DOTD Provides Update on Vernon Lake Dam

Release Date: 02/14/2019

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development would like to update the public on the status of the Vernon Lake Dam and planned repairs to damages sustained during Hurricane Harvey.
Although the management gate is currently open, the lake water surface has risen to within 5 feet of pool stage as a result of heavy rainfall over the last two months. In order to safely complete repair work, the lake water surface will need to be lowered to a minimum of 20 feet below pool stage (elevation 225 feet).
DOTD has awarded a contract to Merrick, LLC to repair the damages. On February 1, 2019, a pre-construction conference was held with the contractor. The Notice to Proceed has been issued for March 6, 2019, followed by a 30-calendar-day assembly period.
The timeframe to complete the necessary repairs is highly dependent upon the weather conditions over the next few months and will likely extend into early summer of 2019.   Upon completion, the management gate will be closed and the lake allowed to refill to pool stage. Additional updates will be provided as the project progresses.   
Anacoco Lake, which is located downstream of Vernon Lake, is near pool stage. The intent for Anacoco Lake is to keep the management gate closed and the lake near pool stage throughout this process.
Questions regarding this notice may be directed to Randall Duffey at (337) 238-6406, Brad Sticker at (318) 561-5280 or Jonathan Lachney at (318) 561-5103.

LDWF and BREC partner to remove debris at Dawson Creek; raise awareness about waterway litter in Baton Rouge, elsewhere

Release Date: 02/13/2019

Volunteers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission (BREC) removed several hundreds of pounds of litter today from Dawson Creek in Baton Rouge.

The two agencies’ joint effort was initiated after several staff members at the nearby LDWF office on Quail Drive noticed litter mounting on the banks of Dawson Creek, which meanders near a BREC facility on Perkins Road.

“The LDWF Enforcement Division is the leading litter enforcement agency in the state,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “It is frustrating and disheartening to see the litter buildup in Dawson Creek and in other waterways, lakes and rivers around the state. This cannot be tolerated in the state that lays claim to being ‘Sportsman’s Paradise.’”

Common trash from consumer goods makes up the majority of what eventually becomes marine debris, polluting our streams, bayous, lakes and eventually Gulf of Mexico. Plastics in the aquatic environment are of increasing concern because of their persistence and effect on the environment, wildlife, and aquatic organisms.

LDWF is encouraging all Louisiana citizens to do their part to reduce the volume of trash entering our waterways by putting your trash in a proper trash receptacle.

Officials at BREC have similar concerns.

“BREC maintains over 180 parks throughout East Baton Rouge Parish, many containing water bodies which serve as large collection points for storm water run-off and whatever else the rain washes into them,” said BREC Superintendent Corey K. Wilson. “Floating debris accumulates in many of our ponds, and in addition to being unsightly, this trash becomes a hazard to wildlife. We recognize firsthand the detrimental effects pollution has on our waterways and are excited to partner with The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for this cleanup effort,”

What Citizens Can Do to Help

·                  Put your trash in a proper trash receptacle

·                  Clean out truck beds and refrain from throwing cigarette butts or other trash out of the car or watercraft.

·                  Carry a litterbag in your car or boat.

·                  Securely cover trash containers to prevent animals from spreading litter.

·                  Citizens, who witness littering or illegal dumping violations, are urged to call the  state's anti-litter hotline at 1-888-LIT-R-BUG (1-888-548-7284).

Dawson's Creek runs from South Acadian Thruway (beside Outback and I-10) to the LDWF Headquarters building and joins in with the drainage from the University Lakes becoming Ward Creek Diversion Canal.  The canal then becomes Bayou Manchac, eventually feeding into the Amite River and finally Lake Maurepas. 

Click HERE to download an interview with Buddy Baker, LDWF Biologist Administrator, photos from the cleanup and B-roll footage of today’s event.

Visit the Keep Louisiana Beautiful Website or LDWF Litter Enforcement page for more littering information.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.

For more information, visit us at To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at

Oyster Task Force Aquaculture Committee Meeting Set for Feb. 14 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 02/13/2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019, 11 A.M.
Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70898

  1. Call to Order
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Introductions
  4. Adopt the Agenda
  5. To Discuss Oyster Seed Supply Issues
  6. To Discuss the Promotion of AOC in Louisiana Waters West of Cocodrie
  7. To Discuss the Planned Mississippi River Diversions
  8. To Compile a List of AOC Issues and Enforcement Gray Areas
  9. Public Comment
  10. Set Next Meeting
  11. 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:
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at To receive email alerts, signup at For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or
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 at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

LDWF Prepares to Open Online Ordering for Oyster Hatchery Larvae

Release Date: 02/12/2019

(February 12, 2019) – Beginning at 8 a.m. February 19, 2019, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be opening its online ordering portal to provide the oyster industry with hatchery-reared oyster larvae produced at the Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery.

Requests will only be taken via the online ordering portal and will be filled based on the order received; priority will be given to in-state orders. Requests made in writing or by phone will not be accepted. Larger orders may be reduced or split based on the availability of larvae and seed. Payment will not be required at the time a request is submitted. LDWF will contact those requesting hatchery products at a later date for payment.

The online ordering form can be found at

For more information, contact Program Development at 225-765-3980, 1-855-262-1764, or at

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at

Sibley Lake fish consumption advisory lifted

Release Date: 02/06/2019

Baton Rouge, LA --  After more than 30 years of sampling lake sediments and fish, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) have lifted the fish consumption advisory for Sibley Lake as of Dec. 21, 2018. The fish consumption ban had been in place since 1989.

“I am proud to see one of our state’s impaired water bodies returned to its designated uses. This was no small feat. The long process to restore Sibley Lake demonstrates the care and commitment of the LDEQ, LDH and LDWF staffs to protecting the public from possible health risks of contamination, and making it safe for everyone to now enjoy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

“This is a singular achievement. It is a victory for environmental remediation, a major battle we have won in the effort to clean all of Louisiana’s waterbodies,” LDEQ Secretary Dr. Chuck Carr Brown said.

“Thanks to a coordinated effort between multiple state agencies, our state, the Sportsman’s Paradise, now has one more body of water in which residents who enjoy fishing can also safely enjoy their catch,” said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, state health officer with the Louisiana Department of Health.

“This is a perfect example of this state’s dedication to cleaning up our waterways. It is a signature environmental achievement that Louisiana can show to the rest of the country,” LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said.

No one currently involved with water quality at a state regulatory agency can recall another instance where a fish consumption advisory issued due to chemical contamination has been rescinded in Louisiana. The decision to lift the fish consumption advisory came after decades of work by the state agencies along with extensive remediation work by Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP). Based on contamination first reported to LDEQ by TGP, LDEQ issued a Compliance Order to the company in August 1988.

“We are very pleased to reach the objective of removing the fish consumption advisory for the future generations of fisherman at Sibley Lake,” said Kimberly Watson, president, Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipelines North Region, which includes TGP. “For 30 years, TGP has been committed to the environmental objectives of this project and appreciates the cooperation of LDEQ, LDH and the LDWF, to achieve this goal.”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at To receive email alerts, signup at


Registration for the Spring Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops is Now Open!

Release Date: 02/05/2019

 Participants practice their casting and fishing skills during the workshop.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) are teaming up to present two Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops this spring. The workshops are open to women over the age of 18 who are looking to learn about fishing and utilizing Louisiana’s aquatic resources. 

The workshops cover a variety of skills to help make fishing more enjoyable. LDWF biologists and aquatic volunteer instructors will train 30 women per event in fish identification, best fish handling practices, preparing fishing equipment, basic fishing skills, as well as cleaning, storing, and cooking fish.  Fifteen participants will be randomly selected from each course and get the chance to apply their newly learned skills on an overnight weekend fishing trip under the direction of LDWF biologists and volunteer instructors. 
Interested women can click HERE to register. Please remember that each Women’s Fishing Workshop will be limited to 30 participants per date. Participants may only attend one workshop. Selected registrants will be notified via email or phone prior to each workshop.   

April 27, 2019 – LDWF Waddill Wildlife Refuge, Baton Rouge

            Registration Open: February 4 – March 15

            Weekend Fishing Trip: May 31 – June 2


May 18, 2019 – Kiwanis Club of Alexandria, Pineville

            Registration Open: February 4 – April 5

            Weekend Fishing Trip: June 28 – June 30

Participants must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. To purchase a fishing license, visit

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at, on Instagram @WLFLA, or on Twitter @LDWF. 

The Women’s Fishing Workshops are 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 Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources. 

Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops are funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Fund, a USFWS grant program that provides grant funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas fish and wildlife agencies for fishery projects, boating access and aquatic education. 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation receives $100,000 grant; plans to assist Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries youth program

Release Date: 02/05/2019

John Kinabrew, an LDWF aquatic volunteer instructor teaches kids the basics of casting and knot tying at Lake Pontchartrain.

Baton Rouge, La. -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation which the organization will use to assist the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries train volunteer instructors to teach youth about fishing and conservation.

The LWFF’s grant will focus on the LDWF’s Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (VIP) which will use the grant assistance to train some 60 instructors to help the agency reach a larger number of youth this year.

“The LWFF financial assistance will help us increase our classroom activities and aquatic education events,” said Danica Williams, LDWF Biologist Program Manager, who administers the VIP program. “Success will mean more individuals being confident as they participate in the outdoors, especially fishing.”

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “We appreciate the significant cooperation that we get from LWFF and the Pennington Foundation toward our mission of educating young people about fishing and how they can help conserve the abundant natural resources of our state for the next generation.”

The LWFF is a nonprofit that helps fund and generate support for LDWF programs.

Persons interested in becoming a volunteer instructor should visit or contact Alayna McGarry at

Gulf Council and NOAA Fisheries Hosting Workshop Feb. 12 Regarding New Electronic Reporting Requirements for Federal For-Hire Fishermen

Release Date: 02/04/2019

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries will be hosting a workshop in Kenner, LA, on February 12, 2019, to inform owners and operators of vessels with federal Gulf charter/headboat reef fish permits or Gulf charter/headboat coastal migratory pelagics permits about new electronic reporting requirements. They will also be providing information on how federal for-hire fishermen can get a free electronic logbook from the Woods Hole Group to comply with these requirements. The workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the La Quinta Inn and Suites, 2610 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70062.   
NOAA Fisheries will implement these new requirements in two phases:

  • Phase 1, expected to be implemented on April 15, 2019, will require owners/operators to:
    • Hail-out with information about trip type, expected landing date, time, and location
    • Complete an electronic report for each trip prior to offloading fish, or no more than 30 minutes after completing a trip if no fish are landed.
  • Phase 2, expected to be implemented in October 2019, will require owners/operators to have NOAA Fisheries-approved hardware/software permanently affixed to each permitted vessel that, at minimum, archives the vessel’s GPS location and transmits that data to NOAA Fisheries.

The Gulf Council and NOAA Fisheries will also be sending owners/operators complete instructional packets and conducting webinars on the new requirements as well as hosting additional workshops before Phase 2 is implemented.
The Gulf Council approved these changes to improve data collection and fisheries management. NOAA Fisheries has compiled several Frequently Asked Questions on these proposed changes. For more information, contact Chris Schieble at or 504-284-2035. 

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