LDWF News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Region Honors LDWF Office of Wildlife for Waterfowl Conservation Efforts

Release Date: 11/01/2013

USFWS Regional Director Cindy Dohner presents LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds the Director’s Conservation Award.

Nov 1, 2013 -- Some of the Southeast’s finest conservationists, academics, and partners in wildlife conservation were recognized Oct. 30 at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director’s Honor Awards ceremony in Atlanta.
Among those receiving awards was Larry Reynolds, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) waterfowl study leader, for directing wood duck banding efforts in the state.
“Recognizing the excellence of partners, volunteers, and employees is one way we can say thank you to those who practice what we like to call ‘Southern-style conservation’,” USFWS Regional Director Cindy Dohner said. “Every day, they demonstrate their long-term commitment to working together to sustain fish and wildlife for future generations. We are indebted to them.”
Under Reynolds’ leadership, LDWF’s Wildlife Division successfully captured and banded 2,176 wood ducks during the 2011 pre-season banding period. This number was more than four times the agency’s annual banding quota of 500 wood ducks, and represents the highest number of the species banded by any southeastern state during the same period.  “This is recognition of the Wildlife Division’s efforts, not just one individual,” Reynolds said. “Paul Link, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan coordinator, and all of our participating staff deserves the credit for capturing and banding all those wood ducks.”
During the past decade or more, LDWF has consistently strived to meet its banding goals, and has banded well over 10,000 wood ducks since 2004. Because wood ducks are primarily found in forested wetlands, traditional waterfowl survey methods do not work. Therefore, Mississippi Flyway-wide partnership banding programs, such as those carried out in Louisiana, are critical to providing the information required to support wood duck population management.
In all, 32 individuals and teams were recognized for their extraordinary efforts in the service of conservation. To read more about their accomplishments, please visit http://www.fws.gov/southeast/.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  For more information on their work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit  www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information: contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehriner@wlf.la.gov; or Stacy Shelton at 404-679-7290 or Stacy_Shelton@fws.gov.



LDWF Reminds Waterfowl Hunters to Be Alert for Whooping Cranes

Release Date: 11/01/2013

Nov. 1, 2013 -- As young waterfowl hunters prepare for the Nov. 2-3 Youth Waterfowl Weekend in the state’s coastal zone, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding all waterfowl hunters to be alert for whooping cranes in marshes and fields that contain legally hunted game birds.
LDWF’s whooping crane reintroduction program has released cranes into the wild from White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area each year since 2011. The birds have dispersed over time to locations that include east Texas, but there are whooping cranes situated in Acadia, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Rapides and Vermilion parishes.
Anyone encountering whooping cranes in the wild is advised to observe them from a distance and minimize any disturbance. Hunters are cautioned to positively identify their targets as game birds before shooting.  Although whooping cranes in Louisiana are considered an “experimental, non-essential population” under the Endangered Species Act, they are still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.
Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand an impressive 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of 7-8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include fully extended neck and legs, and black wing tips. Photos of the cranes and similar species can be seen on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/document/whooping-crane-identification-fact-sheet or in the 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet between pages 30 and 31.
Hunters are encouraged to report whooping crane sightings to assist the department in tracking their movements. Location information can be reported to the White Lake WCA office at 337-536-9400, ext. 4 or szimorski@wlf.la.gov .
LDWF also asks experienced hunters to take the time in the field to educate young hunters and improve their target identification skills to distinguish game birds from non-game birds.  A whooping crane sighting can add to the outdoor experience for outdoorsmen and women of all ages and hunter vigilance can assist the department’s efforts to restore this unique species in southwestern Louisiana.
Anyone witnessing whooping cranes being pursued, harassed, captured or killed is urged to call the LDWF Enforcement Division’s Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 to report what they’ve seen.
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 10/30/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 7, 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 October 3, 2013
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports October
  5. To Establish the Bussey Brake Tract as the Bussey Brake Wildlife Management Area  
  6. Presentation on Wildlife Management Area Program         
  7. To Consider Declaration of Emergency to Open Deer Season on Kisatchie National Forest during the Period November 22-28, 2013
  8. To Consider Declaration of Emergency for Additional Buck Season Dates in Deer Area 7
  9. Presentation of the Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest Winner              
  10. Set March 2014 Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12.  Adjournment




2014 Wild Turkey Season Youth Hunt Dates on KNF Corrected

Release Date: 10/30/2013

Oct. 30, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries press release of Oct. 4, which announced the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s approved 2014 wild turkey season dates, contained incorrect information about youth lottery hunts on Kisatchie National Forest. In 2014, there are no youth lottery hunts, or applications to complete and submit, for hunters 17 years of age or younger wishing to hunt turkeys on KNF properties during designated youth hunt dates.

Youth hunting dates for wild turkey on Kisatchie National Forest have been approved for the weekend of March 15-16 on the Caney, Calcasieu (except Forest Service / Vernon Unit lands within Ft. Polk/Vernon WMA) and Kisatchie Ranger Districts; and March 15 on Catahoula and Winn Ranger Districts.

The regular turkey season within the Caney Ranger District would run from March 22 to April 6; and from March 22 to April 13 on all other Ranger Districts.

The private lands youth and physically challenged hunter weekend will be March 15-16 in all designated turkey hunting areas.

For more information on WMA hunting opportunities and hunting seasons in Louisiana, visit www.wlf.la.gov.  For information on turkey season dates and regulations, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov .



US Army Annual Permit No Longer Needed to Hunt on Fort Polk and Peason Ridge WMAs

Release Date: 10/28/2013

Oct. 28, 2013 -- Officials with the US Army have announced that the federal permit previously required to hunt on Fort Polk and Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Areas is no longer required. Archery and small game hunters using the Cantonment Area within the Army installation are advised that proper visitor passes will be required to enter the security gates, however.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds all hunters that Louisiana hunting licenses are still required to hunt on these federal properties, including the $15 annual Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Hunting Permit. 

Also, all users of Fort Polk or Peason Ridge WMAs must still fill out a Self Clearing Permit for all activities (hunting, fishing, birdwatching, sightseeing, etc.).  Self Clearing Permits are available at information kiosks and are located at most WMA entrance roads.

Fort Polk and Peason Ridge WMAs provide over 138,000 acres for public outdoor recreation opportunities through a cooperative partnership between LDWF, the US Army and the US Forest Service.

Information on Fort Polk or Peason Ridge WMAs can be found on LDWF’s website, www.louisiana.gov, or by contacting Wendell Smith at 337-491-2575 or wsmith@wlf.la.gov, or the Fort Polk Public Affairs office at 337-531-7203.



Four Men Arrested for Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 10/28/2013

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent along with Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) deputies arrested four subjects in Concordia Parish for alleged night hunting violations on Oct. 21.

Sgt. Trey Mason observed a vehicle traveling on Haphazard Road about 10 miles West of Ferriday around 4 a.m.  Sgt. Mason then observed someone from inside the vehicle shine a spotlight in nearby fields and shoot numerous times at various game.

Sgt. Mason along with Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office Sgt. Randy Stockman and Deputy Amos Coley stopped the vehicle.  The four subjects inside the vehicle were identified as Joshua K. Parker, 21, of Vidalia, Shelby L. Martin, 17, of Ridgecrest, Joshua S. Homes, 26, of Ridgecrest, and Emily S. Perry, 23, of Ridgecrest.

Sgt. Mason and the CPSO deputies found numerous firearms along with nine freshly killed rabbits and one freshly killed deer in the bed of the vehicle.

All four subjects were charged with taking deer during illegal hours, hunting wild quadrapeds during illegal hours, hunting from a moving vehicle and taking deer from a public road.  Parker and Martin were also cited for discharging a firearm from a public road.  The subjects were arrested and booked into the Concordia Parish Jail.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public road and hunting wild quadrupeds during illegal hours each carry between a $250 and $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Taking a deer from a public road carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

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

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Scheduled for Oct. 29, 2013

Release Date: 10/25/2013

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of March 12 and July 9, 2013
  3. Welcome and Opening Comments from Chairman
  4. Enforcement Division Report
  5. ALAS (Archery in Louisiana Schools) Report
  6. Office of Fisheries: Louisiana Seafood Certification Program
  7. Office of Wildlife: 2013-14 Waterfowl Season Outlook
  8. Office of Wildlife: Upland Game Bird Report
  9. Other Business: Council Discussion on Meeting Schedule
  10. Set Next Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

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, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.




Release Date: 10/24/2013

October 24, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters, previously closed on September 20, will re-open at 12:01 a.m., on November 1 until 12:01 a.m., on November 3 at which time the season will close and remain closed through June 30, 2014. 

The re-opening was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico has been under harvested by approximately 80,000 pounds. 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico was not fully harvested during the previous season.

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at 504.430.2363 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.



LDWF Biologists Assist in Offshore Rescue Near Southwest Pass

Release Date: 10/24/2013

LDWF Biologists Assist in Offshore Rescue Near Southwest Pass

October 24, 2013 – Yesterday, on a regularly scheduled sampling trip, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists, stationed out of the Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab, assisted in the rescue of five offshore fishermen who were in distress due to inadvertently striking an oil platform.

When the LDWF vessel, Blazing Seven, arrived at the scene of the report, the 64-foot Viking sport fishing vessel named “Extra Sauce” had already succumbed to the infiltration of water and sunk.  The five fishermen were aboard a life raft and quickly brought aboard the LDWF vessel. 

“Every day I am proud of the work our biologists do at the Grand Isle Fisheries Lab, but I am even more proud of them and their efforts to help this crew whose lives were in immediate danger,” said LDWF Fisheries Lab Director Myron Fischer.  “The team we have assembled in Grand Isle are among the finest biologists I have worked with and they never hesitate to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

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 press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov  or (504)286-4162.



Update on KNF and National Wildlife Management Preserve Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 10/24/2013

Oct. 24, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising hunters of the following information about the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF), Red Dirt and Catahoula National Wildlife Management Preserves (NWMP).  With the return of federal employees from the recent federal government shutdown, hunters are advised of the following:

  • The Red Dirt and Catahoula NWMP will implement the self-clearing permit requirements for the October 26-27 Either-sex hunt.  The self-clearing permits will be available at the Kisatchie Ranger District, Winn Ranger District and Catahoula Ranger District offices and at the check stations on each Preserve.  The self-clearing permits for the Catahoula NWMP will also be available at the Saddle Bayou, Pearson, Bankston and Highway 472 Hunter Camps.
  • Mandatory Deer check on the Red Dirt and Catahoula NWMP will be required as per the Louisiana Hunting Regulations Pamphlet.
  • Hunters are reminded that on Catahoula and Red Dirt NWMP, a mandatory Season Permit will still be required.  These permits are available at Kisatchie Ranger District, Winn Ranger District and Catahoula Ranger District offices, at the Alexandria Forestry Center (Supervisor’s Office) in Pineville, at the check station on each Preserve and online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie/hunting/index.html.

To view the 2013-2014 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet on LDWF’s website, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations. Details on hunting within KNF begin on page 82.  To access the KNF website, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/kisatchie/hunting/index.html.

For additional information: contact Jason Nolde, KNF Pineville office, ph. 318-473-7192; or Steve Smith, LDWF Pineville field office, ph. 318-487-5885.


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