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LDWF News Release

LPB Chronicles the Comeback of the Louisiana Black Bear on Dec. 9

Release Date: 12/05/2013

LPB Chronicles the Comeback of the Louisiana Black Bear on Dec. 9

Dec. 5, 2013 -- Two decades ago, the Louisiana Black Bear was on the brink of extinction, but today it is on the rebound. The latest episode of Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s six-part wildlife series Alive! In America’s Delta, Black Bear Comeback, documents efforts to save this iconic species.

LPB producers and photographers spent a year following Louisiana biologists on the forefront of the recovery effort, gaining unprecedented access to these threatened animals in the wild and capturing unique insights from those fighting to protect them. The new documentary premieres Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. on LPB-HD.

“Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists have proven time and again that species recovery is possible when staff time and resources are made available to make it happen,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “In this state that has been true for the alligator, the bald eagle, the brown pelican, white tailed-deer, wild turkey – and now the black bear.”

The Louisiana Black Bear, a subspecies of the American Black Bear, was immortalized as the inspiration for the “Teddy Bear” during an infamous bear hunt by President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt in the Mississippi River Delta in the early 1900s. Find out why this bear has captured America’s imagination and adoration for more than a century, and the lengths some will go to save them.

When the Louisiana Black Bear was listed as threatened in 1992 under the Endangered Species Act, there were estimated to be fewer than 300 of them left in the world. Today, innovative programs to reestablish these animals and restore their habitat through improved land management, high-tech monitoring and public education are enabling the recovery. And, through successful partnerships between LDWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Black Bear Conservation Coalition, and hundreds of private citizens, Louisiana Black Bears could soon be removed from protected status.

New studies documenting the bear population in coastal St. Mary Parish and Iberia Parish and another in Point Coupee Parish are nearly complete and will be a critical factor in making that decision. Maria Davidson, LDWF’s Large Carnivore Program manager, estimates that there are now between 500 and 1,000 bears in the state and the population is continuing to grow.

“Once that data has been interpreted, either recovery has occurred and it is a sustainable population or it hasn’t,” Davidson said. “I personally believe we have recovered the bear and that’s what the data will show.”

The results of the U.S. Geological Survey’s study are expected in early January, and once the data is analyzed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether the Louisiana Black Bear can be removed from the federal Endangered Species List.

Black Bear Comeback was produced by LPB’s Liz Barnes, shot by Rex Q. Fortenberry and Gary Allen and edited by Fortenberry. The musical soundtrack was provided by Emmy-winner Mike Esneault. Christina Melton is the Project Director and Senior Producer of the Alive! In America’s Delta six-part series. Underwriting support for the series has been provided by LDWF.

The LPB network includes KLPA-DT in Alexandria, WLPB-DT in Baton Rouge, KLPB-DT in Lafayette, KLTL-DT in Lake Charles, KLTS-DT in Shreveport and KLTM-DT in Monroe.

There will be an encore showing of the first episode in the series, Whooping Cranes Majestic Return, on Dec. 9 immediately following the Black Bear episode. Both shows will re-air on Sunday, Dec. 15 starting at 5 p.m. on LPB. Live streaming access to the programs will be available on www.lpb.org/live on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., and both programs will then be available on-line through the end of December at www.lpb.org/alive.

Black Bear Comeback will air in New Orleans on WLAE- TV32 on Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m. Whooping Cranes Majestic Return will air Jan.17 at 8:30 p.m. on WLAE.

For more information, contact Bob Neese at LPB, ph. 1-800-272-8161 or bneese@lpb.org, or Bo Boehringer at LDWF, ph. 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

LDWF Reopens Commercial and Recreational Fishing within a Portion of Coastal Waters Adjacent to Elmer’s Island

Release Date: 12/05/2013

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(Dec. 5, 2013) -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced today a reopening of commercial and recreational fishing within a portion of coastal waters adjacent to Elmer’s Island in Jefferson Parish. 
 
The area reopened by this announcement includes that portion of state outside waters beginning one-half mile seaward from the inside/outside shrimp line seaward a distance of one mile from the inside/outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of Belle Pass at -90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at -90 degrees 02 minutes 46.6 seconds west longitude.
 
The closure area had previously included a one-mile buffer established in an abundance of caution for public safety following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The area has been reopened to establish consistency with other oil spill related closures in state outside waters, and it shows no visible surface oil and no known oil residues in the area.
 
The department with its partners -- the US Food and Drug Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals -- will continue to evaluate the potential for future openings using the established protocols.
 
The area was most recently closed in September 2012 when Hurricane Isaac exposed large oil mats and tar balls along the shoreline of this area. A map of the revised closure area adjacent to Elmer’s Island is posted on the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.
 
For more information, contact Harry Blanchet at 225-765-2384 or hblanchet@wlf.la.gov.

 

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 12/04/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, December 5, 2013, 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 November 7, 2013

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports November

5. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for a Partial Closure of State Outside Waters to Shrimping

6. To Hear a General Presentation of the 2014-2016 Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations

7. To add the Kennedy Mitigation Area to the Ouachita Wildlife Management Area

8. Set April 2014 Meeting Date

9. Receive Public Comments

10. Adjournment

US Forest Service Decision to Prohibit Deer Hunting with Dogs on Kisatchie National Forest Upheld by Federal District Court Ruling

Release Date: 12/04/2013

Dec. 4, 2013 -- The US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana has ruled that the US Forest Service acted properly in their ban of hunting deer with dogs in the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF).
 
The Nov. 27 decision upholds a ban proposed by the Forest Service in 2009 that was delayed for further study and legal action by the Louisiana Sportsmen Alliance, LLC.
 
Earlier this year, the 2013-2014 hunting season dates and regulations on KNF were approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. A deer hunting with dogs season was not included for KNF. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will revisit the issue in the event the decision is appealed and the ruling is reversed or revised.
 
The court’s decision included the plaintiff’s arguments and the court’s findings on behalf of the Forest Service on multiple points, stating among other considerations:

  • The agency sufficiently analyzed the historical and social needs of and impact on the local community.
  • The agency properly considered the economic consequences of the decision on the community and did not capriciously disregard the financial impact.
  • The court finds there was a proper deliberation of competing recreational activities.
  • The decision to ban dog-deer hunting is narrowly tailored to balance the need to mitigate conflicts in KNF with other recreational users as well as the need to allow participation in a diverse range of recreational activities.

To view the full court ruling, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/deer/seasons and open the PDF file under Documents.
 
For 2013-2014 hunting season details, visit the Forest Service’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/kisatchie or the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov.
 
For additional information contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

 

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DMAP Club Provides Hunting Opportunity to Wounded Warriors

Release Date: 12/03/2013

DMAP Club Provides Hunting Opportunity to Wounded Warriors

Dec. 3, 2013 -- A Calcasieu Parish hunting club provided a group of US Army veterans access to deer and hog hunting last month in an effort to thank the wounded warriors (WW) for their service.
 
The Good Neighbor Hunting Club, just north of Gillis, is enrolled in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) overseen by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
The club members have been very successful in managing their deer herd for quality bucks through habitat management and selective harvest. In the past, the club has shared their fortune through youth hunting events, handicap events and for the last two years, wounded warrior events. 
 
The four veterans in attendance at the Nov. 2 hunt included: Charles "Chuck" Williams, Sergeant 1st class, retired, Leesville, La.; Mike Chesne, Master Sergeant, retired, Alexandria, La.; Eric Broussard, Staff Sergeant, retired, Lake Charles, La.; Josh Droddy, Sergeant, retired, Dry Creek, La.
 
The hunt was sponsored by the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), hosted by the Good Neighbor Hunting Club, and facilitated by NWTF and club members. LDWF provided promotional items and information packets for the hunters and assistance from biologist staff from the Lake Charles field office.
 
Anyone wishing to donate gift items for next year’s WW hunt at Good Neighbor may contact LDWF biologist Kori Legleu at (337) 491-2575.  Anyone wishing to plan a WW hunt of their own may contact Chuck Williams of the Wounded Warriors Association of East Texas at Viperdrill39@yahoo.com or 337-378-3210.
 
*PHOTO CAPTION: (left to right) Veterans in attendance at the Nov. 2 Wounded Warriors hunt included: Charles "Chuck" Williams, Sergeant 1st class, retired, Leesville, La.; Mike Chesne, Master Sergeant, retired, Alexandria, La.; Eric Broussard, Staff Sergeant, retired, Lake Charles, La.; Josh Droddy, Sergeant, retired, Dry Creek, La.

 

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2014 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament Set for March 1

Release Date: 12/03/2013

Dec. 4, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS), a member of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) will begin registering students this month for the 2014 ALAS State Tournament set for March 1 in Alexandria.
 
Registration begins Dec. 15 and runs through Feb. 7 for the elementary, middle and high school competition that will again be held at the LSU AgCenter Emergency Storm Shelter facility on US Hwy. 71.
 
Only students who have participated in the ALAS program as part of their in-school curriculum during the current school year are eligible to participate. Teams and individuals compete in one of three divisions that include 4th and 5th grades, 6th through 8th grades, and 9th through 12th grades. An $8 registration fee per archer is required and each competitor receives a 2014 State Tournament t-shirt.
 
Teams must consist of 12 to 24 archers with at least four boy and girl entrants per team, and each team must be represented by a certified NASP-Basic Archery Instructor coach. Archers are encouraged to bring their own bows and arrows or have the option to use loaner bows and arrows that will be available. Only stock Genesis bows and Easton 1820 aluminum arrows are allowed, and archers may wear finger tabs, tape or gloves to protect draw-hand fingers.
 
The ALAS state tournament is conducted using National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) rules. Those rules can be found at www.nasparchery.com . Awards will be presented to the top three teams in each division and the top five individuals in each division. The state archery competition allows Louisiana archers to qualify for NASP national and world tournament competitions.
 
For more information on how to register or sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/archery/archery-louisiana-schools-alas, or contact Robert Stroede, ALAS program coordinator, at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Three Plaquemines Parish Men Cited For Red Drum Violations

Release Date: 12/02/2013

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division Agent cited three men for alleged recreational fishing violations on Nov. 23 in Plaquemines Parish.

Sgt. Adam Young cited Henry Davis Jr., 57, of Jesuit Bend, Donelle Hill, 34, and Oliver Hill, 66, both of Belle Chasse for possessing undersized red drum.  Donelle Hill and Oliver Hill were also cited for possessing more than the legal five red drum a day limit.  Donelle Hill was also cited for not having basic and saltwater fishing licenses.

Sgt. Young found the men with 43 red drum, 26 of which were under the minimum size limit of 16 inches.  The legal limit for red drum is five per person per day.

Davis was charged with the intentional concealment of illegal fish when he threw an un-determined amount of fish into the water upon approach of a uniformed LDWF agent. Davis was also charged with intentional littering when trash entered the water when he concealed his fish.

Intentional concealment of illegal fish and taking over the limit of red drum carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking or possessing undersized red drum carries up to a $350 fine and 60 days in jail.  Angling without basic and saltwater licenses carries a $50 fine for each offense.  Intentional littering brings up to a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.

The three men also face a grand total of $1,191.15 in civil restitution to the State of Louisiana for the illegally taken red drum.

The case will be forwarded to District Attorney Charles Ballay for prosecution.

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

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 11/27/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, December 5, 2013, 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 November 7, 2013
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports November
  5. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for a Partial Closure of State Outside Waters to Shrimping
  6. To Hear a General Presentation of the 2014-2016 Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations   
  7. Set April 2014 Meeting Date
  8. Receive Public Comments
  9. Adjournment

 

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 11/26/2013

Tuesday, December 3, 1:30 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

 

AGENDA

  1. Roll Call and introduction of guests
  2. Approval of meeting Agenda and August 29, 2013 minutes
  3. Financial Report
  1.  Old Business
    1. Derelict Crab Trap-LDWF
    2. Soft shell crab shedding grant- Trudy Luke
    3. Crab Trap Theft and letter to District Attorneys-LDWF
  1. New Business
    1. Professionalism Program- Thomas Hymel
    2. Key handling and Quality Impacts on Louisiana blue crab and fishermen- Jon Bell
    3. Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board update- Keith Watts
    4. 2014 Legislative Session-LDWF
    5. MSC Resolution-LDWF
    6. Sustainability- LDWF
    7. Go To Meeting-LDWF
    8. Election of Officers

VI. Public Comment

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII. Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.

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

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device 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.

 

 

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LDWF Warns of Panther Hoaxes in Louisiana

Release Date: 11/26/2013

Nov. 26, 2013 -- Black panther in northwest Louisiana?  Well it says so on Facebook, so it must be true! Not!

Every year, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries gets dozens of reported sightings of large cats, both tan and black.  When investigated, almost all of these claims turn out to be more common species such as house cats, bobcats, otters, dogs, or even feral hogs.

“But my buddy has a picture on his game camera!”  For the past two weeks, a picture of a black leopard has been circulating throughout northwest Louisiana with the claim that it came from a local game camera.  This stirred local interest among those who believed it was the evidence needed to prove the existence of black panthers in Louisiana.  Unfortunately, this identical picture was also posted on wildlife forums and Facebook in Tennessee on Nov.  8, North Carolina on Oct. 22, and Georgia on Oct. 1.  Where does the picture originate?  Africa. (http://showme.co.za/nelspruit/news/chasing-mpumalangas-black-leopard/). 

A similar picture of a mountain lion, supposedly taken in Louisiana, has been circulating through southern Louisiana.  That picture originated in Minnesota. What does this all mean?  Be a skeptic and don’t believe everything you see on social media.

“But cougars exist in the United States!”  While the mountain lion/cougar/panther is native to the United States, Louisiana does not have a population of these large felines.  There are some claims of mountain lions that, after investigation, turn out to be legitimate cougars.  Individual sightings were verified in 2002, 2008 and 2011.  These are likely young individuals dispersing from existing populations or escaped ‘pets’.  Cougars from populations in surrounding states can travel hundreds of miles and may visit Louisiana on rare occasions. 

As for the black cat variety, no claim has ever been authenticated.  Black jaguars and black leopards are not native to the United States.  Jaguars are from Central and South America and leopards are from Africa.  Jaguars have been reported crossing the Mexican border into southern Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, yet are the spotted variety and are found in the dense chaparral and brush lands.  This is not to say that individuals may never escape from a zoo or be purposefully released by someone whose exotic pet has gotten too big, but the odds are the same as seeing a zebra in your food plot.  Possible, but not probable. 

“But I’ve seen one in my back yard!”  If you are able to photograph a large cat believed to be a non-native species that could be a threat to domestic animals and people, contact your local LDWF Wildlife Division field office. Field office contact information is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife-field-offices-and-telephone-numbers .

In addition to photos, evidence such as tracks, cache (stored kill), scat, and hair help biologists identify the animal and any additional course of action necessary.

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 David Hayden at 318-487-5885 or dhayden@wlf.la.gov .

 

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