LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Spring Shrimp Season Set To Open

Release Date: 05/02/2013

May 2, 2013 – The dates for the 2013 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 provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and on public comments.

The opening dates for the 2013 Louisiana shrimp season are as follows:

1. That portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island, and that portion of state outside waters extending 3 nautical miles seaward from the shoreline from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude to open at 6 a.m. May 13

2.  That portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche to open at 6 a.m. May 20

3.  That portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line southward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. May 27

4.  That portion of state inside waters from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou to open at 6 a.m. May 27

For a map detailing these openings please click here:

LDWF biologists monitored water conditions and conducted approximately 550 trawl samples throughout the state’s estuarine and nearshore waters over the last five weeks to develop management recommendations for the spring shrimp season 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.

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 please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

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Black Bear Kills Calf in West Carroll Parish

Release Date: 05/02/2013

May 2, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is investigating the killing of a calf by a black bear in West Carroll Parish. The incident occurred on private property near Epps between sunset Wednesday, April 24 and sunrise Thursday, April 25.
 
LDWF Wildlife Division staff responded to the reported incident, performing a necropsy to determine the cause of the calf’s death. LDWF staff have worked to remove the bear by trapping and to monitor the site in the event the bear returns to feed on the calf carcass. The bear has not yet been trapped, nor has it returned to the site.
 
This is the first confirmed incident of a bear killing livestock since the department’s black bear program was created to restore the threatened species population in Louisiana. “It is unusual for black bears in Louisiana to exhibit predatory behavior.  They are primarily opportunistic omnivores, feeding on fruits, nuts, grains, carrion and when available, garbage,” said Maria Davidson, LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager.
 
The Tensas River basin in the northeast corner of the state is one of three black bear population centers that also include the lower Atchafalaya Basin and Pointe Coupee Parish. 
 
LDWF advises the public that black bear activity begins to increase as warm spring temperatures increase their movement as they search for food sources.  Encounters with bears can be minimized by securing all garbage and pet and livestock feed.  For more information on avoiding bear encounters and what to do if you encounter a bear go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/35221-bear-safety/new_general_bear.pdf .
 
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 more information, contact Maria Davidson, ph. 225-931-3061 or mdavidson@wlf.la.gov .
 

 

LDWF Now Offering Android and iPhone Apps to Report Violations

Release Date: 05/01/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now offering LADWF Tips apps for both Android and iPhone users to report outdoor related violations to Enforcement Division agents through their tip411 program.

LDWF's tip411 program is a part of their Operation Game Thief program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions.

“We unveiled the LADWF Tips app for iPhones in 2011 and it has shown to be very useful and has helped make a number of cases that have led to arrests and convictions,” said LDWF Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the Enforcement Division.  “We are pleased to announce that we now have an Android app that will reach a larger percentage of people that can now report wildlife violations.”

Users can download the LADWF Tips iPhone and Android apps from iTunes or Google Play store free of charge.  Citizens can also send an anonymous tip to LDWF by texting LADWF and their tip to 847411.

Texting or downloading the apps enables the public to send anonymous tips to LDWF and lets LDWF respond back, creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.  Users of the app or texters can also send in photos to help support their claim and be used as evidence.

CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text.

"We’re proud to make this technology available to our citizens free of charge.  This tip411 program will help our citizens play an active role in helping us enforce current conservation rules and regulations," said Col. Vidrine.  "This program will engage younger folks in the process and it will save our agency time and resources."

LDWF will monitor the tip411 program for incoming tips 24 hours a day.

LDWF also offers their Operation Game Thief 24 hour toll free hotline.  Citizens can anonymously report tips by calling 1-800-442-2511 24 hours a day.

CitizenObserver was founded in 2000 and provides web based alerting tools to law enforcement, education and public safety agencies in over 40 states.

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

It’s Fishing Tournament Time: Next Stop Lafitte

Release Date: 04/30/2013

(April 30, 2013) – The Louisiana Saltwater Series tournament season is in full swing and will again return to a favorite tournament spot, Seaway Marina in Lafitte, on Saturday, May 4.  Come out and fish this event that will draw thousands of dollars in payouts to competing anglers.

The two-man team event has an entry fee of $200, with a 100 percent payout for top finishers.  Anglers can use artificial lures and weigh in their two best redfish, with a maximum length of 27 inches.  The event begins with registration on Saturday morning at 4 a.m., with the mandatory captain’s meeting to follow at 5:45 a.m.

2013 brings with it the best line up of sponsors to date for the tour and its anglers, with Shimano and Power Pro as premier sponsors.  Additional tournament sponsors include Daybrook Fisheries, Plaquemines Parish, Mercury Marine, Standard Mapping, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh & Bayou, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers.

Also, Standard Mapping will again offer a $500 contingency prize to the first place team if they currently have a Lowrance HD-S unit installed in their boat with at least one Standard Mapping E-Card.

In addition to these great sponsors, take a look at upcoming redfish tour stops and event host sites we’ve secured for the remainder of the season:
June 8 Port Fourchon Marina, Port Fourchon;
June 29 Sweetwater Marina, Delacroix;
August 10 The Delta Marina, Empire and
Championship, October 18 and 19 Venice Marina, Venice.

For complete information, including rules, regulations and online registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  Online registration will close Thursday, May 2 at noon.   A $20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team. 

A youth division is also available for no additional cost to introduce our young anglers to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation.  Youth division participants compete against one another in the youth division, and all youth anglers will be recognized.  Teams are allowed to have two youth anglers as part of their team along long as they are under the age of 16.

Friends and family are invited to take part in the weigh-in festivities, beginning at 1:45 p.m.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.

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

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REVISED Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda for May 2, 2013

Release Date: 04/30/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, May 2, 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 April 4, 2013

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/April

5. To Consider a Resolution to Rename the Three Rivers Red River WMA Complex to the Richard K. Yancey WMA

6. To Hear Final Public Comment Presentation on 2013-2015 Hunting Season Dates 

7. To Consider Notice of Intent and Amended Notice of Intent for the 2013-2015 Hunting Season Dates.   

8. To Hear Final Public Comment Presentation on Notice of Intent for 2013-2014 General and WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations

9. To Consider Notice of Intent and Amended Notice of Intent for 2013-2014 General and WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations

10. Recognition of Partners’ Roles in LDWF Education Programs

11. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

12. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Setting the Opening Dates of the 2013 Spring Inshore and Territorial Sea Shrimp Seasons

13. To Consider Notice of Intent for Traversing Louisiana Waters by Mississippi Residents

14. Set September 2013 Meeting Date

15. Receive Public Comments

16.  Executive Session to Discuss Prospective Litigation relative to return of Artificial Reef Fund      Monies

17. To Hear Request for Designation of “Free Fishing Days” Scheduling in June

18. Adjournment

 

 

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Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet May 7, 2013

Release Date: 04/30/2013

The next meeting of the Louisiana Crab Task Force will be on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Waddill Outdoor Education Center.  The Waddill Center is located at 4142 North Flannery Rd. in Baton Rouge. 
Agenda items will include:

  • Review of personal financial disclosure reporting requirements
  • Review of Crab Task Force standard operating procedures
  • Update on balances in the derelict crab trap removal and crab promotion and marketing accounts
  • Serviceable crab trap sub-committee meeting report
  • 2013 derelict crab trap removal rodeo results
  • Immature female blue crab harvests
  • Enhancing professionalism in the blue crab fishery

EDITORS:  For more information, contact Carl Britt at 985-882-0027, or cbritt@wlf.la.gov

Two Louisiana Men Charged with Alligator Violations and Arrested

Release Date: 04/30/2013

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited two Louisiana men for alleged alligator violations on April 29 in Ascension Parish.

The agent cited Jason T. Causey, 23, of Gonzales, and Shane H. Knapp, 23, of Baton Rouge, for taking alligators during a closed season, hunting alligators at night with a firearm, illegal possession of alligators, taking alligators without a license, unauthorized use of a moveable, violating frog regulations for possessing a firearm, taking a bullfrog during a closed season and fishing without a basic fishing license.

After receiving an anonymous complaint of illegal activity at Alligator Bayou Tours, LDWF Sgt. Dennis Bueche and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) deputies arrived on scene around 12:10 a.m. on April 29.  Once on scene they heard an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), gunshots and saw a spotlight inside the Alligator Bayou Tours property.

After a brief search, the deputies and LDWF agent were able to contact Causey and Knapp and found them in possession of an illegally harvested 10 foot alligator that had been shot in the head with a .45 caliber pistol that was also in their possession.  After further investigation, it was determined that the ATV belonged to Alligator Bayou Tours and that Knapp and Causey were using the ATV to attempt to drag the alligator back to their truck.

Knapp and Causey were also found with a dead bullfrog and allegedly admitted to fishing earlier in the evening without basic fishing licenses.

The APSO charged Knapp and Causey with trespassing, illegal use of a firearm and criminal damage to private property.  LDWF seized the .45 caliber pistol.  The APSO impounded their truck and booked Knapp and Causey into the Ascension Parish Jail.

Hunting alligators during a closed season, hunting alligators at night with a firearm and illegal possession of an alligator each brings up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking alligators without a license, violating frog regulations and taking a bullfrog during a closed season each carries up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Fishing without a basic fishing license brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Unauthorized use of a moveable carries up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

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

REVISED Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 04/29/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, May 2, 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 March 7, 2013

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/April

5.  To Consider a Resolution to Rename the Three Rivers Red River WMA Complex to the Richard K. Yancey WMA

6.  To Hear Final Public Comment Presentation on 2013-2015 Hunting Season Dates                

7.  To Consider Notice of Intent and Amended Notice of Intent for the 2013-2015 Hunting Season Dates. 

8. To Hear Final Public Comment Presentation on Notice of Intent for 2013-2014 General and WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations

9.  To Consider Notice of Intent and Amended Notice of Intent for 2013-2014 General and WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations

10.  Recognition of Partners’ Roles in LDWF Education Programs

11.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

12.  To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Setting the Opening Dates of the 2013 Spring Inshore and Territorial Sea Shrimp Seasons 

13.  To Consider Notice of Intent for Traversing Louisiana Waters by Mississippi Residents

14.  Set September 2013 Meeting Date

15.  Receive Public Comments

16.  Executive Session to Discuss Prospective Litigation relative to return of Artificial Reef Fund  Monies

17.  Adjournment

 

Acoustic Telemetry Tagging, a Powerful Tool for LDWF

Release Date: 04/29/2013

LASS tournament tagging efforts offer a clearer, more complete picture of the spotted seatrout

(April 29, 2013) – Until now, there has been a lack of detailed scientific information about the movement of spotted seatrout, otherwise known to thousands of Louisiana anglers as speckled trout.  In the fall of 2012, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries launched an acoustic telemetry tagging project on Lake Pontchartrain to collect continuous data on individual spotted seatrout movements over time.  The data collected will give insight to seasonal migration patterns, habitat use, and how movements may vary between sexes.

In conjunction with the Department’s tagging efforts, the Louisiana Saltwater Series, sponsored by Shimano and PowerPro, will host a catch and release speckled trout tournament on Saturday, May 25, 2013, at the Mandeville Public Boat Launch and Harbor.  The tournament follows a week-long spring tagging event, where LDWF and LSU staff will implant acoustic tags in speckled trout provided by volunteer anglers before releasing them back into Lake Pontchartrain.  Some of the fish brought in to the scales at the tournament will be used as part of this program.

“Spotted seatrout are extremely common in Louisiana estuaries and coastal waters and are of considerable recreational and economic importance,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “The spatial ecology of this species is significantly understudied, so we have developed this project to address this gap in knowledge.  Incorporating our Louisiana Saltwater Series Tournament into the program is another great way to garner support and awareness.”

Acoustic tags are much more effective for tracking fish movement than traditional tagging techniques.  Conventional tagging involves marking and releasing a fish that will hopefully be recaptured at a future date.  This method yields very few data points:  the location of the fish at initial capture and its location during potential recaptures.  All movement of the fish between recapture points – potentially months or years apart – is lost.

Volunteer anglers participate in the tagging events and transport trout to an LDWF surgery boat where fish are implanted with transmitters.  Surgery is performed as quickly as possible.  Fish are then placed in a recovery tank and are released over the side of the boat after a monitoring period to ensure they are healthy for release.

These tagged fish are very valuable to this research project, and we ask that if caught, they be released so that data can continue to be collected.  Tagged fish that are part of this program can be recognized by a blue external dart tag.  Please call the number provided on the blue tag, and report the date, time, location of catch, and health of the fish when released.  If a fish with an internal transmitter is retained, please return the transmitter to A. Ferguson, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La. 70808.

Participating teams in the Louisiana Saltwater Series Trout Tournament may consist of up to a total of four anglers, with only two adult anglers (16 years of age and older).  In addition to 100 percent payout and prizes, we are pleased to announce the Academy Sports and Outdoors is sponsoring additional prize money including $500 for first place team, $250 for first place youth, and $250 for the extra tagged fish prize.  Teams are also allowed to bring in extra fish in addition to their weigh fish to be entered into drawings for special prizes, with the number of entries determined by the number of extra fish to be brought in to be tagged.  Extra raffle entries can also be earned for each Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program data card presented.

Online registration at $150 per team is now open for the speckled trout tournament on www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  Online registration will remain open until Thursday, May 23, but interested anglers will still have the opportunity to register onsite for $200 per team. 

Tournament sponsors include Shimano, PowerPro, Daybrook Fisheries, Plaquemines Parish, Mercury Marine, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Standard Mapping, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh & Bayou, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers.  A special thanks also goes out to the city of Mandeville for all of their support and assistance. 

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

 

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Acadiana Sportsmen’s League Honors Robert Love for Career Conservation Work

Release Date: 04/26/2013

Robert “Bob’ Love (left) receives Acadiana Sportsmen’s League Emeritus Award from ASL’s Ken Bordelon. (Photo by Lisa Soileaux)

April 26, 2013 -- The Acadiana Sportsmen’s League recently honored Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Robert “Bob’ Love for his dedication to the state’s wildlife resources for over 30 years.
 
Love received the ASL’s Emeritus Award at the league’s annual banquet on April 20 in Crowley. Past recipients have included Joe Herring, Harold Schoffler, Bud Carpenter and Wesley Perry.
 
“Louisiana’s coastal zone has to be one of the most dynamic places in the world for any biologist to work,” said Love. “Considering the negative impacts from recent major hurricanes, the largest oil spill in U.S. history, followed by a serious drought year, and then a record Mississippi River flood event, it is indeed a challenging place to work. But through all those challenges over the many years I have been here, the field biologists have continued to achieve successes in alligator research, the de-listing of the brown pelican and bald eagle, and now the early stages of whooping crane re-population.”
 
Love currently serves as LDWF’s Coastal and Non-game Resources Division administrator. He began his career as a wildlife specialist in the Baton Rouge District VII office for the Wildlife Division.  Early in his career he worked with many game species, nuisance wildlife species and species of special concern, including alligators.
 
After working on all WMA’s throughout the Florida parishes, he was promoted through the biologist ranks to serve as biologist program manager for nine years, responsible for purchasing conservation lands for WMA’s and refuges. He served 18 years in the Wildlife Division before serving the last 14 years in what was previously known as the Fur and Refuge Division. 
   
As division administrator, Love oversees personnel responsible for coastal marshes on six refuges and eight Wildlife Management Areas, and the management and supervision of fur, alligator, rare, threatened and endangered species, and reptile and amphibian resources within the state. The CNR Division is currently coordinating the state’s whooping crane re-population effort.
 
Love received his undergraduate degree in biology from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois in 1975.  He received his master’s degree in wildlife management in 1981 from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.  His master’s degree thesis focused on the food habits of nutria in brackish marshes, with field work on the State Wildlife Refuge in Vermilion Parish.
 
Over his career, Love has been involved in wildlife groups including the Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, LSU Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries Alumni Association, The Wildlife Society, LA Professional Biologist Association and others.
 
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

 

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