LDWF News Release

LDWF Temporarily Closes East Road at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 10/27/2016

Oct. 27, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has temporarily closed East Road to all traffic at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Replacement of the U.S. Highway 80 bridge across the LaFourche Canal has forced the closure. Construction activities will temporarily block vehicular, as well as ATV/UTV, access to the entrance of East Road. When the entrance is clear of equipment and construction activities, the road will be reopened.
Russell Sage WMA is located in Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, and Caldwell parishes and is approximately seven miles east of Monroe and ten miles west of Rayville.
For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777 or contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.


LDWF to Extend False River Boat Launch to Aid Boaters During Drawdown

Release Date: 10/25/2016

Oct. 25, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the Point Coupee Parish Police Jury has begun work to extend the False River public boat launch adjacent to Morel’s Restaurant in New Roads. The project is designed to improve boating access during the current drawdown.
The drawdown, which began in September, will continue through Jan. 15, 2017. The drawdown structure will then be closed and the lake allowed to return to its normal level.
“The drawdown is a key component to the LDWF False River Restoration Plan,’’ LDWF Inland Fisheries Program Manager Ricky Moses said.
The drawdown is recommended as a management tool to improve water quality, decrease sedimentation and improve sportfish habitat.
The lake is open to fishing and other recreational use during the drawdown. However, caution is advised for boaters during the low-water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater structures. 
For additional information regarding the drawdown and boat launch extension, contact Brian Heimann, LDWF Biologist Manager, at bheimann@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2337. 


LDWF to Host Three NASP Basic Archery Instructor Certification Courses in November

Release Date: 10/25/2016

LDWF to Host Three NASP Basic Archery Instructor Certification Courses in November

Oct. 25, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold three National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) basic archery instructor courses Nov. 5, Nov. 10 and Nov. 12. The courses will be held in New Iberia (Nov. 5), Oak Grove (Nov. 10) and Elmer (Nov. 12).
All three courses will run from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  The courses are as follows:
Nov. 5 at Belle Place Middle School in New Iberia;
Nov. 10 at West Carroll Parish Media Center in Oak Grove;
Nov. 12 at Oak Hill Elementary in Elmer.
This eight-hour course will provide certification to educators who want to bring the NASP/Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) curriculum to their schools. The NASP/ALAS program introduces students in grades 3-12 to international target style archery as part of their in-school curriculum and is available to all schools in Louisiana.  All professional educators are welcome to attend. 
All training materials and equipment is provided and there is no cost for the course for professional educators. There are a limited number of spots available in each course and they will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  You may register for the class online at http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA
For more information, contact LDWF ALAS Coordinator Robert Stroede at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276.


New Duck Hunting Zone Boundaries Will Be in Effect for the 2016-17 Waterfowl Season

Release Date: 10/24/2016

New waterfowl zone boundaries

Oct. 24, 2016 – New zone boundaries for Louisiana duck hunters will go into effect beginning Nov. 5 as the season opens with youth waterfowl weekend in the coastal and west zones. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted the new boundaries in November of 2015 for the 2016-17 hunting season.
“We changed from two zones to three in 2012,” said Larry Reynolds, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Waterfowl Program Manager. “Now the boundaries of those zones are being modified to better fit the desires of rice growers and hunters in particular parts of the state.”
Zones can be changed every five years. These new boundaries will be in effect for the 2016-17 through the 2020-21 waterfowl hunting seasons.  
The accompanying map depicts the new zone boundaries with colored areas where hunters are now in different zones than in the previous four years.
Specifically, the new boundaries are:
East Zone: The area of the state between the Mississippi state line and the line going south on Hwy. 79 from the Arkansas  border to Homer; then south on Hwy. 9 to Arcadia; then south on Hwy. 147 to Hodge; then south on Hwy. 167 to Turkey Creek; then south on Hwy. 13 to Eunice; then west on Hwy.190 to Kinder; then south on Hwy. 165 to Iowa; then west on I-10 to its junction with Hwy. 14 at Lake Charles; then south and east on Hwy. 14 to its junction with Hwy. 90 in New Iberia; then east on Hwy. 90 to the Mississippi state line.
West Zone: The area between the Texas state line and the line going east on I-10 from the Texas border to Hwy. 165 at Iowa; then north on Hwy. 165 to Kinder; then east on Hwy. 190 to Eunice; then north on Hwy. 13 to Turkey Creek; then north on Hwy. 167 to Hodge; then north on Hwy. 147 to Arcadia; then north on Hwy. 9 to Homer; then north on Hwy. 79 to the Arkansas border.
Coastal Zone: Remainder of state.
The major changes include moving a large amount of rice-growing acreage in Evangeline, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, and Vermilion parishes from the coastal to the east zone; and moving a portion of northwest Louisiana from the east zone to the west zone. Hunters should review the new map to verify their waterfowl hunting zone and then check associated hunting season dates.
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.


New Regulations Governing Night-time Take of Outlaw Quadrupeds Now in Effect, LDWF Announces

Release Date: 10/21/2016

Oct. 21, 2016 – New regulations requiring permits for the night-time take of outlaw quadrupeds, nutria and beaver on private property have gone into effect, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced Thursday (Oct. 20).
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent for the regulations with amendments during its June meeting. To view the regulations, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
The permit will be valid for a period of one year from July 1-June 30 the following year, however, they may only be used from Sept. 1 of each year through the final day of February of the next year. Permits may be renewed annually without additional application.
Permittees may take outlaw quadrupeds, nutria or beaver during nighttime hours on private property from one-half hour after official sunset until one-half hour before official sunrise. 
The proposed changes are designed to streamline the application process and alleviate concerns relative to depredation and property damage by outlaw quadrupeds, nutria and beaver.
For more information, contact Melissa Collins at 225-763-8584 or


Elmer's Island to Close for Construction

Release Date: 10/13/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in coordination with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will close Elmer’s Island and its access road to the public on Monday, October 24 for construction.
The 7-day closure will allow time for road repairs and installation of a parking area at the end of the access road.  Vehicular traffic on the access road will resume once repairs are complete.
Elmer’s Island Refuge is located approximately 50 miles south of New Orleans, at the southern end of Jefferson Parish, where the Barataria Estuary meets the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge is bordered by Highway 1 to the north, Caminada Pass and Grand Isle to the east, Lafourche Parish to the west and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.


Release Date: 10/12/2016

Last week, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016-17 oyster season in Calcasieu Lake. The season was set based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

Both the East Side and West Cove portions of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area will open one-half hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.  However, this action does not supersede public health closures.

During the 2016-17 oyster season, the following provisions will be in effect:

1.              Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above are limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed seven sacks of oysters per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. 

2.              If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above, all oysters contained on that vessel will be deemed to have been taken from said public oyster area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.

3.              Prior to leaving the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area with oysters harvested from said oyster area, all oysters must be sacked. The number of sacks should be recorded in a log book, and each sack shall be properly tagged.

4.              All vessels located in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise should have all oyster dredges unshackled.

The following areas shall remain closed for the 2016/2017 oyster season:

1. The 2015 Calcasieu Lake West Cove Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

        A.          29 degrees 52 minutes 39.66 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 42.14 seconds

         B.         29 degrees 52 minutes 28.94 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 42.20 seconds

         C.         29 degrees 52 minutes 39.60 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

         D.         29 degrees 52 minutes 29.01 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

2.  The 2015 Calcasieu Lake Southeast Side Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

                        A.    29 degrees 50 minutes 25.46 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 05.83 seconds

                        B.    29 degrees 50 minutes 19.83 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 04.64 seconds

          C.      29 degrees 50 minutes 28.52 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 51.37 seconds

                        D.    29 degrees 50 minutes 22.86 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 50.19 seconds

            3.  The Cheniere Reef Artificial Reef Planning Area within the following coordinates:

                        A.     93 degrees 51 minutes 09.10 seconds

        93 degrees 17 minutes 06.96 seconds

                        B.     29 degrees 51 minutes 09.35 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 50.20 seconds

          C.      29 degrees 51 minutes 05.33 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 46.06 seconds

          D.      29 degrees 50 minutes 50.72 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 45.78 seconds

          E.      29 degrees 50 minutes 50.96 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 09.62 seconds

          F.       29 degrees 51 minutes 05.56 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 09.90 seconds

              4.         The Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area (as described in R.S. 56:435.1).

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Melancon on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours in advance, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

For maps associated with the above season visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons

LDWF to Open Fall Red Snapper Season in State Waters

Release Date: 10/07/2016

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, at its regularly scheduled October meeting, took action allowing recreational anglers to harvest additional red snapper in state waters beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, October 7, 2016, during weekends only.  Weekends are restricted to Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.  
This action was taken by the Commission after receiving a red snapper landings update from the Department.  Preliminary estimates from the Department’s LA Creel Program indicate Louisiana’s recreational fishermen (private anglers and charter-for-hire) landed a total of 1,041,321 pounds of red snapper through September 6, 2016, when Louisiana’s state water red snapper season closed. These landings account for approximately 93 percent of our historical average for both the private angler and charter boat components of the recreational sector (1,116,732 pounds).
This fall season will allow recreational anglers the opportunity to harvest the remaining 75,411 pounds of red snapper in state waters, with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.  The department will monitor harvest, and the Secretary was given the authority to close the season when necessary to protect the resource.
Recreational Offshore Landing Permit
LDWF reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need a permit as long as the charter captain has a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

LWF Commission Proposes Commercial Fishing Season on Poverty Point Reservoir

Release Date: 10/06/2016

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission considered a Notice of Intent (NOI) to modify the ban on commercial fishing gear and establish a commercial fishing season on Poverty Point Reservoir in Richland Parish.
The NOI proposes a removal of the current net ban to allow for the legal harvest of commercial fish during a special recurring trammel and gill netting season to begin on October 1 and close at sunset on the last day of February the following year.  Commercial fishing will only be allowed in designated areas, and although gear can remain overnight, fish must be harvested during daylight hours only. 
The use of hoop nets, wire nets and fish seines will remain prohibited.
To view the full notice of intent, please visit here.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Ryan Daniel, District 2 Fisheries Biologist Manager, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 368 Century Link Dr., Monroe, LA 71203-8732 or via email to rdaniel@wlf.la.gov prior to December 5, 2016.

LWF Commission Updates List of Established Recreational Reef Sites

Release Date: 10/06/2016

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action at today’s monthly meeting on a Notice of Intent (NOI) to update the list of established recreational reef sites in Louisiana inshore waters.
In Calcasieu Lake, the Commission proposes to remove the inshore planning area encompassing Oyster Reefs 1, 2, and 3 (also known as the Chenier Reefs) from to the list of established recreational reef sites. This action would allow for the future harvest of market-size oysters known to exist in the area. A new area of water bottoms in the lake would be designated and set aside as a recreational reef (planned East Calcasieu Reef in Cameron Parish), and oyster harvest would be restricted in this area. 
New reef sites in Lake Pontchartrain include the recently created 10-acre West End reef site near the south shore of the lake in Orleans Parish, and the new 10-acre St. John reef site in the southwestern part of the lake in St. John the Baptist Parish.
Other site changes include the removal of duplicate reef sites coordinates, consistency corrections and subsequent renumbering of reef sites.
To view the full notice of intent and for reef site coordinates, please visit here.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed modifications to Craig Gothreaux, Artificial Reef Program Manager, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries – Fisheries Extension, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to cgothreaux@wlf.la.gov prior to November 28, 2016.

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