LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Thursday at 1:00 PM

Release Date: 02/12/2018

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Thursday, February 15, 2018, 1 p.m.

2000 Quail Dr., Louisiana Room

Baton Rouge, LA 70808

 

I. Pledge of Allegiance 
II. Roll call and introduction of guests 
III. Approval of December 12, 2017 Minutes and February 15, 2018 Agenda 
IV. Treasury Report
     A.       Oyster Tag Sales
     B.       LOTF Financial Report
V. Committee Reports
     A. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)
     B.       Enforcement (Major Chad Hebert)
     C.       Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)
     D.      Research (Earl Melancon)
     E.       Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)
     F.       Marketing (LDWF)
     G.       Health (Justin Gremillion)
     H.      Sustainability (LDWF)
     I.         Professionalism (LDWF)
    J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)
    K.      Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)
VI. New Business
    A. Discussion and Update on the 17/2018 Oyster Season- LDWF
    B. To Hear a Brief Biological Overview on the Sabine Lake Oyster Reef- LDWF
    C. To Hear an Update on the Oyster Shell Recycling Program and Upcoming Events- Deb Abibou (CRCL)
    D. Request for OTF Participation in a Diversion Panel Forum at the 2018 LFF Summit- Earl Melancon (LA Sea Grant)
    E. Discussion of an Oyster Commercial to Highlight the Industry’s Environmental and Coastal Conservation Efforts- Mitch Jurisich (OTF)
    F. Discussion of Using Drone Operation with GPS Coordinates to Assist in Oyster Enforcement- Willie Daisy (OTF)
    G. To Consider Funding for the 2018 ‘Let the World Be Your Oyster’ Event- OTF
VII. Public Comment
VIII. Set Next Meeting
IX. 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/8012792530992770817

 

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.

 

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 the contact at the top of

 

this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

Come out to the 71st annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival at New Orleans City Park on Saturday, March 24

Release Date: 02/08/2018

Come out to the 71st annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival at New Orleans City Park on Saturday, March 24

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is getting ready for the 71st annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans City Park on Saturday, March 24. With a fishing category for every age and a family friendly Fishtival, there’s sure to be something for everyone.  This year’s event will include the Battle for the Bass student fishing tournament and Boats on the Bayou non-motorized tournament on Bayou St. John. 

 

The Big Bass Rodeo is a catch-and-release fishing tournament for anglers targeting the largest bass. For junior anglers (ages 12 and under), the rodeo includes competitive categories for heaviest bass and heaviest cichlid, bream, or perch.

 

The Battle for the Bass Tournament is back again for their third year to encourage a fun and friendly school competition. Students in grades 7 through 12 will represent their respective schools in teams of up to five anglers and will battle it out for the heaviest two-bass combined weight. The winning team will take home bragging rights for the year as well as a 3-foot trophy to display at their school. The first 50 students to register will receive a weigh bag donated by Berkley.

 

Boats on the Bayou is open to anglers with kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft and offers four competitive categories. All participating anglers will be entered to win a kayak, courtesy of Massey’s Professional Outfitters. Massey’s will also offer the opportunity for anglers to reserve a free kayak for the event. For anglers that have always wanted to participate in Boats on the Bayou but didn’t have a kayak, now is your chance! Kayak rentals are limited so signup early to reserve yours today.

 

The Fishtival will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the grandstand area in front of Morning Call on Dreyfous Avenue in City Park. The event will feature music as well as educational and hands-on activities for kids. LDWF mascot Robbie the Redfish will be on hand for photo opportunities. Event raffle prizes include a kayak donated by Academy Sports and Outdoors, charter fishing trips, along with tons of fishing gear and other items.

 

Online registration is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on March 22. For more information or to register online, visit www.bigbassfishingrodeo.com. Registration fees vary depending on division. Contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov with questions.

 

A recreational fishing license is required for participants 16 years and older. To purchase a license online, click HERE.

 

 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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Amends Proposed Notice of Intent for 2018-19 Hunting Seasons Rules and Regulations

Release Date: 02/02/2018

Feb. 2, 2018 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted Thursday (Feb. 1) to make several amendments to the proposed notice of intent for the 2018-19 hunting seasons, rules and regulations during its monthly meeting in Baton Rouge.
 
The commission voted to alter the season structure for deer hunting areas 5 and 7.
 
The new proposed dates for Deer Area 5 will occur earlier within the normal season framework, beginning with primitive firearms season, which will start Nov. 10, 2018.
 
The beginning and closing of archery season is all that will be affected in Deer Area 7. It will open Sept. 15, 2018, and close Jan. 15, 2019. The adjustment will allow Deer Area 7 to run concurrent with deer areas 3, 8 and 10.
 
An amendment to allow gill and trammel nets for commercial fishing on Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) passed as did an amendment to close Bussey Brake WMA to all activities until further notice.
 
To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings through April 5 or may be submitted directly to Tommy Tuma, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA., 70898-9000 or via e-mail to ttuma@wlf.la.gov through April 3.
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov.
 
 

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LDWF Public Meetings Set for February, March on Proposed Hunting Seasons and WMA Rules and Regulation Changes

Release Date: 02/02/2018

Feb. 2, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold six public meetings around the state to present and gather comments on the proposed 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 hunting season, 2018-2019 general and WMA hunting seasons, rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season rules and regulations and the 2018-2019 migratory bird hunting season rules and regulations.
 
Public comment will be taken on all items currently under consideration as notices of intent by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The meeting dates and locations include:
 
Feb. 20 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Minden Office, 9961 Highway 80, Minden;
 
Feb. 23 (Friday) at 6 p.m. at the LSU Ag Center Building, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles;
 
Feb. 26 (Monday) at 6 p.m. at the Ponchatoula High School library, 19452 Highway 22, Ponchatoula;
 
Feb. 27 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at the Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 Third Street, Alexandria;
 
Feb. 28 (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette;
 
March 1 (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Monroe office, 368 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe.
 
To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment will be accepted through April 5 at LWFC monthly meetings or may be submitted directly to Tommy Tuma, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA., 70898-9000 or via e-mail to ttuma@wlf.la.gov through April 3.
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF, Illinois DNR Support Effort to Utilize Invasive Asian Carp

Release Date: 02/01/2018

LDWF, Illinois DNR Support Effort  to Utilize Invasive Asian Carp

Feb. 1, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is supporting Silverfin™ Group, Inc., headed by Chef Philippe Parola, in its history-making effort to process the first invasive species into a value-added product for human consumption.

The product, fish cakes called Silverfin (also known as Asian carp), was on display at a recent product launch press conference at the University of Illinois. Chef Parola and Dr. Dawn Aubrey, Food Service Director for the University of Illinois, spearheaded the event. The product will be distributed nationally, primarily by SYSCO food distributors. 

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet and Bill Sherman from the Louisiana Lt. Gov.'s Office were guest speakers. Other attending the event were Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois Chief of Fisheries Dan Stephenson and University of Illinois Chancellor Dr. Robert J. Jones. 

Chef Philippe selected Illinois as the jump-start to launch his Silverfin™ fish products because of the serious problems the state is having with Asian carp.

Asian carp have also invaded Louisiana waterways, including Lake Pontchartrain, Vermillion Bay, Lake Verret and many of Louisiana’s rivers, canals and bayous. Asian carp can tolerate low salinity environments and therefore are a threat to our recreational and commercial fisheries throughout Louisiana. 

Asian carp can weigh up to 100 pounds. They eat large amounts of plankton each day.  Plankton is the base of the food chain for all aquatic life. So many Asian carp eating so much plankton daily will inevitably displace native aquatic species such as fish, frogs, crustaceans, mollusks and vegetation. 

“We see this effort by Chef Parola as a means of limiting the expansion of this unwanted species in the waterways of Louisiana,’’ Montoucet said. “If it can be turned into jobs for Louisiana while at the same time fighting the growth of the species, then it is a win-win for us.

“However, LDWF’s primary goal continues to be eradication of all destructive invasive species in Louisiana.”

Parola said, "Silverfin, or Asian carp, are natural proteins and a good source of vitamin B12, Omega-3 and many other healthy nutrients,’’ Parola said. “There is no better time to introduce a new and healthy domestic wild-caught fish product on American dining table, especially when the entire world is facing a wild-caught exhaustible commercial fisheries that now includes the popular Atlantic cod."

“Those Asian Carp cooked into Silverfin fish cakes surely won’t reproduce anymore,” Dr. Dawn Aubrey said.  

IMMINENT DANGER!  

Asian carp are known for jumping out of the water in large quantities when the water is agitated by boat motors. Due to their size and quantity, these jumping carp are extremely dangerous to boaters and water sports enthusiasts. Many injuries and a few fatalities have been blamed on Asian carp jumping out of the water. This threat is so severe that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has warned that collisions between boaters and jumping carp can potentially cause human fatalities. 

The Asian carp population in the Mississippi River Basin is growing fast and virtually unstoppable. An adult female Asian carp can spawn more than 1 million eggs per year with up to 80 percent of those eggs hatching and surviving. In the rivers of the northern states of the Mississippi River Basin, including Illinois, studies show that there are 35 tons of Asian carp per river mile.  Another 10-15 years of non-action, will put Louisiana in a similar situation.

Working closely with LDWF and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Silverfin™ Group’s “Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em” project will make eating this invasive fish a reality. Silverfin™ Group’s solution is to commercially harvest Asian carp, branded as Silverfin™, process it into Silverfin™ Fish Cakes, a value-added fish product for human consumption, and distribute it nationally, with SYSCO as the first primary distributor, to institutional food marketplaces such as restaurants, caterers and colleges/universities. 

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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

The mission of Silverfin™ Group is to provide the solution for the Asian carp that is threatening the aquatic eco-system of the entire Mississippi River Basin. By promoting commercial harvest of Asian carp throughout the entire Mississippi River Basin, we will reduce their population to minimize their threat so they can coexist with native species, minimize water sports accidents caused by jumping carp, create much-needed jobs, revitalize commercial fisheries, stimulate local economies and provide a clean and healthy fish product for consumers.

 

 

LDWF Makes Delinquent Oyster Lease List Available Online

Release Date: 02/01/2018

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 were made by certified mail to each lessee who had not yet paid their rent. The current list shows those lessees who did not provide payment by February 1, 2018.  All fees must be collected for leases by close of business on March 1, 2018.

 

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.

 

 
 

LDWF Launches Online Ordering for Oyster Hatchery Larvae

Release Date: 01/30/2018

(January 30, 2018) – Beginning at 8 a.m., CST, Tuesday, Feb. 06, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will launch an online ordering portal to provide the oyster industry with hatchery-reared oyster larvae and seed produced at the Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery.

Requests will only be accepted via the online ordering portal and will be filled based on the order that they are received. Priority will be given to in-state larvae orders. Requests made in writing or by phone will not be accepted. Larger orders may be reduced or split by the department based on availability of larvae and seed.

Payment will not be required at the time of requests. LDWF will contact those requesting hatchery products at a later date for payment.

 

The online ordering form can be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commercial-oyster by clicking the “Larvae Order Form” button or can be accessed directly by clicking this link: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/oyster-larvae-order-form.

 

For more information, or for assistance with completing the form, contact Program Development at 225-765-3980, 1-855-262-1764, or at Oversightprograms@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.la.gov . To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup .

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet Pledges Agency Support for At-risk Youth Program

Release Date: 01/30/2018

January 30, 2018 – Minutes after touring the AMIKids facility for at-risk youth located in rural Branch, LA, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet pledged that LDWF would be bringing programs to the boys living there.

 

“We have an obligation to give these young people an opportunity to make changes in their lives. We have the opportunity to do it right now,” Montoucet said, adding that programs are on their way.

 

Montoucet’s comments came after three youth offenders led him and LDWF staff on a tour of the facility. The three boys described the various parts of the facility and gave the visitors a view into their lives and the others at the residential campus. The LDWF staff also met with teachers in classrooms.

 

AMIkids Acadiana, in Acadia Parish, partners with the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice to accept troubled youths assigned to its residential facility. The AMIkids is part of a state and national network of facilities with the goal of empowering kids to overcome their troubled past.

 

AMIkids Acadiana provides services to 36 students between the ages of 12-18 at the Branch facility. The juvenile offenders may be at the facility from several months to more than a year.

 

AMIkids Acadiana Executive Director Issac Williams introduced Montoucet to a number of the boys at the facility as they toured the classrooms, living quarters, cafeteria and recreation area.

 

He explained that the boys occasionally get a chance to fish, but having assistance from LDWF would enhance the outdoor experience. They have a few other activities they can receive for good conduct and work in the classrooms. “I think a partnership with (LDWF) could mean so much more for these boys,” Williams said.

 

Some of the possibilities mentioned by LDWF include archery, hiking, overnight stays at the agency’s research facilities and the establishment of on-campus outreach educational programs.

 

“With some of these things we can plant a memory with them that can stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Montoucet, an avid fisherman and hunter. He committed to Williams that his staff will develop and execute an activity plan for the facility. 

 

Montoucet also said that LDWF would explore the possibility of introducing outreach activities at AMIkids other facilities in the state.

 

Williams said he is “excited” about Montoucet’s pledge and foresees a great working relationship.

 

“I really appreciate Mr. Montoucet recognizing a tremendous opportunity to educate our students on how to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and respectful manner,’’ Williams said. “Furthermore, I truly believe that if our kids can pick up a hobby or take a liking to fishing and wildlife, it may have a positive effect on our recidivism.” 

 

Maggie Gladden, AMIkids Regional Development Officer, said: “Partnering with LDWF here at Acadiana and our other two Louisiana-based programs will be a wonderful benefit to our operations and more importantly the youth we serve. The potential for additional learning activities outside of the classroom will further strengthen our efforts to help at-risk youth find a brighter tomorrow.”

 

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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 

 

 

AMIkids is a national nonprofit organization that serves at-risk youth in 44 local programs in nine states throughout the country. Since 1969, AMIkids has empowered more than 135,000 boys and girls from across the nation, helping to transform their lives and guide them towards a bright future. For more information, visit: AMIkids.org 

LDWF Announces Road Closure in Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 01/30/2018

Jan. 30, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Dobbs Bay Road to vehicle traffic at the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding. Water levels have increased on Dobbs Bay Road due to recent heavy rainfall.
 
Other roads on the WMA will remain open. Dobbs Bay Road will reopen to traffic once waters level fall to acceptable levels and necessary repairs are made.
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA, which consists of 70,872 acres, 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 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at sdavid@wlf.la.gov or at 337-948-0255.

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Agenda for the February Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 01/29/2018

The next regular commission meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

AGENDA:

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call

4. Adoption of January 4, 2018 Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6. Enforcement Report January 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist Director

8. Consider amendments to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist Director

9. To inform LWFC of other 2018-2019 Federal public land hunting seasons – Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Biologist Director

10. Update on Louisiana black bear management – Maria Davidson, Wildlife Biologist

11. To Receive the Stock Assessment Report for Striped Mullet – Jason Adriance, Biologist

12. Set June 2018 Commission Meeting Date

13. Receive Public Comments

14. Adjournment

 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1855119496543179009 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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 the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

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