LDWF News

LDWF News Release

New Skimmer Net Regulations Take Effect August 1

Release Date: 06/17/2014

June 17, 2014- Officials with The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that beginning August 1, as a result of Act No. 14 of the 2014 regular legislative session, Louisiana commercial shrimp fishermen are allowed to modify the dimensions of their skimmer nets.

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force gathered input from industry members through public meetings and worked with Representative Joe Harrison to introduce Act No. 14 which includes the following changes:

  • Skimmer nets may be mounted to the horizontal net frame at any distance from the gunwale of the vessel as long as the mounting distance and horizontal length of the net frame does not exceed 20 feet from the gunwale.
  • Maximum length of the horizontal net frame increased from 16 feet to 20 feet from the gunwale of the vessel.
  • Maximum length of the vertical frame “down pipe” attached to the skid is removed and fishermen may use vertical frames of any length.
  • The entire opening of the skimmer net shall not exceed 72 feet as measured along the hanging.  This measurement includes the length of the cork line together with the depth of the wings and length of the lead line.
  • Maximum length of skimmer net lead line increased to 28 feet to 33 feet (same as maximum length of a 25 foot trawl lead line). 

It is important to note that legal skimmer net frames and nets in use today will remain legal and no fisherman is forced to purchase any new rigging or nets.  These new regulations are intended to provide fishermen with options for developing net configurations that work more efficiently in waters where they fish while providing greater economic opportunities.  These new changes affect skimmer net gear only; regulations on butterfly nets whether mounted on stationary platforms or vessels remain unchanged.

For clarification, an example sketch of legal and illegal skimmer net frames can be found here. This sketch provides an example only, as other skimmer net frame configurations using horizontal measurements less than 20 feet may be legal.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.

 

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LDWF Family Fish Fest Heads to Cypremort Point on Saturday

Release Date: 06/17/2014

(June 17, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold its fourth Family Fish Fest on Saturday, June 28 in conjunction with the Coastal Conservation Association Specks and Spots Tournament at the Quintana Pavilion in Cypremort Point.
 
Fishing season is in full swing, and the Department strives to offer a host of opportunities throughout the state to educate young anglers about the popular statewide sport.  The program provides a unique opportunity for families to learn how to fish together and discover just how much fun it can be.
 
Beyond an exciting day of fishing, the Department will provide activities for youth and adults alike, including a mobile touch tank, fish identification, casting tutorials and arts and crafts.  LDWF’s newest mascot, Robbie the Redfish, will also be onsite for photo opportunities and to greet guests.
 
Family Fish Fest activities will be held from 1 to 3 p.m.  Participants who bring in a live speckled trout or redfish to be tagged and released will receive a raffle ticket with the chance to win a K2 cooler and fishing tackle. Youth anglers registered for the event will automatically be entered into several raffle drawings for great fishing gear.
 
Registration information is available at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/familyfishfest or http://www.ccalouisiana.com.  All anglers should provide their own equipment, bait and live fish transport containers. 
 
Sponsors for Family Fish Fest include CCA Louisiana, Pure Fishing, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh and Bayou Outfitters, Emprint Moran Printing, Coon Neck Wildlife and Art Gallery and Whole Foods.
 
Our next Family Fish Fest is scheduled for July 12 at Elmer’s Island in Grand Isle.  Go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/familyfishfest for more information or to register.
 
The LDWF Family Fish Fest is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF 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 Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282. 
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.
 
 

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LDWF Agents Charge New Orleans Man with Illegal Fish Sales

Release Date: 06/16/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a New Orleans man for alleged commercial fishing violations on June 13 in Orleans Parish.

Agents cited Paul D. Haptonstall, 34, of New Orleans, for the illegal sale of fish.  Haptonstall sold red drum and spotted sea trout at his residence to undercover LDWF agents.

Agents received complaints about Haptonstall actively selling red drum and advertising this on social media sites.  The LDWF Special Investigations Unit purchased a total of 138 red drum, 11 black drum, two spotted sea trout, two blue catfish and three sheepshead after six transactions at Haptonstall’s residence.

Agents cited Haptonstall for selling commercial fish without a commercial license, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, taking spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout during a closed season and six counts of selling game fish illegally.

Selling commercial fish without a commercial license or gear license each carry a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Each count of selling game fish illegally carries a $350 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Taking spotted sea trout without a permit and selling spotted sea trout during a closed season each carry a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

He is also facing a total of $3,710.80 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.

Agents participating in the case are LDWF’s Special Investigations Unit, and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois and Cadet Jeff Farmer.

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

State Announces New Commercial Oyster Harvest Rules

Release Date: 06/13/2014

June 13, 2014 – The Louisiana Departments of Health and Hospitals, and Wildlife and Fisheries announced two new rules regarding the commercial harvest of oysters intended for raw consumption.  These new rules are in effect daily and will help ensure the safety of oysters intended for raw consumption and simplify harvesting practices to support Louisiana’s fisheries. The new rules require two major changes to the way oysters are currently harvested:

1.  Harvesters fishing for white tag oysters, those oysters intended to be eaten raw, must attach a tag or label on all containers holding shell-stock, with the corresponding lot identification number or character printed legibly on the tag or label, if they are placed in a cooler an hour or more after harvest.  This tag or label shall be approved by the state health officer at the Department of Health and Hospitals and the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

2.  Additionally, the new rules require that if oysters are being harvested for multiple tags, the fisher or harvester must treat all oysters as they do the most restrictive kind of product on their vessel. For example, if they are harvesting white and green tag oysters, they must treat all oysters like white-tag oysters.

The full rules can be found here.  These rules were supported by restaurant owners and by fishermen, seafood processors and biologists who comprise the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook page.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining 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 please contact Rene LeBreton of LDWF at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov /  (504) 286-8745 or Ken Pastorick of LDHH at ken.pastorick@la.gov / (225) 342-1881.

 

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LDWF Accepting Applications for Aug. 2 Mini BOW Workshop at Woodworth

Release Date: 06/11/2014

June 11, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for a Mini Becoming an Outdoor Woman (BOW) Workshop to be held Saturday, Aug. 2 at the Woodworth Environmental Education Facility located off I-49, south of Alexandria.

Saturday activities include a morning course on “Bucks and Does” or optional class on “Big Adventures with Small Game.”  After lunch, participants will receive firearm safety course work and shooting exercises with either rifles or shotguns. The $20 workshop fee includes lunch Saturday and the optional overnight facility use on Friday.

“Bucks and Does” class will cover deer biology, senses, preferred habitat, locating deer sign, deer stands, management, hunting techniques, and gun /ammo selection. This class is a requirement to attend the Beyond BOW Deer Hunt. “Big Adventures with Small Game” will teach participants to identify different small game species Sportsman’s Paradise has to offer. The course will cover laws, habitat needs, how to recognize sign, and various hunting techniques. Participants will also get to see hunting dogs in action.

 

The workshop can accommodate 20 participants and overnight accommodations are available for those who choose to arrive on Friday, Aug.1. Those staying overnight need to bring their own bedding and toiletry items.

The application deadline is July 18, 2014 and applications can be found at this web location: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/mini-becoming-outdoors-woman.  Women 18 years of age or older are eligible to participate. This course is intended for women who have little or no hunting experience. Successful applicants will be chosen by random drawing if the number of applications exceed the available openings. Successful applicants will be notified by phone the following week.

 

For more information, contact Dana Norsworthy at 318-345-3912 or dnorsworthy@wlf.la.gov, or Chad Moore at 318-371-5210 or cmoore@wlf.la.gov .

 
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LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Black-Clear Lake

Release Date: 06/11/2014

(June 11, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown on Black-Clear Lake near Campti on July 1, 2014, in an attempt to improve fisheries habitat and control nuisance aquatic vegetation.
 
Although recent surveys show plant coverage levels are lower than previous years, they are expected to increase during the coming months.  The expectation of increased plant coverage coupled with a drawdown request from the Northwest Game and Fish Commission has prompted the Department to take action.
 
Drawdown recommendations include a dewatering of 2 to 4 inches per day until the lake reaches a level of 4.5 feet below pool stage.  Following a 60-day drying period, the control gates may be operated for minor water fluctuations to isolate additional plants.  The gates will be closed no later than January 31, 2015, to allow the lake to refill.
 
The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.  During the drawdown, an estimated 9,600 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters will be able to access the lake from the following public boat launches: Black Lake Lodge, Chandler’s, West Wind and Sandy Point.
 
The upcoming drawdown is part of the Department’s comprehensive management plan for Black-Clear Lake.  Additional control recommendations include herbicide treatments and use of biological control agents including triploid grass carp and giant salvinia weevils.
 
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwfffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Yeldell, LDWF Biologist Manager, at ryeldell@wlf.la.gov or (337) 286-5940.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

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Free Fishing Weekend Draws Crowds to LDWF Family Fish Fest

Release Date: 06/10/2014

Free Fishing Weekend Draws Crowds to LDWF Family Fish Fest
Free Fishing Weekend Draws Crowds to LDWF Family Fish Fest

(June 10, 2014) – During this weekend’s annual Free Fishing Weekend, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries held its third Family Fish Fest at Myrtle Grove Marina.  The event was a great opportunity to introduce children to the joys and excitement of a day on the water catching fish.  Not only is fishing a great family activity, it helps make us more aware of our natural environment.

Participants enjoyed a fun-filled day of fishing and event winners took home loads of prizes.

Launched earlier this year, Family Fish Fest events are designed to increase youth and family involvement in fishing and fisheries conservation.  Each event includes fishing opportunities with live redfish and speckled trout tagging at all saltwater locations.

Saturday’s event included a mobile touch tank, fish identification, knot tying lessons, cast net lessons, casting tutorials, LDWF mascot Robbie the Redfish and arts and crafts.

Winners include Little Angler Redfish first place, Maddie Schieble; second place, Mark Wilson, III; Team Wham Slam first place, Mark Wilson, Sr.; Team Catch-N-Count first place, Beverly Squarsich; Team Crab Grab first place, Kira Stevens.  Additional prizes were given to those who brought in extra live redfish and trout to be tagged by the Department as part of the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program.

Saturday’s event sponsors included CCA Louisiana, Pure Fishing, Dufrene Building Materials, Myrtle Grove Marina, Plaquemines Parish Government, Whole Foods, SeaTow, Coon Neck Wildlife and Art Gallery, New Orleans Zephyrs, Hyatt Regency of New Orleans, Faux Pas Prints and Marsh and Bayou Outfitters. 

Our next Family Fish Fest, hosted in partnership with the Coastal Conservation Association Specks and Spots Tournament, is scheduled for June 28 at the Quintana Pavilion at Cypremort Point State Park.   Family Fish Fest activities will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Participants who bring in a live speckled trout or redfish to be tagged and released will receive a raffle ticket with the chance to win numerous prizes.  Adults will receive an additional raffle ticket for each youth entered.

LDWF Family Fish Fest is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF 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 fisheries resources. 

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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

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LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomes 13 New Agents at Graduation

Release Date: 06/10/2014

LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomes 13 New Agents at Graduation

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Academy today, June 10, graduated its 27th class of cadets into the ranks of LDWF Enforcement Division agents at a ceremony in Baton Rouge.

After six months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy, 13 newly commissioned agents are ready to begin enforcing hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state's natural resources.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, the keynote speaker at the ceremony, said, “You have a tremendous responsibility to protect Louisiana’s rich natural resources and those who enjoy those resources, whether in the field or on the water.  Congratulations on your achievement which we celebrate today.”  Barham further noted that, “These 13 cadets are very much needed to help bolster the ranks of agents in the state as this is our first graduation in over three years.”

Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, presented certificates and recited the Oath of Office making the cadets’ transition to commissioned agents official.  “We welcome these cadets into the Enforcement Division ranks.  They are well trained and will be required to hit the ground running when they get to their local regions.”

The 13 new agents are:

Todd Abshire, 25, of Lake Charles, assigned to Cameron Parish
William Bartlett, 28, of Slidell, assigned to Plaquemines Parish
Richard Bean, 27, of Marrero, assigned to Lafourche Parish
Jeffrey Farmer, 26, of New Orleans, assigned to Jefferson Parish
Lance Fox, 26, of Pineville, assigned to Southern Strike Force
Joshua Harris, 24, of Farmerville, assigned to Northern Strike Force
John Hattaway, 23, of Bastrop, assigned to Northern Strike Force
Lucas Hidalgo, 26, of Franklin, assigned to Southern Strike Force
Jake Hoover, 24, of Albany, assigned to Beauregard Parish
Kyle Wagner, 24, of Destrehan, assigned to St. Charles Parish
Derek Ware, 24, of Sieper, assigned to Sabine Parish
Tyler Wheeler, 22, of Monroe, assigned to Northern Strike Force
Max Wilkinson, 24, of Marksville, assigned to West Feliciana Parish

During the graduation ceremony, Farmer received the firearms award given for the best marksman in the class and the physical training award for being the most fit.  Fox received the academic award for having the highest grades.  Farmer also won the overall award, which is a cumulative score from the firearms, academic and physical training categories.

At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.

The graduating agents fill vacancies in LDWF’s Enforcement Division and will be assigned to a field-training officer for their first six months of duty.  Now part of the agency’s commissioned officer staff, the agents will join the ranks of those patrolling land and water to primarily detect game, fish and boating law violations.  These duties require travel into Louisiana's forests, swamps, fields, streams, bayous, lakes, marshlands, the Gulf of Mexico and on the state roadway system.

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

Photo: First Row from Left to Right: Lance Fox, Jeffrey Farmer, Todd Abshire, John Hattaway, William Bartlett, Richard Bean, and Derek Ware.  Back Row from Left to Right: Col. Joey Broussard, Joshua Harris, Tyler Wheeler, Jake Hoover, Kyle Wagner, Max Wilkinson, Lucas Hidalgo, and Major Spencer Cole.

LDWF Fish Tagging Workshops Introduce Women to the Sport of Fishing

Release Date: 06/10/2014

LDWF Fish Tagging Workshops Introduce Women to the Sport of Fishing
LDWF Fish Tagging Workshops Introduce Women to the Sport of Fishing

(June 10, 2014) – This year, nearly 50 women have joined the ranks of experienced anglers in Louisiana by participating in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Women’s Fish Tagging Workshops.  The two workshops were held at the Cabela’s in Gonzales where the ladies learned how to rig their own rod and reel, fishing tactics, how to properly tag a fish, methods of cleaning fish and identification of fish native to Louisiana.

The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana sent each of the participants home with their own rod and reel, and several of the wining raffle winners brought home new fishing gear courtesy of Cabela’s and CCA Louisiana. 

The Department strives to inspire people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors.  The Women’s Fish Tagging Workshops, one of the many outreach programs LDWF sponsors, are designed to do just that.  The goal is to provide women with hands-on education and experience from trained staff and volunteers.

The program is open to women 18 and older who have in interest in fishing and conservation but have not had the opportunity to learn the skills and techniques needed to begin fishing.  LDWF and Cabela’s have partnered to hold several of these one-day workshops.  Those who participate in the workshops are eligible to enter a lottery for fishing trips, allowing them to practice the techniques they learned. Participants are also given the opportunity to be paired with a fisheries biologist and boat captain to further their fishing experience and help them to one day become confident enough to fish on their own.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

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LDWF To Hold Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Tuesday, June 10

Release Date: 06/09/2014

EVENT:  27th Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Academy Graduation.

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 10 a.m.

WHERE:  Louisiana Room, LDWF Headquarters Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

BACKGROUND:  The graduation will add 13 new agents to the LDWF Enforcement Division following six months of training.  The event will include the presentation of colors by the LDWF Enforcement Color Guard, presentation of awards and the Oath of Office ceremony.

LDWF agents enforce hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state's natural resources.  Their duties include checking hunters, fishers, dealers, restaurants, breeders, farmers and transporters for compliance with regulations governing limits, quotas, licenses, sizes, registrations, legal documents and accepted behavior.  Agents are also trained for search and rescue and maritime security missions.

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

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