LDWF News Release

TONIGHT: LDWF Officials Encourage Public Participation in Open Meeting on Red Snapper Management

Release Date: 08/14/2013

August 14, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds the recreational angling community of tonight’s public hearing on regional management of red snapper by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.  Tonight’s meeting is the final meeting in the series of public outreach meetings, in Baton Rouge at the Doubletree Hotel located on 4964 Constitution Avenue at 6 p.m.
“I encourage all interested anglers to attend tonight’s meeting in Baton Rouge,” implored LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “Our Department continues to fight this battle to get our recreational fishing community additional red snapper season days, this is your chance to add your voice to our cause.”
Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper examines dividing the federal recreational red snapper quota among states or regions. This division would potentially give states/regions more flexibility in choosing seasons and bag limits. 
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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.


L.O.W.A. Honors Members for Excellence in Outdoor Communications

Release Date: 08/13/2013

(Aug. 13, 2013) The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) honored members during the group’s 68th annual conference, Aug. 9-10 in Lafayette. The honorees were selected for awards in the association’s 2013 Excellence in Craft (EIC) competition.
The EIC contest, which recognizes excellence within various categories of outdoor-related communications, has been held continuously since 1945. Member entries for the 2013 competition were judged by members of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio.
LOWA membership includes newspaper and magazine writers, editors, columnists, photographers, radio and television broadcast journalists, wildlife artists, internet journalists, book authors, videographers and public relations specialists.
For more detailed information about the competition or LOWA, visit www.laoutdoorwriters.com. The winners and sponsors of the 2013 EIC competition by category:
Magazine Short Feature (less than 1000 words)
1st Jerald Horst: His Mom Made Him Do It
2nd Deborah Burst: Why do I do this?
3rd Deborah Burst: The Lovit Traildogs
*Co-Sponsors: LA Forestry Association and LA Association of Professional Biologists
Magazine Regular Feature (more than 1,000 words)
1st Terry Jones: Pass a Good Time
2nd Terry Jones: Highway Robbery
3rd John Flores: Scout’s Promise
*Sponsor: LA Charter Boat Association
Newspaper Article
1st Lyle Johnson: Getting Ready
2nd Glynn Harris: White River Smacks of March Madness
3rd Chris Holmes: Razorbacks and Diamondbacks
*Sponsor: Louisiana Sportsman Magazine
Broadcast (radio or television)
1st John Jackson: Louisiana Outdoor Adventures – Louisiana Oysters
2nd John Jackson: Louisiana Outdoor Adventures – Capt. Wendy Billiot
3rd Gary Krouse: Sola TV – Saline Lake
*Sponsor: National Wild Turkey Federation – LA Chapter
Electronic Media
1st Wendy Billiot: Plastic Bottles and Prehistoric Fish
2nd John Flores: The Cherubim of Grosse Savanne
3rd Lyle Johnson: Choot Em!
*Sponsor: CCA Louisiana
Black and White Still Photograph
1st Glynn Harris: Cautious Optimism
2nd John Flores: Close Encounter of the Bear Kind
3rd John Flores: The Blind View
*Sponsor: General Motors
Color Still Photograph
1st John Flores: Roseatte Spoonbills
2nd Butch Thurmond: Girl and Bream
3rd John Flores: Diligence and Honor
*Sponsor: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation
For more information, contact Chris Holmes at 504-495-8189 or cholmes@att.net, or Helmut Ermlich at 504-837-2165 or helmut1600@yahoo.com .


LDWF Clarifies Hog Hunting on WMA Regulations

Release Date: 08/13/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has clarified a hog hunting on public lands regulation in this year’s Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

In the 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet on page 47 and 48 in the Feral Hogs and Outlaw Quadrupeds section it states that “feral hogs may be taken during any legal hunting season on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) by properly licensed hunters.”

However, there are raccoon hunting seasons at night on select WMAs throughout the state for a few weeks each year.  During these nighttime raccoon seasons on WMAs, the hunting, taking and possessing of feral hogs will be prohibited and enforced as such.

Furthermore, it states in the 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet on page 29 that the nighttime take of feral hogs can only happen on private lands from the last day of February until the last day of August by properly licensed hunters.  This regulation purposely omits any nighttime take of feral hogs on WMAs and other public lands.

LDWF will take measures for next year’s hunting regulations pamphlet to further clarify this regulation as it pertains to feral hogs.

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

LDWF Agents Rescue Three Men on Toledo Bend

Release Date: 08/12/2013

(Aug 12, 2013) - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued three men from a vessel that was taking on water on Toledo Bend on Aug. 9.
LDWF agents received an emergency call from Aaron Weido, 32, of New Iberia, Marvin Weido, 57, of El Dorado, Ark., and Marvin Weido III, 34, of Magnolia, Ark., around 10 p.m. on Aug. 9. 
The three men were fishing under the Pendleton Bridge off of Hwy. 6 in Sabine Parish when the wind picked up causing four foot swells.  Their 14 foot aluminum boat began taking on water and they were able to get ahold of LDWF agents.
LDWF agents located the men shortly after midnight with the vessel barely afloat.  Agents were able to transport them to waiting Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on land.  The deputies then drove the three men to their vehicle.
LDWF agents were able to later retrieve the boat.  The men did not require any medical attention.
Agents participating in the successful search and rescue were Sgt. Billy Shoemaker and Agent Andrew Mitchell.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.



2012 Louisiana Youth Hunters of the Year Recognized at LOWA Conference

Release Date: 08/12/2013

2012 YHOY Brandon Fryar
2012 YHOY Chloe Slayter

Aug. 12, 2013 -- The Louisiana Male and Female 2012 Youth Hunters of the Year were recognized on Saturday at the 2013 Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) Conference in Lafayette.  Chloe Slayter of Pineville was honored as the 2012 Female Youth Hunter of the Year and Brandon Fryar of Olla as the 2012 Male Youth Hunter of the Year.
The Youth Hunter of the Year Program is coordinated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and LOWA.  The program is sponsored by the South La. Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, the Baton Rouge Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, Bowie Outfitters in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Harrison Law, LLC and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation. The awards were presented by LDWF’s Tony Vidrine, MAV South Region manager.
“We hope that through these youth hunting activities we will solidify our young hunters and help them become lifelong sportsmen and conservationists,” said Kenny Ribbeck, LDWF Wildlife Division administrator. “LDWF truly appreciates the generosity of the sponsors who make this program work.” 
Eleven-year-old Chloe Slayter could be considered a veteran deer hunter since she has participated in LDWF Youth Deer Hunts for several years.  For the 2011 hunting season, Chloe was honored as Female Youth Hunter of the Year Runner-Up. Her parents are Jay and Tracy Slayter.
This past season Chloe was selected to hunt on the Red River WMA on Jan. 12. Her father sat in the deer stand with her that morning and they both had the experience of a lifetime when Chloe harvested a 14-point buck that weighed 170 pounds. Chloe credits the LDWF staff at Red River WMA for their efforts which provide hunting opportunities for Louisiana youth.
Brandon Kyle Fryar, 2012 Male Youth Hunter of the Year, is 15 years old. His parents are Jonny and Tammy Fryar. Brandon’s memorable hunting experience began on a cold morning this past January while duck hunting with his uncle, Alan Sanders, on the Boeuf Wildlife Management Area.
After making their set-up and while waiting for sunrise, they heard shouts from some other hunters not too far away.  Brandon told his uncle they were shouting for help and together they went immediately to investigate.  They discovered an overturned boat with three hunters -- two men and a boy -- in the freezing water. Brandon and his uncle quickly became first responders.  After some effort, the three hunters were retrieved from the icy water and returned to the bank and their four wheeler.  The hunters simply had overloaded their small boat and to make matters worse had no life jackets with them. What could have become a life-threatening situation due to hypothermia turned into a life-saving lesson for all involved.
Brandon and his uncle returned to their decoy spread and were able to bag a few ducks that morning.  His story about the hunt was titled Our Adventure and Brandon described his hunt as something he will never forget.  His list of lessons learned included always be prepared if things don’t go as planned, cell phones will not work when wet so have back-up items such as a compass and above all, when on the water, life vests are a must.  As he concluded, one never knows when a simple duck hunt will turn into an adventure.
The two winners were recognized at the LOWA Conference awards banquet and each received a plaque and certificate, a gift card from Bowie Outfitters, and a free membership in the QDMA Rack Pack.
The opening day of the dove season in September ushers in the 2013 Fall Competition for Youth Hunter of the Year and youth hunters are encouraged to participate in the Youth Hunter Registry Program and the Youth Hunter of the Year Contest. Youngsters who hunted turkey in the spring of 2013 can also enter the competition and submit their stories and photos next summer.
For more information about the Youth Registry and Hunter of the Year Programs, visit LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting/youth-hunter-registry-program or contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or heflinroots@hotmail.com.



Release Date: 08/11/2013

Friends Nash Roberts, IV & Luke Landry take home top prize

(Aug 11, 2013) -The sixth and final event of the LASS Redfish Series was held at The Delta Marina in Empire on Saturday.  Forty-eight teams departed from Empire; some heading into the Mississippi River towards Delacroix while others ran through the Empire Floodgates toward the Venice area, to find two perfect fish that would put them in first place.  Before leaving to find their fish, anglers enjoyed donuts for breakfast sponsored by Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. This catch and release format challenged anglers to catch a limit of two legal redfish using artificial lures only.

When the scales opened at 1:00 teams were eager to weigh in their fish to see if they  were large enough to contend for the top prize.

Friends Nash Roberts, IV, of Bucktown and Luke Landry, of Arabi, have competed in the Louisiana Saltwater Series events since its inception in 2010.  Roberts and Landry who are familiar with the LASS Stage this year claimed the top prize in Slidell, Lafitte and now Empire for the 2013 season.  The team brought in two beautiful Delacroix Redfish weighing in at 16.25 pounds. This win bumped the team up into second place in the Team of the Year Standings and they qualify to compete in this year’s Championship at Venice Marina on October 18th & 19th.  On top of the first place prize, Roberts and Landry also took home the $500 Standard Mapping Contingency Prize for the second time in 2013. 

In order to compete in the Louisiana Saltwater Series Championship teams must either have a finish in one of the qualifying events within the payout for that event or compete in at least four of the six qualifying events.  The competition was heavy among several of the teams with this event being the last opportunity to try to make the cut to be invited as a qualified team to fish the Championship Event.

Anglers also took home Shimano sublimated jerseys and fishing shirts, Shimano reel and tackle bags, a Stick-It anchor pin, annual memberships to SeaTow , a Shimano rod and reel, Swamp Swatter gift packages and a Frabill net.  These are just a few of the items from our great sponsors that are awarded to anglers as extra fish raffle prizes.  Teams are allowed to bring in extra fish in addition to their weigh-in fish to be entered into drawings for special prizes, with the number of entries determined by the number of extra fish brought in to be tagged.  
The awards ceremony started with drawings for extra fish prizes and the recognition of the first place youth, Drake Garrison, who also took home the first place youth win at the Delacroix Redfish Tournament.  Drake weighed in an awesome 7.84 pound redfish at Saturday’s weigh in.

The top finishing teams, taking home over $8, 540 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Steve Smith and John Garrison; 3rd place, Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne; 4th place, Jacob Leininger and Jeff Rogers;5th place, father and son, Barnie and Steve White; 6th place, Sean O’Connell and Josh Romig; 7th place, Paul Smith and Kyle Mitternight; 8th place, Stevie Nick and Ben Tiblier; 9th place, father and son, James T. and James H. Craft and for the team with the ‘smallest fish’, the father and son team of  Ted and Brad Tassin. 
A total of 140 redfish were tagged and released by Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Staff as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data.   Anglers and their friends and family also enjoyed beverages sponsored by Crescent Crown.  
The next LASS event will be a tarpon tournament scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, August 24th and 25th in Venice at Venice Marina. The Championship Redfish Series Event will be held at Venice Marina on October 18th and 19th and everyone is invited to come out to see which team will take home the Champions of 2013 Title.  The next LASS youth event will be on November 2nd at Myrtle Grove Marina.  For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.
The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation 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.
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.


L.O.W.A. Announces Fish of the Year Winners for 2012

Release Date: 08/09/2013

Elliot Sale of New Iberia, La. His 251-pound Yellowfin Tuna
Chip Metz of Morgan City, La. Metz  4.09-pound flounder


Aug. 9, 2013 -- The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) has announced the winners of their annual Fish of the Year awards.


One of the winners for 2012 is Elliot Sale of New Iberia, La. His 251-pound Yellowfin Tuna earned him Fish of the Year award in the Rod & Reel Division/Saltwater Species. Sale’s tuna eclipsed the previous record by 9.81 pounds and was caught at West Delta Block 122 in October of 2012. Sale will accept his award at the LOWA annual conference awards banquet, Aug. 10, in Lafayette at the Holiday Inn.


The winner in the Fly Rod Division/ Saltwater Species for 2012 is Chip Metz of Morgan City, La. Metz landed a 4.09-pound flounder that is currently ranked in third place. His fish was caught in Four League Bay in August of 2012. Metz will also receive his award at the LOWA annual conference awards banquet.


Each year the LOWA Fish Records Committee selects anglers and fish from the submissions from the previous year to be nominated for the Fish of the Year. Nominees are then closely reviewed and a vote is taken. Awards are presented in both Rod & Reel and Fly Fishing divisions depending on entries.


For more information, email the fish records chairman at fishrecords@yahoo.com .


LOWA has been the curator for the state fish records since the 1940’s. To view the current records and download applications and rules, go to www.laoutdoorwriters.com.


L.D.W.F. Accepting Applications for Waterfowl Group Hunts at White Lake W.C.A. for 2013-14 Hunting Season

Release Date: 08/08/2013

Aug. 8, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for waterfowl group hunts for up to 12 hunters per group at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). 
The cost of the 2013-14 waterfowl season hunts will be $30,000 for each group and the application form is available on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts .  A completed application form and $2,500 deposit must be submitted to LDWF by the close of business on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.
Interested groups must select one, two-day group hunt per application.  When selecting dates from the dates offered (example: Nov. 9-10), it is understood that arrival will be the afternoon before (example: Nov. 8).  The two consecutive days of hunting do not include the arrival day, which will be the day before from 3 to 5 p.m.
LDWF will select one application by random lottery drawing for each hunt offered.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must submit a separate application for each two-day group hunt they wish to reserve. Applicants can apply for as many as three separate, two-day hunts. If multiple applications are submitted, each will require a separate $2,500 deposit.
Applications must be accompanied by a bank draft, money order or other liquid instrument made payable to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the amount of $2,500.  If the application is selected, the deposit is non-refundable. The applicant will be notified by mail or e-mail, and will be required to submit the final payment of $27,500 no later than Oct. 15, 2013.
The fee covers up to 12 hunters and includes the following:  transportation to and from the airport (Jennings or Lake Charles or Lafayette), all food and beverages, two-night stay at the White Lake Lodge, professional hunting and fishing guides, hunting and fishing licenses, steel shot shotgun shells for waterfowl hunts and lead shot for skeet range, the use of shotguns and fishing gear, bird and fish cleaning and packaging.
On the arrival day, hunters will watch a safety film and then be issued hunting and fishing licenses. If time allows, the group will shoot skeet in the late afternoon hours.  Day two starts with a morning waterfowl hunt from 6 to 9:30 a.m.  After the hunt, the group can fish or shoot clay targets on the skeet range or sporting clays course.  On day three, a morning waterfowl hunt is scheduled from 6 to 9:30 a.m., and checkout is no later than noon, after lunch.
Applications must be mailed to:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attention: White Lake Group Hunt
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898
(Optional physical address to be used for express deliveries):
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attention: White Lake Group Hunt
2000 Quail Drive, Room 422
Baton Rouge, LA   70808
For more information on White Lake WCA waterfowl group hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .



2013 White Lake W.C.A. Youth Waterfowl Hunts Announced

Release Date: 08/08/2013

Aug. 8, 2013  -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the 2013 youth waterfowl lottery hunts on White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.

There is no charge for the LDWF-sponsored hunts on Nov. 2 and 3, provided as a quality experience for young waterfowl hunters. The participants in the hunts will be determined by a lottery drawing.

Applications for the lottery should be submitted to LDWF before close of business on Sept. 12, 2013. One applicant will be selected based on the Office of Wildlife’s seven field office geographic coverage areas, plus one participant selected from the state at large. To be eligible, applicants must be 15 years of age or younger on the date of the hunt they select.  Selected hunters must be accompanied in the blind by a parent or guardian, although the youth will be the only one permitted to possess a firearm.

Applications may be obtained by contacting any of LDWF's field offices or by visiting the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts .  Completed applications may be delivered in person to Room 422 of the LDWF headquarter building at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge, or sent by mail to:

La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Attention: White Lake Youth Waterfowl Hunt

P.O. Box 98000

Baton Rouge, LA 70898

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 youth waterfowl hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .




Tree Stand Safety Training

Release Date: 08/08/2013

Tree Stand Safety training instructors and students July 2013
Tree Stand training exercise July 2013

Aug. 8, 2013 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Hunter Education Program staff and volunteer instructors recently completed training in the safe and proper use of tree stands and fall arrest systems.
The training was conducted by the Treestand Manufactures Association (TMA) and held at the Woodworth Education Center on July 26-27. Falls from tree stands injure hunters who use them for big game hunting and familiarity with equipment is the best preventive measure. TMA promotes the proper and safe use of tree stands and fall arrest systems for hunters in elevated positions.
Day one consisted of a Trainer’s course for hunter education program staff and day two provided a Basic Instructor’s course for volunteer instructors.  Classroom topics included the need for tree stand safety, TMA’s role in tree stand safety, training aids and equipment, and treestand safety curriculum and principals.  Attendees were taught to demonstrate the safe use of tree stands, proper use of full body harnesses, suspension relief and recovery techniques.
“Hunters who hunt from tree stands should consider a full body harness an integral part of their tree stand and use it each and every time they leave the ground to climb into a stand,” said John Sturgis, state coordinator for the LDWF’s Hunter Education Program.  “This training will allow our staff and volunteer instructors to do a better job of delivering the information that will educate Louisiana hunters on how to stay safe when hunting from an elevated position.”
Conducting the training for TMA were John Louk, TMA executive director, and L.J. Smith of Smith Investigations.    
For more information contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov .


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