LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF’s June License to Win! Sweepstakes Winners Announced

Release Date: 07/24/2015

 
(July 24, 2015) – As part of it’s first annual License to Win! promotion, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation awarded five lucky winners for its June saltwater license holder drawing.  Winners drawn on July 1 include Clarence Cobbs, Chad Hartman, James Odom, Stephen Smith and Martin Randall.
 
The winners were among thousands of names entered when they purchased a 2015-16 recreational saltwater fishing license.
 
The sweepstakes includes fives monthly prize winners of a YETI Tundra 45 ice chest, Shimano Curado G-Loomis Combo or gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Texaco and Whole Foods Market.
 
The License to Win! sweepstakes encourages anglers to provide accurate contact information to participate in a survey (LA Creel) that helps LDWF manage their fishery.  LA Creel is the data-gathering survey that allows LDWF biologists to manage our fisheries at localized levels across the state.  The success of LA Creel will not only allow the Department to better manage fisheries, but will ultimately maximize the amount of fishing opportunities for Louisiana anglers. 
 
This promotion has just begun, so visit your nearest license vendor or go online (www.wildlifelicense.com) to purchase your recreational saltwater license to be eligible for next month’s drawing.  The department will continue to select five winners each month, and one lucky angler will take home the grand prize, a 22 foot bay boat, trailer and motor donated by Venice Marina, Mercury Outboards and Mike Gerald’s Trailer Depot.
 
Rules, photos of our winners and additional information can be found at http://www.fishla.org/license-win-sweepstakes/
 
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF. To signup for recreational fishing text alerts go to www.fishla.org/text-alert-sign-up
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 07/23/2015

Fall Shrimp Season

July 23, 2015 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2015 fall inshore shrimp season opening dates.

The season will open in state inside waters at 6 a.m., Monday, August 17.

The Commission set the season based on data presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and public comments.

 

TED and Tow Time Regulations Reminder

During the 2015 regular legislative session, legislators repealed a state law prohibiting LDWF enforcement agents from enforcing federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) laws.  As of August 1, 2015, LDWF agents are authorized to conduct TED inspections aboard shrimp vessels.

Federal TED regulations require any shrimp trawler in the Gulf Area to have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing. However, certain exemptions to these requirements may apply (e.g. vessels without mechanical advantage or power net retrieval, test trawls, skimmer and butterfly nets in compliance with tow time restrictions). A net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp trawler.

Skimmer and butterfly nets are exempt from TED use; however, federal regulations require skimmer and butterfly net fishermen to limit tow times if they do not use TEDs.  The tow time is measured from the time the cod-end of the net enters the water until it is removed from the water.  Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 to October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 to March 31.

 

For a map detailing today’s actions please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons.

 

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages directly to your mobile device visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/textalert-signup.  

 

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.

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Temporary Road Closure on Pearl River WMA

Release Date: 07/23/2015

July 23, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is informing WMA users that Po-Boy Road on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be temporarily closed to all traffic for repair beginning on Monday, July 27, 2015.  Once repaired, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
 
Pearl River WMA is located in southeastern St. Tammany Parish, approximately six miles east of Slidell, LA, and one mile east of Pearl River, LA.  For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789.
 
For more information, contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event Set for Aug. 8 at Sherburne WMA’s South Farm

Release Date: 07/23/2015

Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event Set for Aug. 8 at Sherburne WMA’s South Farm

July 23, 2015 -- A Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8, within the South Farm area of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area.  The South Farm area is located in Iberville Parish and accessible via I-10.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are hosting this seasonal event from 7 a.m. to noon. Wood storks and other wading and shore birds are readily visible at this time due to the management provided by Wildlife Division staff.  A number of large moist soil impoundments are flooded in the fall to provide habitat for water birds, especially shorebirds and waterfowl. Aside from seed bearing herbaceous plants, the developed habitat contains an abundance of small fish and crawfish, ideal food sources for wading birds.
 
The South Farm impoundments are drawn down in mid-summer to enhance the growth of wetland plants for wintering waterfowl. The drawdown  period is extended  almost a month at times due to the size of the impoundments and the management strategy which is focused on providing mud flats and very shallow water with concentrated prey for shorebirds (sandpipers) and wading birds (egrets, herons, spoonbills, storks and ibis).
 
The wood stork is the only stork native to North America. These large wading birds, which can grow to 4 feet tall with a 66-inch wingspan, are an indicator of the condition of our nation’s wetlands. As wetlands disappeared, wood stork numbers also diminished. Although many of these birds are from Mexico, the water management units at the South Farm are becoming more critical habitat for the species survival.
 
With only a few thousand of these birds left in the wild, this event provides an excellent   opportunity for bird watchers, photographers and anyone who enjoys wildlife. The South Farm habitat also attracts alligators, white-tailed deer and many other species of birds. Individuals and professionals will be on hand to discuss the management of the area and provide wildlife identification assistance.
 
Participants are advised to arrive early for improved wood stork viewing opportunities.
 
Driving directions to the South Farm: Take I-10 to the Ramah exit (Exit 135); drive north to the first road on the left, then turn right by the market on Mimms Street; cross the bridge and turn right on the lower Atchafalaya Levee Road, a gravel road. Drive approximately one mile or until you see the “South Farm” sign, cross over the levee and enter the parking lot. Event coordinators will be there to provide additional information.
 
There are no fees associated with this program, but participants are reminded that anyone between the ages of 16 and 60 is required to have either a valid Louisiana
Hunting or Fishing License, or a Wild Louisiana Stamp to visit an LDWF Wildlife Management Area.  These can be purchased at any license vendor selling LDWF hunting or fishing licenses, on-line at http://www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at 1-888-765-
2602.
 
For more information about the South Farm birding event, call the LDWF Wildlife Division Opelousas Field Office at 337-948-0255.
 
 

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LDWF Sets Drawdown for Iatt Lake

Release Date: 07/22/2015

(July 22, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown for giant salvinia control on Iatt Lake in Grant Parish on July 27, 2015. 
 
The previously scheduled drawdown was postponed due to high water levels on the Red River, preventing the lake from draining. 
 
The lake level will be lowered 6 feet below pool stage to allow drying of the lake bottom, concentrating giant salvinia and increasing the effectiveness of herbicide applications.  After evaluation, the water level may be lowered an additional 2 feet. 
 
The control structure will be closed no later than November 5, 2015, to allow the lake to refill.
 
The drawdown is a component of LDWF’s plan to control giant salvinia on Iatt Lake.
Currently, an estimated 3,000 acres of giant salvinia coverage exists. The vegetation management plan for the lake identifies a target of 1,500 acres of giant salvinia coverage for a drawdown to be considered. 
 
Additional benefits of the drawdown include increased control of submerged aquatic vegetation as well improvement to fisheries habitat.   After water levels return to pool elevation, 49,000 triploid grass carp will be stocked into the lake to further assist in submerged vegetation control. 
 
Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.
 
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 additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rmoses@wlf.la.gov or (318) 487-5888.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

Additional Roads Closed on Richard K. Yancey WMA

Release Date: 07/21/2015

July 21, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area users that Hogpen Lake Road, Lac-A-Sostien Road, Goose Lake Road, Blount Road, Catfish Bayou Road, and Ross Road from the Crowfoot to Long Bayou, are currently closed to all traffic due to high water.  Dobbs Bay Road and all roads on the east side of the Mississippi River levee remain closed at this time.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares.  Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect the roadways and reopen for traffic if deemed safe for travel. 

Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Hwy. 15 in lower Concordia Parish. 
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidirne@wlf.la.gov .
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Temporary Road Closure on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 07/21/2015

July 21, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is informing WMA users that Alligator Bayou Rd. on Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is currently closed to all traffic for repair.  Once repaired, vehicular traffic will be allowed.

Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .
 

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LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/21/2015

(July 21, 2015) – In an effort to control aquatic vegetation, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will open the water control structure on Lake Bistineau near Minden on August 3, 2015, for a lake drawdown. 
 
Current estimates include 1,781 acres of giant salvinia coverage in the 17,000-acre lake, reaching the threshold necessary for a lake drawdown as identified in the Department’s Lake Bistineau Management Plan.
 
The lake will be lowered at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day, not to exceed a maximum drawdown level of 7 feet below normal pool stage.  The control gates will close no later than January 15, 2016, to allow the lake to refill.
 
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.  Caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 
 
For further information regarding the drawdown, contact LDWF Biologist Manager Jeff Sibley at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066, ext. 1.
 
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, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River

Release Date: 07/20/2015

LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River
LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River
LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River

 

July 20, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today released  juvenile Alligator Snapping Turtles into the Calcasieu River Basin as part of a reintroduction program for this species.  The release was made from Sam Houston Jones State Park north of  Lake Charles. 

The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) has experienced significant population declines throughout its range.  It is a Species of Conservation Concern in the state of Louisiana, and is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the Louisiana State Wildlife Action Plan: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/wildlife-action-plan .

A determination of whether or not to list the Alligator Snapping Turtle under the Endangered Species Act is scheduled for 2017 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). LDWF has begun to address conservation issues affecting this species in an effort to reduce the need for federal listing.  Commercial harvest of the Alligator Snapping Turtle has been banned since 2004 in Louisiana, although recreational take is still allowed. It appears that the greatest threat to alligator snapping turtle populations in the state is the lack of juvenile recruitment. 

Since 2012, LDWF has operated a head start program for Alligator Snapping Turtles at the Monroe hatchery facility. The purpose of this program is to ensure a reliable source of turtles for release to supplement populations in the wild. By head starting these animals in captivity, survival rates should increase significantly as the juvenile animals will be too large for many potential predators.

For additional information on Alligator Snapping Turtles, visit this link: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/fact_sheet_animal/32234-Macrochelys%20temminckii/macrochelys_temminckii.pdf .

For more information on the release, contact Amity Bass at 225-765-2975 or abass@wlf.la.gov or Bo Boehringer at 225-938-6391or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

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.

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Photo 1 – Alligator snapping turtle.

Photo 2 – LDWF Natural Heritage Program Manager Amity Bass prepares to release an alligator snapping turtle at Sam Houston Jones State Park.

Photo 3 – LDWF Natural Heritage Program Manager Amity Bass and LDWF Secretary Robert Barham prepare to release alligator snapping turtles at Sam Houston Jones State Park.

 

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Four Men Found Harvesting Oysters in Closed Area

Release Date: 07/20/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested four men for alleged oyster harvesting violations on July 19 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Samuel Dobson, 35, of Houma, Spencer Callahan, 22, of Houma, Luciano Desendez, 42, San Leon, Texas, and Dean Porche, 37, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation.  The captain of the vessel, Dobson, was also cited for violating log book and running light requirements.

On the evening of July 19, LDWF agents were on patrol when they observed a vessel in the Sister Lake Seed Reservation actively dredging for oysters.

Agents stopped the vessel and found the four men in possession of two sacks of oysters.  Agents seized the vessel, oyster dredges and returned the oysters to the water.  The men were booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

With this latest violation Dobson violated the terms of his probation, which prohibited him from being on an oyster harvesting vessel for 10 years.  Agents cited him on Dec. 18, 2014, for harvesting oysters from Sister Lake.  He pleaded guilty on May 19, 2015.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the 2014/15 season.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Violating the running light requirement brings up to a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  Violating the logbook sanitation code requirements carries up to a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

Agents participating in this care are Sgt. Ted Dewitt, Senior Agent Ryan Breaux, Senior Agent Thomas Wolf and Senior Agent Richard Bean.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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