LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Check out the LDWF display at Lafayette South Regional Library

Release Date: 08/06/2018

Check out the LDWF display at Lafayette South Regional Library

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is encouraging area residents to view its display at the Lafayette South Regional Library at 601 Johnston St.

 

The display includes photographs and information about wildlife, including details about whooping cranes, bears, and fishing. It also includes an array of educational materials along with fun activities at LDWF Wildlife Management Areas.

 

“This exhibition is perfect for youth and adults. It covers a lot of the great activities we have in Louisiana and especially in the Lafayette Parish area,” said Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet.

 

For library hours visit the website at lafayettepubliclibrary.org or call 337-981-1028.

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.

LDWF Lafayette Office Opened; New Iberia, Opelousas Closed

Release Date: 08/06/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has completed the transition to our new regional office at 200 Dulles Drive, Lafayette, LA 70506.  LDWF staff from New Iberia and Opelousas are now housed at the new location.

The Lafayette office includes Enforcement, Wildlife, Marine Fisheries and Inland Fisheries staff at this single location. 

To locate and contact any of our field offices, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact-us.

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 recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Cautions Deer Hunters on Use of Deer Urine Lures

Release Date: 08/03/2018

Aug. 3, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is cautioning deer hunters about the use of deer urine lures because of the potential these products could contain chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal.
 
CWD has not been discovered in Louisiana but has been in 25 states including Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
 
Urine production and sale is not regulated by any state or federal agency. The production of these lures includes collecting urine through grates at captive cervid facilities. That allows mixing with saliva and feces, which typically have a higher CWD prion content than urine. The CWD prion is shed by infected animals through saliva, feces, urine, blood, antler velvet and decomposing carcasses.
 
LDWF Veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour said there is no way to guarantee deer urine lure products do not contain the deadly disease. “There is no rapid, cost effective test to determine if commercial urine contains prions,’’ LaCour said.
 
Seven states have banned the use of deer urine lures, including Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.
 
LDWF worked with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) in 2017 to implement a carcass importation ban, a viable step in preventing the disease from entering the state via infected carcasses.
 
When CWD was discovered in a Mississippi deer near the Louisiana border in January of this year (2018), the LWFC enacted a feeding ban in order to minimize comingling of animals at feeder locations in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes, parishes nearest to the discovery. Although that ban was rescinded in June, LDWF encourages hunters not to utilize supplemental feeds for hunting as this increases the chance of spreading diseases among animals using bait stations.
 
LDWF continues cooperative discussions with other state and federal agencies in the fight against CWD and to prevent it from entering the state.
 
Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, introduced a bill in July aimed at stopping the spread of CWD. The bill would require the Secretary of Agriculture to partner with the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science (NRCNAS) to study and identify the ways CWD is transmitted between wild, captive and farmed cervids. This will provide a credible and scientifically-based foundation of understanding of the disease that can help end its spread.

 
CWD is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.
 
Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.
 
LDWF has tested nearly 9,000 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD in Louisiana. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
 
 

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LWF Commission Sets 2018-19 Louisiana Oyster Season

Release Date: 08/02/2018

LWF Commission Sets 2018-19 Louisiana Oyster Season

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2018-19 oyster season based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.
 
The following dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:
 
Monday, October 29, 2018 - All Public Oyster Seed Grounds east of the Mississippi River north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (LDH Shellfish Harvest Areas 1-4); Little Lake Public and Lake Mechant Oyster Seed Grounds; Hackberry Bay and Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservations; Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche Bay/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds; and the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area will open at one half-hour before sunrise.
 
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - The following areas will close to seed harvest at one half-hour after sunset on October 29 but remain open as sacking-only areas starting at one half-hour before sunrise on October 30:

  • All Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (LDH Shellfish Harvest Areas 1-4); Little Lake Public and Lake Mechant Oyster Seed Grounds; Hackberry Bay and Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservations; and the Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche Bay/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds.

During the 2018-19 oyster season, the following provisions will be in effect:

  1. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:

    a.  Be limited to 25 sacks of oysters per vessel per day with a 50-sack possession limit if fishing multiple days, except for Calcasieu Lake where the daily and possession limits shall not exceed 10 sacks of oysters per vessel. A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. If sacks smaller than the size described in R.S. 56:440 are used, the daily harvest and possession limit shall be based on the number of sacks used, not the size of the sack or other measures. The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes. The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit, and these vessels cannot harvest oysters.

    b. 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.
     

  2. If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds, reservations, or areas described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground, reservation, or area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are offloaded dockside.
     
  3. The harvest of seed oysters from a public oyster seed ground or reservation must 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 must allow onboard inspection and sampling of seed oyster loads by LDWF biologists and/or agents.
     
  4. All oysters harvested from public seed grounds or reservations for the purpose of market must be uncontaminated, sealed and not gaping.
     
  5. All oysters harvested from public seed grounds or reservations for the purpose of market sales must measure a minimum of 3 inches from hinge to bill.
     
  6. Prior to leaving public seed grounds or reservations with oysters harvested from said seed ground or reservation for market purposes: all oysters must be sacked, the number of sacks must be recorded in a log book, and each sack must be properly tagged.
     
  7. Oyster sacks held on board overnight must be tagged before being put under refrigeration, and no later than one half-hour after sunset. Refrigeration rules as described in the Public Health Sanitary Code LAC 51:IX.327, LAC 51:IX.329, LAC 51:IX.331 and LAC 51:IX.333 must be adhered to.
     
  8. All vessels located in public seed grounds or reservations during those times between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise must have all oyster scrapers unshackled.
     
  9. In Calcasieu Lake, oyster scrapers are prohibited on vessels actively harvesting oysters. 

The following areas will remain closed for the entire 2018-19 oyster season:

  1. The Sister Lake Oyster Seed Reservation as described in R.S.56:434;
  2. The area east of the Mississippi River as described in LAC 76:VII:511, south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (LDH Shellfish Harvest Areas 5,6,7,8);
  3. Lake Tambour, Lake Chien, Lake Felicity, Deep Lake and Barataria Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds as described in LAC 76:VII:517;
  4. The Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area as described in R.S. 56:435.1;
  5. The 2017 Cultch Plant located on the east side of Calcasieu Lake near Long Point - Cameron Parish within the following coordinates:

    29 degrees 55 minutes 03.45 seconds N
    93 degrees 19 minutes 20.26 seconds W

    29 degrees 54 minutes 55.75 seconds N
    93 degrees 19 minutes 01.32 seconds W

    29 degrees 54 minutes 14.64 seconds N
    93 degrees 19 minutes 22.67 seconds W

    29 degrees 54 minutes 21.22 seconds N
    93 degrees 19 minutes 40.43 seconds W

    29 degrees 54 minutes 31.41 seconds N
    93 degrees 19 minutes 12.81 seconds W

    29 degrees 54 minutes 45.8388 seconds N
    93 degrees 19 minutes 27.6384 seconds W

The Secretary of the Department was authorized by the Commission to set closure dates, adjust sack limits and/or sacking-only areas, based on biological and harvest data or if enforcement issues are encountered. The Secretary is also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public areas if substantial oyster resources are located.  
 
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 maps detailing today's actions, click HERE.
 
For questions regarding the opening, contact Carolina Bourque at cbourque@wlf.la.gov or (337) 735-8726.

LWF Commission Announces Opening Dates for the 2018 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/02/2018

LWF Commission Announces Opening Dates for the 2018 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the opening dates for the fall inshore shrimp season based on information provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists and public comments.
 
Season openings are as follows:

  • The portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line to open at 6 p.m. on August 13, 2018; and,
     
  • The portion of state inside waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou to open at 6 a.m. on August 13, 2018; and,
     
  • The portion of state inside waters from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line to open at 6 a.m. on. August 27, 2018.

LDWF biologists have monitored hydrological conditions and conducted trawl samples throughout the state’s estuarine and nearshore waters to develop recommendations for the opening of the fall shrimp season. Data were used to calculate a date when white shrimp will reach marketable size.
 
The Commission granted authority to the Secretary of LDWF to delay or advance these opening dates if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and; to close any portion of Louisiana inside or outside waters to protect small juvenile white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or enforcement problems develop. Notice of any opening, delaying or closing of a season by the Secretary will be made by public notice at least 72 hours prior to such action.
 
Click HERE for a map detailing this opening.
 
For more information, contact Peyton Cagle (337) 491-2575 or pcagle@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Red Snapper Landings Estimates through July 22

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Today, LDWF staff updated the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission with the latest red snapper landing estimates through July 22. LA Creel, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' near real-time landings data collection program, indicates that 530,300 pounds or 71 percent of Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 743,000 pounds have been harvested to date.

The current weekends-only season will continue to run until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s allocation.  

This year, state and federal seasons are running concurrently because federal fisheries managers approved LDWF’s application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to manage the private recreational snapper season in state and federal waters in 2018 and 2019. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal waters, from shore to 200 nautical miles.  

LDWF requests that recreational red snapper fishermen try out the tool developed to report catch electronically through the ROLP website or app. Though voluntary, reporting electronically will help us test this method of harvest data collection. Our goal is to continually improve our harvest data collection techniques to ensure our fishery resources are managed precisely and our fishermen have every possible opportunity to go out and catch fish. To get started on electronic reporting, go to wlf.louisiana.gov/snapper-efp-faqs and see question #14 (If I opt to participate in voluntary electronic reporting, how do I report my catch?). 
     
For more information on the 2018 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit: wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.

 

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Meet July 31

Release Date: 07/27/2018

                                                                             

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, Chairman

Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 1:00pm

UNO Advanced Technology Center 

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

AGENDA

 

I.        Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.        Approval of May 8, 2018 Minutes and July 31, 2018 Agenda

III.        Financial Report

IV.        New Business

A.     To Discuss the Proposed 2019 Derelict Crab Trap Removal Areas- LDWF

B.     To Discuss a Proposal to Make Changes to the Class of Certain Crab Violations- CTF

C.     To Hear a Presentation and Update on LA Finfish- LDWF

D.     To Discuss Crab Trap Gear Regulations and Proper Escape Ring Placement- CTF

 

V.        Public Comment

VI.        Set Next Meeting

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/4880386161867427841

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.govat least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Crab Task Force Gear Committee to Meet July 31

Release Date: 07/27/2018

Crab Task Force Gear Committee

Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 12:00pm

UNO Advanced Technology Center 

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

AGENDA

 

I.              Call to Order

II.            Pledge of Allegiance

III.   To Discuss the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program

IV.   Public Comment

V.     Set next meeting

VI.     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/4995745822342261249

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.govat least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet July 30

Release Date: 07/26/2018

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Monday, July 30, 2018. The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m. in the second-floor conference room of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.  

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1.             Roll Call of Board Members

2.             Approval of Agenda

3.             Approval of Minutes from April 24, 2018 Meeting

4.             Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals

a.     Goimir Zupanovic

b.     Mauricio Blanco

5.             Receive Public Comments

6.             Set Next Meeting Date

7.             Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF. 

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.

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov.  

Louisiana Bald Eagle Population Shows Growth According to Latest Nest Survey Conducted by LDWF

Release Date: 07/26/2018

Nesting bald eagle.

July 26, 2018 - Louisiana’s bald eagle population continues to flourish, according to the latest bald eagle nest survey conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The survey, done in southeast Louisiana where the majority of bald eagles in the state reside, showed 264 active nests.
 
“The productivity and nesting success continues to be good in Louisiana for the bald eagle,’’ said Michael Seymour, LDWF’s non-game ornithologist. “The most recent survey (in 2017-18) for eagles show the number of chicks to be very high. The productivity was close to 100 percent in both the maximum and minimum values of the survey.’’
 
LDWF conducted a statewide survey in 2014-15 and surveyed 647 nests, including 355 that were considered active.
 
“You’d say the current survey is almost 100 nests fewer less than the last time we flew (in 2014-15),’’ Seymour said. “But the 2017-18 survey is a much reduced land area. We surveyed 647 total nests back in 2014-15 in the statewide survey. This time we surveyed 599 nests in a much smaller survey area.
 
“To get the most bang for our buck, we flew the area where they’ve concentrated. We basically surveyed around the New Orleans metro area through west of Morgan City. Terrebonne and St. Mary parishes have some of the highest densities of nests. Lake Palourde and Lake Verret have a lot of nests concentrated in small areas.’’
 
Once a rare sight, spotting bald eagles in Louisiana has become commonplace.
 
In the early 1970s, there were only five to seven active nests recorded in the state. The population was devastated by the now-banned pesticide DDT. The bald eagle was removed from federal listing under the Endangered Species Act in August of 2007 though it remains federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
 
The species typically begins nesting in the southern U.S. in September. Bald eagle pairs will mate for life although they will re-pair if one dies.
 
In November and December, they’ll lay eggs, usually two or three. Typically, the chicks have hatched by February.
 
“Once those chicks reach about 10 weeks of age, they’re just about fully grown and there aren’t many predators that would attempt to take them,’’ Seymour said. “For us, once a bird reaches about 10 weeks we consider it a successful nest. At about 12 weeks they’re able to fly.’’
 
The survey starts in the late fall as biologists look to time it when the birds have eggs in the nest. The surveys are flown again in the spring to see how many chicks have successfully hatched and nest success and productivity rates are calculated. 
 
“The nice thing about bald eagles is that they’re fall-winter-spring nesters, they have a protracted nesting season.” Seymour said. “So we’re able to go out before leaf out (in the spring) and see the nests fairly well.’’
 

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