LDWF Reminds Waterfowl Hunters to Be Alert for Whooping Cranes
As young waterfowl hunters prepare for the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Youth Waterfowl Weekend in the state’s coastal zone, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding all waterfowl hunters to be alert for whooping cranes in marshes and fields that contain legally hunted game birds.
LDWF’s whooping crane reintroduction program has released cranes into the wild from White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area each year since 2011. The birds have dispersed over time to locations that include east Texas, but there are whooping cranes situated in Acadia, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Rapides and Vermilion parishes.
Anyone encountering whooping cranes in the wild is advised to observe them from a distance and minimize any disturbance. Hunters are cautioned to positively identify their targets as game birds before shooting. Although whooping cranes in Louisiana are considered an “experimental, non-essential population” under the Endangered Species Act, they are still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.
Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese. Whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand an impressive 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of 7-8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include fully extended neck and legs, and black wing tips. Photos of the cranes and similar species can be seen on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/document/whooping-crane-identification-fact... or in the 2015-16 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet on page 59.
Hunters are encouraged to report whooping crane sightings to assist the department in tracking their movements. Location information can be reported to the White Lake WCA office at 337-536-9400, ext. 4 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
LDWF also asks experienced hunters to take the time in the field to educate young hunters and improve their target identification skills to distinguish game birds from non-game birds. A whooping crane sighting can add to the outdoor experience for outdoorsmen and women of all ages and hunter vigilance can assist the department’s efforts to restore this unique species in southwestern Louisiana.
Anyone witnessing whooping cranes being pursued, harassed, captured or killed is urged to call the LDWF Enforcement Division’s Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 to report what they’ve seen.
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.
Submitted by jcourtney on Thu, 10/29/2015 - 2:43pm
The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 5, 2015, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA
Call to order
Approval of minutes from October 01, 2015 Meeting
Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege
To hear Enforcement Reports October 2015
To consider a Resolution to confirm and reaffirm the selection and establishment of the Bodcau Wildlife Management Area
To consider a Resolution to add the Topan Tract to the Boeuf Wildlife Management Area
To hear Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) recommendations on Mississippi River Sediment Diversions
To consider a Declaration of Emergency suspending entry into the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program for the commercial crab industry
To consider a Notice of Intent for the placement and use of advertising and sponsorship signs on the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries department assets
Announcement of the 2016 Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest Winner
To consider a Declaration of Emergency to set the Waterfowl Zones and hunting splits for Waterfowl Hunting Seasons
To consider dedicating and expending ten (10) percent of the licensing fees dedicated for the development and preservation of breeding grounds for migratory waterfowl pursuant to La. R.S.56:104 (A)(1)(b).
Set March 2016 Meeting Date
Receive Public Comments
Live streaming of this meeting is available through Gotowebinar.com.
Please register for LWF November 2015 Commission Meeting at:
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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.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.
Submitted by jcourtney on Thu, 10/29/2015 - 2:35pm
(Oct. 27, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind commercial oyster harvesters that the West Cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area will open for harvest on Sunday, November 1 at one half-hour before sunrise.
The sack limit of oysters is seven per day per person, per licensed vessel for the 2015-16 season.
Those participating in commercial oyster harvest in this area are also reminded that a 25-acre area in West Cove where oyster cultch material was deposited in June of this year will be closed to harvest. The coordinates of the four corners of this closed area are as follows:
A. 29 degrees 52 minutes 39.66 seconds N
93 degrees 23 minutes 42.14 seconds W
B. 29 degrees 52 minutes 28.94 seconds N
93 degrees 23 minutes 42.20 seconds W
C. 29 degrees 52 minutes 39.60 seconds N
93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds W
D. 29 degrees 52 minutes 29.01 seconds N
93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds W
Maps available here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons
The east side of Calcasieu Lake remains closed to oyster harvest during the 2015-16 oyster season.
For further information about the Calcasieu Lake oyster harvest season, contact George Melancon, Biologist Manager, at (337) 491-2575.
Louisiana Youth Can Register Now for 2015 Hunter of the Year Awards
Oct. 23, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) are encouraging hunters 15 years of age or younger to enter the 2015 Youth Hunter of the Year competition.
The contest is for Louisiana resident youth and requires young hunters to submit a story about their hunting experience along with photographs of the hunt. LDWF and LOWA will then select a male and female youth hunter of the year based upon the stories and photos that are received.
Youth hunters who participate in any hunting activity during the 2015-16 hunting season are encouraged to participate. The program is about youths enjoying a hunting experience, with or without success, and keeping the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana.
Completing a Youth Hunter Registry application and submitting the required photograph and short story about the hunt qualifies the young hunter for Youth Hunter of the Year consideration. The deadline to enter the 2015 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest is June 30, 2016.
The two winners will be recognized at the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Conference next summer as 2015 Youth Hunters of the Year. Winners will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.
Additionally, all participants who register their 2015-16 hunting experiences with the Youth Hunter Registry Program will be eligible to win a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters (winner to be selected by a random drawing).
The Youth Hunter Registry Program and the Youth Hunter of the Year Program are coordinated jointly by LOWA and LDWF. These two programs are made possible by the generous donations of the South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, the Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, Andrew Harrison with Harrison Law LLC, the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes shall close in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR) in Terrebonne Parish at one half hour after sunset on Wednesday, October 28, 2015. Sister Lake POSR remains open for sacking purposes. This public oyster seed reservation holds a limited oyster supply and harvest pressure during the oyster season, which opened on October 19, has depleted the already small seed oyster resource. Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area.
The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.
Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.
Submitted by rlebreton on Thu, 10/22/2015 - 2:33pm
October 19, 2015 - According to a recent survey conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF), recreational fishermen, regardless of being a private angler or a charter boat captain, overwhelmingly support transferring responsibility for managing the recreational red snapper fishery from federal authorities to state agencies like LDWF. LDWF sent the online survey out to all recreational fishermen who hold a Louisiana Recreational Offshore Landings Permit, which is required to fish offshore for species like red snapper, to find out what they think about future management options for the red snapper fishery.
“We always hear from the same people at Gulf Council meetings and public hearings about red snapper management. Unfortunately, we rarely hear from Louisiana anglers and charter captains,” said Robert Barham, Secretary, LDWF. “This survey was an effort to reach out to our stakeholders and get their opinions. We really appreciate their valuable feedback.”
Of the 19,000-plus survey recipients, nearly 6,000 fishermen responded to the survey. In addition to asking fishermen their opinions on recreational red snapper fishery management, LDWF asked respondents to indicate whether they are a private angler or a charter captain and to provide their zip code. The majority of respondents were private anglers (96.2%); 61 federally-permitted charter captains responded (1.1%) and 148 state charter captains (no federal permit) responded (2.7%). Most respondents reside in Louisiana; however, residents of other Gulf states and states outside the Gulf also responded. Survey results are below:
Who should manage the recreational red snapper fishery?
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries (status quo)
State agencies should have some management authority
Would you support or oppose a proposal to move ALL authority for managing recreational red snapper in the Gulf from the Council to state agencies?
Neither Oppose nor Support
Should private anglers and charter boats be managed separately?
State agencies should only manage private anglers and state charter boats; the Council and NOAA should manage federal charter boats
State agencies should manage both groups separately; each group could have different seasons, bag limits, etc.
State agencies should manage both groups together as one; both groups would have the same seasons, bag limits, etc.
Would you like to see management authority changed for other species such as amberjack and grouper?
There are ongoing efforts through both Congress and the Gulf Council (Reef Fish Amendment 39) to transfer some or all authority for the red snapper fishery to the Gulf states. LDWF will continue to advocate on behalf of its stakeholders and press Congress and the Gulf Council for state-based management of red snapper. We also encourage our recreational fishermen to speak out at the upcoming Gulf Council public hearings on Amendment 39, including one at the Doubletree Hotel in Baton Rouge at 6 pm on November 2. The Council will also hold a public hearing via webinar at 5 pm on October 28. “Public testimony has been monopolized by paid non-governmental organizations who have no direct interest in the fishery—it is now more important than ever for those with a direct stake in the fishery, like those we surveyed, to come out and voice their concerns at these public meetings,” said Randy Pausina, LDWF Assistant Secretary for Fisheries.
The video below further explains why the five Gulf state marine fisheries directors support state management of red snapper and have aligned their positions with their constituents who are directly involved in this fishery.
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
Submitted by rlebreton on Mon, 10/19/2015 - 4:44pm
(Oct. 19, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will close the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation one half-hour after sunset on Friday, October 23. The area will remain open for sacking purposes.
This small, public oyster seed reservation in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes holds a limited oyster supply, and harvest pressure during the season opening on October 19 has depleted the already small oyster resource. Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area.
The Commission authorized LDWF Secretary Robert Barham to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis based on ecological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resources has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.
Public notice of any opening, delay or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.
A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agent cited an Abbeville man for alleged deer hunting violations on Oct. 17 in Avoyelles Parish.
Senior Agent Douglas Anderson cited Glen Toups Jr., 40, for not possessing basic season and big game hunting licenses and not possessing deer tags.
Around 10 a.m. Senior Agent Anderson was notified about a buck that was taken on an Avoyelles Parish hunting club’s property near Simmesport by a guest hunter. The hunting club notified the agent to help measure the deer for record purposes. When the agent arrived he was told that the deer may have been harvested by a non-licensed hunter.
Around 11 a.m. Senior Agent Anderson made contact with Toups Jr who told him he shot the deer with an arrow around 9 a.m. Toups Jr. confessed that he did not have the required basic season and big game licenses or deer tags. The agent issued the citations to Toups Jr and seized the deer.
The deer was unofficially scored as a 208 class buck. The deer meat was donated to a local charity and the antlers and head are being held as evidence by LDWF.
Not possessing deer tags carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Hunting without basic and big game licenses each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail. Toups Jr. may also face civil restitution charges totaling $2,033 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.
Agents further learned that Toups Jr. could not obtain a hunting license since he is under a hunting license revocation. Charges are pending for Toups Jr. for hunting while under hunting license revocation. Hunting while under hunting license revocation brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
(Oct. 19, 2015) - As part of it’s first annual License to Win! promotion, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation awarded five lucky winners for its September saltwater license holder drawing. Winners drawn on October 1 include Steve Brown, Jonathan Phan, Michael Verges, Timothy Washam and Nicholas Whalen.
The winners were among thousands of names entered when they purchased a 2015-16 recreational saltwater fishing license.
The sweepstakes includes fives monthly prize winners of a YETI Tundra 45 ice chest, Shimano Curado G-Loomis Combo or gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Texaco and Whole Foods Market.
The License to Win! sweepstakes encourages anglers to provide accurate contact information to participate in a survey (LA Creel) that helps LDWF manage their fishery. LA Creel is the data-gathering survey that allows LDWF biologists to manage our fisheries at localized levels across the state. The success of LA Creel will not only allow the Department to better manage fisheries, but will ultimately maximize the amount of fishing opportunities for Louisiana anglers.
We’re only five months into this year long promotion, leaving plenty opportunity for your chance to be our next lucky winner. Visit your nearest license vendor or go online (www.wildlifelicense.com) to purchase your recreational saltwater license to be eligible for next month’s drawing. The department will continue to select five winners each month, and one lucky angler will take home the grand prize, a 22 foot bay boat, trailer and motor donated by Venice Marina, Mercury Outboards and Mike Gerald’s Trailer Depot.
The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:
2.Approval of Minutes of June 23, 2015
3.Welcome and Opening Comments from Chairman
4. Enforcement Division Report
5.Office of Wildlife: Duck Hunter Survey Overview and Zone Proposal