April 1, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has designated selected dates between April 19 and July 12, 2011 for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).
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 2011 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. Most notably, along Blackfish Bayou, buttonbush growth supports a rookery with a large number of black-crowned night herons.
Access dates and fees for 2011 are as follows:
SCHEDULE FOR NON-CONSUMPTIVE ACTIVITIES AT WHITE LAKE WCA
Day trips: April 26; May 3 and 17; June 7 and 21; and July 5 and 12.
Overnight trips: April 19-20; May 10-11; and June 14-15.
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 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 Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-wetlands-non-consumptive-use-2011, or call 337-479-1894 or e-mail Wayne Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org .