L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Longleaf Pine Restoration Field Day Set for Oct. 5

Release Date: 09/08/2011

Sept. 8, 2011-- Private landowners, forestry professionals and wildlife biologists and managers are invited to a Longleaf Restoration Field Day on Wednesday, Oct. 5 in Long Leaf, La.

The event registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Southern Forest Heritage Museum and includes morning and afternoon information sessions plus lunch. Field day activities conclude at 3 p.m.

Participants will learn how to restore Louisiana’s native longleaf pine forests through stand conversion and planting seedlings, which will generate wildlife values such as wild turkey, bobwhite quail and deer habitat while increasing timber values with dependable returns from high quality wood.

Information about generous state and federal cost share programs will also be provided to assist with restoration of longleaf pine.

Longleaf pine forests once covered millions of acres throughout the Southeastern United States. Today, longleaf pine habitat is limited to several thousand acres. Longleaf pine habitat can contain as many as 300 different species of groundcover plants per acre, and approximately 60 percent of the amphibian and reptile species found in the Southeast. Additionally, this forested habitat is home to at least 122 endangered or threatened plant and animal species including the red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise, plus the northern bobwhite, a species of concern.

This field day event will provide time to meet professionals who can share their knowledge of the longleaf pine ecosystem and wildlife habitat it supports.  Participating partners include the Texas-Louisiana Longleaf Taskforce, National Wild Turkey Federation – LA Chapter, Louisiana Forestry Association, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, US Forest Service- Southern Research Station, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, LSU AgCenter, Larson-McGowin Forest Managers and Consultants, the Louisiana Society of American Foresters and The Nature Conservancy.

Send registration to Mary Anne Sayer, Alexandria Forestry Center, 2500 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA. 71360. The $15 registration fee includes a Cajun shrimp boil.

For additional information, contact Dave Haywood at 318-473-7226 or dhaywood@fs.fed.us or John Robinette at 337-491-2576 or jrobinette@wlf.la.gov .

 

Two Acadia Parish Men Cited For Hunting Violations

Release Date: 09/08/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for allegedly hunting squirrels during a closed season on Sept. 1 northwest of Iota.

Agents heard shots and observed two subjects walking in the wooded area near Bayou Des Canes shooting squirrels.  Agents made contact with the two subjects and found a total of six squirrels between the two men.

Agents cited Joseph Gary, 48, and David Leckelt, 54, both from Iota, for hunting squirrels during a closed season.  Leckelt was also cited for hunting without a resident hunting license.

Hunting squirrels during a closed season brings a fine between $250 and $500, or up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court cost.  Hunting without a resident license brings a fine of $50 or up to 15 days in jail.

The fall squirrel season in Louisiana runs from Oct. 1 to Feb. 29.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Buddy Murray and Jason Stagg.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Reminds Residents to Report Tropical Storm Lee-Related Fish Kills

Release Date: 09/03/2011

Sept. 3, 2011 - Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are reminding residents in areas that may be impacted by Tropical Storm Lee that fish kills may occur as a result of the storm. Residents who encounter a fish kill are encouraged to call 1-800-442-2511 immediately to report this fish kill. 

Large amounts of rainfall across Southern Louisiana may cause fish kills, particularly in the Lake Verret Complex, Lake Fausse Point or other natural waterbodies surrounded by lands converted from forests to agricultural land. High levels of rainfall may erode organic matter, carrying it into bayous and canals connected to lakes. Organic matter may consume high amounts of dissolved oxygen in the water "suffocating" aquatic life.

Fish kills may also be caused by the rapid mixing of stratified waters or layers of warm oxygenated water over cooler anoxic water. In some instances, the result will be that the water can no longer support underwater life.

In the past, tropical storms have caused fish kills in these types of waterbodies. Localized fish kills may also occur in the Atchafalaya Basin. 

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 Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

 

L.D.W.F. Advises Public That Tropical Storm Lee Has Impacted the Public Dove Hunt Scheduled in Grant Parish

Release Date: 09/03/2011

Sept. 3, 2011 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) advises hunters that Tropical Storm Lee has affected parking available at the private land leased for dove hunters in Grant Parish today, Sept. 3

The hunt, scheduled from noon to sunset on 310 acres of harvested milo, will be conducted as scheduled. Parking will be limited to the Red River levee, however, and hunters will have to walk to the dove field. No ATVs will be allowed on the private land that has been leased for the opening day of the 2011-12 dove season.

Participating hunters should exit I-49 at Boyce and travel on Hwy. 8 north across the Red River. Turn left after the bridge and follow the levee road less than 1 mile, as posted signs indicate.  LDWF personnel will be present at the field to issue permits and monitor the hunt.  Hunters 16 years of age and older are charged $10 to hunt, while hunters 15 years of age and younger hunt for free. Permits will be issued on a first come, first serve basis until the field is filled.

For more information about public dove hunting opportunities, go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove.

For more information regarding this press release contact Fred Kimmel at fkimmel@wlf.la.gov or 225-335-0657.

 

Pearl River W.M.A. Adds Acreage With Donation From The Nature Conservancy

Release Date: 09/02/2011

Sept. 2, 2011 – An additional 586 acres has been added to the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area for outdoor recreational activities, thanks to a donation from The Nature Conservancy.  

“We are pleased to announce the addition of these lands at minimal cost to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We appreciate the generosity of The Nature Conservancy and their long-term commitment to protecting the natural resources of our state.”

The newly acquired property is located near the intersection of US 190 and US 90 at White Kitchen in St. Tammany Parish.  It includes freshwater marsh and cypress-tupelo swamp, and an elevated boardwalk on the property that allows WMA visitors the opportunity to view local flora and fauna.  A bald eagle nest is also located on the property.

Keith Ouchley, Louisiana State Director for The Nature Conservancy, stated: “The Conservancy has long supported the efforts of LDWF to protect and manage lands within the PearlRiver Basin, which is one of the most intact and biologically significant river systems in the South.  The former White Kitchen Tract was one of the first preserves acquired by the Conservancy in Louisianaand we are confident that the transfer to LDWF will provide additional resources for management while increasing recreational opportunities for the public.”

The existing WMA includes over 35,000 acres and consists of a variety of habitats including bottomland hardwoods, cypress-tupelo swamp, shrub-scrub marsh, freshwater marsh, and intermediate marsh.  Hunting opportunities are available for deer, waterfowl, squirrel, rabbit, feral hogs and alligators.

For more information and directions to Pearl River WMA, visit the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wmaor contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4781.

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.

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. For more information, visit us at www.nature.org or call the Louisianaoffice at (225) 338-1040.

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LDWF Schedules Drawdown For Lake Claiborne

Release Date: 09/02/2011

(Sept. 2, 2011)– The water control structure on Lake Claiborne near Homer, La., will be opened soon after Labor Day for a lake drawdown.  The lake will be lowered seven feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until early January 2012.

The action is in response to a request by the Claiborne Parish Watershed Commission to allow for maintenance to shoreline properties.  In addition, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will use the drawdown period to facilitate needed maintenance work to La. Highway 2 and to conduct a thorough inspection of the dam and control structure. 

ClaiborneLakewill not be closed to fishing, but caution is advised of anglers as boat access into the lake will be limited and boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Evan Thames, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 371-5216.

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) 765-5113.

L.W.F.C. AMENDS NOTICE OF INTENT ON 2012 TURKEY HUNTING SEASON DATES, REGULATIONS

Release Date: 09/02/2011

Turkey Hunting Areas 2012

Sept. 2, 2011 --The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) presented an amended notice of intent for the 2012 turkey season dates and regulations at the Sept. 1 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.

Based on public comment collected since the original notice of intent was adopted in July, LDWF recommended reverting to the same area designations used for the 2011 turkey season. The proposed north and south zones were removed from the department’s July proposal, resulting in a recommendation of a uniform opening statewide on the fourth Saturday of March.

The newly proposed area designations and dates would include:  Area A, March 24 to April 22; Area B, March 24 to April 15; and Area C, March 24 to April 8. The daily bag limit would remain one gobbler, and the season limit would be two gobblers.

Special private land youth hunts for those 17 years of age and younger and hunts for wheelchair confined hunters would take place on March 17-18, 2012 in all areas.

The revised notice of intent would also alter previously proposed turkey season dates for LDWF Wildlife Management Areas and special lottery hunts.

Public comment on these issues can be submitted to Jimmy Stafford, Turkey Program Manager, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, by Oct. 6, 2011.

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov.

LWF Commission Moves Forward With 2012 Crab Trap Removal Program

Release Date: 09/01/2011

(Sept. 1, 2011)- Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a motion to continue the abandoned crab trap removal program for 2012.  Two winter crab trap closures and clean-ups are planned for portions of St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Terrebonne parishes on designated dates in February and March next year. 

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of nearly 20,000 abandoned and derelict crabs.  The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. 

LDWF will partner with Louisiana Sea Grant for the 2012 crab trap removal efforts.  As the 2012 removal weekends approach, Louisiana Sea Grant will help organize volunteers, provide educational outreach on marine debris, as well as establish a recycling effort for crab traps.

St. Bernard/Plaquemines Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., February 25, 2012 through 6 a.m., March 5 2012:

•  From a point originating along the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) at 89 degrees 36 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence southward along  89 degrees 36 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence westward along 29 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 38 minutes 30 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 38 minutes 30 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence westward along 29 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 40 minutes 30 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 40 minutes 30 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence westward along 29 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to the eastern shore of the Mississippi River; thence northward along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River to 89 degrees 54 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence northward along 89 degrees 54 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to the southern shoreline of the MRGO; thence eastward along the southern shoreline of the MRGO terminating at the point of beginning.

Terrebonne Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., March 17 through 6 a.m. Mar 26, 2012:

•  From a point originating from the intersection of LA Highway 57 and Dulac Canal; thence east along LA Highway 57 to its intersection with LA 56; thence due east to the western shoreline of Bayou Little Caillou; thence north along the western shoreline of Bayou Little Caillou to its intersection with Lapeyrouse Canal; thence east along the northern shoreline of Lapeyrouse Canal to its intersection with Bayou Terrebonne; thence south along the eastern shoreline of Bayou Terrebonne to its intersection with Seabreeze Pass; thence southwest to channel marker number 17 of the Houma Navigation Channel at 29 degrees 11 minutes 11.3 seconds north latitude 90 degrees 36 minutes 44.5 seconds west longitude; thence southwest to the northern most point on Pass la Poule Island at 29 degrees 08 minutes 33.5 seconds north latitude 90 degrees 39 seconds 01.3 seconds west longitude; thence west to Bayou Sale channel marker at 29 degrees 06 minutes 31.8 seconds north latitude 90 degrees 44 minutes 34.2 seconds west longitude; thence north to the western shoreline of Bayou Sale; thence north along the western shoreline of Bayou Sale to its intersection with Four Point Bayou; thence north along the western shoreline of Four Point Bayou its intersection with the Houma Navigation Channel; thence north along the western shoreline of the Houma Navigation Channel to its intersection with Bayou Grand Caillou; thence north along the western shoreline of Bayou Grand Caillou to its intersection with Dulac Canal; thence east along the northern shoreline of Dulac Canal and terminating at the point of beginning.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned. 

In the weeks leading up to the closure periods, LDWF will send notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within these and adjacent parishes. 

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property.  Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners. 

Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.  Anyone may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area.    Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area. 

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.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist, Marine Fisheries Section, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, prior to November 3, 2011. 

For media inquiries, contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-8660.

LWF Commission Sets 2011-2012 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 09/01/2011

Oyster

(Sept. 1, 2011)– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011/2012 oyster seasons based on oyster stock assessments provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry. 

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • The Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Wednesday,  September 7, 2011.
  • With the exception of Calcasieu and Sabine lakes, all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including the Machias Fortuna    sacking only area and the American Bay/Bay Long sacking-only area, will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Monday, October 17, 2011.
  • The oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (Department of Health and Hospitals’ harvest area 30)   will open at   one-half hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 1, 2011.  The sack limit during this time period is set at 10 sacks per person per vessel per day.
  • The east side of Calcasieu Lake (Department of Health and Hospitals’ harvest area 29) and the Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area will remain closed for the entire 2011/2012 oyster season.

For a map detailing the 2011/2012 oyster season, click here

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data.  LDWF biologists will closely monitor harvest and continue to collect biological information from public reefs as the season progresses. 

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

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 media inquiries contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-8660.

 

L.D.W.F. Reminds Hunters That Wham Brake Property Subject to W.M.A. Rules and Regulations

Release Date: 09/01/2011

Sept. 1, 2011 – With Teal season opening Saturday, Sept. 10, hunters are reminded that Wham Brake in northeast Louisiana is now a part of Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  Wham Brake, as it is locally known, will provide an additional 4,955 acres for hunting and other outdoor activities through a lease agreement recently signed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and International Paper (IP).

The newly leased acreage, north of the existing WMA land owned by LDWF, includes prime waterfowl habitat. Russell Sage WMA, encompassing acreage in Morehouse, Ouachita and Richland Parishes, now totals 21,948 acres with IP leased acres included.

The Wham Brake area will be subject to all WMA rules and regulations including the 2 p.m. closure for waterfowl hunting and mandatory use of Self-Clearing Permits.  The public must obtain and complete a Self-Clearing Permit from a kiosk located in the parking lot at the end of Buckley Hill Road.  Buckley Hill Road is accessed via Stubbs Vinson Road which runs north from US Hwy. 80.  Other WMA regulations can be found in the 2011-2012 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet or on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations .

LDWF is allowing removal of duck blind structures or other private property within the Wham Brake acreage through Sept. 9, 2011. Hunters are reminded that hunting from any permanent structures will not be allowed. LDWF is interested in acquiring some existing blinds for possible use in youth waterfowl and Louisiana Hunting Heritage Program hunts, and will evaluate any structure offered for donation. The LDWF Monroe field office can be contacted for more information at 318-343-4044.

LDWF will be accepting public input on the future management of Wham Brake during a public meeting to be held locally in March of 2012.  The public will be notified of the date and time for this public meeting.   

For more information and directions to Russell Sage WMA, visit the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma or contact Jerald Owens or Charles Booth at 318-343-4044.

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.

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