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LDWF News Release

Two Louisiana Whooping Cranes Found Dead in Southeast Texas

Release Date: 01/14/2016

Jan. 14, 2016 – Two whooping cranes that were part of an experimental population in Louisiana were found dead in southeast Texas in Jefferson County on Monday (Jan. 11). These birds, a male and female, were almost two years old and were part of a group being introduced in an effort to establish a self-sustaining population in Louisiana that now numbers 44.

Although originally released in Louisiana at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) near Gueydan, the two whooping cranes, along with two other birds from Louisiana, had been in southeast Texas for more than eight months. The deaths of the cranes are being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by Texas and Louisiana state law.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is working cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state.

“While incredibly frustrating to lose two more birds we will not be discouraged in our efforts to try and recover this endangered species,’’ said LDWF biologist Sara Zimorski, who leads the Louisiana whooping crane project.

Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese. However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-8 feet make them very distinctive. In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
 
Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.

Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report their sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).

 
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. Citizen Observer, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 

Donations in support of the cranes can be made through the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation by contacting Kell McInnis at 225-765-5100, kmcinnis@wlf.la.gov, or visiting the Foundation’s website directly at http://lawff.org/index.html. Donations can also be mailed directly to the Foundation at P.O. Box 80378 Baton Rouge, LA 70898-0378.

Visit our website: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lawhoopingcranes/?fref=ts to learn more about the project. For more information on the Louisiana Whooping Crane Project, contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, ext. 4.

For more information on this case, contact the Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office at 409-981-7902.

 

Sherburne WMA South Farm Unit Closed Due to High Water

Release Date: 01/14/2016

Jan. 14, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has cancelled all lottery waterfowl hunts on the South Farm unit of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to extensive flooding of the site.

Increasing water levels in associated river systems have caused backwater flooding to depths creating safety concerns for any planned operations.

Sherburne WMA South Farm is located in Iberville Parish approximately one mile north of Ramah.

For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine or Cody Haynes at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or jhaynes@wlf.la.gov.

White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area Fishing Lottery Applications Available for 2016

Release Date: 01/14/2016

Jan. 14, 2016 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for a lottery drawing for fishing permit access to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) between March 15- Aug. 15, 2016.

A total of 100 permits will be issued following the lottery drawing and winning applicants will be notified of their opportunity to purchase a permit for $40.  White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.

The area open for fishing will be limited to the Florence Canal and Oil Field Location canals off of the Florence Canal.  There will be no fishing in any of the WCA’s marsh areas or in the main camp canal or other areas that are marked "NO FISHING."  Successful applicants will be provided a map of the fishing area.  Boats used by permitees will be limited to the use of motors with 40 horsepower or less.  Additional rules and regulations are outlined in an attachment to the application.

Each completed application must include a non-refundable administrative fee of $5 in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Only one application per person will be accepted and submitting more than one application will be considered grounds for disqualification.  Completed applications must be received by LDWF by close of business on Feb. 17, 2016.

Applications may be mailed or delivered to:

Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries

Attention: White Lake Fishing

2000 Quail Drive, Room 422

Baton Rouge, LA  70808

Persons interested in obtaining an application may call the department at 225-765-2812 or download a copy from the department’s website at http://www.wlf.la.gov/refuge/lottery-applications .

For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov.

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2016 Dates Announced For Use of White Lake WCA Facilities by Groups For Other Public Uses and Nature Trips

Release Date: 01/14/2016

Jan. 14, 2016 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has designated dates between Feb. 1-May 31, 2016, for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). For profit or commercial activities are prohibited.

White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish. LDWF owns and manages lodge facilities and 71,000 acres of wetlands and marsh land. The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, will be available for day-use or overnight use at rental rates that vary based on level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access for 2016 group use dates.

The facilities and landscape are ideal for birding groups, nature photographers, environmental or wetland ecology students or small business retreats. LDWF can provide site staff for guided boat tours and biologists for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area, which includes an freshwater marsh, coastal prairie, and an experimental population of Whooping Cranes.

White Lake WCA and the surrounding Mermentau River Basin provide abundant habitat for a variety of avian and aquatic species. This property supports migrant passerine birds, shorebirds, wading birds, rails, gallinules, and many species of raptors.  Several large breeding rookeries of wading birds are present on the property. Access dates and fees for 2016 are as follows:

SCHEDULE FOR OTHER PUBLIC USES AND NATURE TRIPS AT WHITE LAKE WCA

Site visits may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between Feb. 1 and May 31, 2016.

Site visits will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis pending facility and staff availability. At this time, WLWCA will only accommodate one group per day/week and all facility reservations must be made two weeks in advance to allow for staff scheduling.

FEE SCHEDULE FOR WHITE LAKE WCA FACILITY USE

Day Use (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

$300 - Includes one-day use of lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $10/person - Includes one-day use of lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $20/person - Includes one-day use of lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided (for up to 15 people) will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.

Exemptions from day-use lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Overnight Use (arrive 2-4 p.m. day 1; depart 1 p.m. day 2)

 $400 + $25/person/night --Includes overnight stay at lodge with only linens provided.

 (For up to 12 people.)

$400 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.  (For up to 12 people.)

$900 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and linens provided. (For up to 12 people.)

Exemptions from overnight lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/25 clay pigeons.                       

$15/person/25 clay pigeons, 25 shotgun shells provided.

Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events.

Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/ride.  Limited to authorized function attendees.

Exemptions: Any state, local or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects, or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.

The LDWF reserves the right to schedule other public use activities and nature trips for educational purposes outside the advertised dates should the need arise.

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 on White Lake WCA facility use, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 ext. # 1 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .
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Grassy Lake WMA Roads Closed to All Traffic Due to High Water

Release Date: 01/14/2016

Jan. 13, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed all roads in Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) because of high water.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems have caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares. Once the water recedes and necessary repairs have been made, traffic will be allowed.
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish approximately 12 miles northeast of Bordelonville.
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine or Cody Haynes at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or jhaynes@wlf.la.gov.
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Seven Louisiana Schools Receive Archery Equipment From LDWF’s Archery in Louisiana Schools Program

Release Date: 01/13/2016

Cherokee Elementary students and administration receive archery equipment.
Meadowview Elementary in Bossier City receives archery equipment through the LDWF/ALAS equipment grant program.
.       Students and their P.E. teacher at St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans receive archery equipment from LDWF/ALAS.

Jan. 13, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries helped seven Louisiana schools get the new year off to a flying start with its Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) program.

 

The schools received archery equipment for the first time thanks to the LDWF/ALAS equipment grant program. Schools receiving the equipment included St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans, Martha’s Vineyard Elementary in Ponchatoula, St. Frances Cabrini School in Alexandria, Alma Redwine Elementary and Horseshoe Drive Elementary in Alexandria, and Converse High School and Meadowview Elementary in Bossier City.

 

In order to qualify for the grant each school must have a certified National Archery in the School Program (NASP) Basic Archery Instructor and complete the LDWF/ALAS equipment grant application.  Qualifying schools receive half of the equipment necessary to get started teaching the ALAS curriculum, which includes five targets, one arrow backstop curtain, 10 arrow quivers and a bow rack.  Schools must then purchase the remainder of the equipment necessary to complete the set. This includes 12 Genesis bows, two boxes of Easton 1820 aluminum arrows and an equipment repair kit.

 

All schools in the state are eligible to apply for this grant, including public, private, parochial, charter and home-school organizations as long as they are starting a new ALAS program. To date, more than 40 Louisiana schools have received equipment through the LDWF/ALAS program, totaling over $60,000 in equipment.

 

Some schools also receive additional funding to help assist them purchase their portion of the equipment.  Alma Redwine Elementary and Horseshoe Drive Elementary not only received the LDWF/ALAS grant, but also received a grant from NASP and a donation from the Cenla Buckbusters chapter of Whitetails Unlimited. Without the assistance of these grants and contributions from outside entities these schools and students would never get the opportunity to participate in archery.

 

The ALAS program teaches NASP to students in grades 3-12 as part of their in-school curriculum. The ALAS program is facilitated and funded by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

 

For more information, about the ALAS program, becoming a Basic Archery Instructor, or in helping a school fund a new archery program contact ALAS state coordinator Robert Stroede at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276. 

 

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

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Registration to Open Jan. 29 for Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop

Release Date: 01/12/2016

Jan. 12, 2016 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open registration Jan. 29 for 125 participants in the 28th Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Workshop set for April 1-3 at Camp Grant Walker in Pollock.
 
Women throughout Louisiana and neighboring states can participate in this educational, hands-on outdoor skills workshop in the rolling hills of central Louisiana. Women 18 years of age and older who enjoy the outdoors are encouraged to sign up for this three-day workshop.
 
The $200 registration fee (check or money order only, made payable to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation), which must be submitted with the registration form, provides for instruction in four classes, program materials, use of demonstration equipment, lodging, meals and a T-shirt.
 
Participants can enroll in four classes from a selection of more than 30 topics.  These subjects include bucks and does, shotgun, rifle, handguns, fly-fishing, kayaking, camping, archery, birdwatching, fishing, boating/trailering, compass skills, outdoor photography, camp cooking and more.  Expert instructors donate their time and skills in classes taught in and around the nearby streams, lakes, wooded ridges and forest trails at Camp Grant Walker.
 
Natural resource scientist Christine Thomas of the University of Wisconsin founded the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. She completed a survey in 1991 entitled “Barriers to Women Participating in Hunting and Fishing.” It indicated that lack of instruction and encouragement were the main obstacles for women interested in learning more about the outdoors.
 
Forms can be faxed, mailed or anyone interested can retrieve them from the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/becoming-outdoors-woman. The forms will not be available until Jan. 29. A completed registration form with registration fee must be returned by mail to the address provided on the form. Hand delivered forms will not be accepted.
 
Please review the new registration process and the course descriptions prior to filling out the form.  Registration will be accepted until the workshop is full.  All forms received after the workshop is full will be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations. Fees for those who are not part of the 125 workshop group will be returned.
 
For more information contact Dana Norsworthy in Monroe at dnorsworthy@wlf.la.gov, (318) 345-3912 or Chad Moore in Minden at cmoore@wlf.la.gov, (318) 230-4352.
 

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Louisiana DHH to Open Oyster Harvest Areas 6 & 7

Release Date: 01/12/2016

News Release

 

For Immediate Release

January 12, 2016

 

Contact: Rene LeBreton

Public InformationLDWF

504-286-8745

rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

Louisiana DHH to Open Oyster Harvest Areas 6 & 7

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is re-opening oyster harvest areas 6 and 7 on the east side of the Mississippi River effective at one-half hour before sunrise tomorrow, January 13. 

Currently, LDWF has the public oyster seed grounds in these areas open FOR SACKING ONLY with a 50-sack daily and possession limit.  Therefore, vessels will be allowed to resume market harvest on the public grounds in this area starting tomorrow at one-half hour before sunrise.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued a molluscan shellfish closure order on December 11, 2015 for harvest areas 1 – 7 due to the presence of karenia brevis (Red Tide).  Today’s action only opens harvest areas 6 & 7, areas 1-5 remain closed until further notice.

To view a map of the Louisiana Department of Helath and Hospitals oyster harvest areas, click here.

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Road Closures at Grassy Lake WMA

Release Date: 01/11/2016

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Road Closures at Grassy Lake WMA

Jan. 11, 2016 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed North Bayou Natchitoches Road at Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) as well as Bayou Natchitoches Road from the Bayou Des Sot Bridge to Smith Bay because of high water brought on by flooding.
 
The remaining portions of Bayou Natchitoches Road are expected to be closed Wednesday (Jan. 13). Cas Cas Road remains closed at this time.
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares to the extent where travel is unsafe.  Once the water recedes and necessary repairs have been made, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville. 
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine or Cody Haynes at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or jhaynes@wlf.la.gov  .

 

Deer Hunting Halted in Atchafalaya Basin By High Water Benchmark Closure

Release Date: 01/10/2016

Deer Hunting Halted in Atchafalaya Basin By High Water Benchmark Closure

Deer Hunting Halted in Atchafalaya Basin By High Water Benchmark Closure

Jan. 10, 2016 – Rising flood waters in the Atchafalaya Basin triggered an automatic deer hunting season closure Saturday in parts of Deer Area 9.
 
As the flood gauge at Butte La Rose reached 18 feet Saturday, the High Water Benchmark Closure, enacted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in Title 76, has closed deer hunting in an area of the Atchafalaya Basin in portions of Iberia, Iberville, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes.
 
The area encompasses those parishes south of I-10, west and east of the Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee and north of U.S. 90.
 
The closure will remain in effect until the flood gauge goes below the 18-foot mark as mandated.
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

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