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Flooding Prompts Changes to L.D.W.F. Water Management Plan for Catahoula Lake

Release Date: 07/06/2011

July 6, 2011-- The historic flooding along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers has prompted a change in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) water-level management at Catahoula Lake. LDWF’s altered plan for 2011 includes drawing the lake down a month later than usual.

Traditionally, Catahoula Lake was de-watered during the months of June and July to promote germination and growth of vegetation that provides food for migrating and wintering waterfowl.  The drawdown currently underway will continue into August.  The intent of the later drawdown is to inhibit germination of encroaching woody species without negatively impacting waterfowl food production.  The lake will still be re-flooded prior to opening the East Zone duck season in mid-November.

“Last year, LDWF initiated a 10-year management and research plan that includes varying water-level management from traditional dates in an attempt to reduce woody encroachment and maintain or improve waterfowl food production”, said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader.  “We had intended to draw the lake down earlier this year, but that was impossible due to very high water levels in local river systems.”

Along with varying water-levels, the experimental management plan includes collecting vegetation data from permanent monitoring plots, evaluating the effect of LDWF’s woody control activities including herbicide spraying, mowing, and clearing, and scientific studies on woody-encroachment on the lakebed.  The research studies are being accomplished in cooperation with researchers from LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources.  Additionally, further investigation of lead poisoning and lead-shot availability on the lakebed will be undertaken.  The goal is to use knowledge gained from these studies to better manage and maintain this valuable habitat for migratory waterfowl and other wetland birds.

The initial management plan was introduced last August to a gathering of approximately 40 local hunters, landowners, and people with a keen interest in Catahoula Lake management.  LDWF will conduct two public meetings in August to present a more comprehensive plan and participate in public discussions regarding anticipated changes in the management of the lake.  Meeting dates and locations will be announced in advance on the LDWF website and through public notice in local newspapers.

One change in the management plan this year provides for the opportunity to cut hay on the lakebed, if conditions allow.  LDWF staff is currently preparing maps and a bid prospectus to allow individuals to bid to cut and remove hay from selected areas at Catahoula Lake.  It is anticipated that haying will help inhibit growth of encroaching woody species, and cutting will be timed to minimize impacts on waterfowl food production.  The bid announcement is expected later this month.

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.govon Facebook at follow us on Twitter @LDWF.


For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at  or 225-765-0456.

No Drawdown Schedule for Lake D'Arbonne

Release Date: 07/06/2011


July 6, 2011 – Despite plans for spillway repairs, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries does not plan to conduct a drawdown on Lake D’Arbonne in Union Parish in 2011.

“A coffer dam will be constructed around the work area of the spillway, eliminating the need for a lake drawdown,” said Noel James, President of the Lake D’Arbonne Commission. 

Regularly scheduled drawdowns on the lake occur every five years, with the next drawdown scheduled to begin the day after Labor Day in 2012.

The public will be notified immediately, should any unforeseen project complications arise and a drawdown becomes necessary. 

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 or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.


For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-5113.


Agents Still Seeking Leads into Bald Eagle Killings in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 07/01/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement special agents continue to seek information regarding the killing of two federally protected bald eagles.

Agents believe both eagles were killed on or about Dec. 7, 2010 on the East Bank area of Plaquemines Parish.

A deputy from Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office discovered the first illegally killed bald eagle along the Mississippi River levee near the town of Phoenix located in Plaquemines Parish.  LDWF Senior Agent Brett Nabors responded to the scene and initiated an investigation.

During the investigation LDWF agents found a second dead bald eagle.  Agents believe that both eagles were killed in the same area using the same method.  Both bald eagles were delivered to the USFWS and have been forensically tested for cause of death.

The bald eagle is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party is eligible for significant cash rewards up to $3,500.

Anyone with information may call Special Agent Stephen Clark at the USFWS office in Lacombe at 985-882-3756 or the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Capt. Steve McManus at the LDWF Region 8 Enforcement Office at 504-284-2024 or

L.D.W.F. Reopening Wildlife Management Areas as Flood Waters Recede

Release Date: 07/01/2011

July 1, 2011 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has re-opened fully, or in part, four wildlife management areas (WMA) closed in May due to spring floodwater impacts.
Effective today, July 01, 2011:

  • All areas of Attakapas WMA (Iberia/St. Martin/St. Mary parishes) and Three Rivers WMA (Concordia Parish) are open.

  • All areas of Grassy Lake WMA (Avoyelles Parish), except Cas Cas Road, are open and the Bayou Des Sot bridge has been repaired.

  • That portion of Sherburne WMA known as the “South Farm” has reopened to ATV and walk-in traffic. The remainder of the WMA is closed until further notice, including the public shooting range. The South Farm area, within Iberville Parish, is accessible via the East Levee Guide Road from I-10 or US 190.

For more information, contact Johnathan Bordelon at or 337-948-0255.

Workshops and Resource Information


Teach Solar to Kids Workshop (July 26-29)
As part of a federally funded ARRA Grant, The Alabama Center for Excellence in Clean Energy Technologies at Calhoun Community College will present a four day workshop for local educators in teaching solar energy to kids.
     Educators, did you know...
     ... that this summer you can spend four days of fun (July 26-29) at Calhoun learning about teaching solar energy to kids?
     ... That you will receive a stipend of $100 per day, plus an additional $100 after presenting the information you learn during the week to your peers/students, for a total of $500?
     RE101: Teaching Solar Energy to Kids
     How do you teach solar? By putting the technology where students want it - in their hands. Tackle a variety of hands-on renewable energy challenges while talking classroom technique with top renewable energy educators. Educators attending this summer workshop will learn about the impacts that our energy use has on the planet and how to best teach youth about solutions: energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies. Each day will include hands-on elements that can be employed in the classroom. Integrating renewable energy education into youth development can provide an element of excitement for science education and hope for the future.
For an application form, visit Calhoun’s website at
For more information, contact: Matt Houston, 256-306-2643, or Jerry Adams, 256-306-2642,


Take a Journey to Our Nation's Estuaries
      Take a journey to our nation's estuaries by using the video clips in this New Estuary Video Gallery! Visit NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve Estuary Video Gallery! This collection of short video clips is the "next best thing to an actual trip to an estuary" field trip. Use these video clips to teach and learn more about our nation's beautiful estuaries! Go to:
     There are over 150 video clips covering a range of topics! The main content themes are:
          • Estuaries & You: Provides a series of video clips focused on the relationship between estuaries and humans, mostly from a cultural, arts and economic perspective.
          • Life in an Estuary: Features video of life in an estuary, to include both plants and animals that make their home in an estuary.
          • Protect & Restore: Contains video stories about the impacts that humans can have on estuaries and the things that scientists, educators and students can do to protect and restore these wonderful places.
          • Science & Technology: Includes stories about the type of research done and the equipment used in monitoring our nation's estuaries in a video format.
          • K - Elementary: This section provides access to a reduced set of video clips that could be used with students at k-elementary grade levels. All the other videos in the collection have been tagged for use with middle and high-school students.
     To view these video clips you will need to have Flash Player installed on your computer. If you are wondering how the topic of estuaries can help you meet your instructional needs, I recommend you review the document titled "How Learning about Estuaries meets State and National Science Education Standards" found in this section of the website:
     We hope you will find this new Estuary Video Gallery useful! For questions, suggestions for improvements, or more information, click on the "Contact Us" page on Visit the site often as we will be adding new clips over the next few months. Don’t forget to celebrate National Estuaries Day, September 24th, 2011!

NASA - What's to Blame for the Wild Weather? "LaNada"
          Don't blame La Nina or El Nino for the USA's recent wild weather. According to one NASA climatologist, the real culprit is "La Nada." Record snowfall, killer tornadoes, and devastating floods: There’s no doubt about it. Since December 2010, the weather in the USA has been positively wild. But why? Some recent news reports have attributed the phenomenon to an extreme "La Niña," a band of cold water stretching across the Pacific Ocean with global repercussions for climate and weather. But NASA climatologist Bill Patzert names a different suspect: "La Nada." Read more:

Draft report on LCA Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration project available for public review
     NEW ORLEANS, LA – The draft construction report and draft environmental impact statement, “Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration,” outlining the proposed restoration of the Barataria Basin barrier islands is now available for a 45-day public review period. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, have identified a proposed plan for the restoration of the barrier island system in Jefferson, Plaquemines and Lafourche parishes and will be accepting public comments on the proposed plan through Aug. 8, 2011.
     “The Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline restoration project is an important piece in the ongoing effort to protect coastal Louisiana from further land loss. Barrier islands play an important role as buffers against direct influences from the Gulf of Mexico on interior water bodies, such as Barataria Bay,” said Col. Fleming, New Orleans District Commander. “We look forward to continuing to partner with OCPR on the further development of this project.”
          "Restoration of our Barrier Island system is a critical component of our overall coastal protection and restoration program," says OCPR Executive Director Steve Mathies. "Given the land loss crisis plaguing our state, we fully support efforts to accelerate key projects that directly protect our coastal landscape and the many people and economic activities that depend on it."
     The proposed “LCA Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration” project is comprised of the restoration of the shorelines, dunes, and coastal marshes of Caminada Headland and Shell Island, which are critical features for the longterm sustainability of the structure and function of the Barataria Basin ecosystem. Copies of the draft construction report and draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) are available online at
     The LCA Program, and the recommended projects contained within it, are the culmination of the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Study, which was initiated in 2001 and is jointly managed by the Corps and the State of Louisiana to help address the state's severe coastal land-loss problems.
     Questions or comments concerning the LCA “Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration” project should be addressed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, c/o Public Affairs, PO Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267, Phone: 504-862-2201, Fax: 504-862-1724, E-mail:

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting July Agenda

Release Date: 06/30/2011



June 30, 2011 - The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, July 7, 2011, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

     1.     Roll Call

     2.     Approval of Minutes of June 2, 2011

     3.     Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

     4.     To hear presentation on Oil Spill Early Restoration Projects

     5.     Discussion of Artificial Reef Fund

     6.     Legislative Update

     7.     To hear presentation on Louisiana Boating Officer of the Year

     8.     To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/June

     9.     To consider Waterfowl Zones and Splits Framework

   10.     To consider Early Season Migratory Bird Regulations

   11.     To consider Notice of Intent on 2012 Turkey Hunting Areas, Seasons and Bag Limits

   12.     To consider Notice of Intent on 2012 Turkey General and WMA Hunting Regulations

   13.     To consider Declaration of Emergency on Deer Season in Atchafalaya Basin Area

   14.     To consider a Notice of Intent on the Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permit

   15.     Set November 2011 Meeting Date

   16.     Receive Public Comments

   17.     Adjournment

LDWF Agents Issue 10 Citations for Illegal Activity on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA

Release Date: 06/30/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited five individuals with 10 violations for alleged illegal activity on the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on June 27.

Agents cited Tony Vaughn, 27, of Montegut, Craig Vogel, 25, of Houma, and Jamie Theriot, 31, of Houma, for not abiding by WMA rules and regulations after agents observed the men crabbing on one of the WMA dams after legal sunset. 

Agents also cited Jamie Dardar, 37, of Montegut, and Calvin Naquin, 43, of Montegut, for not abiding by WMA rules and regulations, using illegal trawls and blocking the passage of fish.  Dardar was also cited for failure to pay class one requirements from a prior wildlife and fisheries related violation.  Dardar and Naquin were observed accessing and using an illegal trawl to block one of the WMA dams after legal sunset.

Not abiding by WMA rules and regulations carries a fine between $100 and $750 or imprisonment between 60 to 90 days.  Using illegal trawls, blocking the passage of fish and failure to pay class one requirements each carry a fine between $250 and $1,000 and between 90 days and 120 days of imprisonment.

It is illegal to be on the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA after legal sunset and to block the free passage of fish using an illegal trawl.

Participating in the case were Senior Agents Nicholas Guillory and Michael Williams.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and Three Donaldsonville Men Assessed $34,810 in Fines for Migratory Game Bird Violations

Release Date: 06/29/2011


The Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and three Donaldsonville men pled guilty to Migratory Bird Treaty Act violations on June 24 in Federal Middle District Court in Baton Rouge.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Riedlinger ordered the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and the three men to pay a total of $34,810 in fines and assessments for the violations.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club located near Donaldsonville in September of 2007 for baiting a dove field to attract mourning doves for paid hunts.  Agents also cited Robert Lemann Sr., 62, Robert Lemann Jr., 38, and Kenneth Gomez, 62, and Wayne Gomez, 60, for baiting a dove field.

The Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club was ordered to pay a $25,300 fine and $350 in assessments.  The club was also placed on probation for two years in which they will not be allowed to provide any paid dove hunts.  Lemann Sr. represented the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and accepted their penalties.

Lemann Jr. was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $70 in assessments.  Kenneth Gomez was fined $3,000 plus $70 in assessments.  Wayne Gomez was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $20 in assessments.  All three men were also placed on one year of probation with the stipulation that they cannot provide any paid dove hunts.

LDWF Agents began investigating the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club in August of 2007 after receiving a public complaint.  Agents setup surveillance on the club and observed dove fields that were baited with wheat seeds in an effort to attract mourning doves.

All four men are either employed or connected to the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Dennis Bueche, Sgt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Todd Lewis, Senior Agent Chad Menzina and Senior Agent Hal Bridges.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents also assisted in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

LDWF Agents Issue Littering Citations on the Amite River

Release Date: 06/28/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents issued littering citations to four men who were tubing on the Amite River on July 25.

Agents cited Keynan Long, 19, of Metairie, Byron Diez, 54, of Prairieville, Michael Brassard, 21, of Mamath, Maine, and Bradon Stakes, 19, of Rayne after allegedly observing the men intentionally littering by throwing their empty cans onto the bank, in the water and in the trees.

If convicted of the litter violations, each man will face between $175 and $1,000 in fines and up to eight hours in a litter abatement work program. 

LDWF Enforcement Division agents issued 1,001 littering citations for fiscal year 2009-10 and logged 7,958 patrol hours for littering enforcement. 

According to Keep Louisiana Beautiful, litter in Louisiana costs taxpayers approximately $40 million a year.

LDWF also took over the state's 1-888-LITRBUG (1-888-548-7284) hotline last June.  Citizens can call the hotline to report people that litter and littering sites to the department for further investigation.

Agents working the case were Sgt. Todd Laviolette, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Senior Agent Nick Guillory, Agent Justin Lowry, Agent Mitchell Saunders and Agent Charles Talbert.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

Sulphur Man Arrested for DWI on the Water

Release Date: 06/28/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Sulphur man on June 23 for allegedly driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) in Calcasieu Parish.

Agents arrested William Hafer, 40, for DWI and also cited him for destroying crab traps and removing contents, taking commercial fish without a commercial fishing license or commercial gear license.

While on boat patrol, agents observed Hafer on a waterway south of Sulphur running crab traps.  Agents made contact with Hafer and determined that he did not have permission to remove the contents of the crab traps that he was checking.

While investigating the theft of crabs, agents observed that Hafer was operating his vessel under the influence of alcohol.  Hafer was taken to the landing where he was placed under arrest and brought to the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Facility and booked for DWI and crab theft charges.

Destroying legal crab traps or removing contents carries a penalty of $400-$950, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus court costs.  Taking commercial fish without commercial license and without a commercial gear license carries a penalty of $250-$500, or up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs for each offense.

This was Hafer's second offense DWI, which carries a fine of $750-$1,000, plus imprisonment between 30 days to six months.

Agents participating were Lt. Remy Broussard and Senior Agent Beau Robertson.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

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