LDWF News

LDWF News Release

*Amended-2nd Annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" Slated for May 12*

Release Date: 04/19/2012

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the second annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

Interested participants must register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday and calling the contact number listed for the chosen class.  LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

At last year’s Boating Education Lagniappe Day LDWF certified 264 boaters.

"We want to make this an annual event as we heard nothing but positive feedback from the participants in last year’s lagniappe day,” said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety.  We want to make the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will be offered completely free."

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified approximately 48,000 boaters during that time.

"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, Coca Cola, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Landry Lumber Company, Austin’s Outdoors of Opelousas and Mayor Randy Roach’s Office of Lake Charles.

Below is the list of class locations known at this time and the registration contact information:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA
Call the Minden Office at 318-371-3049 to register.

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Call the Monroe Office at 318-362-3102 to register.

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Call the Pineville Office at 318-487-5634 to register.

Opelousas
St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
3rd Floor
Lake Charles, LA 70602
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.

Larose
Larose Civic Center
307 East 5th St
Larose, LA 70373
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.

Gonzales
Cabela's
2200 W. Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.

Kenner
Academy Sports and Outdoors
1000 West Esplanade Blvd.
Kenner, LA 70065
Call the New Orleans Office at 504-284-2023 to register.

For more information on regulations or boating safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

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STEP OUTSIDE DAY Set for May 12 at Sherburne W.M.A.

Release Date: 04/19/2012

April 19, 2012-- The 8th Annual STEP OUTSIDE DAY, an outdoor education program, will be held at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in the Atchafalaya Basin on Saturday, May 12.

STEP OUTSIDE DAY is open to all children and adults.  Sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this outdoors day targets youths and individuals with special needs to provide an opportunity to engage in safe, hands-on outdoor activities.  All Activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the Sherburne WMA headquarters area.

This year’s event will include fishing, archery, boating, target and trap shooting, nature photography, bird watching, ATV Safety, and many other outdoor activities, such as turkey trapping demonstrations, trapping techniques, turkey and duck calling, and information on the Louisiana black bear and alligators.

Drinks and food will be provided on site for participants. No alcoholic beverages or glass containers will be allowed on the premises.

Directions to Sherburne WMA headquarters: From US Hwy. 190, take the Sherburne (LA 975) exit, and drive south approx. 3 miles; event activities will be on the left, near Big Alabama Bayou. From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay Exit, and drive north approx. 13 miles on LA 975, event activities will be on the right, near Big Alabama Bayou.

For more information about the event, call the LDWF Opelousas field office, 337-948-0255 or e-mail tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.

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Crab Task Force to Meet in Baton Rouge Next Week

Release Date: 04/17/2012

April 12, 2012 – The Louisiana Crab Task Force will hold a special meeting next Tuesday, April 24th, at 2 p.m. at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room. 

This meeting is being held to discuss proposed legislation, House Bill 538, currently being considered by the Louisiana Legislature and will also include discussion on the Marine Stewardship Council certification of the blue crab fishery and conditions to maintain that certification.

For more information please contact Carl Britt at cbritt@wlf.la.gov or (985) 882-0027 or Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

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Houma Man Arrested for Possession of a Stolen Boat

Release Date: 04/16/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Houma man for allegedly possessing a stolen boat in Terrebonne Parish on April 16.

While on patrol in Bayou Little Caillou, LDWF Strike Force agents spotted Tyler Trahan, 18, operating a powered pirogue with no hull number.  Trahan also didn’t possess any other form of ownership of the boat.

During the stop, a man began yelling from the shore saying that was his powered pirogue.  The man said the pirogue was stolen from his yard on Tuesday, April 10.  The man on the shore had all the proper documentation for the boat and agents returned the boat to him.  The man said he saw the boat as he was driving down Hwy. 56, which runs parallel with the bayou.

Agents then arrested Trahan and booked him into the Terrebonne Parish Jail for possession of stolen property valued at $1,800.

Possession of stolen property valued higher than $500 is a felony and punishable with up to $3,000 in fines and up to 10 years in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Doug Danna.

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

Flatwoods Man Arrested for Negligent Injury

Release Date: 04/13/2012

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Flatwoods man for allegedly shooting a hiker in Natchitoches Parish on April 12.

Agents arrested Jerry Merrill, 63, for negligent injury and booked him into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

Merrill was turkey hunting on the Red Dirt Federal Refuge around 9 a.m. when he allegedly mistook a hiker for a turkey shooting him with a shotgun.  The hiker received minor injuries and was treated and released by emergency workers at the scene.

Negligent injury carries a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

Hunters are reminded that positive target identification is critical for hunter safety and a basic component of legal game harvest.

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

Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge Temporarily Closing Joseph Harbor Boat Launch and East End Locks Road

Release Date: 04/13/2012

April 13, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today a $2.6 million project at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge that will replace the boat launch and bulkheads at Joseph Harbor and provide for improvements to East End Locks Road.

The work on East End Locks Road in Cameron Parish is currently underway and the road is now closed.  Both the East End Locks boat launch and road will remain closed until the contractor completes construction activities along the road. The closed areas are three miles east of the refuge headquarters along Hwy. 82.

The Joseph Harbor boat launch will close on Wednesday, April 18 and remain closed until the construction project is completed in August 2012.

Price Lake Road, located along the refuge’s western boundary in Grand Chenier, La., will remain open to public recreation access until the normal December 1, 2012 closure.  Additionally, a private boat ramp with launch fee, along the refuge’s eastern boundary near Pecan Island in Vermilion Parish, is open. All public access at the refuge is open from official sunrise to sunset.

Access to Rockefeller Refuge will be limited due to the Joseph Harbor and East End boat launch closures, but the entire Refuge will remain open during construction.  The public can enter the refuge from the Gulf of Mexico to pursue recreational activities.  Visitors are advised that only large seaworthy boats should be used to access the refuge from the Gulf.

For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or call 337-491-2593.

 

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Women in the Wild Fishing Basics Workshop Set for April 21 at Cabela’s in Gonzales

Release Date: 04/13/2012

April 13, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Education Section and Fisheries Outreach will present a Louisiana Women in the Wild Fishing Basics Workshop on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cabela's in Gonzales.

The workshop is intended for women who are interested in learning to fish, but have limited or no experience.  Subject matter will include basic skills such as fish identification, rigging fishing tackle, casting, fish cleaning and trailering a boat. There is no cost for the workshop which is limited to the first 30 participants to register.  

To register, contact Christine Pocorello at Christine.Pocorello@Cabelas.com .  For more information, contact Karen Crabtree at 318/766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov .

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Father and Son Found Dead on the Natalbany River

Release Date: 04/12/2012

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents found the deceased bodies of a father and son on the Natalbany River in Tangipahoa Parish around 9:30 a.m. this morning, April 12.

Agents found the bodies of Luther Baham Sr., 54, of Kentwood, and Luther Baham Jr., 33, of Hammond, in a dilapidated camp on the Natalbany River.  The Bahams were reported missing around 8:30 a.m. on April 12.

The Bahams left to go fishing on April 11 on the Tickfaw and Natalbany rivers.  They were last heard from at 2:15 p.m. on April 11 when they called a family member to let them know they were looking for shelter from an incoming storm.

Their bodies have been turned over to the Tangipahoa Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.  The Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office will be the leading investigative agency for this incident.

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

L.D.W.F. Announces the Opening of White Lake WCA Birding and Nature Trail

Release Date: 04/12/2012

April 12, 2012– Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) opened a new, two-mile birding and nature trail at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.

  “The White Lake property contains thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and the new birding and nature trail offers easy access for anyone wishing to see a diverse sample of the species which inhabit that ecosystem,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We encourage the public to utilize this wonderful resource.”

The trail, open daily from sunrise to sunset, is located on 32 acres on the north side of the property. There is no fee or permit required for visitors.

Visitor parking spaces are available at the entrance to White Lake WCA, located 7.4 miles south of Gueydan at the south end of Hwy. 91. The trail area includes a covered pavilion with tables, two educational kiosks with information on the trail and the species of plants and animals in and around the WCA, and an observation tower located at the southeast corner of the trail. This tower provides visitors a panoramic view of the trail and surrounding White Lake WCA property.

White Lake WCA includes numerous species of plants, birds and mammals. The trail provides an array of habitat types that attracts a high diversity of avian species. Visitors to the trail can expect to see a variety of bird species including waterfowl, wading birds, and songbirds. 

White Lake WCA was included in the Audubon National Christmas Bird Count for the first time in 2011, which marked the 112th year of the longest running citizen science survey in the world. Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they saw or heard throughout the day. The counts provide critical data on bird population trends.

Several species were documented for the first time on the White Lake WCA during the 2011 survey. Highlights from this year’s survey included: a pair of nesting Great Kiskadees, representing one of only two or three known breeding pairs in the state; the second state record of a Gray Flycatcher, observed by the LDWF state ornithologist, Michael Seymour; and the first state record of a Prairie Falcon, observed by leading ornithologists, Steve Cardiff and Donna Dittmann. Based upon this survey and other sightings, White Lake’s list of bird species could include 300 species, 174 of which have been documented by sight, sound, or video on the property.

“The White Lake WCA Birding and Nature Trail will be a tremendous asset for outdoor enthusiasts,” said White Lake Advisory Board Chairman Armond Schwing. “The area provides an excellent opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of the region while observing an abundance of native and migratory waterfowl.”

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 on the White Lake WCA birding trail visithttp://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-wca-birding-and-nature-trail, or contact Carrie Salyers at 337-536-9400 or csalyers@wlf.la.gov.

 

Event Video

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Shrimp Season Set To Open Saturday In Portion Of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters

Release Date: 04/10/2012

April 10, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries  announced the shrimp season in the portion of Louisiana offshore territorial waters south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, from the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy line, will reopen to shrimping at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 14. 

Click here for a map detailing this opening:  

According to the most recent trawl samples taken by LDWF biologists, small white shrimp which previously occupied portions of state outside waters from December through mid-April have reached marketable sizes and the closure is no longer necessary.

Because significant numbers of juvenile white shrimp remain in state outside waters west of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal, this area will remain closed until further notice. 

The opening dates for the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 3, meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.

For more information please contact Marty Bourgeois at mbourgeios@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-2401 or Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

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