Alexander State Forest

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
7,955 Acres
(318) 371-3050

Alexander Forest Wildlife Management Area is located in south central Rapides Parish about ten miles south of Alexandria, off U.S. Highway 167, and one mile east of Woodworth.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture, Office of Forestry is the owner of this 7,955 acre tract which is managed as commercial forest with an emphasis on experimental forestry techniques. Indian Creek Lake, a 2,600 acre reservoir, is located on the area along with a 300 acre recreation and camping area.
The forest overstory is predominantly loblolly pine with scattered stands of longleaf and slash pines. Much of the timber is managed as pine plantations. However, creek drainages have been maintained in hardwoods. In addition red oak, blackgum, sweetgum, hackberry, beech, water and willow oaks are widely scattered over the forest.
Game species available for hunting include deer, squirrel, rabbit, quail and waterfowl. The featured species on the area is white-tailed deer. Herd density is good with antler quality and body weights typical of piney woods sites. Hunter success during the either-sex muzzleloader hunts is generally above average.
An education center is owned and operated by the Department on a 17 acre site within the WMA. The center is used for a variety of educational programs. Two shooting ranges are located on the grounds. The 100 yard rifle and pistol range and a shotgun range are used in education programs and also available to the public during specified times. Information on range hours and fees is available at (318) 484-2212.
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries operates two fish hatcheries adjacent to the WMA. These hatcheries are the primary source of fish for the statewide stocking program. Booker Fowler hatchery has a visitor center and offers hatchery group tours by appointment. For hatchery information call (318) 748-6914.
Two boat ramps are located on Indian Creek Lake. Sportfishing is the major activity on the lake. Water-skiing and swimming are also popular recreational uses. Camping facilities are operated and maintained by the Office of Forestry. Trailer and tent accommodations are available with electricity, water, bath houses and swimming areas. A fee is charged for the use of these facilities. For camping information telephone the Indian Creek Recreation Area at (318) 487-5058.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1995 Shreveport Highway, Pineville, LA 71360.

Invasive Species/Prohibited Exotics

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Chef Philippe Parola, in an effort to produce a demand for two species of Asian carp, the silver and bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and H. nobilis), are launching the "Silverfin Promotion." Both species of carp are exotic to U.S....
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has received reports and actual specimens of GIANT TIGER PRAWNS or Penaeus monodon, a non-native species of shrimp in Vermilion and Barataria Bays. This species of shrimp is native to the Western Pacific. If a population were established in our...
Snakeheads are native to Asia.  Their names comes from the enlarged scales that cover their heads.  Snakes are obligate air breathers.  Unlike most fish, they must obtain oxygen directly from the air rather than water.  They can live up to three days outside of water.  They...

Aquatic Species

Albino channel catfish (Genetic variation of Channel catfish)
Insects, crayfish, fish
Alligator gar
7-9.5 feet
150-300 pounds
Large rivers along the Gulf Coast
American eel
54 inches
16 pounds
Newfoundland, Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Caribbean to Brazil
Bigmouth buffalo
40 inches
50 pounds
Zooplankton, insects, algae
Mississippi River drainage
Black buffalo
40 inches
50 pounds
Zooplankton, insects, algae
Mississippi River drainage, south of Minnesota and High Plains
Black bullhead
12 inches
2 pounds
Insects, crustaceans
Central United States
Black crappie
16 inches
5 pounds
Small fish
South Canada, Great Lakes, southern United States to east Texas
Blue catfish
50 inches
60 pounds
Detrius insects, mollusks, crayfish, fish
Mississppi River Basin, Gulf Coast drainages
48 inches
45 pounds
East coast of United States
16 inches
4 pounds
Small fish, invertebrates
Great Lakes to southern Florida, Gulf states to Arkansas
3 feet
20 pounds
Fish and vertebrates
Southern Canada to Florida
Brown bullhead
20 inches
5 pounds
Crustaceans, insects, worms, algae, mollusks, fish
Eastern United States
Chain pickerel
31 inches
9 pounds
Canada to Florida Atlantic Coast, east Texas
Channel catfish
50 inches
60 pounds
Insects, crayfish, fish
Widely distributed throughout the United States
Common carp
48 inches
80 pounds
Widespread throughout the United States
Creek chubsucker
14 inches
2 pounds
Small crustaceans, insects, algae
Widely distributed in United States from Gulf Coast to Great Lakes
Flathead catfish
60 inches
90 pounds
Insect larvae, crustaceans, and fish
Rio Grande, Pecos, and Gila watersheds, introduced into many western streams
7.5 inches
.5 pounds
Insects, crustaceans and small fish
Coastal Plain from south Maryland to Florida and Gulf to lower Mississippi
Freshwater drum
35 inches
54 pounds
Canada, Great Lakes, Mississippi drainage to Alabama, east Mexico.
Golden shiner
12 inches
1.5 pounds
Newfoundland to south of Everglades, Rio Grande, edge of Great Plaints
Green sunfish
12 inches
2.5 pounds
Aquatic insects, insects and small fish
Tributaries of Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico
Largemouth bass
38 inches
20 pounds
Every state, originally from Great Lakes and from Rio Grande to Florida
Longear sunfish
10 inches
2 pounds
Insects, small invertebrates
Great Lakes to upper St. Lawrence River, west Florida, Texas
Longnose gar
40 inches
15 pounds
Eastern half of United States along major river ways
2.6 inches
Surface insects and larvae, small crustaceans, algae, and its own young
Mid Atlantic region, Delaware to Florida and west to Alabama
Orange spotted sunfish
3-5 inches
.25 pounds
Small crayfish and aquatic insects
Eastern North Dakota, South Minnesota, East Texas, Louisiana, Ohio Valley and Central High Plains
60 inches
160 pounds
Mississippi and Missouri River drainages
Pygmy sunfish
1.3 inches
Several ounces
Micro crustaceans and aquatic insects
Coastal plains of the Carolinas
Red drum
61 inches
90 pounds
Crustaceans and mollusks
New York to Texas coast
Redbreast sunfish
10 inches
2 pounds
Aquatic crustaceans and invertebrates
East of Allegheny Mountains from New Brunswick to Florida
Redear sunfish
15 inches
4 pounds
Small mollusks
Mid Atlantic states to Central Florida, Gulf of Mexico
Redfin pickerel
14 inches
2 pounds
Small fish and aquatic insects
Canada throughout coastal drainage, Coastal plains from Maryland to Georgia
River Carpsucker
24 inches
10 pounds
Worms, crustaceans and algae
Great Plains from northern Mexico to Montana and Minnesota
18 inches
4 pounds
Fish and crayfish
Central North America
Shortnose gar
2 feet
3.5 pounds
Fish, crayfish, insects
Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio River drainages
Skipjack herring
21 inches
3.5 pounds
Small fish
Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri Rivers
Smallmouth buffalo
3 feet
51 pounds
Small crustaceans, aquatic insects
Below Great Lakes, mid-central states, south Texas
Spotted gar
3 feet
28 pounds
Coastal plains of Texas and Louisiana, lowlands of Oklahoma, Missour
Spotted seatrout
36 inches
16 pounds
Shrimp and fish
New York to Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico
Spotted sucker
19 inches
4.5 pounds
Aquatic insects, algae
Lower Great Lakes and Gulf to Atlantic. Coast Texas to North Carolina drainages
Striped bass
50 inches
70 pounds
Gulf of St. Lawrence to north Florida, Gulf of Mexico to Louisiana
12 inches
2 pounds
Minnows, insects
Primarily southern United States
White bass
18 inches
3-4 pounds
Minnows and small invertebrates
Great Lakes, eastern central United States, Gulf of Mexico to Missouri River
White crappie
16 inches
5 pounds
Small fish
Great Lakes, Texas, Louisiana, east coast
Yellow bullhead
12 inches
2 pounds
Detrius plant matter, crayfish, insects, mollusks, fish
Eastern half of United States

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet August 27

Release Date: 08/23/2010


The Louisiana Oyster Task Force is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 27 at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210 in New Orleans.

The agenda is as follows:

I.                   Roll Call

II.                Approval of July 27, 2010 Minutes

III.             Treasury Report

                    A. Oyster Tag Sales

                    B. LOTF Financial Report & Budget for 2010-2011

IV.       Committee Reports

A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee

B.  Enforcement

C.  Legislative

D.  Research

E.  Coastal Restoration ? Re: Fresh Water Diversions ? Dan Coulon

F.  Marketing ? Re:  Budget for 2010-2011 ? Dana Brocato

 V.      Old Business

A.   Oyster Season Schedule

B.   BP Oil Spill Update

         1.  Claims Process

         2.  Oyster Lease Damages

VI.                   New Business

A.   RTI Oyster Study for ISSC ? Catherine Viator, Research Triangle Institute

B.   DHH Oyster Relay Rules, Suggested Changes ? David Guilbeau

C.   NOAA Biological Study Presentation - Heather Finley

D.   Oyster Lease Survey Changes - Raymond Impastato

E.   Public Seed Ground Rehabilitation

F.    Washington Mardi Gras ? Al Sunseri

G.   Taxes-concerning BP payments - Dan Coulon

VII.        Set Next Meeting

VIII.      Adjourn

For additional information, please contact Laura Deslatte at (225) 610-2363


Fish Kill in MRGO Tied to Low Oxygen Levels

Release Date: 08/23/2010


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists investigating a fish kill in the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) found low oxygen levels to blame.  LDWF received several reports on Sunday, August 22 concerning a large fish kill around the MRGO, east of Hopedale. 

LDWF biologists have confirmed the kill is a result of natural events and is not associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  High nutrient content from the Mississippi River in combination with seasonal occurrences has been the cause of hypoxic conditions for years.  Although essential in fertilizing the estuaries, in some cases the nutrient load is too great and hypoxic conditions arise.   Hypoxic events typically occur in late summer to fall and are also associated with processes that bring deep low-oxygen water to the surface. 

Fish need an oxygen level of at least three parts per million to survive.  Measurements taken by LDWF staff at various samples sites showed less than one part per million of oxygen at the bottom of the water. A "borderline" oxygen level of perhaps three parts per million was found at the top.

The only large concentration of dead fish was noted in a bayou immediately adjacent to the MRGO.  An estimated 500 fish were found in the area. Based on the condition of the fish, they appeared to be roughly five days old.  Species observed included large red drum, sheepshead, hardhead catfish, spotted sea trout, croakers and stingray.

Seasonal fish kills are normally found in much of southern Louisiana associated with low oxygen events.  LDWF biologists expect these to be common in areas such as marinas, dead-end canals, and other areas with poor circulation.  LDWF investigates fish kills using long-standing protocols based on the available information. 

To report a fish kill or abnormality, contact the nearest LDWF office during business hours or the Operation Game Thief operator (1-800-442-2511) after hours.

Coastal area offices are listed below:

61384 Fish Hatchery Road
Lacombe, LA 70461
Phone (985) 882-0027

New Orleans
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 407
New Orleans, LA 70122
Phone (504) 284-2030

Post Office Box 189
Bourg, LA 70343
Phone (985) 594-4139

New Iberia
2415 Darnall Road
New Iberia, LA 70560
Phone (337) 373-0032

 Lake Charles
1213 North Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Phone (337) 491-2579

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at or 225-765-5113.


L.D.W.F. Announces Significant Reopenings to Commercial Crabbing in Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes

Release Date: 08/20/2010


Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial crabbing in areas east of the Mississippi River and the northern shore of Pass a Loutre that were previously closed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Effective immediately today, August 21, all state inside and outside territorial waters east of the Mississippi River and north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude are open to the commercial harvest of crabs

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these reopenings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the crab samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

The following areas remain closed to all commercial fishing including commercial crabbing until further notice:

the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of the Mississippi/Louisiana state line from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and 
the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to a line extending 1 mile west from the western shore of the Chandeleur Islands, and 
the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 45 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and 
the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 47 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 51 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. 
All Louisiana commercial fishing closures as detailed on the commercial fishing maps posted to the LDWF website remain unchanged.

For more information contact Marianne Burke, 225-765-2917 or

For more information related to the oil spill, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at



L.D.W.F. Reopens All State Waters to Recreational Angling

Release Date: 08/19/2010

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ordered an immediate opening of all state inshore and offshore territorial waters to recreational angling, including charter boat angling.  The areas opened today by the commission do not include the recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs or oysters.  Prior to today?s action, approximately 862 square miles or 11 percent of saltwater areas of the state remained closed to all recreational fishing due to the impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

LDWF, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is continuing to provide additional fish tissue samples for sensory testing and chemical analysis in preparation for re-opening areas currently closed to commercial crabbing and commercial fishing.

With today?s action, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also voted to submit a letter, urging the FDA and NOAA to expedite the required testing to re-open commercial fishing areas previously closed due to confirmed reports of oil.

LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:

Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in areas that were previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will then submit an ?intent to reopen? to NOAA and the FDA

LDWF biologists will conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area

Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination.  This process is expected to take between seven and ten days

After complete analysis the FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding proposed reopening

For a map detailing today?s recreational openings click here. 

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at or 225-765-2335


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