L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Chevron Recognized for Supporting Whooping Crane Re-introduction

Release Date: 08/08/2014

Chevron Recognized for Supporting Whooping Crane Re-introduction
Chevron Recognized for Supporting Whooping Crane Re-introduction

Aug. 8, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) recognized Chevron on Aug. 7 for three years of financial support provided for the department’s whooping crane reintroduction project which began in 2011.
 
In a ceremony at Thursday’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge, commission members, department staff and meeting attendees were briefed on the value of the $400,000 in Chevron grant funding and all that it has provided from 2012 through 2014.
 
“Chevron chose to make a social investment in southwest Louisiana and this project presented an ideal opportunity,” said Robert Love, LDWF Coastal and Nongame Resources Division administrator. “Re-establishing the whooping crane within Louisiana’s ecosystem involves not only specialized research tools but a lot of people power and teamwork. Success and sustainability also requires raising public awareness and appreciation of the birds’ presence and educating our young citizens, as well as our farmers, on the importance having of this iconic and charismatic species back on the landscape. The Chevron grant funding was vital in each of these project components.”
 
“Chevron Gulf of Mexico recognizes the importance of protecting biological diversity – the rich variety of life on Earth, its ecosystems and species, and the ecological processes that support them,” said Sakari Morrison, Chevron Gulf of Mexico General Manager of Public Affairs. “For this reason, we are a proud and active partner in support of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Department and their work to reintroduce whooping cranes to Louisiana and educate the public on the importance of wildlife protection.”
 
The grant funding has provided for satellite transmitter equipment and associated communications costs for tracking the movement of the whooping cranes released from LDWF’s White Lake Wetland Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish. Biologists plot the birds’ movement, habitat selections and adaptive behavior as they adjust to life in the wild.
 
Supporting LDWF’s efforts, the LWFF has coordinated receipt and dispersal of grant funds for stewardship, public outreach and educational purposes. Kell McInnis, LWFF executive director, presented a signed print of the Chris Davis’ wildlife portrait “Taking Flight” to Morrison in appreciation of the corporate support provided for the project.
Grant funds have additionally been utilized for a public outreach media campaign designed to alert the public that the birds are now on the Louisiana landscape, they should be observed from a distance if spotted and LDWF should be notified if anyone witnesses cranes being harmed.  Billboards have been produced, as well as television and radio announcements, to deliver these messages.
 
A third key component funded by the Chevron donation provides lesson plans and classroom tools that have been made available to Louisiana middle and high school teachers through educational workshops. Teachers then deliver endangered species information to students to foster an appreciation for non-game species and awareness of the significance of LDWF’s and its partners’ efforts.
 
The whooping crane, a very vulnerable species, was found in south Louisiana until their demise during the late 1800s and early 1900s when little conservation ethic was in existence and conversion of prairies and marsh lands to agriculture acreage became a trend. Since 2011, LDWF has soft released 50 isolation-reared, juvenile cranes provided by the US Geological Survey Research Center in Patuxent, Md., into rural southwest Louisiana, and 29 survive today.  Nesting pairs within that experimental population have produced the first eggs in the wild in over 70 years, but no fledglings have resulted as yet.
 
The recovery plan goal is for Louisiana to reach a subpopulation of 25-30 productive pairs, which translates to about 130 cranes in Louisiana. This process could take 15 to 20 years. To learn more about Louisiana’s whooping crane population, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/information . To contribute to the whooping crane project or any LDWF initiative, go to the LWFF website at http://lawff.org .
 
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .
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*photo 1 – (left to right) La. Wildlife & Fisheries Foundation Executive Director Kell McInnis, Chevron Gulf of Mexico General Manager of Public Affairs Sakari Morrison, LDWF Secretary Robert Barham and LDWF Coastal and Nongame Division Administrator Bob Love gather after Aug. 7 LWF Commission meeting recognition for Chevron’s contributions to Louisiana’s whooping crane re-introduction project.
 
*photo 2 – LDWF’s whooping crane recovery team gather with Chevron’s Sakari Morrison (front row center) following Aug. 7 LWF Commission meeting.  Team members (front row, left to right) Dr. Sammy King, USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at LSU Ag Center; Sara Zimorski, LDWF Project Biologist; Morrison; Venise Ortego, La. Environmental Education Commission Coordinator; Phillip Vasseur, LSU Ag Center Research Associate; (back row, left to right) Buddy Baker, LDWF Coastal and Nongame Division Biologist Director ; Kell McInnis, La. Wildlife & Fisheries Foundation Executive Director; Charles Smith, LSU Ag Center Research Associate; Bob Love, LDWF Coastal and Nongame Division Administrator; and Chad Gaspard, LDWF Technician.
 

UPDATED: LWF Commission Sets 2014-2015 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 08/08/2014

UPDATED: LWF Commission Sets 2014-2015 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Additional oyster season information in red text below

Aug. 7, 2014– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2014/2015 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - the Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Tambour, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise.  No harvest of oysters for market sales is allowed on any public oyster area prior to the second Monday in October.  Therefore, any and all vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds between September 3, 2014 and October 12, 2014 shall be harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the harvest vessel.
  • Monday, October 20, 2014 - all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including Lake Borgne, Bay Junop, Lake Mechant, the Lake Machias/Fortuna sacking-only area, the Bay Long sacking-only area, and a sacking-only area in Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish) west of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W and east of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 29 minutes 0.0 seconds W will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 
     
  • Monday, October 27, 2014 - the oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH Harvest Area 30) will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 

During the 2014/2015 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

  1. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:
    1. Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel, except for Lake Mechant and Bay Junop in Terrebonne Parish where the limit shall be 40 sacks per vessel, and except for the West Cove of Calacsieu Lake where the limit shall be 10 sacks of oysters per person per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R. S. 56:440.  The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes.  The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit.
    2. 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 on the same day.
  2. If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds or reservations 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 following areas shall remain closed for the 2014/2015 oyster season:

  • Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds
  • The east side of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (LDHH Harvest Area 29)
  • Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area
  • 2011 cultch plant in California Bay within the following coordinates:

California Bay (2011) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 40.42 seconds N
    89 degrees 34 minutes 03.19 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 30 minutes 27.18 seconds N
    89 degrees 33 minutes 21.85 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 29 minutes 54.99 seconds N
    89 degrees 33 minutes 20.24 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 30 minutes 02.74 seconds N
    89 degrees 34 minutes 03.93 seconds W
  • 2012 cultch plants in Lake Fortuna, and Bay Crab, and the 2013 cultch plants in 3-Mile Pass and Drum Bay within the following coordinates:

Bay Crab (2012) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 41.72 seconds N
    89 degrees 36 minutes 22.86 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 34 minutes 31.45 seconds N
    89 degrees 35 minutes 48.68 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 34 minutes 08.12 seconds N
    89 degrees 36 minutes 07.94 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 34 minutes 23.03 seconds N
    89 degrees 36 minutes 43.20 seconds W

Lake Fortuna (2012) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 39 minutes 08.04 seconds N
    89 degrees 30 minutes 28.93 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 38 minutes 33.31 seconds N  
    89 degrees 29 minutes 15.45 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 38 minutes 10.57 seconds N
    89 degrees 29 minutes 40.71 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 39 minutes 04.41 seconds N
    89 degrees 30 minutes 32.61 seconds W

3-Mile Pass (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.09 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 32.52 seconds W
  2. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W
  3. 30 degrees 03 minutes 18.00 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 06.30 seconds W
  4. 30 degrees 03 minutes 30.49 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 38.17 seconds W

Drum Bay (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 53 minutes 13.00 seconds N
    89 degrees 17 minutes 40.21 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 53 minutes 16.51 seconds N
    89 degrees 16 minutes 51.12 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 52 minutes 56.17 seconds N
    89 degrees 16 minutes 49.80 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 52 minutes 53.99 seconds N
    89 degrees 17 minutes 40.43 seconds W

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public 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 and Hospitals for public health concerns.

To view the maps and other oyster season information please visit:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons

Certain areas remain closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities. To view those areas visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

Bart Yakupzack New L.W.F.C. Commissioner

Release Date: 08/08/2014

Bart Yakupzack New L.W.F.C. Commissioner

Aug. 8, 2014 -- Governor Bobby Jindal announced Aug. 7 the appointment of Bart Yakupzack to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC).
 
Yakupzack, of Lake Charles, is an attorney with the Gray Law Firm in Lake Charles. Yakupzack is on the Board of Directors for the Chamber Southwest Louisiana and is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, the Coastal Conservation Association, and the LSU FWF Alumni Association.
 
LWFC members welcomed Yakupzack at their monthly meeting in Baton Rouge on Thursday. He will fill the at-large member vacancy on the commission and serve through April 30, 2019.
 
Yakupzack is a lifelong resident of south Louisiana, which has been his family’s home for over four generations, and where he and his wife Kathryn are raising their two children.  He received both a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries, and a law degree from Louisiana State University.  He has practiced oil and gas and land management related law for over 10 years.
 
The LWFC was created to protect, conserve, and replenish the natural resources and wildlife of the state, including all aquatic life. The commission has the authority to establish definite management programs and policies and to approve and accept all contracts at its discretion.
 
According to the statute, the commission is comprised of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to senate confirmation. Members include three residents of the coastal parishes of the state who are representatives of the commercial fishing and fur industries and four members from the state at-large.
 
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

UPDATED: LWF Commission Sets 2014-2015 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 08/08/2014

UPDATED: LWF Commission Sets 2014-2015 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Additional oyster season information in red text below

Aug. 7, 2014– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2014/2015 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - the Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Tambour, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise.  No harvest of oysters for market sales is allowed on any public oyster area prior to the second Monday in October.  Therefore, any and all vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds between September 3, 2014 and October 12, 2014 shall be harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the harvest vessel.
  • Monday, October 20, 2014 - all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including Lake Borgne, Bay Junop, Lake Mechant, the Lake Machias/Fortuna sacking-only area, the Bay Long sacking-only area, and a sacking-only area in Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish) west of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W and east of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 29 minutes 0.0 seconds W will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 
     
  • Monday, October 27, 2014 - the oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH Harvest Area 30) will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 

During the 2014/2015 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

  1. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:
    1. Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel, except for Lake Mechant and Bay Junop in Terrebonne Parish where the limit shall be 40 sacks per vessel, and except for the West Cove of Calacsieu Lake where the limit shall be 10 sacks of oysters per person per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R. S. 56:440.  The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes.  The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit.
    2. 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 on the same day.
  2. If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds or reservations 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 following areas shall remain closed for the 2014/2015 oyster season:

  • Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds
  • The east side of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (LDHH Harvest Area 29)
  • Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area
  • 2011 cultch plant in California Bay within the following coordinates:

California Bay (2011) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 40.42 seconds N
    89 degrees 34 minutes 03.19 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 30 minutes 27.18 seconds N
    89 degrees 33 minutes 21.85 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 29 minutes 54.99 seconds N
    89 degrees 33 minutes 20.24 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 30 minutes 02.74 seconds N
    89 degrees 34 minutes 03.93 seconds W
  • 2012 cultch plants in Lake Fortuna, and Bay Crab, and the 2013 cultch plants in 3-Mile Pass and Drum Bay within the following coordinates:

Bay Crab (2012) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 41.72 seconds N
    89 degrees 36 minutes 22.86 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 34 minutes 31.45 seconds N
    89 degrees 35 minutes 48.68 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 34 minutes 08.12 seconds N
    89 degrees 36 minutes 07.94 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 34 minutes 23.03 seconds N
    89 degrees 36 minutes 43.20 seconds W

Lake Fortuna (2012) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 39 minutes 08.04 seconds N
    89 degrees 30 minutes 28.93 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 38 minutes 33.31 seconds N  
    89 degrees 29 minutes 15.45 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 38 minutes 10.57 seconds N
    89 degrees 29 minutes 40.71 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 39 minutes 04.41 seconds N
    89 degrees 30 minutes 32.61 seconds W

3-Mile Pass (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.09 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 32.52 seconds W
  2. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W
  3. 30 degrees 03 minutes 18.00 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 06.30 seconds W
  4. 30 degrees 03 minutes 30.49 seconds N
    89 degrees 22 minutes 38.17 seconds W

Drum Bay (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 53 minutes 13.00 seconds N
    89 degrees 17 minutes 40.21 seconds W
  2. 29 degrees 53 minutes 16.51 seconds N
    89 degrees 16 minutes 51.12 seconds W
  3. 29 degrees 52 minutes 56.17 seconds N
    89 degrees 16 minutes 49.80 seconds W
  4. 29 degrees 52 minutes 53.99 seconds N
    89 degrees 17 minutes 40.43 seconds W

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public 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 and Hospitals for public health concerns.

To view the maps and other oyster season information please visit:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons

Certain areas remain closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities. To view those areas visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

Commission Sets Tentative 2014-2015 Migratory Waterfowl Season Dates

Release Date: 08/08/2014

Aug. 8, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted Thursday to tentatively adopt proposed season dates, bag limits and shooting hours for the 2014-15 migratory waterfowl season.  The dates will be ratified by a declaration of emergency from the Commission, after approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended a 60-day season for ducks, coots and mergansers in the three zones in place for the 2014-15 hunting season. Shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until sunset.
 
In the West Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 15 and close on Dec. 14.  The second segment will open on Dec. 20 and run through Jan. 18.  In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 22 to Dec. 7.  The second segment will start Dec. 13 and end Jan. 25. In the Coastal Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 15 and close on Dec. 7, and the second segment will open on Dec. 20 and run through Jan. 25.
 
Youth waterfowl hunts will be held Nov. 8 and Jan. 24 in the West Zone, Nov. 15 and Jan. 31 in the East Zone, and Nov. 8-9 in the Coastal Zone.
 
The daily bag limit on ducks is six and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, one canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, three scaup and two redheads.
 
The daily bag limit on coots is 15.  The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded mergansers.  The merganser limits are in addition to the daily bag limit for ducks.
The possession limit on ducks, coots and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit.
 
Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season.  The first segment in the West Zone will open on Nov. 15 and close on Dec. 14.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 20 to Feb. 1.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 8 and run until Dec. 7.  The East Zone second segment will run from Dec. 13 to Jan. 25.  In the Coastal Zone, the season on light and white-fronted geese will be Nov. 15 to Dec.14 and Dec. 20 to Feb. 1. The daily bag limit on light geese is 20, with no possession limit.  The daily limit on white-fronted geese is two, with a possession limit of six, however when the Canada goose season is open, the limit on white-fronted and Canada geese will be three per day in aggregate of which no more than two can be white-fronted.
 
The Canada goose season in the West Zone will open on Nov. 15 and close on Dec. 14.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 20 to Jan. 31.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 8 and run until Dec.  7.  The East Zone second segment will run from Dec. 13 to Jan. 25.  In the Coastal Zone, the first segment will be Nov. 15 to Dec.14 and the second segment will run Dec. 20 to Jan. 31.
 
There will not be a Canada goose season in a small area of southwest Louisiana. That closure zone includes the following area: Beginning at the Texas state line, proceeding east along Hwy 82 to the Calcasieu Ship Channel, then north along the Calcasieu Ship Channel to its junction with the Intracoastal Canal, then east along the Intracoastal Canal to its juncture with LA Hwy 82, then south along LA Hwy 82 to its juncture with Parish road 3147 to Freshwater  Bayou Canal, then south to the Gulf of Mexico, then west along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas state line, then north to the point of beginning at LA Hwy 82. Open waters of Lake Arthur and the Mermentau River, from the Hwy 14 bridge southward, will also be closed to Canada goose hunting.
 
The daily limit for Canada geese is three dark geese of which no more than two can be white-fronted geese.  The possession limit is nine for Canada geese.
 
The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will open the first segment in the West Zone on Dec. 15 and run to Dec. 19, and the second segment will run from Feb. 2 to March 1.  The first segment in the East Zone will run from Dec. 8 to Dec. 12, and the second segment will run from Jan. 26 to March 1.  The first segment in the Coastal Zone will run from Dec. 15 to 19, and the second segment from Feb. 2 to March 1.  During this time, only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken and daily bag and possession limits are eliminated.  The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is allowed.  Shooting hours during the Conservation Order begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until one-half hour after sunset.
 
Rails and gallinules may be taken from Nov. 15 to Jan. 7 in addition to the 16-day teal season, Sept. 13-28.  For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 45.  Sora and Virginia rails have a daily limit of 25 in the aggregate and a possession limit of 75.  Gallinules have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 45.
 
Snipe season will open in the West Zone with the first segment from Nov. 8 to Dec. 14, and the second segment from Dec. 20 to Feb. 27. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 8 to Dec. 7, with a second segment running Dec. 13 to Feb. 27.  The coastal zone’s first segment is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 7 and second segment is from Dec. 20 to Feb. 27.  The daily bag limit is 8 and the possession limit is 24.
 
Shooting hours for snipe are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except at the Spanish Lake Recreation Area in Iberia Parish where shooting hours, including the Conservation Order, end at 2 p.m.
 
An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 3 to Feb. 1.
 
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.louisiana.gov.
 

LWF COMMISSION SETS 2014-2015 LOUISIANA OYSTER SEASONS

Release Date: 08/07/2014

Aug. 7, 2014– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2014/2015 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.
The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - the Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Tambour, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise.  No harvest of oysters for market sales is allowed on any public oyster area prior to the second Monday in October.  Therefore, any and all vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds between September 3, 2014 and October 12, 2014 shall be harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the harvest vessel.
  • Monday, October 20, 2014 - all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including Lake Borgne, Bay Junop, Lake Mechant, the Lake Machias/Fortuna sacking-only area and the Bay Long sacking-only area, and a sacking-only area in Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish) west of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W and east of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 29 minutes 0.0 seconds W will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 
  • Monday, October 27, 2014 - the oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH Harvest Area 30) will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 

During the 2014/2015 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

  1. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:
    1. Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel, except for Lake Mechant and Bay Junop in Terrebonne Parish where the limit shall be 40 sacks per vessel, and except for the West Cove of Calacsieu Lake where the limit shall be 10 sacks of oysters and daily trips limited to 1 per person or per vessel per day.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R. S. 56:440.  The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes.  The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit.
    2. 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 on the same day.
  2. If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds or reservations 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 following areas shall remain closed for the 2014/2015 oyster season:

  • Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds
  • The east side of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (LDHH Harvest Area 29)
  • Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area
  • 2011 cultch plant in California Bay within the following coordinates:

California Bay (2011) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 40.42 seconds N

            89 degrees 34 minutes 03.19 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 27.18 seconds N

            89 degrees 33 minutes 21.85 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 29 minutes 54.99 seconds N

            89 degrees 33 minutes 20.24 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 02.74 seconds N

            89 degrees 34 minutes 03.93 seconds W

  • 2012 cultch plants in Lake Fortuna, and Bay Crab, and the 2013 cultch plants in 3-Mile Pass and Drum Bay within the following coordinates:

Bay Crab (2012) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 41.72 seconds N

            89 degrees 36 minutes 22.86 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 31.45 seconds N

            89 degrees 35 minutes 48.68 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 08.12 seconds N

            89 degrees 36 minutes 07.94 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 23.03 seconds N

            89 degrees 36 minutes 43.20 seconds W
Lake Fortuna (2012) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 39 minutes 08.04 seconds N

            89 degrees 30 minutes 28.93 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 38 minutes 33.31 seconds N

            89 degrees 29 minutes 15.45 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 38 minutes 10.57 seconds N

            89 degrees 29 minutes 40.71 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 39 minutes 04.41 seconds N

           89 degrees 30 minutes 32.61 seconds W
3-Mile Pass (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.09 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 32.52 seconds W

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 18.00 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 06.30 seconds W

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 30.49 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 38.17 seconds W
Drum Bay (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 53 minutes 13.00 seconds N

            89 degrees 17 minutes 40.21 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 53 minutes 16.51 seconds N

           89 degrees 16 minutes 51.12 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 52 minutes 56.17 seconds N

            89 degrees 16 minutes 49.80 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 52 minutes 53.99 seconds N

           89 degrees 17 minutes 40.43 seconds W
 
For a map detailing todays actions please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons.
 
Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public 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 and Hospitals for public health concerns.
 
Certain areas remain closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities. To view those areas visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/07/2014

Fall Shrimp Season

 
Aug. 7, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2014 fall inshore shrimp season opening dates.
 
The season will open as follows:
 
One-half hour before sunrise -  Monday, August 18 - inside waters from the western shore of the Atchafalaya River and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line
 
6 p.m., Monday, August 18 – state inside waters east of the Atchafalaya River
 
For a map detailing today’s actions click here:
 
The Commission set the season based on recommendations presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments from the public. However, certain areas are still closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Maps of the areas that remain closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.
 
Preliminary Louisiana shrimp landings statistics provided by NOAA Fisheries Service indicate that approximately 17.7 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-off weight) were landed in Louisiana from January through June, 2014.
 
Tow Time Regulations Reminder
 
Federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations require skimmer net fishermen to limit tow times.  Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 to October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 to March 31.
 
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.
 
For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov
 
 

Women Perfect Fishing Skills at Tag Louisiana Workshops

Release Date: 08/06/2014

Women’s Fish Tagging Workshop participants receive hands-on instructions on cleaning speckled trout.
A participant reels in a big one while fishing during the Women’s Fish Tagging Workshop.

(Aug. 6, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recently hosted two Women’s Fish Tagging Workshops at the Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab where 25 women perfected their angling skills under the supervision and with the assistance of experienced LDWF staff.
 
The program consists of a one-day workshop where angling and fish tagging techniques are taught to women, 18 and older, who may lack either the opportunity or confidence to learn these skills.  Every participant leaves the workshop as a more knowledgeable, independent angler. 
 
Participants were chosen by a lottery drawing  and were required to have previously attended a one-day introductory workshop at the Gonzales Cabela’s in the spring. 
 
The ladies began their weekend learning to rig and bait their own rod and reel, compliments of CCA Louisiana.  LDWF biologists led inshore fishing trips, providing a hands-on opportunity for the participants to utilize the skills previously learned.   Additional activities included fish cleaning, cooking fish, fish ageing and a tour of research facilities at the lab.
 
The Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, implemented by LDWF in conjunction with CCA Louisiana, aims to improve understanding of marine fish movements, habitat preferences and population size.  The program provides interested volunteer anglers with free, saltwater fish tagging kits and focuses on several popular game fish species including redfish, speckled trout, red snapper and yellowfin tuna.  Reports of recaptures are sent to the volunteer tagger, providing details on the distance traveled and growth of the fish.
 
Several of these dedicated “citizen scientists” tag well over 100 fish in the course of a year.
 
The next workshop is scheduled for Spring 2015.  For more information on this program or the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, visit www.TagLouisiana.com , www.facebook.com/Tag.Louisiana or contact Heather David at (225) 763-5415 or hdavid@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, on Instagram @WLFLA, or on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.
 

 

Hunter Education Reminder

Release Date: 08/05/2014

Aug. 5, 2014 -- As hunters begin to prepare for the 2014-15 hunting season, one thing they should not overlook is hunter education.  In the rush to prepare for the hunting season, hunters sometimes overlook the hunter education requirements and find themselves struggling to schedule a class at the last minute.
 
Hunters who have not completed hunter education should review the requirements for Louisiana and any other states where they plan to hunt.  Now is the time to register for a class and avoid the last minute rush.
Louisiana law requires that hunters born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, obtain Hunter Education Certification prior to hunting in Louisiana, unless they are under direct supervision of a qualified person.  A qualified person is someone who is a licensed hunter and was born before Sept. 1, 1969, or a person who is 18 years of age or older and has proof of Hunter Education Certification.  Direct supervision means the supervising person is in direct line of sight and within normal voice contact of the hunter they are supervising.
 
The minimum age for Hunter Education Certification in Louisiana is 10 years old.  However, it is a requirement that 10 and 11-year-olds must be supervised while hunting, even if they have received Hunter Education Certification.
 
States have differing hunter education requirements, so hunters planning trips to other states should check the hunter education requirements of their destination state well in advance of their trip.  For instance, hunters traveling to Colorado must have hunter education certification if they were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949.   The Louisiana Hunter Education Certification is honored in all states and Canadian provinces.
 
The Louisiana Hunter Education Certification course is offered in two formats.  The first is a 10-hour classroom format that is usually held over 2-3 days.  The second format, recommended only for students 14 years of age and older, is a home-study format that consists of two parts: an online class that can be taken at the student’s own pace, followed by a 5-hour field day class. Both formats, classroom and home-study, cover firearm and hunting safety, wildlife management principals, ethics, game identification and outdoor survival.  Students must successfully complete a live-fire exercise with either format.
 
There is no fee for the hunter education classroom format.  However, there is a $15 fee to take the online class portion of the home-study format and the fee is paid when the student successfully completes the online class.   
 
Students choosing the home-study format must successfully complete the online class before attending a field day class and successfully complete both parts in order to receive their Hunter Education Certification.  There is a common misconception that the field day class only involves the live-fire exercise.  However, that is only part of the class which also includes hands-on instruction and review of the online material.
 
Hunters who have already received Hunter Education Certification should check to be sure they still have their certification card and should carry it with their hunting license while they are hunting.  Hunter Education Certification does not expire and is good for a hunter’s lifetime.  Duplicate cards can be requested through the department’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education and the hunter will need to enter their name exactly as it appears on their card, their date of birth, and the zip code that appeared on their last card.  Duplicate cards can also be requested by calling 225-765-2932.
 
To register for a Hunter Education Certification course, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education .  From the website, hunters will be able to register for a classroom course, access the online class and register for a field day class.
 
For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .

L.D.W.F. Accepting Applications for Wildlife Management Area Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 08/05/2014

Aug. 5, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for lottery hunts to be held on several Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) this upcoming hunting season.

LDWF is sponsoring the hunts to provide a quality outdoor experience for various hunters.  Disabled veterans, youth and physically challenged hunters, as well as the general public can apply for WMA hunting opportunities including deer, duck and squirrel.

The WMAs offering these hunts include: Bayou Pierre, Buckhorn, Camp Beauregard, Dewey Wills, Floy McElroy, Richard K. Yancey, Sabine, Sherburne and Ouachita.

Successful applicants will be selected by a randomized computer drawing.  Applications for the lottery must be submitted to LDWF before close of business on the date listed on the application. Rules and regulations pertaining to the hunts are also included on the application. A $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application.

Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office or by visiting the LDWF Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts. The applications for Bayou Pierre WMA lottery hunts will be available Aug. 8.

Applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 of the LDWF Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge or by mail.  The mailing address is: Wildlife Division WMA Lottery Hunts, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.

For more information, contact Steve Smith at ssmith@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2359 or 318-487-5885.

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