LDWF News

LDWF News Release

L.D.W.F. Extends East Zone Alligator Season through Oct. 4 Due to Impacts from Hurricane Isaac

Release Date: 09/18/2012

Sept. 18, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today the extension of the East Zone 2012 Wild Alligator Harvest Season through Thursday, Oct. 4.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham approved the extension in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 49:953B of the Administrative Procedure Act and LAC 76:V.701.A.7.a.i.

LDWF had delayed the scheduled opening of East Zone alligator hunting from Aug. 29 until Sept. 1 due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, which reached hurricane strength before landfall.

The storms impacts included flooding and displacement of residents, and inundation of alligator habitat in coastal wetlands.  For these reasons, many alligator hunters in southeastern Louisiana were delayed in their efforts to begin hunting Sept. 1 and need additional time to complete their alligator harvest activities.  The East Zone is now scheduled to close on the same day as the West Zone, which began as scheduled on Sept. 5.

Alligators taken from the wild may be removed from hook and line, and other legal capture devices, only during daylight hours between official sunrise and official sunset.  Hunters are reminded to coordinate their harvest activity with their local alligator buyer or processor as they may have also been affected by the hurricane.

For more information contact Noel Kinler 337-373-0032 or nkinler@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.

 

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LDWF Encourages Local Anglers to Fight Back Against Invasives

Release Date: 09/17/2012

(Sept. 17, 2012)– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host an invasive species awareness event on Saturday, September 29, including a free fishing rodeo  to help reduce the Rio Grande cichlid population in the Greater New Orleans area. 

Local anglers are encouraged to fight back against this invasive species, which is known to outcompete native sportfish for habitat and bedding areas.

Native to northeast Mexico and southern Texas, cichlids were first reported in Louisiana in June 1996 in Lake Pontchartrain.  During the last few years, they have quickly spread throughout the Greater New Orleans area and are now one of the most common fish found in urban canals. 

This free fishing rodeo, open to youth and adults, was developed to encourage local residents to help reduce cichlid numbers.  Competition categories include adult, team (up to 10 participants), and youth (12 & under) divisions.  In addition to the fishing competition, there will be plenty of other activities including Louisiana fish and invasive species education, casting lessons, fly fishing demonstrations, free giveaways and much more.

Anglers interested in participating in the fishing rodeo can register in advance online at www.wlf.la.gov/rio-registrationor onsite beginning at 5:30 a.m. at the Old Casino Building and Popp Bandstand in New Orleans City Park and can begin casting their line immediately after.  The first 100 registrants will receive a free “Rigged and Ready” rod and reel courtesy of CCA Louisiana.  Fish weigh-in will close at 11 a.m. 

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.la.gov/rio-registration Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.

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LDWF Agents Seize 51 Teal on Catahoula Lake

Release Date: 09/17/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited eight men for allegedly possessing over the limit of migratory game birds on Catahoula Lake in LaSalle Parish on Sept. 15 and 16.

Agents were on patrol on Catahoula Lake on Sept. 15 when they came in contact with four men that were leaving their hunting area.  During a license and limit inspection, agents found the men in possession of 28 teal, which put them 12 over the limit.  The men stated they were unaware of the four teal per person per day possession limit.

John P. Randall, 28, of Urania, Jereme B. Johnson, 27, of Ruston, Clint L. Cooksey, 27, of Jena, and Steven C. Douglas, 28, of Olla were issued state citations for possessing over the limit of migratory game birds.

On Sept. 16 on Catahoula Lake agents came in contact with four more men that were leaving their hunting area.  Agents again performed a license and limit inspection and found them in possession of 23 teal, which put them seven over the limit.

Casey M. Deville, 17, of Lecompte, Dusty D. Ducote, 18, of Alexandria, Austin G. Linzay, 18, of Lecompte, and Brandon L. Simmons, 21, of Marksville, were issued citations for possessing over the limit of migratory game birds. 

Agents seized the 51 teal from the eight men and donated them to charity.

Violating state migratory waterfowl violations brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Troy Mayo and Joey Merrill.

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

New Bird Dog Training Area Opened on Kisatchie National Forest

Release Date: 09/14/2012

Sept. 14, 2012 -- The U. S. Forest Service, in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), has opened a bird dog training area (BDTA) on the Vernon Unit of the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF), similar to those on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

The approximately 80-acre site locally known as the “Dove Field” is east of LA 399 and about 1 mile north of the Fullerton community in Vernon Parish.  Similar to bird dog training areas within Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Lake Ramsay Savannah, and Bodcau WMAs, the KNF Dove Field BDTA will provide quail hunters a place to train bird dogs during and outside of the regular upland bird hunting seasons. 

The KNF BDTA is part of a long range plan to enhance wild bobwhite quail habitat on the Vernon Unit. In addition, the U. S. Forest Service, LDWF, the National Wild Turkey Federation, U. S. Army, and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative are working together to improve quail habitat on thousands of acres surrounding the BDTA.  Within the BDTA, the USFS and LDWF are intensively managing the 80 acres with prescribed burning, fallow disking, food plots and timber harvests to encourage wild quail to remain on the site year round.

Dog training can be conducted on the Dove Field BDTA year-round, except during turkey season, without any special permit.  However, dog trainers using birds may release and harvest up to six leg-banded, pen-raised quail per day, but must have a special, no-charge permit. To obtain this permit, contact LDWF’s Small Game and Wild Turkey Program Leader Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov.

KNF users are reminded to comply with all hunter orange, vehicle access, and other site requirements while training dogs.  Other hunting and recreational uses within the KNF Dove Field BDTA will continue to be allowed as described in Forest Service regulations.For more information on KNF regulations for site use, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie/hunting/index.html.

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LDWF Enforcement Division Wins National Boating Award

Release Date: 09/13/2012

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division received the 2012 Compass Award at the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) annual conference from Sept. 8 to 12 in Mobile, Ala.

LDWF received the award for becoming the first agency in the United States to earn national accreditation in the Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program administered by NASBLA and for continuing to set an example in leadership for its boating safety and waterway enforcement program.

NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety.  NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

According to NASBLA.org, the Compass Award is a means of recognizing a NASBLA member agency for significant measures and leadership it has taken to develop a model of performance in a specific area.  Receipt of this award identifies an agency whose program, effort, or initiative has truly enhanced the nation’s safety and security and one that has become a model for all to follow.

“Winning this award is a great achievement for our agency and acknowledges all of the hard work we put in to making Louisiana’s waterways safer for everyone to enjoy,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, Louisiana’s State Boating Law Administrator.  “We feel that this new training program will allow our agency to train with others more efficiently, which will provide a great public safety services on our states waterways.”

The BOAT program establishes a national standard for the training and qualification of maritime law enforcement and rescue personnel.  Adoption and implementation of the BOAT program provides a true national standard for the purpose of maritime interoperability at the federal, state and local levels.  Standardization ensures maritime agencies can interact together and will bolster their ability to act as force multipliers nationwide.

The LDWF Enforcement Division is the first agency to implement the BOAT standard in all aspects of operations and training including cadet training at the academy level and training of partners throughout the state across all jurisdictions.  The BOAT program will enhance LDWF's training plans in the areas of basic crewmember, boat operator for search and rescue and tactical operations.

The LDWF Enforcement Division is an active participant in Louisiana's Homeland Security Plan and represents the state in waterborne emergencies.  Through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, LDWF is the lead agency for search and rescue operations and maritime security.

As members of the Governor's Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Area Maritime Security Executive Steering Committee and all major port security committees within the state, LDWF Law Enforcement Division agents frequently respond to requests to deploy LDWF marine resources for security concerns.

The LDWF Enforcement Division's specialized training and equipment and its ability to operate throughout the state's vast maze of waterways and wild areas has complemented Louisiana's ability to respond to emergencies on the water.

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

Commission Proposal Would Increase Live Bait Availability To Saltwater Anglers

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012 – At last week’s meeting the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent to amend the Special Bait Dealer Permit rule. Amendments to the current rule would allow businesses that hold a “Special Live Bait Dealer Permit” added opportunities to meet the growing demand for live bait shrimp and live croaker from recreational saltwater anglers.

These changes would allow qualified businesses to apply for permits and conduct bait fishing operations year-round and at night provided permitted vessels are equipped with a working vessel monitoring system (VMS). Other changes include the following:

  •  Allows use of skimmer net frames up to the legal maximum size (16’ horizontally; 12’ vertically and 20’ diagonally)
  • Allows transfer of live bait from one vessel to another under the following provisions:
  • Both vessels must be permitted under the same wholesale/retail seafood dealer
  • Captain of the harvesting vessel must possess a signed trip ticket for the harvested bait
  • Bait is transported directly to the wholesale/retails seafood dealer under which both vessels are operating
  • Upon receiving the harvested bait, the dealer shall complete the trip ticket
  • Persons convicted of a Class Three or greater fisheries violation within the previous three years prior to the date of application shall not qualify to obtain a permit or be onboard any vessel engaged in permitted activities
  • Prohibits sale of live shrimp or crabs directly from a permitted vessel to anyone other than the wholesale/retail seafood dealer listed on the permit during closed shrimp season

Current regulations limit special bait dealer permittees to the harvest and sale of live shrimp and live croaker beginning May 1 of each year and between the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons. No special permits are required to harvest and sell live bait during open shrimp season.

The proposed rule is in response to increased public demand for live bait, which often exceeds available bait dealer supplies.  

"These proposed changes should enhance live bait availabilities by providing permitted dealers greater bait harvesting opportunities," said Randy Pausina, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Assistant Secretary of Fisheries. "The rule will also boost fishing success for their long-standing favorite and Louisiana's most targeted recreational saltwater species, speckled trout."

Last amended in 2010, the Special Bait Dealer Permit Rule is intended solely for the benefit of the recreational fishing public which desires to use live shrimp and live croaker as bait during closed shrimp season between the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons. Its purpose is to allow the uninterrupted operation of those commercial establishments that sell live bait to the fishing public during the spring and fall inshore shrimp seasons.

The special bait dealer permit is not intended for the direct use of recreational fishermen, charter boats, commercial fishermen who sell dead bait or for any other entity which may wish to catch bait for their own use during closed shrimp season.

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.

Written comments relative to the proposed rule may be submitted to Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 189, Bourg, LA 70343 prior to Nov. 1, 2012.

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

 

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LWF Commission Moves Forward With 2013 Crab Trap Removal Program

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012- At last week’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting a motion was approved to continue the abandoned crab trap removal program for 2013. Two winter crab trap closures and clean-ups are planned for portions of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes on designated dates in February and March next year.

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 22,200 abandoned and derelict crabs. The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. Last year, volunteer organizations and individual volunteers including members of the Coastal Conservation Association and Nature Conservancy as well as volunteers from LSU, Nicholls State, LUMCON, National Relief Network, NOAA Fisheries Service, St. Bernard Parish Government and commercial crab and shrimp fishermen contributed to the removal of nearly 2,800 crab traps from coastal waters.

LDWF will again partner with Louisiana Sea Grant for the 2013 crab trap removal efforts. As the 2013 removal weekends approach, Louisiana Sea Grant will help organize volunteers, provide educational outreach on marine debris, as well as establish a recycling effort for crab traps.

Plaquemines Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., February 16 through 6 a.m., February 25, 2013:

  • From a point originating along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River at 29 degrees 44 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence eastward along 29 degrees 44 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 40 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 40 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to the eastern shore of the Mississippi River; thence northward along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River terminating at the point of beginning.

St.Bernard Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., March 9 through 6 a.m. March 18, 2013:

  • From a point originating from the intersection of the northwestern shore of Bayou Yscloskey and the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; thence northward to the southwestern shore of Shell Beach Cut; thence northward along the western shore of Shell Beach Cut to the southern shore of Lake Borgne; thence northward a distance of one-half mile from the southern shore of Lake Borgne; thence eastward and northward along a line extending one-half mile offshore along the southern and western shore of Lake Borgne to 29 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds north latitude;thence eastward along 29 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; thence westward along the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet to the eastern shore of Bayou La Loutre; thence southward along the eastern shore of Bayou La Loutre; thence westward along the southern shore of Bayou La Loutre to the western shore of Bayou Yscloskey; thence northward along the western shore of Bayou Yscloskey and terminating at the point of beginning.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned.

In the weeks leading up to the closure periods, LDWF will send notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within these and adjacent parishes.

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property. Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners.

Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Anyone may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area. Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area.

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.

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.

Written comments may be submitted to Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist, Marine Fisheries Section, P.O. Box 189, Bourg, LA 70343, prior to November 1, 2013.

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

 

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LDWF and Cabela’s Host “Women in the Wild” Hunting Basics Workshop

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012  --The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in conjunction with Cabela’s, presented the second annual Louisiana Women in the Wild-Hunting Basics Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.

Twenty seven participants received a full day of instruction on the basics of hunting from LDWF Education Section staff members and Hunter Ed volunteer instructors.

The eight-hour workshop focused on wildlife conservation through our hunting heritage, types of hunting available in Louisiana, hunting opportunities on public land, safe hunting and firearm skills, scouting and blood trailing, rifle and shotgun shooting techniques, and archery.  In addition, tree stand safety and duck hunting demonstrations were provided, followed by a game cleaning session at the end of the day-long workshop.

The activities offered hands-on practice time for every participant and each one received complimentary outdoor items from Cabela’s. Sample wild game dishes were also provided for attendees at the end of the day, basically bringing the participants from classroom, to field, to table in their learning of basic hunting skills and enjoyment of wild game.

During the 2012-13 hunting season, workshop participants will be eligible to participate in deer or duck hunts that will be conducted on Tensas National Wildlife Refuge, Atchafalaya Delta WMA, or Pass-a-Loutre WMA. The program was established to develop new hunters by providing women the basic skills and confidence they need to venture afield and become active hunters with family and friends.

For more information on future workshops, contact Gene Cavalier at 985-882-9159 or gcavalier@wlf.la.gov, or Karen Crabtree at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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LDWF Reopens Elm Hall WMA

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today reopened for public use the Elm Hall Wildlife Management Area in Assumption Parish. The WMA had been closed prior to Hurricane Isaac’s landfall on Aug. 29.

LDWF’s Elmer’s Island (Jefferson Parish) remains closed until further notice. Storm impact assessment and beach cleaning operations are ongoing. 

For a complete list of state WMAs and refuges, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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2012 White Lake W.C.A. Marsh and Rice Field Lottery Hunts Announced

Release Date: 09/12/2012

Sept. 12, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for 2012 marsh and rice field lottery waterfowl hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.

The available dates for rice field hunts are: Nov. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30; Dec. 1, 2, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 27, 28, 30 and 31; and Jan. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Marsh hunts are available on: Nov. 10, 11, 15, 19, and 25; Dec. 20, 22, 23 and 29; and Jan. 2 and 15.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and applications for both hunts must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 11, 2012.

Applications may be obtained by contacting any of LDWF's field offices or by visiting the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.  Completed applications may be delivered in person to Room 422 of the LDWF Building in Baton Rouge, or by mail.  The mailing address is: La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,  P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.  Please note on envelope: Attention: White Lake Marsh (or Rice Field) Lottery Hunt, whichever is applicable.

Each application will be assessed a non-refundable $5 administrative fee. Applications must be accompanied by a check or money order payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Successful applicants will be notified by mail.

Selected applicants will be allowed two guests for the rice field hunts and one guest for the marsh hunts. An additional payment of $225 will be required for the rice field hunts and $350 for the marsh hunts.

For more information on White Lake WCA marsh and rice field lottery waterfowl hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 or wsweeney@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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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