on a multitude of state and federal charges.

Agents participating in the case were Senior Agent Austin Arteaga, Sgt. Kris Bourgeois, and St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy James Grimaldi.

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

Whooping Crane Teacher Workshops Implemented with Chevron Grant Funding

Release Date: 08/23/2012

“Give a Whoop” participants received a life-size whooping crane poster for classroom display. Photo by Jason Cohen.

  Aug. 23, 2012  -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recently held its first two whooping crane education “Give a Whoop” Workshops, as part of a grant provided by Chevron and facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC).  

The workshops were held at LDWF’s White Lake Wetland Conservation Area in Gueydan on Aug. 2 and 7. The first workshop was offered to environmental educators throughout the state and the second was held as part of an in-service professional development day for the life science teachers of Calcasieu Parish.  

Louisiana educators of middle and high school students learned about the complexities and challenges of the reintroduction program, received how-to demonstrations on the classroom lesson activities and engaged in field work related to habitat identification and using GPS units. Participants also visited the crane pens via a boat ride through the remote marsh area.  

Workshop participants received a handheld GPS unit for classroom use, the lesson series of nine engaging, GLE-aligned lessons covering topics such as taxonomy, bird reproduction, ecosystems, adaptation, endangered species and other related items.  

The next whooping crane workshop will be held at the Louisiana Association of Teachers and Mathematics and the Louisiana Science Teachers Association (LATM/LSTA) conference on Nov. 12 in Shreveport. Additional workshops will follow.  

Contact Venise Ortego at 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov for information about future workshops.  For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit www.wlf.la.gov; or contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-7292. For photos, video footage and research documentation please visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes.

L.D.W.F. Environmental Education Commission Announces 2012-13 EPA Region 6 School Sustainability Grants Program

Release Date: 08/23/2012

Aug. 23, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) has received an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant for $150,000 to assist educators, students and citizens in EPA Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) more fully appreciate the need to conserve our resources and understand that the choices we make today affect the world that we live in tomorrow. Two new funding opportunities and one workshop series will be made available with this EPA grant.

  The first funding opportunity, a School Sustainability Grants program, is currently accepting proposals. These grants are designed to encourage student learning via sustainability initiatives in K-12 schools. Proposals to be considered are those within a specific school campus that will engage students and result in a more sustainable facility. School administrators or fulltime classroom teachers affiliated with accredited public or non-public schools (K-12) in EPA Region 6 are eligible to apply on behalf of their school. Grant awards are not to exceed $5,000 and the grant application deadline is Oct. 1, 2012.  All applications will undergo an anonymous and competitive grant review process. For guidelines and additional information, go to http://www.cain.lsu.edu/node/68 .

Sustainability Initiative Project grants will be offered later in the year. They can be used to fund a variety of environmental initiatives including: volunteer opportunities, educator workshops, and other projects that have a fundamental EE component and clear sustainability message. Local education agencies, colleges, universities, state education or environmental agencies, or 501(C)(3) non-profit organizations will be eligible to apply for these mini-grants. 

Finally, Quantifying Debris, a workshop series for educators and their students, will be offered beginning in the summer of 2013 and will focus on the dynamics of marine debris. Teachers will participate in marine debris lessons and then travel to a stretch of beach where they will mark areas of concentrated debris via GPS units. They will pick up, sort, and weigh debris, determine recyclable content, develop statistics on trash types, infer sources of trash, etc. Attendees will receive up to 16 hours of professional development; they will also receive travel reimbursements and a classroom GPS unit. Teachers will return during the school year with their 6-12 grade students, who will participate in activities similar to those in the teacher workshop. Students will then design signage to be produced and displayed at marinas and boat launch facilities. These and other follow-up projects at school will encourage problem solving related to reducing trash in the environment.  

The grants program focus is changing longstanding practices which are commonly accepted within the community.  Sustainability initiatives, such as the ones to be funded with this grant, are designed to counteract the current trend to use, purchase, and waste at a rate that outpaces resource growth.  

For more information, contact Venise Ortego, LDWF Environmental Education Coordinator, ph. 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov.

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Alligator Violations on the Rise in Louisiana

Release Date: 08/22/2012

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division has seen a steady rise in alligator violations since 2009.

According to LDWF violation statistics, Enforcement Division agents have issued 98 alligator related violations in 2012 already.  LDWF issued 60 total alligator related citations in 2007 and 2008, 69 in 2009 and 2010, and 80 in 2011.

“The increase of alligator citations is of concern and the department is doing their best to catch these violators,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.

The popularity in outdoor reality TV shows seems to be one of the reasons why there have been more alligator violations in the last couple of years.

“In some of our cases the subjects have admitted to watching a reality TV show and then wanting to replicate what they watched,” said Col. Vidrine.  “While these shows offer a high level of entertainment, they do not offer a lot of information on how to legally harvest an alligator.”

The majority of the alligator violations are classified as possession of an alligator during a closed season, failing to possess a license and possession of an alligator without a license.  Also, most of the increases in violations are occurring in the Saint Mary, Saint Martin, Assumption, Saint James, Saint John, LaFourche and Terrebonne parishes going from two violations in 2010 to 42 violations so far in 2012.   For illegally possessing an alligator, poachers can get up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for the first offense.

LDWF issues alligator harvest tags for property containing sufficient alligator habitat capable of sustaining an alligator harvest.  A resident alligator hunter must either own this approved land or have permission to hunt alligators on land that is classified as wetland habitat in order to qualify for alligator harvest tags.  Alligator hunters apply for alligator tags prior to the season.  To apply for tags, hunters must submit an application prior to the season found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/alligator-hunting.

The alligator season is split into an east zone that runs from the last Wednesday of August for 30 days and the west zone that goes from the first Wednesday of September for 30 days.  A resident alligator hunting license costs $25.

“With the upcoming opening of alligator season, hunters are reminded to utilize their tags only on the approved property and that all alligators caught on their lines must be harvested and immediately tagged,” said Noel Kinler, LDWF’s alligator program manager.

Currently there are an estimated 1.5 million alligators in Louisiana.  Since 1972, over 870,000 wild alligators have been harvested.

“The department’s Alligator Program has been very successful in managing the alligator resource from near extinction to a healthy sustainable population,” said Col. Vidrine.  “These regulations are put in place for a reason and have worked for over 40 years since their inception in 1972.”

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands or public lands/lakes can harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.  Non-residents can only harvest alligators as an alligator sport hunter while accompanied by a guide.  A guide must be an alligator hunter possessing tags.  An alligator sport hunter license cost is $25 for Louisiana residents and $150 for non-residents.

Residents not possessing or having permission to harvest alligators on private lands may be able to harvest alligators on public lands or lakes.  These public lands/lakes are managed by many different entities ranging from local parish governments to federal governmental agencies.  Methods in which alligator hunters are chosen for these areas include bidding and lotteries.

The lottery alligator harvest program provides the opportunity for over 300 resident alligator hunters to harvest approximately 800 alligators on almost 40 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)/public lakes located throughout the state.

Lottery alligator harvest applications become available mid to late May of each year and lists all available WMAs/public lakes.  For more information on LDWF’s Alligator Program, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/alligator-program.

Anyone wanting to report alligator violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's new tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can anonymously 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, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Chicot Lake Drawdown Scheduled

Release Date: 08/21/2012

Aug. 21, 2012 – The water control structure on Chicot Lake near Ville Platte, La., will be opened soon after Labor Day to allow for a lake drawdown.  The action is part of an integrated management plan developed to control submerged vegetation. 

In addition to the drawdown, the Department will continue herbicide applications, and triploid (sterile) grass carp will be introduced this winter.

Drawdowns on Chicot Lake will be conducted annually to mimic natural water fluctuation.  The target level for this year’s drawdown is two feet below pool stage.  Future drawdowns will be three foot below pool stage.

The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Jody David, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (337) 948-0255 or at jdavid@wlf.la.gov.

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.

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close August 22

Release Date: 08/21/2012

Aug. 21, 2012– Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at noon on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the commercial season for king mackerel in federal waters on Wednesday at noon.

The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.01 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met. 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.01 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico will be harvested by August 22, 2012.

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Accepting Applications for Wildlife Management Area Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 08/17/2012

Aug. 17, 2012  -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for lottery hunts to be held on several Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) this upcoming hunting season.

LDWF is sponsoring the hunts to provide a quality outdoor experience for the various hunters. Youth, physically challenged, physically challenged wheelchair confined and general lottery hunts will be conducted. 

Successful participants in the hunts will be selected by a randomized computer drawing. Applications for the lottery should be submitted to LDWF before close of business on the date listed on the application. Rules pertaining to the hunts are also included on the application. A $5 administrative fee is required with each application submitted.

Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office, visiting the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-huntsor by reviewing the list of available lottery hunts in the 2012-13 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet.

Completed applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 in the LDWF Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge, or by mail. The mailing address is: Wildlife Division WMA Lotteries, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 to the attention of the lottery application title.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at rmyers@wlf.la.govor 225-765-2359.

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Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

Release Date: 08/17/2012

Marketing/Sponsorship Committee

Regular Meeting Agenda

August 20, 2012

9:00 a.m.

LouisianaSeafood Promotion and Marketing Board

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 310, New Orleans, La.

I.  Call to order

II. Financial Report

III. Old Business

   A. Update on approved sponsorships

   B. LRA We Live to Eat Restaurant Week

   C. Nicholl’s State University partnership

IV. New Business

  A. Carnival du Vin (Emeril Lagasse Foundation)

  B. Saints Sponsorship Proposal

V. Public Comment

VI. Set Next Meeting

VII. Adjourn

 

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