L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Reviving Eunice City Lake

Release Date: 07/29/2011

 

$1 million rehabilitation project scheduled for lake in central Louisiana

July 29, 2011 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the City of Eunice plan to launch a project to rehabilitate Eunice City Lake after a Union Pacific Railroad explosion in May 2000 potentially released hazardous materials and chemicals into the surrounding area. 

Thirty-three of the 113 cars making up an eastbound Union Pacific Railroad train derailed northwest of Eunice, Louisiana.  The derailment occurred on a bridge crossing an unnamed tributary to Bayou Des Cannes.  Fifteen of the derailed cars contained a variety of hazardous materials and chemicals, and two rail cars exploded, potentially sending their contents into the surrounding area, including Eunice City Lake. 

The total amount for environmental rehabilitation projects that will be executed by the LWFF and LDWF exceeds $1 million.  After all claimants had been paid following the incident, residual funds were left in the account.  The Honorable Richard T. Haik of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the presiding Judge overseeing the train derailment litigation, awarded the monies to the LWFF to fund the improvement projects on the lake.

Although it was determined that there were no health risks involved in eating fish from the lake, concerns about fish contamination discouraged recreational use of the lake.  Improvement projects will include draining the lake, removing the existing fish population and restocking the lake with bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and sac-a-lait.

Existing facilities will also be revitalized to accommodate those seeking an outdoor recreational refuge within the community.  A large pavilion will be constructed as a revenue generating space available to the community for private outdoor events.

Other site improvements include the construction of a deck and pier, restroom facility, picnic pavilions, nature walk, welcome center and asphalt road and parking.  Repairs will be made to the existing fishing and boat dock, boat slip and the existing lake control structure will be replaced. 

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation 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 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. 

LDWF Releases 2010 Atchafalaya Basin Fishing Survey Results

Release Date: 07/28/2011

 

July 28, 2011 – In an effort to better capture the requests of the fishing community of the Atchafalaya Basin, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)  issued surveys to 2,000 resident recreational fishermen within 60 miles of the basin.  In addition to biological data, department biologists recognize the importance of angler opinion in fish management.   The intent of the survey was to determine desired management for bass in waters than include the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and the Verret/Grassy/Palourde Complex. 

Preferences for bass regulations in all three water bodies varied based upon regional differences of respondents. 

For the Atchafalaya Basin, results show that the majority of survey respondents want to keep the current 10 fish daily limit for bass.  This finding was constant among all survey respondents.  Results for desired creel limits in Henderson Lake and the Verret/Grassy/Palourde Complex were less pronounced.  The most common response was a preference for the current 10 fish daily limit. 

Responses indicate Atchafalaya Basin anglers are satisfied with the current 14-inch minimum size limit.  Angler opinions for bass size limits in Henderson Lake were similar to those for the Atchafalaya Basin, with 36 percent of responses indicating a desire to keep the current size limit.  However, opinion differed for the Verret/Grassy/Palourde Complex.  Thirty-seven percent of responses indicated a preference to decrease or remove the size limit. 

For all three water bodies, results show that respondents who prefer lower creel limits also prefer no change to the current size limit.  Anglers who prefer increased daily limits want to eliminate or reduce the current 14-inch size limit. 

To access the full report on the survey results, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/publication/2010-atchafalaya-henderson-and-verret-black-bass-survey

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. 

Teachers Complete WETSHOP Training at L.D.W.F. Fisheries Research Lab

Release Date: 07/28/2011

WETSHOP - Water Quality Test
WETSHOP - Netting
WETSHOP - Group

July 28, 2011-- Twenty enthusiastic teachers from 12 parishes participated in the 13th Annual WETSHOP hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) on Grand Isle during the week of July 10-15.

WETSHOP is coordinated by the LDWF Education Program and is focused on providing 4th grade through high school teachers an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana. Over 250 teachers have participated in the program since it began in 1998.

Utilizing LDWF’s Fisheries Research Lab facilities, participating teachers attended 55hours of instruction over six days and covered a wide variety of topics including wetland ecology, fisheries management and coastal restoration. A portion of each day was devoted to field instruction on subject matter involving maritime forests, beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats, and marine organisms. 

Participating teachers are prepared to teach their students about coastal ecology and the threats facing coastal Louisiana, as well as teach other teachers so they can effectively educate even more students regarding coastal issues.  The “train the trainer” model expands WETSHOP’s impact to an estimated 40,000 students.

WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF with grant funding provided by the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and the Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program (LaSIP).  In addition to this funding, WETSHOP is a collaborative effort with partners that provide experts in their field for presentations and educational materials.  These agencies/organizations include:  BTNEP, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, LDWF, The Nature Conservancy-Louisiana, Louisiana College Sea Grant Program, theCoastal Planning, Protection and Restoration Act and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For additional information, contact Angela Capello at 318-748-6999 or acapello@wlf.la.gov .

Environmental Education Commission Meeting Scheduled for August 9th

Release Date: 07/28/2011

 

JULY 28, 2011– The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will meet in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. in the Louisiana Room at theLouisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters located at 2000 Quail Drive.

I.      Call to order

II.      Roll Call/Sign-in

III.      Minutes from last 3 meetings

IV.      Financial Report

V.      Coordinator’s Report

VI.      Old Business

          A.     2012 Symposium Committee

                   1.      Complete committee sign-ups

                   2.      Timeline discussion & vote

                   3.      Symposium hotel update

                   4.      Keynote speaker

          B.     Environmental Literacy Plan

          C.     Art & Language Arts Contest updates

VII.      New Business

          A.     Nominating Committee appointments

          B.     Art & Language Arts theme

          C.    Outreach ideas

                  1.      Beach trash workshop

                  2.      Floating island lesson

          D.    Change of meeting dates for discussion

VIII.      Announcements

IX.      Next Meeting Dates: November 8, 2011 (Louisiana Room), March 3, 2012 (at Symposium in Alexandria), May 8, 2012

X.      Adjournment

For more information, contact Venise Ortego at vortego@wlf.la.gov or (337) 948-0255.

 

 

L.D.W.F. Reopening Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 07/28/2011

July 28, 2011 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will re-open Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) effective Aug. 1, 2011.

The public shooting ranges that include the rifle, handgun, archery and shotgun range 1 are included in the Aug. 1 re-opening of those areas within the WMA which had remained closed since spring floodwater prompted LDWF to close the site in May. The public is reminded that LA 975 south from US Hwy. 190 remains closed.  Access to the site is restricted to LA 975 from I-10 to the Sherburne WMA Headquarters.

For more information, contact Johnathan Bordelon at jbordelon@wlf.la.gov or 337-948-0255 or Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .

20 Students Participate in First LDWF Summer Camp

Release Date: 07/27/2011

20 Students Participate in First LDWF Summer Camp

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) held their inaugural Summer Camp from July 18-22 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge for children 12 to 16 years old.

The camp was completely free of charge and participants were able to receive their official LDWF boater and hunter education certifications.  The camp was split up between class room work and outdoor activities that consisted of fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, air rifles, archery and casting practice.

"The camp was a great success and well received by the kids and their parents.  The department will definitely sponsor more camps for next summer since we had such a great demand and response for this first one,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "Since most classes for boating and hunting education are done in one day, this camp allowed for a lot of extra time during the week for the kids to get hands on experience and guidance on a number of outdoor activities.”

The camp was open to the first 20 children that registered who did not already have a boater or hunter education certificate.  The following kids completed all five days of the camp and received their boating and hunting education certifications:

Tyler Irvin, 12, of Gonzales; Jordan London, 12, of Baton Rouge; Taiylar DeMoss, 12, of Baton Rouge; Devon Regira, 12, of Geismar; Darren Ficklin, 12 of Geismar; Colton Strain, 12, of Clinton; Chance Truett, 13, of Baton Rouge; Scott Sugasti, 13, of Barataria, Daniel Sant, 13, of Baton Rouge, Cade Hood, 12, of Walker; Emma Gordon, 15, of Baton Rouge, Jeffrey Ragusa, 13, of Gonzales; Alexander Williams, 12, of St. Gabriel; Mac Prudhomme, 13, of Baton Rouge; David Johnson, 14, of Baton Rouge; Jamey Jacocks, 16, of Geismar; Jacob Jacocks, 15, of Geismar; Hunter Rube, 15, of Baton Rouge;  and Cedric Brown Jr., 13, of Thibodaux.  Sari Sant, 15, of Baton Rouge, received her hunting education certificate, but had to leave the camp early and missed the boating education portion.

On the final day of the camp, LDWF held a skills challenge consisting of skeet shooting, archery, canoeing obstacle course, fish identification test, casting and fishing contests to determine which two campers would win lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.  The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA) donated lifetime hunting and fishing license went to Ficklin.  Sugasti won the lifetime hunting and fishing license donated by the Louisiana branch of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA).

The LWAA and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation provided a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camp.  Cabela's in Gonzales also donated a rod and reel combo set that each child received to upon completion of the camp.  CCA also had volunteers on site and gave each student a CCA membership.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

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

LDWF Announces Additional Shrimp Season Closures in Zone 1

Release Date: 07/26/2011

Closure Map Overview

July 26, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2011 spring inshore shrimp season will close within the remainder of Shrimp Management Zone 1 at 6 a.m., Tuesday, August 2, with the exception of portions of Mississippi Sound and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.

The areas that will remain open in Zone 1 are as follows:

·       That portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence due south to a point at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2; thence northerly along the double–rig line to a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 12 minutes 37.9056 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 10 minutes 57.9725 seconds west longitude; thence westerly along the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary to the point of beginning, and

·       The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.

For a map detailing these closures click here

Louisiana shrimp harvesters typically harvest brown shrimp during the spring shrimp season, while harvests during the fall are largely comprised of white shrimp. The quanitity, distribution and percentage of small juvenile white shrimp taken in recent biological samples have rapidly increased.  These waters are being closed to protect these developing shrimp.

Shrimp landings through June 2011 indicate that approximately 26.5 million pounds of shrimp (heads-off weight/all species combined) have been landed in Louisiana.

For more information please contact Marty Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-2401.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission August Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 07/26/2011

July 26, 2011 - The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, August 4, 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 July 7, 2011

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To consider changes to Notice of Intent on the Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permit

5. To consider Notice of Intent on Bluefin Tuna Size Limits

6. To consider Notice of Intent on Rules for Commercial Harvest of Live Mullet for Bait, as Part of the Commission Rules for Harvest of Mullet

7. To consider Declaration of Emergency on Setting the Opening Dates of the 2011 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season

8. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/July

9. To consider Notice of Intent on Boating Regulations

10. To hear Presentation of Louisiana Hunting Heritage Program

11. To consider Waterfowl Season Dates

12. Set December 2011 Meeting Date

13. Receive Public Comments

14. Adjournment
 

LDWF Recovers Body of Missing Boater from the Mississippi River

Release Date: 07/25/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents recovered the body of Joshua Peters, 27, of Livingston, around 8 a.m. on July 25 from the Mississippi River.

Joshua Peters' body was found just upriver of Ben Hur road south of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish.  The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office recovered the body of Joshua's uncle, Larry Peters, 58, of Slaughter, on Sunday, July 24 in the Donaldsonville area.

Larry and Joshua Peters launched a 14-foot flat bottom boat from under the I-10 Bridge in Baton Rouge on Saturday, July 23 to go fishing.  According to the family of the deceased boaters, neither of the Peters was heard from Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard, and East Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Offices were also involved with the search.  The search area went from Baton Rouge to the Sunshine Bridge on the Mississippi River.

Joshua's body was turned over to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office.  Larry's body was turned over to the Ascension Parish Coroner's Office.  An autopsy will be performed on both bodies to determine a cause of death.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Both bodies were recovered without wearing a personal flotation device.  LDWF will continue to search for the missing boat.

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

Rescue Agencies Searching for Missing Boater in Mississippi River

Release Date: 07/24/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Coast Guard, and East Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Offices are currently looking for a Livingston man in or near the Mississippi River between the Donaldsonville area and Baton Rouge.

Authorities were alerted by river workers on a tug boat Sunday morning, July 24, of a man floating in the middle of the river in the Donaldsonville area.  The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of Larry Peters, 58, of Slaughter, and turned his body over to the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office. 

After investigating the matter further, authorities were able to determine that Peters and his nephew, Joshua Peters, late 20s, from Livingston, launched a 14 foot bateau under the I-10 Bridge in Baton Rouge on Saturday, July 23, to go fishing.  Joshua Peters remains missing at this time.

According to the family of the deceased and missing boaters, neither of the subjects have been heard of since leaving to go fishing on Saturday.

Rescue crews will search until nightfall tonight and start up again at daybreak in the morning if they don’t locate the missing boater this evening.

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

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