LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Shrimp Task Force to Meet Next Thursday in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 03/08/2012

March 8, 2012 – The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force will meet next Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.  in Baton Rouge at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room.                                        

The agenda for Thursday’s meeting is as follows:

  I.  Roll Call

 II.  Discussion of TED Testing, Jeff Gearhart, NOAA

 III. Discussion of Observer Permits, NOAA

 IV. Presentation on Seedco Financial Services Southeast Louisiana Fisheries Assistance Center

  V.  Marketing Update, LSPMB

  VI. Gulf Trace: Electronic Traceability

 VII. Update on Seafood Certification Program

VIII. LouisianaLegislative Session 2012 Overview

  IX. Shrimp Management

   X. Subcommittee reports

  XI. Set next meeting date

 XII. Adjourn

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force was created by Act 606 of the Louisiana Legislature to study and monitor the shrimp industry and to make recommendations to the state.

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.

This meeting is open to the public.

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

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LDWF Hosts Series of Outreach Meetings to Discuss Proposed Free Offshore Permit

Release Date: 03/08/2012

March 8, 2012 – In December 2011 the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took measures to establish a free permit for recreational anglers who fish for highly migratory species and to establish reporting requirements for yellowfin tuna. The information gathered through reporting and from this permit will provide essential data about who fishes off Louisiana’s coast and how much yellowfin tuna is harvested each year.

As Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials design the free permit, the need for public input is great, to make it as easy as possible for both recreational anglers and charter fishing boats to report their trips and their catch. 

In an effort to gather input from this community, LDWF will host the following outreach meetings:

March 19, 2012, 6-8 p.m.
Belle Chasse Auditorium
8398 Highway 23
Belle Chasse, La 70037

March 20, 2012, 6-8 p.m.
Houma Municipal Auditorium
880 Verret Street
Houma, La 70360

March 22, 2012, 6-8 p.m.
LDWF Headquarters
Louisiana Room
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, La 70808

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 meeting information please contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.gov or (504)284-2032.

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Joint Enforcement Patrol Leads to Citations for Two Louisiana Men

Release Date: 03/08/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents participated in a joint enforcement patrol that resulted in two Louisiana men being cited for alleged fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on March 5.

Agents cited Robert J. Canty, 32, of Slidell, for taking over the daily commercial limit of sharks and Long Van Pham, 33, of Kenner, for taking red snapper during a closed recreational red snapper season.  The joint enforcement patrol was in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Agents made contact with Canty in South Pass located near Venice and inspected his catch.  Agents found him in possession of 96 sharks, which is 63 sharks over the allowable commercial daily limit.

Agents stopped Pham near the Venice Marina to conduct a catch inspection and found him to be in possession of 15 red snapper.  The 2012 recreational red snapper season is currently closed and is slated to open on June 1.

Taking over the limit of commercial sharks carries a fine up to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Canty may also face civil restitution fines for the value of the illegally taken sharks.

The penalty for taking red snapper during a closed season carries a fine up to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Pham may also face civil restitution fines totaling $430 for the value of the illegally taken red snapper.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

L.D.W.F. Presents Proposed Feral Hog Trapping Regulations at March Commission Meeting

Release Date: 03/07/2012

March 7, 2012-- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent at their March 1 meeting, to accept public comment on proposed feral hog trapping regulations recommended the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

The proposed regulations would allow feral hogs to be trapped year-round. Persons using cage or corral traps to capture feral hogs would be required to have a valid Louisiana basic hunting license.  Persons using snares to trap feral hogs would be required to have a valid Louisiana trapping license. 

Additionally, cage or corral traps would be required to have an opening in the top measuring at least 22 by 22 inches or 25 inches in diameter.  The purpose of this opening is to allow escape of non-target animals such as the Louisiana Black Bear.

To view the full notice of intent, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .  Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to  Kenny Ribbeck, Wildlife Division, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to kribbeck@wlf.la.gov prior to Thursday, May 3, 2012.

For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Authorities Searching for Missing Boater in Rapides Parish

Release Date: 03/07/2012

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

Searchers are looking for William B. Galloway, 53, of Boyce, who 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.

LDWF has deployed their sonar technology and the RPSO has sent their dive team to help 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.

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

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Anglers Invited to Experience World-Class Competition at the 2012 Louisiana Saltwater Series

Release Date: 03/06/2012

Tournament Directors Becky Chaney and Dwayne Mills with 2011 Team of the Year recipients Steve and Barnie White of Brewton, Ala.

Includes redfish, speckled trout, yellowfin tuna, tarpon and youth-exclusive tournaments

(March 5, 2012)- The 2012 Louisiana Saltwater Series promises to be the biggest and best yet, with over $75,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ annual catch and release tournament enters its third year, with last year’s competition drawing participants from across the Gulf Coast including Texas and Florida.

“What started out as a small, grassroots tournament has evolved into a regional, elite series with generous sponsors, increasing participants and the outstanding atmosphere of the Louisiana coast that come together to create a superior event that anglers are excited to participate in,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.

The tournament opens on March 31 and runs through October 20.  The 2012 series offers 13 events including redfish, speckled trout, yellowfin tuna, tarpon and youth-exclusive tournaments. 

“My dad and I have competed in several redfish tournament trails over the past 10 years, and the Louisiana Saltwater Series is by far the best out there,” said 2011 Team of the Year winner Barnie White.  “Combined with a family-oriented format, great payout structure and world-class staff, the series has something for anglers at every skill level.”

Catch and release fishing is fast becoming one of the most efficient ways to collect scientific data.  Data collected from the tournament entries will serve as a valuable tool for LDWF fisheries managers and biologists to better understand the life history and habitat of sport fish.  Past tournament participants indicated that prior to fishing the series, they were not catch and release anglers but have since become actively involved in the Department’s tagging program. 

The LASS kicks off this year with its redfish series in March in Empire, La.  The 2012 redfish tournament schedule is as follows:

March 31 Empire, The Delta Marina;

April 28 Lake Charles, Calcasieu Point Landing;

May 19 Lafitte, SeaWay Marina;

June 23 Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina;

July 14 Slidell, Rigolets Marina;

August 25 Cocodrie, Boudreaux’s Marina

Championship October 5 and 6 Venice, Venice Marina.

Each redfish tournament includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event.  Up to two anglers under 16 are allowed to participate per team.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series. There is a 90 percent payout for the first six events with 10 percent retained for the championship. Payout is determined separately for each event based upon the total number of boats entered. 

A youth division is also available for no additional cost to introduce our young anglers to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation.  Youth division participants compete against one another for trophy catch.  All anglers in this division will be recognized. 

“I would encourage anyone who loves to fish to come out and participate in this tournament,” said past participant and winner John Barcelona.  “My brother Joe and I are living proof that you don’t have to be great fishermen to luck up and win one.”

For complete information, including rules, regulations and online registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  A $20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team.   Only cash and checks will be accepted for onsite registrants.  A $60 discount is available for those teams interested in pre-registering for all six redfish tournaments by contacting Heather David (225) 763-5415 or Becky Chaney (504) 261-0275.

Tournament sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors, Category 5 Outdoors, Plaquemines Parish, Dockside Marine, Skinny Water Products, Slayer, Blackfin Skeg, Faux Pas Prints, Frabill, Marsh and Bayou Magazine, Power-Pole, Pro-Drive Shallow Water Outboards, Sea tow, Stick It Anchor Pins, Swamp Swatter, Whole Foods Market, Bollinger Shipyards, Chik-fil-A, To Fish Charters, Tony Spell Insurance Agency, Southern Eagle and Standard Mapping. 

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.

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

 

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Environmental Education Commission Meeting Scheduled For March 9

Release Date: 03/06/2012

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will meet in Lafayette on Friday, March 9 at 5 p.m. in the Evangeline Room at theLafayette Crowne Plaza located at 1801 W. Pinhook Road.

I.  Call to order

II.  Roll Call/Sign-in

III.  Introduction

IV.  Minutes from last meeting

V.  Financial Report

VI. Coordinator’s Report

VII. Old Business

     A.  Symposium Committee Reports, no more than 5 minutes each

          1. Audio Visual

          2. Door Prize/Hospitality

          3. Evaluation

          4. Exhibitor

          5.  Finance

          6.  Keynote

          7.  Lodging Assistance

          8.  Programs

          9.  Public Relations

       10.   Registration

     B.  Symposium Volunteer Assignments

     C.  Environmental Literacy Plan

VIII.  New Business

     A.  Discuss date for 2013 Symposium

     B.  2012 Grants Program

     C.  Art & Language Arts Contest judges

IX.  Announcements 

X.  Next Meeting Dates: May 8, 2012, August 14, 2012, November 13, 2012

XI.  Adjournment   

Contact: Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-1390

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State’s Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative Adds 29,630 Acres To Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 03/02/2012

State’s Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative Adds 29,630 Acres To Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area

March 2, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) today announced a property acquisition that will conserve and preserve the largest contiguous tract of wetland forest remaining in the lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley.Partners in the transaction made the announcement at the Livingston Parish governmental complex.

The 29,630 acres acquired by LDWF will link with the eastern and western sections of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to create a 103,374-acre public outdoor recreation property. The purchasefromThe Conservation Fund will ensure that the acreage remains undeveloped and continue to provide inland coastal protection to adjacent communities. 

“Our citizens, and visitors to the state, now have additional outdoor recreation acreage available within easy driving distance from two major metropolitan areas,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We commend the efforts of The Conservation Fund, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, CPRA and Mr. M.C. Davis in the transfer of these lands to the state.The Louisiana congressional delegation played a key role in securing federal funding from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program for this acquisition.”

The newly-acquired land includes acreage in Livingston, Ascension, St. James and St. John the Baptist Parishes and is accessible from I-10 between Sorrento and Laplace, and located approximately 30 to 45 minutes from Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The acquisition, together with nearby protected lands, connects approximately 140,000 acres within the Maurepas / Pontchartrain Basin.  The linking of these critical wetland areas enables LDWF and CPRA to meet various long-term goals that include:

  • protecting important habitat for a myriad of wildlife species including habitat for threatened species, neotropical migrants, wading birds, and waterfowl, as well as resident game species;
  • protecting important nursery grounds for a variety of aquatic species, whose sustained populations are important to both the commercial and recreational fishing industries;
  • expanding public recreation opportunities, which contribute statewide more than $4.7 billion annually  to Louisiana’s economy; and
  • providing protection from future storm surges and their destructive impacts to personal property and municipal infrastructure within and adjacent to the Maurepas / Pontchartrain Basin.

Recognizing the environmental value of the property, the previous owner, M.C. Davis, sold the tract to The Conservation Fund in April 2011. The Fund utilized a generous program related investment, also known as a PRI, from The McKnight Foundation to purchase the property. CPRA, through its Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative, provided $4.5 million from the federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) provided $2 million, enabling the transfer of the property to LDWF last month.

“Coastal forests such as the Maurepas Swamp are one of the most effective natural barriers to hurricane storm surge. We must protect these assets.  This partnership with Wildlife and Fisheries is a win-win. It allows us to protect these ecological treasures while providing additional hunting and fishing opportunities for our sportsmen,” said CPRA Executive Director Jerome Zeringue. “This acquisition is just the first through the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative. And I want to point out that this is a completely voluntary program. Its primary focus is to acquire land rights from willing landowners like Mr. Davis to give us the opportunity to restore or enhance the sustainability of coastal forest tracts. They provide significant ecological value and serve to reduce storm damage.”

Significant hydrological restoration work on the property is expected to restore freshwater and nutrient flow, increasing the quality of the coastal wetland habitat and providing a buffer against the impact of storms battering the coast. Louisiana’s coastal forests face threats from levees, navigation, historic oil and gas canals, railway embankments, and other factors. Over time, these factors have contributed to degradation of the state’s coastal forests.

Additionally, alterations to hydrology have led to saltwater intrusion, prevention of river inflow (thereby accelerating subsidence and reducing nutrient input), and the retention of water on the forest floor for greater periods of time, lessening or eliminating the productivity that second-growth forests once had and severely compromising the potential for forest regeneration. The CPRA’s Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative is part of an overall strategy for restoring, protecting, and conserving Louisiana’s coastal communities.

"The expansion of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area is a victory for Louisiana's environmental heritage,” said Congressman Bill Cassidy.  This will open new lands for hunting and outdoor recreation and preserve a pristine part of our outdoors. Louisiana should be proud of the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative."

“The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation is pleased to be a partner in this project as Wetland Protection and Wildlife Management Area Programs are part of our major initiatives,” said Kell McInnis, LWFF executive director. “The Foundation was formed to provide a means by which individuals and corporations can become partners with the Department and the Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources. Funding from mitigation agreements required us to focus on land acquisition in the coastal zone and this opportunity is a perfect fit.”

“Our ultimate goal is to protect and enhance the connectivity of this quintessential South Louisiana coastal wetland environment across a large landscape, and this acquisition was a very important piece of the puzzle,” said Ray Herndon, Louisiana state director for The Conservation Fund. “To date, together with numerous partners,the Fund has conserved approximately 160,000 acres across the Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain Basin, much of which connects the Joyce, Manchac and Maurepas Swamp WMAs. We are proud to be a part of this partnership that has completed the very first Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative.”

"The Audubon Society is thrilled to see this tract of bottomlands set aside for conservation of birds and other wildlife in the West Pontchartrain-Maurepas Swamp Important Bird Area, a site that is continentally important for many bird species, including the Prothonotary Warbler, locally known as the golden swamp canary,” said Melanie Driscoll, Audubon Society's director of Bird Conservation for the Mississippi Flyway.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer, La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, (225) 765-5115, bboehringer@wlf.la.gov; Chuck Perrodin, CPRA, 225-342-7615, chuck.perrodin@la.gov; or Ann Barrett, The Conservation Fund, (703) 908-5809, abarrett@conservationfund.org

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Event Video

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Wildlife and Fisheries March Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 02/27/2012

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.   Approval of Minutes of February 2, 2012

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.   To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/February

5.   To receive Public Comment on Notice of Intent on 2013 – 14 Hunting Season Dates

6.   To receive Public Comment on Notice of Intent on General/WMA Hunting Regulations

7.   To receive and consider a Notice of Intent on Snare Regulations in Trapping

8.   To receive and consider a Notice of Intent for Hog Trapping

9.   To hear a presentation of Proposed Waterfowl Zones and Splits

10. To hear an update on Land Acquisition – Maurepas Swamp

11. Set July 2012 Meeting Date

12. Receive Public Comments

13. Executive Session to Discuss Prospective Litigation Relative to Return of Artificial Reef Fund Monies

14.Adjournment

 

 

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Three Louisianans Cited For Shark Fishing Violation

Release Date: 02/24/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division Strike Force agents cited three Louisianans for an alleged shark fishing violation near Venice in Plaquemines Parish on Feb. 22.

Agents were patrolling the Tiger Pass area when they observed a commercial fishing vessel occupied by three subjects.  Upon stopping the vessel, agents discovered that the three subjects were commercial fishing for sharks and in possession of 61 sharks.  Louisiana law only allows 33 sharks per day per vessel.

Agents cited Huy Nguyen, 21, of Boothville, Hua Nguyen, 53, of Buras, and Anh Nguyen, 25, of Buras, for over limit of shark.

Over limit of shark carries fine between $250 and $350 and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Todd Laviolette and Senior Agent Doug Danna.

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

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