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LDWF News Release

LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION SETS COMMERCIAL KING MACKEREL SEASON

Release Date: 01/03/2013

January 3, 2013 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2013 commercial king mackerel season to 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 2011 Louisiana has landed, on average, an amount equal to approximately 75 percent of the allotted western Gulf of Mexico quota.  In 2011 more than 1 million pounds 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 2011-2012 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 at (504)284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

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LDWF Launches New Program to Improve the Accuracy of Yellowfin Tuna Landings

Release Date: 12/29/2012

Dec. 29, 2012- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that a more accurate method of determining Louisiana’s recreational  landings  of yellowfin tuna will go into effect January 1, 2013.  The new method requires anglers and charter captains possessing tunas, billfishes, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, and snappers first obtain an Offshore Landing Permit.  The permit is available at no cost to the public, and can be obtained through the Department’s website at www.wlf.la.gov/rolp or through smartphone applications.  The iPhone app can be downloaded free from the App Store by searching for Louisiana Recreational Offshore Landing Permits App.  The Android app can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store by searching for LDWF Rec. Offshore Landing App.  Permits will be available after January 1, 2013.

Anglers who land yellowfin tuna must report that catch prior to offloading the catch.  Reporting can be done through the smartphone application described above or by calling the toll free number 877-792-3440 and responding to the prompts provided. 

Charter captains using tags provided by the department must report landings by the 15th of the month following the month in which the yellowfin tuna was landed.

 A detailed description of the program and reporting requirements can be found at the department’s website www.wlf.louisiana.gov/rolpor by calling Jason Adriance at (504)-284-2032. 

The department will hold three informational workshops explaining reporting requirements and the use of the new technology.  These workshops will be held in the following locations beginning at 5:30 p.m. local time:

January 15, 2013

LDWF Fisheries Research Lab

195 Ludwig Annex

Grand Isle, La 70358

 

January 16, 2013

Belle Chasse Auditorium

8398 Highway 23

Belle Chasse, La 70037

 

January 17, 2013

Houma Municipal Auditorium

880 Verret Street

Houma, La 70360

 

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 Jason Adriance at 504-284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

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Commercial Fishing Season for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks to open in Louisiana Waters January 1

Release Date: 12/28/2012

 

Commercial fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, January 1.  The National Marine Fisheries Service will also open the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico at this time.

 

The commercial season as well as the recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2013 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2013 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping, unless a season closes in adjacent federal waters or is projected to close before that date, and the Secretary is requested by NOAA Fisheries to take action to enact consistent seasonal regulations.  The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks will be regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species and requirements for permits and landings. 

 

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark and tiger shark.  While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. 

 

Commercial fishing for Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks will resume in Louisiana waters on January 1 through December 31 or until 80 percent of the federal quota has been met.  The Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Shark group is composed of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark and remained open for all of 2012.

 

There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include Basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.

 

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

 

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 12/28/2012

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, 4142 North Flannery Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70814.

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of December 6, 2012

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/December

5.   Presentation of Department Financial Report

6.  To hear General Information on Upcoming Notices of Intent for the 2013 – 2014 Hunting Seasons

7.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent on Restricted Amphibians and Reptiles   

8.  To receive and consider a Declaration of Emergency for the 2013-14 Recreational Reef Fish Seasons 

9.  To receive and consider a Declaration of Emergency establishing a trip limit for the 2013 Commercial Greater Amberjack Season

10.  To receive and consider a Declaration of Emergency for the 2013-14 Commercial King Mackerel Season

11.  Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman

12.  Set May 2013 Meeting Date

13.  Receive Public Comments

14.  Adjournment

 

 

LDWF Offers Online Renewal for Commercial Licenses

Release Date: 12/24/2012

 

Dec. 24, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) now offers commercial license holders the option to renew online for 2013.

LDWF has opened another avenue for Louisiana commercial license holders to renew their licenses for 2013.  Customers who held a license in the immediate prior year for the requested renewal can go online at the department’s web site and renew those licenses.

Previously, customers with commercial licenses could only renew by mail or in person at the Baton Rouge office.  Now, they have a third option of using the Internet, which provides the customers with at-home service and savings on travel expenses.  It also allows LDWF to provide quicker service to its customers.  Online renewal can be found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses.

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.

2013 Louisiana Turkey Regulations, Lottery Hunt Applications Now Available

Release Date: 12/21/2012

Dec. 21, 2012 --The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) 2013 Turkey Regulations pamphlet is now available. Hunters can obtain the pamphlet at any hunting license vendor outlet or via the LDWF website.

The 2013 wild turkey season will open March 23 in three designated areas with varying end of season dates as follows: Area A, March 23 - April 21; Area B, March 23 - April 14; and Area C, March 23 - April 7. These areas include similar geographic boundaries utilized in 2012 except for minor additional openings in Pointe Coupee, Ascension and Iberville parishes.

The statewide youth and physically challenged hunter weekend for private lands will be March 16-17. To access additional information, the 2013 Turkey Regulations pamphlet can be viewed at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations.

The application forms for 2013 Turkey Season WMA lottery hunts for adult and youth hunters are also now available on the LDWF website. Those forms are located at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.

Changes in the 2013 turkey season include the loss of Bens Creek WMA, Dewey Wills WMA lottery hunts moved earlier in the season, an additional three-day lottery hunt on Union WMA, one-day youth lottery hunts added on the Winn, Catahoula, Caney and Kisatchie Ranger Districts of the Kisatchie National Forest, and an additional one-day youth lottery hunt added to the Pearl River WMA.

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@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 Launches New iPhone App

Release Date: 12/20/2012

Dec. 20, 2012- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) launched its first iPhone application on December 19. The application is free and available on the App Store.

LDWF’s iPhone app offers the most vital information needed for the outdoor enthusiasts.  It is simple, quick and to the point, providing relevant information while participating in outdoor activities.  

“This is great news for anglers, hunters and anyone who enjoys the outdoors,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “We're giving our citizens a tool that can improve their outdoor experience, no matter what skill level they may hold."

The iPhone app took some of the best parts of department's web site, and recreated them into a version more adaptable to today's lifestyle. The app offers current hunting and fishing regulations, freshwater and saltwater fish identifications, size restrictions and bag limits for specific water bodies, waterfowl identification and regulations, schedules for the wildlife management areas and much more. A snake identification page is also included, which is a useful resource no matter what outdoor activity is underway.  

LDWF plans to keep the momentum going with the iPhone app and push out regular revisions in the coming year.  The agency is also planning a larger version for the iPad.  

The LDWF app can be downloaded from the App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/louisiana-department-wildlife/id53619693....

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 Marianne Burke at 225-765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov.

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Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA

Release Date: 12/19/2012

Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.
Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.
Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.
Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.

Dec. 19, 2012 – The fourteen juvenile whooping cranes delivered to White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan last month were released into the wild Monday. The young cranes join fourteen adults which are part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

“We are making history”, said Robert Love, LDWF’s Coastal and Nongame Resources Division administrator. “We are very excited about this new level of progress and with this recent cohort being released into the marsh, the Louisiana population now totals twenty eight. That is more whoopers than existed in this State during the last eighty or so years.”

The cranes arrived in southwest Louisiana on Nov. 29 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md.  LDWF is working cooperatively with US Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to establish a non-migratory population in the state.

The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance.

Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese.  However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet make them very distinctive.  In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.

Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, visit LDWF’s website at www.wlf.la.gov or contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115.

Barataria Man Cited With Multiple Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/19/2012

Dec. 19, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Barataria man for alleged night hunting violations in Jefferson Parish on Dec. 13.

Agents cited Noel J. Schouest, 42, of Barataria, for hunting wild game quadrupeds during illegal hours, hunting raccoons illegally, taking non-game quadrupeds illegally, and violating Nutria Control Program regulations.

LDWF agents were on vessel patrol in the Lafitte area when they heard gunshots coming from a marsh area adjacent to The Pen at 8:30 p.m.  They began surveillance of the area for several hours throughout the night until they observed Schouest exit the marsh and proceed to a pickup truck.

Agents approached Schouest and found him in possession of a .22 caliber rifle, two rabbits, one raccoon and 83 nutria tails.  Rabbits may only be taken during legal shooting hours of one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset.  Raccoons can be taken at night with the aid of a hunting dog of which Schouest did not possess.

After further investigation, agents found that Schouest was enrolled as an assistant in the Nutria Control Program, which pays landowners for nutria taken legally on permitted property.  Schouest was found hunting without the Nutria Control Program enrollee and illegally took the nutria after legal shooting hours.

Agents seized the animals and parts as evidence along with his rifle, which is subject to forfeiture.

Hunting wild game quadrupeds and taking raccoons illegally each carry a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Taking non-game quadrupeds illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Violating Nutria Control Program regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail with possible disqualification from the Nutria Control Program.  Furthermore, restitution penalties may be assessed for the value of the rabbits and raccoon taken for a total of $91.17.

The agents involved in the case are Sgt. Jason Russo, Senior Agent Austin Arteaga and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois.

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

2013 Dates Announced For White Lake WCA Facilities Use by Groups Conducting Non-Consumptive Activities

Release Date: 12/19/2012

Dec. 19, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has designated dates between February 1 and May 31, 2013 for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).

White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish. LDWF owns and manages lodge facilities and 71,000 acres of wetlands and marsh land. The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, will be available for day-use or overnight use at rental rates that vary based on level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access for 2013 group use dates.

The facilities and landscape are ideal for birding groups, nature photographers, environmental or wetland ecology students, or small business retreats. LDWF can provide site staff for guided boat tours and biologists for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area, which now includes an experimental population of whooping cranes.

White Lake WCA and the surrounding Mermentau River Basin provide abundant habitat for a variety of avian and aquatic species. The property will seasonally have migrant passerine birds, shorebirds, wading birds, rails, gallinules, and the common moorhen. Hawks and owls are also common. Coastal terns and gulls use habitat contained on White Lake at times. Several large breeding rookeries of waders are present on the property. Access dates and fees for 2013 are as follows:

SCHEDULE FOR NON-CONSUMPTIVE ACTIVITIES AT WHITE LAKE WCA

Site visits may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between Feb. 1 and May 31, 2013.

Site visits will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis pending facility and staff availability. At this time, WLWCA will only accommodate one group per day/week and all facility reservations must be made two weeks in advance to allow for staff scheduling.

FEE SCHEDULE FOR WHITE LAKE WCA FACILITY USE

Day Use (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

$300 - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $10/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $20/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings withcoffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided (for up to 15 people) will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.

Exemptions from day-use Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Overnight Use (arrive 2-4 p.m. day 1; depart 1 p.m. day 2)

$400 + $25/person/night --Includes overnight stay at Lodge with only linens provided.

(For up to 12 people.)

$400 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.  (For up to 12 people.)

$900 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and linens provided. (For up to 12 people.)

Exemptions from overnight Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/25 clay pigeons.                   

$15/person/25 clay pigeons, 25 shotgun shells provided.

Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events.

Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/ride.  Limited to authorized function attendees.

Exemptions: Any state, local or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects, or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.

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 on White Lake WCA facility use, visit the LDWF Web site athttp://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-wetlands-non-consumptive-use-2013 , or contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .

 

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