LDWF News

LDWF News Release

L.D.W.F. Sets Public Meetings Aug. 17-18 to Discuss Catahoula Lake Management

Release Date: 08/08/2011

Aug. 8, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled two public meetings in the Catahoula Lake area to discuss current and future management plans on the lake.

The meeting dates, times and locations are:

* Aug. 17 - 6:30 p.m. at the Woodmen of the World Building, 1720 East Oak St., Jena

* Aug. 18 - 6:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 3rd St., Alexandria

In 2010, LDWF initiated a 10-year management and research plan that includes: varying water-level management from traditional dates; bush-hogging and haying in designated locations to inhibit growth of encroaching swamp privet and water elm; herbicide application to kill smaller trees; active removal of stands of larger trees; and establishment ofmonitoring plots to evaluate the effects of various management activities on the vegetative community on the lake bed.

The ultimate goal is to identify management practices or combinations of management activities that reduce woody encroachment while maintaining or improving waterfowl food production.

Along with the experimental management plan, LDWF will also discuss: the upcoming opportunity for hay leases on the lakebed; recently approved changes in the East Zone waterfowl hunting season dates; proposed changes to zones used for waterfowl hunting in Louisiana; upcoming surveys to assess hunter satisfaction with past waterfowl hunting zones, splits, and season dates; and opinions on potential changes to those regulations in the future.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov, or Steve Smith at 318-487-5885or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF, CCA-Louisiana and Cabela's Host Women's Fishing Workshop

Release Date: 08/05/2011

Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop Group
Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop Fish Cleaning
Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop Boater Ed

Aug. 5, 2011– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), CCA-Louisiana and Cabela’s teamed up to present a Women’s Weekend Fishing Workshop on Sunday, July 24 at the Cabela’s Gonzales location.

LDWF staff from the Education Section and Fisheries Outreach provided instruction in fishing basics to 27 participants during the eight hour program.Instruction included Fishing 101, boater education, boat hauling/trailering, casting techniques, fish identification, fish cleaning and fish tagging, plus presentations on sportsfish restoration, fish otolith removal and the aging process. Hands-on activities included maneuvering a boat on a trailer, casting, tagging red fish and cleaning trout.  Each participant received complimentary outdoor items from Cabela’s and Fisheries Outreach. 

The next scheduled Women’s Weekend Workshop featuring “Hunting Basics” is scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.  Due to limitations on space available, anyone interested should contact Karen C. Edwards at (318) 766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov for more information.

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.

2010 Youth Hunters of the Year Announced

Release Date: 08/05/2011

Ben Broussard - 2010 Male Youth Hunter of the Year
Megan Boles - Female Youth Hunter of the Year

Aug. 5, 2011-- The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will recognize the two 2010 Youth Hunters of the Year at the 2011 LOWA Conference Awards Banquet in Houma on Aug. 6. 

Thirteen-year-old Megan Boles of Provencal was selected as the 2010 Female Youth Hunter of the Year and 12-year-old Ben Broussard of Sulphur was selected as the 2010 Male Youth Hunter of the Year.Both young hunters submitted a story about their 2010-11 hunting season experience along with photographs of the hunt.  LOWA and LDWF then selected the winners.

The Youth Hunter of the Year Program is part of the Louisiana Youth Hunter Registry Program that was initiated several years ago by both LOWA and LDWF to recognize the state’s youth hunters and encourage them to keep the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana.  In addition to being recognized as the Youth Hunters of the Year, Megan and Ben received gift certificates from Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge.  The other participants in the program received certificates recognizing their hunting achievements during the 2010 season and one individual will be selected by random drawing to receive a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters.

Megan is the daughter of Charles and Kelly Boles and has grown up hunting with her dad.  While she had hunted deer prior to the 2010 deer season, she had never bagged one with a muzzleloader.  During the 2010 primitive firearm season, she harvested her first buck with a muzzleloader rifle on an afternoon hunt with her dad.  Megan wrote that her dad has taught her all the safety tips and rules for hunting with a gun and even though she normally hunts with her .243 she was very comfortable with a “smoke pole” in her hands.  She made a great 80-yard shoulder shot on a nice 8-pointer.  Megan is also a successful turkey hunter and enjoys hunting with her dad, an accomplished turkey hunter.  Megan said her dad “puts the turkeys to sleep on the roost and wakes them up in the mornings.”  Megan loves to hunt with both mom and dad and has enough hunting savvy to hunt alone. 

The Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is one of the sponsors of the Youth Hunters Program and Luke Lewis, regional biologist with the NWTF said, “The Louisiana Chapter is glad to support LOWA and LDWF with the Youth Hunter of the Year Program.  Megan comes from a family that lives the outdoor lifestyle, with a mother and father who have dedicated their careers to conservation with the US Forest Service on the Kisatchie Ranger District.  Both of them have been a big part of providing Megan with an appreciation for nature and the outdoors.  On behalf of our 6,400 members of the LA Chapter, and our state board of directors, we congratulate Megan and know she will develop into a young conservationist with the appreciation of being a good steward of the land and its resources.”

Ben Broussard is the son of Jeanne and James Ed Broussard and made his first duck hunt with his dad during the 2010 Thanksgiving holidays.  In his story, Ben also wrote about his dad and how safety conscious he was during the hunt.  Bently, their black lab, shared the blind with the two hunters and did the work of retrieving the ducks.  Ben killed a green wing teal with his first shot and later bagged a widgeon drake as it hovered over the spinning decoy.  It was a great day for young Ben, his dad and Bently; the hunters brought home nine ducks, but more importantly, as Ben wrote, memories of a day he will never forget.

This is the first time that a duck hunter has been selected as the Youth Hunter of the Year and Ben has broken new ground for the program and hopefully will promote participation by other youth waterfowl hunters.

The Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl has been a sponsor of the program since day one.  Jonathan Walker, chapter president, congratulated Ben on his achievement saying, “Ben represents the future of this sport in our great state of Louisiana.” He added, “Delta Waterfowl’s mission has always been to secure the future of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting and the BR Chapter is proud to have a part in this important program and supporting the next generation of hunters.”

LOWA and LDWF jointly recognize the important sponsorship support for the program provided by:  The Bayou State Bowhunters Association, the South LA Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Andrew Harrison with Harrison Law, LLC.

“Programs such as this could not be possible without the support of these organizations and individuals,” said Kenny Ribbeck, chief of the LDWF’s Wildlife Division. “Attracting youth to the sport of hunting has taken greater emphasis in our agency over the past decade as hunter numbers declined.  Along with the Youth Hunter Registry Program, LDWF is currently launching a new program, the Louisiana Hunting Heritage Program, aimed at introducing the sport of hunting to any age individual through mentors. We will continue to provide these programs to insure that the rich hunting heritage in Louisiana continues.”

For more information about the Youth Registry and Hunter of the Year Programs, visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting/youth-hunter-registry-programor contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.govor David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or heflinroots@hotmail.com.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Approves Online Application Process for Oyster Harvester Permits in Lake Calcasieu

Release Date: 08/05/2011

August 4, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed a motion amending the rules by which Oyster Harvester Permits are issued for Lake Calcasieu.  As required by Act 329 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session, anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Lake Calcasieu must have one of 126 special Oyster Harvester Permits issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  

Of the 126 permits available, 63 will be issued exclusively to eligible fishermen who have historically harvested in Lake Calcasieu since January 1, 2001.  The remaining 63 permits will be issued to any person who is otherwise eligible.

Permits will be valid for a period of one year beginning October 1, of a given year and ending September 30, of the following year.  Applicants are required to hold a current and valid commercial fishing license and oyster harvester license. 

Applications for permits will be available exclusively online on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website (www.wlf.louisiana.gov).  Permits will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis, determined by the order in which completed applications are submitted through the LDWF website.  Online submission is the ONLY acceptable method to submit completed applications. 

Applications will be available beginning Monday, September 26, 2011, at 9 a.m.  Harvesters will be required to reapply on the last Monday of September each year following. 

A completed application consists of the following information:  applicant’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, commercial license number, oyster harvester license number and personal identification number issued by a state or federal agency (i.e., driver’s license or passport). 

For more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363. 

L.W.F.C. Sets Tentative 2011-12 Migratory Waterfowl Season

Release Date: 08/04/2011

Aug.  4, 2011 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) voted to tentatively adopt proposed season dates, bag limits and shooting hours for the 2011-12 migratory waterfowl season at their Aug. 4 meeting.  The dates will be ratified by a declaration of emergency from the commission, after approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Following a comment period that began after the July commission meeting, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended a 60-day season for ducks, coots and mergansers.  In the West Zone, the first segment will open on Nov. 12 and close on Dec. 4.  The second segment will open on Dec. 17 and run through Jan. 22.  In the East Zone, the first segment will go from Nov. 19 to 27.  The second segment will last from Dec. 10 to Jan. 29.

A proposal to move the Youth waterfowl weekend to the weekend during the splits was revised by LDWF based on a majority of public comments received. Those comments favored keeping that weekend opportunity for youth prior to the season opening dates in both zones. The revised Youth waterfowl weekend dates proposed by the department and adopted by the commission are Nov. 5-6 in the West Zone and Nov. 12-13 in the East Zone.

The daily bag limit on ducks is six and may include no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be females), two pintails, one canvasback, one mottled duck, one black duck, three wood ducks, two scaup and two redheads.

The daily bag limit on coots is 15.  The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, of which only two may be hooded mergansers.  The merganser limits are in addition to the daily bag limit for ducks.

The possession limit on ducks, coots and mergansers is twice the daily bag limit.

Light geese and white-fronted geese will have a 74-day season.  The first segment in the West Zone will open on Nov. 12 and close on Dec. 4.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Dec. 17 to Feb. 5.  The first segment in the East Zone will open on Nov. 5 and run until Nov. 27.  The second segment will run from Dec. 10 to Jan. 29.  The daily bag limit on light geese is 20, with no possession limit.  The daily limit on white-fronted geese is two, with a possession limit of four. When the Canada goose season is open, the limit is two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada) of which no more than one can be a Canada goose.

The Canada goose season will be 44 days and run from Dec. 17 to Jan. 29 statewide, except for a small closure area in southwest Louisiana.  The daily limit for Canada geese is one in aggregate with white-fronted geese and the possession limit is two in aggregate with white-fronted geese.  So the daily bag limit will allow two dark geese (white-fronted and Canada geese), no more than one of which may be a Canada goose.

The Statewide Conservation Order for light geese will open in the West Zone on Dec. 5, and the first segment will close on Dec. 16.  The second segment in the West Zone will run from Feb. 6 to March 11.  The first segment in the East Zone will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, and the second segment will be from Jan. 30 to March 11. During this time, only snow, blue and Ross geese may be taken and daily bag and possession limits are eliminated.  The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is permitted.  Shooting hours during the Conservation Order begin one-half hour before sunrise and extend until one-half hour after sunset.

Rails may be taken from Sept. 10 to 25 and again from Nov. 12 to Jan. 4.  For King and Clapper rails, the daily limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 30.  Sora and Virginia rails have a daily and possession limit of 25 in the aggregate.

Gallinule season will be open from Sept. 10 to 25 and again from Nov. 12 to Jan. 4.  The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 30.

Snipe may be taken in the West Zone first segment from Nov. 5 to Dec. 7 and from Dec. 17 to Feb. 28 in the second segment. In the East Zone, the first segment will run from Nov. 5 to 30 with a second segment running Dec. 10 to Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is 8 and the possession limit is 16.

An extended falconry season for ducks, rails and gallinules will take place from Nov. 5 to Feb. 3.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.louisiana.gov.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/04/2011

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

 

Aug. 4, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the fall inshore shrimp season will open in Shrimp Management Zones 1, 2 and 3, on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6 a.m.  The commission set the season based on recommendations presented by Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments from the public.

Furthermore, the commission granted authority to the LDWF Secretary to close the fall shrimp season when biological and technical data indicates the need. 

Shrimp Management Zone 1 includes Louisiana waters from the Mississippi-Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River. 

Shrimp Management Zone 2 extends from to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island.

Shrimp Management Zone 3 extends from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana-Texas state line.

Certain waters adjacent to Bay Jimmy and Grand Terre Island located in the Barataria Basin are closed to all recreational and commercial fishing except for recreational and charter boat angling because of closures still in effect from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Portions of the Mississippi River’s birds-foot delta are also closed due to this incident. 

Preliminary Louisiana shrimp landings statistics indicate that approximately 26.5 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-off weight) were landed in Louisiana from January 2011 through June 2011.   

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 more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363. 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Modifies Rule for Harvest of Mullet

Release Date: 08/04/2011

Aug. 4, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed a motion to modify the commercial mullet season by allowing the harvest of live mullet for bait purposes. 

The commission modified the existing rules to remain consistent with changes made during the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session.    

The proposed rule states that commercial harvest of live mullet for bait purposes will be allowed in any season with a cast net not to exceed 12-feet in radius.  The proposed rule also requires that commercial fishermen wishing to harvest live mullet for bait purposes be required to obtain a commercial fishing license and a commercial cast net license, for each cast net, as well as all other applicable licenses.  The proposed rule further states that cast nets used for the commercial harvest of live mullet for bait purposes shall only be operated manually and that no mechanical device may be used to hold open the cast net or propel/deploy the cast net.

Currently the only commercial season for the taking of mullet is from the third Monday in October of a given year through the third Monday in January of the following year. 

Public comments on the notice of intent will be accepted prior to October 6, 2011. 

Comments should be submitted to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000, or via e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

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.

EDITORS: For more information, contact Laura Deslatte-Wooderson at (225)610-2363 or at lwooderson@wlf.louisiana.gov.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Modifies Rules for Recreational Harvest of Bluefin Tuna

Release Date: 08/04/2011

 

Aug. 4, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed a motion to modify existing rules for the recreational harvest of bluefin tuna, in an effort to remain consistent with federal regulations currently in place. 

The proposed rule would change the minimum size limit for bluefin tuna to be 73 inches.  The proposed rule also changes bag and possession limits to one bluefin tuna per vessel per year. 

Currently fishing of bluefin tuna is prohibited in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and bluefin tuna may only be kept as incidental catch and only while possessing a Highly Migratory Species Recreational Angling Permit issued by NOAA Fisheries Service.

Public comments on the Notice of Intent will be accepted prior to October 6, 2011. 

Comments should be submitted to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000, or via e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

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.

EDITORS: For more information contact Laura Deslatte-Wooderson at (225)610-2363 or lwooderson@wlf.louisiana.gov.

 

L.D.W.F. Kicks Off Yellowfin Tuna Tagging Program

Release Date: 08/04/2011

 

Department expands Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament to include yellowfin tuna; first tournament of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico

Aug. 4, 2011- This fall, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) plans to launch a Yellowfin Tuna Tagging Program, an initiative unique to the Gulf of Mexico.  The program promotes a culture of catch, tag and release in the recreational fishing community and contributes to the scientific data necessary to further understand the behaviors of yellowfin tuna.

Tagging tuna can provide information about their movements, migrations, stock structure, growth, population size, mortality, schooling behavior and physiology.  NOAA acknowledges that the size and number of yellowfin caught are decreasing, and the downward trend has been happening since 1999.  “The new tuna tagging program will provide baseline information for the population models used to assess the health of the stock of this valuable fishery,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “It will also help clarify the evidence that yellowfin migratory patterns have been altered by the presence of offshore oil platforms.”

LDWF plans to kick off the program with a tag-and-release tournament at Venice Marina on Saturday, September 24.  With the success of the 2011 redfish tournaments, the department added a Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout to their Louisiana Saltwater Series.  By encouraging live tag and release, the series has focused attention on the conservation of our marine resources. 

This is the first tournament of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico, and there is a 100 percent payout for first, second and third place finishers.  Payout is determined based upon the total number of boats entered.  A $5,000 prize is up for grabs to the chartered boat with the most tagged yellowfin.  There is also a kill fish division, and the team with the largest tuna weighed will win an offshore tackle package valued at $3,000.

There is a $500 entry fee per boat for the tournament, with a maximum of eight anglers total on each team.

Additional information, including rules, regulations and entry forms will soon be available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

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 contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

L.D.W.F. Offering Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Training in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 08/03/2011

 

August 3, 2011—The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Education Section is offering a Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Academy at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge on Aug. 8 through 10.  Waddill is located at 4142 North Flannery Road.

The academy’s three, nightly sessions start at 5 p.m. and last until 9 p.m.  Participants must attend all three nights to be certified as a Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor.  There is no charge for the academy, and it is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in teaching Hunter Safety Courses.

Requirements for Becoming a Hunter Education Instructor are:

  • Attend a 12-hour instructor training course
  • Complete a live fire exercise
  • Pass a written exam
  • Undergo a criminal background check

Volunteer instructors are the backbone of LDWF’s hunter education program. One of the rewards of serving as a volunteer instructor is the self satisfaction of knowing you are helping to preserve the future of hunting by passing on a time honored tradition. Become a part of a team that makes a difference.

What Does LDWF Look For In a Volunteer Instructor?

  • Professional demeanor
  • Courteous and respectful
  • Good communicator
  • People oriented
  • Dedicated and motivated
  • Someone who believes in the importance of education

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 more information about the academy, or to register for the course, please contact Bradley Breland at 225-274-8089 or bbreland@wlf.la.gov .

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