LDWF News Release

Body of Missing Denham Springs Man Found in Iberville Parish

Release Date: 05/07/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents recovered the body of a Denham Springs man this morning, May 7, near the Bayou Sorrell locks in the Intracoastal Canal in Iberville Parish.

LDWF agents along with the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office (IPSO) and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office began searching for James L. Haley, 61, on May 1 around 10:30 p.m.

Haley’s body was found around 10:15 a.m. about 12 miles south of Plaquemine and 9 miles downstream from where he fell from a houseboat in Grand River.

According to eyewitnesses Haley stepped off a houseboat and slipped while attempting to return to his own vessel. Haley fell into the water and surfaced two times and then disappeared.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Haley’s body was turned over to the Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

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

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Crappie Regulations on Eagle Lake

Release Date: 05/07/2015

(May 7, 2015) - Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries commission adopted a notice of intent to modify current crappie regulations on Eagle Lake in Madison Parish.
Passage of this NOI will change the daily take and size regulations to 30 fish per person with an 11-inch minimum length limit in order to establish consistency with Mississippi, who borders the lake on the east.  Provided identical regulations are approved in Mississippi, the rule will become effective on October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect for a four-year period.
Future management will be determined after a population stock assessment and angler opinion survey are administered after the four-year period.
To view the full notice of intent, please visit here.
Interested persons may submit comments relevant to the proposed rule by July 6, 2015, to Randy Myers, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-1000 or via email at rmyers@wlf.la.gov.
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) 721-0489.

Commercial Fishing Season for Large Coastal Sharks Closed in Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 05/06/2015

May 6, 2015 –The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that effectively immediately, commercial fishing for large coastal sharks is closed in Louisiana waters. The National Marine Fisheries Service also closed commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week.  The season will remain closed in state and federal waters until January 1, 2016, when the season is scheduled to reopen. 
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited.
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters remains open at this time.
For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.


2015 STEP OUTSIDE DAY Set for May 9 at Sherburne WMA

Release Date: 05/05/2015


May 5, 2015 -- The 11th Annual STEP OUTSIDE DAY, an outdoor education program, will be held Saturday, May 9 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin.


STEP OUTSIDE DAY is open to all children and adults. Sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this outdoors day is provided for youths and individuals with special needs to provide an opportunity to engage in safe, hands-on outdoor activities.  All Activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. around the

Sherburne WMA headquarters area and admission is free to all participants.


This year’s event will include fishing, archery, boating, target shooting, nature photography, bird watching, canoeing and many other outdoor activities, plus information on trapping techniques, turkey and duck calling, the Louisiana black bear and alligators.


Soft drinks and food will be provided on site. No alcoholic beverages or glass containers will be allowed on the premises.


Directions to Sherburne WMA headquarters: From US Hwy. 190, take the Sherburne (LA 975) exit, and drive south approx. 3 miles; event activities will be on the left, near Big Alabama Bayou. From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay Exit, and drive north approx. 13 miles on LA 975, event activities will be on the right, near Big Alabama Bayou.


For more information, contact the LDWF Opelousas field office at 337-948-0255 or send e-mail inquiry to Tony Vidrine at tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.


211 Boaters Certified During "Boating Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 05/05/2015


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 211 boaters statewide after their fifth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 2.


Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.


The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.


The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.


The eight locations consisted of:


Webster Parish

LDWF Region 1 -
 Minden Office

Sponsors included Bayou Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Brown Service Center, Time It Lube, United Rentals, Minden Wal-Mart and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.


Ouachita Parish

Academy Sports and Outdoors - 
West Monroe 

Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Pizza Hut.


Rapides Parish

Academy Sports and Outdoors
 - Alexandria

Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors.


St. Landry Parish

St. Landry Lumber
 - Opelousas 

Sponsors included Raising Canes of Opelousas, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and St. Landry Lumber of Opelousas.


Calcasieu Parish

Lake Charles Civic Center - 
Lake Charles 

Sponsors included Whitetails Unlimited and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.


Terrebonne Parish

Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Rifle Range
 - Houma

Sponsors included the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.


Ascension Parish

Gonzales Boat Club
 - St. Amant

Sponsors included the Gonzales Boat Club.


St. Tammany Parish

Madisonville Branch of St. Tammany Parish Public Library
 - Madisonville

Sponsors included Raising Cane’s and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.


For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.


LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 75,000 boaters during that time.

For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at ggiffin@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-3966.



Search Continues for Denham Springs Man in Upper Grand River

Release Date: 05/04/2015

Search and rescue crews are currently looking for a Denham Springs man on Upper Grand River in Iberville Parish.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division along with Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office (IBSO), began searching for James L. Haley, 61, of Denham Springs, Friday night, May 1 around 10:30 p.m.
According to eyewitnesses, Haley stepped off a houseboat and slipped while attempting to return to his own vessel. Haley fell into the water and surfaced two times but has not been seen since. 
The search crews looked for Haley until 3 a.m. and resumed the search at daylight Saturday morning. The search has continued each day since. Other search crews involved are: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office Dive Team and volunteers with their own vessels. 
For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 225-765-3966 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov


NOAA announces recreational red snapper season in federal waters

Release Date: 05/04/2015

(May 1, 2015) – NOAA Fisheries has announced the recreational season for the harvest of red snapper in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will open on June 1, 2015.  The bag and possession limit is two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.

Recently, NOAA Fisheries made the decision to split the recreational red snapper quota into two distinct components – private anglers and charter vessels and headboats (for-hire).  Each component has its own quota allocations based upon NOAA’s catch target figures. Private anglers will have a 10-day federal season running through June 10 closing at midnight, and charter vessels/headboats will have a 45-day federal season, closing on July 15, 2015.

“A 10-day federal season for private anglers is exactly why some states are non-compliant with NOAA’s red snapper regulations”, said Randy Pausina, LDWF Assistant Secretary for Fisheries.

The “Louisiana-only” season

The season for the recreational harvest of red snapper in Louisiana state waters is currently open, will remain open during the federal season and will remain open after the federal season closes.  LDWF continues to monitor real-time red snapper harvest during 2015 through the LA Creel program.  “LA Creel gives our agency the confidence it needs to provide Louisiana private anglers fishing state waters, the proper opportunity to land their share of red snapper,” said Robert Barham, LDWF Secretary. 

Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

The Department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to posses certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or new the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov.

The permit is required for any angler possessing tuna, billfish, swordfish, amberjack, grouper snapper, hind, wahoo, cobia and dolphin, except for anglers under 16 years of age or fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.

Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration.  A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit.  A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.

The Louisiana Gulfward Boundary

In June 2012, the Commission took action to extend Louisiana state waters from three miles offshore to three marine leagues, or approximately 9 nautical miles, offshore.

LDWF officials encourage fishermen to use caution and their own personal judgment when fishing beyond the three-mile boundary that is currently recognized as federal waters, as it is fully expected that federal agents will continue to enforce federal law.  Until U.S. Congress confirms Louisiana’s action, the battle will continue over Louisiana’s state water boundary. 

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 Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.


Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 05/01/2015

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting
John Tesvich, Chairman
Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 10 a.m.
Capitol Park Welcome Center, 702 North River Road
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

I. Roll call and introduction of guests

II. Approval of April 7 and April 23 meeting minutes and May 5 agenda

III. Treasury Report

    A. Oyster Tag Sales

    B. LOTF Financial Report

IV. Committee Reports

     A. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee

     B. Enforcement (Lt. Colonel Sammy Martin)

     C. Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

     D. Research (Patrick Banks)

     E. Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

     F. Marketing (Ashley Roth)

     G. Health (Lance Broussard)

     H. Sustainability (LDWF)

     I. Professionalism (LDWF)

V. Old Business

   A. Discussion of 2015 Legislation

VI. Public Comment

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII. 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/7800301697309953

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.


LWF Monthly Commission Meeting Scheduled for May 7, 2015

Release Date: 05/01/2015

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA
The following items will be discussed:
1.            Roll Call
2.            Approval of Minutes of April 2, 2015
3.            Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
4.            To hear Enforcement Reports April 2015
5.            To hear an update on the Bogue Chitto Pearl River Hydrologic Restoration Project
6.            To Consider a Notice of Intent to modify Crappie Regulations on Eagle Lake
7.            To Consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the opening dates of the Territorial Sea and 2015 Spring Inshore Shrimp Seasons
8.            To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to the BP Oil Spill
9.            Set September 2015 Meeting Date
10.         Receive Public Comments
11.         Adjournment
A live audio stream of this meeting is available from Gotowebinar.com.  To listen live on the day of the meeting, please register at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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L.D.W.F. Announces 2015 Waterfowl Hunter Opinion Survey

Release Date: 05/01/2015

May 1, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Waterfowl Section, in partnership with LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources, has begun a survey of Louisiana waterfowl hunters which asks for input on waterfowl hunting activity, experience with the past hunting season, satisfaction with recent zones and zone boundaries, potential new zone boundaries, and attitudes on particular policies.
This effort includes four separate survey modes including 5,000 mailed surveys to randomly selected waterfowl hunters split between 2,500 printed surveys with follow-ups to be completed and mailed back; and 2,500 postcards with Internet pass codes to be completed on-line.
In addition, all waterfowl hunters with electronic addresses in the LDWF hunting license database will be sent an e-mail asking them to take the survey at a specified website.  Additionally, the same survey is available via LDWF’s website home page at www.wlf.louisiana.gov and all interested waterfowl hunters not otherwise contacted can provide input. The survey response deadline is June 15, 2015.
This is a continuation of a cooperative human-dimensions research program conducted by LDWF’s Waterfowl Section and LSU since 2010, designed to gather hunter-opinion data to better inform future decisions on waterfowl hunting regulations.
LDWF is using multiple survey distribution methods in an effort to engage as many Louisiana waterfowl hunters as possible and increase participation in the regulatory process.  “Response rates are always a concern, especially when they fall as low as the 17 percent we received from the 2012 random mail-out survey,” said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.
The department is encouraging all waterfowl hunters, especially those who receive a survey in the mail, to participate.  “There will be follow-ups to all of the surveys,” Reynolds said.  “So if you are contacted by mail or e-mail, please respond as instructed. Those who are not contacted should respond via the LDWF website link, and should invite their waterfowling friends to participate, as well.”
LDWF changed the number and boundaries of waterfowl hunting zones in 2012 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) offered expanded zones and splits options.  This survey will provide data required by the USFWS to evaluate hunter satisfaction with those zone changes and begin consideration of potential changes in the future.  This survey offers an excellent opportunity for all waterfowl hunters to provide input into waterfowl management and hunting regulation decisions.
For more information contact, Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

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