LDWF News Release

Elbow Slough WMA Opening Weekend Dove Hunting Restricted to Lottery Winners Only

Release Date: 09/03/2013

Sept. 3, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reminding the public of changes to dove hunting on Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area for the opening weekend of dove season, Sept. 7-8.
To better manage the hunter numbers seen on opening weekend in previous years, and prevent hunters from being turned away due to limited dove field space, a lottery drawing process was established.
The lottery dove hunt access to Elbow Slough WMA in Rapides Parish will provide 80 hunters the opportunity to hunt this Saturday and Sunday.
As with all WMA lottery hunts, applications for the Elbow Slough WMA opening weekend lottery dove hunts were made available on the LDWF website well in advance of dove season.  Applicants were given the choice of the traditional afternoon hunt on opening day or a morning hunt on the second day.  The deadline for applications to be submitted was Aug. 9. A drawing was then held, and 40 hunters were selected to participate each day. 
Only those selected through the lottery drawing will be allowed to attend the dove hunts at Elbow Slough WMA on opening weekend. For safety reasons, guests or other observers will not be allowed.  While this does limit the number of hunters that can be accommodated, it will alleviate the significant overcrowding problems that were resulting in hunters waiting all day for an opening on the field, and at times not having an opportunity to hunt at all on opening day.
Starting on Wednesday Sept. 11, Elbow Slough WMA will be open to all dove hunters, and will remain open for dove hunting by anyone on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays ONLY, through Sunday, Sept. 22.  Elbow Slough WMA will again be open to anyone for dove hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays ONLY, Oct. 12 through Nov. 10.  Dove hunters are reminded that steel shot is required for all hunting on Elbow Slough.
For more information about public dove hunting opportunities, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove or contact Jeff Johnson at (318) 371-3050 or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .



Louisiana Dove Season to Start Sept. 7 Statewide

Release Date: 08/30/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) would like to remind hunters that the 2013-14 dove hunting season starts on Sept. 7 in both the north and south zones.

LDWF is issuing this reminder because the 2013-14 Louisiana dove season falls at a later date than past seasons.  Furthermore, the LDWF smart phone app may not be updated with the current hunting regulations in time for the start of the dove hunting season.

LDWF is currently working with the app provider to get it updated with hopes to have the update available shortly with the 2013-14 hunting regulations.  The current LDWF smart phone app still contains last year’s hunting regulations that had the 2012-13 dove hunting season starting on Sept. 1.

The 2013-14 dove hunting season for the south zone runs from Sept. 7-15, Oct. 19-Dec. 1 and Dec. 21-Jan.6.  The north zone runs from Sept. 7-22, Oct. 12-Nov. 10 and Dec. 14-Jan. 6.  The daily bag limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 45 in the aggregate.

For more information on the north and south zone boundaries for the dove hunting season, please refer to the 2013-14 hunting regulations pamphlet found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations.

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

L.O.W.A. Honors Young Outdoor Writers, Photographers

Release Date: 08/30/2013

Clay Kershaw, Kenny Odinet III and Story Moller were big winners in the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association’s 2013 Youth Journalism Contest celebrated Aug. 10 during LOWA’s annual awards banquet in Lafayette.
Kershaw, a 13-year-old Catholic High-Baton Rouge student, earned first and second places in the Photography Division for his images of alligators in a south Louisiana swamp and a snowy egret perched on a cypress stump.
Odinet, a home-school with his three siblings in Lafayette, took first in Junior Essay (ages 7-13) for this story entitled “Trout on Soft Plastics,” in which he described his first speckled trout catch on an artificial lure.
Moller, 17, attends Cedar Creek School near his Ruston home and took first and third places in Senior Essay (ages 14-18). His winning entry, “Frosty Morning,” documented his first-ever flooded-tree duck hunt, while his third-place story entitled “Gift of a King” recounted memorable family elk hunts in Montana.
Ava Lemoine, an 8-year-old St. Aloysius Elementary student from Baton Rouge, placed this in photography with an image of the Louisiana at sunset.  Kershaw’s younger brother, Alex, 11, attends Parkview Baptist School, placed fourth in Photography for his shot of a lizard on the hunt.
The D’Arensbourg sisters, 13-year-old Kyla and 10-year-old Janae placed second and third, respectively, in Junior Essay. They recounted summer trips to the Louisiana coast, Kyla’s “Fishing on the Pier” and Janae’s “Crabbing on Grand Isle” brought awards to their home in Zachary. Kyla attends Zachary High. Janae is a Copper Mill Elementary student.
Frances Purgerson, a 9-year-old Our Lady of Mercy student, was fourth in Junior Essay for her story about how close she became to a family of chimney swifts living in her backyard.
Averi Young, 16 and a student at West Feliciana High, placed second in Senior Essay for her story, “A Sleepless Night; A Memorable Morning,” about her first-ever squirrel hunt with a dog.
There was a tie for Senior Essay’s fourth place. It was shared by 14-year-old Jesuit High student Jacob DeRamus from River Ridge and recent Baton Rouge High grad Jade Spears, 18. DeRamus recounted this year’s Mardi Gras Day when he and a fishing buddy went bass fishing in New Orleans’ City Park and witness the catch of a park-record largemouth in “Catch Me Something, Mister!”.
Spears’ entry, “The Eagle,” told of her several years trips to Old River in Pointe Coupee Parish on fishing trips with her father and her deepening relationship with a family of bald eagles living along that oxbow.
To view the winning photos and read the winning essays, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lowa-outdoor-journalism-contest .
The Louisiana chapter of Safari Club International sponsors the Youth Journalism Contest.  For more information on the contest, contact Joe Macaluso at 225-388-0293 or jmacaluso@theadvocate.com .



Old Highway 11 on Pearl River WMA to Reopen Aug. 31

Release Date: 08/30/2013

Aug. 30, 2013 – Old Highway 11 on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in southeastern St. Tammany Parish will reopen at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) had closed the road Aug. 22 for repairs. Repairs to the road have been completed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. 
For more information, please contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.



Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge Public Access to Be Temporarily Restricted Beginning Sept. 4

Release Date: 08/29/2013

Aug. 29, 2013 -- Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge will begin the annual nuisance alligator harvest on Wednesday, Sept. 4. During this period, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will not open the refuge to the public each day until 10 a.m.
Due to construction projects in progress, the public is advised that entry sign instructions must be followed even when refuge gates are open.  Failure to follow refuge closure instructions may result in enforcement citations.
After 10 a.m., the public will be allowed to enter the refuge and utilize recreational areas until official sunset each day. The delayed openings will be in effect for seven days or until all alligator trappers have utilized their tags for this controlled harvest. The public is also advised not to tamper with lines left in place by alligator trappers.
The refuge, spanning 26 miles of coastal Louisiana in Cameron and Vermilion parishes, provides recreational opportunities to fishermen seeking shrimp, redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and largemouth bass, among others.
Rockefeller SWR is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Located at the terminus of the vast Mississippi Flyway, south Louisiana winters about four million waterfowl annually. The refuge provides high quality wetlands habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds and wading birds.
For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or contact Phillip Trosclair at 337-491-2593.



Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 08/29/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, September 5, 2013, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of August 1, 2013

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/August

5.  To Hear an Update on the 2013 Recreational Red Snapper Season

6.  To Consider a Notice of Intent for the Abandoned Crab Traps Removal Program        

7. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Repeal the Scuba Diving Game Fish Season on Toledo Bend

8.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for Commercial Fish Seining on Old River Lake, Concordia Parish

9.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for Commercial Fish Seining on Lake Louis, Catahoula Parish

10. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for Commercial Fishing on Lake Bruin, Tensas Parish

11.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to modify Rules for the Domesticated Aquatic Organism License

12.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for the Harvest of Shad and Skipjack with Experimental Seine and Remove the Experimental Dip Net Permit

13.  To Hear a Presentation on Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) Program

14.  Set January 2014 Meeting Date

15. Receive Public Comments

16. Adjournment



Drawdown Scheduled for Chicot Lake

Release Date: 08/28/2013

(Aug. 28, 2013) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown for Chicot Lake, just north of Ville Platte, to begin on Tuesday, September 3 to control nuisance aquatic vegetation. 

The water level will be lowered 3 feet from pool stage. Water fluctuations are proven to yield significant beneficial effects for fisheries and aquatic vegetation control, particularly on Chicot Lake.

The drawdown is part of an integrated lake management plan, which utilizes several different control methods to control overabundant nuisance vegetation.  The Department stocked triploid grass carp during the winter of 2012 and will continue herbicide applications.

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

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 press inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.



Three Men Cited For Illegal Oyster Activity in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 08/27/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited three men for alleged oyster and boating safety violations in Bayou Stephan in Plaquemines Parish on Aug. 26.

Agents cited John Phillipe, 32, Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., for harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill.

Phillipe, the licensed captain, was also cited for twice violating the state’s health code for not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book and vessel sanitation requirements.  He was also cited for taking commercial fish without a vessel license, no visible boat numbers, improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal.

The incident occurred when agents witnessed Phillipe and his deckhands harvesting oysters from a lease near Port Sulphur that did not belong to them and under the cover of darkness after legal sunset.  The boating safety and health code violations were discovered during the stop.

Unlawfully harvesting oysters from a private lease, without written permission from the lease holder, and during illegal hours each carries up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license brings up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Each count of the state’s health code violations carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail and forfeiture of the product.  Each of the boating safety violations brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Agents issued 20 citations, seized one oyster dredge and 11 sacks of oysters were returned to the water.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

2013 Alligator Hunting Season Set to Open Aug. 28

Release Date: 08/27/2013

Aug. 27, 2013 -- The East Zone Louisiana alligator season is scheduled to open Wednesday, Aug. 28, followed by the West Zone opening on Sept. 4.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be issuing tags to licensed hunters through Sept. 4. Over 38,000 tags will be issued and an estimated 34,000 alligators will be harvested during the 2013 season.

Harvested alligators will range from 4 to 12 feet in length with the average size estimated to be 7 feet, 6 inches.

According to LDWF Alligator Program Manager Noel Kinler, “There is good demand for alligator skins and meat, and we expect to see a good harvest season with prices at least equal to last year’s average of $23.50 per foot. We will issue an estimated 3,000 licenses to Louisiana residents and over 500 to non-resident sport hunters.”

Like other outdoor activities, youngsters participate at a very early age since alligator hunting is often a family affair and women also participate as hunters during the alligator season.  Lifelong hunters still enjoy the challenge into their 70s and 80s, and alligator hunting leases are passed down from father to son to grandson.

For more information, contact Noel Kinler at 337-373-0032 or nkinler@wlf.la.gov or Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@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.



Agents Arrest Man for Possession of Stolen Crab Traps in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 08/26/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a DeRidder man on Aug. 23 for alleged crabbing and fishing violations on Calcasieu Lake.

Agents arrested Robby Joe Wiley, 38, for illegal possession of stolen things, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, taking or possessing commercial fish without a vessel license, using crab traps without required markings, violating crab trap escape ring requirements, taking commercial fish without a commercial license and improper boat numbers.  Wiley was booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.

Agents received a complaint from a fisherman who reported he had crab traps stolen from him.  Agents discovered that several crab traps in Calcasieu Lake were tagged with two commercial fishing numbers.  One of the numbers belonged to the victim and another belonged to Wiley.  Wiley replaced the victim’s lines and corks attached to the crab traps with his own.

On Aug. 23, Agents went back to the area and checked all the crab traps in the area with Wiley’s corks.  Agents then seized crab traps tagged with the two commercial fishermen numbers on them.

While Agents were conducting the investigation, they were met by Wiley.  Wiley identified the seized crab traps as his own.  Agents did a compliance check and discovered that Wiley was commercial fishing under another person’s commercial fishing license and possessed no commercial licenses of his own.  Agents also discovered several traps were not tagged and crab traps that did not have escape rings.

Agents seized 46 crab traps, Wiley’s boat, motor and trailer along with the fraudulent commercial licenses.

Possession of stolen thing things brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Using crab traps without the required markings and violating crap trap escape ring requirements each carries up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, without a vessel license, or without a commercial license each carries up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Improper boat numbers brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Stuart Guillory, Sgt. Justin Sonnier, Senior Agent Anthony Verret and Senior Agent Sean Moreau.

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

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