LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Amended Agenda For October Commission Meeting

Release Date: 10/04/2011

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, October 6, 2011, 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 September 1, 2011

 3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

 4.  To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/September

 5.  To consider 2012 Turkey Hunting Areas, Seasons and Bag Limits: Consideration of  Conditionally Adopted Amendments to Notice of Intent and Consideration of Amended Notice of Intent

 6.  To consider General and WMA Turkey Hunting Regulations: Consideration of  Conditionally Adopted Amendments to Notice of Intent and Consideration Amended Notice of Intent

 7.  To consider Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

 8.  To consider Declaration of Emergency to Give Secretary Authority to Delay Opening of the 2011-2012 Season on the Public Oyster Seed Grounds

 9.  Set February 2012 Meeting Date

10. Receive Public Comments

11. Executive Session to Discuss Prospective Litigation relative to return of Artificial Reef Fund Monies

12.  Adjournment

 

Price Lake Road on Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Close Temporarily for Bridge Construction

Release Date: 10/04/2011

Oct. 4, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising all visitors to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge that Price Lake Road, a primary access point for public outdoor recreation on the western end of the refuge, will be closed Oct. 10 for approximately two weeks.

This road closure is necessary due to construction of a bridge across Price Lake Canal to provide access to a well location for permitted oil and gas exploration by Chevron. Construction activities will temporarily block vehicular access to fishing, crabbing and shrimping areas along the road.

The refuge, in coastal Cameron and Vermilion parishes, has a strong mineral management program that minimizes impacts associated with development and is compatible with wildlife and fisheries management activities on the refuge. Revenue derived from oil and gas activities is used to manage the property.  

All other canals and public access areas on the refuge will offer alternative entry points for public access from official sunrise to sunset. Other areas available for public access include the East End Boat Launch/Joseph Harbor Canal and East End Locks Rd., both located just over three miles east of the refuge headquarters building, as well as Rollover Landing which features a private boat ramp with launch fee along the eastern boundary near Pecan Island. 

For more information about Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, contact Tom Hess at 337-491-2593 or thess@wlf.la.gov.

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Governor Jindal Announces Addition of 29,630 Acres to Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 09/30/2011

Maurepas Swamp WMA Sept. 2011

Sept. 30, 2011 -- Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the availability of 29,630 new acres to the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for hunting and other outdoor activities.

Governor Jindal said, “With this newly acquired land,hunters and fisherman in Southeast Louisiana will now have access to more than 100,000 acres to hunt, fish and enjoy Louisiana’s natural treasures, which are easily accessible from our major metropolitan areas.  The addition of tens of thousands of acres of hunting grounds is great news for our hunters who are gearing up for the start of big and small game hunting season on October 1st.”

A partnership with the Conservation Fund for 29,630 acres between the eastern and western tracts of the WMA will increase the combined total acreage of public recreation lands to more than 100,000 acres located within Ascension, Livingston, St. James and St. John parishes.

“We continue to look for opportunities to expand public outdoor recreation options through the wildlife management program,” said Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham. “We encourage hunters to utilize these new public hunting grounds during the 2011-12 season.”

The new acreage includes flooded cypress tupelo swamp. Prominent plant species include bulltongue, cattails, submerged aquatics, red maple, and limited oak species consisting mostly of live oak, striped (nuttall) oak, and water oak.

The perimeter boundary of the new acreage is being marked with LDWF signage to alert the public.

The primary access into the area is by boat but there are several portions that can be accessed by foot. Major highways crossing through the area are Interstate 10, Interstate 55, US 61, and LA 641. Major waterways in the area include the Blind River, Dutch Bayou, Mississippi Bayou, Petite Amite and the Reserve Flood Relief Canal. WMA users can acquire the self clearing permits required to enter the area from nine kiosks located throughout the WMA.

Game hunted within the WMA includes whitetail deer, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl and raccoons. Freshwater fish, such as largemouth bass, perch, and crappie are favorites of anglers within the WMA. Trapping for alligators and nutria is allowed each year with proper permitting.

Bald eagles nest in and around the area along with many other species of birds. Bird watching, sightseeing and boating are additional activities that can be enjoyed on the WMA.

For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma or contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agent Found Dead in West Feliciana Parish

Release Date: 09/30/2011

 

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent was found dead this morning, Sept. 30, in West Feliciana Parish.

The body of Sgt. Paul Stuckey, 47, of Zachary, was found by local fishermen at the old ferry landing near the banks of the Mississippi River just outside of St. Francisville at daybreak. 

West Feliciana Sheriff's Office (WFSO) deputies were the first on the scene and found Sgt. Stuckey with a shotgun wound to his chest next to his patrol vehicle.  The WFSO notified LDWF at 7 a.m.

"Our hearts go out to the Sgt. Stuckey family and his extended family of fellow agents will be there to help them through this tough time," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.

According to LDWF dispatch, Sgt. Stuckey's last known communication with the department was at 2:15 a.m. identifying that he was responding to a night hunting complaint.

Sgt. Stuckey had been with the LDWF Enforcement Division for 18 years.  The cause of his death is currently under investigation.  His body was turned over to the West Feliciana Coroners Office.

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

LDWF Launches tip411 and iPhone App

Release Date: 09/29/2011

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now offering a new way to anonymously report outdoor related violations to Enforcement Division agents.  LDWF's tip411 program is a part of their Operation Game Thief program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. 

To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 

Texting or downloading the app enables the public to send anonymous tips to LDWF and lets LDWF respond back, creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.  Users of the app or texters can also send in photos to help support their claim and be used as evidence.

"We’re proud to make this technology available to our citizens free of charge.  This tip411 program will help our citizens play an active role in helping us enforce current conservation rules and regulations," said LDWF Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the Enforcement Division.  "This program will engage younger folks in the process and it will save our agency time and resources.“

LDWF will monitor the tip411 program for incoming tips 24 hours a day.

LDWF also offers their Operation Game Thief 24 hour toll free hotline.  Citizens can anonymously report tips by calling 1-800-442-2511 24 hours a day.

CitizenObserver was founded in 2000 and provides web based alerting tools to law enforcement, education and public safety agencies in over 40 states.

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

Agenda For Commission Meeting

Release Date: 09/28/2011

September 28, 2011-The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, October 6, 2011, 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 September 1, 2011

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/September

5.  To consider 2012 Turkey Hunting Areas, Seasons and Bag Limits: Consideration of Conditionally Adopted Amendments to Notice of Intent and   Consideration of Amended Notice of Intent

6.  To consider General and WMA Turkey Hunting Regulations: Consideration of Conditionally Adopted Amendments to Notice of Intent and Consideration of   Amended Notice of Intent

7.  To consider Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

8.  Set February 2012 Meeting Date

9.  Receive Public Comments

10.  Adjournment

 

 

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

Release Date: 09/27/2011

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

Regular Meeting Agenda

September 28, 2011

1 p.m.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

I.  Call to order

II. Reading and approval of minutes

III. Reports

A.      Executive Director’s Report

B.      Treasurer’s Report

C.      Finance Committee Report

D.     Sponsorship Committee Report

  IV.  Old Business

A.      3-year Seafood Marketing Campaign

B.      National Seafood Marketing Coalition - Alan

C.      Brussels overview

D.     Development of Policy and Procedure Workshop

E.      By laws - Kim

 V.  New Business

A.      Officer election protocol – Kim

B.      Thomas Hymel of Louisiana Direct - Kim

VI. Set Next Meeting(s)

VII. Adjourn

 

 

Baton Rouge Man Arrested for Boating Violations

Release Date: 09/27/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Baton Rouge man on Sept. 26 for his alleged involvement in a boating crash incident on the Amite River Diversion Canal.

Agents arrested Jack Riffle, 41, on four counts of first-degree negligent injury, driving or operating a boat while intoxicated (DWI) and reckless operation of a moving vessel and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail.  Riffle was the operator of a 19-foot vessel that struck and was lodged under a pier in the Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish on Aug. 27 that left all five occupants with moderate to serious injuries.

Passengers on the boat were Elizabeth Riffle, 44, wife of Jack Riffle, their 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son, and Chico Garcia, 29, all of Baton Rouge.

LDWF agents responded to a report of a boating crash incident at 7 p.m.  Agents immediately summoned emergency medical responders and began removing debris in order to access and provide basic first-aid to the injured until the advanced medical responders were able to arrive.

Jack Riffle submitted to a blood sample following the boating crash incident, which allegedly showed that he was over the .08 blood alcohol concentration legal limit.

First-degree negligent injury brings up to a $2,000 fine and up to five years in jail for each offense.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Reckless operation of a moving vessel brings up to a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents involved in the response and investigation were Sgt. Todd Lewis, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Agent Terry Hicks and Agent Dale Wheat.

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

Team Pale Horse Takes Home Top Prize in First Annual Louisiana Saltwater Series Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout

Release Date: 09/27/2011

Captain Kevin Beech, Jordan Ellis, Ryan Ducote, Josh Cain, Jody Bondurat, Jacob Gauthier, Hevitt Gauthier and Bronson Giroward.

(Sept. 27, 2011)- This year marked the first annual Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, as part of its Louisiana Saltwater Series.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series tournaments have helped to create awareness and increase participation in tag-and-release fishing by offering a competitive outlet for conservation-minded anglers and captains. 

The Department is committed to increasing the number of tagged yellowfin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico.  The new tuna tagging program will provide baseline information for the population models used to assess the health of the stock of this valuable fishery.

“There is no fishing experience like catching a yellowfin tuna,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We wanted to combine this experience with some fun competition between anglers who understand and enjoy the fishery, but are also interested in supporting the Department in our conservation-based efforts.”

A total of six tags were deployed at this weekend’s tournament.  The tags will be used to provide information about their movements, migrations, stock structure, growth, population size, mortality, schooling behavior, and physiology. 

The tournament offered three competitive categories: a tagging division, chartered boat division and weighed fish division. 

The total number of tagged fish determined the winner of the tagging division, going to the charted boat Pale Horse, with a winning total of two tagged yellowfin.  Team members included Captain Kevin Beech, Jordan Ellis, Ryan Ducote, Josh Cain, Jody Bondurat, Jacob Gauthier, Hevitt Gauthier and Bronson Giroward.  Pale Horse also took swept the chartered boat division, earning them an overall cash prize of $8,000.

The boat Hooked Up showed up to the scales with a 145-pound yellowfin, earning them first prize in the weighed fish division.  Team members include Captain Dane Mitchell, Ryan Parham, Patrick Fitzmorris, John Lane and Jeff Barger.   The team took home an offshore tackle package valued at $3,000.

LDWF would like to thank its many partners and sponsors for making this tournament a great success, including Venice Marina, which served as host site for the tournament and provided food to all participating anglers. 

Information about the 2012 Louisiana Saltwater Series will soon be available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

If you are a recreational fishermen, please consider signing up for the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program.   The program is open to all species, with some of the more common being redfish and speckled trout. Through this program, volunteer anglers provide information that is difficult, often impossible, and expensive to obtain by other means.   For additional information, interested anglers can contact fishtagging@ccalouisiana.com.

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) 765-5113.

 

MONDAY: LDWF to Begin Accepting Lake Calcasieu Oyster Permit Applications

Release Date: 09/23/2011

September 23, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds interested oyster harvesters that Lake Calcasieu oyster permit applications will begin being accepted at 9 a.m., Monday, September 26.  Applications may be submitted online only.

To view a sample application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/image/sample-application-calcasieu-lake-oyster-permits

For more information on the Lake Calcasieu oyster permit application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/calcasieu-lake-oyster-harvester-permit

For questions concerning the application process, contact Cole Garrett at cgarrett@wlf.la.gov.

As required by Act 329 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session, anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Lake Calcasieu must have one of 126 special Oyster Harvester Permits issued by LDWF. 

Of the 126 permits available, 63 will be issued exclusively to eligible fishermen who have historically harvested in Lake Calcasieu since January 1, 2001.  The remaining 63 permits will be issued to any person who is otherwise eligible.

Permits will be valid for a period of one year beginning October 1, of a given year and ending September 30, of the following year.  Applicants are required to hold a current and valid commercial fishing license and oyster harvester license.

At its September meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011 limit at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day at Lake Calcasieu.  Only the portion of the Lake known as West Cove will be open for harvest.  The season is set to open on November 1st.

Applications for permits will be available exclusively online on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website (www.wlf.louisiana.gov).  Permits will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis, determined by the order in which completed applications are submitted through the LDWF website.  Online submission is the ONLY acceptable method to submit completed applications.

Completed applications will be reviewed by LDWF and permits will be issued prior to the opening of the oyster harvest season in Lake Calcasieu West Cove.

Harvesters will be required to reapply on the last Monday of September each year.

A completed application consists of the following information:  applicant’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, commercial license number, and oyster harvester license number.

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

Syndicate content