LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Additional Red Snapper Opportunity Available to Wounded, Disabled Vets for the 2nd Consecutive Year

Release Date: 10/11/2019

For the second consecutive year, Gov. John Bel Edwards joins the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA), and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA) in announcing a special red snapper season for wounded and disabled military veterans to help catch the remaining recreational red snapper allotment.

“Like last year, I hope our veterans will have fun and productive days on the water,” said Gov. Edwards. “It’s great to once again have the partnership of LDWF, LDVA, and CCA to make this happen for our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
 

Recent LA Creel landing estimates indicate that 49,315 pounds of the 816,439-pound quota are available for harvest. A portion of this remaining quota will be set aside for these veterans.

The fishing opportunity will be through permit only and is limited to state waters out to nine nautical miles from shore.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “The Governor, my staff and these great partners are eager to help our wounded veterans in any way we can. Thank you for your service to our country.” 

LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland says he appreciates everyone that helped make this fishing opportunity available to veterans again this year. “We know that alternative therapy programs and outdoor activities, like fishing, have proven to be beneficial to both building veterans’ camaraderie and to their healing,” he said. 

“CCA and our members are honored to once again participate in this special program aimed at providing fishing opportunities to wounded veterans,” said David Cresson, CEO of CCA Louisiana.  “It is a privilege to give back to these heroes who have sacrificed so much for all of us.”

The final catch number estimates are based on the state’s Louisiana Recreational Creel Survey (LA Creel) which uses a combination of data gathered through interviews at public fishing areas and weekly phone and email surveys..

The fishing opportunity will end no later than Dec. 31, or when the remaining red snapper quota is caught.

Anyone wishing to assist or participate in this special opportunity for veterans can contact Collette Foret with the Wounded War Heroes organization via email at info@woundedwarheroes.org.  Please include the words “Red Snapper” in the subject line of the email.

 

 

Fort Polk-Vernon WMA and Peason Ridge WMA to be Closed Oct. 26-27 Due to Military Training

Release Date: 10/10/2019

Oct. 10, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is notifying users that Fort Polk-Vernon and Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) will be closed the weekend of Oct. 26-27 due to military training by the U.S. Army.
 
Fort Polk-Vernon WMA is located in central Vernon Parish near Leesville. Peason Ridge WMA is located in northern Vernon Parish, southeastern Sabine Parish and southwestern Natchitoches Parish near Simpson.
 
For more information on these WMAs, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma, or the US Army Joint Readiness Training website, https://home.army.mil/polk/index.php/my-Fort-Polk/fort-polk-huntin, or contact Wendell Smith at 337-491-2575 or wsmith@wlf.la.gov.
 

Oyster Task Force Aquaculture Committee to Meet October 16, 10:00 a.m.

Release Date: 10/10/2019

Oyster Task Force Aquaculture Committee
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 10:00 A.M.
Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70898
 
AGENDA
 
I. Call to Order
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Introductions
IV. Adopt the Agenda
V. To Discuss the Criteria for Designating Alternative AOC Leasing Areas- OTFAC
VI. To Hear an Update on the Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting- OTFAC
VII. To Hear a Presentation on the Grand Isle Hatchery- LDWF/ Sea Grant
VIII. To hear a presentation on Rules for Trip Ticket Reporting and How to Fill Out Trip Ticket Forms - LDWF
IX. Public Comment
X. Set Next Meeting
XI. Adjourn
 
The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq. The public is invited to attend. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2531164130152819211
 
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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Recreational Red Snapper Season to Reopen for the Next Three Weekends

Release Date: 10/09/2019

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet signed a declaration of emergency to reopen the recreational red snapper season for the next three weekends.  The Friday to Sunday dates will be:

 

  • 12:01 a.m. Friday, October 11 through 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 14
  • 12:01 a.m. Friday, October 18 through 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 21
  • 12:01 a.m. Friday, October 25 through 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 28

Recent LA Creel landing estimates indicate that 49,315 pounds of the 816,439-pound quota are available for harvest to our anglers, not including landings from the weekend of October 4-6, where landings are as yet not available.  However, early indicators of effort (electronic reporting of red snapper trips, numbers of dockside interviews of anglers in LA Creel surveys, offshore wave height, etc.) all indicate another weekend of landings low enough to allow this extension.

For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.

The department urges anglers’ voluntary participation in its electronic reporting program to improve recreational harvest data collection. To learn how to participate in voluntarily reporting your catch, please reference the appropriate link below, depending on the make of your cellular device.

ROLP mobile app (Android phone)
ROLP mobile app (iPhone)

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.la.gov . To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Leads Volunteer Effort at Capitol Lakes Clean-Up Day

Release Date: 10/08/2019

Oct. 8, 2019 – Capitol Lakes is a stone’s throw from Louisiana’s Governor Mansion and provides a respite for many state workers during the day who walk along the trails by the waterbody. But Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards, wife of Gov. John Bel Edwards, noticed trash accumulating in the lakes.
 
She mentioned the problem to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet, wondering what could be done. That set in motion Tuesday’s (Oct. 8) Capitol Lakes Clean-Up Day. With LDWF as the lead department, employees from several state agencies worked from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday removing debris and trash from the lake in LDWF boats and along the shore.
 
“One of the first things I gained a true appreciation of when I become LDWF Secretary is just how vital habitat is for fish and wildlife,’’ Montoucet said. “And that’s why LDWF is so committed to cleaning up our state in any way we can.’’
 
“When Mrs. Edwards suggested it, I knew it was another opportunity for us to promote a safe and healthy environment for the users of our state resources,” he said. “I want to thank everyone from our department and other agencies who assisted us.’’
 
Many bags of trash were collected during the event, as well as old tires, fishing line, chairs and other debris.
 
“The lake is enjoyed by not only those who walk along the shores but also many species of animals and birds who call it home,” said LDWF Outreach Coordinator Carrie Salyers who supervised the effort. “I think our group of volunteers feel very good about what we accomplished today.”
 
LDWF reminds the public not to pollute when enjoying Louisiana’s Sportsman’s Paradise. “It’s very easy to bag up your trash and dispose of it properly,” Salyers said.
 
For photos and video from Tuesday’s Capitol Lakes Clean-Up Day, go to https://ldwf.canto.com/v/CapitolLakeCleanup .
 
 

LDWF Artificial Reef Program’s Master Plan Addresses Loss of Shallow-water Platforms Along Louisiana Coast

Release Date: 10/07/2019

(October 7, 2019) - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet have announced the LDWF’s Artificial Reef Program will help Louisiana anglers by preserving offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico where oil and gas platforms in less than 100 feet of water are being removed. 

LDWF’s Artificial Reef Program (Reef Program) recently presented a master plan to the Louisiana Artificial Reef Development Council (Artificial Reef Council) that would preserve more of the platforms that remain and restore habitat that has been lost. With critical input of anglers and conservation partners, the Reef Program identified hundreds of potential artificial reef sites—both existing and lost platforms where anglers have been highly successful catching fish.

Platforms further offshore are prime fishing sites for red snapper, amberjack and grouper.  Species such as spotted seatrout, sheepshead, and croaker are often found around platforms in shallower waters.

These platforms provide hard structure that is attractive to fish and otherwise not easy to find in the northern Gulf.  But international law and federal regulation require their removal when production of oil and gas ends and the mineral lease expires.

The Reef Program accepts oil and gas platforms as artificial reefs, but it has been difficult to reef the platforms in less than 100 feet water, for technical and financial reasons.

The Reef Program established a quarter nautical mile development and buffer zone around each of the favorite sites to reduce potential impacts on shrimp trawling.  The Reef Program staff, led by Artificial Reef Program head biologist Mike McDonough, also analyzed shrimp trawl effort data to ensure historical trawl activity within the zones was minimal.

The master plan and shrimp trawl analysis were presented to the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force for comments and suggestions. Suggestions were minimal and adjustments were made.

The potential artificial reef sites stretch from Cameron Parish to Plaquemines Parish, from three miles to 58 miles from shore, and will likely take many years to complete.  However, the master plan is now in place and will serve as a guidance document for recreating and maintaining important fisheries habitat in shallow-water areas off the coast of Louisiana.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioner Chad Courville and Rad Trascher from the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Louisiana assisted in developing the plan. Their work soliciting favorite platforms from anglers helped ensure the master plan reflected angler preference while keeping impacts to other user groups at a minimum.

The Artificial Reef Program has already established several shallow-water reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, recently completing the South Marsh Island 233 West & East Reefs, also known as the Beaulieau Reefs, and Vermilion 119 & 124 Reefs, also known as the Rawls Reefs, in partnership with CCA Louisiana and St. Mary Parish-based DLS Energy.  These reefs serve as initial steps in completing this plan with more projects to be developed in the future.

 

Sherburne Shooting Range to Have Intermittent Closures Oct. 14-18 During Lead Recovery Operations

Release Date: 10/07/2019

Oct. 7, 2019 – The Sherburne Shooting Range will experience intermittent closures on the rifle and pistol ranges from Oct. 14-18, LDWF announced. The skeet, trap, and archery ranges will be available as normal during this time.
   
Range users are encouraged to contact the Lafayette Regional Office at 337-262-2080 for relevant closure information prior to visiting the range during these dates.
 
For more information on the Sherburne Shooting Range, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/shooting-range/sherburne-shooting-range.
 

Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force to Meet Oct. 10 at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 10/07/2019

Oct. 7, 2019 – The Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force will meet Thursday (Oct. 10) at 9 a.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building in the Joe Herring Louisiana Room.
 
The task force was created by Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 during the 2016 regular session of the state legislature to develop ideas and recommendations to deal with the state’s feral hog problem.  
 
Attached is the agenda for the meeting:                               
 
                                                Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force
Meeting Agenda
10 October 2019
9AM
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
 
 
I.          Call to Order
 
II.        Roll Call
 
III.       Announcements and Introductions
 
IV.       Approval of meeting minutes – 11 July 2019
 
V.        Old Business
           
VI.       New Business
 
VII.     Public Comments
 
VIII.    Adjournment
 

Hunters Asked to Use Caution Near Logging Operations on Thistlethwaite WMA

Release Date: 10/04/2019

Oct. 4, 2019 – Hunters using the Thistlewaite Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Limited Use Area (LUA) are asked to use caution due to logging operations in the 345 acre tract, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. The LUA is directly across from the gas plant and extends from Peckham Road on the west to the pipeline on the south, Rice Field Road on the east and Plant Road on the north.
 
For the safety of both hunters and loggers, LDWF is asking hunters not to hunt near or approach the logging operations when in the area. The LUA is for small game hunting with shotguns only and archery only deer hunting.
 
Thistlethwaite WMA is located in north central St. Landry Parish, immediately northeast of Washington, off Louisiana Highway 10.
 
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2755 or contact Tony Vidrine at  tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or 337-735-8682 or Steven David at sdavid@wlf.la.gov or  337-735-8683.
 

LDWF Asking for Public’s Assistance in Reporting Sightings of the Eastern Spotted Skunk

Release Date: 10/02/2019

LDWF Asking for Public’s Assistance in Reporting Sightings of the Eastern Spotted Skunk

Oct. 2, 2019 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is asking for the public’s help as it seeks to gather information on the eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius). There has been no confirmed sighting of this species, once common in Louisiana, in more than 30 years.
 
Anyone who sees the skunk is asked to report the sighting to LDWF. The sightings can be from roadkill, game cameras or inadvertent catch from fur trapping.
 
“At one time, the eastern spotted skunk was much more abundant than it is now,” said LDWF biologist Jennifer Hogue-Manuel. “We’re hoping that the public can assist us by reporting any sightings of this species.’’
 
The eastern spotted skunk is about the size of a large eastern gray squirrel. It has an upside down triangle on its forehead and narrow white stripe beneath its eyes. Two stripes run diagonal across the hip with a few white spots on its rear end. Its tail is bushy, white underneath and at the tip.
 
The striped skunk, easily identified in Louisiana because it is so common, has two white stripes down the back with a long, fluffy black tail.
 
To report sightings and for more information, contact Jennifer Hogue-Manuel at 337-735-8674 or e-mail sighting information to jhogue-manuel@wlf.la.gov. You can also upload observations to the Eastern Spotted Skunk Project at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/eastern-spotted-skunk.
 

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