LDWF News Release

Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored

Release Date: 06/23/2014

Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored
Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored
Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored

June 23, 2014 -- Ted Joanen, retired research leader at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, was recognized at the Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) meeting May 26-31 in Lake Charles.
Joanen, a wildlife biologist for over 30 years, was honored with two outstanding research awards in sustainable use management. His bachelor’s degree alma mater, Southeastern Louisiana University (SELU) in Hammond, presented an endowed professorship to further studies in sustainable marsh management and conservation of wetlands.  Dr. Chris Beachy, head of the SELU's Biology Department presented the $100,000 award on behalf of the University and benefactors.
A proclamation from Louisiana State University (LSU), where Joanen completed his master’s degree, established the "Ted Joanen Outstanding Research Award in Sustainable Marsh Management".   LSU graduate students will be eligible for annual grants to further studies and research focused on marsh and sustainable use management.  A founding fund of $30,000 was donated to the graduate studies program. Additional contributions can be made to the LSU Alumni Association through Jamie B. Bueche, Accountant, LSU Alumni Association, 3838 West Lakeshore Dr.  Baton Rouge, LA 70808. For more information, call 225-578-9259 or send email to jamie@lsualumni.org.
"This was extraordinary recognition by Louisiana and the trade of Ted Joanen's four decades of pioneer work to help protect Louisiana's wetlands through the sustainable use of the alligator and other renewable natural resources," said CSG Chair, Dr. Grahame Webb.  "Ted was a CSG pioneer as well from the very beginning.  He shared his Rockefeller research findings with all who knew him to encourage the concepts of sustained use management around the world and, as Ted always said, ‘find ways to keep the marsh wet and wild’.”
Joanen’s legacy at LDWF included development of the Department's sustained use program for the American alligator, one of the world's most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story. Louisiana's program has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world. Since the inception of the Department's program in 1972, over 810,000 wild alligators have been harvested and over 6.5 million alligator eggs have been collected. Additionally, over 3.5 million farm raised alligators have been sold bringing in millions of dollars of revenue to landowners, trappers and farmers.
Contributors to the Ted Joanen special recognition awards also helped create a CSG Conservation Education Fund (CEF).  Contributions to the CEF are tax-deductible and can be made to IACS (International Association of Crocodile Specialists).
For more information, contact Ruth Elsey at 337-538-2276 or relsey@wlf.la.gov or Don Ashley at Jdalligator@aol.com.
Photo 1 caption: SELU endowed professorship presentation - (left to right) Don and Pamela Ashley, Dr. Chris Beachy, Ted Joanen, Benny Cenac and Guillaume Dromel.
Photo 2 caption: A Turner bronze alligator hatchling emerging from the egg was presented to Ted Joanen by Don Ashley and CSG Chairman Dr. Grahame Webb in recognition of the CSG Conservation Education Fund.
Photo 3 caption: LSU proclamation for Ted Joanen Outstanding Research Award in Sustainable Marsh Management presentation - (left to right) Chad Courville, Nathan Wall, Tim Allen, Gerald Savoie, Ed Froehlich, Ted Joanen, Dr. Grahame Webb, Alejandro Larriera, Pamela and Don Ashley.


LDWF Secretary to Serve on NAWCA Council and Neotropical Migratory Bird Advisory Group

Release Date: 06/20/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham has been approved to serve on the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Council and Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) Advisory Group.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel and President Obama approved Barham’s nominations for the NAWCA Council and NMBCA Advisory Group today, June 20.

“I’m honored to be nominated and approved to serve on these important councils.  I’m ready to get started to work with other council and advisory group members, government agencies and the public to improve the quality of our wetlands and migratory bird habitats,” said LDWF Secretary Barham.

NAWCA was established in 1989 to provide matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife as part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

The NAWCA Council meets three times each year to review and select Standard Grant proposals that they take before the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) for funding approval.  The council also develops policy affecting the grant application and administration processes.

This NMBCA Advisory Group includes members of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, as well as other bird conservation professionals.  The Advisory Group meets at least once a year, in conjunction with a North American Wetlands Conservation Council meeting, to discuss the NMBCA and make recommendations to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the direction of the program.

Barham, of Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish, has served as LDWF Secretary since 2008.  Barham also served as State Senator for Louisiana’s 33rd District representing Morehouse, Union, East Carroll, West Carroll, and parts of Claiborne and Ouachita parishes from 1994 to 2007.

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

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Saline Lake

Release Date: 06/19/2014

(June 19, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown on Saline Lake in Winn Parish on July 1, 2014, to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.
Based on a recent aquatic plant survey, the aquatic weed giant salvinia currently covers 1,200 acres of the lake and is concentrated in heavily forested areas.  These areas are difficult to treat with spray equipment, and as a result they serve as nursery grounds for the plant.
Drawdown recommendations include a dewatering of 2 inches per day until the lake reaches 4 feet below spillway crest height.  Dewatering will then increase to 4 inches per day until the lake reaches a level of 8 feet below spillway crest height.  This staggered approach will prevent causing fish kills downstream.
After reaching the target drawdown level, a large-scale herbicide treatment will be applied.  Fluridone, an EPA approved herbicide, will be injected into the water at a specific treatment rate and must remain at an appropriate concentration for at least 30 days to be successful.   The treatment is not a threat to human health or animals; however, lake water should not be used for irrigation during the treatment period.
Results are dependent on weather conditions, with minimal rainfall resulting in the best results.  Excess rainfall can dilute to the concentration to an ineffective level, so whole-water treatments are not applied on a regular basis.  Weather conditions will also determine the gate closure date, which may be as soon as early fall if results are seen quickly.  However, the gates will close no later than November 20, 2014, to allow the lake to refill.
The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.  During the drawdown, boaters will be able to access the lake from Mulligan’s Inn Boat Ramp on Parish Road.
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwfffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Yeldell, LDWF Biologist Manager, at ryeldell@wlf.la.gov or (337) 286-5940.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.


Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Scheduled to Meet June 24, 2014

Release Date: 06/18/2014

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, June 24 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 Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of Oct. 29, 2013 and March 11, 2014

3.  Welcome and Opening Comments

4.  Enforcement Division Report

5.  2014 Legislative Session Overview

6.  Aquatic Plant Control Report

7.  Council Discussion: Position on Management of Red Snapper Off Louisiana Coast

8.  Set Next Meeting Date

9.  Receive Public Comments

10.  Adjournment

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



Plaquemines Parish Man Cited For Oyster and Boating Violations

Release Date: 06/17/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Port Sulphur man for alleged oyster and boating safety violations on June 14 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents were on patrol in the area of Grand Bayou when they came into contact with Joel Gonzales, 30, on a vessel with 194 sacks of oysters.  Agents immediately noticed the vessel was not equipped with a tarp as per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations to protect the oysters from direct exposure to the sun and other adverse conditions.

Upon further investigation agents also determined Gonzales’ vessel did not have the required numbers for identification for the departments aircraft, the vessel was not registered by the department and was not licensed to transport seafood for sale.  The vessel also did not meet LDWF regulations for an oyster cargo vessel, which requires installation of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).

For having a vessel with no boat numbers, operating an unregistered motorboat and failing to display proper number on vessel each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  Violation of the state’s health code as it pertains to oysters carries a $450 fine and up to 10 days in jail.  Violation of VMS regulations carries a max fine of $950 and up to 120 days in jail plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license carries up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents seized and returned 194 sacks of oysters to the state’s water bottoms.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio, and Cadet Travis Bartlett.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-465-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

New Skimmer Net Regulations Take Effect August 1

Release Date: 06/17/2014

June 17, 2014- Officials with The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that beginning August 1, as a result of Act No. 14 of the 2014 regular legislative session, Louisiana commercial shrimp fishermen are allowed to modify the dimensions of their skimmer nets.

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force gathered input from industry members through public meetings and worked with Representative Joe Harrison to introduce Act No. 14 which includes the following changes:

  • Skimmer nets may be mounted to the horizontal net frame at any distance from the gunwale of the vessel as long as the mounting distance and horizontal length of the net frame does not exceed 20 feet from the gunwale.
  • Maximum length of the horizontal net frame increased from 16 feet to 20 feet from the gunwale of the vessel.
  • Maximum length of the vertical frame “down pipe” attached to the skid is removed and fishermen may use vertical frames of any length.
  • The entire opening of the skimmer net shall not exceed 72 feet as measured along the hanging.  This measurement includes the length of the cork line together with the depth of the wings and length of the lead line.
  • Maximum length of skimmer net lead line increased to 28 feet to 33 feet (same as maximum length of a 25 foot trawl lead line). 

It is important to note that legal skimmer net frames and nets in use today will remain legal and no fisherman is forced to purchase any new rigging or nets.  These new regulations are intended to provide fishermen with options for developing net configurations that work more efficiently in waters where they fish while providing greater economic opportunities.  These new changes affect skimmer net gear only; regulations on butterfly nets whether mounted on stationary platforms or vessels remain unchanged.

For clarification, an example sketch of legal and illegal skimmer net frames can be found here. This sketch provides an example only, as other skimmer net frame configurations using horizontal measurements less than 20 feet may be legal.

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.



LDWF Family Fish Fest Heads to Cypremort Point on Saturday

Release Date: 06/17/2014

(June 17, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold its fourth Family Fish Fest on Saturday, June 28 in conjunction with the Coastal Conservation Association Specks and Spots Tournament at the Quintana Pavilion in Cypremort Point.
Fishing season is in full swing, and the Department strives to offer a host of opportunities throughout the state to educate young anglers about the popular statewide sport.  The program provides a unique opportunity for families to learn how to fish together and discover just how much fun it can be.
Beyond an exciting day of fishing, the Department will provide activities for youth and adults alike, including a mobile touch tank, fish identification, casting tutorials and arts and crafts.  LDWF’s newest mascot, Robbie the Redfish, will also be onsite for photo opportunities and to greet guests.
Family Fish Fest activities will be held from 1 to 3 p.m.  Participants who bring in a live speckled trout or redfish to be tagged and released will receive a raffle ticket with the chance to win a K2 cooler and fishing tackle. Youth anglers registered for the event will automatically be entered into several raffle drawings for great fishing gear.
Registration information is available at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/familyfishfest or http://www.ccalouisiana.com.  All anglers should provide their own equipment, bait and live fish transport containers. 
Sponsors for Family Fish Fest include CCA Louisiana, Pure Fishing, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh and Bayou Outfitters, Emprint Moran Printing, Coon Neck Wildlife and Art Gallery and Whole Foods.
Our next Family Fish Fest is scheduled for July 12 at Elmer’s Island in Grand Isle.  Go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/familyfishfest for more information or to register.
The LDWF Family Fish Fest is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF 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 Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282. 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.


LDWF Agents Charge New Orleans Man with Illegal Fish Sales

Release Date: 06/16/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a New Orleans man for alleged commercial fishing violations on June 13 in Orleans Parish.

Agents cited Paul D. Haptonstall, 34, of New Orleans, for the illegal sale of fish.  Haptonstall sold red drum and spotted sea trout at his residence to undercover LDWF agents.

Agents received complaints about Haptonstall actively selling red drum and advertising this on social media sites.  The LDWF Special Investigations Unit purchased a total of 138 red drum, 11 black drum, two spotted sea trout, two blue catfish and three sheepshead after six transactions at Haptonstall’s residence.

Agents cited Haptonstall for selling commercial fish without a commercial license, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, taking spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout during a closed season and six counts of selling game fish illegally.

Selling commercial fish without a commercial license or gear license each carry a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Each count of selling game fish illegally carries a $350 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Taking spotted sea trout without a permit and selling spotted sea trout during a closed season each carry a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

He is also facing a total of $3,710.80 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.

Agents participating in the case are LDWF’s Special Investigations Unit, and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois and Cadet Jeff Farmer.

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

State Announces New Commercial Oyster Harvest Rules

Release Date: 06/13/2014

June 13, 2014 – The Louisiana Departments of Health and Hospitals, and Wildlife and Fisheries announced two new rules regarding the commercial harvest of oysters intended for raw consumption.  These new rules are in effect daily and will help ensure the safety of oysters intended for raw consumption and simplify harvesting practices to support Louisiana’s fisheries. The new rules require two major changes to the way oysters are currently harvested:

1.  Harvesters fishing for white tag oysters, those oysters intended to be eaten raw, must attach a tag or label on all containers holding shell-stock, with the corresponding lot identification number or character printed legibly on the tag or label, if they are placed in a cooler an hour or more after harvest.  This tag or label shall be approved by the state health officer at the Department of Health and Hospitals and the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

2.  Additionally, the new rules require that if oysters are being harvested for multiple tags, the fisher or harvester must treat all oysters as they do the most restrictive kind of product on their vessel. For example, if they are harvesting white and green tag oysters, they must treat all oysters like white-tag oysters.

The full rules can be found here.  These rules were supported by restaurant owners and by fishermen, seafood processors and biologists who comprise the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook page.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining 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 please contact Rene LeBreton of LDWF at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov /  (504) 286-8745 or Ken Pastorick of LDHH at ken.pastorick@la.gov / (225) 342-1881.



LDWF Accepting Applications for Aug. 2 Mini BOW Workshop at Woodworth

Release Date: 06/11/2014

June 11, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for a Mini Becoming an Outdoor Woman (BOW) Workshop to be held Saturday, Aug. 2 at the Woodworth Environmental Education Facility located off I-49, south of Alexandria.

Saturday activities include a morning course on “Bucks and Does” or optional class on “Big Adventures with Small Game.”  After lunch, participants will receive firearm safety course work and shooting exercises with either rifles or shotguns. The $20 workshop fee includes lunch Saturday and the optional overnight facility use on Friday.

“Bucks and Does” class will cover deer biology, senses, preferred habitat, locating deer sign, deer stands, management, hunting techniques, and gun /ammo selection. This class is a requirement to attend the Beyond BOW Deer Hunt. “Big Adventures with Small Game” will teach participants to identify different small game species Sportsman’s Paradise has to offer. The course will cover laws, habitat needs, how to recognize sign, and various hunting techniques. Participants will also get to see hunting dogs in action.


The workshop can accommodate 20 participants and overnight accommodations are available for those who choose to arrive on Friday, Aug.1. Those staying overnight need to bring their own bedding and toiletry items.

The application deadline is July 18, 2014 and applications can be found at this web location: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/mini-becoming-outdoors-woman.  Women 18 years of age or older are eligible to participate. This course is intended for women who have little or no hunting experience. Successful applicants will be chosen by random drawing if the number of applications exceed the available openings. Successful applicants will be notified by phone the following week.


For more information, contact Dana Norsworthy at 318-345-3912 or dnorsworthy@wlf.la.gov, or Chad Moore at 318-371-5210 or cmoore@wlf.la.gov .

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