LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LWFC Approves Declaration of Emergency to Cease Supplemental Deer Feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parishes

Release Date: 03/01/2018

March 1, 2018 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes in an effort to curb the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) during its monthly meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge. The ban becomes effective Monday (March 5).
 
The action comes after the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.
 
The Declaration of Emergency reads, in part: “The immediate cessation of all supplemental feeding, including mineral or salt licks, is hereby initiated for East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes.  The purpose of this feeding ban is to reduce the potential for the spread of CWD into Louisiana by reducing the risk of exposure when deer are concentrated around feeding sites.’’
 
To read the entire Declaration of Emergency go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
The action is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) CWD Response Plan designed to monitor and curb the potential spread of CWD into Louisiana.
According to the declaration, the use of bait not normally ingested by deer for feral hog trapping will still be allowed.  All bait must be placed and contained within the trap itself. Backyard bird feeders are also exempt from the declaration.
 
CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.
 
Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

LDWF has tested more than 8,300 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
 

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LWF Commission to Amend the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line

Release Date: 03/01/2018

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has approved a Notice of Intent to adjust the inside/outside shrimp line of demarcation. This line is used to separate the “inside” waters of the state from the “outside” waters, which are regulated separately. Generally, “outside” waters are those beyond the beach line.
 
Currently, the line dividing the two types of waters is defined in statute. This action by the Commission, when finalized, will update that line and would also allow adjustments to the line through administrative rulemaking, rather than by changes to statute.
 
Changes to the current boundary line were necessary due to land loss and erosion caused by storm surge, tidal movements and other natural causes. Approximately, 61,000 acres will be added to the states outside waters. Proposed changes to the boundary line were made using 2015 satellite imagery.
 
Information related to the proposed changes, including interactive maps, is available here.
 
Public comments pertaining to the proposed rule may be submitted from March 2, 2018, through April 26, 2018. Following final approval of the rule, the updated boundary line would be made effective September 1, 2018.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Peyton Cagle, Marine Fisheries Biologist DCL-B, Marine Fisheries Section, 1213 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601, or via e-mail to peyton.cagle@la.gov, prior to April 26, 2018.

 

Commercial Fishing for Bait Menhaden to Open March 15

Release Date: 03/01/2018

Today, at its regular meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action on a Declaration of Emergency to open the commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden on Thursday, March 15, 2018, based upon a request from the bait menhaden industry.  
  
The commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden typically opens on November 1 and runs through November 30 with a 3,000 metric ton quota. In the event that quota is not harvested during the normal November season, the bait season may resume April 1 of the following year.   
  
The bait industry requested the LWFC open the season two weeks earlier on March 15 to meet customer demand. The quota was not met in 2017 and opening the season two weeks earlier in 2018 is not expected to negatively impact the quota or regular commercial menhaden season.

Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit Helps Commercial Seafood Industry Adapt to Change

Release Date: 03/01/2018

(March 1, 2018) - The Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit 2018, an expo for the state’s commercial fishing and seafood industry, will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Hundreds of commercial fishers, seafood dealers, processors and other industry professionals will come together for a comprehensive day of workshops and a trade show. The free event is produced by Louisiana Sea Grant, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the LSU AgCenter with support from industry partners.  This year’s event focuses on “Adapting to Change” with talks and demonstrations selected to provide participants with information to help move the industry forward.

The expo will feature educational presentations and hands-on demonstrations on all aspects of the industry and best practices. Highlights include:

  • New safety and sustainability demonstrations.
  • Business opportunity how-to’s; such as value-added products, e-commerce, micro-processing, packaging, direct marketing and more.
  • U.S. Coast Guard demonstrations.
  • The latest recipes and techniques, including cooking demos by certified local chefs.
  • Forums for shrimp and oyster dealers as well as oyster harvesters.
  • LDWF species and data updates, fisheries biology and management.
  • The trade show features more than 50 booths showcasing innovative products, equipment and techniques, including marine electronics, scale calibration, vessel maintenance, onboard refrigeration, ice making and much more.
  • Near-Term Diversion Impacts -

“Considering the Near-Term Fisheries Implications of Large Scale River Diversions” will be a 90- minute, moderated panel discussion in which resource and restoration managers will hear from representatives of four state-sanctioned fishery advisory task forces: the Louisiana Oyster Task Force, the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, the Louisiana Crab Task Force, and the Louisiana Finfish Task Force. The session will focus primarily on socioeconomic considerations of large-scale diversions, with the target audience being those summit attendees working in fisheries-dependent businesses, including commercial fishermen, charter operations, seafood docks and dealers, processors, and retailers.  Private sector input to the panel will be collected in real-time during the session through the use of electronic polling devices.

 

All elements of Summit are designed to enhance Louisiana’s dynamic commercial seafood industry, the nation’s second-largest.

WHEN

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE

The Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70065.

ADMISSION

Free admission, and free lunch provided with advance registration. Registration will officially close on March 2nd.  Register at www.LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit/summit-participant-registration/ and become eligible for a chance to win one of two door prizes–gift certificates for commercial fishing supplies valued at $2,500 and $1,000. Vendors may also sign up at this site. Space and resources may be limited, so attendees are encouraged to register early.

For more information visit the Louisiana Fisheries Forward website at www.LaFisheriesForward.org/Summit

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.

 

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces 2019 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 02/28/2018

2018 Louisiana Duck Stamp winning entry

Feb. 28, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced the rules and timeframe for the 2019 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp, or Louisiana Duck Stamp, competition. Northern shoveler will be the featured species in this year’s competition.
 
Announcing the contest in February instead of June this year and into the future will allow competing artists more time to prepare their entries after knowing the featured species.
 
“I was asked by some regular contest entrants if LDWF could announce the species in time to photograph birds using Louisiana’s wintering habitats before they returned north,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Program Manager, “and that seemed a reasonable request.’’
 
The northern shoveler, or spoony, is a dabbling duck named for its large spatulate bill specialized with well-developed lamellae for seining aquatic invertebrates and other food items from the water and pond bottom.
 
Shovelers are commonly seen in marsh and flooded agricultural habitats across our state and are highly visible this time of year in large colorful flocks foraging in rice-fields. Shoveler populations in North America have grown steadily since the early 1990’s and provide abundant hunting opportunity.
 
Despite the sometimes disparaging remarks about their sporting qualities or table fare, Louisiana hunters took nearly 50,000 shovelers during the 2016-17 hunting season, the sixth most abundant species in our harvest and more than any other state in the Mississippi Flyway except Arkansas. Few species rival the striking appearance of a late-winter drake shoveler, with its dark green head, bright white breast and chestnut flanks, which should inspire outstanding contest entries.
 
The 2018 contest was restricted to designs featuring canvasbacks. Tim Taylor’s powerful painting of a pair in flight continued a long tradition of excellent stamp designs. The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp bearing that design will go on sale June 1.
 
The 2019 contest will be restricted to designs with northern shovelers as the focal species. Artists are also reminded of the requirement for associated habitat.
 
“The primary objective of this program is to provide revenue to create, enhance and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife,” said Reynolds, “so a habitat component is required in each entry and is one of the five judging criteria.”
 
To enter, an artist must submit an original, unpublished work of art, along with a signed and notarized artist's agreement and a $50 entry fee.  Entries should be addressed to:
 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attn: Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Program
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
 
Entries will be accepted from Monday, Oct. 15 through Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 with the contest to be held in the Louisiana Room at the LDWF Headquarters building starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.  The public is invited to attend.
 
To fill out the 2019 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition artist agreement and see the full list of rules, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/2019-louisiana-duck-stamp-contest.
 
The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988. The program was created to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana.
 
During the previous 26 years, more than $13 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $6 million spent on land acquisition. In addition, revenues have supported wetland development projects on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.
 
Judging for the art competition will be based on the following criteria:
 

  1. Accuracy of form, size, proportion, color and posture.
    2. Level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the waterfowl.
    3. Appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the habitat.
    4. Attractiveness and creativity in composition, subject, background and lighting.
    5. Suitability for reproduction as stamps and prints.

 
A panel of judges with experience in waterfowl biology and/or artistic method will select the winning design. The competition is open to all artists 18 and older.  Employees of LDWF and members of their immediate families are ineligible.
 
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Russell Sage WMA Main Road Closed to All Traffic Due to Flooding

Release Date: 02/27/2018

Feb. 27, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed the main road from Ruby Road Kiosk to Ouachita Parish Landfill on Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on this thoroughfare. Once the water recedes, the road will be reopened.
 
Russell Sage WMA is located in Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, and Caldwell parishes and is approximately seven miles east of Monroe and 10 miles west of Rayville. For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777.
 
For more information, contact Lowrey Moak at 318-343-4044 or lmoak@wlf.la.gov.
 

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LDWF Announces Road Closures in Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 02/27/2018

Feb. 27, 2018 -  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed Cas-cas Road at the Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding. Other roads will be closed on the WMA as water continues to rise.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems and heavy rainfall has caused flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect, repair and reopen the roads when deemed safe for travel.
 
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles from Bordelonville. For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994 .
 
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov .
 

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LDWF Announces Road Closures in Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 02/27/2018

Feb. 27, 2018 -   The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed several roads to vehicle traffic at the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area (WMA) due to flooding, including Dobbs Bay Road, Union Point Road, Lincecum Road, Blackhawk Road and the partial closure of Blount Road paralleling Patton Lake Loop Road.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems and heavy rainfall has caused flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect, repair and reopen the roads when deemed safe for travel. 
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Highway 15 in lower Concordia Parish. For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.la.gov/wma/36994 .
 
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov .
 

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LDWF Announces Road Closures for Some Dewey W. Wills WMA Roads Due to Flooding

Release Date: 02/27/2018

Feb. 27, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road from Deville Crossing to Nolan Bayou Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 42 feet mean sea level (MSL), which is expected Tuesday (Feb. 27).
 
In addition, the portion of Hunt Road located south of the diversion canal will be closed to all traffic once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 45 feet MSL, which is expected Friday (March 2). 
 
Current water level for the Larto Lake Gauge is available at: http://rivergages.mvr.usace.army.mil/WaterControl/stationinfo2.cfm?sid=CE7F3AA4&fid=&dt=S
 
ATV/UTV usage on the WMA will be permitted for access to Sandy Bayou Road.
 
Increasing water levels in the Mississippi, Black and associated river systems will create backwater flooding on these roads. Once the water recedes and conditions allow, the roads will be reopened.
  
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
 
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .
 
 

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Agenda for the March Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 02/26/2018

The next regular commission meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

Agenda:

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call

4. Adoption of February 1, 2018 Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6. Enforcement Report February, 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7. Presentation of the award for the Shikar Safari Club International wildlife agent of the year

8. Consider a Resolution Regarding Transfer of Property from Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area to Joyce Wildlife Management Area.  - Alvin F. Landry, Attorney

9. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations --Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Director

10. Receive an update on discovery of CWD in Mississippi and consider a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental feeding of deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes. --Dr. Jim Lacour, Veterinarian, and Johnathan Bordelon, Program Manager

11. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the Feral Hog transport rule --Dr. Jim Lacour, Veterinarian

12. Receive and consider a Notice of Intent to amend the Inside/Outside shrimp line – Peyton Cagle, Biologist

13. Receive and consider the Public Comments Report on the Notice of Intent for the Addition of Sterlet Sturgeon to the Domestic Aquatic Organism (DAO) List for final rule making– Rob Bourgeois, Biologist

14. Receive a presentation and consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the 2018 opening date for bait menhaden – Daniel Edgar, Louisiana Bait

15. Gulf Council Update – Chris Schieble, Biologist

16. Set July 2018 Commission Meeting Date

17. Receive Public Comments

 

18. 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/6284783564634084353 

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.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

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