L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

L.W.F.C. Approves Notices of Intent for 2012-14 Hunting Seasons and the 2012-13 WMA Seasons

Release Date: 05/04/2012

May 4, 2012  -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, during their May 3 monthly meeting, approved two notices of intent (NOI) that included two amendments for the 2012-14 hunting seasons and the 2012-13 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) hunting season.

Notable changes to the upcoming hunting seasons include modifying the primitive firearm definition by removing the pre-1900 designation, allowing the take of rabbits, squirrels, and outlaw quadrupeds with air rifles, modifying the hunting season for lands within the Morganza Floodway from I-10 south within the protection levees of the Atchafalaya Basin and providing increased deer hunting opportunity in Area 5. In addition, the season limit for deer for the 2013-14 season was changed to allow for the take of no more than 3 antlered deer or 4 antlerless deer.

The first amendment to the original NOI for the 2012-13 General-WMA Hunting Regulations allows for changing the firearm language specific for the take of raccoon and opossum to be consistent with the firearms legal to take small game, making .22 caliber or smaller legal.

A second amendment will allow for a bird dog training area in Kisatchie National Forest, on that portion of the Vernon Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District known as the “dove field”, to allow for bird dog training year round, except during turkey season.

Included in the Commission approvals is the list of primitive firearm calibers, smaller than .38, that will be legal for deer hunting beginning with the 2012-13 season. Those calibers include the .38-55 Winchester, .375 Winchester, .357 S&W Magnum, .38 S&W Special, .35 Winchester SL and .351 Winchester SL.

To view the full notices of intent, as presented Feb. 2, 2012 by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and subsequent amendments, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.louisiana.gov.

LWFC Takes Unprecedented Step to Move Forward with “State-waters Only” Red Snapper Season for 2013

Release Date: 05/04/2012

 

May 3, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action to implement a “Louisiana-only” red snapper recreational season, set to begin in 2013. 

This Louisiana red snapper weekend-only season would begin the Saturday preceding Palm Sunday each year and end September 30 of the same year, with a recreational bag limit of three fish per day at a 16 inch minimum.  A weekend is defined as Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Memorial Day and Labor Day, when Monday would be classified as a weekend as well. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham was given the authority to modify the portions of this rule pertaining to red snapper recreational daily harvest limits and seasons if the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Survey institutes sub-regional management for the species or if it is otherwise deemed necessary. 

In related action, next month LWFC will also consider extending state waters from three miles offshore to three nautical miles or approximately 10.357 miles.  This action is being considered based on recent legislative action taken in 2011 in Act 336, which recognizes that the gulfward boundary historically consists of three marine leagues and designates that boundary to be enforced by state law regarding the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources, and regulation of activities affecting them.

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.

2012 Free Fishing Weekend in Louisiana Set for June 9-10

Release Date: 05/03/2012

May 3, 2012  -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission today officially proclaimed June 9 and 10 as “Free Fishing Weekend” for Louisiana citizens and visitors.  The promotional fishing dates are provided for novices and non-anglers as an opportunity to experience recreational fishing in fresh or salt water without the purchase of a recreational fishing license. 

The program is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) efforts to attract more participants into the ranks of licensed fishermen.  Fishing license fees support LDWF's conservation efforts including habitat management.

"LDWF is encouraging anyone who wants to fish in Louisiana to do so on the weekend of June 9-10," said John Sturgis, LDWF education manager.  "It's an activity the whole family can enjoy, even without a boat.  Louisiana offers some of the best bank and pier fishing opportunities in the south."

"Free Fishing Weekend" is a part of Fishing Week in Louisiana that runs from June 4 to 10.  The event was created to help reverse the trend of declining participation in outdoor activities across America.

In conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend, LDWF is working with supporting sponsors to offer the following events on Saturday, June 9:

Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Rodeo at Waddill Wildlife Refuge

4142 N. Flannery Road, Baton Rouge

Fishing competition from 7 to 11 a.m. followed by lunch at Bass Pro.

Free Fishing Day at Lake D’Arbonne State Park

3628 Evergreen Road, Farmerville

Registration begins at 8 a.m. for the fishing contest at 9 a.m. and bait casting contest at 10 a.m. with awards to be presented before noon.

Louisiana Saltwater Series Youth Fishing Event at Elmer’s Island

LA Hwy. 1, Grand Isle

Tournament hours: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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.

For more information, contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov or Danica Williams at 504-628-7282 or dwilliams@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Spring Shrimp Season Set To Open

Release Date: 05/03/2012

Louisiana Spring Shrimp Season Set To Open

May 3, 2012 – The dates for the 2012 Louisiana spring shrimp season were announced at today’s meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The spring shrimp season was set based on information providedby Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and on public comments.

The opening dates for the 2012 Louisiana shrimp season are as follows:

1) That portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. May 21

2) That portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel Buoy Line to open at 6 a.m. May 7

3)  That portion of state inside waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel Buoy Line to the Louisiana/Texas state line to open at 6 a.m. May 21

4)  That portion of state outside waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou to open at 6 a.m. May 21

For a map detailing these opening please click here

LDWF biologists monitored water conditions and conducted over 900 trawl samples throughout the state’s estuarine and nearshore waters over the last five weeks to develop management recommendations for spring inshore opening dates.   The Department provided projections of the dates when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population would reach 100 count per pound or larger. 

Louisiana leads the nation in shrimp production and the shrimp fishery is the state’s largest and most valuable commercial fishery with 2011 landings totaling over 90.5 million pounds (heads-on) weight.

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 more information on the spring inshore season contact Marty Bourgeois at (225)765-2401.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

 

Biloxi W.M.A. Lease Renewed for Additional 25 Years

Release Date: 05/03/2012

Sect. Robert Barham, Biloxi Marsh Lands Corp. CEO Will Rudolf and CNR Div. Admin. Bob Love recognize Biloxi WMA lease renewal.

May 3, 2012– Outdoors enthusiasts utilizing the Biloxi Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will continue to have access to the site for an additional 25 years following renewal of a lease between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation. LDWF announced the lease renewal at today’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.

“This long standing partnership with Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation has provided for public access to this excellent fish and wildlife habitat for 55 years, and we are pleased that arrangements have been made to extend that access at no cost to the department,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

The Biloxi WMA is located in upper St. Bernard Parish, approximately 40 miles east of New Orleans. It is accessible only by boat via commercial launches at Hopedale and Shell Beach. The 35,644-acre tract has been leased to LDWF by the corporation since 1957.

“Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation is very proud of the fact that it has been able to provide over 35,000 acres of its property for public recreation for more than 50 years and with the recent renewal of the lease agreement we will continue to provide an expansive area for public use for the next 25 years,” said William Rudolf, Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation president.

A number of bayous, sloughs and potholes make the Biloxi tract an excellent producer of fish, shrimp, crabs, waterfowl and furbearers. The few canal spoil banks and ridges scattered throughout the marsh provide escape for birds and mammals from rising water levels during storms or high tides.

Game species hunted on the area include rabbits, rails, gallinules, snipe, ducks, and geese. Ducks present in winter months include lesser scaup, teal, widgeon, gadwall, shoveler, and mottled duck, with lesser concentrations of pintail and mallard. Blue and snow geese are normally found on the WMA, although not in large numbers. Furbearing animals present include nutria, muskrat, mink, raccoon, otter and opossum. Alligators are also found on the property.

Fish species common in the area include speckled trout, redfish, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, and croaker.

For more information on Biloxi WMA, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov or contact Shane Granier at 504-284-5269 or sgranier@wlf.la.gov .

“Speck”tacular Forecast for Saturday’s Louisiana Saltwater Series Trout Tournament

Release Date: 05/02/2012

(May 2, 2012) – Speckled trout anglers, get your rods ready, on May 5 the Louisiana
Saltwater Series is headed to The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell for its second
annual trout tournament. With a perfect weather forecast and excellent fishing conditions,
it’s expected to be a great day out on the water.

The entry fee is only $100 per team, and there is a 100% payout, plus loads of prizes.
Teams may consist of one, two, three or four members. For teams consisting of three or
more members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.

At 6 a.m., anglers will venture out to cast lines and reel in the big ones. Because speckled
trout can be challenging to keep alive, participants are allowed to bring in their fish
beginning at 8 a.m., when the scales open. They’ll have until 3 p.m. to make their way back
to shore and weigh in. The aim is for the Department to tag as many fish as possible, so
anglers are encouraged to bring in call of their catch (within limit), but can only designate
two fish as their weigh fish.

Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the series was created to
promote the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program and catch-and-
release saltwater angling. The program provides an avenue for anglers with an interest in
conservation to assist in collecting scientific information about the movements and biology
of tagged fish by tagging targeted species of marine gamefish.

Last year at the inaugural tournament, 78 speckled trout were tagged and released back in
to the wild.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday at noon, but those interested
in participating can register at The Dock from 4 to 5:30 a.m., the morning of the event. A
$20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team. Only cash and
checks will be accepted for onsite registrants.

For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to
www.lasaltwaterseries.com. The Louisiana Saltwater Series will host a second trout
tournament on October 20 in New Orleans at SeaBrook Harbor.

Tournament sponsors include Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board,
Academy Sports and Outdoors, Category 5 Outdoors, Daybrook, Omega Protein,
Plaquemines Parish, Dockside Marine, Skinny Water Products, Slayer, Blackfin Skeg, Faux

Pas Prints, Frabill, Marsh and Bayou Magazine, Power-Pole, Pro-Drive Shallow Water
Outboards, Sea tow, Stick It Anchor Pins, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Swamp Swatter,
Whole Foods Market, Shakespeare/Berkley, Bollinger Shipyards, Chik-fil-A, Jus Grab
it Glove, To Fish Charters, Tony Spell Insurance Agency, Southern Eagle and Standard
Mapping.

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.

North Louisiana Duo Takes Home Top Prize at Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament in Lake Charles

Release Date: 05/01/2012

Pictured from left to right: Saturday’s winners, Jess Griffith and John Sloan of Shreveport, La.

(May 1, 2012) -John Sloan and Jess Griffith of Shreveport weighed in a two-redfish limit that totaled 13.95 pounds to take home first prize at the Louisiana Saltwater Series tournament in Lake Charles on Saturday. 

To win the tournament, which operated out of Calcasieu Point Landing, the duo anchored on a western jetty by a break in the rocks where the current was coming through and remained in the spot through the morning.  “After pre-fishing the marsh on Friday and only catching a couple of redfish, we decided we would fish the jetties, no matter how hard the wind was blowing,” explained Sloan. 

The anglers took home a $2,300 cash prize for their winning fish. 

Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the 2012 Louisiana Saltwater Series is comprised of 13 fishing events and targets the tag and release of redfish, speckled trout, yellowfin tuna and tarpon.  With low entry fees, the tournaments allow anglers to fish close to home and compete for cash prizes while simultaneously giving back to the resource through tag and release fishing. 

The LASS has seen a significant surge in participation this year, with the number of teams nearly doubling for the Lake Charles tournament.  This increase in participation is also reflected in the number of fish tagged.  Thus far, the Department has safely tagged and released 266 redfish caught during its first two tournaments.  The results of the tagging will aid conservation efforts for redfish in the future, helping to ensure healthy populations and a successful recreational fishing industry.

For redfish tournaments, teams may consist of one, two, three or four members.  For teams consisting of three or more members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  There is a $200 entry fee per team for each event.  There is a 90 percent payout for the first six events with 10 percent retained for the championship. Payout is determined separately for each event based upon the total number of boats entered. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com, and be sure to mark your calendars for our trout tournament on May 5 in Slidell at The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle.

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

For more information, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov(225) 765-2396.

 

Agenda For Commission Meeting

Release Date: 04/30/2012

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, May 3, 2012, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1. Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of April 5, 2012

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/April

5. To hear Proclamation for Safe Boating Week

6. To hear Information on State Gulfward Boundary

7.  To hear and consider a Notice of Intent on Red Snapper Regulations

8.  To consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

9. To hear and consider a Declaration of Emergency on Setting the Opening Dates of the 2012 Spring Inshore and Territorial Sea Shrimp Seasons

10.  To receive Final Public Comment on Notice of Intent on 2013 – 14 Hunting Season Dates

11. To receive Final Public Comment on Notice of Intent on General/WMA Hunting Regulations

12. To hear Report from Ducks Unlimited on Waterfowl and Breeding Grounds Work in Saskatchewan

13. To hear LDWF Monitoring Report on Ducks Unlimited work in Saskatchewan

14. To recognize Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation

15. To hear Request for Designation of “Free Fishing Days” Scheduling in June

16. Set September 2012 Meeting Date

17. Receive Public Comments

18. Adjournment

Catahoula Lake Drawdown Delayed Due to Oil-Drilling Activity

Release Date: 04/30/2012

April 30, 2012 – The annual drawdown at Catahoula Lake, scheduled to begin on May 1st and detailed in a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries April 25 press release, has been delayed until June 18 to allow for continuation of oil-drilling activity on leases administered by Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) on the lakebed.  The water level needs to be maintained at or above 34 feet MSL for oil-drilling equipment to operate and move between drilling sites.

Catahoula Lake is currently at slightly over 34 feet and no water will be released until June 18.  Water level will then be lowered to approximately 30 feet by July 15 and to 27.5 feet by August 15, rainfall and runoff permitting.

In the future, intended drawdown dates at Catahoula Lake will be included with LDNR’s lease notifications to better coordinate habitat management and oil activities.

For more information contact Larry Reynolds at (225) 765-0456 or Lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

 

Spring Beach Sweep Set for May at Elmer’s Island

Release Date: 04/30/2012

(April 30, 2012) -The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is calling for volunteers for their annual Elmer’s Island Beach Sweep on Saturday, May 12.  Enjoy a morning on the beach and in the dunes while cleaning up Elmer’s Island from 8 a.m. to noon.

Trash is often dumped directly into the Gulf of Mexico by careless recreational and commercial boaters, and is also left on site by beach-goers.  This is the third annual event to rid the beach of this unsightly and harmful debris.

The annual beach sweep is made possible by numerous partnerships including the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy and through the sponsorship of Barefoot Wines. 

Anyone can participate – individuals, families, schools, youth groups, civic and conservation clubs or businesses.  Lunch and all necessary supplies will be provided.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required.  To register, contact Joe Dantin at (985) 449-4715.

Elmer’s Island Refuge is a barrier island located in Jefferson Parish southwest of Grand Isle, bordered by LA 1 and the Gulf of Mexico.  The island is well known for excellent fishing opportunities for many popular species such as speckled trout, white trout, flounder, redfish, kingfish, black drum, croaker, Spanish mackerel and many other species that frequent the state's coastal beaches and passes. It also provides non-consumptive outdoor opportunities to observe wading, shore and seabirds as well as coastal marine life.

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

BTNEP is one of 28 National Estuary Programs throughout the United States and its territories.  The National Estuary Program was established by Congress through section 320 of the Clean Water Act or 1987.  The Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex became a National Estuary in 1990.

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

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