The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) 2005-06 Coastwide Nutria Control Program concluded on March 31, 2006 with 216 participants harvesting 168,843 nutria.
The harvest began on the first day of trapping season, Nov. 20, 2005. The goal of the program, funded by the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act, is to reduce or eliminate damage to Louisiana's wetlands caused by nutria by increasing the annual harvest to 400,000 nutria. Registered participants received a $4 incentive for each nutria tail brought to official collection locations along Louisiana's coast.
The program area was bounded on the north by Interstate 10 from the Texas line to Baton Rouge, Interstate 12 from Baton Rouge to Slidell, and I-10 from Slidell to the Mississippi line.
Trappers harvested 128,692 fewer nutria than last year, when they took 297,535. The decrease can primarily be traced to lack of hunter participation due to hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
The majority of nutria harvested this year were in the central portion of the state, which also has the most wetland damage caused by nutria. The highest harvest occurred in Terrebonne parish with 57,756 nutria, and the second largest harvest happened in Lafourche parish with 24,668 nutria. Other parishes with significant harvests were St. Mary (21,023 nutria), St. Martin (15,903 nutria) and St. Charles (13,807 nutria).
LDWF is assessing the amount and severity of the nutria damage for 2006 during aerial surveys conducted in April and May. A final report on the 2005-06 incentive program and aerial surveys will be available in July at the following Web sites:
Information was collected from each participant to determine the method of take, carcass use, and harvest date and location. The information on the harvest location was refined to each participant's lease this year to show a more precise location of nutria harvest.
For more information, contact Edmond Mouton at 337-373-0032 firstname.lastname@example.org.