L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Russell Sage W.M.A. Now Includes Wham Brake Property

Release Date: 08/11/2011

Russell Sage Wham Brake Map

Aug. 11, 2011– Outdoors enthusiasts utilizing Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA) now have an additional 4,955 acres for hunting and other outdoor activities based on a lease agreement recently signed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and International Paper (IP).

“We are pleased to have been able to arrange this no cost lease agreement and make this announcement prior to the opening of the 2011-12 hunting season,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We will continue to negotiate with International Paper for eventual transfer of the property.”

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

“Wham Brake has a rich history as one of the premier waterfowl areas in northeast Louisiana,” said IP’s David Haynes. “International Paper made the area available to the public free of charge for more than 50 years. The fact that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is taking over management of the area will ensure that continues in the future. We are grateful for their efforts to make this happen.”

LDWF is allowing removal of duck blind structures or other private property within the Wham Brake acreage through Sept. 9, 2011. Additional time may be considered for removal, but hunting from any permanent structures will not be allowed. The department 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 a possible transfer of ownership. The LDWF Monroe field office can be contacted for more information at 318-343-4044. 

The existing WMA property provides two greentree waterfowl impoundments totaling 2,400 acres, utilized by species including mallards, wood ducks, and other non-game species. Public hunting options are also available for deer, squirrel, rabbit and woodcock, and a primitive camping area is provided north of U.S. Highway 80.

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.

Hunter Education Important Part of Hunting Season Preparation

Release Date: 08/10/2011

Aug. 10, 2011-- With hunting season less than a month away, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds the public that there is still time available to obtain hunter education certification.

Anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, is required to have successfully completed a hunter education course to hunt in the state of Louisiana, unless they are under the direct supervision of someone over 18 years old that has a valid hunting license or proof of completion of a hunter education course.  Hunter education courses cover firearms safety, general outdoors safety and the principals of wildlife management.  To locate hunter education course information, connect to the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education

Hunters have two options for hunter education certification: register for and attend the 10-hour classroom course, which is usually conducted over 2-3 days, or chose the home study option.  With the home study option, the user will study the course material either on-line or via CD-ROM and attend a mandatory field day.   Both methods will provide the student with the required hunter education certification once a written test is passed at the end of the classroom course or field day. However, the home study option is recommended for students 14 years of age or older. There is no minimum age for attending a hunter education class, but a person must be at least 10 years old to receive hunter education certification.

Hunters who have already received their hunter education certification should verify that their hunter education card is available and in their possession prior to their first hunting trip.  If a duplicate card is needed, an application may be completed on-line at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education.  A temporary duplicate card can be printed immediately and there is no fee for a duplicate hunter education card.

Hunters planning out of state hunts should consult the hunter education requirements for the states they plan to visit.  Requirements differ from state to state, but a Louisiana hunter education certification is valid in all states. 

For more information, contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov
 

White Lake Property Advisory Board to Meet Aug. 10 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 08/09/2011

The next regular Advisory Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries headquarters located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808      

The following items will be discussed:

1.      Roll Call

2.      Approval of Minutes of March 24, 2011 Meeting

3.      Department Financial Report

4.      Update on White Lake Leases

5.      Proposal for new biologist & technician staff

6.      Update on whooping cranes project

7.      Update on Intracoastal Canal/DU NAWCA project

8.      Update on birding trail & 700 ac impoundment

9.      Upcoming hunting season plan/changes

10.   Other Business

11.   Public Comment

12.   Adjournment

L.D.W.F. Seeking Private Land to Lease for Public Dove Hunts on Sept. 3

Release Date: 08/08/2011

Aug. 8, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now seeking fields to lease from private landowners for the Sept. 3 opening of the 2011-12 dove season. 

Since 1994, LDWF has leased fields for public hunting access on the opening day of dove season.  Suitable fields are recently harvested grain fields or freshly cut pastures that are 75 acres or larger.  The fields should also be attracting large numbers of doves.

Lease payments vary based on the size of the field and range from $750 for a 75-acre field to $2,000 for fields over 500 acres.  The fields will be open to public dove hunting on Sept. 3 only and 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.

Landowners seeking more information about the dove field lease program can contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Sets Public Meetings Aug. 17-18 to Discuss Catahoula Lake Management

Release Date: 08/08/2011

Aug. 8, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled two public meetings in the Catahoula Lake area to discuss current and future management plans on the lake.

The meeting dates, times and locations are:

* Aug. 17 - 6:30 p.m. at the Woodmen of the World Building, 1720 East Oak St., Jena

* Aug. 18 - 6:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 3rd St., Alexandria

In 2010, LDWF initiated a 10-year management and research plan that includes: varying water-level management from traditional dates; bush-hogging and haying in designated locations to inhibit growth of encroaching swamp privet and water elm; herbicide application to kill smaller trees; active removal of stands of larger trees; and establishment ofmonitoring plots to evaluate the effects of various management activities on the vegetative community on the lake bed.

The ultimate goal is to identify management practices or combinations of management activities that reduce woody encroachment while maintaining or improving waterfowl food production.

Along with the experimental management plan, LDWF will also discuss: the upcoming opportunity for hay leases on the lakebed; recently approved changes in the East Zone waterfowl hunting season dates; proposed changes to zones used for waterfowl hunting in Louisiana; upcoming surveys to assess hunter satisfaction with past waterfowl hunting zones, splits, and season dates; and opinions on potential changes to those regulations in the future.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov, or Steve Smith at 318-487-5885or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF, CCA-Louisiana and Cabela's Host Women's Fishing Workshop

Release Date: 08/05/2011

Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop Group
Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop Fish Cleaning
Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop Boater Ed

Aug. 5, 2011– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), CCA-Louisiana and Cabela’s teamed up to present a Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop on Sunday, July 24 at the Cabela’s Gonzales location.

LDWF staff from the Education Section and Fisheries Outreach provided instruction in fishing basics to 27 participants during the eight hour program.Instruction included Fishing 101, boater education, boat hauling/trailering, casting techniques, fish identification, fish cleaning and fish tagging, plus presentations on sportsfish restoration, fish otolith removal and the aging process. Hands-on activities included maneuvering a boat on a trailer, casting, tagging red fish and cleaning trout.  Each participant received complimentary outdoor items from Cabela’s and Fisheries Outreach. 

The next scheduled Women’s Weekend Workshop featuring “Hunting Basics” is scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.  Due to limitations on space available, anyone interested should contact Karen C. Edwards at (318) 766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov for more information.

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.

2010 Youth Hunters of the Year Announced

Release Date: 08/05/2011

Ben Broussard - 2010 Male Youth Hunter of the Year
Megan Boles - Female Youth Hunter of the Year

Aug. 5, 2011-- The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will recognize the two 2010 Youth Hunters of the Year at the 2011 LOWA Conference Awards Banquet in Houma on Aug. 6. 

Thirteen-year-old Megan Boles of Provencal was selected as the 2010 Female Youth Hunter of the Year and 12-year-old Ben Broussard of Sulphur was selected as the 2010 Male Youth Hunter of the Year.Both young hunters submitted a story about their 2010-11 hunting season experience along with photographs of the hunt.  LOWA and LDWF then selected the winners.

The Youth Hunter of the Year Program is part of the Louisiana Youth Hunter Registry Program that was initiated several years ago by both LOWA and LDWF to recognize the state’s youth hunters and encourage them to keep the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana.  In addition to being recognized as the Youth Hunters of the Year, Megan and Ben received gift certificates from Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.  The other participants in the program received certificates recognizing their hunting achievements during the 2010 season and one individual will be selected by random drawing to receive a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters.

Megan is the daughter of Charles and Kelly Boles and has grown up hunting with her dad.  While she had hunted deer prior to the 2010 deer season, she had never bagged one with a muzzleloader.  During the 2010 primitive firearm season, she harvested her first buck with a muzzleloader rifle on an afternoon hunt with her dad.  Megan wrote that her dad has taught her all the safety tips and rules for hunting with a gun and even though she normally hunts with her .243 she was very comfortable with a “smoke pole” in her hands.  She made a great 80-yard shoulder shot on a nice 8-pointer.  Megan is also a successful turkey hunter and enjoys hunting with her dad, an accomplished turkey hunter.  Megan said her dad “puts the turkeys to sleep on the roost and wakes them up in the mornings.”  Megan loves to hunt with both mom and dad and has enough hunting savvy to hunt alone. 

The Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is one of the sponsors of the Youth Hunters Program and Luke Lewis, regional biologist with the NWTF said, “The Louisiana Chapter is glad to support LOWA and LDWF with the Youth Hunter of the Year Program.  Megan comes from a family that lives the outdoor lifestyle, with a mother and father who have dedicated their careers to conservation with the US Forest Service on the Kisatchie Ranger District.  Both of them have been a big part of providing Megan with an appreciation for nature and the outdoors.  On behalf of our 6,400 members of the LA Chapter, and our state board of directors, we congratulate Megan and know she will develop into a young conservationist with the appreciation of being a good steward of the land and its resources.”

Ben Broussard is the son of Jeanne and James Ed Broussard and made his first duck hunt with his dad during the 2010 Thanksgiving holidays.  In his story, Ben also wrote about his dad and how safety conscious he was during the hunt.  Bently, their black lab, shared the blind with the two hunters and did the work of retrieving the ducks.  Ben killed a green wing teal with his first shot and later bagged a widgeon drake as it hovered over the spinning decoy.  It was a great day for young Ben, his dad and Bently; the hunters brought home nine ducks, but more importantly, as Ben wrote, memories of a day he will never forget.

This is the first time that a duck hunter has been selected as the Youth Hunter of the Year and Ben has broken new ground for the program and hopefully will promote participation by other youth waterfowl hunters.

The Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl has been a sponsor of the program since day one.  Jonathan Walker, chapter president, congratulated Ben on his achievement saying, “Ben represents the future of this sport in our great state of Louisiana.” He added, “Delta Waterfowl’s mission has always been to secure the future of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting and the BR Chapter is proud to have a part in this important program and supporting the next generation of hunters.”

LOWA and LDWF jointly recognize the important sponsorship support for the program provided by:  The Bayou State Bowhunters Association, the South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Andrew Harrison with Harrison Law, LLC.

“Programs such as this could not be possible without the support of these organizations and individuals,” said Kenny Ribbeck, chief of the LDWF’s Wildlife Division. “Attracting youth to the sport of hunting has taken greater emphasis in our agency over the past decade as hunter numbers declined.  Along with the Youth Hunter Registry Program, LDWF is currently launching a new program, the Louisiana Hunting Heritage Program, aimed at introducing the sport of hunting to any age individual through mentors. We will continue to provide these programs to insure that the rich hunting heritage in Louisiana continues.”

For more information about the Youth Registry and Hunter of the Year Programs, visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting/youth-hunter-registry-programor contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.govor David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or heflinroots@hotmail.com.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Approves Online Application Process for Oyster Harvester Permits in Lake Calcasieu

Release Date: 08/05/2011

August 4, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed a motion amending the rules by which Oyster Harvester Permits are issued for Lake Calcasieu.  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 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  

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. 

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. 

Applications will be available beginning Monday, September 26, 2011, at 9 a.m.  Harvesters will be required to reapply on the last Monday of September each year following. 

A completed application consists of the following information:  applicant’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, commercial license number, oyster harvester license number and personal identification number issued by a state or federal agency (i.e., driver’s license or passport). 

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

L.W.F.C. Sets Tentative 2011-12 Migratory Waterfowl Season

Release Date: 08/04/2011

Aug.  4, 2011 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted to tentatively adopt proposed season dates, bag limits and shooting hours for the 2011-12 migratory waterfowl season at their Aug. 4 meeting.  The dates will be ratified by a declaration of emergency from the commission, after approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Following a comment period that began after the July commission meeting, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended a 60-day season for ducks, coots and mergansers.  In the West Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 12 and close on Dec. 4.  The second segment will open on Dec. 17 and run through Jan. 22.  In the East Zone, the first segment will go from Nov. 19 to 27.  The second segment will last from Dec. 10 to Jan. 29.

A proposal to move the Youth waterfowl weekend to the weekend during the splits was revised by LDWF based on a majority of public comments received. Those comments favored keeping that weekend opportunity for youth prior to the season opening dates in both zones. The revised Youth waterfowl weekend dates proposed by the department and adopted by the commission are Nov. 5-6 in the West Zone and Nov. 12-13 in the East Zone.

The daily bag limit on ducks is six and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, one canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, two scaup and two redheads.

The daily bag limit on coots is 15.  The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded mergansers.  The merganser limits are in addition to the daily bag limit for ducks.

The possession limit on ducks, coots and mergansers is twice the daily bag limit.

Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season.  The first segment in the West Zone will open on Nov. 12 and close on Dec. 4.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 17 to Feb. 5.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 5 and run until Nov. 27.  The second segment will run from Dec. 10 to Jan. 29.  The daily bag limit on light geese is 20, with no possession limit.  The daily limit on white-fronted geese is two, with a possession limit of four. When the Canada goose season is open, the limit is two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada) of which no more than one can be a Canada goose.

The Canada goose season will be 44 days and run from Dec. 17 to Jan. 29 statewide, except for a small closure area in southwest Louisiana.  The daily limit for Canada geese is one in aggregate with white-fronted geese and the possession limit is two in aggregate with white-fronted geese.  So the daily bag limit will allow two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada geese), no more than one of which may be a Canada goose.

The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will open in the West Zone on Dec. 5, and the first segment will close on Dec. 16.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Feb. 6 to March 11.  The first segment in the East Zone will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, and the second segment will be from Jan. 30 to March 11. During this time, only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken and daily bag and possession limits are eliminated.  The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is permitted.  Shooting hours during the Conservation Order begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until one-half hour after sunset.

Rails may be taken from Sept. 10 to 25 and again from Nov. 12 to Jan. 4.  For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 30.  Sora and Virginia rails have a daily and possession limit of 25 in the aggregate.

Gallinule season will be open from Sept. 10 to 25 and again from Nov. 12 to Jan. 4.  The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30.

Snipe may be taken in the West Zone first segment from Nov. 5 to Dec. 7 and from Dec. 17 to Feb. 28 in the second segment. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 5 to 30 with a second segment running Dec. 10 to Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is 8 and the possession limit is 16.

An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 5 to Feb. 3.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.louisiana.gov.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/04/2011

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

 

Aug. 4, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the fall inshore shrimp season will open in Shrimp Management Zones 1, 2 and 3, on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6 a.m.  The commission set the season based on recommendations presented by Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments from the public.

Furthermore, the commission granted authority to the LDWF Secretary to close the fall shrimp season when biological and technical data indicates the need. 

Shrimp Management Zone 1 includes Louisiana waters from the Mississippi-Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River. 

Shrimp Management Zone 2 extends from to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island.

Shrimp Management Zone 3 extends from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana-Texas state line.

Certain waters adjacent to Bay Jimmy and Grand Terre Island located in the Barataria Basin are closed to all recreational and commercial fishing except for recreational and charter boat angling because of closures still in effect from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Portions of the Mississippi River’s birds-foot delta are also closed due to this incident. 

Preliminary Louisiana shrimp landings statistics indicate that approximately 26.5 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-off weight) were landed in Louisiana from January 2011 through June 2011.   

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 Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363. 

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