General

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Amended Agenda for June Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 05/31/2011

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, June 2, 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 May 5, 2011 and May 13, 2011

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To hear Report on State’s Current Reef Program Including a Scheduled of Planned Reefs and Future Plans for Reef Development and Inshore and Offshore Enhanced Fishing Areas

5. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/May

6. To present public comments on Waterfowl Zone Alternatives

7. To present Ducks Unlimited Project Progress

8. To hear an Update on WMA Reforestation Program

9. To receive general information on Upcoming 2012 Wild Turkey Season and Regulations Recommendations

10. Set October 2011 Meeting Date

11. Receive Public Comments

12. Adjournment
 

2016 Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest

2016 Duck Stamp Contest

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced the rules and timeframe for the 2016 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp, or Louisiana Duck Stamp competition.

Gadwall will be the featured species in this year’s competition. Gadwalls, or “gray ducks” as they are often called, are the most abundant duck in Louisiana’s coastal marshes during fall and winter.  Louisiana hunters generally harvest more gadwalls than any other species during the regular waterfowl season. 

Artists are reminded of the requirement for associated habitat in each entry since the primary objective of this program is to provide revenue to create, enhance, and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife. The habitat component is one of the five judging criteria.

The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988.  The program was created to generate revenues for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana.  During the last 25 years, over $12 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $5 million spent on land acquisition.  In addition, revenues have supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.

Entry Information

To enter, an artist must submit an original, unpublished work of art, along with a signed and notarized artist's agreement and a $50 entry fee.  Entries should be addressed to:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attn: Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Program
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Entries will be accepted from Monday, October 12 through Tuesday, October 20, 2015 with the contest to be held in the Louisiana Room at the LDWF Headquarters building starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.  The public is invited to attend.

Please visit the PDF file links below to view the 2016 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition artist agreement and full list of contest rules.

Judging Criteria

Judging for the art competition will be based on the following criteria:

1. Accuracy of form, size, proportion, color and posture.
2. Level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the waterfowl.
3. Appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the habitat.
4. Attractiveness and creativity in composition, subject, background and lighting.
5. Suitability for reproduction as stamps and prints.

A panel of judges with experience in waterfowl biology and/or artistic method will select the winning design. The competition is open to all artists 18 years of age and older.  Employees of LDWF and members of their immediate families are ineligible.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov

LDWF Closes Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 05/25/2011

May 25, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at 6 a.m. on May 26.

The closure area length is from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side. The width of the closure is from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line half a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area is due to the current high water conditions that are caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway. The elevated water in the area has put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at an expected dangerous clearance level of seven feet for boat traffic.

These lower than usual electrical lines could be a deadly hazard for boaters. In order to avoid de-energizing the lines that would result in loss of electricity to many citizens and the Butte La Rose Welcome Center, LDWF decided to restrict boat traffic in the area described below.

The entirety of that portion of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway between the West Protection (Guide) levee and the Butte La Rose levee on the west bank of the Atchafalaya River, which is south of a line running from 30.331556, -91.7881 to 30.349317, -91.723331 and which is north of a line running from 30.323706, -91.788605 to 30.342755, -91.7196.

Click here to view a map of the closure.

The closure will remain in effect until further notice.

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

Elmer’s Island Reopening in Time for Memorial Day

Release Date: 05/25/2011

State officials announce opening of popular tourist destination on May 27

May 25, 2011 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the reopening of the six-mile long section of beach known as Elmer’s Island located near Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish effective at noon on Friday, May 27, 2011. Elmer’s Island, a popular local and tourist destination known as a surf fishing and birding haven, was closed in May 2010 as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

“We are so pleased to be able to reopen Elmer’s Island,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “For more than a year, anglers, birders and residents from all across the Gulf have waited patiently for the clean-up workers and equipment to finish scouring the beaches. Their patience is being rewarded this weekend, just in time for Memorial Day.”

“While we know that the work to restore Louisiana’s coastline isn’t done yet, we are excited that the state is reopening Elmer’s,” said Grand Isle Mayor David Carmadelle. “If you’re planning to take Memorial Day weekend to fish, grill on the beach or go birding, one of the best places you could go is Elmer’s. We are grateful to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for continuing to work with the federal government to get this beach reopened.”

After the noon reopening on Friday, road access to the island opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Boating access is seven days a week.

Although the beach will be open for public access beginning Friday, workers and state officials will continue to monitor the shoreline any signs of oil impacts. Any sightings of oil should be reported to LDWF at 1-800-442-2511.

After Governor Bobby Jindal opened Elmer's as a wildlife refuge and prior to the BP oil spill, thousands of people visited the beach. Since then, the area has played host to locals and tourists alike.  Elmer’s Island is prized as one of the few road accessible beaches in Louisiana. 

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 on, please contact Olivia Watkins at (225)610-8660 or at owatkins@wlf.la.gov.
 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission June Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 05/25/2011

 

May 25, 2011 - The next regular commission meeting will be held at 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, June 2, 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 May 5, 2011 and May 13, 2011

3.       Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.       To consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Opening of Sabine Lake to Commercial Oyster Harvest

5.       To hear Report on State’s Current Reef Program Including a Scheduled of Planned Reefs and Future Plans for Reef   Development and Inshore and Offshore Enhanced Fishing Areas

6.       To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/May

7.       To present public comments on Waterfowl Zone Alternatives

8.       To present Ducks Unlimited Project Progress

9.       To hear an Update on WMA Reforestation Program

10.     Set October 2011 Meeting Date

11.     Receive Public Comments

12.     Adjournment

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issues Over $3,000 In Rewards To Tipsters

Release Date: 05/25/2011

 

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $3,200 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on May 21 at the Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in Woodworth.

The group approved and dispensed cash reward amounts for tipsters who reported wildlife violations that led to 13 subjects being apprehended in wildlife cases.  There were a total of nine cases presented and 33 offenses associated with those cases.  The cases ranged from hunting turkey over bait to the illegal selling of fish.

Louisiana Department Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement LOGT Coordinator Sgt. Will Roberts provided LOGT members with information on each case and a recommendation for reward amounts.

“We depend on LOGT and these public tips to help break a lot of cases that might have otherwise gone unsolved,” Roberts said.  “LOGT provides the incentive for the public to come forward, which is the cash rewards offered for information leading to arrests in these cases.”

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should contact an LDWF enforcement agent or call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Outgoing LOGT Coordinator LDWF Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze, who retired after 34 years of service, was presented a .22 rifle and an outdoor painting in recognition of his service to the organization.  The new LDWF LOGT coordinator is Sgt. Will Roberts.

OGT meets quarterly throughout the year to review cases and dispense rewards.  The next meeting is tentatively scheduled in August.

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

L.D.W.F. Agents Recover The Skin And Head of Black Bear In New Iberia

Release Date: 05/23/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear in the Iberia and Vermilion Parish area.

LDWF agents found a black bear skin and its decapitated head on May 19 off of Daniel Lane near a new subdivision in New Iberia.

Agents believe this bear's skin and head are in connection to an illegally killed black bear that was reported through a public tip over a year ago in the Iberia and Vermilion Parish area.  The public's tip indicated someone had shot a black bear and then skinned and stored the bear in a fashion to mount it in the future.

The bear had been apart of LDWF's black bear program and was first tagged in 2000 when it was estimated to be six years old.  The passive integrated transponder implanted during the initial capture was left in the hide when the bear was skinned and provided positive identification.  LDWF had never received a nuisance call about this older male bear that lived mostly in the Weeks Island area of lower Iberia Parish.

"This is a real shame that someone felt compelled to poach this bear during a time when we are trying our best to restore the Louisiana black bear to a sustainable population," said Maria Davidson, Large Carnivore Program Manager for LDWF.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing or any other wildlife crime should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear.  Callers will also remain anonymous.

"We urge anybody with information about this case to come forward so that we can catch the person responsible for this crime," said Lt. Col. Joey Broussard.  "It is believed that the person that dumped these remains of the bear was scared of being caught and thus got rid of the evidence.  We are hopeful that through the public's help and our existing evidence that we can solve this case."

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

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

Field Science Education Workshops This Week!

University of New Orleans – Coastal Education and Research Facility
and
Southeastern Louisiana University – Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station
Partner to Present Two Environmental Science Teachers’ Field Workshops
With a focus on Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands and the Lake Pontchartrain Estuary

Come join us for an exciting field workshop at each of our two field stations!
THURSDAY, MAY 26 (at UNO CERF) and FRIDAY, MAY 27 (at Turtle Cove)
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Teachers may attend either or both of the workshops

Background
The staff at SLU’s Turtle Cove and UNO’s Coastal Education and Research Facility partnered to develop complementary programs at their two field stations. Recognizing that our two facilities located in the Lake Pontchartrain estuary offer unique learning opportunities for area students, we collaborated to strengthen both of our programs. The result is educational programming and resource materials for teachers and students that can open up an exciting world of exploratory learning to a wide range of ages.

Our field stations
UNO’s Coastal Education and Research Facility (CERF) is a recent addition to the field-based facilities in our area offering educational programs focusing on our coastal wetlands. Located in eastern Orleans Parish, just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans, surrounded by brackish marshes, and equipped with classrooms, canoes and boats, as well as overnight facilities for small groups, this is an ideal place to learn about the importance of our wetlands. We focus on providing active science learning experiences for students in grades 1 – 12 in order to increase awareness and understanding of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

Southeastern's Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station is located on Pass Manchac between Lake's Maurepas and Pontchartrain. The mission of the station is to help facilitate a better understanding of coastal wetland issues by provide facility and equipment support to researchers and educators from around the region who conduct wetland ecology, cypress restoration, and other wetland-related activities in the field. Turtle Cove staff also conduct education and outreach activities such as field trips to K-12 and other community groups. To learn more about program please visit our website at www.selu.edu/turtlecove.

The workshops will include the following activities at both facilities:
Water quality and biological sampling; plant identification exercises; sample learning activities from our Field Trip Guide. There will be opportunities to for teachers who attend both workshops to make comparisons between the habitats at the two field stations. Teachers will also collect data that can be entered into an interactive data web site for long-term use.

Each participant will receive a copy of our Field Trip Guide, which is a compilation of activities and ideas for teachers to use inside and outside the classroom to introduce their students to the study of our coastal wetlands.

Agendas are attached.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 21-27

Release Date: 05/20/2011

 

Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 21-27 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that nearly 74 percent of boating fatalities were people that drown because the person was not wearing a PFD.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

In Louisiana in 2009 alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI on the water or on the road carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

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