LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Officials Searching for Missing Boater in Morehouse Parish

Release Date: 03/15/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office (MPSO) deputies are searching for a missing boater on Jones Lake in Morehouse Parish.

Searchers are looking for Walter Sims, 51, of Jones, who was last seen fishing alone around 2:30 p.m. on March 10.  When Sims didn’t return home at dark, a concerned family member contacted the MPSO at 11:30 p.m. 

Authorities believe Sims may have fallen into the water.  His 14 foot aluminum boat was found tied up to the lake’s bank directly behind his home. 

Authorities continue to search for Sims on land and water.  LDWF has deployed their sonar technology, search boats and ATVs to the scene.  The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office has sent their dive team and the West Carroll Sheriff’s Office has assisted with an air search.

LDWF and MPSO are jointly investigating Sims disappearance.

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

LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant Give Update On First Derelict Crab Trap Clean-Up

Release Date: 03/15/2012

Volunteers still needed for this weekend’s clean-up

March 15, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with Louisiana Sea Grant, has completed the first of two derelict crab trap clean-ups, resulting in the removal and disposal of more than 1,900 abandoned and derelict crab traps.  This project involved temporarily closing a 223,052-acre portion of St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes to the use of crab traps over a 10-day period spanning Feb. 25 through March 5. 

All crab traps retrieved were brought to a disposal site at Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix, which graciously hosted two volunteer clean-up days on Saturday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, March 3.  In addition to retrieving traps, special efforts were made by volunteers and staff to photograph and document the presence of crabs and any bycatch in traps before returning these contents to the water.  Traps were unloaded from boats and buoys, and buoy lines were removed before each trap was crushed and stacked into dumpsters.  The 1,954 traps retrieved completely filled eight 30 cubic yard, roll-on/roll-off dumpsters, which were transported to a metal salvage yard for recycling.  

The recreational and commercial blue crab fishery and industry benefit from and depend on the use of crab traps, but increases in the number of abandoned traps has led to problems which include ghost fishing, mortality of blue crabs and associated bycatch, conflicts with other fishermen and interactions with their fishing gear and boating hazards.

Since 2004, the LDWF, together with volunteer organizations and individual volunteers, has successfully removed and disposed of more than 20,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. 

Volunteers needed for March 17 clean-up

LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant continue to seek volunteers to assist with the next derelict crab trap removal clean-up Terrebonne Parish, which will begin March 17 at 6 a.m. and end March 26 at 6 a.m. A volunteer clean-up day will be hosted on Saturday, March 17, at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in Cocodrie.  Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register with Louisiana Sea Grant at: http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/.

To view a description and map of the Terrebonne Parish closure area, click here.

The success of the derelict crab trap removal program heavily relies on the support and participation of volunteers. LDWF and LSG extend many thanks to all who volunteered.  Special thanks to Cpt. Jack Payne III and Cindy Berry of Sweetwater Marina who provided use of their facilities and sponsored volunteer prizes; Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and members for participating in the trap cleanup, sponsoring additional prizes and assembling a cooking team that prepared food for volunteers; and, the Nature Conservancy.

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.

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, please contact Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2401 or Dr. Julie Anderson at janderson@agcenter.lsu.edu or (225) 578-0771.

 

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LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro

Release Date: 03/13/2012

LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents transported 80 people from the floodwaters in Carencro to dry ground during the flash flood on March 12.

After receiving 15 inches of rain, Bayou Carencro backed up and jumped its banks flooding many Carencro homes, businesses and roads.

LDWF agents got their first call at 7 a.m. about stranded cars on the median of I-49 and other roads.  LDWF responded with 18 agents with 13 boats in the area to help during the flood.

From 10 a.m. to nightfall, LDWF agents rescued 80 people from their home and brought them to higher ground where vehicles could then transport them to the shelter at the Carencro Civic Center.

“The water was anywhere from 2 to 6 feet deep, and people were hanging out of their windows when they would see our boats go by,” said Lt. Darryl Moore.  “The conditions were tough as it was still raining hard with lightning and then you had a swift current and obstructions in the water.  However, our training in search and rescue and past experiences such as Hurricane Katrina has helped our response during flooding events and things went as smooth as possible given the circumstances.”

Agents are currently on standby as the floodwaters recede over the coming days.

"Our agents are highly trained and have the equipment necessary for search and rescue missions.  These agents did a great job in responding as fast as possible and getting 80 people out of the water," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.

Through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, LDWF is the lead agency for search and rescue operations during natural disasters.

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

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Set for March 15

Release Date: 03/13/2012

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda for Thursday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of Sept. 13, 2011

3.   Welcome and Opening Comments

4.   Office of Management and Finance Report: FY 2012-13 Budget

5.   Legislative Update

6.   Enforcement Division: Boating Safety Report

7.   Office of Fisheries: Inland Division Report

8.   Office of Fisheries: Marine Division Report

9.   Office of Wildlife: Whooping Crane Reintroduction Report

10. Set Next Meeting Date

11.  Receive Public Comments

12.  Adjournment

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

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L.D.W.F. Public Meetings Begin This Week on Proposed Hunting Seasons, W.M.A. Rules Changes and Waterfowl Zones and Splits Options

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host six public meetings around the state to present proposed 2012-14 hunting season dates, Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) general rules and regulation changes, and waterfowl zones and splits options.

Public comment will be taken on all items under consideration by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission through May 3. The meeting dates and locations include:

  • March 13 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 13 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 14 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas
  • March 15 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.
  • March 21 at 6 p.m., St. John Parish Council Chambers, 1801 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from now through May 3 or can be submitted directly to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to rmyers@wlf.la.gov until May 3.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

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State of Louisiana Announces Louisiana Blue Crab to Be First Sustainable Blue Crab Fishery in the World

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in coordination
with the Louisiana Crab Task Force and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB),
announced the Louisiana blue crab fishery has been recognized with the seal of ‘sustainability’ by a
third-party organization, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This designation by MSC is the first of
its kind for any blue crab fishery in the world.

The independent, third-party certification body, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) assessed the
Louisiana blue crab fishery against the MSC standard in a rigorous, open and transparent process that
was scientifically peer reviewed and involved site visits to the fishery and outreach to stakeholder
groups. During assessment, SCS identified six improvement actions the fishery must perform during the
first five-year certification period that address harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, by-catch
and ecosystem impact and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by
the MSC program.

“This certification fully validates what Louisiana’s blue crab industry and department have known all
along, that our blue crab fishery is managed responsibly at sustainable levels,” said LDWF Assistant
Secretary Randy Pausina. “LDWF is a world-class organization that utilizes the best biologists and
technology when managing all of Louisiana’s abundant fisheries.”

What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability ensures that the blue crab fishery of Louisiana is managed in a way that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the crop for future generations.

Why is it important for a fishery to be certified as sustainable?

In recent years, sustainability has become increasingly important to major retailers like Wal-Mart,
Costco, Kroger and Target to name a few. As such, the push for ‘proof’ that seafood has been harvested
sustainably has led to an emerging market: seafood sustainability certifiers and their associated eco-
labels.

Additionally important to the Louisiana fishing industry, studies suggest that some retailers may be
willing to pay a higher price for seafood that is labeled eco-friendly or sustainable. Additionally,
markets in Europe and the United Kingdom that require such certifications will now be available to our
industry members.

LDWF is currently working with the other Gulf states to identify additional possibilities for
communicating to consumers and buyers that all of our fisheries are managed responsibly at sustainable
levels.

The Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery

While crabs are landed from all state coastal waters, more than half of Louisiana blue crabs are
harvested primarily from two areas: Lake Pontchartrain and Terrebonne basins. The Lake Pontchartrain
basin borders New Orleans to the north and east and includes the lake, marshes and sounds east of

the Mississippi River and the Terrebonne Basin is located southwest of New Orleans and is bounded by
Bayou Lafourche to the east and the Atchafalaya River to the west.

Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are harvested year-round primarily with baited trapstended strictly
during daylight hours. Harvesters target hard shell blue crabs for both the live and processed meat
markets and also peeler crabs for sale to soft crab shedders. Louisiana blue crab landings have averaged
over 40 million pounds in recent years and comprised nearly 30 percent of total U.S. blue crab landings
in 2009.

The Marine Stewardship Council

The MSC was started in 1996 by the World Wide Fund for Nature and Unilever. The charity was
constituted in 1997 and became fully independent in 1999.

It has offices in London, Seattle, Washington and Sydney, New South Wales and local offices in
Edinburgh, Berlin, the Hague, Paris, Cape Town and Tokyo.

As of October 2011, there are over 11,000 seafood products available with the MSC eco-
label, sold in 82 countries around the world. Currently 131 fisheries have been independently
certified as meeting the MSC’s environmental standard for sustainable fishing and 131 are
currently undergoing assessment. Nearly 2000 companies have met the MSC Chain of Custody
standard for seafood traceability.
 

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 more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Staff Instrumental in Protecting the Resource at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 - Earlier this year, anglers from across the country converged in
Shreveport, La., for the biggest event in tournament fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. The
country’s best anglers battled it out during the three-day event on one of the nation’s best
bass fisheries, the Red River.

The B.A.S.S. Federation is a conservation-based organization, and one of their primary
goals is to have minimal impact on the water bodies that serve as host sites for their
tournaments including the Bassmaster Classic. Catch and release fishing is their standard.

Personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were tasked with
handling and transporting all the tournament entries. The bass were placed in specially
modified hauling tanks filled with water from the Red River and safely returned home.

This is the third year Department staff have assisted the Classic in properly returning bass
to Louisiana waterways and ensuring our department motto: to protect and manage our
abundant natural resources.

To view the video news release, please click on the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxrd5rjODA0

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.

Authorities Find Missing Boater in Rapides Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2012

Search and rescue teams located the deceased body of a missing boater on Kincaid Lake today, March 9.

William B. Galloway, 53, was found by the Allen Parish Fire Department’s Dive Team shortly after 12 p.m. after two and a half days of searching.  Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office (RPSO) and the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office also participated in the search.

Galloway went fishing alone around 1:20 p.m. on March 6 and was supposed to return at dark.  When Galloway didn’t return at dark, a concerned family member contacted authorities at 7:50 p.m.

Authorities searched for Galloway throughout the night and found his 18 ½ foot fiberglass boat with the 150 horsepower motor idling on the bank of the lake around 10:30 p.m. on March 6.

LDWF deployed their sonar technology, and dive teams from the RPSO and Allen Parish Fire Department assisted in the search.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency to determine the cause of this boating incident.  Contributing factors to the incident are unknown at this time.

Galloway’s body has been turned over to the Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.

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

Eight Oyster Harvesters Cited For Theft In Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited eight subjects for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on March 6.

While on oyster-growing-area patrol in Bayou Coyell, agents found four vessels dredging oysters from a private lease without the lease owner's permission.

Agents cited Dempsey Jackson, 45, from Lake Charles; William Anthony Tillman III,  26, from Sulphur; Rusty Henry, 20, and Dusty Paul Henry, 22, Carolyn Arnold, 27, Harris Guidry Jr., 35, Timothy Blanchard, 26, Cody Lebouef, 22, all from Chauvin; for unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease and failure to have written permission.

Agents seized the boats and dredges and returned 33 sacks of oysters to the water.

Unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease is a fine between $900 and $950, up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized.  Failure to have written permission is punishable by a fine of $400 to $900 and up to 120 days in jail.

Any person convicted of these violations may for one year after the date of such conviction only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system.  Access to the monitoring system shall be granted to LDWF.  For that year, the person convicted of these violations shall identify for the department which vessel will be used to harvest oysters.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Bryan Marie and Agent Norman Deroche.

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

LDWF Announces 2012 Waterfowl Hunter Survey

Release Date: 03/09/2012

March 9, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Waterfowl Section, in partnership with LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources, has begun a survey of resident waterfowl hunters which asks for input on waterfowl hunting zones, zone boundaries, and season dates for future waterfowl hunting seasons.

“We are mailing surveys to 6,400 randomly selected waterfowl hunters -- 1,600 in each of four major regions of the state -- to gather information on their satisfaction with last year’s hunting and with the zones and splits we have been using for many years, as well as preferences for proposed changes in those zone boundaries,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader. “The survey also asks about hunters’ preferred timing of the regular waterfowl season and the Youth waterfowl hunting days, along with questions about Catahoula Lake.”

The same survey is also offered on LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov and all interested waterfowl hunters can provide input.  “We know that results from Internet-based surveys can be biased because participants tend to be the more dedicated and active hunters,” Reynolds said.  “However, in our 2010 Waterfowl Hunter Survey, we received similar responses to most attitude and preference questions from both surveys.”

The department is encouraging all waterfowl hunters, especially those who receive a survey in the mail, to participate in the survey and convey their preferences to better inform decisions on waterfowl harvest regulations.

States have the opportunity to change waterfowl hunting zones and splits every five years, which was scheduled for 2011.  However, additional zones/splits options from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were approved very late in last year’s regulatory cycle, and not all states could take advantage of them.  For that reason, the opportunity to make changes was extended to this year, and selected zones/splits will be in effect for the 2012-2015 waterfowl hunting seasons.

Season dates can be changed every year; only zones/splits selections are set for five years.  Specifically, the new options include four zones with straight seasons (no split) and three zones with split seasons.  Until this year, states had to choose between three zones with straight seasons, two zones with split seasons, or a statewide season (no zones) with two splits (three season segments).

For 31 years, Louisiana has used two zones (East and West) with split seasons, but the department is considering a change to three zones with split seasons to potentially provide additional hunting opportunity and regulatory flexibility.  Maps of the proposed new waterfowl hunting zones, explanation of the proposed boundary changes, and a short Power Point presentation with the considerations for selecting zones, splits, and season dates can be found at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/migratory-and-waterfowl .

In addition, a short presentation will be made and public comment collected on zones/splits and the Waterfowl Hunter survey at six public meetings scheduled around the state over the next two weeks.  Those dates and sites are:

  • March 13 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 13 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 14 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas 
  • March 15 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.
  • March 21 at 6 p.m., St. John Parish Council Chambers, 1801 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace

For more information please contact Larry Reynolds at Lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

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