L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Governor Jindal Requests Assistance from Dept. of Interior for Flooding Resulting from Morganza Spillway

Release Date: 05/19/2011

May 19, 2011 - Governor Bobby Jindal yesterday sent the below letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior requesting consideration of available assistance and recovery programs for Louisiana recreational and commercial fishing, hunting, and eco-tourism industries.

 

May 18, 2011
 
The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary
US Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N. W.
Washington, DC 20240
 
Dear Secretary Salazar:
 
In recent days, the US Army Corps of Engineers began diverting high waters from the rising Mississippi River. As water from the Morganza Spillway is released into the Atchafalaya Basin, the impact to our rural communities and the industries upon which they rely will be dramatic and long-lasting. I am requesting your immediate consideration of available assistance and recovery programs for our recreational and commercial fishing, hunting, and eco-tourism industries.
 
The Atchafalaya Basin is a North American treasure with hunting, fishing, camping and other nature-based opportunities that simply are unparalleled. The basin, in surveys conducted by Louisiana State University, was named the number one recreational fishing destination in Louisiana. Countless industries rely on the Basin's fertile farmland, lakes, and wildlife management areas.
 
Approximately 1,400 commercial fishermen are dependent upon species harvested from the Basin, including the Louisiana crawfish. On average, more than 10 million pounds of crawfish are harvested commercially from the Basin each year representing approximately 95 percent of all crawfish harvested in Louisiana that makes it to market. Access to this essential Louisiana commercial industry will be hampered by damage to roadways, docks and access points that support the industry.
 
The same is true of other commercial and recreational fisheries in the Atchafalaya Basin. The basin is home to a large commercial catfish industry, frogging, crabbing, recreational crawfishing, waterfowl and large game hunting, trapping and nature-based tourism activities, such as birding and camping. All of these activities require access points for residents and tourists. The total economic impact of this region on Louisiana and the Gulf Coast is substantial. As a small snapshot, commercial fisheries’ landings in the Basin were valued at more than $28 million before even taking into account sales to consumers and supporting businesses. Confirmation of support from the Interior now is crucial to reassuring our residents, industries and communities that a recovery is possible.
 
Our state has worked diligently over the last six years and through four major hurricanes to restore commercial and recreational nature-based activities. Much of that progress, including the millions of fish stocked in the basin, may be lost after the flood waters recede. We will be aggressive in our efforts to rebuild these resources, even as we see fish kills, large-scale habitat loss, and restructuring of the Basin's ecosystem. We implore you to identify clear methods for helping to restore these resources that will provide our rural communities with the tools they need to rebuild.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bobby Jindal
Governor

 

 

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.

First Annual Boating Education Lagniappe Day Certifies 264 Boaters

Release Date: 05/18/2011

May 18, 2011 -  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 264 boaters statewide after their first ever "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 14.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the NASBLA boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more than 250 boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals."

The National Associations of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

Each location provided a free lunch that included crawfish fettuccine, jambalaya, pizza, chicken tenders and chilidogs.  Sponsors also provided door prizes and giveaways such as gift cards, ice chests, personal flotation devices, sunglasses, sunscreen and boating whistles.  LDWF also gave away key chains and cups with the LDWF logo.

"This won't be the last 'Boating Education Lagniappe Day' in this state and we are already planning on next year's event to make it even bigger," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "We heard nothing but good things from the public that attended the event.  Even some of the parents that didn't need the course said they learned a lot about boating safety."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, CCA of Louisiana, All Star Pontiac in Sulphur, Coca-Cola of Lake Charles, Songy's Sporting Goods of Houma, and Gene Kile Inc.

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Below is the list of the class locations from this past weekend:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beane Dr.
Bossier City, LA 71111

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301

Eunice
Walmart
1538 Hwy. 190
Eunice, LA 70535

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602

Houma
Holiday Inn
1800 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360

Gonzales
Cabela's
Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737

Chalmette
St. Bernard Parish Government Complex
8201 W. Judge Perez
Chalmette, LA 70043

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or  aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Closes Additional Access Roadways on Dewey Wills W.M.A.

Release Date: 05/16/2011

May 16, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed that portion of Hunt Road on Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) from the Diversion Canal south, effective immediately, due to floodwater impacts.

This closure is in addition to the May 13 closure of Muddy Bayou Road from Saline Bayou, eastward to Nolan Bayou Road, and Sandy Bayou Road southward from Highway 28, within the LaSalle Parish WMA.

The access road closures are being implemented in the interest of public and employee safety and to provide undisturbed refuge for wildlife species seeking high ground as flood waters rise.

The closure is necessary due to rising backwater from the Red River, associated with the record Mississippi River water levels. These roads will remain closed until further notice.

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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

State Closes Two Oyster Harvest Areas, Allows Some Oyster Relocation

Release Date: 05/13/2011

Special Bedding-Only Oyster Season Map

Precautionary closures protect human health; relocation of oysters helps prevent further damage to commercial industry

May 13, 2011 -- Today Louisiana officials announced precautionary closures of two oyster harvesting areas that are receiving large amounts of freshwater intrusion from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and from the Mississippi River.

Officials also announced that oysters in some areas east of the Mississippi River may be relocated from beds that will be inundated with fresh water to other seed grounds or oyster leases out of the way of the flood waters coming through the spillway into Lake Pontchartrain and into the Gulf of Mexico. A special permit is required for relocation of oysters from an area closed for traditional harvest to an area specifically for bedding purposes. The permit is not required if the harvest area is open for harvest.

Closures

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is closing oyster harvest areas 1 and 7. The closures will take effect at sunset, Saturday, May 14, 2011. Area 1 is in Lake Borgne in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, and Area 7 in Plaquemines Parish. Both oyster harvesting areas are on the east side of the Mississippi river.

Louisiana State Health Officer, Jimmy Guidry, M.D., and Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein signed the orders today. The closures will remain in effect until officials are able to verify the safety of the resource for human consumption. 

DHH is monitoring all impacted oyster beds and doing routine water testing to ensure public health. State officials have notified local oyster harvesters that work in the affected areas, as well as the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

Resource Relocation

A special bedding-only season has also been announced by state officials today. At an emergency Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, the commission voted to open a special "bedding-only" oyster season for public seed grounds in the Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound area in St. Bernard Parish. The special season, which will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Saturday, May 14, 2011 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on May 31, will allow the oyster industry an opportunity to relocate oysters ahead of possible freshwater impacts from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. 

This special oyster season allows the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes only in the public oyster seed grounds within:

  • Harvest area 1
  • Harvest area 2
  • That portion of Harvest area 3 located north of a line of latitude 30 degrees 00 minutes 00.0 seconds N and east of a line of longitude 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W.

The special "bedding-only" season described above shall be opened with the following provisions:

1. All oysters on board a vessel actively harvesting oysters in the public seed grounds described above shall be presumed to have been taken from the public seed grounds described above.
2. No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters in the public seed ground described above shall have on board his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market.
3. No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds described above.

Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist on these public oyster seed grounds. The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway places those resources in imminent peril. As significant oyster mortalities could be experienced due to the anticipated depression, the special season is a necessary step to protect and preserve Louisiana's oyster resources. 

The Commission gave the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Robert Barham, authorization to take emergency action as necessary to open or close public oyster areas based on the best available biological data.

Beginning Sunday, May 15, 2011, harvesters that seek to participate in the oyster relocation or "bedding-only" season in Harvest Area 1 must have a special permit that requires notification of where transplanted oysters will be relocated. A permit is not required on Saturday, May 14, 2011, because Harvest Area 1 will still be open. Oysters harvested and relocated to a new lease may not be harvested for consumption or for the public marketplace for at least 14 days -- ample time for the oysters to filter any contaminants. Permits can be obtained at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health Commercial Seafood Program, located at 628 North 4th St., room 156, in downtown Baton Rouge. The special permit requires a $5,000 bond. 

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook page.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining 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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Closures for State Wildlife Management Areas in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Release Date: 05/13/2011

May 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today a schedule of closures for state wildlife management areas (WMAs) within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley due to flood water impacts.

The site closures or WMA access road closures are being implemented in the interest of public and employee safety and to provide undisturbed refuge for wildlife species seeking high ground as flood waters rise.

Effective today, within Dewey Wills WMA in LaSalle Parish, a portion of Muddy Bayou Road from Saline Bayou, eastward to Nolan Bayou Road, and Sandy Bayou Road southward from Highway 28, has been closed to vehicular traffic.

Effective May 16, the following areas will be completely closed:

  • Attakapas Island WMA (St. Martin/St. Mary/Iberia Parishes)
  • Grassy Lake WMA (Avoyelles Parish)
  • Sherburne WMA (Pointe Coupee/St. Martin/Iberville Parishes)
  • Three Rivers WMA (Concordia Parish)

The closures will remain in effect until the flood waters recede and all WMA access roads are determined to be safe for vehicle passage.

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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

For more information contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Reminds Residents to be Mindful of Wildlife Displaced by Flooding

Release Date: 05/13/2011

May 13, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds the public to be mindful of wildlife species forced into populated areas by flood waters from the Mississippi River and spillways.

Rising waters force wildlife from flooded habitat into adjacent residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents. LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range.

Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed. Feeding wild animals will encourage those animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.

Basic Tips:

  • Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.
  • Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.
  • Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

Species of Concern:

Black Bears: The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List. The black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident, when high water moves bears out of their habitat within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat.

Poisonous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake. For more information on snake species found in Louisiana, including frequently asked questions, visit LDWF's website at this link: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resource/snakes-louisiana.

Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable. LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.

For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:

  • Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
  • Hammond 985-543-4777
  • Monroe 318-343-4044
  • New Iberia 337-373-0032
  • Opelousas 337-948-0255
  • Pineville 318-487-5885

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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Cabela's "Wanna Go Fishing For Millions" Partners with LDWF

Release Date: 05/12/2011

Fish worth up to $2.2 million could soon be swimming in Louisiana waters

May 12, 2011 – Get out your shiny lures and round up your fishing gear.  Cabela’s announced Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win millions of dollars in cash and prizes by enjoying one of America’s favorite pastimes – fishing.

Cabela’s is tagging hundreds of fish in selected waters in states that have Cabela’s retail stores – including Louisiana – and every one of them is a winner.  Among the winning fish, there are grand prize winners that may qualify for additional bonuses based on the winning angler using or wearing sponsors’ products when they catch a tagged fish.

LDWF is Cabela’s state partner and will tag fish in selected waters, which will be publicly announced on May 14, the official start of the contest.  The contest runs through July 14.

“This competition is a great way to generate angler interest,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We encourage anglers of all ages and skill levels to experience the sport of fishing and enjoy the beautiful resources Louisiana has to offer.”

Winning is as easy as baiting a hook.  Go to LDWF’s website for contest information at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/recreational-fishing.  Anglers need to pre-register and hit their local waters between May 14 and July 14 for their chance at winning a fish worth $2.2 million.  Anglers also need a valid fishing license in order to participate in the contest.  To purchase a Louisiana fishing license, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses/fishing.

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.W.F.C. ANNOUNCES SPECIAL COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 05/12/2011

 

 

AGENDA 

May 12, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled a special meeting for 12:00 noon on Friday, May 13, 2011, at the LSU Cooperative Extension Office, 1105 West Port Street, Abbeville, Louisiana, 70510.

  1.            Roll Call

 2.            To consider Declaration of Emergency to open Public Oyster Seed Grounds in the Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound Area for Bedding Purposes Only

3.            Public Comments

 4.            Adjourn

 

For more information contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

TOP FISHING DESTINATION NEXT STOP ON LOUISIANA SALTWATER SERIES TOURNAMENT TRAIL

Release Date: 05/10/2011

 

(May 10, 2011) -The Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), heads to popular fishing destination Venice, La., on May 14, 2011, at the Venice Marina.  The series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

The grassroots-based tournament provides anglers with the opportunity to give back to the resource.  Contestants vie for cash prizes and test their skill while enjoying the thrill of the competitive sport. 

Thus far, the competition has attracted over 175 local anglers and more than 180 fish have been tagged.

Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized. 

The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast.  The 2011 tournament schedule is as follows: 

  • April 2 Lafitte, Seaway Marina;
  • April 30 Lake Calcasieu, Calcasieu Point Landing;
  • May 14 Venice, Venice Marina;
  • June 18 Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina;
  • July 23 Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock;
  •  August 20 Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina; and
  • Championship October 7 and 8 Empire, The Delta Marina.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday, May 12 at noon, but those interested in participating can register at Venice Marina from 5 to 6 a.m., the morning of the event.  Only cash or checks will be accepted for payment of registration fees the morning of the event. 

Venice Marina will provide food during weigh-in for all registered participants. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to 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.

 

LDWF Reminds Commercial Fishermen of Spring Shrimp Season Dates

Release Date: 05/09/2011

2011 spring shrimp season

Seasons remain unchanged for now

May 9, 2011 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials remind fishermen the 2011 Spring Shrimp Season will remain unchanged.  The season for Louisiana waters was set at last week’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. 

The 2011 Louisiana shrimp season will open as follows:

Shrimp Management Zone 1

  • The portion of Zone 1 from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the northern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) will open at 6 a.m., May 23.
  • The portion of Zone 1 from the northern shore of the MRGO to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

Shrimp Management Zone 2

  • The portion of Zone 2 west of the western shore of Bayou Lafourche to open at 6 a.m., May 13.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from Bayou Lafourche to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m., May 16.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from the Atchafalaya River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island open last Friday May 6, at 6 a.m. and remains open.

Shrimp Management Zone 3

  • All of Zone 3, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line, to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

 

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 the latest information on rising levels Mississippi River visit www.emergency.la.gov

 

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