LDWF News

LDWF News Release

$9,000 Reward Offered for Information on Shooting of Endangered Whooping Cranes in Acadia Parish

Release Date: 03/14/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement agents are still looking for information regarding two endangered whooping cranes that were shot to death in Acadia Parish on May 20, 2016.
 
The cranes were found just south of Rayne off of Hwy. 35 and Hains Hwy. on the afternoon of May 20.  The cranes were recovered and sent in for a necropsy, which revealed they were both shot.
 
"We wanted to refresh this news release because we believe that there are people out there that know something about who shot these cranes," said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  "This has been an active investigation for almost two years now and while we do have leads and information we are investigating, we still need people to come forward to assist in this case."
 
Up to $9,000 is being offered by various groups for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing of these whooping cranes.  LDWF's Operation Game Thief program and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are each offering a reward of up to $1,000; The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering up to $5,000.  LDWF also received a total of $2,000 from private donations.
 
Anyone with information regarding these illegal killings should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, residents can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" app.  The hotline and the tip411 are monitored 24 hours a day.  Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.
 
LDWF has released 125 whooping cranes since 2011 and are currently tracking 66 whooping cranes.  The cranes in this case were released in December of 2015.

 

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Cameron LNG Recognized with Whooping Crane Stewardship Award by LWDF, LWFF

Release Date: 03/14/2018

Cameron LNG External Relations Manager Steve Trahan with portrait, Taking Flight.

March 14, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) recently recognized Cameron LNG with the Whooping Crane Stewardship Award for its financial support of LDWF’s reintroduction project in southwest Louisiana.
 
For the past three years, Houston-based Cameron LNG has partnered with LDWF and the reintroduction project, providing satellite transmitter equipment and associated communications costs for tracking the movement of the whooping cranes. The Stewardship Award is presented to companies in Louisiana willing to make a financial pledge to the restoration of whooping cranes in the state.
 
George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, presented Stevie Trahan, External Relations Manager with Cameron LNG, with Chris Davis’ wildlife portrait “Taking Flight” in appreciation of the corporate support provided for the project.
 
Cameron LNG operates a liquefaction project located just outside Hackberry in Cameron Parish in southwest Louisiana, where many of the cranes call home.
 
Louisiana’s whooping crane reintroduction project began in 2011 when 10 whooping cranes from the U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Facility in Maryland were released to White Lake Wetlands Conservations Area to develop the non-migratory flock. This marked a significant conservation milestone with the first wild whooping cranes in Louisiana since 1950. Each year since, more whooping cranes have been added to the initial flock and the current population is almost 70.
 
In 2016, the first chick hatched in the wild in Louisiana since 1939, a significant sign of recovery for the species.
 
Cameron LNG’s name originates from Cameron Parish, known for its many lakes, wildlife refuges and natural beauty. Cameron Parish is also the largest of Louisiana’s parishes with 1,313 square miles of land and 619 square miles of water inhabited by reptiles of all sorts, fresh and saltwater wildlife, over 400 bird species, sportsmen of all types and local families. Cameron LNG has made a commitment to safeguard the environment in which it operates.
 
To learn more about Louisiana’s whooping crane population, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/information . To contribute to the whooping crane project or any LDWF initiative, go to the LWFF website at http://lawff.org.
 
 
 

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LDWF Participating in “Spring Aboard” Boating Safety Campaign

Release Date: 03/14/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are encouraging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the kickoff of the boating season.
 
LDWF will be participating in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Spring Aboard-Take a Boating Education Course campaign by providing seven free boating education courses across the state from March 18-24.
 
Developed by NASBLA, and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boating knowledge or skills based education course.  The campaign emphasizes enrollment in courses verified as meeting the national boating knowledge or skill standard.
 
“Spring Aboard week is the perfect reminder and opportunity for anyone that needs to get boating certified before the spring and summer boating seasons,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s state boating law administrator.  “The classes are free of charge and bring valuable boating safety information for every boating student regardless of experience level.”
 
Boating education courses are mandatory for anyone in Louisiana born after Jan. 1, 1984 who operates a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  To register for an LDWF boating education course please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.
 
LDWF implemented Louisiana’s safe boating education program in 2003 and since that time have certified over 100,000 boaters.
 
U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

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Commercial Fishing For Large Coastal Sharks To Close In Louisiana Waters On March 13, 2018

Release Date: 03/13/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that effective March 13 at 11:30 p.m., commercial fishing for large coastal sharks will close in Louisiana waters. This closure is in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service, commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close on March 13, 2018.  The season will remain closed in state and federal waters until January 1, 2019, when the season is scheduled to reopen. 
 
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited.
 
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
 
LDWF reminds all recreational anglers and commercial harvesters that Louisiana waters are closed for the harvest of all sharks from April through June.  The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters will resume on July 1, 2018, after the seasonal closure ends.
   

Registration is now open to teachers for WETSHOP 2018

Release Date: 03/13/2018

Teachers participate in the beach profiling activity during WETSHOP.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is pleased to announce WETSHOP 2018, a coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers. The workshop is scheduled for July 8 – 13, 2018 at the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab.

 

The focus of this 6-day workshop is to provide teachers with an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana. Participating teachers will accrue 55 hours of instruction covering a wide variety of topics including wetland ecology, fisheries management, and coastal restoration. Teachers will also spend a portion of each day in the field learning about maritime forests, barrier island beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats and marine organisms. This year, participants will visit one of the largest coastal restoration projects in the world.

 

All participating teachers will receive standards-based correlated wetland lessons and many other educational resources from numerous sponsoring agencies and organizations. Lodging and meals are provided once participants reach the workshop site. Upon completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $250.00 stipend. An additional stipend is available during the academic year upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.

 

WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program. WETSHOP is also a collaborative effort with partners that provide experts in the field for presentations and educational materials. These agencies/organizations include: BTNEP, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Coastal Planning Protection and Restoration Act, and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

 

Teachers interested in WETSHOP 2018 can register at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wetshop. For more information, contact LDWF Biologist Supervisor Angela Capello at 318-623-4661 or acapello@wlf.la.gov.
 

 

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.

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee to Meet

Release Date: 03/13/2018

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Seed Grounds Committee

Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 9:30 A.M.

2021 Lakeshore Drive, STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

I.      Call to Order

II.     Discussion of the Draft Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting NOI- OTF

III.    Discussion of Senate Bill 451 and 453- OTF

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/6016156381539214338

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 rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

 

Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area Closed to all Traffic Due to High Water

Release Date: 03/12/2018

March 12, 2018 -   The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed all roads at the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems and heavy rainfall has caused flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect, repair and reopen the roads when deemed safe for travel. 
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville, Louisiana.
 
For information on this WMA, go to htt://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994 or contact Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov or Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.
 

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LDWF Announces Additional Road Closures in Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 03/12/2018

March 12, 2018 -   The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed additional roads at the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding, including Dobbs Bay Road, Union Point Road, Lincecum Road, Blackhawk Road, Blount Road, Wycoff Road, Ross Road, Silver Lake Road, Sunk Lake Road, Shell Road, Moreau Lake Road, Catfish Bayou Road, Lac A Sostein Road, and Hooper Road.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems and heavy rainfall has caused flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect, repair and reopen the roads when deemed safe for travel. 
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15 in lower Concordia Parish.
 
For information on this WMA, go to htt://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994 or contact Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov or Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Recreational Red Snapper Season in State Waters Delayed

Release Date: 03/12/2018

It is anticipated that the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will determine and announce the recreational red snapper season dates at its monthly meeting in May.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet postponed the state-waters season that had been scheduled to open in late March.  By law, the recreational red snapper season in state waters is set to open on March 24, 2018.  However, LDWF requested the Commission delay considering this topic until the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approves an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application submitted by the agency.  The EFP application requests that NOAA allow Louisiana an opportunity to test state management of recreational red snapper.

The EFP, if approved, would allow the state to manage the recreational red snapper fishery in both state and federal waters for 2018 and 2019, and allow the Commission to determine when the season should open and how many fish can be harvested per day by each angler.  

Unlike previous years, the state season will likely be concurrent with the federal red snapper season, eliminating confusion for anglers.

LDWF’s EFP application recommends that Louisiana’s red snapper season open the Friday before Memorial Day, May 25, in both state and federal waters.   However, the Commission will determine the final season opening date and daily creel limit per angler.

LDWF requested that the state receive its historical share of the overall Gulf of Mexico annual recreational harvest for the duration of this pilot project.  Based upon such historical catch data and the 2017 annual catch limit (ACL), Louisiana’s share is equal to approximately 1.1 million pounds of snapper. NOAA can opt to approve or reject that number, however, during its review and evaluation process.  Harvest toward that quota would be monitored via La Creel and other optional recreational reporting methods such as a smart-phone app and an online reporting portal.

Once the EFP is approved, LDWF will provide recommended season dates to the Commission based on the quota determined by NOAA. 

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

Release Date: 03/09/2018

LDWF to Close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Oyster Seed Grounds to Seed Harvest

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the Vermilion, East and West Cote Blanche, and Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds to the harvest of seed oysters at one-half hour after sunset on Monday, March 12, 2018.  The area will remain open for the harvest of market oysters (sacking).

Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of seed oyster resources in these public oyster seed grounds. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term interest of the oyster populations in these areas.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems were encountered. The Secretary was authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if there is no longer a threat to the resource. 

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 and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov

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