LDWF News Release

Dwayne Eschete and Clark Jordan, Winners of the Second Louisiana Saltwater Series of the 2013 Season

Release Date: 04/21/2013

The second event of the LASS Redfish Series at Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles continued with a success hosting 42 teams from across the Gulf Coast.   The teams took to the waters of Lake Calcasieu looking for a perfect pair of redfish.  As 2:00 pm rolled around, the first teams made their way to the scale.  This catch and release format challenged anglers to catch a limit of two legal redfish using artificial lures only.
Winners from many of our past tournaments were in attendance as well as many new anglers, making this a true test of skill on what started out with a cold morning almost breaking the record low temperature for this time of year. Warmer afternoon temperatures, clear skies and sunshine brought out family, friends and fans to watch the LASS Redfish weigh in.
Familiar faces to the redfish tournament world, Eschete, from Madisonville, Louisiana and Jordan, from Pearland, Texas, took home the top prize participating in their first LASS trail experience. The pair only caught about 30 redfish, but two of them were the right ones to take home the win with 16.35 pounds.
“I was very impressed with the tournament staff and how it was run”, Clark Jordan said, adding “Today was a great day of fishing for Dwayne and I. We were able to sight cast all of our fish in some marsh just a few miles from the launch.”
Nick Ward and Joe Causer took home a rod and reel package sponsored by Shimano for winning one of the 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 top finishing teams, taking home over $7,460 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Josh Romig and John Saucier; 3rd place, Chris Gaspard and William Benoit; 4th place, Nick Ward and Joe Causer; 5th place, Skip Floyd and Brian Frederick; 6th place, Trey Pearson and Reagan Baker; 7th place, Jack and Vito Neal; 8th place, Jeremy Waltrip and Josh Johnson; and for the team with ‘smallest fish’, Michael McElveen and Rob Folsom.  The awards ceremony was rounded out with recognition of all youth anglers and Preston Pescay took home first place youth by weighing in a beautiful 3.15 pound redfish.  
A total of 87 redfish and a lagniappe speckled trout were brought in, tagged and released as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data.
The next redfish tournament is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 in Lafitte at Seaway Marina.  For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.
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.D.W.F. Announces 2013 Waterfowl Hunter Opinion Survey

Release Date: 04/19/2013

April 19, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Waterfowl Section, in partnership with LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources, has begun a survey of resident waterfowl hunters which asks for input on waterfowl hunting activity, satisfaction with new zones and zone boundaries, potential season dates for future waterfowl hunting seasons, and attitudes on particular policies.
“We are mailing surveys to 5,000 randomly selected waterfowl hunters – 2,500 printed surveys with follow-ups to be completed and mailed back; and 2,500 postcards with Internet pass codes to be completed on-line,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader. The same survey is also available via LDWF’s website home page at www.wlf.louisiana.gov and all interested waterfowl hunters can provide input.
In addition to gathering hunter-opinion data to better inform future decisions on waterfowl hunting regulations, this is a continuation of a cooperative human-dimensions research project conducted by LDWF’s Waterfowl Section and LSU.
LDWF is using multiple survey distribution methods in an effort to engage as many Louisiana waterfowl hunters as possible and increase participation in the regulatory process.  “Response rates are always a concern, especially when they fall as low as the 17 percent we received last year from the random mail-out survey,” Reynolds said.
The department is encouraging all waterfowl hunters, especially those who receive a survey in the mail, to participate, and this year LDWF is providing an incentive.  All waterfowl hunters who participate in the survey will be entered in a drawing for one of three prizes of their choosing: (1) a hunt for two on opening day of the 2013 September Teal Season at White Lake Wetland Conservation Area; (2) a Remington 887 Nitro-Mag 12-gauge shotgun; or (3) a Cabela’s Brush Buster GORE-TEX 4-in-1 Parka or Wading jacket.
Last season, LDWF changed the number of waterfowl hunting zones for the first time in 36 years, created new zone boundaries for the first time in 11 years, and experienced controversy in setting season dates in some of the zones.  This and future surveys are required by the USFWS to evaluate the satisfaction with changes in the zones, and  offer an opportunity for all waterfowl hunters to provide input into future decisions.
For more information contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.



Public Waterfowl Meetings Scheduled in Bossier City and Crowley

Release Date: 04/19/2013

April 19, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds will conduct a public Waterfowl Hunting Forum on Monday, May 6 at the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Sub-station, 2510 Viking Drive, Bossier City, starting at 6 p.m.
A second public Waterfowl Hunting Forum will be held on Wednesday, May 8 in the second floor Courtroom of the Criminal Justice Building at 426 North Ave. F, Crowley, also starting at 6 p.m.
These meetings will provide information on the 2013 Louisiana Waterfowl Hunter Survey being conducted statewide from April through July, a discussion on potential waterfowl hunting season dates for 2013-2014, and updates on current waterfowl issues. Attendees can then ask questions and/or provide comments on any waterfowl-related topic.
“For the first time in 36 years, LDWF changed the number of waterfowl hunting zones and zone boundaries, and northwest Louisiana may now have season dates different than south Louisiana,” Reynolds said.  “This meeting in Bossier City and the statewide survey currently being conducted provide opportunities for feedback on those changes.”  Zone changes and season dates are an important reason for the meeting in Bossier City, but discussion on any waterfowl related topic is welcome.
The same is true for the meeting in Crowley, but additional discussion of goose hunting is anticipated.  “I’ve not had extensive discussion with the goose hunting community,” said Reynolds, “mostly because seasons are long and at the flyway level, populations are healthy to over-populated.”  Brief summaries of state-level waterfowl population and harvest data will be presented.
For more information contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.



Annual Drawdown at Catahoula Lake Scheduled to Begin May 1

Release Date: 04/19/2013

April 19, 2013  – The Louisiana Department Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) plans to begin de-watering Catahoula Lake starting May 1 with a goal of reaching drawdown pool stage by June 30. This schedule is one month earlier than the traditional drawdown dates.
“We have been trying to complete an earlier drawdown since we began experimentally changing the drawdown date three years ago,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader. “Previously scheduled oil drilling activity and late spring rainfall and flooding have not allowed it in previous years.”
The water level at Catahoula Lake is currently over 35 feet MSL and will be lowered to approximately 31 feet by May 31 and to 27.5 feet by June 30, rainfall and runoff permitting.
Fishing is popular during the drawdown period when water is flowing through the diversion canal structure.  Changes from traditional drawdown dates can affect fishing conditions based on water flow through the Diversion Canal structure on the 4th of July weekend. Accordingly, LDWF is communicating intended drawdown dates to alert fishermen in advance.
Catahoula Lake provides important wetland habitat for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wetland birds in Louisiana, especially during the late-summer and early-fall when shallow-flooded habitat is generally limited across the state.  Lowering of water levels in summer exposes mudflats, which are used extensively by migrating shorebirds of many species, and stimulates germination and growth of annual plants that produce seeds and tubers that provide excellent foods for migrating and wintering waterfowl.
Varying summer drawdown date is one aspect of a management/research program exploring methods to combat encroaching woody vegetation on the lakebed while maintaining or enhancing the production of high-quality food plants for migrating and wintering waterfowl.  Static water-level management is well known to reduce productivity in wetland systems, and may be providing conditions favoring the spread of Swamp privet and Water elm trees, which displace waterfowl food-producing plants like Chufa flatsedge and Sprangletop.
LDWF has partnered with researchers at LSU’s School or Renewable Natural Resources to expand ecological knowledge of Water elm, relate the encroachment of woody species to past environmental conditions, and evaluate vegetation responses to recent management actions in hopes of developing a more comprehensive plan for managing the lake to maintain or improve habitat conditions for migratory waterfowl.
For more information contact Larry Reynolds at (225) 765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.



Third Annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" Slated for May 11

Release Date: 04/18/2013

April 18, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the third annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

Interested participants must register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday and calling the contact number listed for the chosen class.  LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

LDWF has certified 493 boaters from the previous two Boating Education Lagniappe Days.

"Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety,” said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  “We want to make the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will be offered completely free."

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion 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.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 50,000 boaters during that time.

"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Pizza Hut, Cabela's, Songy’s Sporting Goods of Houma, South Louisiana Bank of Houma, Evergreen Cajun Center of Houma, St. Landry Lumber Company, Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc., Krispy Kreme of Metairie, Village Inn Restaurant, C&M Fuel/Team Lafitte Harbor, West Marine of Lakeview, Boat Stuff, Alario Bros. Marine Supply, Temento's Dive Shop and Puglia's Sporting Goods.

Below is the list of class locations and the registration contact information:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA 71111
Call the Minden Office at 318-371-3049 to register.

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Call the Monroe Office at 318-362-3102 to register.

Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Call the Pineville Office at 318-487-5634 to register.

St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center - Contraband Room
900 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.

Evergreen Cajun Center
4694 Main St.
Houma, LA 70360
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.

2200 W. Cabela's Pkwy.
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.

Bayou Segnette State Park Nature Center
7777 Westbank Expressway
Westwego, LA 70094
Call the New Orleans Office at 504-284-2023 to register.

For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

L.D.W.F. Acquires Land from The Nature Conservancy for Conservation Area in Morehouse Parish

Release Date: 04/18/2013

L.D.W.F. Acquires Land from The Nature Conservancy for Conservation Area in Morehouse Parish

April 18, 2013 – An acquisition from The Nature Conservancy will become a new outdoor recreation area in northeast Louisiana managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
The 247-acre tract on Bayou Bartholomew in Morehouse Parish will be named the Ben Lilly Conservation Area. The land is adjacent to the eastern boundary of Chemin-A-Haut State Park. Lilly was a legendary outdoorsman who guided President Theodore Roosevelt during a big game hunting expedition in Louisiana in 1907.
“This is another step in our effort to provide quality outdoor experiences in every corner of the state,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We appreciate the cooperative efforts of The Nature Conservancy and their long-term commitment to protecting the natural resources of our state.”
When site improvements are complete, the conservation area will provide opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, birdwatching, hiking, nature photography, fishing and seasonal hunting. An access road and boat launch are planned for 2014.
The property was acquired from The Conservancy for $300,000 utilizing LDWF land acquisition funds.  The Conservancy purchased the property in 2009 and in 2010 initiated a reforestation program on approximately 143 acres of the property that was formerly in pasture.  As a reflection of their commitment to providing public access to natural areas around Louisiana, The Conservancy was willing to sell the property to LDWF for significantly less than the appraised value of $495,000.
”This project has been a great example of a successful public-private partnership,” said Keith Ouchley, Louisiana State Director for The Nature Conservancy. “Our efforts have resulted in the protection and restoration of a strategically important parcel of land, while also contributing to LDWF’s mission of providing high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities.  The Conservancy was able to generate private sector funding to support the project and also received significant surface use concessions from New Century Resources, which holds the mineral lease, and for that we are especially thankful.”
The acreage contains a variety of habitats including mature bottomland hardwoods and approximately three miles of frontage along Bayou Bartholomew, which is  a water body protected by the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act. Bayou Bartholomew contains the highest fish and mussel diversity in the state and forested land along the bayou provides critical buffer for water quality.
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.
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. For more information, visit us at www.nature.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/natureconservancylouisiana?ref=hl.
For more information, contact LDWF’s Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov, or TNC’s Richard Martin at 225-338-1040 or rmartin@TNC.ORG


LDWF, Cabela’s and CCA-Louisiana Host Women’s Fishing Workshop

Release Date: 04/18/2013

April 18, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), CCA-Louisiana and Cabela’s teamed up to present the Louisiana Women in the Wild Fishing Basics Workshop on Saturday, April 13 at the Cabela’s Gonzales location.

LDWF staff from the Education Section and Fisheries Extension, and CCA-Louisiana provided instruction in fishing basics to 24 participants. Instruction included Fishing 101, boater education, boat hauling/trailering, fishing in Cabela’s pond, casting techniques, Sportsfish Restoration Education, fish identification, fish cleaning, tagging, otilith removal and the aging process.

Hands-on activities included backing up a boat on a trailer, casting, fishing, tagging red fish and cleaning bass and bream.  Each participant received complimentary outdoor items from Cabela’s and Fisheries Extension. 

The next scheduled Louisiana Women in the Wild Workshop featuring “Hunting Basics” is scheduled for Oct. 5, 2013 at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge.  For more information, contact Karen Crabtree at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov or Gene Cavalier at 985-882-9159 or gcavalier@wlf.la.gov .

If interested in being placed on a mailing list for notification of other LWW events, please complete the LWW Participation Survey http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/36460-louisiana-women-wild/lww_participation_survey_appl_-final_3-13.pdf .

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.



Anglers Take to the Waters of Lake Calcasieu at Louisiana Saltwater Series Tournament

Release Date: 04/17/2013

April 17, 2013 - Anglers from the Louisiana Gulf Coast and surrounding regions will take to the waters of Lake Calcasieu on April 20 as the Louisiana Saltwater Series presented by Shimano and PowerPro hosts its second redfish tournament of 2013.

The event, which will operate out of Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles, will begin Saturday morning, with onsite tournament registration from 4:45 to 6:15 a.m. and the captain’s meeting to follow at 6:15 a.m.

From its humble beginnings, the Louisiana Saltwater Series has grown into one of the most popular saltwater fishing series in the state.  The tournament has reached yet another milestone by quickly surpassing the number of tournament entrants from any previous year.

Cash and prizes await the winners of each tournament, with 100 percent payout, as well as a shot at the coveted overall Team of the Year award.
For complete information, including rules, regulations and online registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  Online registration will close Thursday, April 18 at noon.   A $20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team.  

A youth division is also available for no additional cost to introduce our young anglers to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation.  Youth division participants compete against one another in the youth division, and all youth anglers will be recognized. 

The remaining 2013 redfish tournament schedule is as follows:
May 4 SeaWay Marina, Lafitte;
June 8 Port Fourchon Marina, Port Fourchon;
June 29 Sweetwater Marina, Delacroix;
August 10 The Delta Marina, Empire and
Championship, October 18 and 19 Venice Marina, Venice.

Louisiana Saltwater Series events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of the fishing industry’s most respected brands: Shimano, PowerPro, Daybrook Fisheries, Plaquemines Parish, Mercury Marine, Standard Mapping, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh & Bayou, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers.
Also, Standard Mapping will again offer a $500 contingency prize to the first place team if they currently have a Lowrance HD-S unit installed in their boat with at least one Standard Mapping E-Card.

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.

For more information, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396


Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board to Meet April 22

Release Date: 04/17/2013


Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

Regular Meeting Agenda


April 22, 2013 1:00 p.m.

Capitol Park Welcome Center

702 North River Road, Baton Rouge 70802


I. Opening Remarks by Executive Director

II. Introduction of New Board Members

III. Introduction of Board staff

IV. New Member Orientation

      A. Historical Overview

      B. Memorandum of Understanding (BP, WLF, OLG)

      C. Fiscal Overview

V. Treasurer’s Report through March 31, 2013

VI. Memorandum of Understanding with WLF

VII. 2013 Legislative Session

VIII. Proposed Board Meeting Calendar

      A. June 19, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

      B. August 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

      C. October 9, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

      D. December 11, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

IX. Public comment

X. Adjourn


This meeting is being held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined

by La. R.S. 42:11, et seq. Public comments must be related to an agenda item as set

forth in La. R.S. 42:14.


Texas Man Arrested on Fraud and Theft Charges

Release Date: 04/16/2013

April 16, 2013 -- A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent arrested a Texas man on several alleged felony fraud and theft violations this morning, April 16.

LDWF Sgt. Louis Burnett arrested Trac T. Tran, 41, of Seadrift, Texas, on seven felony violations and booked him into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.  The seven felonies are for two counts of filing false documents, two counts of injuring public records and three counts of theft.

Sgt. Burnett began his investigation of Tran on March 18, 2013, after Tran was denied renewal of his Louisiana residential commercial fishing license, residential commercial vessel license and residential crab trap gear license.  Tran attempted to renew these licenses with a Texas driver’s license.

After completing his investigation, Sgt. Burnett determined that Tran was a Texas resident who also illegally obtained Louisiana residential commercial fishing, vessel and crab trap licenses in 2010 and 2011.  The difference in costs between the residential and non-residential commercial licenses was $525 for each of the three years, which makes the total theft from the state $1,575.

Filing false public records and injuring public records each brings up to five years with or without hard labor or up to a $5,000 fine for each count.  Theft of more than $1,500 carries up to a $3,000 fine and 10 years in jail for each count.

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

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