LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Po-Boy Road in Pearl River Wildlife Management Area Closed Thursday for Maintenance Work

Release Date: 03/21/2019

March 21, 2019 – Po-Boy Road in Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be closed Thursday (March 21) until 4 a.m. Friday (March 22) for maintenance work. The road is closed from Old Highway 11 north to the Honey Island Shooting Range.
 
Pearl River WMA, which consists of 35,619 acres in St. Tammany Parish, lies between the East and West Pearl Rivers west of Slidell. For more information on the WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789
 
For more information contact Bradley Breland at 985-543-4777 or bbreland@wlf.la.gov
 

LDWF Reminds Public to Leave Suspected Injured, Orphaned Birds Undisturbed

Release Date: 03/21/2019

March 21, 2019 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) wants to remind the public to leave suspected injured and orphaned birds alone and undisturbed.
 
It is best to refrain from intervening in the normal fledgling process and become familiar with common behaviors of fledgling birds, young birds who have grown too large for the nest and need room to stretch/flap their wings and practice flight.
 
Each year LDWF receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they believe to be abandoned birds. It is against the law to capture, transport or possess birds listed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Treaty Act list and other wildlife. Generally, birds and other wildlife are better off left where they are found.
 
It is not uncommon to find young birds away from their nests during the spring and summer as they learn to fly. Young birds can be found hopping on the ground or in shrubs, fluttering their wings and may appear to be in distress. In reality, the young bird is continuing to be fed by its parents and is simply practicing for flight. If left undisturbed, adult birds will call and wait for a response from their young and provide the necessary care for the fledging during this process.
 
There are cases where intervention may be beneficial. Individuals who encounter displaced nestlings, birds which are mostly featherless, may immediately return the bird to its nest if at all possible and then leave the area.
 
Birds do not recognize human scent and will not abandon a nestling because of it.  If you are unable to locate the nearby nest, you can create and return the nestling to a false nest attached to the nearest tree or shrub where the bird was found. Instructions for false nests can be found on LDWF’s wildlife rehabilitation webpage at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife-rehabilitation-program Remember-IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE!
 
Individuals who believe they have encountered an injured bird, should leave it alone and  contact a biologist at their nearest LDWF Regional Office http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regional-offices or an LDWF licensed wildlife rehabilitator.  A list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the Departments website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/rehab
 
Anyone interested in LDWF’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program should contact Melissa Collins at 225-763-8584.
 

Louisiana Shrimp Task Force to Meet March 27 at 10:00 a.m.

Release Date: 03/21/2019

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

 

I. Pledge of Allegiance

II. Roll call and Introduction of Guests

III. Approval of the January 16, 2019 meeting minutes and of the March 27, 2019 Agenda

IV. Treasury Report

A. Budget Report- LDWF

V. Federal Shrimp Permit Report- STF

VI. New Business

A. To Hear a Presentation on Proposed Changes to Nearshore Artificial Reef Planning- LDWF

B. To Hear an Update and Consider Partial Funding of the Shrimp Bycatch Study- LDWF

C. To Discuss a Commercial Shrimping Industry Professionalism Program- STF

D. To Discuss a Seafood Label of Origin for Restaurants- STF

E. To Hear an Update on the Shrimp Industry’s Trip to Washington, D.C. and the LA Alive Event- STF

F. To Discuss and Consider Shrimp Task Force Seat Vacancy Nominations- STF

G. Officer Elections- STF

VII. Public Comment

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.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9089385946979303683

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.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

 

LDWF supports Calif. legislation that helps La.’s alligator industry

Release Date: 03/21/2019

March 21, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries supports California legislation that seeks to amend a law that would damage Louisiana businesses’ chances to earn millions of dollars in the sale of alligator-related products.

At issue is the end or sunset of a temporary exemption in law that allows the sale and importation of alligator parts, including skins and meat into the Golden State. The current exemption for alligator and crocodilian species has been renewed several times over the years, but is set to expire in 2020.

If the exemption expires and the ban on these products is imposed, Louisiana’s multimillion-dollar alligator industry will lose California’s lucrative high-end fashion market for the sale of skins used for shoes, boots, and handbags. It will also deprive the industry from using California ports as a method of international distribution, specifically to Asia.

A California Assembly member introduced a bill (AB527) in February to eliminate the impending prohibition, claiming that some patients would be denied new life-saving medicines derived from alligator and crocodile immune systems if the ban remains.

The bill by Republican Assembly member Randy Voepel would permanently legalize the importation of alligator products.

A number of groups opposing the ban have claimed it would hurt global habitat conservation efforts for alligators. They say incentive-driven conservation of the alligator around the world relies upon ensuring the economic viability of alligator products.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said he fully supports the proposed legislation. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB527.

Montoucet, a former alligator farmer, said: “Louisiana has done a great job of regenerating and managing our alligator population, habitat and industry. All three are sustainable. We wholeheartedly support the assembly member’s bill.”

The ban’s origin dates back to 1967 when there was concern that the American alligator was at risk of extinction. California responded with a law to protect the animal that included banning the importation or distribution of alligators in the state, but have subsequently delayed the ban with a series of temporary exemptions. Alligators are not native to California.

Since then, successful conservation efforts had resulted in the removal of the alligator from the endangered species list in 1987. Estimates are that Louisiana has the highest alligator population – nearly 2 million - in the country.

 

 

 

 

Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament to be Held in Shreveport on April 5-6

Release Date: 03/19/2019

Competitors in the 2018 ALAS State Tournament

March 19, 2019 – More than 1,200 student archers from 50 schools will compete in the 2019 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament on April 5-6 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Students will be competing for $20,000 in scholarships and a chance to advance to the national tournament.
 
The event, which begins at 7 p.m. on April 5 and 8 a.m. on April 6, is open to the public. Admission fee is $5 for adults and free to those 17 years old and younger. The tournament runs throughout the day with the awards ceremony set for 7 p.m. This year’s state tournament will include both bullseye and 3-D competitions. Students qualified for the state tournament in two regional events held in January and February.
 
Volunteers to assist at this year’s event are still being recruited. To volunteer, please contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 
The ALAS program, administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), is part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), which teaches international target archery skills to students in grades 4-12. About 200 schools and 24,000 students in Louisiana participate in the program. Nationally, more than 14,000 schools and 2.4 million students take part in the NASP program.
 
The 2019 ALAS State Tournament is made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors: NASP, Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, ENLINK Midstream, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation-Louisiana Chapter, Hoot & Holler Archery, LSU AgCenter,  Morrell Targets, H&E Equipment Services, Bass Pro Shops, Quality Deer Management Association-South Branch, Homeland Security, Academy Sports, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Y-Not Stop and Outlaw’s BBQ.
 
ALAS has grown rapidly since May of 2012 when about 35 schools participated. The program is offered in all parts of the state from rural to metropolitan areas.
 
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are available to assist with equipment purchases. For more information about the ALAS program, contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 

LDWF to Host Open House on March 30 at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery

Release Date: 03/18/2019

LDWF to Host Open House on March 30 at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery
LDWF to Host Open House on March 30 at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to open its doors to the public at its Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery for an open house. The event will highlight the production of Florida largemouth bass. Visitors will also learn about the bass spawning process and view largemouth bass eggs, fry and plankton. Native paddlefish fry will also be available for viewing.   
 
When:   Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 
Where: Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery, 10 Joan Stokes Road, Forest Hill, La.
 
Background: Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery is the premier hatchery facility in the state, with its greatest emphasis on the rearing of Florida largemouth bass.
 
For more information, please call (318) 748-6914. A map including directions to the hatchery is available here.

 

LDWF Attorney Alvin F. Landry Promoted to Lt. Colonel in U.S. Army Reserves

Release Date: 03/18/2019

LDWF Attorney Alvin Landry

March 18, 2019 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) attorney Alvin F. Landry has been promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.
 
Landry, who has been with LDWF for three years, is the leader of the Baton Rouge Team of the 2nd Legal Operations Detachment, a multi-state Reserve unit headquartered in New Orleans.
 
Landry has served in the Armed Forces Reserves as a Judge Advocate General since 2004. He also served as an assistant district attorney for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and as an administrative law judge in Louisiana and has maintained a private practice for more than 22 years.
 
At LDWF, Landry primarily handles civil restitution cases, public records requests, policies, wildlife and fish advisory groups and task forces, general litigation and land matters.
 
Landry is the son of the late Frederick Gatz "Pete" Landry and Betty Prejean Landry of Brusly.
 
 

LDWF to Issue 2nd Emergency Oyster Season Reopening for Bedding Purposes

Release Date: 03/15/2019

LDWF to Issue 2nd Emergency Oyster Season Reopening for Bedding Purposes

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will reopen the oyster season in designated portions of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds for bedding purposes only. This additional opening will allow limited harvest of the resource prior to potential oyster mortality. Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist in these public oyster seed grounds, and with the influx of freshwater from the Bonnet Carré Spillway, depression of salinity may result in significant oyster mortalities.
This season will reopen for bedding purposes in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne (St. Bernard Parish) and Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish), within areas designated by the Louisiana Department of Health Areas 1 and 2. This opening is for bedding purposes only and will begin at one half-hour before sunrise on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, and will close at one half-hour after sunset on Thursday, March 21, 2019.
 
The following areas will open:

  • the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound within the areas of LDH Harvest Area 1 and 2;
  • The following cultch plants shall remain closed for the special bedding season:
    • Mississippi Sound (2011) – St. Bernard Parish
      • 30 degrees 07 minutes 17.56 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 27 minutes 52.39 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 07 minutes 26.94 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 27 minutes 36.20 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 07 minutes 07.11 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 26 minutes 45.48 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 06 minutes 40.93 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 27 minutes 14.09 seconds W
    • 3 Mile Pass (2013)- St. Bernard Parish
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.09 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 32.52 seconds W
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 18.00 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 06.30 seconds W
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 30.49 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 38.17 seconds W

 
The special bedding-only season described above will open with the following provisions:

  • For the areas currently designated as “closed” by LDH, the following rules shall apply: The area is opening to allow for the permitted transplant or relay, of live oysters for bedding purposes only. Oysters may only be transplanted from the area within the public oyster seed grounds described above which are currently closed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). All individuals found harvesting in this area must possess a valid LDH Oyster Transplant Permit.
  • For the areas designated as “open” according to LDH: these areas are currently open for market size harvest, and no permit is needed.

 
The following provisions apply to all harvesters during the special bedding season:
·         A vessel is limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both
·         If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Public Oyster Seed Grounds described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.
·         The harvest of seed oysters from a Public Oyster Seed Ground or reservation shall be for the purpose of moving the live oyster resource. The removal of more than 15 percent of non-living reef material in bedding loads is prohibited. All vessels shall allow on-board inspection and sampling of seed oyster loads by LDWF biologists and/or agents.
·         No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters for bedding in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds described above shall have onboard his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market. Harvesters shall be limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both.
·         No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he/she harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds described above.
·         Any individual actively harvesting oysters in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds designated as “closed” by LDH shall be properly permitted for such transplant by LDH in accordance with the state sanitary code.
 
To view a map of the current oyster closure areas see above.
The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Jack Montoucet to adjust oyster seasons on a limited basis in emergency situations.
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 for public health concerns.
For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-735-8726 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov.
Applications for transplant permits may be obtained between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact the Louisiana Department of Health, Molluscan Shellfish Program at 225-342-7653.

LDWF: Early draft of study shows speckled trout numbers down; new evaluation underway

Release Date: 03/14/2019

March 14, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reassessing the state’s stock of speckled trout.  An earlier preliminary, but incomplete draft indicated that the stock was overfished and landings had decreased to their lowest levels in recent years.

LDWF says those preliminary findings are going through a re-evaluation and finalization process that will take several months. The department also says while the numbers have actually decreased, they do not necessitate a need to make immediate changes in the number of speckled trout anglers can take.

“It will probably not affect speckled trout limits for the 2019 season as there are additional management steps to be taken between a draft stock assessment and any final regulation change,” said Patrick Banks, LDWF Assistant Secretary for Fisheries. “We will have a better sense of where we are when the stock assessment results are compiled, evaluated and finalized. But, we do know that the stock’s numbers have dropped.”

 LDWF will bring the finalized stock assessment that will include potential management options to improve the status of the stock at a future commission meeting. The analysis will include several possible recommendations, including, but not limited to, bag and size limit modifications.  The public will also have ample opportunity to comment during commission meetings and public hearings prior to any management changes being finalized by the Commission.

LDWF Announces Bussey Brake Reservoir Public Meeting

Release Date: 03/13/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public meeting to provide an update on the progress of renovations at Bussey Brake Wildlife Management Area Reservoir. Meeting topics will include work completed, status of current projects and future management goals for Bussey Brake. Following the presentation, the public will be provided with the opportunity to ask questions.
 
Who: LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff 
 
What: Public meeting on renovation of Bussey Brake WMA Reservoir 
 
When: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at 7 p.m. 
 
Where: City of Bastrop Visitor Center
              124 N. Washington St.
              Bastrop, LA 71220
 
This meeting is open to the public, and all persons interested in the proposed conservation and management activities on the WMA are encouraged to attend.
 
For additional information regarding this meeting, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rdaniel@wlf.la.govor (318) 371-3066.

 

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