LDWF News Release

LDWF Reminds Waterfowl Hunters to Watch for Whooping Cranes

Release Date: 11/10/2011

Nov. 10, 2011 -- As waterfowl hunters prepare for opening day of the regular duck season in the West Zone this Saturday, and the East Zone on Nov. 19, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds them to be alert for some new residents in our marshes and fields.

In February, 10 juvenile whooping cranes were released at White Lake Wetland Conservation Area as the first step in re-establishing a self-sustaining whooping crane population in southwest Louisiana.  Four of those original birds have survived, and another 16 whooping cranes are scheduled to be released in early-December of this year.  Although the original 10 birds were released in Vermilion Parish, the birds have frequently inhabited surrounding parishes including Acadia, Cameron, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, St. Martin and Evangeline, and have roamed over an area reaching from southeast Texas to West Feliciana Parish.

With the duck and goose season opening in most of these areas, local hunters should welcome the opportunity to see this magnificent bird while hunting, and as always, “positively identify your target before you shoot.”  Although whooping cranes in Louisiana are considered an “experimental, non-essential population” under the Endangered Species Act, they are still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and can NOT be pursued, harassed, captured, or killed.

Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand at an impressive 5 feet and have a wingspan of 7-8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs. Photos of the cranes can be seen on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes.

Southwest Louisiana was once an important part of the whooping crane’s winter range, and until the mid-twentieth century, was the home of the last resident whooping crane population.  The reintroduction of whooping cranes is a long-term commitment by LDWF with the goal of establishing at least 130 individuals, including 30 nesting pairs; basically a population capable of surviving for 10 years without additional restocking.

LDWF asks experienced hunters to take the time in the field to educate young hunters and improve their target identification skills to distinguish game birds from non-game birds.  A whooping crane sighting can add to the outdoor experience for outdoorsmen and women of all ages and hunter vigilance can assist the department’s efforts to restore this unique species in southwestern Louisiana.

For more information on LDWF’s whooping crane re-introduction, contact Sara Zimorski at 337-536-7292 or szimorski@wlf.la.gov.



Amended-Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet in New Orleans

Release Date: 11/09/2011

November 11, 2011 – Next Tuesday, November 15 at 1 p.m. the Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet at the UNO Advanced Technology Building located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans in suite 210.

The agenda for the task force meeting is as follows:

I.  Roll Call

II.  Approval of  August 23, 2011 MINUTES

III.  Treasury Report

      A. Oyster Tag Sales

      B. LOTF Budget

IV.  Committee Reports

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

      B.  Enforcement   - (Steve McManus)

      C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)

      D.  Research – (John Supan)

      E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)

      F.  Marketing - (Dana Brocato)

      G.  Health – (Glenn Cambre)

V.   Old Business

       A.  BP Oil Spill Remediation

         1. Claims Process

         2. Public Reef Remediation

         3. Oyster Lease Remediation

       B.  Oyster Lease Moratorium Update -- WLF

       C.  Results of 2011 ISSC, Seattle  -- Al Sunseri

       D.  Public Oyster Reef Evaluation & Shell Plants and Explanation of Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permits – Patrick Banks

VI. New Business

      A.  D.C. Mardi Gras-Ewell Smith

      B.  Presentation on the state’s Master Plan by CPRA – Kirk Rhinehart  

      C.  Protecting oyster resources, i.e. natural reefs, in the Master Plan – John Tesvich

      D.  Time-temperature regulations on harvest vessels and enforcement – DHH & WLF

      E.   Vessel Monitoring System and Louisiana Seafood Certification Plan Update-WLF

      F.     Other

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

For more information contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504)286-8735.


LDWF Agents Cite Seven For Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 11/09/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited seven individuals for alleged hunting violations in Red River Parish on Nov. 7.

LDWF was notified at approximately 4 a.m. by the Red River Parish Sheriff's Office about possible night hunting activities on La. Hwy 71 north of Coushatta.  Agents responded and made contact with the suspects and found two dead doe deer and a dead raccoon.

Dametry Caldwell, 19, of Coushatta; Adam Caldwell, 20, of Coushatta; Demarcus Atkins, 22, of Glostner; Sean Griffin, 22, of Natchitoches; Christian Campbell, 21, of Coushatta; Michael Powell, 35, of Mansfield; and Quinton Grant, 24, of Coushatta were all cited for hunting deer during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting from a moving vehicle and hunting from a public road.

Dametry Caldwell was also cited for discharging a firearm from a public road, hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, possessing over the limit of deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.  Adam Caldwell was also cited for discharging a firearm from a public road, hunting raccoons illegally and failing to comply with hunter safety regulations.

Agents believe the group began night hunting the previous day shortly after sunset.  The group had traveled several miles from Hall Summit to Lake End in Red River Parish.  The firearms used by the group varied from a high-powered rifle to a 12-gauge shotgun.

Hunting deer during illegal hours with an artificial light range brings a $900 to $950 fine, up to 120 days of imprisonment and forfeiture of anything seized.  Hunting from a moving vehicle carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting from a public road brings a $200 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Possessing over the limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a $200 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting raccoons illegally brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Discharging a firearm from a public road carries up to a $50 fine and up to 30 days imprisonment.

Hunting without resident hunting or big game licenses brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with hunter safety regulations carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

There could also be a civil restitution penalty for the two doe deer in the amount of $1,624 per deer and for the raccoon in the amount of $27.75.

Agents involved were Sgt. Chuck Dison, Sgt. Patrick Staggs, Senior Agent John Blalock and Red River Parish Sheriff's Office Lt. John Malfouz.

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

tip411 Complaint Leads to Deer Hunting Citations

Release Date: 11/08/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Calcasieu Parish man on alleged deer hunting violations on Oct. 30.

LDWF agents received a tip411 complaint from the public on Oct. 19 about potential deer hunting violations that occurred in Allen Parish.

Agents cited Christopher Bailey, 46, for taking deer with an illegal weapon, using illegal methods, hunting without a big game license and failing to comply with deer tagging or harvest record regulations.

After investigating the tip411 complaint and interviewing Bailey, agents found that Bailey had been squirrel hunting when he took an 8-point buck using a semi-automatic shotgun with fine shot.  Bailey admitted to agents he shot the deer the day before the still hunt season opened in Area 8.  Agents also found that Bailey failed to possess a big game license or deer tags.

Taking deer with illegal methods brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Taking deer using an illegal weapon carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without big game license brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Failing to comply with deer tagging or harvest record regulations brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Bailey may also be responsible for a civil restitution penalty of $1,624.61 for the replacement value of the deer.

Agents participating in this case were Sgt. Keith Aucoin and Senior Agent Danon Maricle.

LDWF launched the tip411 program at the end of September as a part of their Operation Game Thief 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.

Texting or downloading the app enables the public to send anonymous tips to LDWF and lets LDWF respond back, creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.  Users of the app or texters can also send in photos to help support their claim and be used as evidence.

Citizens can also call Operation Game Thief's Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  The hotline and tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.

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

LDWF, Sea Grant Launch 2011-12 Native Fish in the Classroom Project

Release Date: 11/08/2011

LDWF, Sea Grant Launch 2011-12 Native Fish in the Classroom Project
LDWF, Sea Grant Launch 2011-12 Native Fish in the Classroom Project

Nov. 8, 2011-- The 2011-12 Native Fish in the Classroom (NFC) aquatic education stewardship project officially began for approximately 2,000 Louisiana students in grades 6 through 12on Saturday, Oct. 22, when NFC teachers picked up bluegill from the Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in Pineville.

The NFC project is in its tenth year and is a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Education Section, LDWF Fisheries Extension and the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program.  The project provides a hands-on learning experience that strives to teach students about aquatic ecosystems and develop an attitude of stewardship toward our natural resources.  The bluegill will be used by NFC teachers in 17 schools, representing 11 parishes, to stock their classroom nursery tanks.  The role of the bluegill is to stabilize water quality in nursery tanks until paddlefish eggs are received from Booker Fowler in the spring.

From March to early May, students will raise the protected paddlefish from eggs to fingerlings.  During this time, students will learn about water quality and biology as they maintain habitat for their paddlefish.  Teachers receive a Native Fish in the Classroom Guidebook which contains student aquatic activities, biology background information and problem solving solutions for the classroom.  In May, the paddlefish fingerlings will be released at an LDWF approved site that provides suitable habitat.

Prior to receiving bluegill for their classroom tanks, students have been tested to determine their knowledge of aquatic ecosystems.  Students will be tested again in the spring, after completing the project, to measure the effectiveness of the program.  In prior years, students have shown a significant increase in overall content knowledge.  The program was also shown to have a positive effect on students’ attitudes towards Louisiana’s natural resources. 

Teachers participating in the NFC project attend two training workshops before receiving the paddlefish eggs in the spring.  Veteran teachers mentor new teachers to the program.  In addition, students and teachers are encouraged to contact LDWF biologists for guidance throughout the school year.

For more information about the NFC project, visit the Louisiana Marine Education Resources website at http://www.lamer.lsu.edu/nativefish/index.html or contact Angela Capello at 318-748-6999 or acapello@wlf.la.gov, or Diane Lindstedt at 225-578-1558 or dlindst@lsu.edu .

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.


LDWF Officials Reach an Agreement with Temple Inland for Fish Kill

Release Date: 11/07/2011

Settlement of $760,245.86 will ensure ongoing sampling of fish in Pearl River and continued restoration efforts

November 7, 2011 – This afternoon, officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reached an agreement with Temple Inland for the civil restitution of the August fish kill that killed an estimated 590,000 fish and freshwater mussels. The Pearl River fish kill, caused by low levels of dissolved oxygen resulting from discharge that exceeded their permitted levels released over the course of several days by the Temple Inland paper mill, is estimated to have killed more than 160,000 fish and more than 430,000 freshwater mussels. The settlement with Temple Inland includes the Louisiana portion of the fish and mussels included in the kill, all expenditures by LDWF involved in the fish kill response effort, a planned three-year recovery and monitoring plan, and the costs to restock portions of the Pearl River with largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish.

The total value for the fish included in the kill was $816,022.40. LDWF officials worked to recover half of the total value, which was $408,011.20; officials with Mississippi are responsible to recover their portion of civil restitution values -- the remainder of the total estimated value.

In addition to the $408,011.20, the settlement included nearly $44,000 for expenditures made by LDWF during the fish kill response, approximately $88,000 for the planned three-year recovery and monitoring plan along the Pearl River, and restocking efforts to the tune of $220,400. The combined total of all of these parts is $760,245.86.

“Today’s settlement allows us to put to rest the civil restitution for fish and mussels so that we may focus on the truly important part of our work, restocking, restoring and improving access for recreational fishing in the Pearl River,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

Last week, LDWF fisheries biologists stocked 27,000 catfish and 24,000 bluegill at various points along the Pearl River in response to the August fish kill.

“We are ready to continue stocking, habitat restoration and access projects throughout the Pearl River,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “We know that with dedication and commitment to restoration projects in the Pearl River it may be an even more exciting place for anglers from all over the southeast to fish for years to come.”

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 inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge Temporarily Closing East End Locks Area for Facility Improvement Project

Release Date: 11/07/2011

Nov. 7, 2011-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will begin a $2.4 million construction project at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 14.  The project will enhance public recreational access to areas in the central and western portions of the refuge located in Cameron Parish.

To facilitate construction, the East End Locks Road will be closed starting Monday, Nov. 14, until further notice.  This action will close the area to crabbing, fishing and shrimping at East End Locks, and also close boat access to the east end of the refuge.

The project will replace bulkheads along East End Locks Road and the East End boat launch area. Two new boat ramps will be installed to replace the old ramps. The new boat ramps will also be extended into the Humble Canal to provide access to the refuge during low tides, and the launch parking area will be improved. 

The double boat launch on the west side of the Humble Canal will remain open until Feb. 15, 2012 to provide continued access to Mud Hole, the LSU Structure at Price Lake, Headquarters Canal and the Gulf of Mexico.  Many areas of the refuge will close Dec. 1 to minimize disturbance to wintering waterfowl.  These areas will be clearly marked as closed.

For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or call 337-491-2593.



Jeffery Klinefelter Wins 2012 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/03/2011

2012 Louisiana Duck Stamp -- American Wigeon

Nov. 3, 2011 – Jeffery Klinefelter of Etna Green, Indiana, took home first place in the 2012 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on what is commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.

Klinefelter, who also won this contest for the 2008 Louisiana Duck Stamp, beat out 16 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 3 meeting as the 2012 winner.  Tom Crain of Branson, Missouri, a first-time entrant, came in second place, and third place went to 2009 winner Anthony Padgett from Noblesville, Indiana.  Last year, Wes Dewey of Kansas won the contest.

In addition to winning the 2008 contest, Klinefelter has previously won the Indiana Duck Stamp contest for 2011 and the 2011 Gamebird Stamp competition in California.  His painting of a male and female American wigeon at a marsh edge will be featured on the 2012 Louisiana Duck Stamp.

"The department was happy with the quantity of entries this year, and we continue to be impressed by the quality of the paintings," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  "Klinefelter’s painting showed exceptional attention to detail with the features and scale of American wigeon and will make an outstanding duck stamp."  

For the third consecutive year, LDWF held an open contest that allowed the artist to choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana for entry in the contest.  Only northern pintails and wood ducks, which were featured on the 2010 and 2011 duck stamps respectively, were not allowed.

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese.  This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $270,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.

The 2012 stamp, featuring Klinefelter's work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2012.  The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.

Judges for the competition were Dr. Frank Rohwer, Dr. Tommy Michot, R.C. Davis, Tex Plumley, and Bonnie Camos.  Rohwer is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU, and the Scientific Director for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation. Michot is a long-time wetland/waterfowl research biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S.G.S. National Wetland Research Center and is now a faculty member at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Davis, a professional artist from Amite, is a past winner of the Louisiana Duck Stamp contest for the 1998-99 stamp design. Plumley is the president of Billeaud Companies, a real-estate development company in Lafayette, and the current state chairman of Ducks Unlimited. Camos is an exhibiting artist, curator and art instructor in Lafayette who was an official Festival International de Louisiane artist in 2010.

For more information on the contest, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456. To obtain a high-resolution digital image of the winning entry, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@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 http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter@LDWF.


Event Video

L.W.F.C. Renews Declaration of Emergency for Revised 2011-2012 Deer Hunting Season Dates in Portions of Atchafalaya Basin

Release Date: 11/03/2011

Nov. 3, 2011– The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) re-affirmed changes to the 2011-2012 deer hunting season dates for select areas within the Atchafalaya Basin due to spring flood impacts.

The action, which extends the declaration of emergency approved in July, was recommended by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) based on estimates of deer mortality caused by recent historic flooding along the Mississippi River and subsequent opening of the Morganza Spillway on May 14.

The following 2011-2012 deer hunting season revisions will remain in effect:

Sherburne Wildlife Management Area:

Archery, bucks only: Oct. 1 to 15

Archery, either-sex: Oct. 16 to Feb. 15

Youth & Physically Challenged, either-sex: Oct. 29 and 30; ALL OTHER SEASONS CLOSED. Self-clearing permits.

Youth Lottery, either-sex: Oct. 29 and 30; and Dec. 23, 26, 28 & 30.

Firearms, either-sex: Nov. 25 and 26, mandatory deer check.

Firearms, bucks only: Dec. 24 to Jan. 1

Primitive Firearms, either-sex:Jan. 7 and 8

All lands within the Morganza floodway, from the Morganza control structure, south to I-10, and from I-10 south, within the protection levees of the Atchafalaya Basin:

Archery, Bucks Only: Oct. 1 to 15, Either-sex: Oct. 16 to Feb. 15

Primitive Firearms, Bucks Only: Jan. 23 to 29

Still Hunt, Either-sex: Nov. 19 to 27

Still Hunt, Bucks Only:  Nov. 28 to Dec. 9

With or Without Dogs, Either-Sex: Dec. 10 and 11

With or Without Dogs, Bucks Only: Dec. 12 to Jan. 15


Commission action today added the following change:

Attakapas WMA:

Primitive Firearms season will now be Bucks Only: Jan. 23 to 29

For more information, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov.



LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized At November Commission Meeting

Release Date: 11/03/2011

LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized At November Commission Meeting

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was honored at the Nov. 3 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International presented their Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Sgt. Randy Lanoux, 48, of Gonzales.  The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement. 

Lanoux has been with LDWF for five years and patrols the East Baton Rouge Parish and Ascension Parish areas.  Lanoux received the award partly for his enforcement of on the water operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI), boating safety and littering.  Lanoux made 13 DWI arrests and issued 34 littering citations in 2010.

"Sgt. Lanoux has always demonstrated a strong work ethic and professionalism since he came to the department and now his leadership roles are rising to the surface," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "He does a great job of doing whatever is asked of him and always carries a high case load."

Lanoux was recently selected as the LDWF Statewide Agent of the Year in March.  He is a former Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office deputy who primarily worked with their Water Patrol Division.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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