LDWF News Release

Archery in Louisiana Schools Program Growing in Popularity

Release Date: 09/25/2013

Archery in Louisiana Schools Program Growing in Popularity

Sept. 25, 2013 -- As a new school year begins, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS) continues efforts to attract participants.
Louisiana’s archery program in schools dates back to 2005. Since that time almost 400 basic archery instructors have been trained.  There are currently 75 Louisiana schools participating in the program.
Each year in March, a state archery competition is held to allow ALAS schools and students to compete against their peers and qualify for national and world tournaments.  The ALAS state tournament attempts to mirror National Archery in the School’s Program (NASP) tournament as closely as possible, following all NASP tournament rules.
The 2013 tournament, the largest so far, was held in the LSU Ag and Extension Service’s Mega Shelter in Alexandria and attracted 535 archers competing from 18 schools and a crowd of 2,000 people. Awards were given to the top 3 teams in each division and the top 5 individuals in each division including elementary, middle school and high school.  Awards were provided by LDWF, NASP and the Quality Deer Management Association.
Archery as an extra-curricular program or part of a school’s physical education activities is ideal because any student who can draw back the bow can participate. Archery in schools programs at all levels can be used by teachers and coaches to build self- confidence in students, and most importantly it’s fun for the kids. Surveys of those who have been introduced to archery indicate 89 percent like it and 62 percent said they love it.
Teachers surveyed indicate that they have seen improved confidence, motivation, attendance, attitude and behavior.  It also adds another non-gender specific competitive opportunity for the school and students who become involved develop pride in their school.
Some students may choose to develop their skills for hunting, but all who participate have the opportunity to compete beyond high school and hone their skills based on the practice time dedicated to target shooting.
So how big are archery programs for students outside of Louisiana? In 2012, more students in the U.S. participated in NASP than in Little League Baseball.  Currently 47 U.S. states participate, as well as six Canadian provinces, and even countries such as: Botswana, Mongolia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.  Last year almost 44,000 students participated in state tournaments, and nearly 9,500 shot at the 2013 Nationals.  And if anyone thinks this is just a boys sport, 43 percent of those shooters were female.
Over 10 million students have participated in NASP since 2002, with over 10,440 schools participating.  The program is currently growing by about 1,600 schools per year.
For more information, visit  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/archery/archery-louisiana-schools-alas or contact Robert Stroede, LDWF’s program coordinator at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov .




Release Date: 09/24/2013

Sept. 24, 2013 - In a move anticipated by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials, NOAA Fisheries rejected red snapper landing estimates from its own Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) and set a 14 day fall season in Louisiana federal waters beginning next Tuesday, Oct. 1.  Estimated recreational landings of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico after the first federal season in June indicated that the entire 2013 recreational allowable harvest had been exceeded by more than 14 percent; at that time these estimates had not even accounted for Texas landings. 

NOAA Fisheries’ justification for a supplemental season is recorded in a Sept. 9, addendum to the June 9, 2013 report “Estimated 2013 Season Lengths for a Fall Reopening of the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Recreational Season” and states the following:

At this time, NOAA Fisheries does not have a sufficient understanding of how to use the new MRIP landing estimates without better understanding how they fit into the broader scientific basis for red snapper management, which includes the stock assessment and the full historical times series of fishery dependent and independent data.”

“Assuming catch rates are 75 percent of summer catch rates, the season length would be 14 days (i.e., Oct 1‐Oct 14).”

“’No sufficient understanding’, ’assuming’, this is exactly why Louisiana is conducting its own recreational survey.” stated Assistant Secretary of Fisheries Randy Pausina.  “How can I have confidence making fishery management decisions in Louisiana based on recreational landing data that NMFS themselves barely understand?”

The fall federal season will begin Oct. 1, and end Oct. 14, with a two fish limit and a minimum size of 16 inches.  In an effort to provide for compatible regulations in Louisiana state waters, LDWF Secretary Barham, with the support of the Wildlife & Fisheries Commission, is opening state waters concurrently with the federal opening. 

State Red Snapper Season

The Louisiana, weekend-only season will end Sunday, September 29.  There will be NO red snapper fishing on Monday, September 30.  State and federal waters will be open on Oct. 1, with a two-fish limit and a 16-inch minimum. 

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.  For season and bag limit information, contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.gov or (504) 284-2032.


Two Texas Men Arrested For Crab Theft in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 09/24/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested and cited two Texas residents on Sept. 20 for crab theft and other fishing violations in Cameron Parish.

Agents arrested Jireh A. Slaughter, 21, and Tevvin T. Jones, 20, both of Orange, Texas, for theft of crabs; taking commercial fish without a license, without a gear license and without a vessel license; violating interstate commerce regulations; and resisting an officer by flight.

During August and September the LDWF Enforcement Division received numerous complaints of crab theft from several commercial fishermen fishing in Black Bayou in Cameron Parish.  Agents responded by increasing patrols in this area assisted by Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division deputies.

On Sept. 19, a commercial fisherman was watching his own crab traps and observed two men in a vessel stealing crabs from his traps.  He contacted an enforcement agent but was observed by the men before agents were able to arrive.  The men abandoned their vessel and dumped the harvested crabs in the marsh.  The two men then left the vessel and hid in the marsh nearby.

When the agents arrived, they called out to the men to come out of hiding.  After obtaining the suspects’ names from an overdue boater report from the Orange County Texas Sheriff’s Office, agents then contacted Louisiana State Police, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and Cameron Sheriff’s Office for air support and additional officers to assist in the search for these men.

After leading a 14 hour search during severe weather and harsh conditions, LDWF agents received a phone call from an Orange County Deputy saying that the two men arrived at their residence.  The two men walked through the marsh for 14 hours and swam the Sabine River in order to make it back to Texas.

The two men surrendered themselves to LDWF agents at their office in Lake Charles on Sept. 20. The two men were subsequently arrested and booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.

Theft of crabs brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking commercial fish without a license, without a gear license and without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Violating interstate commerce regulations brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Resisting an officer by flight carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Participating in the search and investigation were LDWF agents Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Stuart Guillory, and Senior Agents Sean Moreau, Anthony Verret, Carl Pickett, and Jason Stagg; Louisiana State Police Master Pilot Damion Mayer and Master Pilot Steven Lee; Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ron Johnson and Deputy Ryan Mareno; and Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sammy Faulk and Deputy Benji Primeaux.

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

Elbow Slough WMA Dove Season Second Split Dates Corrected

Release Date: 09/24/2013

Sept. 24, 2013 -- The dove season dates for the second split of the 2013-14 dove hunting season at Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area are incorrectly listed in the printed version of the 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet. The incorrect dates are listed on page 57.

The correct dates – Oct. 12 to Nov. 10 – are listed correctly in the web-posted version of the hunting regulations pamphlet available on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations.

Elbow Sough WMA dove hunters are reminded that doves can only be hunted on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from one half hour before sunrise to official sunset.  Also, dove hunters are reminded that steel shot is required for all hunting on Elbow Slough WMA.

For more information on dove season, contact Jeff Johnson at 318-371-3051 or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .




LDWF to Host National Hunting & Fishing Day Events Across the State on September 28th

Release Date: 09/20/2013

September. 20, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) on September 28. 
NHFD is a national event celebrated by all 50 states on the fourth Saturday in September.  It was created in 1972 when Congress passed two bills establishing a specific day to celebrate the conservation contributions of our nation’s hunters and anglers. Over forty years later, the events are still going strong.
LDWF introduced its first NHFD event in 1982 at the Monroe district office.  In the following years, three more locations were developed in Baton Rouge, Minden and Woodworth.  Today, more than 10,000 people statewide attend the celebrations, establishing the overall largest public outreach event for the department.
“Our goal to is get people outdoors to enjoy the activities we offer and hopefully, send them home with a renewed interest and appreciation for Louisiana’s natural resources,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “The National Hunting and Fishing Day experience is designed to stimulate greater interest in experiencing and preserving the treasures we have here in Sportsman’s Paradise.”
All four events are free. The number and types of exhibits vary at each location but all include exhibits on LDWF management programs, shooting and fishing demonstrations, exhibits from local chapters of Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club and CCA, and supporting businesses from the local communities. Attendees have the chance to try their skills at the shooting ranges, fishing ponds and boating activities, as well as learn about wildlife through interaction with live animals. 
For more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, contact one of the four locations or go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/nhfd2013
LDWF District Office 2
368 Centurylink Dr.
Monroe, LA  71203
(318) 343-4044
Baton Rouge
Waddill Outdoor Education Center
4142 N. Flannery Road

Bodcau Wildlife Management Area

1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.

Haughton, LA.  71037

(318) 371-3050 
Woodworth Outdoor Education Center

661 Robinson Bridge Rd.

Woodworth, LA.  71485

(318) 484-2212


LDWF Holds Public Hearing to Discuss Cross Lake Largemouth Bass Study

Release Date: 09/20/2013

(Sept. 20, 2013) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public meeting on Monday, September 30 at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Region 1 Office located at 9961 Hwy. 80 in Minden to discuss results of a comprehensive study of largemouth bass in Cross Lake in Caddo Parish.
Angler influence on the bass population was also measured to evaluate current harvest regulations.  The results of the study can be used to predict effects of proposed regulations. 
Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss all aspects of Cross Lake fish management with LDWF representatives.
LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.comldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.


LDWF Announces Series of Wetland Management Workshops

Release Date: 09/19/2013

Sept. 19, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Technical Services Section, along with partners, will present Wetland Management Workshops at two locations in Louisiana’s Red River Valley Region.  The target audience for these events will be landowners managing shallow water impoundments for waterfowl and wetland birds. 

The Tuesday evening workshops are scheduled from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the following locations:

Sept. 24 – Natchitoches Arts Center

716 Second Street, Natchitoches, La.

Oct. 1 – Red River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters

150 Eagle Bend Point, Bossier City, La.

Each workshop will cover fundamentals associated with management of wetland impoundments for waterfowl and wetland birds. Topics will include timing of drawdowns, beneficial and invasive plant species, maintenance practices and a brief discussion on timber management in bottomland hardwood reforestation projects. Speakers will include LDWF technical services biologists, waterfowl and forestry program staff, and representatives from the USDA-NRCS and Ducks Unlimited. Experienced wetland managers will be on hand to discuss your particular situation.

Over the last 20 years, thousands of acres of wetland impoundments have been constructed, both independently and with the assistance of government cost share programs.  Some landowners are finding that, without management, these wetland units do not remain productive over extended periods of time.  There are certain management practices that when utilized can maximize use by wetland birds.  Landowners managing Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) properties should find this opportunity particularly beneficial. 

LDWF technical services biologists are available to provide technical assistance to support the efforts of Louisiana landowners. LDWF 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 on the workshops, contact David Hayden at 318-487-5885 or dhayden@wlf.la.gov .





Release Date: 09/19/2013

September 19, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at 12 p.m. (noon), tomorrow, September 20, 2013. 
The closure was set based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met.  The commercial fishing season for king mackerel will also close in federal waters at noon on Friday. 
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 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico will be harvested by September 20, 2013.
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 Laura Deslatte-Wooderson at 504.430.2623 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.



Sherburne WMA South Farm I-10 Access Detour in Effect

Release Date: 09/18/2013

Sept. 17, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is alerting anyone needing access to Sherburne Wildlife Management Area’s South Farm from I-10 that a detour from the normal route to that area is now in effect.
The Levee Access Road bridge over the borrow pit is being replaced by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and will not be available until the anticipated reopening in May of 2014.
Until the bridge replacement is complete, Sherburne’s South Farm access from the Ramah exit on I-10 will be as follows: From the I-10 Ramah exit, drive north on Hwy. 76, traveling 5.2 miles to Musson Lane; then turn left on Musson Lane, travel 1.1 miles to East Guide Levee Road; turn left again and travel south 3.5 miles to the South Farm check station.
Sherburne WMA is located within the Morganza Floodway portion of the Atchafalaya Basin, between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Levee, in Pointe Coupee, St. Martin and Iberville parishes. The WMA is accessible from US Hwy. 190 and I-10.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine or Johnathan Bordelon in the Wildlife Division’s Opelousas field office at 337-948-0255.



Plaquemine Man Pleads Guilty to Alligator Violations

Release Date: 09/16/2013

A Plaquemine man pleaded guilty to false swearing and theft of alligators in the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish on Sept. 12.

Judge Richard Moore accepted the guilty plea from John Boudreaux, 52, and sentenced him to one year of supervised probation, 30 hours of community service, fined him $100 plus court costs and ordered him to pay $5,000 for the cost of prosecution.

Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested Boudreaux on Oct. 14, 2011.

Agents started the investigation in September of 2011 after receiving a tip from an alligator hunter about a man illegally acquiring alligator tags from the department.  Agents found that Boudreaux forged signatures on alligator tag applications in order to obtain the rights to hunt alligators on land that he did not have permission.

According to LDWF records, Boudreaux illegally obtained 150 tags and harvested 149 alligators in West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes since 2001.

An alligator hunter must either own land or have permission to hunt alligators on land that is classified as wetland habitat in order to qualify for alligator harvest tags. LDWF issues harvest tags for property containing sufficient alligator habitat capable of sustaining an alligator harvest.  Wild alligator tags can only be issued to licensed alligator hunters and are nontransferable.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Ronnie Hebert, Sgt. Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Louis Burnett and Senior Agents Jerry Stassi and Ladd Turner.  Assistant District Attorney Steven Danielson prosecuted the case.

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

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