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LDWF News Release

Sherburne WMA’s South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event on Saturday, July 19

Release Date: 07/08/2014

Sherburne WMA’s South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event on Saturday, July 19

July 8, 2014 -- A Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event will be held on Saturday, July 19, within the South Farm area of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  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 of the year in the South Farm Area.  Additional to 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 left by L&L Grocery on Mimms Street; take first right 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 a state WMA.  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’s Wildlife Division Opelousas Field Office at 337-948-0255.
 
*Wood stork photo provided by the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

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LDWF Agents Recover Missing Boater from Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish

Release Date: 07/07/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are investigating a single vessel incident that claimed the life of a Picayune man on July 5 in St. Tammany Parish.

LDWF agents were notified of a boating incident and a missing boater on the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish around 5 p.m. on July 5. LDWF and St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Deputies began searching that evening, before calling off the search at dusk. The following day, July 6, agents and sheriff’s deputies continued the search.

Agents were able to retrieve the deceased body of James. R Mann, 45, of Picayune, MS the morning of July 7 and turn him over to the St. Tammany Parish Corner’s Office.

According to surviving passenger, Terry L. Jenkins, 49 of Walkiah, MS, the vessel was just up river of the Walkiah Bluff water control structure. The men launched their boat off the bank before starting the engine. As the vessel was adrift, it was caught in a swift current which carried the vessel over the water control structure. Mann was ejected from the vessel and Jenkins jumped out of the vessel in an effort to save Mann. Jenkins was not able to locate Mann. Jenkins then self rescued and called for help.

Neither man was wearing a personal floatation device (PFD).

Along with LDWF and St. Tammany Parish Deputies, Missisippi Wildlife, Fish and Parks assisted as well as the Pine Grove Fire Department.

For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 225-765-3966 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov.

CORRECTED -- Proposed Duck Hunting Dates for 2014-2015 Season Presented to Commission

Release Date: 07/03/2014

Corrected information in red.

July 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission received the proposed duck hunting dates for the 2014-2015 season from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) at their monthly meeting.

The dates presented reflect another 60-day season for Louisiana hunters across the coastal, east and west zones.

The proposed dates and splits for the upcoming season are as follows:

Coastal Zone: Nov. 8 - 30; and Dec. 13 - Jan. 18; Youth Hunt Nov. 1 - 2.

East Zone: Nov. 22 - Dec 7; and Dec. 13 - Jan. 25; Youth Hunt Nov. 15 and Jan. 31.

West Zone: Nov. 15 - Dec. 14, and Dec. 20 - Jan. 18; Youth Hunt Nov. 8 and Jan. 24.

These proposed dates reflect preferences noted in past waterfowl hunter surveys conducted by the Department via mail-out and on-line survey forms.  Final approval of season dates will be made at the August Commission meeting.

The 2014-15 duck season framework provides for a daily bag limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to hunt waterfowl.

For more information or to comment on proposed dates, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov .

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Fishermen Advised of Dangers of Vibrio Vulnificus Bacteria

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising fishermen to be aware of the potential danger of vibrio vulnificus (V. vulnificus) bacteria that can be found in saltwater.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  V. vulnificus can cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulceration. Vv is often called a “flesh eating bacterium”. Persons who are immuno-compromised are at higher risk for invasion of the organism into the bloodstream and potentially fatal complications. V. vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal about 50 percent of the time.
 
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) data indicates there are about 10 to 15 cases per year in the state. The majority get the infection from skin contact with sea water (80 percent) or consumption of raw seafood (20 percent).
 
The CDC and LDHH report that persons who are immuno-compromised, especially those with chronic liver disease, are at risk for Vv when they come in contact with seawater or when they eat raw seafood. A recent study showed that people with these pre-existing medical conditions were 80 times more likely to develop Vv bloodstream infections than were healthy people.
 
Fishermen in saltwater should carry with them basic disinfectant (chlorine bleach mixed 1 part bleach to 4 parts fresh water or tincture of iodine or antibiotic ointment) and use if skin is punctured while handling fishing tackle, bait or fish. Wade fishermen who injure themselves, breaking the skin and exposing a wound to saltwater, need to take the same precautions.
 
If ulceration and rapid swelling around the wound area are noted, attention by a physician as soon as possible is advised. For more information, visit http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov , or http://www.cdc.gov/health/diseases.htm.

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L.W.F.C. Sets 2014-2015 Early Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the dates for the 2014-2015 early migratory bird hunting seasons at their July 3 meeting. These dates, recommended by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), are tentative pending U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval.

The proposed dove season is broken down into a north and south zone with each zone having three segments and includes mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed-turtle doves. The upcoming dove season will provide a 90-day season which adds 20 additional days to hunt doves in Louisiana.

The north zone splits include Sept. 6 – 28; Oct. 11 – Nov. 9; and Dec. 10 – Jan. 15 (the first split provides an extra seven days and the third split provides an extra 13 days more than previous seasons). The south zone splits include Sept. 6 – 14; Oct. 11 – Dec. 3; and Dec. 20 – Jan. 15 (the second split provides an extra 10 days and the third split provides an extra 10 days more than previous seasons).

The dove hunting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on all dates in each split, EXCEPT on Sept. 6 opening day on state wildlife management areas and LDWF leased fields, where the hunting hours will be 12 noon to sunset.

The daily bag limit for mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared-doves and ringed-turtle doves would be 15 in aggregate and possession of 45 in aggregate. However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed turtle-doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.

The following boundary divides the dove season zones: Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Hwy. 12; thence east along La. Hwy. 12 to its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 190; thence east along U.S. Hwy. 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; then east along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.

Blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal season would last from Sept. 13 - 28 with a daily bag limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to harvest teal.

Rail and gallinule seasons are proposed to last 70 days. The first segment would be open from Sept. 13 - 28. The other segment will be set in August with the regular waterfowl seasons. King and clapper rails would have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 45. Sora and Virginia rails would have a daily and possession limit totaling 25. Common and purple gallinules would have a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit totaling 45.

Under the proposal, woodcock season would last 45 days from Dec. 18 - Jan. 31, statewide. A three-bird daily bag limit and a nine-bird possession limit would be allowed.

Snipe season will be set in August.

Shooting and hawking hours for dove, woodcock, rail, teal and gallinules are tentatively set for half an hour before sunrise to sunset, including the first day of dove season on Sept. 6 on private land.  However, the shooting and hawking hours for these species will start at noon on the first day of dove season on state wildlife management areas.

Extended falconry mourning dove season would open from Sept. 15 - Oct. 1. Extended falconry woodcock season would open from Oct. 28 - Dec. 17 and will reopen from Feb. 1-11. The falconry daily bag limit would be three and possession limit of nine birds for all permitted migratory game birds during the extended falconry and regular hunting seasons. Extended falconry seasons for ducks, rails and gallinules will be set in August with the waterfowl regulations.

Hunters are reminded that they must have a HIP permit to hunt migratory birds.  HIP permits are free and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold.

For more information, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov .

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Commission Adopts Notice of Intent to Amend the Rules and Regulations for Potentially Dangerous Quadrupeds, Big Exotic Cats, and Non-Human Primates

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent today to amend the rules and regulations for potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats, and non-human primates.
 
The purpose of the amendment, as proposed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), is to clarify some of the terms used in the regulations, to modify some permit requirements, and to remove some redundant language. 
 
Specifically, the amendment defines “zoo” for the purposes of obtaining a permit under the regulations.  However, an entity that does not meet the definition of “zoo” as stated in the amendment may still qualify for a permit as long as the application has been received by July 1, 2014.
 
For the possession of non-human primates, the amendment removes an exemption to grant permits for “helper monkeys,” or trained primates kept by a disabled person to assist in daily tasks.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been amended so that only trained dogs qualify as service animals, and this change to Louisiana’s regulations will more closely reflect the federal statutes.
 
In order to renew their permits, owners of non-human primates will be required to complete the same type of paperwork that owners of large cats complete – including a hold harmless agreement, a financial responsibility statement, and a consent to inspection of the primate and its enclosure.
 
Finally, the amended rules would authorize LDWF to set a limit on the “grandfather” date, and the owner of any previously unpermitted primate that qualifies for a permit would be required to submit an application prior to June 30, 2015 in order for it to be considered. 
 
To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Camille Warbington, LDWF Wildlife Division, Post Office Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or cwarbington@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2014.
 
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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Commission Resolution Adds Acreage to Peason Ridge WMA

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission today adopted a resolution that adds acreage to Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
 
Peason Ridge WMA’s new 17,994 acres have been added through a cooperative management agreement with the US Army.  That addition increases Peason Ridge to 51,004 total acres, owned by the US Army.  
 
The WMA is located eighteen miles north of Leesville with acreage in Sabine, Natchitoches and Vernon Parishes.
 
The Commission’s resolution procedure is part of the formal regulatory process that must be followed in the establishment of WMAs. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries manages over 1.5 million acres of public land for outdoor recreation use.
 
For more information on the state WMA program, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma or contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359, or 318-487-5885, or ssmith@wlf.la.gov . 

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Proposed Duck Hunting Dates for 2014-2015 Season Presented to Commission

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission received the proposed duck hunting dates for the 2014-2015 season from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) at their monthly meeting.

The dates presented reflect another 60-day season for Louisiana hunters across the coastal, east and west zones.

The proposed dates and splits for the upcoming season are as follows:

Coastal Zone: Nov. 8 - 30; and Dec. 13 - 18; Youth Hunt Nov. 1 - 2. 

East Zone: Nov. 22 - Dec 7; and Dec. 13 - Jan. 25; Youth Hunt Nov. 15 and Jan. 31.

West Zone: Nov. 15 - Dec. 14, and Dec. 20 - Jan. 18; Youth Hunt Nov. 8 and Jan. 24.

These proposed dates reflect preferences noted in past waterfowl hunter surveys conducted by the Department via mail-out and on-line survey forms.  Final approval of season dates will be made at the August Commission meeting.

The 2014-15 duck season framework provides for a daily bag limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to hunt waterfowl.

For more information or to comment on proposed dates, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov .

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Commission Adopts Notice of Intent on Aerial Feral Hog Control

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent today for the establishment of permit regulations for aerial feral hog control.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) developed the regulations in response to Act 592, signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal following the 2014 Legislative Session.
 
The act amends R.S. 56:112, to allow the taking of nuisance quadrupeds by use of aircraft.  The growth of the feral hog population, and the corresponding damage that they can cause, throughout Louisiana has led to an increased interest by private landowners to use multiple methods for feral hog control.
 
Under the framework proposed in the NOI, an aviation company could apply for a permit from LDWF to use an aircraft to aid in the taking of feral hogs.  A landowner, or a group of landowners, would have to contact LDWF and provide authorization to a permit holder to take hogs on their property/properties. Additionally, the landowner(s) could provide permission to the aviation company to use “subagents”, such as gunners or observers, to directly participate in hog control activity. The proposed regulations also outline safety training that subagents must complete prior to commencement of aerial hog control activity.
 
To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Camille Warbington, LDWF Wildlife Division, Post Office Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or cwarbington@wlf.la.gov prior to Aug. 30, 2014.
 
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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LWFC Takes Measures to remove bag, size and seasonal limits on several species for consistency with Federal regulations

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed a notice of intent at their meeting today to modify the regulations on reef fishes.  The proposed rule would remove from state regulations several species that were previously removed from Federal management.  These are species that are seldom harvested, and even less often targeted.  The result of the proposed change to state regulations would be to have consistent regulations on these species for both state and federal waters.

The proposed rule would remove dog and mahogany snapper and schoolmaster from the 10 fish per person recreational creel limit for reef fish.  That daily aggregate creel limit would still be in place for queen, mutton, blackfin, cubera, gray (mangrove), silk, yellowtail and wenchman snappers.  

The proposed rule would also remove the 12-inch minimum size limit for dog and mahogany snappers and schoolmaster, and the 8-inch minimum size for black seabass for both commercial and recreational harvesters.

It would remove blackline tilefish and anchor tilefish from the 20 fish per person aggregate recreational creel limit for reef fish.  That daily aggregate creel limit would still be in place for vermilion and lane snapper, gray triggerfish, almaco jack, goldface tilefish, tilefish, and blueline tilefish.

It would remove red hind, rock hind and misty grouper from the 4 fish per person aggregate creel limit for reef fish.  That daily aggregate creel limit would still be in place for speckled hind (limit 1 within the aggregate), black, red, snowy, yellowedge, yellowfin, yellowmouth, warsaw (limit 1 within the aggregate), and gag groupers, and scamp.  It would also remove the current recreational closed season for rock and red rind, currently February 1 through March 31 of each year.

Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule prior to September 4, 2014 to Jason Adriance, Office of Fisheries, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge LA  70808 or by e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.gov

To view the notice of intent in its entirety, click here:

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 press inquires contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

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