LDWF News Release

White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area 2014 Teal Season Lottery Announced

Release Date: 07/15/2014

July 15, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the 2014 lottery teal hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.
Available dates include Saturday, Sept. 13; Sunday, Sept. 14; Tuesday, Sept. 16; Thursday, Sept. 18; Saturday, Sept. 20; Sunday, Sept. 21; Wednesday, Sept. 24; Saturday, Sept. 27; and Sunday, Sept. 28.
Persons 18 years of age or older can apply and only one application per hunter will be accepted. Applications are available on the LDWF Web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications or by writing to the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: White Lake WCA Teal Season Lottery Hunts, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

Completed applications must be received by close of business on Aug. 15, 2014. A $5 non-refundable administration fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries must accompany each application.

Each applicant who is selected will be allowed to bring one additional hunter as a guest. All hunters must have appropriate licenses, including a basic hunting license (or Louisiana Sportsman's Paradise license), a Louisiana duck license, federal duck stamp and HIP permit.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail and required to submit an additional check or money order for $250 per hunt party. Applications are non-transferrable.

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 teal season lottery hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .


LDWF Schedules Drawdown on Larto-Saline Lake Complex for Weir Replacement

Release Date: 07/15/2014

(July 1, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate an immediate drawdown on the Larto-Saline Lake Complex to accommodate construction activities related to the replacement of the Cross Bayou weir.

The water level in the lake will lowered four feet and be maintained at 33 feet mean sea level for the duration of the weir replacement.

The Larto Lake Dam structure will be closed and the lake will be allowed to refill immediately following construction completion, which is scheduled for September 2014.

The Larto-Saline Lake complex encompasses portions of Avoyelles, Catahoula, LaSalle and Rapides parishes.  The Cross Bayou weir is one of several structures throughout the complex that maintains the water level in the lakes.  A portion of the weir collapsed in December 2012 after heavy rainfall, and temporary repairs were conducted until permanent structural repairs could be completed.

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period.

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.


LDWF Agents Arrest Two Men for Alleged Crab Violations

Release Date: 07/09/2014

July 9, 2014 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division arrested two men for alleged commercial crab violations on July 9 in Plaquemines Parish.
Agents arrested Jesse James Gainey, 45, of Marrero, and Clayton Palmasano, 50, of Gretna for allegedly removing the contents of crab traps that were not owned by them, failing to mark crab traps, and theft of crab traps.
The morning of July 9, agents set up surveillance on a line of crab traps in Grandpa Bayou and observed the pair work down the line of crab traps and empty their contents into their vessel. Agents made contact with the men and inspected the traps the men had been fishing. Some traps were found untagged, some with tags cut, and some traps with Gainey’s commercial fisherman’s tag on top of another fisherman’s tag.
Agents returned 100 pounds of crabs to the water and seized six crab traps. Both men were arrested and booked into the Plaquemines Parish jail.
The penalty for removing the contents of crab traps, use of crab traps without required markings, and theft of crab traps each carries a max fine of $950 or jail not more than 120 days, or both plus court cost and the forfeiture of anything seized.
Agents involved with this case are Sgt. Adam Young and Agent Travis Bartlett.
For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 225-765-3966 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov.


Boggy Bayou Boat Launch at Spring Bayou WMA to Close Temporarily for Ramp Improvements

Release Date: 07/09/2014

July 9, 2014 -- The Boggy Bayou boat launch at Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area near Marksville will be closed from July 14 through July 18, 2014. The closure is necessary for installment of the new floating boat dock that is part of the planned improvements to the ramp.  
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is making these modifications utilizing Sport Fish Restoration Funds, commonly referred to as Wallop-Breaux Funds, to allow the public to launch in variable tide conditions. The Boggy Bayou boat launch will be closed to all boat launching and public activity during the construction.
It is recommended that boaters utilize the Grand Lake boat launch at the end of Dr. Michel Road, accessible from Spring Bayou Road or the Old River launch off of Old River Road in Mansura, during the temporary closure.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .


Application Available for Elbow Slough WMA Opening Weekend Dove Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 07/09/2014

July 9, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for lottery dove hunts on Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for the opening weekend of dove season, Sept. 6-7.
The lottery dove hunt access to the WMA in Rapides Parish will provide 80 hunters the opportunity to hunt on the first Saturday and Sunday of the first season spilt.
Applicants can choose the traditional afternoon hunt on Sept. 6 opening day or a morning hunt on Sept. 7.  The deadline for applications to be submitted is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8.  The application form, along with a $5 administrative fee payment, must be sent to LDWF’s Wildlife Division, Elbow Slough Lottery Dove Hunts, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000. A random drawing will then select 40 hunters to participate each day. The application is available on the LDWF website at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.
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.
Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 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. 28.  Elbow Slough WMA will again be open to anyone for dove hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays ONLY, Oct. 11 through Nov. 9. Dove hunters are reminded that non-toxic 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) 371-3051 or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .


Shrimp Season to Close July 15 in Terrebonne and Barataria Basins and Portions of Lake Pontchartrain Basin

Release Date: 07/08/2014

Shrimp Season to Close July 15 in Terrebonne and Barataria Basins and Portions of Lake Pontchartrain Basin

July 8, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 15, in the Terrebonne and Barataria Basins from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line.  At the same time, shrimp season will close in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin except for the following waters:

  • that portion of Lake Borgne seaward of a line extending one-half mile from the  shoreline, and
  • that portion of Mississippi Sound north of a line beginning at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2, and
  • the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these waters was made to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

The spring inshore shrimp season in the Vermilion/Teche River Basin closed on July 3 and all remaining state inside waters, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice, with the exception of those closure areas outlined in the map linked below.

For a map that details the areas currently open and closed to harvesting shrimp click here.

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, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov


Sherburne WMA’s South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event on Saturday, July 19

Release Date: 07/08/2014

Sherburne WMA’s South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event on Saturday, July 19

July 8, 2014 -- A Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event will be held on Saturday, July 19, within the South Farm area of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  The South Farm area is located in Iberville Parish and accessible via I-10.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are hosting this seasonal event from 7 a.m. to noon. Wood storks and other wading and shore birds are readily visible at this time of the year in the South Farm Area.  Additional to seed bearing herbaceous plants, the developed habitat contains an abundance of small fish and crawfish, ideal food sources for wading birds.
The South Farm impoundments are drawn down in mid-summer to enhance the growth of wetland plants for wintering waterfowl. The drawdown  period is extended  almost a month at times due to the size of the impoundments and the management strategy which is focused on providing mud flats and very shallow water with concentrated prey for shorebirds (sandpipers) and wading birds (egrets, herons, spoonbills, storks and ibis).
The wood stork is the only stork native to North America. These large wading birds, which can grow to 4 feet tall with a 66-inch wingspan, are an indicator of the condition of our nation’s wetlands. As wetlands disappeared, wood stork numbers also diminished. Although many of these birds are from Mexico, the water management units at the South Farm are becoming more critical habitat for the species survival.
With only a few thousand of these birds left in the wild, this event provides an excellent   opportunity for bird watchers, photographers and anyone who enjoys wildlife. The South Farm habitat also attracts alligators, white-tailed deer and many other species of birds. Individuals and professionals will be on hand to discuss the management of the area and provide wildlife identification assistance.
Participants are advised to arrive early for improved wood stork viewing opportunities.
Driving directions to the South Farm: Take I-10 to the Ramah exit (Exit 135); drive north to the first road on the left, then turn left by L&L Grocery on Mimms Street; take first right cross the bridge and turn right on the lower Atchafalaya Levee Road, a gravel road. Drive approximately one mile or until you see the “South Farm” sign, cross over the levee and enter the parking lot. Event coordinators will be there to provide additional information.
There are no fees associated with this program but participants are reminded that anyone between the ages of 16 and 60 is required to have either a valid Louisiana hunting or fishing License, or a Wild Louisiana Stamp to visit a state WMA.  These can be purchased at any license vendor selling LDWF hunting or fishing licenses, on-line at http://www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at 1-888-765-2602.
For more information about the South Farm birding event, call the LDWF’s Wildlife Division Opelousas Field Office at 337-948-0255.
*Wood stork photo provided by the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.


LDWF Agents Recover Missing Boater from Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish

Release Date: 07/07/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are investigating a single vessel incident that claimed the life of a Picayune man on July 5 in St. Tammany Parish.

LDWF agents were notified of a boating incident and a missing boater on the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish around 5 p.m. on July 5. LDWF and St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Deputies began searching that evening, before calling off the search at dusk. The following day, July 6, agents and sheriff’s deputies continued the search.

Agents were able to retrieve the deceased body of James. R Mann, 45, of Picayune, MS the morning of July 7 and turn him over to the St. Tammany Parish Corner’s Office.

According to surviving passenger, Terry L. Jenkins, 49 of Walkiah, MS, the vessel was just up river of the Walkiah Bluff water control structure. The men launched their boat off the bank before starting the engine. As the vessel was adrift, it was caught in a swift current which carried the vessel over the water control structure. Mann was ejected from the vessel and Jenkins jumped out of the vessel in an effort to save Mann. Jenkins was not able to locate Mann. Jenkins then self rescued and called for help.

Neither man was wearing a personal floatation device (PFD).

Along with LDWF and St. Tammany Parish Deputies, Missisippi Wildlife, Fish and Parks assisted as well as the Pine Grove Fire Department.

For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 225-765-3966 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov.

CORRECTED -- Proposed Duck Hunting Dates for 2014-2015 Season Presented to Commission

Release Date: 07/03/2014

Corrected information in red.

July 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission received the proposed duck hunting dates for the 2014-2015 season from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) at their monthly meeting.

The dates presented reflect another 60-day season for Louisiana hunters across the coastal, east and west zones.

The proposed dates and splits for the upcoming season are as follows:

Coastal Zone: Nov. 8 - 30; and Dec. 13 - Jan. 18; Youth Hunt Nov. 1 - 2.

East Zone: Nov. 22 - Dec 7; and Dec. 13 - Jan. 25; Youth Hunt Nov. 15 and Jan. 31.

West Zone: Nov. 15 - Dec. 14, and Dec. 20 - Jan. 18; Youth Hunt Nov. 8 and Jan. 24.

These proposed dates reflect preferences noted in past waterfowl hunter surveys conducted by the Department via mail-out and on-line survey forms.  Final approval of season dates will be made at the August Commission meeting.

The 2014-15 duck season framework provides for a daily bag limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to hunt waterfowl.

For more information or to comment on proposed dates, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov .


Fishermen Advised of Dangers of Vibrio Vulnificus Bacteria

Release Date: 07/03/2014

July 3, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising fishermen to be aware of the potential danger of vibrio vulnificus (V. vulnificus) bacteria that can be found in saltwater.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  V. vulnificus can cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulceration. Vv is often called a “flesh eating bacterium”. Persons who are immuno-compromised are at higher risk for invasion of the organism into the bloodstream and potentially fatal complications. V. vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal about 50 percent of the time.
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) data indicates there are about 10 to 15 cases per year in the state. The majority get the infection from skin contact with sea water (80 percent) or consumption of raw seafood (20 percent).
The CDC and LDHH report that persons who are immuno-compromised, especially those with chronic liver disease, are at risk for Vv when they come in contact with seawater or when they eat raw seafood. A recent study showed that people with these pre-existing medical conditions were 80 times more likely to develop Vv bloodstream infections than were healthy people.
Fishermen in saltwater should carry with them basic disinfectant (chlorine bleach mixed 1 part bleach to 4 parts fresh water or tincture of iodine or antibiotic ointment) and use if skin is punctured while handling fishing tackle, bait or fish. Wade fishermen who injure themselves, breaking the skin and exposing a wound to saltwater, need to take the same precautions.
If ulceration and rapid swelling around the wound area are noted, attention by a physician as soon as possible is advised. For more information, visit http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov , or http://www.cdc.gov/health/diseases.htm.

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