LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Drawdown of Lake Bistineau Concludes

Release Date: 01/26/2018

Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development closed the Lake Bistineau control structure gates to allow repair work to begin in the spillway outflow area. The gates were originally scheduled to close on November 30, 2017, but were left open until the repair contract was awarded. 
 
The area immediately south of the Lake Bistineau spillway needs to be dry for work to be completed in the outflow area. To prevent water levels from rising and exceeding the normal pool stage during construction, the gates were left open until work was ready to begin.

 
The management of Lake Bistineau and its aquatic resources is the responsibility of LDWF. DOTD is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Lake Bistineau dam, spillway and control structures.  
 
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland 
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at  jsibley@wlf.la.gov  or (318) 371-3066. 

 

 

COLUMN: Westside Junior High gets special lesson from LDWF

Release Date: 01/26/2018

COLUMN:

January 26, 2018

Contact: epratt@wlf.la.gov

 

The Livingston Parish News

COLUMN: Westside Junior High sixth graders get special lesson from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

By: David Gray

 

WALKER — Biologist Megan MacMenamin held up the mounted speckled trout for all the sixth graders to see.

“Anybody have any idea how to tell how old a fish is?” she asked Alysha Guidry’s first-hour science class.

One student raised his hand and said “teeth.” A good guess, MacMenamin said, but not the answer.

Another student shouted “its tongue,” an “interesting” guess MacMenamin said she never heard, but still not the one she was looking for.

A third student said by the fish’s gills, and a fourth said by the its scales.

“Those are all really good guesses,” she said before pulling a small white chip from the back of the fish’s head. “We actually use the ear bones.” 

Stunned silence.

“I knew nobody was gonna guess that — surprise,” she said as the class burst out in laughter.

That was just one of the lessons Guidry’s students at Westside Junior High received during class on Thursday, Jan. 25, when three representatives from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries visited to discuss career opportunities and explain their work in natural resource conservation.

The presentations ran from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and were given by MacMenamin, fellow biologist Danielle Regitz, and LDWF press secretary Ed Pratt, who had to cancel an appearance at a career day event last November.

He made up for it in a big way Thursday.

“I know kids in sixth grade aren’t really thinking about jobs and career opportunities, but if we can spark something in them, that’s what we’re trying to do,” Pratt said.

The trio spoke to five of Guidry’s classes, and Pratt started each presentation by shedding light on the services Wildlife and Fisheries provides and how vital they are to Louisiana’s reputation as “The Sportsman’s Paradise.”

Pratt, a former newspaper editor, said there are 709,000 registered fishermen and fisherwomen in Louisiana — more than the populations of at least two states and almost as much as seven sold-out Tiger Stadiums.

During his talk, Pratt discussed the many career opportunities available at Wildlife and Fisheries, including but not limited to veterinarians, aircraft pilots, land specialists, student workers, marine operators, enforcement agents and wildlife/fisheries biologists.

Wildlife and Fisheries also offers several programs for youth and families to participate in covering cover an array of categories, such as rifle and shotgun shooting, archery, canoeing, fishing, compass reading, nature study hikes and camping.

MacMenamin, a fisheries biologist for four years, and Regitz, who began her career last October, took over after Pratt’s opening discussion and explained fishing regulations and how they are determined for each species of fish. They said that is accomplished by collecting data such as age, sex, reproductive rates, and length from fish across many bodies of water.

The goal, they said, is to make sure that these resources last for generations for come.

“We hope that when you’re kids grow up, there are just as many fish as there are today,” MacMenamin said. “Hopefully, that population stays healthy forever.”

One of the most important sources of information are the ear bones, or otoliths. Not only do the otoliths give fish a sense of balance in the water as well as hearing, MacMenamin and Regitz told students they provide an accurate age of the fish.

They explained that each year a fish lives, it lays down a layer — or a ring — of calcium on its ear bone, which grows larger each year. Each ring represents one winter and one summer in that fish’s life, a similar process to other material Guidry’s classes have covered.

“It’s just like trees,” shouted one excited student, referencing the age-defining rings on the inside of trees.

Students were given the opportunity to look at the ear bones through a microscope. The two biologists also show them a board with the otoliths of several fish species to show the varying shapes and sizes in different fish.

Near the end of the demonstrations, Regitz and MacMenamin passed around life cycle vials that showed the early stages of life for bass and paddlefish, with each vial containing a different-aged specimen.

It all made for what Guidry hopes will be a memorable science class.

“They’re going to take so much away from this,” Guidry said. “That’s why I wanted to do this. It’s going to stick with them for a long time.”

For the full article with video and photos, click here: https://www.livingstonparishnews.com/living/westside-junior-high-sixth-graders-get-special-lesson-from-louisiana/article_a634e9a0-0213-11e8-9533-b7ca885d53e0.html

 

LDWF Honored With 2018 Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partner Award

Release Date: 01/23/2018

Jan. 23, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) was recently named a recipient of a Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partner Award.
 
The citation was presented during the Keep America Beautiful National Conference held last week in Dallas.
 
The award recognizes state agency partners for their support of Keep America Beautiful state affiliates through joint partnership projects. The award recognizes the value Keep America Beautiful places on public-private partnerships.
 
LDWF was one of more than 80 individuals or organizations recognized at Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards for their commitment and passion to transform public spaces into beautiful places.
 
“Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards celebrates some of our country’s most dedicated community leaders – representatives from our affiliates and partner organizations,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “It’s my privilege to recognize such valuable, mission-based work that our state agency partners achieve with their respective Keep America Beautiful state affiliate partners to help communities become more environmentally healthy and economically sound.”
 
LDWF has pushed its anti-litter campaign by supporting education efforts such as the Watershed Webs workshop series for teachers and students. Watershed Webs, funded by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, includes professional development workshops where teachers conducted beach sweeps on the Gulf Coast, collected related data from the debris, received instruction on lesson activities and learned how to test for water quality. Students were also involved in the process.
 
LDWF has increased enforcement of litter laws in the state as well.
 
“Keeping Louisiana litter free is a priority with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,’’ said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “We continue to take steps to educate our residents and visitors on how important it is to keep the Sportsman’s Paradise clean. We’re honored that Keep America Beautiful has recognized our effort.’’
 
The Keep America Beautiful National Conference, its premier educational and networking event, brought together nearly 400 leaders from Keep America Beautiful’s national network of affiliates, business leaders, policymakers and other experts who shared innovative ideas and proven strategies to help End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. Celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful believes everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
 
The 2018 Keep America Beautiful National Conference was made possible through the support of some of America’s leading companies, including: Leadership Sponsors – Altria, Lowe’s, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, SC Johnson, A Family Company and Wrigley Company Foundation; Stewardship Sponsors – Anheuser-Busch, Carton Council, Pratt Industries – Recycling Division and Steel Recycling Institute; Strategic Sponsors – Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Owens-Illinois, Inc.; Supporting Sponsors – Dipjar, insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. – Donation Division and Irio. Scholarships are provided by Altria, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Southwest Airlines and Wrigley Company Foundation.
 
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. 
 
Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. For more information, go to kab.org.
 

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LDWF to Close Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 01/22/2018

Shrimp Season To Close 

 

Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in remaining state inside waters and in a portion of state outside waters effective Friday, January 26, 2018, at official sunset.

 

Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

 

  • Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), and a section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Orleans parish from the GIWW East Closure Sector Gate westward to the GIWW intersection with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal
  • The portion of state outside waters extending to the 3-mile line from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

 

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

 

  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2 
  • All state outside waters east of Caillou Boca as well as all state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal

 

A map detailing these actions will be posted at this link shortly: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons

 

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size. 

 

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided the LDWF Secretary with authority to close both the fall inshore shrimp season and shrimping in the state’s territorial sea when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF Fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in those waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

 

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

For more information, contact Peyton Cagle (337) 491-2575 or peyton.cagle@la.gov.  

 

 

Shrimp Task Force Meeting Rescheduled for January 29

Release Date: 01/22/2018

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

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

Monday, January 29, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

I. Roll call and Introduction of Guests

II. Approval of the December 6, 2017 meeting minutes and of the January 29, 2018 Agenda

III. Treasury Report

     A. Budget Report- LDWF

     B. Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV. Federal Shrimp Permit Report- LDWF

V. New Business

     A. Approval of the Updated Inside/Outside Line- Peyton Cagle

     B. Discussion of Offshore Shrimp Sampling Program and Recommendations- Peyton Cagle

     C. Discussion of LDWF/ Commercial Fishermen Ride-Alongs- Peyton Cagle

     D. To Hear a Presentation on the Shrimp Fisheries Improvement Project- Laura Picariello

     E. To Hear an Update on the Louisiana Certified Seafood Program- Lucy Boutte

     F. Discussion of a new voluntary project to provide Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD’s) to the Louisiana Skimmer fleet- Mark Schexnayder

     G. Discussion of STF Recommendations on TEDs Legislation and Enforcement- Acy Cooper

     H. Discussion of the Shrimp Task Force D.C. Trip White Paper- Acy Cooper

     I. Officer Elections

VI. Public Comment

VII. 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/7930593041455234561

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 Reminds Crab Fishermen of Regulation Changes and Derelict Trap Closure Changes

Release Date: 01/19/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has taken action to change the approved 2018 derelict crab trap closure areas and dates.  This action will address the public’s welfare due to the loss of fishing time and economic value within the commercial crab industry.  The recent extreme weather conditions may cause an unwanted loss in commercial crab gear due to the inability of fishermen to remove gear by February 1, 2018.  This may also provide those affected by the current female restriction to have a greater opportunity of uninterrupted fishing before the restriction begins March 1, 2018, and ends April 30, 2018.

 

Temporary crab trap closures:

• Barataria Basin Closure South of Myrtle Grove - canceled
• Western Lake Pontchartrain Closure – canceled
• Sabine Lake Closure – 12 a.m. February 16 –  February 25
• Pontchartrain Basin North of MRGO changed to 12 a.m. March 16 – March 31
• Pontchartrain Basin South of MRGO – 12 a.m. March 4 – March 19
• Terrebonne Basin near Cocodrie – 12 a.m. March 16 – March 29
• Vermilion Bay Closure – 12 a.m. March 18 – March 31

 

To view the specific closure areas and a map of these areas visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/derelict-crab-trap-removal, or contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2575.

 

All crab traps must be removed from the closure areas before the closure begins, and any remaining crab traps within the closure areas during the closure periods will be considered abandoned and subject to removal. During the crab trap closures, derelict traps may be removed only between one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Only persons authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed areas. Abandoned traps must be brought to designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed areas. 

 

The removal of derelict crab traps benefits the crab resource by reducing the effects of ghost fishing.  Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of over 33,000 abandoned and derelict crabs.  

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would also like to remind commercial crabbers and recreational users of crab traps of the following regulations:

 

Regulation changes:

Blue crab commercial harvest regulations have changed for 2018 and 2019 and are as follows:

• The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission removed the 30-day closure period for 2018 and 2019. 
• The commercial harvest of female blue crabs in Louisiana waters is prohibited March 1, 2018, through April 30, 2018. This closure will also be in place March 1, 2019, through April 30, 2019.

 

 

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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting Postponed, Rescheduled for Jan. 23

Release Date: 01/17/2018

Jan. 17, 2018 – The Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force meeting scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 18) has been postponed and rescheduled for Tuesday (Jan. 23). The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23 at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) headquarters in Baton Rouge (2000 Quail Drive) in the Louisiana Room.
 
Thursday’s meeting was postponed due to state offices in East Baton Rouge Parish being closed because of extreme winter weather conditions.
 
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.
 
For more information on the task force, please contact Dr. Jim LaCour, LDWF Wildlife Veterinarian, at jmlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.

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LA Shrimp Task Force Meeting Canceled

Release Date: 01/16/2018

Due to inclement weather, tomorrow's Shrimp Task Force meeting (January 17th) has been canceled.  Once rescheduled, we will announce the new meeting date and time.
 
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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 
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 the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Shrimp Task Force to Meet December 6 at 10 A.M.

Release Date: 01/12/2018

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360

 

AGENDA

I. Roll call and Introduction of Guests

II. Approval of the December 6, 2017 meeting minutes and of the January 17, 2018 Agenda

III. Treasury Report

     A. Budget Report- LDWF

     B. Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV. Federal Shrimp Permit Report- LDWF

V. New Business

     A. Approval of the Updated Inside/Outside Line- Peyton Cagle

     B. Discussion of Offshore Shrimp Sampling Program and Recommendations- Peyton Cagle

     C. Discussion of LDWF/ Commercial Fishermen Ride-Alongs- Peyton Cagle

     D. To Hear a Presentation on the Shrimp Fisheries Improvement Project- Laura Picariello

     E. To Hear an Update on the Louisiana Certified Seafood Program- Lucy Boutte

     F. Discussion of a new voluntary project to provide Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD’s) to the Louisiana Skimmer fleet- Mark Schexnayder

     G. Discussion of STF Recommendations on TEDs Legislation and Enforcement- Acy Cooper

     H. Discussion of the Shrimp Task Force D.C. Trip White Paper- Acy Cooper

     I. Officer Elections

VI. Public Comment

VII. 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/7374208271697269505

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.

 

 

White Lake WCA Fishing Lottery Applications Available for 2018

Release Date: 01/12/2018

Jan. 12, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for a lottery drawing for fishing permit access to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) between March 15-Aug. 15, 2018.
 
A total of 100 permits will be issued following the lottery drawing and winning applicants will be notified of their opportunity to purchase a permit for $40. White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.
 
The area open for fishing will be limited to the Florence Canal and Oil Field Location canals off of the Florence Canal. There will be no fishing in any of the WCA’s marsh areas or in the main camp canal or other areas that are marked NO FISHING. Successful applicants will be provided a map of the fishing area. Boats used by those selected will be limited to the use of motors with 40 horsepower or less.  Additional rules and regulations are outlined in an attachment to the application.
 
Each completed application must include a non-refundable administrative fee of $5 in the form of a check or money order (NO CASH ACCEPTED) made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Only one application per person will be accepted and submitting more than one application will be considered grounds for disqualification. Completed applications must be received by LDWF by close of business on Feb. 16, 2018.
 
Applications may be mailed or delivered to:
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attention: White Lake Fishing
2000 Quail Drive, Room 418
Baton Rouge, LA  70808
 
Persons interested in obtaining an application may call the department at 225-765-2812 or download a copy from the department’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications .
 
For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov.

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