General

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Modifies Rules for Recreational Harvest of Bluefin Tuna

Release Date: 08/04/2011

 

Aug. 4, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed a motion to modify existing rules for the recreational harvest of bluefin tuna, in an effort to remain consistent with federal regulations currently in place. 

The proposed rule would change the minimum size limit for bluefin tuna to be 73 inches.  The proposed rule also changes bag and possession limits to one bluefin tuna per vessel per year. 

Currently fishing of bluefin tuna is prohibited in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and bluefin tuna may only be kept as incidental catch and only while possessing a Highly Migratory Species Recreational Angling Permit issued by NOAA Fisheries Service.

Public comments on the Notice of Intent will be accepted prior to October 6, 2011. 

Comments should be submitted to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000, or via e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

EDITORS: For more information contact Laura Deslatte-Wooderson at (225)610-2363 or lwooderson@wlf.louisiana.gov.

 

L.D.W.F. Kicks Off Yellowfin Tuna Tagging Program

Release Date: 08/04/2011

 

Department expands Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament to include yellowfin tuna; first tournament of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico

Aug. 4, 2011- This fall, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) plans to launch a Yellowfin Tuna Tagging Program, an initiative unique to the Gulf of Mexico.  The program promotes a culture of catch, tag and release in the recreational fishing community and contributes to the scientific data necessary to further understand the behaviors of yellowfin tuna.

Tagging tuna can provide information about their movements, migrations, stock structure, growth, population size, mortality, schooling behavior and physiology.  NOAA acknowledges that the size and number of yellowfin caught are decreasing, and the downward trend has been happening since 1999.  “The new tuna tagging program will provide baseline information for the population models used to assess the health of the stock of this valuable fishery,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “It will also help clarify the evidence that yellowfin migratory patterns have been altered by the presence of offshore oil platforms.”

LDWF plans to kick off the program with a tag-and-release tournament at Venice Marina on Saturday, September 24.  With the success of the 2011 redfish tournaments, the department added a Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout to their Louisiana Saltwater Series.  By encouraging live tag and release, the series has focused attention on the conservation of our marine resources. 

This is the first tournament of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico, and there is a 100 percent payout for first, second and third place finishers.  Payout is determined based upon the total number of boats entered.  A $5,000 prize is up for grabs to the chartered boat with the most tagged yellowfin.  There is also a kill fish division, and the team with the largest tuna weighed will win an offshore tackle package valued at $3,000.

There is a $500 entry fee per boat for the tournament, with a maximum of eight anglers total on each team.

Additional information, including rules, regulations and entry forms will soon be available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

Two Louisiana Men Cited in Iberville Parish

Release Date: 08/04/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two Louisiana men for alleged fisheries violations on Aug, 2 in Iberville Parish.

Agents cited Abram Allen Barbay, age 19, of Maringouin, and Benjamin Paul Bello, age 20, of Lakeland, for taking over the limit and undersized black bass.

Agents were alerted by a confidential informant that Barbay and Bello were taking a large number of black bass south of Ramah in the levee pitts.  After being checked, agents found both men to be in possession of 62 black bass that were all under the 14-inch minimum size limit.  The limit on black bass is 10 fish per person. 

Barbay and Bello were additionally charged a civil restitution in the amount of $498.20 for replacement value of the bass.  The fish were donated to charity.

Agents participating in the case were Senior Agents Jerry Stassi and Marc Adams.

The penalties for taking undersized and over the limit of black bass are fines between $100 and $350, or up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs for each offense.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Offering Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Training in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 08/03/2011

 

August 3, 2011—The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Education Section is offering a Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Academy at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge on Aug. 8 through 10.  Waddill is located at 4142 North Flannery Road.

The academy’s three, nightly sessions start at 5 p.m. and last until 9 p.m.  Participants must attend all three nights to be certified as a Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor.  There is no charge for the academy, and it is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in teaching Hunter Safety Courses.

Requirements for Becoming a Hunter Education Instructor are:

  • Attend a 12-hour instructor training course
  • Complete a live fire exercise
  • Pass a written exam
  • Undergo a criminal background check

Volunteer instructors are the backbone of LDWF’s hunter education program. One of the rewards of serving as a volunteer instructor is the self satisfaction of knowing you are helping to preserve the future of hunting by passing on a time honored tradition. Become a part of a team that makes a difference.

What Does LDWF Look For In a Volunteer Instructor?

  • Professional demeanor
  • Courteous and respectful
  • Good communicator
  • People oriented
  • Dedicated and motivated
  • Someone who believes in the importance of education

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information about the academy, or to register for the course, please contact Bradley Breland at 225-274-8089 or bbreland@wlf.la.gov .

Mud Hole Area Within Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge to Reopen Aug. 5

Release Date: 08/03/2011

Aug. 3, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will reopen on Friday,Aug. 5 that portion of Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) known locally as Mud Hole.

The Mud Hole water management control structure area had been closed in July due to litter problems created by recreational fishermen. The structure, within Cameron Parish, has been cleaned and will again be available for public use.

The public is reminded that refuge regulations prohibit littering, which includes not returning bycatch of recreational cast-netting to the water. Violators can receive a citation for failure to comply.  To report littering on Rockefeller SWR or any LDWF property, individuals are encouraged to report violators to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-442-2511.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, call Rockefeller SWR Refuge at 337-491-2593.

Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday Good for the Outdoors

Release Date: 08/03/2011

August 3, 2011 – Louisiana’s sales tax holiday provides a great opportunity to stock up and save on outdoor gear!
 
This weekend, the four percent state sales tax will be waived on the first $2,500 spent on individual items of tangible personal use. The tax-free holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 5 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, August 6.  Only state tax is exempt and all other sales taxes, such as parish taxes still apply.
 
The time is now for outdoor enthusiasts to gear up and save money on the items they want. A tax-free holiday provides a savings opportunity for the hunter to be properly outfitted, birdwatchers to get the correct optics and anglers to update their tackle box. Whether it’s hunting, fishing or outdoor photography equipment, it is all available for less this weekend.
 
Not only are items bought this weekend included but also items put on layaway during the holiday are eligible for the exemption. Items that are already in layaway can also be purchased this weekend and receive the tax credit.
 
Taking time to step outside with family and friends is beneficial for the body and mind. Getting outside provides physical benefits, such as aerobic, cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Mentally, it helps prevent or reduce stress, gives an increased sense of exhilaration and provides an adventure from everyday routines.  
 
For more information on the tax-fee weekend go to the Louisiana Department of Revenue at http://revenue.louisiana.gov/sections/general/hottopics/salestaxholiday.aspx .
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Grants, Events, Workshops, and Public Meetings

GRANTS

KEEP LOUISIANA BEAUTIFUL OFFERS GRANTS TO GROUPS (August 31)
          Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB), the state’s non-profit organization dedicated to litter prevention and waste reduction, is now accepting grant applications for its 2011 KLB Healthy Communities Grants Program. The deadline to apply is August 31. KLB awarded close to $200,000 in grants to groups around the state in 2010. Grant applications can be submitted via the KLB website and awards will be announced September 12.
          The KLB Grants Program is designed to help community organizations, governmental agencies, and educational groups implement projects with a specific focus on litter abatement through community education, recycling programs, enforcement and more. All grantees are required to participate in the annual Great American Cleanup held March through May each year or in America Recycles Day, held on November 15th each year. To learn more about the KLB Healthy Communities Grant Program, two technical assistance conference calls are available in August for interested grant applicants. Visit www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org for more submission information. A complete list of guidelines, terms and conditions and eligibility requirements, as well as application information are available on the KLB website. Find KLB on Facebook by searching “Keep Louisiana Beautiful” and on Twitter @keeplabeautiful.

Grant Opportunity: Gulf of Mexico Community-based Restoration Partnership (September 15)
          The GCRP is a multi-year, regional partnership between the Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Community-based Restoration Program (CRP), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program (GoMP), and the Gulf States and Caribbean Territories. The purpose of this partnership is to strengthen the conservation efforts of the NOAA CRP and EPA GoMP by supporting on-the-ground restoration activities and fostering local stewardship of ecologically significant areas.
For project ideas, you can see what other Community Based Restoration recipients have done across the gulf and elsewhere by visiting the NOAA Restoration Atlas at: http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/restoration/restorationatlas/index.html
For details, visit: http://www.gulfmex.org/contact-us/  Submittal Due Date: September 15, 2011


EVENTS

Coastal America International Student Ocean Art Contest
          Contact a Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center (CELC) near you to learn more. The "Coastal America International Student Art Contest" draws upon young people's artistic expression to convey the importance of the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes. The Ocean Art Contest encourages students to learn about marine issues we face as a nation by creating art based on the National Ocean Policy and "Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy". Beginning in Fall 2011, students from primary school to university will have a unique opportunity to participate on the Ocean Art Contest. CELCS will host Regional Art Contests and support local student artists. Winners of the Regional Contests will travel to Washington DC for the International Competition. Don't miss this opportunity to express your love of the Ocean through art!
For contest rules and guidelines and information about Coastal America go to http://www.coastalamerica.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1563&Itemid=182
Contestants must submit their artwork to the CELC closest to them. For more information on CELCs and their locations please visit http://www.coastalamerica.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1591&Itemid=202


WORKSHOPS

LPBF's 2011 Beach Sweep is Saturday, Sept 17th!!
          Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation's 22nd annual Beach Sweep, LPBF's Beach Sweep 2011 will be held Saturday, September 17th from 9am-noon followed by a thank-you picnic for registered volunteers. Visit www.saveourlake.org for more information. The theme this year is "Trash Free Lake."  As in the past, we will work with the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), www.oceanconservancy.org. Come out and join us!
          Email joann@saveourlake.org if you can be a zone captain and bring out a group. Your responsibilities will include gathering volunteers, and attending a zone captain meeting the evening of Thursday, September 1st to pick up supplies and get your clean up zone and information. On Beach Sweep Day you will go out with your group, hand out data cards and trash bags, work in your assigned zone, turn in your group's data cards and fill in your summary card. Then you are all invited to come to celebrate at a free picnic from 11:30am-2:00pm at Pontchartrain Beach or with one of our partners (Friends of LA Wildlife Refuges, Keep Covington Beautiful, Keep Madisonville Beautiful, Keep Mandeville Beautiful).
          This year in Orleans and Jefferson Parish, we will be putting storm drain curb markers on storm drains that say "No Dumping, Drains to Lake." We will also clean street curbs, storm drains and ditches as well as some lakefront areas in parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. Please see our 2011 Beach Sweep flyer. Please distribute to office and civic groups, school clubs, scout troops and neighborhood friends. Remember a group can be as small as 3 or as large as you like. RSVP by to JoAnne Burke at (504)836-2238 or joann@saveourlake.org.

Elmer’s Island Summer Beach Sweep Volunteers Needed (August 18, 8am -1pm)
          Elmer’s Island Refuge is a barrier island located in Jefferson Parish southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana bordered by LA 1 and the Gulf of Mexico. The area includes a tidal zone, natural and restored dunes, and an expanse of open area leading to the Back Bay. The island is well known for the excellent fishing opportunities it has provided over the years for many popular species such as speckled trout, white trout, flounder, redfish, channel mullet, black drum, croaker, spanish mackerel and many other species that frequent the State's coastal beaches and passes. It also provides non-consumptive outdoor opportunities to observe wading, shore and seabirds as well as coastal marine life. There are no buildings or facilities on the island, and any visitors are required to carry out everything they bring onto the property. It will be extremely hot and there will be limited shade. Elmer’s Island is remote; the Back Bay area is very wet and muddy. Bring sunscreen, bug spray, and a smile! Lunch, water, and gloves will be provided. For more information please contact Julia Lightner, at jlightner@wlf.la.gov or 504-913-7849.

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (August 9, 1pm)
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – Baton Rouge Office, Louisiana Room
Meeting agenda is attached.

Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project Information Meeting (August 16)
          Program managers, guidance counselors, business partners, technical professionals, teachers, and representatives from professional organizations and higher education are invited to join us at an informational meeting announcing the implementation of the Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project. This initiative will provide mini-grants, professional development, and other free resources to project participants to help increase the participation of girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Join us to learn more about the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) model, how this initiative can help your program or organization, and to network with colleagues to identify collaboration opportunities. The Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project will be sponsored by Sci-Port: LOUSIANA'S Science Center.
          The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 16 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana (5525 Reitz Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70809) in Conference Rooms CSC 2A& 2B.  A map and directions are located here: http://www.mapquest.com/?version=1.0&hk=1-P5Z1jicp. An event agenda is attached. For more details and to register: http://www.ngcproject.org/events/events.cfm?eventid=203. Pre-registration is required. Contact Amy Foster, National Program Manager (afoster@edlabgroup.org), with questions about the National Girls Collaborative (http://www.ngcproject.org).

Trapping Workshop Set for SEPT. 9-11 at Waddill Outdoor Education Center

Release Date: 08/02/2011

Aug. 2, 2011 --The Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association will be hosting a Trapping Workshop on the weekend of Sept. 9 – 11.  The workshop will be presented at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Waddill Outdoor Education Center, 4142 N. Flannery Road in Baton Rouge.

The workshop will begin on Friday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. and run through Sunday at noon, providing classroom activity and field exercises. Students will learn the basic fundamentals of trapping including equipment selection, scouting, set making, bait and lure usage, bait making, fur handling, ethics, skull identification, snare making and more.

The registration fee is $25 per student and will cover food costs. Accommodations are provided on a first come, first serve basis, if needed.  Overnight participants will need to bring sheets, blanket, and a pillow to fit a full size bed. Students under 13 must have an adult guardian with them to attend. Only 25 openings are available and interested participants are encouraged to reserve their spot as soon as possible.

For additional information, or to pre-register, contact Wesley Blanchard at 337-375-1932.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting August 3 in New Orleans

Release Date: 08/02/2011

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will hold a meeting on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 10 a.m.  The meeting will take place in room 206 of the Lindy C. Boggs Conference Center located at 2045 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The agenda for the meeting is below.

 

I.                 Roll Call

II.          New Business

       A. Cultch plant locations

      B. Oyster substitution/moratorium legislation

 

For more information contact Laura Deslatte-Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

 

L.D.W.F. to Lease Catahoula Lake Acreage for Haying

Release Date: 08/01/2011

August 1, 2011 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be leasing areas for cutting hay around Catahoula Lake as part of the department’s 10-year management and research plan to improve waterfowl habitat.

A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held in September when exact locations, acreages and timeframes will be specified.  Approximate acreage available could include a 270-acre unit and a 500-acre unit, although unit sizes and the number of units may change in advance of bids being accepted. Hay collection will be allowed from the date winning bids are awarded through Oct. 31. Individuals who have notified LDWF of their interest in participating will be notified in advance of the pre-bid meeting.

The department’s experimental management plan for the lake will include varying water levels, utilizing a variety of vegetation control activities such as hay cutting, and collection of vegetation data from permanent monitoring plots. Through analysis of this data, the department hopes to determine effective measures that can be implemented to control woody vegetation on the lake.

For more information, or to have your name placed on a bid notification list, contact Steve Smith at 318-487-5885 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov or Paul Link at 225-765-2358 or plink@wlf.la.gov.

 

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