LDWF News Release

LDWF Wildlife Research and Management Symposium Set for May 27

Release Date: 05/08/2014

May 8, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Office of Wildlife is hosting a Research, Management and Education Symposium on Tuesday, May 27 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Room at the department’s administrative office at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
Subject matter to be presented by professional biologists will include:  the southern pine beetle, amphibians in the Atchafalaya Basin, dove field management on Elbow Slough WMA, the federal Farm Bill, gopher tortoise conservation, trends in hunter education, prairie restoration, prescribed burning on Sandy Hollow WMA, influences of hunting on turkey movements, and white-tailed buck space use and movement patterns.
The symposium is free and open to the public. For more information on the May 27 event, contact Dr. Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@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.


Louisiana Environmental Education Commission Meeting Agenda

Environmental Education Commission
Meeting Agenda

May 13, 2014
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries
4th Floor Conference Room, Baton Rouge Office
1 PM

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll Call/Sign-in
  3. Introduction
  4. Minutes from last meeting
  5. Financial Report
  6. Coordinator’s Report
  7. Old Business
    1. 2014 Symposium Report
    2. State Environmental Literacy Plan
    3. EE Grant Awards
    4. Environmental Awareness Art & Language Arts Contest
    5. Playmakers update
    6. EPA Sub-Grant Award update
      • Grant programs
      • Quantifying Debris Workshop
  8. New Business
    1. 2015 Symposium
      • Theme vote
      • Committee formation
  9. Announcements
  10. Next Meeting Dates: August 12, 2014, November 11, 2014, February 27, 2015
  11. Adjournment

For more information, contact Thomas Gresham at tgresham@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0124.

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/06/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 23-27 and again from July 21-25.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.  LDWF Environmental Education staff will also assist with the camps and provide workshops on non-consumptive educational programs.

"These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

LDWF and Podnuh’s Bar-B-Q of Baton Rouge is providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.   Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combos for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana are each providing two lifetime hunting and fishing combo licenses that will be given to four of the participants.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application by May 27.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.  The online registration form is located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The 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.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

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

Sherburne WMA Pistol and Rifle Shooting Ranges will Close Temporarily Due to Construction

Release Date: 05/06/2014

May 6, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is beginning shooting range improvements and will be closing the handgun and rifle shooting ranges on Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) starting May 12, 2014.
The improvements will include demolition of existing roof structures and construction to replace the shooting line roof and structure.   The construction is anticipated to be complete by the end of June.  These structures were damaged during the 2011 Morganza Spillway opening and have been slated for replacement. The shotgun and archery ranges will remain open at Sherburne WMA.
Other shooting ranges on LDWF properties include the Woodworth Outdoor Education Center south of Alexandria and the Pearl River WMA Honey Island facility near Slidell.
Information on these ranges as well as the status of the Sherburne Range can be found at www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges . For additional information, contact Daniel Hurdle at 225-765-2920 or dhurdle@wlf.la.gov .


Body of Kayaker Found in Lake Charles Identified

Release Date: 05/06/2014

Search crews found the body of a deceased Texas man in Lake Charles on May 3 in Calcasieu Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) found the body of Zachary Collins, 24, of Silsbee, Texas around 9:30 p.m. on May 3.

LDWF agents and CPSO deputies received a call around 6 p.m. on May 3 about an overturned kayak floating off of the Interstate 10 beach on Lake Charles.  The search crews utilized side sonar technology to search the water and locate Collins who was found without a personal flotation device.

Search crews learned that Collins launched his kayak from the beach around 5:30 p.m.

LDWF is the lead investigating agency for this boating incident.

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

L.D.W.F. Enforcement Division Academy to Enroll 30 Cadets for Training this Summer

Release Date: 05/05/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Law Enforcement Division will begin training up to 30 cadets in July to bolster the ranks of agents in the field.

The cadets will train at the department’s training facility housed within the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge. Successful completion of six months of intensive physical and academic training is required to graduate.

“An LDWF enforcement agent has a tremendous responsibility, protecting Louisiana’s rich natural resources, and those who enjoy those resources, whether in the field or on the water,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “And those responsibilities extend to response efforts during natural disasters when citizens need assistance in impacted areas.”

At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws, and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training required for all state law enforcement officers.

Agents are additionally trained for search and rescue and serve as the lead responders in search and rescue coordination under the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

This class of graduating agents will fill field office vacancies around the state.  Each cadet is assigned to a parish and must reside in that parish upon completion of the academy.

Interested applicants can apply online through the Department of Civil Service website and must complete the LEAPS test to qualify for consideration. Please visit the civil service website at http://www.civilservice.louisiana.gov/ for “Wildlife Enforcement Cadet” and LEAPS testing application information.

For more information including a video about becoming an LDWF agent, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/enforcement/becoming-agent.

The LDWF Enforcement Division has openings in the following parishes: Desoto, Claiborne, Red River, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, Winn, two for Sabine, LaSalle, Iberville, Iberia, Allen, Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, two for Cameron, two for Vermilion, Jefferson, West Feliciana, St. Charles, Orleans, two for St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, St. John and Ascension.

LDWF is charged with managing, conserving, and promoting wise utilization of Louisiana's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their supporting habitats through replenishment, protection, enhancement, research, development, and education for the social and economic benefit of current and future generations; to provide opportunities for knowledge of and use and enjoyment of these resources; and to promote a safe and healthy environment for the users of the resources.

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

Louisiana Saltwater Series Tournament Trail Heats Up

Release Date: 05/05/2014

Kris Robert and Benny Sanchez finish at the top of the ranks at Saturday’s LASS tournament in Slidell at The Dock/Dockside Bait


Local fishing buddies finish at the top of the standings in Slidell
(May 5, 2014) - Here in Louisiana the weather is finally heating up and so is the 2014 Louisiana Saltwater Series, with a total of 47 teams competing Saturday in Slidell for the top prize of over $4,000 dollars.
Boats launched out of The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle at first light Saturday morning and a pair of local fishing buddies rode in later that afternoon with the two winning redfish.  Kris Robert and Benny Sanchez have been loyal competitors of the Louisiana Saltwater Series for three years now, and the hometown duo was able to pull out their first top finish in their own backyard.
“We would like to thank the wonderful LASS staff and generous sponsors for continuing to put on a top-notch tournament,” said Robert.  “We urge and welcome new faces to join us in fishing the Louisiana Saltwater Series, not only for the 100 percent payout and prizes, but for the opportunity to aid in fisheries research by providing fish to be tagged and released.”
165 fish were tagged and released at the event in cooperation with the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, including the two-fish winning stringer weighing in at 15.23 pounds, as part of the Department’s Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program. 
Saturday’s top finishers include: Bart Crader and Todd McKellar, second place; Bobby Abruscato and Scott Rittner, third place; Bubba Corbin and Tristan Ordone, fourth place; Barnie and Steve White, fifth place; Gary Wilson and Gus Wilson, III, sixth place.  Father and son duo James T. and James H. Craft took home the two smallest fish prize.
It was an eventful day on the water for youth competitors as well, and Joel Masson topped the youth-exclusive division in his first appearance at the LASS.
Sponsors for the 2014 series include Louisiana Fish Fry, Shimano, YETI Coolers, Bomber Saltwater Grade, King Kooker, Power Pro, Standard Mapping, Chevron, Champagne Distributors, SeaTow New Orleans, Cabela’s, Work Sharp, Omega Protein, Costa del Mar, and T&T Weights.  A special thanks to Front 2 Back Boat Service for providing a meal to all of the competitors.  
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosts the LASS annually in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the tournament's non-profit partner.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.
Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for the 2014 schedule, registration and additional details.  The tournament's next stop is Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix on June 28.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.


Shrimp Task Force Management Subcommittee Meeting

Release Date: 05/05/2014


The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Management Subcommittee Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Thursday, May 8, 10:00 a.m.

Terrebonne Council Meeting Room

8026 Main Street, Houma, Louisiana 70360



I.  Roll Call and introduction of guests

II. Old Business
        A. Legislative Discussion

  1. New Business
    1. Refrigeration Cost-Share Program
    2. Seafood Certification Program
  2. Public Comment
  3. Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.

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, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click   here.



Whooping Crane Eggs Produced in March Yield Vital Research Data, But No Hatchlings

Release Date: 05/02/2014

*LDWF PHOTO CAPTION – Infertile whooping crane eggs recovered this week from nest site in Louisiana.


May 2, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the first eggs produced by Louisiana’s experimental whooping crane population will not result in hatchlings this year, a result most experts had anticipated.

The young pair of adult cranes, nesting in a crawfish pond on the northern end of the Cajun prairie, has been under observation by project biologists since eggs were spotted in their nest in March.  The 30-day incubation period has passed for what would have been the first whooping crane chicks hatched on the Louisiana landscape in over 75 years.  Whooping cranes are not expected to become successful nesters until they reach four to six years of age, and only a few of Louisiana’s whooping cranes will soon be four years old.  LDWF has collected the eggs and has determined they were not fertile.

“Although this nest did not produce chicks, it is still a very positive and progressive step for the reintroduction project for many reasons,” said Robert Love, LDWF Coastal and Non-game Resources Division administrator.  “This seems to be a strongly bonded pair, which produced two normal eggs, early in the spring and incubated them full term.”

LDWF biologists collected vital data on the cranes’ nest building schedule, nest attentiveness and their reactions to nearby farming activity. Throughout the process, biologists kept the farmer and landowner informed about the cranes’ activity.

The state’s whooping crane reintroduction project began with the release of an initial cohort of juvenile cranes in 2011 at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish. There are three bonded pairs among the 30 surviving birds that are reaching maturity.

“From the beginning of this reintroduction, the department realized how vulnerable this species is to human harm, and knew one of the challenges would be to elevate the public’s respect for this wildlife species, through a stepwise process of awareness, appreciation and protection,” said Love. “That education and outreach challenge is being addressed through corporate sponsorship.”

The largest corporate supporter for the project is Chevron.

“Chevron believes that environmental stewardship is vital to sustainable economic progress and human development not only here in south Louisiana but throughout the world,” said Chevron Public Affairs General Manager Sakari Morrison. “The success of the whooping crane reintroduction program is encouraging for our area’s biodiversity goals but it’s also encouraging because it shows what can be accomplished through public-private partnerships. We look forward to continuing our support of the whooping cranes with LDWF.”

Team partners who assisted in bringing juvenile cranes to Louisiana annually since 2011 include the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, the International Crane Foundation, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes to learn more about whooping cranes in Louisiana.

For information on LDWF’s whooping crane reintroduction project, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 orbboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

*LDWF PHOTO CAPTION – Infertile whooping crane eggs recovered this week from nest site in Louisiana.

Old Highway 11 Re-opened on Pearl River WMA

Release Date: 05/02/2014

May 2, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has re-opened Old Highway 11 on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in St. Tammany Parish.
Old Highway 11 was closed on April 11, 2014, due to the Pearl River stage at Pearl River, La., reaching 16.5 feet.  The river stage has fallen below 16.5 feet and is forecast to continue falling.  Indian Bayou, Oil Well, and Po-Boy Roads will remain closed until water levels recede, the roads have time to dry, and any necessary repairs are made.     
To monitor water levels, visit the National Weather Service link at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lix&gage=perl1.
For additional information, contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.

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