L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

LDWF Closes Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 05/25/2011

May 25, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at 6 a.m. on May 26.

The closure area length is from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side. The width of the closure is from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line half a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area is due to the current high water conditions that are caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway. The elevated water in the area has put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at an expected dangerous clearance level of seven feet for boat traffic.

These lower than usual electrical lines could be a deadly hazard for boaters. In order to avoid de-energizing the lines that would result in loss of electricity to many citizens and the Butte La Rose Welcome Center, LDWF decided to restrict boat traffic in the area described below.

The entirety of that portion of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway between the West Protection (Guide) levee and the Butte La Rose levee on the west bank of the Atchafalaya River, which is south of a line running from 30.331556, -91.7881 to 30.349317, -91.723331 and which is north of a line running from 30.323706, -91.788605 to 30.342755, -91.7196.

Click here to view a map of the closure.

The closure will remain in effect until further notice.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Elmer’s Island Reopening in Time for Memorial Day

Release Date: 05/25/2011

State officials announce opening of popular tourist destination on May 27

May 25, 2011 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the reopening of the six-mile long section of beach known as Elmer’s Island located near Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish effective at noon on Friday, May 27, 2011. Elmer’s Island, a popular local and tourist destination known as a surf fishing and birding haven, was closed in May 2010 as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

“We are so pleased to be able to reopen Elmer’s Island,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “For more than a year, anglers, birders and residents from all across the Gulf have waited patiently for the clean-up workers and equipment to finish scouring the beaches. Their patience is being rewarded this weekend, just in time for Memorial Day.”

“While we know that the work to restore Louisiana’s coastline isn’t done yet, we are excited that the state is reopening Elmer’s,” said Grand Isle Mayor David Carmadelle. “If you’re planning to take Memorial Day weekend to fish, grill on the beach or go birding, one of the best places you could go is Elmer’s. We are grateful to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for continuing to work with the federal government to get this beach reopened.”

After the noon reopening on Friday, road access to the island opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Boating access is seven days a week.

Although the beach will be open for public access beginning Friday, workers and state officials will continue to monitor the shoreline any signs of oil impacts. Any sightings of oil should be reported to LDWF at 1-800-442-2511.

After Governor Bobby Jindal opened Elmer's as a wildlife refuge and prior to the BP oil spill, thousands of people visited the beach. Since then, the area has played host to locals and tourists alike.  Elmer’s Island is prized as one of the few road accessible beaches in Louisiana. 

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, please contact Olivia Watkins at (225)610-8660 or at owatkins@wlf.la.gov.
 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission June Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 05/25/2011

 

May 25, 2011 - The next regular commission meeting will be held at 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, June 2, 2011, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1.        Roll Call

2.       Approval of Minutes of May 5, 2011 and May 13, 2011

3.       Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.       To consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Opening of Sabine Lake to Commercial Oyster Harvest

5.       To hear Report on State’s Current Reef Program Including a Scheduled of Planned Reefs and Future Plans for Reef   Development and Inshore and Offshore Enhanced Fishing Areas

6.       To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/May

7.       To present public comments on Waterfowl Zone Alternatives

8.       To present Ducks Unlimited Project Progress

9.       To hear an Update on WMA Reforestation Program

10.     Set October 2011 Meeting Date

11.     Receive Public Comments

12.     Adjournment

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issues Over $3,000 In Rewards To Tipsters

Release Date: 05/25/2011

 

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $3,200 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on May 21 at the Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in Woodworth.

The group approved and dispensed cash reward amounts for tipsters who reported wildlife violations that led to 13 subjects being apprehended in wildlife cases.  There were a total of nine cases presented and 33 offenses associated with those cases.  The cases ranged from hunting turkey over bait to the illegal selling of fish.

Louisiana Department Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement LOGT Coordinator Sgt. Will Roberts provided LOGT members with information on each case and a recommendation for reward amounts.

“We depend on LOGT and these public tips to help break a lot of cases that might have otherwise gone unsolved,” Roberts said.  “LOGT provides the incentive for the public to come forward, which is the cash rewards offered for information leading to arrests in these cases.”

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should contact an LDWF enforcement agent or call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Outgoing LOGT Coordinator LDWF Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze, who retired after 34 years of service, was presented a .22 rifle and an outdoor painting in recognition of his service to the organization.  The new LDWF LOGT coordinator is Sgt. Will Roberts.

OGT meets quarterly throughout the year to review cases and dispense rewards.  The next meeting is tentatively scheduled in August.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Agents Recover The Skin And Head of Black Bear In New Iberia

Release Date: 05/23/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear in the Iberia and Vermilion Parish area.

LDWF agents found a black bear skin and its decapitated head on May 19 off of Daniel Lane near a new subdivision in New Iberia.

Agents believe this bear's skin and head are in connection to an illegally killed black bear that was reported through a public tip over a year ago in the Iberia and Vermilion Parish area.  The public's tip indicated someone had shot a black bear and then skinned and stored the bear in a fashion to mount it in the future.

The bear had been apart of LDWF's black bear program and was first tagged in 2000 when it was estimated to be six years old.  The passive integrated transponder implanted during the initial capture was left in the hide when the bear was skinned and provided positive identification.  LDWF had never received a nuisance call about this older male bear that lived mostly in the Weeks Island area of lower Iberia Parish.

"This is a real shame that someone felt compelled to poach this bear during a time when we are trying our best to restore the Louisiana black bear to a sustainable population," said Maria Davidson, Large Carnivore Program Manager for LDWF.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing or any other wildlife crime should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear.  Callers will also remain anonymous.

"We urge anybody with information about this case to come forward so that we can catch the person responsible for this crime," said Lt. Col. Joey Broussard.  "It is believed that the person that dumped these remains of the bear was scared of being caught and thus got rid of the evidence.  We are hopeful that through the public's help and our existing evidence that we can solve this case."

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 21-27

Release Date: 05/20/2011

 

Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 21-27 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that nearly 74 percent of boating fatalities were people that drown because the person was not wearing a PFD.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

In Louisiana in 2009 alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI on the water or on the road carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

GREATER AMBERJACK 2011 COMMERCIAL AND RECREATION SEASONS SET

Release Date: 05/20/2011

May 20, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2011 seasons for the commercial and recreational harvest of greater amberjack.  LDWF Secretary Robert Barham set the seasons to coincide with federal seasons issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Commercial Greater Amberjack Season
The commercial fishery for greater amberjack in Louisiana waters will close at 12:01 a.m. on June 18, 2011 and will remain closed until 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2012.

Recreational Greater Amberjack Season
The 2011 recreational season for greater amberjack will close for a two month period beginning June 1 and reopening August 1. 

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.

REMAINDER OF STATE WATERS OPEN TO SHRIMP HARVESTING MONDAY

Release Date: 05/20/2011

May 20, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds shrimp harvesters that remainder of state waters open for harvest at 6 a.m. Monday, May 23. 

This opening specifically includes inshore waters north of the northern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.  State waters south of the MRGO opened to shrimping on May 16. Effective with this opening, all state inside and outside waters will be open to shrimp harvesting.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set this shrimp season dates along with those for Shrimp Management Zones 2 and 3 at its May 5 meeting.  The commission also provided authority to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham to delay or modify shrimp season opening dates if biological and/or technical data indicate the need. 

LDWF has received reports of small size shrimp in commercial harvests from certain waters and is closely monitoring the shrimp resource statewide through extensive trawl sampling surveys and boarding and dockside interviews.  LDWF biologists are also monitoring the movement of flood waters into coastal waters and their impacts on estuarine and marine species.  Secretary Barham is prepared to take appropriate action to modify shrimp seasons if the resource is at risk.

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.

STATE SETS SEASON FOR RECREATIONAL CATCH OF RED SNAPPER

Release Date: 05/20/2011

 

May 20, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the 2011 recreational fishing season for red snapper will open on June 1 and close on July 19.  LDWF Secretary Robert Barham set this season to reflect the season set in federal waters by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

The recreational fishing season for red snapper will close in federal and state waters at 12:01 a.m., July 19, 2011 and is set to remain closed until 12:01 a.m. June 1, 2012.

The daily limit for red snapper is two fish per licensed angler with a minimum size of 16 inches. 

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.

L.D.W.F. ANNOUNCES 2011 ALLIGATOR LOTTERY HUNTS

Release Date: 05/19/2011

 

May 19, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in an effort to increase alligator harvest opportunities, will conduct alligator lottery hunts on four Coastal & Nongame Resources (CNR) Division Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 13 Wildlife Division WMAs and 22 public lakes during the 2011 alligator harvest season.

The CNR Division WMAs include: Atchafalaya Delta WMA, St. Mary Parish; Pass A Loutre WMA, Plaquemines Parish; Pointe Aux Chenes WMA, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes; and Salvador/Timken WMAs, St. Charles Parish. 

The Wildlife Division WMAs include: Big Lake WMA, Tensas Parish; Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish; Buckhorn WMA, Tensas Parish; Elm Hall WMA, Assumption Parish; Grassy Lake WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Joyce WMA, Tangipahoa Parish; Manchac WMA, St. John the Baptist Parish; Maurepas Swamp WMA, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Ascension parishes; Sherburne WMA (state portion only), Pointe Coupee and St. Martin parishes; Spring Bayou WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Pearl River WMA, St. Tammany Parish; Red River WMA, Concordia Parish; and Three Rivers WMA, Concordia Parish.

The public lakes include: Lake Bistineau, Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes; Lake Wallace, Caddo Parish; Black/Cypress Lake, Bossier Parish; Cross Lake, Caddo Parish; Kepler Lake, Bienville Parish; Bayou Desiard North, Ouachita Parish; Caney Lake, Jackson Parish; Bayou Bartholomew, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes; Kincaid Lake, Rapides Parish; Indian Creek, Rapides Parish; Lake Iatt, Grant Parish; Cotile Lake, Rapides Parish; Nantachie Lake, Grant Parish; Saline Lake, Winn Parish; Toledo Bend, Desoto and Sabine parishes; Lake Bruin, Tensas Parish; Lake Concordia, Concordia Parish; Lake St. John, Tensas Parish; Lake St. Joseph, Tensas Parish; Anacoco Lake, Vernon Parish; Caddo Lake, Caddo Parish; and Black Lake, Natchitoches Parish.

Interested participants may print out an application from LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts or request an application by phone for CNR Division WMAs at 337-373-0032 or Wildlife Division WMAs and public lakes at 225-765-2346.

To assist applicants in selecting specific WMAs/public lakes, LDWF has posted the percentage of lottery alligator harvest applicants selected in 2010 by WMA or public lake on its website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lottery-alligator-harvest-program.

Applications and non-refundable application fees ($5) must be submitted to the address indicated on corresponding applications and be postmarked by July 8, 2011.  Only one of the three available lottery alligator harvest applications may be submitted per applicant.  Additional applications will result in voiding all applications of the applicant.

The lottery alligator harvests will be conducted between Aug. 31 and Oct. 6, 2011.  Exact harvest dates will vary by WMA/public lake and will be specified at the time selected hunters are notified.

Applicants must be a legal Louisiana resident and 16 years of age or older.  All successful applicants will be required to purchase an alligator hunting license ($25).  Successful applicants for WMAs will be required to submit payments ($40) for each alligator tag allocated.

All applicants meeting the application requirements will be entered into a randomized computer drawing, which will take place in August 2011.  Selected hunters will be notified by mail.

For more information concerning CNR Division WMAs, contact Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@wlf.la.gov.  For more information concerning Wildlife Division WMAs or public lakes, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2346 or rmyers@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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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