LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament to be Held in Shreveport on April 5-6

Release Date: 03/19/2019

Competitors in the 2018 ALAS State Tournament

March 19, 2019 – More than 1,200 student archers from 50 schools will compete in the 2019 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament on April 5-6 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Students will be competing for $20,000 in scholarships and a chance to advance to the national tournament.
 
The event, which begins at 7 p.m. on April 5 and 8 a.m. on April 6, is open to the public. Admission fee is $5 for adults and free to those 17 years old and younger. The tournament runs throughout the day with the awards ceremony set for 7 p.m. This year’s state tournament will include both bullseye and 3-D competitions. Students qualified for the state tournament in two regional events held in January and February.
 
Volunteers to assist at this year’s event are still being recruited. To volunteer, please contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 
The ALAS program, administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), is part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), which teaches international target archery skills to students in grades 4-12. About 200 schools and 24,000 students in Louisiana participate in the program. Nationally, more than 14,000 schools and 2.4 million students take part in the NASP program.
 
The 2019 ALAS State Tournament is made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors: NASP, Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, ENLINK Midstream, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation-Louisiana Chapter, Hoot & Holler Archery, LSU AgCenter,  Morrell Targets, H&E Equipment Services, Bass Pro Shops, Quality Deer Management Association-South Branch, Homeland Security, Academy Sports, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Y-Not Stop and Outlaw’s BBQ.
 
ALAS has grown rapidly since May of 2012 when about 35 schools participated. The program is offered in all parts of the state from rural to metropolitan areas.
 
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are available to assist with equipment purchases. For more information about the ALAS program, contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 

LDWF to Host Open House on March 30 at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery

Release Date: 03/18/2019

LDWF to Host Open House on March 30 at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery
LDWF to Host Open House on March 30 at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to open its doors to the public at its Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery for an open house. The event will highlight the production of Florida largemouth bass. Visitors will also learn about the bass spawning process and view largemouth bass eggs, fry and plankton. Native paddlefish fry will also be available for viewing.   
 
When:   Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 
Where: Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery, 10 Joan Stokes Road, Forest Hill, La.
 
Background: Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery is the premier hatchery facility in the state, with its greatest emphasis on the rearing of Florida largemouth bass.
 
For more information, please call (318) 748-6914. A map including directions to the hatchery is available here.

 

LDWF Attorney Alvin F. Landry Promoted to Lt. Colonel in U.S. Army Reserves

Release Date: 03/18/2019

LDWF Attorney Alvin Landry

March 18, 2019 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) attorney Alvin F. Landry has been promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.
 
Landry, who has been with LDWF for three years, is the leader of the Baton Rouge Team of the 2nd Legal Operations Detachment, a multi-state Reserve unit headquartered in New Orleans.
 
Landry has served in the Armed Forces Reserves as a Judge Advocate General since 2004. He also served as an assistant district attorney for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and as an administrative law judge in Louisiana and has maintained a private practice for more than 22 years.
 
At LDWF, Landry primarily handles civil restitution cases, public records requests, policies, wildlife and fish advisory groups and task forces, general litigation and land matters.
 
Landry is the son of the late Frederick Gatz "Pete" Landry and Betty Prejean Landry of Brusly.
 
 

LDWF to Issue 2nd Emergency Oyster Season Reopening for Bedding Purposes

Release Date: 03/15/2019

LDWF to Issue 2nd Emergency Oyster Season Reopening for Bedding Purposes

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will reopen the oyster season in designated portions of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds for bedding purposes only. This additional opening will allow limited harvest of the resource prior to potential oyster mortality. Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist in these public oyster seed grounds, and with the influx of freshwater from the Bonnet Carré Spillway, depression of salinity may result in significant oyster mortalities.
This season will reopen for bedding purposes in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne (St. Bernard Parish) and Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish), within areas designated by the Louisiana Department of Health Areas 1 and 2. This opening is for bedding purposes only and will begin at one half-hour before sunrise on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, and will close at one half-hour after sunset on Thursday, March 21, 2019.
 
The following areas will open:

  • the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound within the areas of LDH Harvest Area 1 and 2;
  • The following cultch plants shall remain closed for the special bedding season:
    • Mississippi Sound (2011) – St. Bernard Parish
      • 30 degrees 07 minutes 17.56 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 27 minutes 52.39 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 07 minutes 26.94 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 27 minutes 36.20 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 07 minutes 07.11 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 26 minutes 45.48 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 06 minutes 40.93 seconds N
      • 89 degrees 27 minutes 14.09 seconds W
    • 3 Mile Pass (2013)- St. Bernard Parish
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.09 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 32.52 seconds W
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 18.00 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 06.30 seconds W
    • 30 degrees 03 minutes 30.49 seconds N
    • 89 degrees 22 minutes 38.17 seconds W

 
The special bedding-only season described above will open with the following provisions:

  • For the areas currently designated as “closed” by LDH, the following rules shall apply: The area is opening to allow for the permitted transplant or relay, of live oysters for bedding purposes only. Oysters may only be transplanted from the area within the public oyster seed grounds described above which are currently closed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). All individuals found harvesting in this area must possess a valid LDH Oyster Transplant Permit.
  • For the areas designated as “open” according to LDH: these areas are currently open for market size harvest, and no permit is needed.

 
The following provisions apply to all harvesters during the special bedding season:
·         A vessel is limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both
·         If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Public Oyster Seed Grounds described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.
·         The harvest of seed oysters from a Public Oyster Seed Ground or reservation shall be for the purpose of moving the live oyster resource. The removal of more than 15 percent of non-living reef material in bedding loads is prohibited. All vessels shall allow on-board inspection and sampling of seed oyster loads by LDWF biologists and/or agents.
·         No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters for bedding in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds described above shall have onboard his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market. Harvesters shall be limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both.
·         No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he/she harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds described above.
·         Any individual actively harvesting oysters in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds designated as “closed” by LDH shall be properly permitted for such transplant by LDH in accordance with the state sanitary code.
 
To view a map of the current oyster closure areas see above.
The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Jack Montoucet to adjust oyster seasons on a limited basis in emergency situations.
Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health for public health concerns.
For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-735-8726 or via e-mail at cbourque@wlf.la.gov.
Applications for transplant permits may be obtained between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact the Louisiana Department of Health, Molluscan Shellfish Program at 225-342-7653.

LDWF: Early draft of study shows speckled trout numbers down; new evaluation underway

Release Date: 03/14/2019

March 14, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reassessing the state’s stock of speckled trout.  An earlier preliminary, but incomplete draft indicated that the stock was overfished and landings had decreased to their lowest levels in recent years.

LDWF says those preliminary findings are going through a re-evaluation and finalization process that will take several months. The department also says while the numbers have actually decreased, they do not necessitate a need to make immediate changes in the number of speckled trout anglers can take.

“It will probably not affect speckled trout limits for the 2019 season as there are additional management steps to be taken between a draft stock assessment and any final regulation change,” said Patrick Banks, LDWF Assistant Secretary for Fisheries. “We will have a better sense of where we are when the stock assessment results are compiled, evaluated and finalized. But, we do know that the stock’s numbers have dropped.”

 LDWF will bring the finalized stock assessment that will include potential management options to improve the status of the stock at a future commission meeting. The analysis will include several possible recommendations, including, but not limited to, bag and size limit modifications.  The public will also have ample opportunity to comment during commission meetings and public hearings prior to any management changes being finalized by the Commission.

LDWF Announces Bussey Brake Reservoir Public Meeting

Release Date: 03/13/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public meeting to provide an update on the progress of renovations at Bussey Brake Wildlife Management Area Reservoir. Meeting topics will include work completed, status of current projects and future management goals for Bussey Brake. Following the presentation, the public will be provided with the opportunity to ask questions.
 
Who: LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff 
 
What: Public meeting on renovation of Bussey Brake WMA Reservoir 
 
When: Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at 7 p.m. 
 
Where: City of Bastrop Visitor Center
              124 N. Washington St.
              Bastrop, LA 71220
 
This meeting is open to the public, and all persons interested in the proposed conservation and management activities on the WMA are encouraged to attend.
 
For additional information regarding this meeting, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rdaniel@wlf.la.govor (318) 371-3066.

 

Sherburne WMA South Farm Closed for All Public Use Due to Flooding

Release Date: 03/12/2019

March 12, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) South Farm for all public use due to flooding.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on the South Farm area. Once water recedes and necessary repairs have been made, the farm will be re-opened for public use.
 
Sherburne WMA South Farm is located in Iberville Parish, approximately one mile north of Ramah.
 
For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2763 or contact Tony Vidrine, tvidrine@wlf.la.gov 337-735-8682 or Steven David, sdavid@wlf.la.gov at 337-735-8683.
 

LDWF to Reopen Oyster Season for Bedding Purposes

Release Date: 03/11/2019

LDWF to Reopen Oyster Season for Bedding Purposes
LDWF to Reopen Oyster Season for Bedding Purposes

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will reopen the oyster season in designated portions of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds for bedding purposes only. This will allow limited harvest of the resource prior to potential oyster mortality as a result of the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway and the high flow of the Atchafalaya River. Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist in these public oyster seed grounds, and with the influx of freshwater, a potential decrease in salinity levels may result in significant oyster mortalities.
 
The season will reopen for bedding purposes in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne (St. Bernard Parish), a portion of Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish) and a portion of the Atchafalaya Bay (St. Mary Parish) Public Oyster Seed Grounds, within areas designated by the Louisiana Department of Health Areas 1, 2, and 25. This opening is for bedding purposes only and will begin at one half-hour after sunrise on Thursday, March 14, 2019, and will close at one half-hour after sunset on Saturday, March 16, 2019.
 
The following areas will open:

  • The Public Oyster Seed Grounds west of longitudinal line 89 degrees 28 minutes 00.000 seconds W., within the areas of LDH Harvest Area 1 and 2 west of the longitudinal line
  • A portion of the Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche Bay/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds, as described in LAC 76:VII.507 and LAC 76:VII.509 within Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Area 25 currently open for harvest of oysters for market sales

The special bedding-only season described above will open with the following provisions:

  • For the areas currently designated as “closed” by LDH, the following rules shall follow: The area is opening to allow for the permitted transplant or relay, of live oysters for bedding purposes only. Oysters may only be transplanted from the area within the public oyster seed grounds described above which are currently closed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). All individuals found harvesting in this area must possess a valid LDH Oyster Transplant Permit.
  • For the areas designated as “open” according to LDH: these areas are currently open for market size harvest, and no permit is needed.

The following provisions apply to all harvesters during the special bedding season:

  • A vessel is limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both.
  • If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Public Oyster Seed Grounds described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.
  • The harvest of seed oysters from a Public Oyster Seed Ground or reservation shall be for the purpose of moving the live oyster resource. The removal of more than 15 percent of non-living reef material in bedding loads is prohibited. All vessels shall allow on-board inspection and sampling of seed oyster loads by LDWF biologists and/or agents.
  • No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters for bedding in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds described above shall have onboard his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market. Harvesters shall be limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both.
  • No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he/she harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds described above.
  • Any individual actively harvesting oysters in the Public Oyster Seed Grounds designated as “closed” by LDH shall be properly permitted for such transplant by LDH in accordance with the state sanitary code.

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Jack Montoucet to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.
 
Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health for public health concerns.
 
For more information, please contact Carolina Bourque at (337) 735-8726 or via email at cbourque@wlf.la.gov.
 
Applications for transplant permits may be obtained between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact the Louisiana Department of Health, Molluscan Shellfish Program at (225) 342-7653.

LWFC Amends Light and White-Fronted Geese Hunting Season in NOI for 2019-20 Hunting Seasons Rules and Regulations

Release Date: 03/11/2019

March 11, 2019 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted Thursday (March 7) to amend light geese and white-fronted geese hunting season in the proposed notice of intent for the 2019-20 hunting seasons, rules and regulations during its monthly meeting in Woodworth.
 
The commission voted to decrease the number of available hunting days from 88 to 74 and increase the daily bag limit of white-fronted geese from two to three. The daily bag limit for light geese, which includes snow, blue and Ross geese, remains at 20.
 
The first season split will begin Nov. 16, 2019, and run through Dec. 8, 2019, with the second season split set to begin Dec. 14, 2019, running through Feb. 2, 2020. These seasons will be in effect in both the north and south zones.
 
The Conservation Order for light geese will run from Dec. 9-13, 2019, for the first split then Feb. 3-March 15, 2020. There is no daily bag or possession limit during the Conservation Order.
 
To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment can be submitted in writing by mail to: Tommy Tuma, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ttuma@wlf.la.gov.
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov.
 

A Letter to the Editor Regarding Catahoula Lake, by LDWF Secretary Montoucet

Release Date: 03/08/2019

A Letter to the Editor Regarding Catahoula Lake, by LDWF Secretary Montoucet

Catahoula Lake court decision must be reversed for the good of La.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries stands in strong support of the State’s effort to reverse a court decision that could devastate the opportunity of Louisiana citizens to fish, hunt or recreate in much of the Catahoula Lake area.

The ripple effect of the ruling is of even more concern. Copycat lawsuits could be on the horizon that could eliminate public fishing and hunting areas across the state and have a negative economic effect on some rural communities.

This ruling is contrary to over 200 years of public access on Catahoula Lake. And, if it stands, it will forever change what has traditionally been a treasured resource.

Catahoula Lake stretches into LaSalle and Rapides parishes in the Central part of the state. Covering 46 square miles, it is the largest natural freshwater lake in the state. The site is popular with anglers and is recognized internationally as a concentration area for birds and waterfowl.

At issue is a ruling from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in December of 2018, declaring that the area known for centuries as Catahoula Lake was actually a stream and not a lake.  Therefore, the adjacent landowners, not the state, are the proper owners of the majority of the lake’s inundated water bottoms.  The state attorney’s office has asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to reverse the lower court decision.

The attorney general said, if the ruling is not changed, it would not only jeopardize “the public’s right to access and use many Louisiana waterways for hunting, fishing, and habitat conservation – the suit also potentially could cost the State’s taxpayers tens of millions of dollars” in legal fees, along with the loss of oil and mineral rights.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and I agree.

To remove Catahoula Lake from public access could negatively affect waterfowl in the state because it would limit LDWF’s ability to manage water levels that are key to habitat management.

LDWF’s Waterfowl Program Manager said that Catahoula Lake and areas nearby provide a great food resource and roost sites for ducks. Some 1,500 duck hunters could be affected if the ruling stands.

A less discussed effect of the ruling is the financial loss to mom and pop stores, restaurants, gasoline sales, motels and sporting goods stores in the affected communities that depend on the financial shot in the arm they get during fishing and hunting seasons.

Left as is, we feel the ruling would not only hurt Louisiana’s sportsmen, but also communities that so desperately need the income derived from hunting and fishing.

 

 

Jack Montoucet

Secretary

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

 

 

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