LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Joyce WMA Boardwalk Reopened

Release Date: 01/21/2015

Jan. 21, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that the Joyce Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Swamp Walk has reopened.  The Swamp Walk has been closed since August 2012 due to damage sustained from Hurricane Isaac and construction of the new boardwalk began in May 2014.  The original Swamp Walk opened in July 1990 and has been a popular attraction on Joyce WMA throughout the years.
 
The Swamp Walk is located south of Ponchatoula and east of Interstate 55.  It is accessed by taking exit 22 on Interstate 55 southbound and crossing US 51, or from US 51 northbound from Manchac, just before merging back onto Interstate 55 northbound.
 
Swamp Walk users are reminded that all persons, age 16-59, using WMAs for any purpose other than hunting, must possess a valid Wild Louisiana Stamp, a valid Louisiana fishing license, or a valid Louisiana hunting license.  Additionally, all WMA users, regardless of age, must complete a self-clearing permit before entering a WMA.  A kiosk containing self-clearing permits is available in the parking area at the entrance to the Swamp Walk.
 
For more information on Joyce WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774 or contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Joint Enforcement Agreement Patrol Leads To Recrerational Fishing Violations In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 01/21/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Belle Chasse man for alleged recreational fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on Jan. 17.

Agents cited Mot Truong, 36, for taking red snapper during a closed season, taking over the limit of red snapper, taking undersized red snapper, taking undersized grey triggerfish and taking over the limit of grey triggerfish.

Agents came into contact with Truong while on a Joint Enforcement Agreement Patrol (JEA) seven miles offshore in state territorial waters tied to an oil rig in his vessel.  Truong was observed fishing on the back deck of the vessel and was stopped and inspected.

When agents boarded the vessel, Truong was in possession of 50 red snapper and 29 grey triggerfish.  Of the 50 red snapper, 28 were under the minimum size limit of 16 inches and he exceeded the daily bag limit of two fish by 48 if the season was open.  He also exceeded his limit on grey triggerfish by nine and 16 were under the prescribed size limit of 14 inches.

Taking red snapper during a closed season carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days of jail.  Taking over the limit of red snapper and grey triggerfish and taking undersized red snapper and grey triggerfish each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Truong also faces a civil restitution for the value of the illegally taken fish in the amount of $1,468.58.

The red snapper season closed in state waters on Dec. 31, 2014.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young, Lt. Scot Keller and Agent Travis Bartlett.

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

Three Cited For Taking Oysters From A Polluted Area In Lafourche Parish

Release Date: 01/20/2015

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited three Golden Meadow residents for alleged oyster fishing violations near Bayou Blue located in Lafourche Parish on Jan. 17.

Senior Agent Thomas Wolf was responding to a complaint of harvesting oysters from an unapproved polluted area when he spotted a vessel harvesting oysters from the unapproved area.  After stopping the vessel, Wolf cited John Mejia, 50, Talasha C. Nelson, 34, and Jeffrey L. Shepard, 58, for harvesting oysters from an unapproved polluted area.

Wolf seized and returned four sacks of oysters to the water.  He also seized the dredges and vessel.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The subjects could also forfeit any seized equipment if convicted.

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

White Lake Fishing Lottery Applications Available for 2015

Release Date: 01/16/2015

Jan. 16, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is now accepting applications for a lottery drawing for fishing permit access to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) between March 15 and Aug. 15, 2015.

A total of 100 permits will be issued following the lottery drawing and winning applicants will be notified of their opportunity to purchase a permit for $40.  White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.

The area open for fishing will be limited to the Florence Canal and Oil Field Location canals off of the Florence Canal.  There will be no fishing in any of the WCA’s marsh areas or in the main camp canal or other areas that are marked "NO FISHING."  Successful applicants will be provided a map of the fishing area.  Boats used by permitees will be limited to the use of motors with 40 horsepower or less.  Additional rules and regulations are outlined in an attachment to the application.

Each completed application must include a non-refundable administrative fee of $5 in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  Only one application per person will be accepted and submitting more than one application will be considered grounds for disqualification.  Completed applications must be received by LDWF by close of business on Feb. 20, 2015.

Applications may be mailed or delivered to:

Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries

Attention: White Lake Fishing

2000 Quail Drive, Room 422

Baton Rouge, LA  70808

Persons interested in obtaining an application may call the department at 225-765-2812 or download a copy from the department’s website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/refuge/lottery-applications .

For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov.

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2015 Dates Announced for Use of White Lake WCA Facilities by Groups for Other Public Uses and Nature Trips

Release Date: 01/15/2015

Jan. 15, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has designated dates between Feb. 1 and May 31, 2015 for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). For profit or commercial activities are prohibited.

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 2015 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 2015 are as follows: 

SCHEDULE FOR OTHER PUBLIC USES AND NATURE TRIPS AT WHITE LAKE WCA

Site visits may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between Feb. 1 and May 31, 2015. 

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 with coffee, 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 reserves the right to schedule other public use activities and nature trips for educational purposes, outside the advertised dates, should the need arise.

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 White Lake WCA facility use, visit the LDWF website at

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/other-public-uses-and-nature-trips, or contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. # 1 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .

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LWFC Approves Consolidation of Russell Sage and Ouachita Wildlife Management Areas

Release Date: 01/14/2015

Jan. 14, 2015 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved consolidation of Russell Sage and Ouachita Wildlife Management Areas in action taken at the Jan. 8 commission meeting.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recommended the move to provide more efficient use of resources and eliminate the need for duplicate management and resources for properties that are adjacent to one another.
 
Ouachita WMA in Ouachita Parish included 13,332 acres and Russell Sage WMA included 21,514 acres in Ouachita, Morehouse and Richland parishes. The combined tract now comprises just under 35,000 acres. The WMA, which will retain the Russell Sage name, will continue to be managed out of the department's Monroe Field Office.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Off Duty LDWF Agent Reports Fishing Violations

Release Date: 01/14/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three men for fishing violations on Jan. 10 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Nelson D. Robinson, 47, of Luling, Vernell C. McBride, 44, of Houma, and Troy A. Dangerfield, 37, Houma, for fishing without basic and saltwater fishing licenses and for possessing over the limit of red drum.

An LDWF agent in his off time was fishing near Bayou Chauvin when he came into contact with Dangerfield and Robinson fishing the same area.  The men didn’t know he was an agent and told him they already caught their daily limit and were heading back where they would drop off their fish and head back out to catch another daily limit.

The agent and the men made their way to the Ashland Public Boat Launch in Grand Cailou.  The agent was able to document the men give 10 red drum to McBride who was waiting for them on shore.  The two men then relaunched the vessel to catch more fish.

The agent was able to call two on duty agents about what was happening and also gave a description of the boat and truck the men were using.  The two agents arrived on the scene shortly after 10 a.m. and waited for the men to come back with more red drum.

Around noon, Dangerfield and Robinson came back from their second trip where McBride was again waiting.  The agents were able to make contact and found the three men in possession of 25 red drum.  The daily limit is five red drum per person per day.

Possessing over the limit of red drum brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Also, the men face an additional $25 per fish over the limit and since they did not possess fishing licenses all 25 are considered over the limit resulting in a $625 fine.  Not possessing a basic and saltwater fishing license each carries up to a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  The men may also face a $661.75 civil restitution charge for the replacement value of the fish.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Bryan Marie, who was the off duty agent, Sgt. Richard Purvis and Lt. Joseph Arnaud.

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

Road Access Update on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 01/14/2015

Jan. 14, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising sportsmen and women that a portion of Taylor Bayou Rd. on Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is currently an ATV/UTV trail only.
 
Parking is permitted before the ATV/UTV signs along Taylor Bayou Rd.  The road is scheduled to be improved after hunting season.  Once repaired, vehicular traffic will be allowed. Vehicular access to the Green Tree Reservoir parking area remains open.
 
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov.

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Coushatta Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/13/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Coushatta Man for alleged deer hunting violations on Jan. 7 in Red River Parish.

Agents cited Russell L. Long Jr., 31, for hunting deer during illegal hours and with artificial light, hunting deer from a moving vehicle, hunting without basic hunting and big games licenses, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and discharging a firearm from a public road.

Around 2:36 a.m. on Jan. 7 a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy observed a vehicle using a spotlight on Catfish Bend Road and tried to pull the vehicle over.  After a brief pursuit the deputy was able to stop the vehicle driven by Long Jr. and notify LDWF agents about possible deer hunting violations.

When agents arrived on the scene they found a 7-mm rifle and spotlight in Long’s vehicle.  The agents then recovered a doe deer from where Long Jr. was found spotlighting from his vehicle.  After questioning, Long Jr. admitted to shooting the deer with the rifle.

Hunting during illegal hours and with artificial light brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and hunting deer from a public road each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Discharging a firearm from a public road carries up to a $50 fine and 30 days in jail.  Hunting without basic hunting and big game licenses each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Participating in the case are LDWF Sgt. Chuck Dison and Sgt. Patrick Staggs along with RRSO Lt. Melvin Massey.

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

LDWF will Begin Upgrades to ROLP Website on Monday January 12

Release Date: 01/09/2015

(Jan. 9, 2015) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be making changes to the website where anglers can apply for a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP) beginning Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.  The site may be down for up to three days during these upgrades, but all changes will be final by Friday, January 16.
 
The new changes will feature an easier process to apply for a ROLP, as well as an improved interface.   For instance, the revised site will accept fishing license purchase confirmation numbers as well as fishing license numbers when signing up for a permit for the first time.  Additionally, family or group members may be added under a single account using one e-mail and still receive separate permits as required.
 
Existing ROLP permit holders should know that all passwords will be reset, so users will be prompted to create new passwords when accessing the new site for the first time. The site will also notify applicants that usernames will all change to the e-mail address associated with the account.  Access to the site will remain unchanged at the following address www.wlf.la.gov/rolp.
 
Who Needs an ROLP?
 
Both private recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain this free permit (however anglers on a paid for-hire trip are exempt).   This permit requirement only applies to offshore anglers who possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin.
 
Currently people under 16 who do not need a saltwater license are still required to have a ROLP, however a rule change will exempt these anglers from the ROLP permit requirement in April 2015.
 
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 Rene LeBreton, rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-8745. 
 
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