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LDWF News Release

Amended Agenda for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 04/06/2011

April 6, 2011-The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, 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 March 3, 2011
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/March
  5. To consider Notice of Intent on Fish and Wildlife Values
  6. To hear overview of Budget Process and Department’s Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Executive Budget
  7. Public comments on 2011-13 Hunting Seasons and 2011-12 General & WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations and DMAP
  8. To consider Notice of Intent on Alligator Regulations
  9. To hear Report on Reintroduction of Whooping Cranes
  10. To consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Opening of Sabine Lake to Commercial Oyster Harvest
  11. Set August 2011 Meeting Date
  12. Receive Public Comments
  13. Adjournment

L.D.W.F. Investigating Decapitated Eagle

Release Date: 04/05/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking the public's help after finding a federally protected decapitated bald eagle in a drainage ditch in Franklin Parish on April 3.

Anyone providing information leading to the arrest or conviction of the guilty party is eligible for up to $2,000 in cash rewards.  LDWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are both offering $1,000 to help solve this case. 

"To see any protected animal decapitated in a ditch is disheartening enough, let alone the animal that represents our symbol of freedom," said Capt. Alan Bankston, LDWF's Regional Captain for the Monroe area.  "However, to find out what happened to this eagle, we really need help from the public.  We are urging the public to offer up any information they might hear so we can hold someone accountable for this brutal crime."

Anyone with information may call the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Agents believe the eagle had been dead for a couple of days before being found.  LDWF agents recovered the eagle and are currently scheduling a necropsy to determine a cause of death.

The eagle is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  For each violation of these acts, a $5,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail may be imposed if convicted.

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

State Reinvests $13 Million with Commercial Fishermen

Release Date: 04/04/2011

April 4, 2011 – This month the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in coordination with the Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD), and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), issued award letters to nearly 1,000 fishermen who were deemed eligible for the Commercial Fisherman Grant Program.  Throughout the month the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry through the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority (LAFA) has been on-site at several locations along the coast conducting grant closings and disbursing funds to eligible fishermen.

“The industry has worked incredibly hard to recover from numerous disasters over the last six years, including hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “We are excited to match some of the hard work that the commercial fishing industry has put into bouncing back by issuing grants that help mitigate some of their losses. The full recovery of our coastal communities is tied to the fate of our commercial fishing industry. This is another step towards helping those residents, businesses and communities become whole again.”

“The funds for this program were part of the $27 million the state allocated to Fisheries recovery from the Community Development Block Grants we received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” said Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater. “From the beginning, we have been committed to helping our fishermen, and this important part of Louisiana’s economy, recover from the effects of the 2008 storms. I’m pleased that this coordinated effort with LDWF and LDAF will bring these much-needed funds to commercial fishermen.”

The Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority processed more than 1,250 applications and awarded the money based on losses suffered by the 2008 hurricanes.

“This is a continuation of LAFA’s mission to promote rural economic development,” Strain said. “It’s vital to our economy for our food producers to be profitable. We’re glad to be a part of that.”

The $13 million Commercial Fisherman Grant Program was designed to assist Louisiana fishermen who held a commercial fishing license in 2008 and who remain licensed, continue to recover from the effects of hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.  Individuals were required to provide supporting tax documentation and be able to prove a $5,000 tangible or financial loss in order to qualify for the program.  Applicants were eligible for a grant up to the amount of their loss, not to exceed $100,000. Of the nearly $13 million dollars being disbursed, 95 percent was allocated solely to certified fishermen.

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.
The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.

For more information from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov  or at (225)610-2363.  For more information from the Office of Community Development, please contact Christina Stephens at (225) 603-3896 or christina.stephens@la.gov.  For more information from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, please contact Sam Irwin at (225) 922-1256 or sirwin@ldaf.state.la.us.

2011 Dates Announced for White Lake Facilities Use by Groups Conducting Non-Consumptive Activities

Release Date: 04/01/2011

April 1, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has designated selected dates between April 19 and July 12, 2011 for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).

White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish. LDWF owns and manages lodge facilities and 71,000 acres of wetlands and marsh land. The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, will be available for day-use or overnight use at rental rates that vary based on level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access for 2011 group use dates.

The facilities and landscape are ideal for birding groups, nature photographers, environmental or wetland ecology students, or small business retreats. LDWF can provide site staff for guided boat tours and biologists for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area, which now includes an experimental population of whooping cranes.

White Lake WCA and the surrounding Mermentau River Basin provide abundant habitat for a variety of avian and aquatic species. The property will seasonally have migrant passerine birds, shorebirds, wading birds, rails, gallinules, and the common moorhen. Hawks and owls are also common. Coastal terns and gulls use habitat contained on White Lake at times. Several large breeding rookeries of waders are present on the property. Most notably, along Blackfish Bayou, buttonbush growth supports a rookery with a large number of black-crowned night herons.

Access dates and fees for 2011 are as follows:

SCHEDULE FOR NON-CONSUMPTIVE ACTIVITIES AT WHITE LAKE WCA

Day trips: April 26; May 3 and 17; June 7 and 21; and July 5 and 12.

Overnight trips: April 19-20; May 10-11; and June 14-15.

FEE SCHEDULE FOR WHITE LAKE WCA FACILITY USE

Day Use (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
$300 - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $10/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $20/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with  coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided (for up to 15 people) will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.

Exemptions from day-use Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Overnight Use (arrive 2-4 p.m. day 1; depart 1 p.m. day 2)
$400 + $25/person/night --Includes overnight stay at Lodge with only linens provided.
(For up to 12 people.)

$400 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.  (For up to 12 people.)

$900 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and linens provided. (For up to 12 people.)

Exemptions from overnight Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/25 clay pigeons.

$15/person/25 clay pigeons, 25 shotgun shells provided.

Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events.

Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/ride.  Limited to authorized function attendees.

Exemptions: Any state, local or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects, or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.

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 on White Lake WCA facility use, visit the LDWF Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-wetlands-non-consumptive-use-2011, or call 337-479-1894 or e-mail Wayne Sweeney at sweeneykw@bellsouth.net.

Agenda Set for April Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 03/30/2011

March 30, 2011 - The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, 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 March 3, 2011
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/March
  5. To consider Notice of Intent on Fish and Wildlife Values
  6. To hear overview of Budget Process and Department’s Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Executive Budget
  7. Public comments on 2011-13 Hunting Seasons and 2011-12 General & WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations and DMAP
  8. To consider Notice of Intent on Alligator Regulations
  9. To hear Report on Reintroduction of Whooping Cranes
  10. Set August 2011 Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

Volunteers Return to Pass A Loutre WMA For Marsh Restoration Project Phase Two

Release Date: 03/29/2011

Ohio State University students on spring break place Gulf Saver Bags at Pass a Loutre WMA on March 24.
Volunteers, coordinated by Common Ground Relief for Restore the Earth Foundation, prepare for trip to Pass a Loutre WMA.
Gulf Saver Bags placed at Pass a Loutre WMA are designed to stimulate marsh restoration and growth.

March 29, 2011 - Volunteers from around the state and country assisted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) marsh restoration efforts March 24 with a second installation of Gulf Saver Bags at Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Common Ground Relief coordinated the effort for the Restore the Earth Foundation and LDWF, bringing in students on spring break from Ohio State University, and representatives of Bayou Rebirth, (San Francisco) For the Bayou, Global Green and Plaquemines Parish officials and citizens.

The volunteers assisted LDWF Coastal and Non-game Resources Division personnel distribute 800 Gulf Saver Bags at the WMA that forms the southeast tip of Plaquemines Parish, where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The vital wetland habitat within the WMA provides a natural home and breeding grounds for shrimp, crabs, oysters, and more than five million migratory birds. Hurricane activity and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 have further advanced the effects of coastal erosion to this southeastern Louisiana shoreline that forms the first line of defense against storm surge and tidal fluctuations.

The Gulf Saver Bag is a package of native marsh grasses with its own supply of natural nutrients and oil eating micro-organisms combined to support, feed and protect the new growth of marsh grasses in areas of need. The bag is standard biodegradable burlap weighing 20 pounds when packed. Placement by hand from small transport vessels minimizes disruption of shallow sediment along deteriorating coastal land mass. The 800 bags placed along the marsh shoreline Thursday supplement the 400 bags distributed by an initial volunteer effort in December 2010.

Funding for materials used at Pass a Loutre was provided by donations from individuals and matching donations from the Coypu Foundation, the Ittleson Foundation, State Farm Insurance and Restore Americas Estuaries. Additional funds were raised though benefit concerts held in San Francisco and sponsored by For the Bayou, as well as a Benefit the Bayou concert held in Cape Cod, and a car wash held by Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans. For more information on the Gulf Saver Bag project, visit www.gulfsaversolutions.com.

Pass a Loutre WMA encompasses 115,000 acres and is the oldest wildlife management area in Louisiana. Visit www.wlf.la.gov for information on LDWF’s coastal wildlife management areas.

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.

LDWF to Kick Off Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament at Seaway Marina on April 2

Release Date: 03/29/2011

March 29, 2011 - The Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will open April 2, 2011, in Lafitte, La., at the Seaway Marina.  The series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournament.

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 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. 

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.

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 Extends Shrimp Season in Breton and Chandeleur Sounds

Release Date: 03/28/2011

March 28, 2011 – Today Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced that the shrimp season in the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur sounds will be extended until further notice. Current data indicates that marketable quantities of white shrimp remain in these areas.  By extending the shrimp season, Secretary Barham hopes to provide added economic opportunity to shrimp harvesters, while still limiting risk to juvenile brown shrimp.

Preliminary LDWF trip ticket data indicates Louisiana shrimp landings for 2010 totaled approximately 72.9 million pounds and had a dock-side value of $104.2 million.  White shrimp landings accounted for 76 percent of total shrimp landings and 79 percent of the value.

The opening dates for the 2011 spring inshore shrimp season will be set by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 5 meeting at LDWF headquarters.

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet in New Orleans Tuesday, March 29

Release Date: 03/28/2011

March 28, 2011 – The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet in New Orleans at the UNO Advanced Technology Building in Suite 210 Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 1 p.m.

The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of  January 25, 2011 MINUTES
  3. Treasury Report
  4. Committee Reports
  5. Old Business
    1. Public Oyster Reef Evaluation & Shell Plant – Patrick Banks
    2. BP Oil Spill Remediation
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Remediation
      3. Oyster Lease Remediation
    3. Report on Washington Walk-on-the-Hill and functions
    4. Oyster Lease Moratorium Update, Map of Dual Claim Water-bottoms – Jerome Zeringue, Raymond Impastato
  6. New Business
    1. Crop Insurance Update – Rob Certa
    2. Sabine Lake Oyster Harvest Recommendations – Mike Voisin
    3. NFI Spring Conference, May 10-12,2011 – Mike Voisin
    4. Army Corp of Engineers Shellfish Permit Reauthorization
    5. Acknowledgements:  Keith Lacaze, Tommy Cvitanovich
  7. Set Next Meeting
  8. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

Prior to the this meeting, the Legislative Committee for the Oyster Task Force will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss amending the state refrigeration allowance and the legal standard for measuring sack oysters. 

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

Father and Son Team Receive D.W.I. Enforcement Awards

Release Date: 03/25/2011

LSU Patrol Officer Justin Lanoux (left) and his father, LDWF Senior Agent Randy Lanoux (right)

March 25, 2011 - The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission presented "2010 DWI Enforcement Awards" on March 15 to a father and son for their efforts in getting impaired operators of vehicles and vessels off the streets and waterways.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division Senior Agent Randy Lanoux, 47, of Gonzales, received the award for making 47 driving while under the influence (DWI) cases in 2010.  His son, Louisiana State University (LSU) Police Patrol Officer Justin Lanoux, 27, of Gonzales, earned the award for issuing 24 DWI citations.  They both made the most DWI arrests for their agencies.

"This was a very special moment for me and my son," said Randy Lanoux.  "During the span of my 30-year law enforcement career I have received several awards, however, in this one instance to stand next to your only son and receive recognition from the state, which you love so dearly, is indescribable."

Justin said he made most of his cases around the perimeter of the LSU campus and that he has zero tolerance for impaired drivers.  "It is important to protect the LSU students, faculty and staff as well as the citizens of the state of Louisiana from drunk drivers," he said.  "Alcohol related traffic crashes are 100% preventable by simply not drinking and driving."

Randy made 44 of his 47 DWI cases in 2010 on the water with most of those coming on the Amite and Blind Rivers.  Alcohol is the number one cause of boating crash incidents that lead to fatalities in Louisiana.  In 2009, alcohol was ruled the primary cause for six of the 32 fatalities from boating crash incidents.

"For public safety it is imperative that impaired boat operators be located and removed from our state waterways before they can cause harm to themselves or someone else," Randy said.  "It's not a question of if something will happen, but a question of when.  Eventually there will be a situation where a quick decision needs to be made and an impaired operator simply can't react in the time needed.  Alcohol also obstructs their capabilities of reason and judgment and is a recipe for disaster."

The LDWF Enforcement Division has stepped up their DWI enforcement efforts in the last decade.  LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations in 2009 and 158 in 2010, compared to 50 in 2002.

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

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