LDWF News Release

Slot Limit Removal for Selected Lakes to be Implemented on April 20

Release Date: 04/10/2014

(Apr. 10, 2014) - Regulations for black bass on several water bodies will change on Sunday, April 20. Slot limits will be rescinded for Black Bayou Lake in Bossier Parish, Chicot Lake in Evangeline Parish, Cross Lake in Caddo Parish, Lake Rodemacher in Rapides Parish, Vernon Lake in Vernon Parish and Spanish Lake in New Iberia and St. Martin parishes. Statewide regulations, 10 fish daily creel and no length restrictions, will apply for black bass on these lakes.

A recently completed biological evaluation determined the length regulations have not been effective on the selected water bodies. Insufficient harvest of small bass was cited for Black Bayou Lake, Chicot Lake, Cross Lake and Vernon Lake. Habitat impairments are the issue for Spanish Lake and Lake Rodemacher.

The removal of the slot limit on these water bodies will increase opportunities for angler harvest, but the potential for overharvest is expected to be very low. LDWF biologists will continue to monitor fish population status with frequent sampling.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, and 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.


Additional Source for Black Bear Information Now Available

Release Date: 04/10/2014

April 10, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is pleased to announce that a new, award-winning online black bear education website is now available to teachers, students and the general public.

This new bear education portal -- http://blackbearinfo.com/ -- offers a vibrant assortment of bear education movies, images and text that cover almost every aspect of understanding and living with black bears. Many of the online video clips come from the award-winning film, Living with Black Bears. This film earned international attention winning a Silver Telly Award for a wildlife production while also earning Honorable Mention at the prestigious International Wildlife Film Festival.

This new website reflects six years of work by a coalition of bear states partnered with bear education non-profits and wildlife educators to develop a two-tier bear education program that educates the general population on Living with Black Bears, while also formally educating our next generation of students about Understanding Black Bears.

Now students and teachers can access an entire year’s worth of exciting black bear education for learning at home and in classrooms. Though anyone can download the free program and access the Student’s Section, Louisiana state teachers will need to register to receive their exclusive access code. The teacher’s section of the program contains 29 lesson activities and related classroom support materials. The free access code can be obtained by all Louisiana educators at http://blackbearinfo.com/teachers/.

Two decades ago, the Louisiana Black Bear was on the brink of extinction, but today it is on the rebound. When the Louisiana Black Bear was listed as threatened in 1992 under the Endangered Species Act, there were estimated to be fewer than 300 of them left in the world. Today, innovative programs to reestablish these animals and restore their habitat through improved land management, high-tech monitoring, and public education are enabling the recovery.

For more information on the Louisiana black bear visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov. For more information on the Understanding Black Bears website portal, contact Carrie Salyers at csalyers@wlf.gov or 337-262-2080.


Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Boat Launch Modifications Progressing, Joseph Harbor Boat Launch to Reopen April 12, 2014

Release Date: 04/09/2014

April 9, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today an update on the boat launch modifications being made at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Grand Chenier.

  • The Joseph Harbor boat launch off La. Hwy. 82 will reopen on Saturday, April 12 following the completion of modifications that extend each back down ramp at the launch.
  • The East End Locks boat launch, also accessible off La. Hwy. 82, will be closed from April 14 through May 2 for the same ramp modifications made at Joseph Harbor. The closure at the East End Locks will include the boat launch and parking area.

LDWF initiated the modifications to allow the public to launch in low tide conditions.
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge is located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes. Recreational opportunities on the refuge include shrimping, crabbing, fishing and bird-watching.
For more information, call 337-491-2000 or go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/rockefeller-wildlife-refuge.


Application Period for Shrimp Refrigeration Cost-Share Program is Closed

Release Date: 04/08/2014

(April 8, 2014) – Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that the application period for the shrimp refrigeration cost-share program has closed.

The program, announced in January, provided eligible shrimp vessel owners, docks, and processing facilities the opportunity to qualify for 50 percent of any authorized refrigeration equipment costs, up to $30,000. The application period opened on January 24, 2014 and by March 31 more than 350 applications were received.

Staff with the Department will review the submitted applications and work directly with the applicants to determine eligibility.

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 aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.


L.W.F.C. Briefed on Feral Hog Population in Louisiana

Release Date: 04/08/2014

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) received an overview report on the feral hog population in Louisiana at the Commission’s April 3 meeting. The overview provided details on agriculture and wildlife habitat impacts, diseases carried by feral hogs and control efforts implemented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

LDWF veterinarian Jim LaCour’s presentation provided feral hog facts including:

  • Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) are present in all 64 parishes in Louisiana. Louisiana’s population is estimated at 500,000.
  • Gestation is 114 days and feral sows can have 2 litters per year averaging 6 piglets per litter. Statisticians have determined that 75 percent of the population must be harvested to maintain a static population.
  • Feral hogs are omnivores and can adapt to nearly any environment from desert to marsh to piney woods and hardwoods and can even survive in sub-arctic conditions.
  • Feral hogs impact wildlife by direct competition for hard mast resources and by predation on reptiles, amphibians, ground-nesting bird eggs and mammals including deer fawns.
  • Feral hogs uproot both planted and naturally regenerated coniferous and hardwood seedlings. Additionally, their heavy consumption of hard mast significantly reduces natural forest regeneration.
  • They increase erosion and shed coliform bacteria into waterways. • Feral hogs heavily impact agriculture, uprooting planted seeds, destroying mature crops and uprooting hayfields making hay cutting difficult to impossible.
  • LDWF surveillance testing of over 1,000 feral swine statewide revealed that 3.5 percent were serologically positive to Brucella antigen (Swine Brucellosis).
  • Other diseases found in feral hogs include Pseudorabies, Leptospira, and Trichinosis .
  • Hog control methods now currently used in Louisiana include recreational hunting and trapping by private landowners, daylight and night time shooting and aerial gunning via helicopter.
  • Possible hog control methods being researched including toxicants such as sodium nitrite and genetically-based contraception.

To view the full presentation, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/nuisance-wildlife.

The Commission also heard a presentation by a representative of Vertex Aviation Group of Houston on helicopter gunning operations used in Texas that allow recreational hunters to purchase aerial feral hog hunts now legal in that state. LDWF is currently working with Texas Parks and Wildlife to develop a permitting framework that could provide a similar option for recreational hunters in Louisiana.

For more information: contact Jim LaCour at 225-765-0823 or jlacour@wlf.la.gov; or Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.


Tagged Fish Count Continues to Grow with Second LASS Tournament of 2014

Release Date: 04/07/2014

Todd McKellar and Bart Crader land a two-fish total weight of 15.29 pounds, earning them fir

(Apr. 7, 2014) - Anglers landed, tagged and released 71 redfish at Saturday’s Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament in Lake Charles at Calcasieu Point Landing.  This iconic fishing tournament continues to welcome anglers from across the Gulf Coast to fish in Louisiana’s bountiful waters.
Bart Crader and Todd McKellar, a pair of hard-fishing Louisiana buddies, claimed victory this weekend, competing in their first LASS tournament with a two-fish total weight of 15.29 pounds, earning them over $3000 in cash and prizes.
McKellar said they had a great week of practice and pre-fishing, which in turn helped the team to eliminate many locations that weren’t producing.  “Many of the ponds we were fishing lost water from the tide, and we had to change plans, which worked out to our advantage.  To win against this caliber of anglers is pretty special,” explained McKellar. 
Top finishers included: Gary and Gus Wilson, III, second place; Jason Ellender and Robbie Trahan, third place; Vince Theriot and Ray Christy, fourth place.  Charlie and Hunter Howell took home the smallest fish prize.
The tournament continues its secondary mission of exposing youth to the sport of fishing and the catch-and-release approach to conservation.  Christopher McElveen, who fished alongside his father Michael, is practically a celebrity within the tournament series, and has competed in well over a handful of LASS tournaments in the Youth Division.  
Sponsors for the 2014 series include Shimano, King Cooker, SeaTow New Orleans, Bomber Baits, Cabela's, Standard Mapping, Omega Protein, Chevron, YETI Coolers, Frabill, Work Sharp Knife Sharpeners, PowerPro, Costa del Mar and Coors Light.  A special thanks to Front 2 Back Boat Service for providing a meal to all of the competitors.  
The LASS is hosted annually by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries 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 The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle in Lake Slidell on May 3.
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.


Monterey Man Pleads Guilty for Illegally Killing a Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 04/04/2014

A Monterey man pleaded guilty and was sentenced on April 3 in Concordia Parish for illegally killing a Louisiana Black Bear.

Seventh Judicial District of Louisiana Judge Kathy Johnson took Duell Moreland's, 24, guilty plea and sentenced him to a $10,000 civil restitution fee for replacement value of the black bear, a $950 fine, $254 in court fees, two years of probation, 120 days in Concordia Parish Jail with 60 days suspended and 60 days mandatory, suspended his hunting license for five years and he cannot possess a firearm or bow for five years.

Moreland turned himself into the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 18, 2013, for the illegal killing of a Louisiana Black Bear.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents got an arrest warrant for Moreland on Nov. 14, 2013.  Agents began the investigation after receiving a mortality signal from a radio collared black bear that was a part of LDWF’s Black Bear Program.  A mortality signal is sent after a certain amount of inactivity.

Upon arriving to the scene of the radio collar off of Pete Davis Road in Wildsville in Concordia Parish, agents found the collar and a burn pile next to the collar containing bear parts.  Agents also noticed an abandoned broke down pickup truck on the property that they later found belonged to Moreland.

Agents interviewed the two leaseholders of the property whom both disclosed that Moreland was the person responsible for the illegal killing of the black bear.  Agents seized a rifle and crossbow from Moreland’s truck and a knife from the scene.

Agents assisting in the case were Senior Agent Joey Merrill and US Fish and Wildlife Agents Mark Cupit and John Tarver.

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


LDWF Introduces Youth to Fish Tagging and Fisheries Conservation

Release Date: 04/04/2014

LDWF Introduces Youth to Fish Tagging and Fisheries Conservation

(Apr. 4, 2014) - It’s no secret that Louisiana boasts a large number of recreational anglers who are both avid sportsmen and devoted conservationists, but what many don’t know is that youth across the Gulf Coast are also getting involved in fisheries conservation projects.

One such project is the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, implemented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana. The program focuses on tagging redfish, speckled trout, red snapper and yellowfin tuna, and provides interested volunteer anglers with free, saltwater fish tagging kits. If a fish is later reported as a recapture, a report is sent to the volunteer tagger to inform them on the distance traveled and how much the fish grew. Several of these dedicated “citizen scientists” tag well over 100 fish per year.

Volunteer fish taggers are getting their entire families in on the action, and many kids have been introduced to the experience of tag and release fishing. Our youth are the next generation of anglers, and it is extremely important to introduce them not only to the sport of fishing, but also to the importance of conserving our fisheries for future generations.

This year, LDWF is hosting several Family Fish Fest events to increase youth and family involvement in fishing and fisheries conservation. Each event will include fishing opportunities, with live redfish and speckled trout tagging at all saltwater locations. The public is invited to bring out their entire family for an exciting day of fishing, hands-on activities, educational exhibits and great prize giveaways courtesy of Pure Fishing and CCA Louisiana.

Be sure to mark your calendars for:

May 17, Forsythe Point Recreation Area, Monroe, La. (in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House Bass Tournament)

May 24, Campo’s Marina, Shell Beach, La.

June 7, Myrtle Grove Marina , Port Sulphur, La.

June 28, Quintana Landing, Cypremort Point, La. (in conjunction with CCA-LA’s Specks and Spots Tournament)

July 12, Elmer’s Island, Grand Isle, La.

September 27, Waddill Outdoor Education Center, Baton Rouge, La. (in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day Festival)

Additional details will be provided closer to event dates. Entry fees may be required at some events.

For more information on the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program or to become a volunteer fish tagger, visit www.TagLouisiana.com or www.facebook.com/Tag.Louisiana. For more information on Family Fish Fests, contact Danica Williams at (504) 628-7282 or dwilliams@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov and 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.


L.W.F.C. Approves Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations, Turkey Hunting Seasons, Turkey Hunting Regulations and W.M.A. Rules for Upcoming Seasons

Release Date: 04/04/2014

April 4, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2014-16 hunting season dates and the 2014-15 General and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) rules and regulations at their April 3 meeting. The season dates approved include the 2015 Turkey season and associated rules and regulations.

The notices of intent presented in January by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons were approved with amendments made subsequently in February and March, and following the public comment period.

Changes in the final approvals include but are not limited to:

• Allowing small game hunters to carry buckshot and/or slug while small game hunting on private lands.

• Beginning with the 2014-2015 small game season, increasing the possession limit for rabbit, squirrel, and quail from two to three times the daily bag limit. The daily bag limit will remain eight for rabbits and squirrels, and 10 for quail.

• Specific to Deer Area 4 - Added language to prevent the overlap of “still hunt only” and the opening of “with or without dogs” seasons for the first weekend of December on years when there are five Saturdays in November. This amendment removes any potential conflicts arising from having the two seasons open at the same time, without the loss of “either sex” opportunities for hunters.

• Modification of the 2014-2015 deer season dates for Area 5 to close the still hunt season on the second Sunday in January, instead of the fourth Sunday in December.

• Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish from Deer Area 9 to Area 6.

• Modification of a portion of St. Mary Parish from Deer Area 7 to Area 9.

• Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish within Deer Area 9 from gun with dogs to still hunt only.

• Elimination of requirement for an annual military permit on Camp Beauregard, Fort Polk, and Peason Ridge WMAs. Self-Clearing Permits will still be required, and hunters must continue to check daily on area closures for military training.

• Addition of general turkey lottery hunt on Pearl River WMA.

• Addition of youth turkey lottery hunt on Richard K. Yancey WMA.

• Implementation of a Self-Clearing Permit requirement for turkey hunters on Catahoula and Red Dirt National Wildlife Management Preserves within Kisatchie National Forest.

• Expansion of deer hunting opportunities on Lake Boeuf WMA.

• Addition of a youth shotgun deer season on Pass-a-Loutre WMA.

• Expansion of fishing opportunities on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA.

• Establishment of small game emphasis areas on select WMAs, with associated dates and rules/regulations.

To view the full notices of intent and all proposed and approved hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.


L.W.F.C. Adopts Notice of Intent to Establish Permit Regulations for Louisiana Native Wildlife Used in the Entertainment and Film Industry in Louisiana

Release Date: 04/03/2014

April 3, 2014 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent today for the establishment of permit regulations for Louisiana native wildlife used in the entertainment and film industry.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) developed the regulations in response to Act 550, passed by the State Legislature in 2012. This act added language to R.S. 56:105(A) to allow possession of Louisiana native wildlife for entertainment purposes.

The permit regulations establish general rules regarding permit requirements, animal origin, purchase and use of the animals, holding pen specifications, travel enclosure requirements and reporting requirements. Among the general rules are stipulations that the permit allows use of Louisiana wildlife species only and that animals must have been obtained from a licensed trapper, licensed Game Breeder or a licensed Nongame Quadruped Breeder.

Potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats, and non-human primates, as listed in R.S. 56:6 and LAC 76.V.1.115 are specifically prohibited from being included under this permit.

By their nature, animals used in the film and entertainment industry are subjected to temperament testing, training, and handling for their use in this type of industry. The Film and Entertainment Industry Animal permit (FEIAP) has been developed by LDWF to protect potential human health hazards and animal welfare issues inherent in holding, training, and handling of non-domesticated animal species. It also addresses possessing native bird, reptile, and amphibian species in addition to mammals.

To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at the LWFC May 1st meeting and/or can be submitted in writing by mail to: Camille Warbington, LDWF Wildlife Permits Coordinator, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to cwarbington@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m., May 23, 2014. For more information, contact Camille Warbington at 225-763-8584.

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