LDWF News Release

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 01/03/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, January 9, 2014, 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 December 5, 2013
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports December
  5. To Hear an Update on Oyster Programs
  6. To Receive the Financial Budget Report on the Rigs to Reef Program
  7. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency to set the 2014-2015 Commercial King Mackerel Season
  8. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove Netting Restrictions on Spanish Lake (St. Martin and Iberia Parishes)           
  9. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove Slot Limit Regulations on Chicot Lake, Cross Lake, Vernon Lake, CLECO Lake, Spanish Lake, and Black Bayou (Benton)
  10. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify Recreational Regulations for Blue and Channel Catfish for LA – TX Border Waters
  11. To Hear a Presentation about the Honey Island Shooting Range located in the Pearl River WMA
  12. To Consider a Notice of Intent  for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 General and WMA Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations
  13. To Consider a Notice of Intent for the 2015 General and WMA Turkey Hunting Season and Rules and Regulations
  14. Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
  15. Set May 2014 Meeting Date
  16. Receive Public Comments
  17. Adjournment



Fourth Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA

Release Date: 01/03/2014

Fourth Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA
Fourth Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA

Jan. 3, 2014 – Ten juvenile whooping cranes, delivered to White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan last month, were released into the wild on Thursday. The young cranes join 23 adults which are part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
The cranes arrived in southwest Louisiana on Dec. 11 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md.  LDWF is working cooperatively with US Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to establish a non-migratory population in the state.
The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance.
Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese.  However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet make them very distinctive.  In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, visit LDWF’s website at www.wlf.la.gov or contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .


Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 12/30/2013

Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 1 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans


I.  Roll Call and  introduction of guests

II. Approval of November 12, 2013 minutes and January 7 agenda

III. Treasury Report

      A. Oyster Tag Sales

      B. LOTF Financial Report

IV.  Committee Reports

     A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)

    B.  Enforcement   - (Sammy Martin)

    C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)

    D.  Research – (John Supan)

    E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)

    F.  Marketing – (Ashley Roth)

    G.  Health – (Tenney Sibley)

    H. Sustainability-(LDWF)

V. Old Business

    A.  LDWF/DHH report

    B.  ISSC Conference/Proposals

    C.  BP Oil Spill Remediation

       1.Claims Process

       2. Public Reef Remediation

       3. Oyster Lease Remediation                      

VI.  New Business

   A.  Legislation regarding weights and measures- Al Sunseri

   B.  Officer Elections

VII.  Public Comment

VIII.  Set Next Meeting

IX.  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.

Those interested in listening in to the meeting via Webinar or telephone can sign up at the this link https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2244745702608264706

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.

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.



Snares Strongly Discouraged in Bear Areas

Release Date: 12/30/2013

Snares Strongly Discouraged in Bear Areas

Dec. 30, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists have been called upon in recent weeks to release several bears caught in coyote or hog snares.  Luckily, in all of these recent situations, the bears survived the experience.
Hog snares and some coyote snares are set with the intent to be fatal; therefore they pose a significant threat to bears.  LDWF strongly recommends that trappers of feral hogs or coyotes refrain from using snares in areas of Louisiana occupied by bears including the following parishes: Avoyelles, East and West Carroll, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Iberia, Madison, Pointe Coupee, Richland, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Landry, Tensas and Vermilion.
The expanding population of feral hogs and coyotes has lead to an increase in the use of snares as a means to control these animals.  However, the typical snare sets for feral hogs or coyotes are ideal for capturing bears as well.  Land managers intending to control feral hogs in bear country are advised to use other means such as cage or corral traps with the required opening in the top.  Coyote trappers in these areas are advised to utilize leg hold traps instead of snares.
Persons using snares to trap any animal are required to have a Louisiana trapping license.   Persons using box or corral traps to capture feral hogs are required to have a basic hunting license.  Cage or corral traps are required to have an opening in the top that is at least 22 by 22 inches square or 25 inches in diameter, if round.  The opening in the top of the trap will allow non-target animals such as black bears to escape if captured.
LDWF in cooperation with the Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association has produced a brochure that provides recommendations and additional information about use of snares in bear country.  The brochure is available at  www.wlf.la.gov under the Wildlife tab or at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/36480-bear-snare/bear_snare.pdf
For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 225-931-3061or mdavidson@wlf.la.gov .


Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 12/27/2013

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, January 7,
2014. The meeting will convene at 10:30 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans’
Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.
Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board
are as follows:
1. Roll Call of Board Members
2. Approval of Minutes from September 17, 2013 Meeting
3. Hearing of Deferred New Permit Appeals
          a. Marty Melerine
4. Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals
          a. Raymond Green
5. Hearing of New Re-Issuance Permit Appeals
           a. Karlin Coulon
6. Update on Recommendation Made at September 17, 2013 Meeting
7. Receive Public Comments
8. Set next meeting date
9. Adjournment
This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the
purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone
commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except
those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed
ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.
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.
For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov.


Reward Offered for Information on Dead Black Bear

Release Date: 12/23/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in Concordia Parish.

A citizen alerted authorities on Dec. 20 about a dead black bear lying in the woods in the Yancey Wildlife Management Area.  The bear was collected and sent in for a necropsy.

The necropsy revealed the bear was probably dead for about a week and that it was shot with a bullet through the ribcage.  Agents believe the bear was shot from an elevated deer stand since the bullet went through the ribcage at an angle.

LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program is offering a cash reward totaling up to $1,000 and the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is offering up to $5,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction for this illegal killing of a black bear.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray.

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

Body of Central Man Recovered from Bayou Pigeon

Release Date: 12/22/2013

Search and rescue personnel from four different agencies and volunteers located the body of a Central man this morning, Dec. 22, in Bayou Pigeon in Iberia Parish.

Rescue personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office along with countless volunteers found the body of Brent J. LeBlanc, 37, this morning around 8:30 a.m.

Rescuers received a call around 4 p.m. on Dec. 21 about a surface drive vessel floating in Bayou Pigeon about a mile southwest from the Bayou Pigeon landing.  LDWF agents and Sheriff Office deputies searched into the night until severe weather made them call off the search for the night.  They resumed the search at first light this morning.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating crash incident.  It is unknown at this time how LeBlanc got ejected from the vessel.  Investigators do not suspect alcohol was a factor at this time.  LeBlanc was found without a personal flotation device.

LeBlanc’s body was turned over to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 226-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Night Hunter in East Baton Rouge Parish Cited for Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/20/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Baker man for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 18 in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Agents cited William R. Aucoin, 61, for two counts of hunting deer during illegal hours, four counts of hunting deer using illegal methods, two counts of illegal possession of poisonous arrow pods, obstruction of justice and no possession of deer tags.

Agents were notified by a confidential informant that Aucoin was night hunting on the west side of Zachary off of Hwy. 61.  Agents set up surveillance on Dec. 18 and found his hunting site.

Agents then came back to Aucoin’s hunting site around 6:30 p.m. and found him sitting in his stand with a bow and arrow armed, night vision goggles (NVG) and a flashlight attached to his bow.  Aucoin was not in possession of deer tags.

Agents also saw Aucoin fidgeting with his arrow and then throw an object on the ground.  During the investigation, agents found a poisonous pod that attaches to an arrow.

During questioning Aucoin admitted to hunting deer that night and also admitted to hunting deer on Dec. 2 at night with the same illegal setup.

Agents seized Aucoin’s bow and arrow, NVGs and flashlight.

Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting deer using illegal methods and using illegal poisonous pods each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to possess deer tags brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Obstruction of justice carries up to a $10,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Will Roberts, Sgt Guy Adams and Sgt. Carl Armstrong.

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

Two Men Cited For Red Drum Violations In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 12/19/2013

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited two men for alleged recreational fishing violations on Dec. 18 in Plaquemines Parish.

LDWF Sgt. Villere Reggio cited Gilbert Merricks, 62, of New Orleans, and Corey Carter, 44, of Laplace, for possessing undersized red drum and for possessing more than the five red drum per person per day limit.

Sgt. Reggio found the men in possession of 47 red drum of which 29 were under the legal size limit of 16 inches.

Taking or possessing undersized red drum carries up to a $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Taking more than double the red drum limit brings up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The two men also face a grand total of $979.39 in civil restitution charges to the State of Louisiana for the illegally taken red drum.

The case will be forwarded to the District Attorney Charles Ballay for prosecution. Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Villere Reggio and Sgt. Adam Young.

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

Elmer’s Island

Release Date: 12/19/2013

December 19, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is extending the open hours for Elmer’s Island refuge over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. During the holidays, Elmer’s Island will be open on Friday, December 20 and through Sunday, January 5, 2014.
Elmer’s Island refuge will be open will be 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset throughout the opening.
Night-time access on the island remains closed and camping on the beach is strictly prohibited.
Following this special opening, public access to Elmer’s Island will revert back to the previously established schedule, open Friday through Sunday.
On September 4, 2012, LDWF announced an emergency closure of coastal waters due to the emergence of a large tar mat and concentrations of tar balls on adjacent beaches, including the area of Elmer’s Island. The closure prohibits commercial and recreational fishing within these waters except for recreational and charter boat angling. The harvest of live bait by wholesale/retail seafood dealers who hold a special bait dealers permit and who harvest live bait for sale to recreational fishermen exclusively is also permitted.  On December 5, 2013 LDWF reopened some of the area for commercial and recreational fishing. A map of the closed area can be found here:
The only fishing activity allowed in the area is recreational, rod and reel (hook and line) fishing for finfish.
 The following activities are strictly prohibited on Elmer’s Island:
     •    All commercial fishing
     •    Recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs and oysters
     •    Camping
     •    Night-time access
Workers and state officials will continue to monitor the shoreline in order to continue to respond to oiling impacts. Any sightings of oil should be reported to LDWF at (800) 442-2511 and the National Response Center (NRC) at (800) 424-8802.
For more information regarding Elmer's Island, please contact Julia Lightner at jlightner@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4041.


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