LDWF News Release

Get Out & Fish! Program Hosts Inaugural Derby in Coordination with Free Fishing Weekend

Release Date: 06/27/2019

Get Out & Fish! Program Hosts Inaugural Derby in Coordination with Free Fishing Weekend

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Get Out and Fish! program continues to expand with the addition of a statewide derby held over Free Fishing weekend at community fishing sites.
Prior to the event, LDWF stocked 10 of its community fishing ponds with adult-size channel catfish to ensure an action-filled day for Louisiana anglers. Included amongst the stocked fish were 10 department-tagged catfish at each site. Anglers who landed a tagged derby fish were eligibile for a prize package courtesy of Louisiana Fish Fry and Berkley Fishing.
Eight lucky anglers including Joanna Noecker, Kimberly Noecker, David Latiolais, Jamica Arceneaux, Ashton Malone, Kristen Thrift, Tyler Derouen and Robert Turner had luck on their side and landed a tagged fish during the derby weekend.  
Although the derby was limited to Free Fishing Weekend, many community fishing sites continue to offer excellent fishing oppportunities. Plenty of stocked fish remain for the taking. Visit our Get Out and Fish! community fishing site webpage to find a participating pond near you. The program's Facebook page is also a useful resource for stocking notifications.
As a reminder, anglers 16 and older must possess a Louisiana fishing license when fishing Louisiana public waters. Licenses are available for purchase online on the department’s website. By purchasing a fishing license, Louisiana receives matching funds from the Sport Fish Restoration Program for public fishing and boating access, fishing programs and education and fisheries management.
This event is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.

Section of Hunt Road on Dewey W. Wills WMA Closed Due to Flooding

Release Date: 06/25/2019

June 25, 2019 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed a section of Hunt Road, located north of the diversion canal, to all vehicles at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding. The public can still access camps at Mound Bayou via the Diversion Canal Road.
Water levels in the Mississippi, Black, and associated river systems have created backwater flooding on this road. Road closures are implemented in the interest of public safety. Once the water recedes and conditions allow, the roads will be reopened.
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Inshore Shrimp Season to Close June 28 in State Inside Waters

Release Date: 06/25/2019

Louisiana Inshore Shrimp Season to Close June 28 in State Inside Waters

June 25, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2019 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 p.m. on Friday (June 28) from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line except for the following waters: The open waters of the Louisiana portion of Mississippi Sound and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as bounded by the double-rig line described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.

  • The open waters of the Louisiana portion of Mississippi Sound and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as bounded by the double-rig line described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.  The open waters of the Louisiana portion of Mississippi Sound are defined as beginning at a point on the Mississippi/Louisiana state line at 30 degrees 10 minutes 21.955 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 26 minutes 12.992 seconds west longitude; thence southerly to a point at 30 degrees 08 minutes 03.07 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 26 minutes 27.05 seconds west longitude; thence southwesterly to a point at 30 degrees 04 minutes 40.57 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 28 minutes 46.59 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass (30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude); thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre (30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude, 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude), which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.

For a map detailing these closures see map above.
All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in LAC 76:VII.370 will remain open to shrimping until further notice. 
Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these waters was made to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes. The areas that remain open will continue to be monitored and will be closed when biologically appropriate.  
LDWF would also like to remind shrimpers there is a size restriction on saltwater white shrimp taken in either inside or outside (offshore) waters of Louisiana. Saltwater white shrimp must be 100 count (whole shrimp per pound) or larger. This size restriction applies to the taking or possession of such shrimp aboard a vessel, EXCEPT from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no possession count on saltwater white shrimp taken or possessed.
When more than 50 percent by weight of the saltwater shrimp taken or possessed is seabobs or brown shrimp, then the maximum allowable amount of undersized white shrimp taken or possessed should not exceed 10 percent by weight of the total saltwater shrimp taken or possessed. If compliance issues develop, remaining open areas will be closed.

For more information, contact Peyton Cagle at (337) 491-2575 or pcagle@wlf.la.gov .

LDWF Accepting Applications for 2019 White Lake WCA Teal Season Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 06/25/2019

June 25, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the 2019 lottery teal hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.
Available dates include Saturday, Sept. 14; Sunday, Sept. 15; Tuesday, Sept. 17; Thursday, Sept. 19; Saturday, Sept. 20; Sunday, Sept. 22; Wednesday, Sept. 25; Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29.
Persons 18 years of age or older can apply and only one application per hunter will be accepted. Applications are available on the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications or by writing to LDWF, Attention: White Lake Teal Hunt, 2000 Quail Drive, Room 418, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.
Completed applications must be received by close of business on July 25, 2019. A $5 non-refundable administration fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries must accompany each application. (NO CASH ACCEPTED).
Each applicant who is selected will be allowed to bring one additional hunter as a guest. All hunters must have appropriate licenses, including a basic hunting license (or Louisiana Sportsman's Paradise license), a Louisiana duck license, federal duck stamp and HIP permit.
Successful applicants will be notified by mail and required to submit an additional check or money order for $250 per hunt party. Applications are non-transferrable.
For more information on White Lake WCA teal season lottery hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board Meeting Cancellation

Release Date: 06/24/2019

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 25 at 9:30 a.m. in Belle Chasse, has been cancelled. 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Monthly Meeting Set for July 1

Release Date: 06/24/2019

June 24, 2019 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s next meeting will be held Monday (July 1) at 9:30 a.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
The meeting will be held Monday (July 1) instead of the normal first Thursday of the month because the Fourth of July holiday falls on that Thursday.
The following agenda items will be discussed:
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission
July 1, 2019 – 9:30 a.m.
Baton Rouge, LA
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Roll Call
4. Adoption of June 6, 2019 Commission Meeting Minutes
5. Approval of July 1, 2019 Agenda
6. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege
7. Enforcement Report, June 2019 – Major Edward Skena, Enforcement Division
8. Receive and Consider an Amendment to the Dredge Fill Material Program Notice of Intent Regarding Dredging Across the Center Line of Certain Water Bottoms of the State – Kyle Balkum, Biologist Director
9. Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Modify the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Resident Game Hunting Season Regulations to Exempt Natural Deer Urine that have been Tested and Certified from the Prohibition on the Use of Deer Urine as an Attractant while Taking, Hunting or Scouting Wildlife – Kenny Ribbeck, Wildlife Division Administrator
10. Receive an Annual Report from Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl on the Waterfowl Breeding Grounds – Larry Reynolds, Waterfowl Biologist
11. Receive a Report and Consider Resolution on the Impacts of Floodwaters on the Fishery Resources and Fisheries of Louisiana – Patrick Banks, Assistant Secretary
12. Receive an Update on the 2019 Recreational Red Snapper Season – Jason Adriance, Finfish Biologist
13. Receive a Summary Presentation on the June 2019 Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Meeting – Chris Schieble, Biologist Manager
14. Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent Establishing Closures of Certain Waters Associated with the 2020 Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program – Peyton Cagle, Crustacean Biologist
15. Set November 2019 Commission Meeting Date
16. Receive Public Comments
17. Adjournment
A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com. To attend a live broadcast of the July 2019 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, please register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/22921918378598157.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Understanding Louisiana’s Path to a Federal Fisheries Disaster Declaration

Release Date: 06/24/2019

Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Commerce notifying the federal government that Louisiana’s fisheries are in a dire situation due to the extreme duration of high river levels.  2019 has been the wettest year on record in the Mississippi River Valley in the last 124 years.  This has resulted in an historic high water event on the Mississippi River and an overwhelming influx of freshwater into our coastal areas for an extremely long period of time.


In order for a fisheries disaster declaration to be put in place, a specific protocol must be followed involving multiple government agencies including the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Governor’s office, U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Fisheries, and Congress. The decision regarding who will qualify for assistance or when assistance will be available (if a fishery disaster is declared) will not be made by LDWF, rather by NOAA and Congress after a disaster is declared.


In addition to the Governor’s request, the following requirements must be met in order for Louisiana to  qualify for fisheries disaster assistance:  


1.  Fishery Sampling - LDWF has aggressively sampled commercially and recreationally important fishery species in all basins throughout the coast to document impacts, and will continue to do so throughout this flooding event. After the event is over, sampling of stocks by Department biologists, and monitoring of landings and effort from commercial and recreational fisheries will continue. 


2.  Develop Impact Statement - LDWF will utilize the collected biological monitoring data, as well as commercial and recreational landings data, to prepare an overall impact assessment. This full assessment will include all of Louisiana’s commercial and recreational species , throughout all basins along the coast, and all sectors of the fishing community. A full assessment will not be complete for several months, as we are still in the midst of this historic flood event.  Submitting the impact statement too early may jeopardize our potential for maximum assistance.


3.  NOAA Assessment - The impact assessment will be used, if data show a significant impact, as part of the application to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a declaration of a federal fisheries disaster. The application could include all the various species, basins, and fishing industry sectors for which an impact can be documented.


4. Funding Appropriated - If NOAA concurs with the Louisiana application, they will provide their concurrence to Congress for consideration.  Congress has the authority to act on their own to appropriate assistance for a fishery disaster, but typically relies on a decision by NOAA. 

Frequently asked questions regarding fishery disaster assistance, including who may qualify, can be found at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/insight/frequent-questions-fishery-disaster-assistance.

A quick reference sheet of the fishery disaster assistance process produced by Louisiana Sea Grant is here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/news/42919-understanding-louisiana-s-path-federal-fisheries-disaster-declaration/disasterdeclaration101.pdf


Law provides survivor benefits to families of LDWF cadets in training

Release Date: 06/24/2019

Ed Pratt, LDWF Press Secretary
The family of a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement cadet who died last year while in training will be eligible to receive survivor benefits because of legislation Gov. John Bel Edwards signed as Act 378 on June 20, 2019.
Without the legislation, the wife and two minor children of Cadet Immanuel Washington would not be entitled to survivor benefits. Washington, a native of Franklin and resident of Youngsville, was in LDWF training academy in 2018 when he died.
The bipartisan legislation, House Bill 170, authored by State Reps. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, and Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate. It allows spouses and children of cadets that died while training to receive full financial benefits even though the cadets were not fully commissioned LDWF agents at the time of their death.
Cadet Washington passed away on July 19, 2018, while in the third week of training at LDWF’s Training Academy in Baton Rouge.  Act 378 will extend eligibility for survivorship benefits to spouses and children of all LDWF enforcement personnel participating in the LDWF Enforcement Training Academy on or after July 1, 2018, even though the cadet had not been commissioned as an enforcement officer.
The new law also extends to members of the Louisiana State Police, including any cadet participating in the LSP Training Academy on or after July 1, 2018.
"I have known the Washington family most of my life,” said Jones. “This is an important piece of legislation for Emmanuel's family. He was one of our own and I am honored to be the sponsor of this bill.”
Bishop said, “I respect the dedication and sacrifice of both our wildlife and fisheries cadets as well as our state police cadets. That’s why it is extremely important that we make sure that, in the event of something horrible happening to those young men and young women cadets while in training, the state of Louisiana will take care of their families.”
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “When I met Mr. Washington’s wife and children, I knew this was something that we had to make happen, Mr. Washington was dedicated to becoming an Enforcement Agent. His family deserves this.”
“We felt it was only fair to extend the benefits to the immediate families of cadets that were training to become wildlife and fisheries agents,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “It was a very unfortunate event to lose Immanuel during training and we felt we owed it to him and his family to get this changed.”

LDWF Accepting Applications for Dove Lottery Hunts at Elbow Slough WMA

Release Date: 06/21/2019

June 21, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the 2019 Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA) lottery dove hunts until July 26. The hunts will be conducted Sept. 7-8.
Details on the application qualifications, requirements and deadlines are listed on the application form. For applications and more information contact the LDWF Pineville Office at 318-487-5885 or visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.
Elbow Slough WMA is located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and Louisiana Highway 3170 in Rapides Parish. For more information on Elbow Slough WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2757.

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet June 25 at 9:30 a.m.

Release Date: 06/21/2019

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The meeting will convene at 9:30 a.m. at the Belle Chasse Auditorium located at 8398 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, LA 70037.


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

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call

4. Approval of Agenda

5. Approval of Minutes from May 14, 2019 Meeting

6. Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals

a. M/V Chris, Inc.

7. Receive Public Comments

8. Set Next Meeting Date

9. 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.    


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