L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Our Bears are Back

Release Date: 01/17/2014

This Curtis Darrah article appears courtesy of SLEMCO Power. "Our Bears are Back"

 

Volunteers Needed for Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up

Release Date: 01/17/2014

(January 17, 2014) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with Coastal Conservation Association-Louisiana, Audubon Nature Institute, and Louisiana Sea Grant will host the 2014 Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo on Saturday, February 15 from 8:30am to 3:30pm at Toby Voisin’s oyster dock located at the end of Hwy 315 in Dularge.

The Derelict Crap 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 22,000 derelict crab traps.

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. 

Volunteers willing to participate in the trap clean up can view information and pre-register at http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/volunteers.htm  and volunteer boat owners interested in donating and operating their boat should contact Jennifer Thomas at jkthomas@wlf.la.gov or (225) 763-3541.

All volunteers receive a complimentary lunch, gift, and are entered into a raffle for a chance to win fishing and outdoor prizes.

LDWF representatives and partners will be available at Toby Voisin’s oyster dock beginning at 8:30 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 February 22nd.

Area Closure

In order to conduct the trap clean-ups, licensed crab fishermen will receive 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.

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 Jennifer Thomas at jkthomas@wlf.la.gov or (225) 763-3541.

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

 

LDWF Drafts Inshore and Nearshore Artificial Reef Plan for Public Comment

Release Date: 01/14/2014

(Jan. 14, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Development Program has drafted a plan for future development of inshore and nearshore reefs and is seeking public review and comment.

For years, the program has successfully built reefs in offshore waters via the Rigs to Reef Program.  Until now, the program did not have a defined plan for developing reefs other than offshore.  This document is intended to supplement the Louisiana Artificial Reef Plan and serve as a guide for further establishment and maintenance of inshore and nearshore artificial reefs. 

There are notable differences in developing inshore or nearshore reef versus an offshore artificial reef.  Inshore and nearshore areas are typically in areas of high use by numerous user groups, located in relatively shallow water, subject to high energy events and have additional permitting requirements. 

The plan is available on the Department’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/artificialreefcouncilmeeting

The plan will be presented to the Artificial Reef Council for approval. 

Interested persons may submit related comments regarding the proposed plan by Tuesday, February 11, 2014, to Mike McDonough, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

 

LDWF Announces Annual Caney Creek Reservoir Public Meeting

Release Date: 01/13/2014

(Jan. 13, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public hearing on Caney Creek Reservoir issues, including an overview of aquatic vegetation issues and the results of recent fish population sampling. 
 
LDWF established a comprehensive management plan for Caney Creek Reservoir in 2006, which provides annual public hearings to update the public on ongoing projects, fisheries management issues and aquatic vegetation management.
 
Who:  LDWF biologists
What:  Public meeting on Caney Creek Reservoir
When:  Thursday, January 23, 2014, at 7p.m.
Where:  Jimmie Davis State Park
                Conference Center
               1209 State Park Rd.
                 Chatham, LA 71226
 
The meeting is open to the public and all persons interested in the conservation and management of the fisheries resources and aquatic habitats in Caney Creek Reservoir are encouraged to attend.
 
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, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information, contact Jeff Sibley at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 283-8733. 
 
 

LDWF Enforcement Division Represented on National Recreational Safe Boating Commission

Release Date: 01/10/2014

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent has been appointed to serve on a newly formed national safe boating commission.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Executive Board appointed LDWF Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, of Baton Rouge, to the new Boating Professional Certification Commission.

“I’m honored and excited to be working on this new commission as we lay the groundwork for this new certification for recreational boating program management,” said Capt. Zechenelly.

The commission consists of 13 members that represent state, federal, nonprofit, industry and public stakeholder interests and will look at the National Recreational Boating Program in its entirety to develop the Recreational Boating Professional Certification.  The certification will be a voluntary program designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and designate recreational boating professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to recreational boating program management.

Capt. Zechenelly is originally from Pearl River and joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999.  In August of 2013, Capt. Zechenelly was named the Boating Law Administrator for the state of Louisiana.  She currently oversees the Enforcement Division’s marine theft investigations, boating crash incident investigations, and the statewide boating safety education program.

“Capt. Zechenelly is a great asset to our state’s safe boating program.  It is an honor to have our boating program once again receive national recognition and have a positive influence on the national boating program,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.

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.

NASBLA’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.

The Commission will be comprised of representatives from major aspects of the recreational boating program, including training, law enforcement, vessel numbering/titling, education, access, waterway management and accident reporting.

The members and the categories they represent include:

• Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries — States
• John Adey, American Boat & Yacht Council, Boating Industry
• Laurel Anders, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission — States
• Robert Brandenstein, U.S. Power Squadrons — Nonprofit
• Mark Brown, Oklahoma Highway Patrol — States
• Ed Carter, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency — State Agency Management
• Virgil Chambers, Retired Recreational Boating Safety Professional — Public
• Michael Cortese, U.S. Coast Guard (Active Duty) — Federal
• Dan Hesket, Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism — States
• Stan Linnell, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks & Trails — States
• Eric Lundin, Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police — States
• Edwin Lyngar, Nevada Department of Wildlife — States
• Gary Owen, National Water Safety Congress — Nonprofit

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

L.W.F.C. Adopts Notices of Intent for Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations, Turkey Hunting Seasons, Turkey Hunting Regulations and W.M.A. Rules

Release Date: 01/09/2014

Jan. 9, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2014-16 hunting seasons, the 2014-15 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) general rules and regulations, 2015 general and WMA turkey hunting rules and regulations, 2015 turkey hunting areas, seasons and bag limits at their Jan. 9 meeting.

The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons and provide for a public comment period.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Allowing small game hunters to carry buckshot and/or slug while small game hunting on private lands.
  • Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish from Deer Area 9 to Area 6.
  • Modification of a portion of St. Mary Parish from Deer Area 7 to Area 9.
  • Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish within Deer Area 9 from gun with dogs to still hunt only.
  • Elimination of requirement for an annual military permit on Camp Beauregard, Fort Polk, and Peason Ridge WMAs.
  • Addition of general turkey lottery hunt on Pearl River WMA.
  • Addition of youth turkey lottery hunt on Richard K. Yancey WMA.
  • Implementation of a Self-Clearing Permit requirement for turkey hunters on Catahoula and Red Dirt National Wildlife Management Preserves within Kisatchie National Forest.
  • Expansion of deer hunting opportunities on Lake Boeuf WMA.
  • Addition of a youth shotgun deer season on Pass-a-Loutre WMA.
  • Expansion of fishing opportunities on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA.

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

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from February through April and/or can be submitted in writing by mail to: Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m., April 3, 2014.

Proposed hunting season dates, general hunting regulations, turkey season dates, turkey hunting areas, seasons and bag limits, and WMA regulations will additionally be presented in seven public meetings as follows:

  • Feb. 25 beginning at 6:00 p.m., LDWF Minden Office, 9961 Highway 80, Minden
  • Feb. 25 beginning at 6:00 p.m., USGS National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette
  • Feb. 26 beginning at 6:00 p.m., LDWF Headquarters Building Louisiana Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge
  • Feb. 27 beginning at 6:00 p.m., LSU Ag Center (next to Burton Coliseum), 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles
  • Feb. 27 beginning at 6:00 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 3rd Street, Alexandria
  • March 1 beginning at 2:00 p.m., LDWF Monroe Office, 368 Centurylink Drive, Monroe
  • March 1 beginning at 2:00 p.m., Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 2nd Street, Slidell

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

 

 

 

Shrimp Season To Close in Additional State Waters

Release Date: 01/09/2014

Shrimp Season To Close in Additional State Waters

(Jan. 9, 2014)– Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a shrimping closure in a portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River and in outside waters off of western Terrebonne Parish effective Monday, January 13, 2014 at official sunset.

Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • The portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line southward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.
  • State outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line 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

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line
  • All state outside waters east of the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude as well as all state outside waters west of the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude
  • All fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone.

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 minimum count size.   

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided LDWF Secretary Robert Barham with authority to close shrimping in both state inside and outside waters when biological and technical data indicate the need. Data collected from the most current biological samples conducted by the Department indicate that average white shrimp size within these outside waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession count. Additionally, water temperatures reached 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) following the passage of the most recent cold front, leaving little expectations of additional shrimp growth in the immediate future. This action is being taken to protect these small white shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more valuable sizes.

For a map detailing today’s actions click here.

Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings.  In 2012, approximately 5,566 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 100.3 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $145 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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.

 

 

Commission Sets Commercial King Mackerel Season

Release Date: 01/09/2014

January 9, 2014-The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced today that the 2014 commercial king mackerel season will begin July 1. Once the season opens, it will remain open until the quota of approximately 1.18 million pounds is met or projected to be met.

King mackerel is a significant commercial fishery in Louisiana.  From 2000 through 2012 Louisiana has landed, on average, an amount equal to approximately 75 percent of the allotted western Gulf of Mexico quota.  In 2012 approximately 969,017 lbs were landed in Louisiana.  A significant amount of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in the northeastern U.S.

Currently, the 2013-2014 commercial king mackerel season is closed as the established quota has been harvested.

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 Jason Adriance, 504-284-2032 or
jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov. For press release inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.  

 

LWFC Rescinds Net Ban on Spanish Lake

Release Date: 01/09/2014

(Jan. 9, 2014) – During their monthly meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a Notice of Intent to remove the current net ban on Spanish Lake in St. Martin and Iberia parishes.   This action removes the current net ban and allows commercial fishermen the opportunity to use nets to target abundant stocks of buffalo, catfish and carp. 

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

LWFC Adopts a NOI to Alter Catfish Regulations on Boundary Waters With Texas

Release Date: 01/09/2014

(Jan. 9, 2013) – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent that would alter daily creel limit regulations for channel and blue catfish harvested in boundary waters with Texas including Toledo Bend Reservoir, Caddo Lake and the Sabine River.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists together recommended the action based on the results of a cooperative biological study and angler input.

The current daily creel limit of 50 catfish, with a limit of five channel and blue catfish over 20 inches in total length, was adopted in 2011 as part of a coordinated effort with the TPWD to establish uniform regulations on boundary waters.  LDWF and TPWD biologists conducted follow-up sampling, confirming angler concerns that the restriction was unduly restricting harvest.  A joint study determined the catfish populations in question are healthy and the current regulation was overly restrictive.

The proposed rule change would maintain the 50 fish daily creel limit, but set a limit of five fish over 30 inches in total length.  The action will also maintain standardized regulations in Louisiana-Texas border waters and allow anglers in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Caddo Lake, and the Sabine River to keep a greater amount of channel and blue catfish caught.

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/news/37314-lwfc-ado...

Interested persons may submit related comments regarding the proposed rule by March 10, 2014, to Mike Wood, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at comment@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

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