LDWF News

LDWF News Release

COMMERCIAL KING MACKEREL SEASON TO RE-OPEN FOR TWO DAYS NOVMEBER 1

Release Date: 10/24/2013

October 24, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters, previously closed on September 20, will re-open at 12:01 a.m., on November 1 until 12:01 a.m., on November 3 at which time the season will close and remain closed through June 30, 2014. 

The re-opening was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico has been under harvested by approximately 80,000 pounds. 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico was not fully harvested during the previous season.

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at 504.430.2363 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

 

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LDWF Biologists Assist in Offshore Rescue Near Southwest Pass

Release Date: 10/24/2013

LDWF Biologists Assist in Offshore Rescue Near Southwest Pass

October 24, 2013 – Yesterday, on a regularly scheduled sampling trip, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists, stationed out of the Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab, assisted in the rescue of five offshore fishermen who were in distress due to inadvertently striking an oil platform.

When the LDWF vessel, Blazing Seven, arrived at the scene of the report, the 64-foot Viking sport fishing vessel named “Extra Sauce” had already succumbed to the infiltration of water and sunk.  The five fishermen were aboard a life raft and quickly brought aboard the LDWF vessel. 

“Every day I am proud of the work our biologists do at the Grand Isle Fisheries Lab, but I am even more proud of them and their efforts to help this crew whose lives were in immediate danger,” said LDWF Fisheries Lab Director Myron Fischer.  “The team we have assembled in Grand Isle are among the finest biologists I have worked with and they never hesitate to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

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 press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov  or (504)286-4162.

 

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Update on KNF and National Wildlife Management Preserve Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 10/24/2013

Oct. 24, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising hunters of the following information about the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF), Red Dirt and Catahoula National Wildlife Management Preserves (NWMP).  With the return of federal employees from the recent federal government shutdown, hunters are advised of the following:

  • The Red Dirt and Catahoula NWMP will implement the self-clearing permit requirements for the October 26-27 Either-sex hunt.  The self-clearing permits will be available at the Kisatchie Ranger District, Winn Ranger District and Catahoula Ranger District offices and at the check stations on each Preserve.  The self-clearing permits for the Catahoula NWMP will also be available at the Saddle Bayou, Pearson, Bankston and Highway 472 Hunter Camps.
  • Mandatory Deer check on the Red Dirt and Catahoula NWMP will be required as per the Louisiana Hunting Regulations Pamphlet.
  • Hunters are reminded that on Catahoula and Red Dirt NWMP, a mandatory Season Permit will still be required.  These permits are available at Kisatchie Ranger District, Winn Ranger District and Catahoula Ranger District offices, at the Alexandria Forestry Center (Supervisor’s Office) in Pineville, at the check station on each Preserve and online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie/hunting/index.html.

To view the 2013-2014 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet on LDWF’s website, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations. Details on hunting within KNF begin on page 82.  To access the KNF website, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie/hunting/index.html.

For additional information: contact Jason Nolde, KNF Pineville office, ph. 318-473-7192; or Steve Smith, LDWF Pineville field office, ph. 318-487-5885.

 

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Price Lake Road on Rockefeller SWR Reopening Oct. 26

Release Date: 10/24/2013

Oct. 24, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will reopen Price Lake Road on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Price Lake Road, a primary access point from LA Hwy. 82 for public outdoor recreation on the western end of the refuge, has been closed for construction of new public access facilities and road renovations since April of this year.

The $1.2 million construction project added three fishing piers with extended walkway access for recreational fishing, crabbing, shrimping and sightseeing. A large parking area has also been constructed to improve public use. The fishing piers, which added 1,841 linear feet of elevated walkway space, are handicap accessible and will provide improved outdoor opportunities for disabled citizens.

Rockefeller SWR, located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes, is operated and maintained by LDWF. The refuge encompasses approximately 76,000 acres and borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 miles.

All public access areas, including Price Lake Road, are open daily from sunrise to sunset. For more information about Rockefeller SWR, call 337-491-2593.

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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Louisiana Artificial Reef Council to Meet November 14 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 10/23/2013

(Oct. 21, 2013) – The Louisiana Artificial Reef Council has scheduled a meeting on November 14, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in the Louisiana Room of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda is as follows:

  1. Introduction and welcome
  2. Approval of minutes and agenda
  3. Reef Program update (Michael McDonough)
  4. Report from BSEE on IPD
  5. Update on research (Jim Cowan)
  6. Presentation of Inshore/Nearshore Reef Plan
    1. Approval by Council
  7. SARS policy discussion
  8. Deepwater reef proposals
    1. EW-947
  9. Public comments
  10. Other business
  11. Adjourn

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 Mike McDonough, 225-763-5418 or mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov.

 

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Reward Offered for Information on Dead Black Bear

Release Date: 10/23/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in Avoyelles Parish.

A citizen alerted authorities on Oct. 8 about a dead black bear laying in the woods a couple of miles south of the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area.  The bear was collected and sent in for a necropsy.

The necropsy revealed the bear was probably dead for about five to six days and that it was shot with a shotgun slug in the head.  Agents also collected an arrow by where the bear was found dead and believe the bear may have been shot with the arrow before being shot with the slug.

A cash reward from The Humaine Society, Roy O Martin and LDWF totaling up to $8,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction for this illegal killing of a black bear.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray.

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

Hunter Education Requirement Clarified

Release Date: 10/22/2013

Oct. 22, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising hunters that a change in state law allows persons born on or after September 1, 1969 to purchase a hunting license without hunter education certification.  However, persons without hunter education will receive a restricted license that requires them to be directly supervised by a licensed hunter born prior to Sept. 1, 1969 or a person 18 years of age or older who has received hunter education certification.
 
Hunters with a restricted hunting license may hunt unsupervised if they have received hunter education certification and carry proof of such certification on their person while hunting. Direct supervision means the hunter without hunter  education certification is within hearing distance of a normal voice and in direct line of sight of the supervising adult.  Act 335 of the 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature provided for this option that became effective with the 2010-11 hunting season.
 
Persons born after Sept. 1, 1969 and who are 12 years of age or older may hunt unsupervised if they have successfully completed an approved Hunter Education class prior to hunting.  Hunters 10 and 11 years old are required to be directly supervised even if they are hunter education certified.  There is no minimum age for attending a Hunter Education course; however, persons under 10 years old cannot receive Hunter Education certification and must be directly supervised while hunting.
 
Two options are available for obtaining Hunter Education certification.  Students may attend a traditional classroom course that consists of 10 hours of instruction, usually taught over 2-3 days.  Alternatively, students may take the home study version available on-line or by CD-Rom.  Hunters who choose the home study version must also attend a mandatory six-hour field day event.  The Louisiana Hunter Education certification is recognized and accepted in all 50 states.
 
There is no charge for the classroom course or CD-ROM version of the home study course.  There is a $15 charge to take the on-line version of the home course. Home study CD-ROMs are available from LDWF Education Program offices.  The home study version is generally not recommended for students younger than 14 years old.
 
To register for a class or to learn more about Hunter Education in Louisiana, visit www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/hunter-education .   There are multiple websites offering Hunter Education information and class schedules, however, hunters are advised to refer only to the department’s website or links accessed from the department website for current and reliable Hunter Education information.
 
For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .

 

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OYSTER SEASON TO CLOSE IN SISTER LAKE FRIDAY

Release Date: 10/22/2013

October 22, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced that the oyster season will close this Friday, October 25, at one-half hour after sunset in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR) in Terrebonne Parish.  

Protection of the remaining oyster resource and recently-settled oyster spat is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area. This public oyster area holds a limited oyster supply and harvest pressure since the oyster season opening on October 15 has provided the industry with much-needed oyster resources.

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For more information on the 2013 oyster season please visit:

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons

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

 

 

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Largest Weights Recorded In LASS Championship History

Release Date: 10/22/2013

(Pictured from left to right) 2013 LASS Redfish Champions, Sean O'Connell and Bruce Lindheim.
2013 LASS Youth Redfish Champion, Drake Garrison

Sean O’Connell and Bruce Lindheim Take Home 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Championship Title with a Two-Day, Four Fish Total Weight of 36.29 Pounds

(Oct. 22, 2013) - The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series Championship was held at Venice Marina in Venice, Louisiana on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19.  When it was all said and done, Sean O’Connell and Bruce Lindheim took home $5,960 and bragging rights as the Champions of the 2013 LASS Redfish Series with a two-day total weight of 36.29 pounds. 

The Championship is a two-day tournament, with a two-fish total weight per day to determine the winner.  There’s no entry fee, and there’s a guaranteed hefty paycheck for the top finishing team. In order to compete in the Louisiana Saltwater Series Championship, teams must either have a finish within payout in one of the six qualifying events or compete in at least four of the six qualifying events over the course of the year.   

A total of 58 teams qualified to participate in the Championship event for 2013. 

On day one of the Championship 39 teams took to the waters to begin their hunt for a chance to take home first place.  At the end of the weigh-in, 59 live redfish were brought to the scales, and Nash Roberts, IV, and Luke Landry stood in first place with a two-fish total weight of 18.47 pounds.  

The awards banquet wrapped up a great day on Friday on the water, with dinner provided by Venice Marina and beverages by Coors Light and Tito’s Vodka.  Dinner was followed by the recognition of the LASS Youth of the Year, Christopher McElveen and the LASS Team of the Year, Steve Smith and John Garrison. 

At the start of day two, 26 teams blasted off in hopes of catching two fish that would give them the winning two-day total. Teams began weighing in at 1 p.m., and Brandon Treadaway and Kevin Bergeron kicked things off with a two-fish total weight of 18.64 pounds, with one fish weighing in at 10.3 pounds!

The LASS also recognized its 2013 Youth Champion, Drake Garrison, who had a two-day total weight of 13.72 pounds.  Youth participants weigh in one redfish per day, competing against one another in a youth-only category.

The LASS is a catch, tag and release tournament, ensuring that nearly 100 percent of the fish caught in this tournament survive and later provide valuable data to the Department.  It provides LDWF a great platform and opportunity to showcase its fisheries management efforts and public programs to thousands of people.   Since the tournament’s inception, a total of 3,112 fish have been tagged and released through the tournament series since its inception in 2010.  Of the 3,112 tagged fish, 2,858 were redfish.

To further encourage tag and release numbers, teams were allowed to bring in extra fish, earning them entries into drawings for special prizes provided by tournament sponsors.  Michael McElveen, Rob Folsom and Christopher McElveen brought in the most extra fish throughout the six redfish season events with a total of 43 fish. 

Tournament sponsorship support includes Shimano, PowerPro, Coors Light, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Daybrook Fisheries, Omega Protein, Plaquemines Parish Tourism, Dockside Marine, Mercury, Conservation Force, SeaTow, Standard Mapping, Marsh and Bayou Magazine, Faux Pas Prints, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins, YETI Coolers and Krispy Kreme Donuts.

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 or 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 (225) 765-2396.

 

 

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Bodcau WMA Closed to Small Game Hunting on Oct. 26-27

Release Date: 10/22/2013

Oct. 22, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding Bodcau Wildlife Management Area (WMA) users that small game seasons will be closed on Oct. 26 and 27, as announced with the 2013-14 WMA season regulations and dates approved earlier this year.

The decision was made to close the area to small game hunting on these days to help prevent conflicting uses during the opening weekend of modern firearms deer season.  Additionally this should promote a higher level of hunter safety and satisfaction on the highest use gun deer hunting days on Bodcau WMA.  This has been a common practice for some time on other WMAs which have hunting season structures similar to Bodcau WMA.

For those wishing to small game hunt in northwest Louisiana on these dates, the following WMAs will be open for this activity:

  • Bayou Pierre – DeSoto/Red River Parishes
  • Jackson Bienville – Bienville/Jackson/Lincoln Parishes
  • Loggy Bayou – Bossier Parish
  • Soda Lake (portion east of Twelve Mile Bayou) – Caddo Parish

Users are reminded that a Self-Clearing Permit (SCP) is required for all activities on WMAs.  Specific regulations and season dates about Bodcau WMA and other WMAs can be found in the 2013-2014 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet or viewed on the LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations

Bodcau WMA, owned by the US Army Corp of Engineers and operated by LDWF, is located in Bossier and Webster Parishes and derives its name from the major bayou that bisects it from its northernmost point at the Arkansas-Louisiana state line to its southernmost tip nearly 30 miles to the south.

The WMA is located approximately 17 miles northeast of Bossier City. Numerous access routes to Bodcau WMA are available. The primary access to the area is by traveling north on La. Hwy. 157 from Interstate 20 at Haughton to the community of Bellevue and then following the signs.

For more information contact Jeff Johnson at 318-371-3050 or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .

 

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