LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF to Host Sept. 2 Public Hearing on Proposed Amendment to the Rules and Regulations for Potentially Dangerous Quadrupeds, Big Exotic Cats and Non-Human Primates

Release Date: 08/28/2014

August 28, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to accept public comment on proposed amendments the rules and regulations for potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats and non-human primates. The hearing will be held in the Louisiana Room at LDWF’s headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
 
The proposed amendments were presented to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) at their July 3 meeting and the Commission adopted a notice of intent that provides public comment on the amendments through Aug. 30. However, additional oral and written comments will be accepted at the hearing.
 
The amendments, as proposed by LDWF, clarify some of the terms used in the regulations, modify some permit requirements, and 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 July 3 notice of intent, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Melissa Collins, LDWF Wildlife Division, Post Office Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or mcollins@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.
 
For more information, contact Melissa Collins at 225-765-8584 or mcollins@wlf.la.gov .

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Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge Public Access to Be Temporarily Restricted Beginning Sept. 3

Release Date: 08/28/2014

Aug. 28, 2014 -- Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge will begin the annual nuisance alligator harvest on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. During the harvest period, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will not open the refuge to the public each day until 10 a.m.
 
After 10 a.m., the public will be allowed to enter the refuge and utilize recreational areas until official sunset each day. The delayed openings will be in effect for seven days or until all alligator trappers have utilized their tags for this controlled harvest.
 
The refuge, spanning 26 miles of coastal Louisiana in Cameron and Vermilion parishes, provides recreational opportunities to fishermen seeking shrimp, redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and largemouth bass, among others.
 
Rockefeller SWR is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Located at the terminus of the vast Mississippi Flyway, south Louisiana winters about four million waterfowl annually. The refuge provides high quality wetlands habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds and wading birds.
 
For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or contact Phillip Trosclair at 337-491-2593.

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Louisiana Shrimpers Encouraged to Report Asian Tiger Prawn Catches

Release Date: 08/27/2014

Louisiana Shrimpers Encouraged to Report Asian Tiger Prawn Catches

(Aug. 27, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is aware of and constantly monitoring the presence of Asian tiger prawns, a non-native species, in Louisiana waters.  LDWF officials are asking local shrimp harvesters to report catches of tiger prawns to the Department. 

While there is little known at this time about the impacts of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp, these reports are key in helping LDWF biologists monitor the distribution and relative abundance of these prawns and in determining the possible presence of spawning populations. 

To report catches of Asian tiger prawns please contact Robert Bourgeois at rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-0765 or Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (985) 594-4130, with the date, location and size of capture.  Photographs are encouraged. 

To aid shrimp dealers in documenting tiger prawn landings, the Department has added tiger prawns (species code 19) to the Commercial Trip Ticket reporting system.

Tiger prawns are easily identifiable by their large size, dark body color and white banding found along the head and between segments of the tail.  Occasionally, red or yellow stripes are present as well.  LDWF officials ask that harvesters retain the tiger prawns by freezing and contact one of the biologists listed above.

History of incidence in Gulf of Mexico

It is unknown when and how tiger prawns were first introduced into the Gulf of Mexico.  In 1988, a portion of a population of reared tiger prawns escaped from a facility on the east coast.  Approximately 1,000 adults were later recaptured as far south as Cape Canaveral, Florida.  In September 2006, a single adult male was captured by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Mississippi Sound near Dauphin Island, Alabama, and reports from Alabama and Mississippi have been increasing ever since.

LDWF first documented the occurrence of Asian tiger prawns in Louisiana in August 2007, when a single specimen was taken by a commercial shrimp fisherman in Vermilion Bay.  Prior to the 2011 fall inshore shrimp season, reported captures in Louisiana waters numbered fewer than 25, with none taken any farther westward than Vermilion Bay.  However, since 2011, commercial shrimpers have reported Asian tiger prawn catches in all of Louisiana’s major estuarine basins including adjacent offshore waters.  Reports of tiger prawns have remained between 70 and 100 over the last three years.  It is uncertain whether this is due to population stabilization or under reporting by the public.

About the species

Asian tiger prawns are native to the Indo-Pacific rim and are both harvested in the wild and extensively farmed in a number of countries.

Tiger prawns belong to the same family (Penaeidae) as our native brown, white and pink shrimp but are non-indigenous to our waters.  The life history of tiger prawns is also similar to that of brown and white shrimp, with spawning and mating occurring in nearshore oceanic waters.  One notable difference in tiger prawns and Louisiana shrimp is size.  Research suggests tiger prawns may reach a maximum length of 14 inches and weigh as much as 23 ounces.

At this time, there is no evidence that tiger prawns feed on native Louisiana shrimp.  Any potential impacts over competition for food and resources remain unknown.  Tiger prawns, as well as our native brown and white shrimp, adopt different diets as they grow and mature and may become more predatory as body size increases.

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 inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

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Drawdown Scheduled for Hardwater Lake

Release Date: 08/20/2014

(Aug. 20, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Grant Parish Police Jury have scheduled a drawdown for Hardwater Lake to begin on Tuesday, September 2 to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.

The water level will be lowered 4 feet from pool stage.  Water fluctuations are proven to yield significant beneficial effects for fisheries and aquatic vegetation control.

Control gates will be closed no later than December 31, 2014, and with normal rainfall, the lake will return to pool stage well in advance of the spring fish spawning season. 

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rmoses@wlf.la.gov or (318) 487-5885. 

For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

 

 

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Drawdown Scheduled for Chicot Lake

Release Date: 08/19/2014

(Aug. 19, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown for Chicot Lake, just north of Ville Platte, to begin on Tuesday, September 2 to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.

The water level will be lowered 3 feet from pool stage.  Water fluctuations are proven to yield significant beneficial effects for fisheries and aquatic vegetation control, particularly on Chicot Lake.

The drawdown is part of an integrated lake management plan, which utilizes several different methods to control overabundant nuisance vegetation. 

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jody David, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jdavid@wlf.la.gov or (337) 948-0255. 

For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

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Aerial Spraying on Spring Bayou to Begin on Wednesday

Release Date: 08/18/2014

(Aug. 18, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will conduct an aerial herbicide application on Spring Bayou in Avoyelles Parish beginning Wednesday, August 20 to control aquatic vegetation.

American lotus, which grows as a large floating pad, now covers the waterbody to the extent where navigation has become difficult. 

Approximately 325 acres of aquatic vegetation will be treated in the areas outlined in the following map.  Anglers and boaters are urged to stay clear of treatment areas Wednesday.

The herbicides are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for aquatic use and are not harmful to lake ecosystems, animal life or humans.  No fish consumption advisories will be issued for the treatment areas.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting many of 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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2396.

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Agents Cite Three Subjects for Fishing Violation on Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 08/18/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two Louisiana men and a juvenile male for alleged fishing violations on Aug. 15 in Bossier Parish.

Agents cited Matthew D. Pyle, 18, of Minden, Caleb A. Lee, 20, of Doyline, and a juvenile male for taking game fish using illegal methods.  Pyle was also cited for fishing without a fishing license.

Agents received a complaint about the three suspects using a seine net at the Lake Bistineau Spillway and keeping every fish that was caught.  Agents made contact with the subjects and found them to be in possession of two seine nets and nine crappie, five black bass and three bream.

According to the suspects, they would stretch the net out across the spillway and then walk the net back to the bank where they would retrieve the fish caught in the net.

Agents seized the fish and nets.  Taking game fish illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Angling without a fishing license carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Chuck Dison, Senior Agent John Blalock and Senior Agent Bryant Coburn.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-354-9517 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Arrest Ascension Parish Man for Boating Hit and Run

Release Date: 08/15/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested an Ascension Parish man this morning, Aug. 15, for his alleged involvement in a boating hit and run.

Agents arrested Thomas J. Amorello, 32, of the St. Amant area, for felony hit and run, negligent injury and reckless operation of a vessel and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail.

Agents began investigating a hit and run between two ski boats on the Amite River Diversion Canal on July 26 in Livingston Parish.  The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. when a ski boat was rear ended and ran over by another ski boat allegedly operated by Amorello.  The three passengers of the boat that was run over were treated for minor injuries and released.

Using eyewitness accounts of the description of a ski boat that sped through a no wake zone just north of where the hit and run took place near the Tiki Hut, agents were able to identify and track down Amorello’s boat on July 28 at his residence.  Amorello’s boat matched the description and also had damage to the hull.

Agents seized Amorello’s boat and the victim’s boat and brought them to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for further investigation.  The crime lab was able to make a direct match between the damage sustained on both vessels and determined that Amorello’s ski boat was involved in the hit and run.

Felony hit and run brings up to a $5,000 fine and 10 years in jail.  Negligent injury carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Reckless operation brings up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.

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

Louisiana Youth Hunters of the Year Recognized at LOWA Conference

Release Date: 08/14/2014

2013 Louisiana Female YHOY Chloe Slayter and uncle, Billy Porche.
2013 Louisiana Male YHOY Jay Chase Slayter.

Aug. 14, 2014 -- The 2013 Louisiana Male and Female Youth Hunters of the Year (YHOY) were recognized at the 2014 Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) Conference in Houma on Aug. 9.
 
Chloe Slayter, of Pineville, received the award for the 2013 Female YHOY and her brother, Jay Chase Slayter, received the award for the 2013 Male YHOY. The brother and sister team received their awards from Rebecca Triche, executive director of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF).
 
LWF is one of the sponsors of the YHOY Program along with the South Louisiana Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Harrison Law LLC, the BR Chapter of Delta Waterfowl and Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.
 
Previously honored as 2012 Female YHOY, Chloe last year harvested a huge 14-point buck in Concordia Parish on Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area.
 
In 2013, during the youth lottery hunt on Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Chloe was escorted by her uncle, Billy Porche. Her short story submitted to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Youth Hunter Registry Program described the hunt as a cold, windy day that evolved from a morning during which no deer were sighted.
 
Chloe drew stand number two, her favorite number, for the evening hunt. The weather conditions were still not too favorable for hunting, but Chloe was certain stand number two was going to bring her success.  At 4:20 p.m., a buck appeared within range and the veteran hunter raised her rifle, aimed and fired. Once the excitement of the shot was over, Chloe and her uncle went to look for the deer she knew she’d hit cleanly. In a short time, Chloe had her hands on another monster buck.  This time it was an 11- point, 210 pound buck with a 17- and 5/8-inch inside spread.
 
In her narrative, Chloe spoke highly of all the NWR personnel involved with the youth hunt, stating that she fully understands how much work goes into these programs and that she was very thankful that she was able to participate.
 
Chase Slayter was selected as the 2013 Male YHOY for his participation in the East Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt on Catahoula Lake. Chase and his two friends were guided on the hunt by his dad, Jay Slayter. Chase’s hunting story described a very foggy morning and quite challenging boat ride to the blind. But his group arrived safely and in a short time the decoys were made ready, the hunters were in the blind, and the ducks were everywhere.
 
The three young hunters limited out that morning with pintail drakes being the duck of the day. It was an exciting hunt for Chase because both he and his dad were doing the calling and the ducks that day were very responsive to their calls.
 
Catahoula Lake is known nationally as a waterfowl area of importance.  LDWF manages the lake to enhance the aquatic plant species that ducks eat and this lake generally provides excellent waterfowl hunting each fall.  Many young hunters get their start on Catahoula Lake.
 
“Those of us who are involved with the Youth Hunter of the Year Program salute the Slayter family for keeping the Louisiana hunting tradition alive,” said David Moreland, YHOY Program co-coordinator.  “The goal of the program is to get the youths in the woods hunting and to keep them hunting as they become adults. No doubt Chloe will be a lifetime hunter.”
 
The two winners received plaques recognizing their achievement and a gift card from Bowie Outfitters.  The 2014 YHOY competition started during the 2014 spring turkey season and continues when the 2014-15 dove season begins in September.  LDWF and LOWA encourage all youth hunters, 15 years old or younger, to participate in the Youth Hunter Registry Program and the Youth Hunter of the Year Program. 
 
For more information about the Youth Hunter Registry and YHOY Program, visit LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting/yhrp or contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or heflinroots@hotmail.com.

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Greater Amberjack Commercial Season to Close

Release Date: 08/14/2014

 
(August 14, 2014)– The  Louisiana Deparment of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that the 2014 commercial fishing season for greater amberjack in Louisiana state waters will close on Monday, August 25 at 12:01 a.m.
 
Following a review of current landings, data indicates the 2014 Gulf of Mexico commercial quota of 409,000 pounds will be harvested by August 24. 
 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that federal waters will also remain closed to recreational and commercial amberjack fishing for the remainder of 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.
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.
 

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