LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Nine Cited For Oyster Violations in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 02/09/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited nine men for alleged oyster violations on Feb. 6, 2019 in St. Bernard Parish.
 
Agents cited Emiliano Carvajal, 54, Emilio Carbajal, 48, Leonardo Vega, 39, Juan Ramirez, 28, and Isidro Colunga, 52, all of Houma, Eliazar Martinez, 62, of Houston, Texas, Gary Cotton, 54, of McComb, Miss., Jerry Wells, 46, of Smithdale, Miss., and Willie Bell, 58, of Kenner, for taking undersized oysters from a natural reef.
 
Agents were on patrol on the public oyster seed ground in Lake Borgne near the Halfmoon Island cultch plant when they made contact with the nine men on three separate vessels actively harvesting oysters.
 
Agents inspected their oysters and found the men in possession of undersized oysters that made up more than 15 percent of their entire catch.  All oysters being removed from the public seed grounds must be three inches from hinge to mouth and undersized oyster cannot make up over 15 percent of the entire catch.
 
Agents seized a total of 72 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.
 
Taking undersized oysters from a natural reef carries a up to a $350 fine and 60 days in jail.  Addtionally, the court may order the offender, for one year after the date of such conviction, to harvest oysters only from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system.
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Hogpen Road and Ross Road Reopened in Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 02/08/2019

Feb. 8, 2019 -   The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened Hogpen Road and Ross Road to vehicle traffic at Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
 
Several roads on the WMA remain closed due to flooding, including Catfish Bayou Road, Blount Road, Dobbs Bay Road, Union Point Road, Lincecum Road, Blackhawk Road and Blackhawk Boat Launch. Some ATV trails also remain closed, including Jacks Bayou Trail, Blackhawk Trail, Dobbs Bay Trail, Catfish Bayou Trail, Twin Lakes Trail, Red Shirt Trail, Icebox Trail, Everett Lake Trail, Patton Lake Drain Trail, Chaney Lake Trail and the Catfish Bayou and Patton Lake Handicap Trails.
 
These road closures are deemed necessary to ensure safety and prevent road damage. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect, repair and reopen those roads when deemed safe for travel. 
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15 in lower Concordia Parish.
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/36994 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-735-8682 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-735-8683 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov .
 

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LDWF to Hold Father-Child FUN Camp March 8-10 at Woodworth Outdoor Education Facility

Release Date: 02/08/2019

Participants in a previous FUN Camp.

Feb. 18, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold its annual Father-Child Families Understanding Nature (FUN) Camp March 8-10, 2019 at the Woodworth Outdoor Education facility, south of Alexandria. The camp is open to parents and children from 10-13 years old.
 
The Father-Child camp is generally held in the spring and the Mother-Child weekend in the fall.
 
The camp offers parents and children an opportunity to spend a weekend in the outdoors, re-establishing bonds and honing outdoor skills.
 
Pre-registration is required and space is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is $50 for each family (a parent and child). Each additional child is $25 (limit two children per adult). The fee covers meals, lodging and supplies, including tents, used during the weekend. Bed linens and sleeping bags are not provided.
 
For more information or to obtain a registration form on-line, visit LDWF’s website at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/fun-camp or contact Theresa Cross at tcross@wlf.la.gov or 337-491-2575, extension 3009.
 
 

Sibley Lake fish consumption advisory lifted

Release Date: 02/06/2019

Baton Rouge, LA --  After more than 30 years of sampling lake sediments and fish, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) have lifted the fish consumption advisory for Sibley Lake as of Dec. 21, 2018. The fish consumption ban had been in place since 1989.

“I am proud to see one of our state’s impaired water bodies returned to its designated uses. This was no small feat. The long process to restore Sibley Lake demonstrates the care and commitment of the LDEQ, LDH and LDWF staffs to protecting the public from possible health risks of contamination, and making it safe for everyone to now enjoy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

“This is a singular achievement. It is a victory for environmental remediation, a major battle we have won in the effort to clean all of Louisiana’s waterbodies,” LDEQ Secretary Dr. Chuck Carr Brown said.

“Thanks to a coordinated effort between multiple state agencies, our state, the Sportsman’s Paradise, now has one more body of water in which residents who enjoy fishing can also safely enjoy their catch,” said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, state health officer with the Louisiana Department of Health.

“This is a perfect example of this state’s dedication to cleaning up our waterways. It is a signature environmental achievement that Louisiana can show to the rest of the country,” LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said.

No one currently involved with water quality at a state regulatory agency can recall another instance where a fish consumption advisory issued due to chemical contamination has been rescinded in Louisiana. The decision to lift the fish consumption advisory came after decades of work by the state agencies along with extensive remediation work by Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP). Based on contamination first reported to LDEQ by TGP, LDEQ issued a Compliance Order to the company in August 1988.

“We are very pleased to reach the objective of removing the fish consumption advisory for the future generations of fisherman at Sibley Lake,” said Kimberly Watson, president, Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipelines North Region, which includes TGP. “For 30 years, TGP has been committed to the environmental objectives of this project and appreciates the cooperation of LDEQ, LDH and the LDWF, to achieve this goal.”

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.

 

Registration for the Spring Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops is Now Open!

Release Date: 02/05/2019

 Participants practice their casting and fishing skills during the workshop.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) are teaming up to present two Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops this spring. The workshops are open to women over the age of 18 who are looking to learn about fishing and utilizing Louisiana’s aquatic resources. 

The workshops cover a variety of skills to help make fishing more enjoyable. LDWF biologists and aquatic volunteer instructors will train 30 women per event in fish identification, best fish handling practices, preparing fishing equipment, basic fishing skills, as well as cleaning, storing, and cooking fish.  Fifteen participants will be randomly selected from each course and get the chance to apply their newly learned skills on an overnight weekend fishing trip under the direction of LDWF biologists and volunteer instructors. 
  
Interested women can click HERE to register. Please remember that each Women’s Fishing Workshop will be limited to 30 participants per date. Participants may only attend one workshop. Selected registrants will be notified via email or phone prior to each workshop.   

April 27, 2019 – LDWF Waddill Wildlife Refuge, Baton Rouge

            Registration Open: February 4 – March 15

            Weekend Fishing Trip: May 31 – June 2

 

May 18, 2019 – Kiwanis Club of Alexandria, Pineville

            Registration Open: February 4 – April 5

            Weekend Fishing Trip: June 28 – June 30

Participants must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. To purchase a fishing license, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses-and-permits

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, on Instagram @WLFLA, or on Twitter @LDWF. 

The Women’s Fishing Workshops are hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources. 

Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops are funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Fund, a USFWS grant program that provides grant funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas fish and wildlife agencies for fishery projects, boating access and aquatic education. 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation receives $100,000 grant; plans to assist Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries youth program

Release Date: 02/05/2019

John Kinabrew, an LDWF aquatic volunteer instructor teaches kids the basics of casting and knot tying at Lake Pontchartrain.

Baton Rouge, La. -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation which the organization will use to assist the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries train volunteer instructors to teach youth about fishing and conservation.

The LWFF’s grant will focus on the LDWF’s Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (VIP) which will use the grant assistance to train some 60 instructors to help the agency reach a larger number of youth this year.

“The LWFF financial assistance will help us increase our classroom activities and aquatic education events,” said Danica Williams, LDWF Biologist Program Manager, who administers the VIP program. “Success will mean more individuals being confident as they participate in the outdoors, especially fishing.”

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “We appreciate the significant cooperation that we get from LWFF and the Pennington Foundation toward our mission of educating young people about fishing and how they can help conserve the abundant natural resources of our state for the next generation.”

The LWFF is a nonprofit that helps fund and generate support for LDWF programs.

Persons interested in becoming a volunteer instructor should visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs or contact Alayna McGarry at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Issues Recommendations Regarding Rise in Distemper in Raccoon Populations

Release Date: 02/05/2019

Feb. 5, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has received an increased number of reports about raccoons infected with canine distemper, primarily from Lafayette to the Florida Parishes in southeast Louisiana. Distemper is a virus that infects raccoons, foxes, coyotes, skunks and unvaccinated dogs.
 
The disease does not affect humans. It is more likely to occur when raccoon populations are large or concentrated.
 
The disease is spread among susceptible animals through direct contact with body fluids or droppings from an infected animal. The best prevention for dogs is to make sure they are vaccinated. Contact your veterinarian to make sure your dog’s shots are current.
 
Symptoms of distemper may include discharge from the nose and eyes, a rough coat of hair, seizures, coughing, emaciated appearance and unusual behavior such as disorientation or wandering aimlessly. The animals’ symptoms will become progressively worse and the disease is usually fatal.
 
Distemper is not the same disease as rabies although some symptoms are similar. LDWF advises that children and pets be kept away from sick raccoons and other wildlife. Even though the animal may appear calm, they can become aggressive if approached too closely.
 
To discourage raccoons from your surroundings, LDWF recommends that you remove attractants from your yard and feed pets indoors. If you feed outdoors, bring in feeding bowls right after pets have eaten. Be sure to secure garbage cans so they can’t be knocked over or have their lids removed.
 
Do not feed raccoons. Providing artificial food sources may lead to unnaturally large concentrations of animals and increase the spread of disease.
 
For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/nuisance-wildlife

Gulf Council and NOAA Fisheries Hosting Workshop Feb. 12 Regarding New Electronic Reporting Requirements for Federal For-Hire Fishermen

Release Date: 02/04/2019

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries will be hosting a workshop in Kenner, LA, on February 12, 2019, to inform owners and operators of vessels with federal Gulf charter/headboat reef fish permits or Gulf charter/headboat coastal migratory pelagics permits about new electronic reporting requirements. They will also be providing information on how federal for-hire fishermen can get a free electronic logbook from the Woods Hole Group to comply with these requirements. The workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the La Quinta Inn and Suites, 2610 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70062.   
 
NOAA Fisheries will implement these new requirements in two phases:

  • Phase 1, expected to be implemented on April 15, 2019, will require owners/operators to:
    • Hail-out with information about trip type, expected landing date, time, and location
    • Complete an electronic report for each trip prior to offloading fish, or no more than 30 minutes after completing a trip if no fish are landed.
  • Phase 2, expected to be implemented in October 2019, will require owners/operators to have NOAA Fisheries-approved hardware/software permanently affixed to each permitted vessel that, at minimum, archives the vessel’s GPS location and transmits that data to NOAA Fisheries.

The Gulf Council and NOAA Fisheries will also be sending owners/operators complete instructional packets and conducting webinars on the new requirements as well as hosting additional workshops before Phase 2 is implemented.
 
The Gulf Council approved these changes to improve data collection and fisheries management. NOAA Fisheries has compiled several Frequently Asked Questions on these proposed changes. For more information, contact Chris Schieble at cschieble@wlf.la.gov or 504-284-2035. 

LA Crab Task Force to Meet February 5 at 1:00 p.m.

Release Date: 02/01/2019

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, Chairman

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 1:00pm

UNO CERM Building

2045 Lakeshore Dr., RM 216

New Orleans, LA 70122

AGENDA

 

I.             Pledge of Allegiance

II.            Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

III.            Approval of December 4, 2018 Minutes and February 5, 2019 Agenda

IV.             Financial Report

V.            New Business

A.      To Discuss LCTF Draft Legislative Bills on Escape Rings and Increased Penalties for Certain Violations- LDWF

B.       To Consider a Resolution to Support the Continued Action and Participation by Louisiana in the Effort to Reduce the Gulf Hypoxic Zone- Doug Daigle, Gulf Hypoxia Task Force

C.      To Discuss Changing the Restriction on Crabbing Before Sunrise from ½ Hour to 1 Hour Before Sunrise- CTF

D.     Officer Elections – CTF

E.      To Receive a report on Coastal Fishing Industry Adaptation Workgroups (CFIAW) and the Louisiana Seafood Future- Dr. Robert Twilley, Louisiana Sea Grant Director

VI.            Public Comment

VII.            Set Next Meeting

VIII.            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/8116444599683430145

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.To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.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.

LDWF Makes Delinquent Oyster Lease List Available Online

Release Date: 02/01/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to make public notice regarding the nonpayment of fees related to oyster leases on both its website and in the official journal of the parish in which the delinquent lease is located.

 

As per Louisiana Revised Statute 56:429, any lessee who pays their rent on or after the first day of February owes the rent due plus an additional 10 percent penalty. Failure of the lessee to pay the rent punctually on or before the first of each January, or within 60 days thereafter, terminates and cancels the lease and forfeits to the department all the works, improvements, betterments and oysters on the previously leased water bottom.

 

The list of delinquent leases is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/delinquent-oyster-leases.   Notices will be made by certified mail to each lessee who has not yet paid their rent. The current list shows those lessees who did not provide payment by February 1, 2019.  All fees must be collected for leases by close of business on March 1, 2019.

 

For questions regarding delinquent oyster lease payments, please contact Marc Maniscalco at (504) 284-5277.

 

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 recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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