L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

LDWF Announces Major Commercial Fishing Reopening

Release Date: 04/11/2011

Closure Map

Over 99 percent of state waters now opened for fishing

April 11, 2011 - Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing in portions of state, inside waters within the Mississippi River Delta that were previously closed due to impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill last year.

“While the effects of the oil spill will continue to affect our state for years to come, we are as confidant as ever in the safety of Louisiana’s seafood, the most-tested seafood in the world,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Today marks an important step in the journey to a full recovery for fishermen who depend on these resources for their livelihood and I am happy to report that over 99 percent of Louisiana’s waters are open to fishing.”

Secretary Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing, after which the FDA advised that shrimp, crab and finfish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Commercial fishing reopens immediately today in the portions of state inside waters between the eastern shore of Southwest Pass and the southern shore of North Pass of the Mississippi River. 

This reopening does not include shrimp harvesting, as the shrimp season in these waters has not been opened. 

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 more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

Documents: 

Louisiana Youth Can Register Now for 2010 Hunter of the Year Awards

Release Date: 04/11/2011

April 11, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) are encouraging hunters 15 years of age or younger to enter the 2010 Youth Hunter of the Year competition. 

The contest requires youth hunters to submit a story about their hunting experience along with photographs of the hunt.  LDWF and LOWA will then select a male and female youth hunter of the year based upon the stories and photos that are received. 

Visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/youth-hunter-registry-program for information on the Youth Hunter Registry Program and the 2010 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest.

Youth hunters who participated in any hunting activity during the 2010-11 hunting season are encouraged to participate.  This is not a big buck or turkey contest. The program is about youths enjoying a hunting experience, with or without success, and keeping the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana. The deadline to enter the 2010 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest is June 30, 2011.

The two winners will be recognized at the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Conference this summer.  Winners will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.

Additionally, all participants who register their 2010-11 hunting experiences with the Youth Hunter Registry Program will be eligible to win a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters (winner to be selected by a random drawing).

For more information, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or helfinroots@hotmail.com.

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.

Access Bridge to Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Area Open to the Public

Release Date: 04/11/2011

April 11, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened access to Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) via the Poole Road Bridge following reconstruction of the structure.

The old wooden bridge previously at this location had a three-ton weight limit and had been closed repeatedly over the last several years when high water threatened public safety.

During the summer of 2010, Bossier Parish and Petrohawk Energy entered into an agreement in which the parish provided the design and permitting for the new bridge construction and Petrohawk funded the removal of the old structure and construction of the new bridge.  Construction started on this project in October 2010 and was completed in late March of 2011.  The new bridge is a concrete two-lane bridge that can withstand heavy traffic and will be a noticeable improvement to Loggy Bayou WMA users.

In addition to the new bridge, those using Loggy Bayou WMA will notice significant improvements to other portions of the WMA as well.  Further improvements will be ongoing over the next several months, as an agreement between LDWF and a pipeline company will result in additional road improvements as well as improvements to the boat launch access and parking area. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) staff worked in conjunction with Petrohawk and its affiliates to develop solutions to allow natural gas exploration activity in Loggy Bayou WMA, while minimizing impacts to the WMA. 

The public is advised that higher than normal traffic is to be expected on the WMA over the next several months due to drilling and completion operations.  Additional road construction and improvement projects will result in extra traffic as well.  Further improvements to the boat launch access road and parking area will result in a short temporary loss of access to the launch at some point when those construction activities take place.  

For more information on Loggy Bayou WMA, contact Jeff Johnson at jjohnson@wlf.la.gov or 318-371-3050.

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.

L.D.W.F. Proposes Use of Personal Watercraft on Select Department Managed Areas

Release Date: 04/11/2011

April 11, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted an amendment at their April 7 meeting that would allow the use of personal watercraft (PWC) on water bodies within areas managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

If approved, the proposal would allow PWCs on Catahoula Lake as well as Biloxi, Boeuf, Manchac, Maurepas Swamp, Pearl River and Pointe-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Areas.

LDWF is requesting input from the general public on this proposed amendment.  Comment will only be accepted until the next meeting scheduled for May 5 beginning at 9:30 a.m. and should be made to Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@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/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

L.D.W.F. Agents Searching for Overdue Boater in Lac des Allemands

Release Date: 04/08/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are actively searching for a missing Vacherie man in Lac des Allemands in St. John the Baptist Parish.

LDWF along with the U.S. Coast Guard and St. John the Baptist Sheriff's Office are searching the lake for Larry T. Brock, 66, who has been missing since the morning of April 7.

The St. John the Baptist Sheriff's Office notified LDWF agents of an unmanned vessel found in Lac des Allemands running in circles around 11 a.m.  The 18-foot aluminum vessel with 130 horsepower motor was found with several catfish on board and bait for hoop nets.

According to a fellow fisherman, Brock is a commercial fisherman who was running hoop nets in the morning.  When Brock did not return by 10:30 a.m., the fellow fisherman went looking for him and found the unmanned vessel and notified the sheriff's office.

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

LDWF Announces Special Shrimp Season to Begin April 18

Release Date: 04/07/2011

Special Shrimp Season Map

April 7, 2011 – Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced two shrimp seasons.  There will be a special, five-day shrimp season in a portion of inside state waters.  Additionally, there will be an opening of state outside waters currently closed to shrimping.  Both seasons will open at 6:00 a.m. April 18, 2011.

Special Season
The five-day special shrimp season includes state inside waters from the eastern shore of Bayou Grand Caillou northward to the intersection of Bayou Grand Caillou and the Houma Navigation Canal, northward along the eastern shore of the Houma Navigation Canal westward to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island which will close to shrimping at 6 a.m. April 23. 

Re-opening
The opening of state outside waters includes those waters south of the inside/outside shrimp line.  This area begins from the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light at Caillou Boca westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.  These waters will remain open until further notice.

Recent data gathered by LDWF biologists, indicates that marketable shrimp are available for harvest in the designated areas. 

Preliminary LDWF trip ticket report data shows that 2010 Louisiana shrimp landings (all species combined/heads-on weight) totaled approximately 110.2 million pounds and had a dockside value of $117.3 million.

The opening dates for the 2011 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 5 meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.

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 Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov. 

Second Annual Louisiana Saltwater Series Off to a Strong Start

Release Date: 04/06/2011

April 6, 2011 – On Saturday, April 2, 2011, the second annual Louisiana Saltwater Series kicked off at Seaway Marina in Lafitte, La., with 47 boats entered and over $8,000 awarded in cash prizes.

The series was developed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

Taking home first place overall was Bobby Monstead and Aaron Gelfand with a two fish total weight of 17.51 pounds.

A total of 113 redfish were tagged and released during Saturday’s event.  The results of the tagging will aid conservation efforts for redfish in the future, helping to ensure healthy populations and a successful recreational fishing industry.

Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for more information including event photographs and a complete listing of results, and be sure to mark your calendars for our next tournament on April 30 at Calcasieu Point Landing.  Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

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.

Amended Agenda for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 04/06/2011

April 6, 2011-The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, 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 March 3, 2011
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/March
  5. To consider Notice of Intent on Fish and Wildlife Values
  6. To hear overview of Budget Process and Department’s Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Executive Budget
  7. Public comments on 2011-13 Hunting Seasons and 2011-12 General & WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations and DMAP
  8. To consider Notice of Intent on Alligator Regulations
  9. To hear Report on Reintroduction of Whooping Cranes
  10. To consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Opening of Sabine Lake to Commercial Oyster Harvest
  11. Set August 2011 Meeting Date
  12. Receive Public Comments
  13. Adjournment

L.D.W.F. Investigating Decapitated Eagle

Release Date: 04/05/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking the public's help after finding a federally protected decapitated bald eagle in a drainage ditch in Franklin Parish on April 3.

Anyone providing information leading to the arrest or conviction of the guilty party is eligible for up to $2,000 in cash rewards.  LDWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are both offering $1,000 to help solve this case. 

"To see any protected animal decapitated in a ditch is disheartening enough, let alone the animal that represents our symbol of freedom," said Capt. Alan Bankston, LDWF's Regional Captain for the Monroe area.  "However, to find out what happened to this eagle, we really need help from the public.  We are urging the public to offer up any information they might hear so we can hold someone accountable for this brutal crime."

Anyone with information may call the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Agents believe the eagle had been dead for a couple of days before being found.  LDWF agents recovered the eagle and are currently scheduling a necropsy to determine a cause of death.

The eagle is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  For each violation of these acts, a $5,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail may be imposed if convicted.

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

State Reinvests $13 Million with Commercial Fishermen

Release Date: 04/04/2011

April 4, 2011 – This month the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in coordination with the Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD), and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), issued award letters to nearly 1,000 fishermen who were deemed eligible for the Commercial Fisherman Grant Program.  Throughout the month the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry through the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority (LAFA) has been on-site at several locations along the coast conducting grant closings and disbursing funds to eligible fishermen.

“The industry has worked incredibly hard to recover from numerous disasters over the last six years, including hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “We are excited to match some of the hard work that the commercial fishing industry has put into bouncing back by issuing grants that help mitigate some of their losses. The full recovery of our coastal communities is tied to the fate of our commercial fishing industry. This is another step towards helping those residents, businesses and communities become whole again.”

“The funds for this program were part of the $27 million the state allocated to Fisheries recovery from the Community Development Block Grants we received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” said Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater. “From the beginning, we have been committed to helping our fishermen, and this important part of Louisiana’s economy, recover from the effects of the 2008 storms. I’m pleased that this coordinated effort with LDWF and LDAF will bring these much-needed funds to commercial fishermen.”

The Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority processed more than 1,250 applications and awarded the money based on losses suffered by the 2008 hurricanes.

“This is a continuation of LAFA’s mission to promote rural economic development,” Strain said. “It’s vital to our economy for our food producers to be profitable. We’re glad to be a part of that.”

The $13 million Commercial Fisherman Grant Program was designed to assist Louisiana fishermen who held a commercial fishing license in 2008 and who remain licensed, continue to recover from the effects of hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.  Individuals were required to provide supporting tax documentation and be able to prove a $5,000 tangible or financial loss in order to qualify for the program.  Applicants were eligible for a grant up to the amount of their loss, not to exceed $100,000. Of the nearly $13 million dollars being disbursed, 95 percent was allocated solely to certified fishermen.

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 Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.

For more information from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov  or at (225)610-2363.  For more information from the Office of Community Development, please contact Christina Stephens at (225) 603-3896 or christina.stephens@la.gov.  For more information from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, please contact Sam Irwin at (225) 922-1256 or sirwin@ldaf.state.la.us.

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