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LDWF News Release

Fall Shrimp Season To Close In Large Portion of Inshore Waters

Release Date: 12/12/2012

Fall Shrimp Closure - Large Portion of Inshore Waters

December 12, 2012– Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced today that the fall shrimp season will close in a majority of state inside waters on Tuesday, December 18, at sunset except for inside waters located east of the Mississippi River and in a portion of the Terrebonne Basin.

Shrimping will remain open in the following areas of inshore waters ONLY:

·         State inside waters east of the Mississippi River from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line southward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River

·         The portion of state inside waters within the Terrebonne Basin south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and those inside waters south of 29 degrees 06 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 46 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

Shrimping will remain open in the following areas of outside waters ONLY:

·         The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495 seaward a distance of three nautical miles, from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude which will close to shrimping on Monday, January 7, 2013 at sunset.

·         All state outside waters east of the northwest shore of Caillou Boca as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal and fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone

This closure date coincides with the December 18 closure of a portion of state outside waters approved earlier this month by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. These closures historically take place at this time of year when the temporary exemption from the white shrimp minimum possession size of 100 count per pound expires.

Current sampling conducted by the Department indicates that average white shrimp size in the areas to be closed is smaller than 100 count per pound. This action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.

Shrimp are the state’s most valuable fishery, and Louisiana continues to lead all states in shrimp landings.  In 2011, approximately 5,900 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 92 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $130 million. 

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 more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

Three Cameron Parish Men Sentenced in Federal Court for Illegal Shrimping

Release Date: 12/12/2012

Three Cameron Parish men were sentenced in Federal Court on Dec. 4 for their roles in illegal shrimping on the Cameron Parish National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

Judge Kathleen Kay for the Western District of Louisiana in Lake Charles sentenced Anthony G. Theriot, 37, Philip Lejeune, 50, and Jerimie M. Pugh, 37, all from Cameron, to $6,730 in fines and restitution and 30 days in jail for each defendant.

On Sept. 6, 2012, Theriot, Lejeune and Pugh pleaded guilty for commercial operation on an NWR, fishing on an NWR after sunset and taking over the limit of shrimp.  Judge Kay ordered a presentence investigation on the three defendants at this time.

On May 29, 2012, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents observed the three subjects place a shrimp trawl over the boat bay opening at the Grand Bayou water control structure on the Cameron Prairie NWR.  With the aid of a night vision, agents were able to observe and record the subjects tend and remove shrimp from the trawl.

The three subjects were subsequently apprehended and booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.  Agents seized the subject’s vessel, a 36 foot shrimp trawl and 631 pounds of shrimp.

Each defendant was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus a $70 special assessment for commercial operation on an NWR and for fishing on an NWR after sunset.  The men were also assessed $13,980 in restitution for the shrimp, which makes each defendant responsible for $4,660.

Each defendant was also placed on probation for five years in which they will not be allowed on any NWR.  Each defendant was ordered to serve 60 days in jail in which 30 days was suspended.  The defendants were taken into custody in the courtroom to begin serving their jail sentences.

Agents participating in the case were Sgts. David Sanford and Stuart Guillory, Senior Agent Carl Pickett, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Officer Dave Panas.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie.

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

Louisiana Saltwater Series Announces 2013 Schedule

Release Date: 12/11/2012

 

Dec. 11, 2012 -The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series will commence its 2013 season at The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell and will visit seven different marinas across Louisiana’s coast to create a true test of the best and the most exciting season yet.  The coming year marks the fourth anniversary of the LASS redfish trail.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, tournament host, will be commemorating the milestone with new prizes and partnerships, including a weigh-in hosted by Marsh and Bayou Magazine at the Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show.

“Every angler who participates is not only signing up for a day of competition and entertainment, but they’re making their mark in fisheries research,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “Our tournament is one of the only in existence that offers this unique opportunity to give back to the resource.”

Last year, 1,002 redfish were tagged and released, eclipsing the 2010 and 2011 combined total of 978 redfish tagged and released. 

The 2013 LASS Redfish Series dates are as follows:

     March 2 Slidell, The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle;

     April 20 Lake Charles, Calcasieu Point Landing;

     May 4 Lafitte, SeaWay Marina;

     June 8 Port Fourchon, Port Fourchon Marina;

     June 29 Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina;

     August 10 Delta Marina, Empire; and

     Championship October 4 and 5 Venice, Venice Marina.

All information related to rules and registration will soon be available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  For more information on the series contact Ashley Wethey at 225-765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

Hunters for the Hungry Provides Opportunity to Help Those Less Fortunate

Release Date: 12/11/2012

Dec. 11, 2012  -- If you are an outdoorsman or woman experiencing success during this hunting season, you have an opportunity to pass on some of that bounty to hungry families around the state.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is encouraging hunters to donate harvested game, specifically deer and hogs, to Hunters for the Hungry (HFH).

“The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recognizes that fostering such a program for donation and economic processing of surplus game meat advances objectives of the North American model of Conservation by helping maintain a strong base of hunters for game harvesting management and facilitating effective hunter compliance with existing regulation that prohibits the wasting of edible portions of game,” said Jimmy Anthony, LDWF’s assistant secretary for the Office of Wildlife.

HFH has enlisted the support of game processors around the state who will accept and process your game at no cost to you or the families who will benefit.  You as a donor only need to bring in your harvested deer or hog to a participating processor, field-dressed in advance, and they handle the rest. You can elect to keep the backstrap and tenderloin, and donate the rest of the edible meat. There is no cost to you even if you select this option.

"We are excited and proud of the generous support LDWF is providing this very worthy program,” said Richard Campbell, head of the statewide HFH network. “With their cooperation, we hope to cover the entire state, thereby sharing the bounty of our natural resources with those less fortunate."

For a complete list of participating processors, go to www.hunters4hungrylouisiana.org.

If you own a wild game processing business and want to become part of this program, contact an LDWF Private Lands biologist at any of these Wildlife Division field offices,Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except holidays:

Monroe  ph. 318-343-4044

Minden  ph. 318-371-3050

Pineville  ph. 318-487-5885

Lake Charles  ph. 337-491-2575

Hammond  ph. 985-543-4777

Opelousas  ph. 337-948-0255

Baton Rouge  ph. 225-765-2346

Hunters for the Hungry began in 1994 when a group of Baton Rouge area hunters gathered in an effort to support the needy in the Greater Baton Rouge area. The HFH concept became part of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s Lagniappe du Coeur (Extra from the Heart) program that is Louisiana’s first prepared and perishable food rescue program. HFH today supports the Food Bank through a “Clean Out Your Freezer Day” in September and the “Freshly-Harvested Game Program” that runs throughout the hunting season.

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.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

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LDWF Advises Hunters to Call Field Offices When Problems Encountered with Deer Tag Validation Process

Release Date: 12/10/2012

Dec. 10, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising hunters to call a local LDWF field office when problems are encountered with the phone-in, deer tag validation process.

Some hunters have experienced difficulty with the voice recognition system linked to the toll-free phone number 866-484-4805 that collects information on harvested deer and validates the individual’s deer tag, the final step in reporting harvest data to LDWF.

Wildlife Division staff at field offices around the state will accept and record tag validation information (date and parish of harvest) from hunters to complete the process as needed.  Hunters having difficulty are encouraged to call the field offices during normal work hours for personal assistance with validating their harvest.  LDWF field offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except holidays, in the following locations:

Monroe ph. 318-343-4044

Minden ph. 318-371-3050

Pineville ph. 318-487-5885

Lake Charles ph. 337-491-2575

Hammond ph. 985-543-4777

Opelousas ph. 337-948-0255

Baton Rouge ph. 225-765-2346

Deer hunters have seven days to validate each tag used for a deer harvested this season. Hunters also have the option to validate their deer tags seven days a week, any time of the day, on-line via www.la.wildlifelicense.com.

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.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

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LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized At December Commission Meeting

Release Date: 12/06/2012

LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized At December Commission Meeting

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was honored at the Dec. 6 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International presented their Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Capt. Robert Buatt, 50, of Egan in Acadia Parish.  The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement.

Buatt has been with LDWF for 21 years and recently was promoted to captain of the Lake Charles Office which is in charge of patrolling Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, Cameron and Vermilion parishes.

Buatt received the award partly for his role in investigating a case that led to a second degree murder conviction and coordinating successful search and rescue mission in the Gulf of Mexico south of Marsh Island in which a shrimp boat sank and officials were able to rescue two men.

“Capt. Buatt’s intuition and experience with hunting incidents directly changed a hunting accident into a homicide investigation.  His thorough investigation provided overwhelming evidence for a murder conviction,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “He also coordinated a search and rescue mission off the coast of Vermilion Parish involving agents from three different regions.  These accomplishments as well as his day to day professionalism make him deserving of this prestigious award.”

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

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Takes Action to Close Portions of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters to Shrimping

Release Date: 12/06/2012

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Takes Action to Close Portions of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters to Shrimping

(Dec. 6, 2012)– At today’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced two shrimping closures in portions of Louisiana offshore territorial (outside) waters.  The action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide the opportunity for these populations to grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

The closure includes the following areas and effective dates:

  • The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495 seaward a distance of three nautical miles, from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line will close to shrimping on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at sunset.  This area generally lies seaward of Terrebonne Parish.
  • The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495 seaward a distance of three nautical miles, from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude will close to shrimping on Monday, January 7, 2013, at sunset. This area generally lies seaward of St. Mary, Iberia and Vermilion parishes.

All state outside waters east of the northwest shore of Caillou Boca as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal and fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone will remain open to shrimping until further notice.

Current regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no designated count.   

Current sampling conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries indicates that average white shrimp size in certain portions of these state outside waters is slightly larger than 100 count per pound; however, historical data indicate that significant numbers of smaller size white shrimp occupying coastal lakes and bays migrate into these waters as temperatures drop with the onset of winter. This action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.

The Commission also authorized the LDWF Secretary to delay the closing date if marketable quantities of shrimp are available for harvest, close any part of state waters if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and to reopen any closed area when the closure is no longer necessary.  The Secretary is also authorized to open and close special shrimp seasons in portions of inside waters where such a season would not detrimentally affect developing brown shrimp.

Shrimp are the state’s most valuable fishery, and Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings.  In 2011, approximately 5,900 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 92 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $130 million. 

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 Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (504) 430-2623.

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LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Large Coastal Sharks

Release Date: 12/06/2012

(Dec. 6, 2012)– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on a Declaration of Emergency to modify the commercial harvest possession limits for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks.  The commercial possession limit will increase from 33 to 36 for the 2013 commercial harvest season.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, in 2008, promulgated rules that established an increase in the commercial possession limit of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks from 33 to 36 sharks beginning with the 2013 commercial season.  This action will provide consistency with federal regulations and increased opportunity for Louisiana shark fisherman to harvest more sharks. 

In a related action, the LWFC also took action on a Notice of Intent to permanently modify the commercial Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark possession limits.

Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.govprior to February 7, 2013.

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks group includes great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse, blacktip, bull, lemon, silky, spinner and tiger sharks.  Sandbar sharks are included in the Large Coastal Sharks group, however harvest and possession is prohibited without a special federal shark research permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

For more information please contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.govor (504)284-2032.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (504)430-2623.

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Second Black Bear Found Dead Within a Week

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in Pointe Coupee Parish.

A hunter alerted authorities on Dec. 3 about a dead black bear lying in the woods between the Atchafalaya River and Louisiana Hwy. 1 on property owned by RoyOMartin.  RoyOMartin leases this part of their land for hunters.

Officials found an adult female black bear weighing about 225 pounds dead from an apparent high powered rifle gunshot wound.  LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot and killed late last week between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1.

A cash reward totaling up to $7,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction for this illegal killing of a black bear.  RoyOMartin is contributing $1,000 of the $7,000 total reward.

This is the second bear in a week that was found shot to death.  Officials found a dead black bear in Avoyelles Parish on Nov. 27.  A $6,000 reward is being offered for help in that case.

“RoyOMartin is in full support of black bear conservation in Louisiana and want to see the person who committed this crime held responsible,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF’s Enforcement Division.  “The department is aggressively working to delist the bear and make a legal hunting season for them, but each illegal killing adds time to when that could happen.”

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple App Store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $25,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

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

US Forest Service Removes Ban on Hunting Deer with Dogs

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Permitting Details Announced for Deer Hunters on Kisatchie National Forest  Dec. 15-23, 2012

Dec. 5, 2012  -- The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday that the ban on deer hunting with dogs within Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) has been removed for the December dates previously approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC).

The “with or without dogs” portion of the 2012-2013 hunting season within the Catahoula, Winn and Kisatchie Ranger Districts and the Evangeline Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District will take place from Saturday, Dec. 15 through Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012.

The Forest Service's decision to prohibit hunting deer with dogs on KNF property in Louisiana was issued Feb. 29, 2012. The Forest Service decision was affirmed by their Washington Office on Sept. 28, 2012. A lawsuit was filed on Nov. 16, 2012, by Louisiana Sportsmen Alliance, LLC, challenging the decision.  While the Forest Service intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit, the decision will not be implemented at this time and the 2012 “with or without dogs” deer season will proceed Dec. 15-23, 2012.

As required in 2010 and 2011, all deer hunters on KNF lands designated for “with or without dogs” hunting during this nine day period will be required to carry a KNF Deer Hunting Permit. The no-cost permit required during the “with or without dogs” portion of the hunting season is available on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) website. To obtain a permit, go to www.wlf.la.govand click on the link to the KNF Deer Hunting Permit.

The special season requiring the KNF Deer Hunting Permit will be bucks only.  Every deer hunter in Kisatchie National Forest, except on the Caney Ranger District and the Vernon Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District, during these dates, regardless of age, is required to have this permit.

Deer hunters using dogs must register an identifying mark with LDWF.  Each dog must wear a collar providing the owner’s name, address and phone number.  To obtain a permit, the hunter must provide their name and address and the identifying mark used on dogs engaged in the hunt.

For additional information on deer hunting on KNF or any rules regarding hunting on the KNF, contact Jim Caldwell at 318-473-7168 or 318-613-1048, or Mike Balboni at 318-473-7102.

If you have difficulty obtaining a KNF Deer Hunting Permit through the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov,call the LDWF Pineville Field Office at 318-487-5885 or the LDWF Wildlife Division Baton Rouge office at 225-765-2346 during weekday business hours.

 

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