Fishing

LDWF Schedules Drawdown on Indian Creek Lake

Release Date: 08/23/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Rapides Parish Police Jury have scheduled a drawdown on Indian Creek Lake in Rapides Parish for hydrilla control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement. 

The lake should dewater at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per day once the water control structure opens on September 6, 2016.  Initially the lake will be lowered to 6 feet below pool stage to allow for a vegetation survey.  If necessary, the lake will be lowered an additional 2 feet to  a maximum of 8 feet below normal pool stage .  The Indian Creek lake control gates are scheduled for closure on December 15, 2016 to allow the lake to refill for winter and early spring recreational activities.

 During the drawdown, approximately 1,500 - 1,600 acres of water will remain in the lake..  Boaters may still access the main waterbody from the ramp on Indian Creek Recreational Area.  Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period as normal clearance of underwater obstructions will be reduced. 

This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities.  An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.

The current LDWF Indian Creek Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland

 

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Rick McGuffee, LDWF Biologist, at rmcguffee@wlf.la.gov or (318) 487-5885.  

LDWF to Reschedule Artificial Reef Council Meeting Scheduled this Week

Release Date: 08/22/2016

Due to the historic flooding in south Louisiana last week, the Artificial Reef Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 25th will have to be rescheduled. A new date has yet to be determined, but will be released once available.

LDWF headquarters to sell commercial fishing licenses Friday, August 19th

Release Date: 08/18/2016

 

LDWF headquarters to sell commercial fishing licenses Friday, August 18th

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will open in a limited capacity tomorrow, August 19th to sell commercial fishing licenses.  A small licensing team will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to serve the public. 

Recent office closures due to flooding has prevented some commercial fishermen from purchasing their licenses ahead of the shrimp season, which opens Monday on the west side of the state.

As a reminder, commercial fishermen can renew their existing licenses online athttps://www.la.wildlifelicense.com/start.php.  New licenses must be purchased in person.

Our headquarters office is located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.

Many of our employees have been severely impacted by the recent flooding across the state, we appreciate the public’s patience as we begin the process of helping our LDWF family rebuild.

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.

LDWF Creating Cuts in Rockefeller Refuge Southern Protection Levee to Help Alleviate Flooding

Release Date: 08/18/2016

LDWF Creating Cuts in Rockefeller Refuge Southern Protection Levee to Help Alleviate Flooding
A cut is created in the southern protection levee on Rockefeller Refuge to help alleviate flooding.
The first cut in the southern protection levee at Rockefeller Refuge.

LDWF Creating Cuts in Rockefeller Refuge Southern Protection Levee to Help Alleviate Flooding

Aug. 18, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will create two 50-foot cuts in in the southern protection levee on Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron and Vermilion parishes to help alleviate flooding from the recent rains that have inundated parts of southern Louisiana.

Both cuts should be completed by late Thursday afternoon and will help relieve flooding in Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion parishes in the Mermentau Basin.

“We are in the process of excavating two, 50-foot cuts in the southern protection levee from the Gulf of Mexico on Rockefeller Refuge,’’ said Scooter Trosclair, program manager at Rockefeller Refuge. “This will aid in additional outflow as tides allow from the excessive amounts of flood water flowing in from the Mermentau Basin.’’

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes, is owned and maintained by the state of Louisiana and LDWF. It encompasses about 76,000 acres. It borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 miles and extends inland toward the Grand Chenier ridge, a stranded beach ridge, six miles from the Gulf. 

For more information, contact Trosclair at 337-491-2593.

 

 

Elmer’s Island closure extended to August 30th due to weather delays

Release Date: 08/18/2016

Elmer’s Island closure extended to August 30th due to weather delays

Elmer’s Island closure extended to August 30th due to weather delays
 
Recent weather conditions have made dredging in the Gulf of Mexico unfavorable.  These unexpected weather delays have extended the Elmer’s Island closure by 8 days to August 30th.   The slow-moving weather system that has caused unprecedented flooding in parts of our state is also responsible for these construction delays.
 
An updated map with new closure dates can be found above.
 
 
 

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 08/18/2016

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. The meeting will convene at 10:30 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 Minutes from March 2, 2016 Meeting

3.     Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals

a.     Randy Chaisson, Sr.

b.     Kenneth Caywood

4.     Update on Recommendations Made at March 2, 2016 Meeting

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 and Sabine 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.  

LASS Saltwater Series Cancelled for August 20th - Delacroix

Release Date: 08/16/2016

LASS Saltwater Series Cancelled for August 20th - Delacroix

For Immediate Release
August 16, 2016
 
Contact: Sam Barbera
LASS
(225)-405-7827
sbarbera@wlf.la.gov
 
(August 16, 2016) - Due to the extreme flooding conditions across much of south Louisiana, the Louisiana Saltwater Series (LASS) Delacroix event scheduled for Saturday, August 20th has been canceled. There are no plans to reschedule the event at this time.  
 
All pre-paid tournament fees will be refunded. Many of our anglers are voluntarily assisting with water rescue, and the future recovery assignments for LDWF employees are uncertain.  
 
The LASS tournament trail will resume on September 17th at Calcasieu Point Landing. Teams with participation in two events shall qualify for the 2016 Championship.
 
For questions contact Sam Barbera, LASS Tournament Director at Sbarbera@wlf.la.govor 225-405-7827.

LOUISIANA ARTIFICIAL REEF COUNCIL TO MEET

Release Date: 08/12/2016

The Artificial Reef Council will meet at 9:00 am on Thursday, August 25 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.

Agenda

1)   Introduction and Welcome                                                          

2)   Approval of Minutes & Agenda                                                 

3)   Reef Program Update---Michael McDonough & Craig Gothreaux

4)   Presentation of Nearshore Reef Planning Area Maps

            -Decision by Council

5)   Presentation of Inshore Reef Proposals:

            a) Lake Pontchartrain

                        -Decision by Council

            b) Calcasieu Lake

                        -Decision by Council

6)   Public Comments

7)   Other business

8)   Adjourn

For more information contact Mike McDonough at 225-763-5418.

 

Caddo Lake, Lake Bistineau Among Nation’s Top Bass Fishing Spots, According to National Publication

Release Date: 08/11/2016

Northwest Louisiana may be the bass-fishing Mecca of the Sportsman’s Paradise.  According to Bassmaster Magazine, three lakes located in that part of the state are among the top 25 bass fishing lakes in the central United States.

Toledo Bend’s reputation is well documented. For two straight years, Bassmaster Magazine named it the nation’s top destination for bass fishing (see recent story, Toledo Bend Reservoir: A Fish Dynasty). 

But two other northwest Louisiana lakes made the recent 2016 list as well, including Caddo Lake at No. 7 and Lake Bistineau at No. 16. (See full list at Bassmaster Magazine)

Quality fish and beautiful scenery make Caddo Lake a bass angler’s dream. A total of 129 bass weighing in double digits were registered with the Bass Life Associates Replica Program from this cypress-studded fishery from 2007-2016, including bass topping the 16-pound mark. 

It was one of the first water bodies in Louisiana to be stocked with Florida bass and has been stocked annually for nearly 20 years. The Florida gene has certainly changed the landscape of the lake, as it has been known locally for producing trophy bass for years.  

Caddo Lake, which straddles the Louisiana- Texas border, is managed by both the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These agencies, in addition to some local organizations, have released nearly 12 million Florida-strain largemouth fingerlings into the reservoir.

For a lake that wasn’t even on the radar of the bass fishing world in the past, Lake Bistineau, which encompasses 17,200 acres in Bienville, Bossier and Webster parishes, is a rising star and provides a unique opportunity to anglers.

Unranked in previous years, the lake was listed as No. 27 on the 2015 list published by the magazine and maintained its elite status this year.

Drawdowns deserve all the credit for the improvement. That process exposes bottom sediments to oxygen and sunlight, increasing the decomposition of organic materials. This improves spawning habitat by solidifying the lake bottom, increasing available forage and releasing nutrients into the water when the lake refills. Improved spawning of all fish species provides greater food resources for the lake’s largemouth bass population.

In 2009, the lake was thought to be nearly lost as almost 7,500 acres were covered with giant salvinia. To combat the invasive weed, LDWF has dewatered the lake annually in the late summer. Lake Bistineau is a flooded swamp with acres of cypress trees lining old slough channels.

The current management strategy closely resembles the natural fluctuation of water in a swamp, has controlled the plant and has provided ample opportunities for recreation. 

Florida bass stockings have increased in recent years and the larger fish are beginning to show up. A total of 46 bass have been registered in the Bass Life Replica Program since 2007 and it typically takes more than 20 pounds to win a tournament. 

When the summer doldrums hit and fishing gets tough, come to Lake Bistineau and fish the lake on a drawdown. The weather isn’t the only thing that is hot. Whether you prefer to pitch to cypress trees, fish channel ledges with a crankbait or catch schools of three-pounders, Bistineau has something for everyone.

 

 

LDWF to bring back the Louisiana Conservationist

Release Date: 08/11/2016

Louisiana's longest running outdoor magazine will return to print in the fall of 2016.

The Louisiana Conservationist had been the long-standing outdoor publication for Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries enthusiasts.   For decades the magazine was mailed to the home of every hunting and fishing license holder in the state.  In 2011, the production of this historical publication ceased due to proliferation of less expensive information vehicles, particularly online content distribution.

“For generations, the Conservationist’s descriptive sto­ries and informative features have resonated with families across the state”, said Governor John Bel Edwards. “When the magazine was discontinued in 2010, it left a void in both homes and classrooms that benefited from the bridge it created between the state and the public.

I am thrilled that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reviving this 87-year-old tradition. The Conservationist serves as both an educational asset and a treasured portrayal of Louisiana’s wondrous outdoors.”

“I grew up reading the Louisiana Conservationist and credit this publication for my interest in the Louisiana outdoors as a kid,” said LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon.  “Many sportsmen and nature lovers across the state have a very close connection to this magazine and have requested we revive this historical publication.  This is not only a great educational resource for our constituents, it’s a tremendous introduction of the Louisiana outdoors to our youth.”

The Louisiana Conservationist is a 90-year-old publication that began in 1917 when Lucy Powell Russell became the first female to serve as the Secretary of the state's wildlife agency.

During her progressive tenure, she led the Louisiana Fisheries Commission in publishing its first wildlife magazine. Its first issue was titled Louisiana Conservation News. Over the years, the magazine has taken several forms, all the while, maintaining its mission of serving as a medium between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the residents of Louisiana.

The magazine will return to print this fall on a small-scale basis as the magazine reestablishes writers, photographers and other contributors. The long-term goal of the magazine is to serve as an educational outlet for anyone yearning to know more about Louisiana’s outdoors, especially students. 

The print publication will be a product of existing Department staff, and available free of charge on a quarterly basis from LDWF field offices across the state. The current issue, and archived issues back to the magazine’s inception in 1927 will be available on the Louisiana Conservationist website: http://LAConservationist.wlf.la.gov in the near future.

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