LDWF News

LDWF News Release

The LWF Commission Passes Final Rule to Establish the Catch and Cook Program

Release Date: 02/05/2015

February 5, 2015 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a notice of intent to establish the Louisiana Catch and Cook Program, a program where permitted retail food establishments will be able to prepare certain recreational fish caught by properly licensed fishermen. Rules and regulations, penalties, terms, conditions and requirements will apply to those food establishments and fishermen participating in the program.

To view the Notice of Intent, as passed by the LWFC in its entirety, 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.

For more information on the program contact Rob Bourgeois at rbourbeois@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-0765.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

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Louisiana Black Bear Management Plan Presented to Commission

Release Date: 02/05/2015

Feb. 5, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today presented its Louisiana Black Bear Management Plan. The plan, which includes a population monitoring component, was delivered to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their monthly meeting in Baton Rouge.
 
The Commission heard details on the plan including management objectives, history of the species, education and outreach efforts, human-bear conflict resolution methods, a post-delisting monitoring plan, factors that would have to be considered prior to any harvest proposal and anticipated impacts, including economic and social.
 
The plan details the importance of four distinct black bear subpopulations including a repatriated subgroup in Concordia and Avoyelles parishes. It also references several studies, including the recently completed US Geological Survey (USGS) study that confirmed the long-term viability of the black bear in Louisiana.
 
The research data collected in the USGS study from 2006 to 2014 found that the chance of all the subpopulations going extinct was less than one percent. This data will be part of the information used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to make a decision on removing the bear from the threatened species list.
 
Louisiana black bear recovery benefited from state and federal protection of the bears, a reintroduction project and habitat recovery aided by the US Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Program.
 
To view the full Louisiana Black Bear Management Plan, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/louisiana-black-bear-management-plan .  Comments on the plan will be accepted through March 6, 2015 and should be sent to mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or
 
Maria Davidson
LDWF Wildlife Division
5652 Hwy 182
Opelousas, LA 70570
 
For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 337-948-0255 or mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or Robert Gosnell at 225-763-5448 or rgosnell@wlf.la.gov .
 
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.
 

REVISED AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 02/04/2015

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, February 5, 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 January 8, 2015

 

3.       Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

 

4.       To Hear Enforcement Reports January 2015

 

5.       To hear the Stock Assessment reports for Striped Mullet, Black Drum, Southern Flounder, and Sheepshead 

 

6.       To consider final approval of the Notice of Intent for the Catch and Cook program

 

7.       To consider  amending the Notice of Intent for the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program Crab Gear Requirements

 

8.       To hear public comment updates on the 2016-2017 Hunting Seasons Notice of Intent

 

9.       To consider amending the Notice of Intent for the Deer Management Assistance Program

 

10.    To Hear a Presentation of LDWF’s Louisiana Black Bear Management Plan

 

11.    Set June 2015 Meeting Date

 

12.    Receive Public Comments

 

13.    To consider holding an executive session, pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(10), to discuss the Louisiana Legislative Auditor confidential  preliminary report on Louisiana Oyster Lease Practices.”

 

14.    To consider a response to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor confidential preliminary report on Louisiana Oyster Lease Practices

 

15.    Adjournment

 

A live audio stream is available for the February 2015 - LWF Monthly Commission Meeting.  To access the live audio stream on February 5th, please register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3822432746948177154

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

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®

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LDWF Agents Investigating Trees Cut Down on Spring Bayou WMA

Release Date: 02/03/2015

LDWF Agents Investigating Trees Cut Down on Spring Bayou WMA

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is seeking leads for information about who cut down trees on the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area in Avoyelles Parish.

After receiving a tip, LDWF Enforcement Division agents found up to 16 trees cut down on the WMA in early December of 2014.  Agents believe the trees were cut down to block navigation to the northern part of the WMA in order to keep other hunters out of the area.

Agents found the trees cut down crossing a canal that connects Cocodrie Bayou to Bayou de la Bay on the WMA.  The trees ranged from 10 inches to 30 inches to diameter and up to 50 foot tall including cypress, oak and willow trees.

LDWF is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest in this case.  Anyone with information regarding these cut down trees should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.

To use the tip 411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 are monitored 24 hours a day.   Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.

The penalty for cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage of state property and brings up to a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.  There may also be a civil restitution charge for the replacement value of the trees and cleanup required.

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

AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 02/02/2015

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, February 5, 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 January 8, 2015

 

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

 

4.  To Hear Enforcement Reports January 2015

 

5.  To hear the Stock Assessment reports for Striped Mullet, Black Drum, Southern Flounder, and Sheepshead 

 

6.  To consider final approval of the Notice of Intent for the Catch and Cook program

 

7.  To consider  amending the Notice of Intent for the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program Crab Gear Requirements

 

8.  To hear public comment updates on the 2016-2017 Hunting Seasons Notice of Intent

 

9.  To Hear a Presentation of LDWF’s Louisiana Black Bear Management Plan

 

10.  Set June 2015 Meeting Date

 

11.  Receive Public Comments

 

12.  To consider holding an executive session, pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(10), to discuss the Louisiana Legislative Auditor confidential  preliminary report on Louisiana Oyster Lease Practices.”

 

13.  To consider a response to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor confidential preliminary report on Louisiana Oyster Lease Practices

 

14.  Adjournment

 

A live audio stream is available for the February 2015 - LWF Monthly Commission Meeting.  To access the live audio stream on February 5th, please register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3822432746948177154

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

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®

Webinars Made Easy®

 

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Galliano Man Cited for Black Drum Fishing Violations

Release Date: 02/02/2015

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent cited a Galliano man for alleged fishing violations on Jan. 31 on the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Senior Agent Michael Marques cited Rufino Gonzalez-Ibarra, 34, for taking and possessing over the legal limit of black drum, possessing undersized black drum and possessing undersized red drum.

While on patrol, Senior Agent Marques found Gonzalez-Ibarra in possession of 26 black drum and one red drum, all of which were under the minimum size of 16 inches.  The legal limit for black drum is five per person per day making Gonzalez-Ibarra four times over the legal limit.

Possessing over the legal limit of black drum and possessing undersized black drum and red drum each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

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

AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 01/30/2015

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, February 5, 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 January 8, 2015
     
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
     
  4. To Hear Enforcement Reports January 2015
     
  5. To hear the Stock Assessment reports for Striped Mullet, Black Drum, Southern Flounder, and Sheepshead 
     
  6. To consider final approval of the Notice of Intent for the Catch and Cook program
     
  7. To consider  amending the Notice of Intent for the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program Crab Gear Requirements
     
  8. To consider a Notice of Intent for 2015-16 Season Dates and Rules/Regulations for the Game and Fish Preserves
     
  9. To hear public comment updates on the 2016-2017 Hunting Seasons Notice of Intent
     
  10. To Hear a Presentation of LDWF’s Louisiana Black Bear Management Plan
     
  11. Set June 2015 Meeting Date
     
  12. Receive Public Comments
     
  13. To consider holding an executive session, pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(10), to discuss the Louisiana Legislative Auditor confidential  preliminary report on Louisiana Oyster Lease Practices.”
     
  14. To consider a response to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor confidential preliminary report on Louisiana Oyster Lease Practices
     
  15. Adjournment

A live audio stream is available for the February 2015 - LWF Monthly Commission Meeting.  To access the live audio stream on February 5th, please register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3822432746948177154

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

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®

Webinars Made Easy®

 

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L.D.W.F. Public Meetings Set for February on Proposed Hunting Seasons, W.M.A. Rules and Regulations Changes

Release Date: 01/27/2015

Jan. 27, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host seven public meetings around the state to gather comments on the proposed 2015-17 resident game hunting season dates, wildlife management areas (WMA) general rules, and regulation changes and the 2016 turkey season and turkey hunting areas.

Public comment will be taken on all items currently under consideration as notices of intent by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission through April 2. The meeting dates and locations include:
 
Feb. 23 - 6:00 p.m., LDWF Outdoor Education Center, 661 Robinson Bridge Road, Woodworth
Feb. 24 - 6:00 p.m., Ruston Civic Center, 401 North Trenton Street, Ruston
Feb. 24 - 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles
Feb. 24 - 6:30 p.m., Natchitoches Event Center, 750 Second Street, Natchitoches
Feb. 25 - 6:00 p.m., Caldwell Parish Courthouse, 201 Main Street, Columbia
Feb. 25 - 6:00 p.m., Opelousas Civic Center, 1638 Creswell Lane, Opelousas
Feb. 26 - 6:30 p.m., Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 2nd Street, Slidell

To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from now through April 2 or may be submitted directly to Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
 

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Three Louisiana Residents Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/27/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Louisianans for alleged deer hunting violations on Jan. 24 in Tangipahoa Parish.

Agents cited Brandon McElveen, 27, of Mt. Hermon, Todd Sigrist, 47, of Kentwood, and Rainey Thibodeaux, 33, of Kentwood, for hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses, no possession of deer tags, taking deer using illegal methods, taking over the daily limit of deer and possession of illegally taken deer.  McElveen and Sigrist were also cited for taking deer during illegal hours, hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting from a public road and taking over the yearly limit of deer.

Agents additionally cited McElveen for discharging a firearm from a public road.  Sigrist was additionally cited for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, driving under suspension and possession of untagged deer.  Thibodeaux was also cited for not wearing the required amount of hunters orange clothing.

Agents seized 11 deer and two rifles in the case.

From Jan. 13 to Jan. 23 agents received many public tips about night hunting activities taking place in the Kentwood Springs Creek area.  After setting up surveillance in the area and investigating the complaints further, agents learned that it might be Sigrist who was night hunting.

Agents went to Sigrist’s residence on Jan. 24 and saw a freshly killed deer hanging from a tree in the yard in plain view.  After talking to some family members, agents received permission to look around in the yard.  After a brief search, agents found six ice chests with 10 deer quartered up inside.  When Sigrist arrived home, agents questioned him about illegal night hunting activities in the area.  Sigrist said he was present when the deer were taken illegally during the past 10 days by Thibodeaux and McElveen.

Thibodeaux admitted to taking her deer during legal shooting hours, but using a rifle below the required .22 caliber center fire requirement.  McElveen also admitted to killing seven deer at night during illegal shooting hours from a public road.  None of the subjects possessed deer tags, basic hunting or big game licenses.

Illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Driving while under suspension brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Taking deer during illegal hours carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of illegally taken deer brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days of jail.  Taking deer using illegal methods, taking over the daily and yearly limits of deer, possession of untagged deer and hunting from a moving vehicle each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Not possessing deer tags, discharging a firearm from a public road and taking deer from a public road each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses and not wearing the required amount of hunters orange each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

The three subjects may also face up to $17,870 in civil restitution charges for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Cullen Sellers, Sgt. Toby Miller and Senior Agent Lee Davis.

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

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces 2015 Derelict Crab Trap Cleanup

Release Date: 01/26/2015

Fishermen reminded of Crab Trap Closures and Volunteers Needed

 

(Jan. 26, 2015) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host the 2015 Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo on Saturday, February 21 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Johnson’s Bayou boat launch located off of Highway 563 on Deep Bayou Road in Cameron Parish.  The 2015 derelict crab trap cleanup will be conducted jointly with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and focuses on shared waters within Sabine Lake.

The Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program was initiated by LDWF in 2004 to address removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps.  The traps increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards, and reduce visual appeal of our environment.  The volunteer-based program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees and since its inception has disposed of more than 24,000 derelict crab traps.

Area Closure

In order to conduct the trap cleanups, licensed crab fishermen received a notice informing them that they must remove their crab traps from within the closure area during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers.  For a map of the closure area click here.

Volunteers

LDWF encourages volunteers to participate in this opportunity to remove abandoned traps and conserve Louisiana’s marine resources.  Volunteers are needed to assist with dockside activities such as unloading and stacking traps. The greatest need is for volunteer boat owners to help maximize trap collection. 

In order for LDWF to better coordinate volunteer activities, volunteers are encouraged to register in advance at the following website https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CrabTrapRodeo2015

LDWF representatives and partners will be available at Johnson’s Bayou boat launch beginning at    8 a.m. to distribute instructions, maps, and supplies to volunteers, assist with the unloading of derelict traps, and document the number of traps removed. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, February 28.

This event is made possible through the support of CCA Louisiana, Audubon Institute, Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU AgCenter, the Crab Task Force and Raising Canes.

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, please contact Melissa Crouch at 225 765-2923 or mcrouch@wlf.la.gov or Martin Bourgeois 985 594-4139 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov

Media inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

 

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