LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF to Hold Two Public Meetings for Proposed Artificial Reef Sites in Lakes Pontchartrain and Calcasieu

Release Date: 08/05/2016

 

News Release

 

For Immediate Release
August 5, 2016

Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745

rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

 

LDWF to Hold Two Public Meetings for Proposed Artificial Reef Sites in Lakes Pontchartrain and Calcasieu

 
 

 

 

Lake Pontchartrain, St. John Parish - Proposed artificial reef flyer and map

Calcasieu Lake, Cameron Parish - Proposed artificial reef flyer and map

 
 

Lake Pontchartrain Artificial Reef Meeting

Who:  LDWF Artificial Reef Staff
What: Public information meeting to receive comments and provide information about a proposed artificial reef site located in the southwest portion of Lake Pontchartrain at the site of an existing shell pad approximately 1.3 miles from Frenier Landing
When: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Where: East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W Napoleon Ave, Metairie, LA 70001

For additional information, questions, or comments please contact:
Ashley Ferguson at 225-761-2395 or aferguson@wlf.la.gov

Calcasieu Lake Artificial Reef Meeting

Who:  LDWF Artificial Reef Staff
What:  Public information meeting to provide information and receive comments about the reef site located in the southern portion of Calcasieu Lake
When: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Where:  Calcasieu Parish LSU AgCenter Office, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles, LA 70607

For additional information, questions, or comments please contact:
Craig Gothreaux at 225-761-2396 or cgothreaux@wlf.la.gov

These meetings will be open to the public.

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. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 
 
 

 

LDWF and CPRA announce progress of Elmer’s Island beach and dune restoration and shift in construction activities

Release Date: 08/04/2016

LDWF and CPRA announce progress of Elmer’s Island beach and dune restoration and shift in construction activities

For Immediate Release:

(August 3, 2016) –Beginning on August 10, 2016 the beach area of Elmer’s Island will be closed for 12 days to the public as construction activities progress near the public parking area where the access road meets the beach.

Construction activities on the west side of Elmer’s Island access road will be near completion on August 22 and, once construction activities safely progress to the east past the parking area, foot traffic will reopen to the west side of the island. Parking and pedestrian access areas will be marked accordingly. Project construction is anticipated to continue on the east side of the island through the fall.

To view a map of the areas to be closed see above.

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is restoring the beach habitat of the Caminada Headland by transporting sand from Ship Shoal, an underwater sand body located approximately 30 miles away in the Gulf of Mexico to restore habitat on the barrier shoreline. The restoration of the headland occurred in two project increments. Increment I of the project (the western half) was completed in December of 2014 and restored approximately 300 acres and 6 miles of beach and dune habitat. Increment I was funded with Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) and state surplus funds. Increment II (the eastern half) is larger and will restore approximately 500 acres and 7 miles of beach and dune. Increment II is being funded through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which was established by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to manage funds resulting from the settlement of federal criminal charges against BP and Transocean. In total, the two projects will restore 13 miles of Louisiana’s barrier shoreline and represent one of the largest restoration projects ever constructed by the CPRA with a combined project investment of over $200 million.

“We are pleased with the progress being made on this project and are doing all we can to limit the impact to our recreational users and fishermen as construction activities continue,” said Charlie Melancon, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“The Caminada Headlands project is significant in a number of ways: at over $200 million it is the largest restoration project CPRA has implemented to date; by fortifying 13 miles of the headland it will truly make an impact on the landscape; and it is significant because it represents the way that the work put into our Coastal Master Plan is now and will continue to be used to drive the implementation of the most crucial projects for our coast”, said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry.

For further information, contact Rene LeBreton at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov, 504-286-8745.

Drawdown Scheduled on Cheniere Lake

Release Date: 08/03/2016

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury has scheduled a drawdown on Cheniere Lake to facilitate repair work on LA Highway 3033, which was severely damaged by flooding earlier this year. The project also includes the installation of a new bridge and spillway.
 
The drawdown is scheduled to begin Wednesday, August 10, 2016. The lake will be lowered approximately 4 inches per day to a maximum depth of 6 feet below pool stage. Repair work will take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete. 
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries supports the drawdown, as it is an effective fisheries management tool. LDWF has made similar recommendations in years prior to accelerate the decomposition of leaf litter and improve the spawning substrate for bottom nesting fish. These drawdowns have met opposition from both waterfowl hunters and anglers. As a compromise, LDWF has lowered the lake to 3 feet below pool stage on an annual basis since 1998.
 
Although the lake will not be closed to fishing or other activities, caution is advised of boaters during this period, as most boat lanes will not provide for adequate clearance of underwater obstructions.
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact the Ouachita Parish Police Jury at (318) 327-1340.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown on Clear-Smithport Lake

Release Date: 08/02/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Bayou Pierre Game and Fish Commission have scheduled a drawdown on Clear-Smithport Lake in Desoto Parish for giant salvinia control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement.  The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia, as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth.
 
The water control structure is scheduled to open on August 18, 2016, and the lake should dewater at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per day.  The water will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 4 feet below normal pool stage.  The Clear-Smithport control gates are scheduled for closure on December 1, 2016, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early spring recreational activities.
 
During the drawdown, an estimated 600 to 700 acres of water will remain in open areas.  Boaters may still access the main waterbody with small craft from the Desoto Parish Ramp at the Highway 509 Bridge.  Caution is advised during launching and when on the water, as numerous boating hazards will be present.
 
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve access for recreational activities.  An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Villis Dowden, LDWF Biologist, at vdowden@wlf.la.gov or (318) 357-3214.  

LDWF Accepting Lottery Applications for Waterfowl Hunts at Sherburne WMA South Farm Wetland Development Area

Release Date: 08/02/2016

Aug. 2, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for waterfowl lottery hunts to be held at the South Farm Wetland Development Area at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for the 2016-17 hunting season.
 
These special hunts are restricted to hunters selected through the lottery application process. Details on the qualifications, application requirements and dates of the hunts are listed on the application form.
 
Successful applicants will be selected by a random computer drawing.  Applications for the lottery must be submitted to LDWF by Sept. 30. A $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application.
 
Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office or by visiting the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts .
 
Applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 of the LDWF headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge or by mail.  The mailing address is: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.
 
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.

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AMENDED - August 2016 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 08/01/2016

AMENDED - August 2016 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

 

AGENDA ITEM ADDED

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, August 4, 2016, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.    Call to Order     

2.    Pledge of Allegiance

3.    Roll Call

4.    Approval of July 07, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.    Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6.    To hear Enforcement Reports July 2016

7.    Old Business        

8.    To recognize the National Archery in Schools Program National and World Champions

9.    To consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the 2016 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season

10.  To hear a presentation on Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Notice and summary of public comments received on the Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Notice of Intent

11.  To consider a Resolution to add property to Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Area

12.  To hear and consider suggestions for Public Hearing dates on Cervid Carcass Importation Ban

13.  Set December 2016 Meeting Date

14.  Receive Public Comments

15.  Adjournment

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4738330343073561860
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

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Gov. John Bel Edwards Appoints Jerri G. Smitko to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 08/01/2016

Jerri G. Smitko

Aug. 1, 2016 – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has appointed Jerri G. Smitko of Houma to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC). Smitko, who will serve as an elector of the coastal parishes and a representative of commercial fishing and fur industries, is an attorney and the owner of Smitko Law, APLC, in Houma.
 
Smitko, whose term runs until Jan. 7, 2022, will make her first appearance on the board during Thursday’s LWFC August meeting in Baton Rouge.
 
“As a lifelong sportswoman, a licensed commercial fisherman and an attorney with more than 30 years in practice, I understand how important the law is in protecting our natural resources,’’ said Smitko, who has one son, Maxwell Smitko. “I also have a deep appreciation for those who rely on those resources for their livelihood, sustenance and enjoyment. I am eager to champion the causes of our commercial fishermen and trappers who have served as the backbone of the bayou communities for generations.’’
 
Among her many positions held since graduating from Tulane Law School in 1986, Smitko was chair of the Louisiana Indigent Defense Assistance Board from 2006-09, was on the board of directors for the Terrebonne Parish Indigent Defenders Office from 2000-06 and on the board of commissioners of the Terrebonne General Hospital Service District No. 1 from 1997-2009.
 
She was also special legal counsel to Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government from 1992-98 and the assistant parish attorney for the same body from 1988-92.
 
Smitko is a member of the American Bar Association, Louisiana and Terrebonne Parish bar associations and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. She served in the Louisiana Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve until her honorable discharge in 1985.

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August 2016 LA Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to Meet

Release Date: 08/01/2016

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, August 4, 2016, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.     Call to Order         

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Approval of July 07, 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6.     To hear Enforcement Reports July 2016

7.     Old Business         

8.     To recognize the National Archery in Schools Program National and World Champions

9.     To consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the 2016 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season

10.  To hear a presentation on Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Notice and summary of public comments received on the Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Notice of Intent

11.  To hear and consider suggestions for Public Hearing dates on Cervid Carcass Importation Ban

12.  Set December 2016 Meeting Date

13.  Receive Public Comments

14.  Adjournment 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com. To
attend this meeting via webinar visit: attend this meeting via webinar visit:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the
webinar.
 
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. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts,
signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF/LSU Research Indicates Feral Hogs Have Negative Impact on Water Quality in Some Central Louisiana Water Bodies

Release Date: 07/29/2016

July 29, 2016 – The proliferation of feral hogs in Louisiana has been well documented as have many of the negative impacts on wildlife.
 
But a research project by the LSU Agricultural Center’s School of Renewable Natural Resources in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shows that feral hogs, recorded in all 64 parishes, are having a similarly detrimental effect on water quality on some water bodies in central Louisiana between Alexandria and Natchitoches.
 
The research, conducted from June 18-Sept. 1 in 2015, revealed that pathogens were extensive in sampled water bodies on private lands adjacent to Kisatchie National Forest and were regularly associated with feral hogs. The water at all 40 sites in the study contained one or more pathogens that were potentially unsafe for human or wildlife contact.
 
Of particular concern, of the 40 sites sampled, DNA fingerprinting positively matched 22 sites with high levels of E. coli in the water with fecal samples obtained from feral hogs both within and outside the areas sampled.
 
Additionally, salmonella was found at 38 of 40 sites. Both pathogens are considered harmful to both humans and wildlife. Associations were also noted between feral hog presence, heterotrophic bacteria counts (a measure of overall bacteria amount in the water) and microbes that could cause leptospirosis, yersinosis and Klebsiella pneumonia.
 
For wildlife, the diseases could have devastating effects. Leptospira spp. can cause kidney damage and loss of renal function in squirrels, raccoons and white-tailed deer.  Leptospira has caused abortions in white-tailed deer and many other mammals. Salmonella spp. can infect wild turkeys and other wild birds resulting in liver damage, severe diarrhea and death. Klebsiella spp. can cause sinusitis and pneumonia in wild birds and turkeys. Yersinia spp. can cause gastroenteritis in white-tailed deer and raccoons, and severe overwinter mortality has been observed in wild migratory birds.
 
Water quality in this region has suffered greatly on both privately and publicly owned land as the feral hog population has continued to expand, according to the report. Feral hogs are known carriers of more than 30 bacterial and viral diseases, including many pathogens than can be spread through contact with water.
 
“We learned through this study that there are some alarming pathogens in the water and feral hogs are implicated in the spread of these pathogens,’’ said Scott Durham, LDWF Director of Species Management. 
 
The impact to humans and wildlife in the region is particular cause for concern. Many recreational activities in these areas, including swimming, kayaking and hunting, could put humans in direct contact with these pathogens. Humans can become gravely ill from some of these diseases if misdiagnosed or untreated.
 
“Given the socio-cultural and economic importance of these species, loss of individuals, reduced condition and reduced fitness could have serious implications for human recreation and local economies,’’ the report said.
 
DNA fingerprinting indicated that feral hog family groups were moving or being moved great distances in the region, up to about 30 miles at a time.
 
Collaborative feral hog management between local landowners and public land managers is recommended in the study.
 
“This study provides incredibly significant findings, illuminating the real threat to wildlife populations and human health from this feral animal’s increasing presence across the state,’’ Durham said. “One way to help is to never transport feral hogs. In fact, it’s illegal to transport and release them. We need to develop ways to remove whole sounders (herds) of feral hogs, not just nickel and dime a few pigs at a time. You have to get rid of the whole sounder.’’
 
Click here to see the complete report.

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Agents Cite Men for Closed Season Shrimping In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 07/29/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited two men for alleged shrimping violations on July 26 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Thuong Nguyen, 59, and Steven Nguyen, 27, both of Buras, for using skimmers in a closed season.

The agents were responding to complaints of illegal shrimping taking place in the Buras area.  During the stop agents seized and returned 75 pounds of shrimp to the water.

Using skimmers in a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.

In addition for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Villerie Reggio and Agent Kyle Haydel.

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