LDWF News Release

Joint Fisheries Seafood Task Force Working Group to Meet February 15th

Release Date: 02/14/2017

Joint Fisheries Task Force Working Group Meeting

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 10:00 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122





I.              Call to Order

II.            Old Business

A.    Discussion of LA Certified Wild Seafood Program-Acy Cooper

III.         New Business

A.    Discussion of Shrimping Requirements RE: Plastic Jugs, Returning Ghost Traps to the Water- George Barisich

B.    Discussion of Dual Claimed Waterways and the Potential impact on User Groups- Mitch Jurisich

IV.          Public Comment

V.            Set next meeting

VI.          Adjourn


The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at



Follow LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet on Twitter

Release Date: 02/13/2017

You can now follow Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet on Twitter @JMontoucetLDWF. Secretary Montoucet will update followers about important issues regarding the agency’s management of Louisiana’s precious resources. Even more, Secretary Montoucet will share day-to-day information about agency activities that impact his constituents – the citizens of Louisiana.
Secretary Montoucet was appointed LDWF Secretary in January by Governor John Bel Edwards. The Louisiana native from Scott, Louisiana, is the former owner of Jacques’ Crocs & Farm Pride Processors and the retired fire chief of the Lafayette Fire Department. For 30 years, he was involved in growing and marketing the alligator farming program under LDWF, serving as president of the Louisiana Alligator Association.
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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to Host Public Meetings on Shrimp Amendment 17B

Release Date: 02/13/2017

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will host a series of meetings to gather public comments on Shrimp Amendment 17B. This Amendment considers setting shrimp harvest benchmarks, setting a target number of Federal Gulf of Mexico Shrimp permits, creating a permit pool, and allowing transit through federal waters for non-permitted shrimp vessels. Because the Council may take final action as early as April 2017, few opportunities remain for public input.

Louisiana meeting location:

Monday, March 6, 2017 at 6:00 P.M.
Courtyard by Marriott
142 Library Drive
Houma, LA 70360


Nearby meeting location:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 6:00 P.M.
Courtyard by Marriott
1600 East Beach Boulevard
Gulfport, MS 39501

The Gulf Council will also hold a public hearing webinar on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 for those who cannot attend in person.  To register, use the link below.  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1465688961281780737

You can also submit comments online via the link below before March 28, 2017: http://gulfcouncil.org/council_meetings/comment_forms/Shrimp%20Amendment%2017B.php

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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LWFC Passes Resolution to Recommend Adequately Evaluating Feral Hog Toxicants Before State Approval

Release Date: 02/10/2017

Feb. 10, 2017 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) passed a resolution at its Feb. 2 meeting in Baton Rouge, recommending the adequate evaluation of the feral hog toxicant Kaput and any other similar poisons prior to state approval to determine impacts on wildlife.
The resolution reads as follows: “The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) resolves that the LWFC recommends the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force (hereafter referred to as task force) should adequately evaluate the hog toxicant Kaput, as well as any additional toxicants that may be proposed in the future, prior to approval in Louisiana, as to its potential impacts on wildlife and the effects of consumption of those wildlife on humans.’’
LWFC Commissioner Bart Yakupzack of Lake Charles authored the resolution, which was passed unanimously by the commission.
“This resolution is consistent with recommendation No. 5 of the Task Force Report dated Feb. 1, 2017, which states that all feral hog toxicants must be evaluated by LDWF to ensure imposition of minimal risk to other wildlife species prior to the registration and legalization of the toxicant for use in Louisiana,’’ Yakupzack said.
The resolution came after a report from LDWF veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour, a member of the task force.
During his presentation to the commission, LaCour said LDWF and the task force had many concerns about the toxicant, which has received conditional general licensure from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Though general directions for use states that the bait may only be applied in special feeders with 8-10 pound lids, LaCour and the Task Force believe other species would be able to access the poison. LaCour said LDWF researchers have witnessed a raccoon lifting a 23-pound lid on a feeder. There is also a worry the toxicant could be ingested by non-target species of concern like the Louisiana black bear.
LaCour also stated that squirrels and other rodents could feed on bait dropped or scattered by feral hogs, which could lead to secondary intoxication of predators such as bobcats, owls, hawks, eagles and vultures.
“Though there are specific directions for the toxicant’s use”, LaCour told the commission “concerns are high for inappropriate use of the product, especially bait dumping on the ground by users.’’
For more information, contact Dr. Jim LaCour at jlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0823.


The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to meet in Natchitoches on March 2nd

Release Date: 02/10/2017

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will be meeting in Natchitoches for the meeting on March 2nd.  An agenda will be published prior to the meeting date


What:  Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting


When:  Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 10:00 A.M.


Where: Natchitoches Arts Center located at 716 Second Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457


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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet February 15th

Release Date: 02/10/2017

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122


I.          Roll call and introduction of guests

II.         Approval of January 17, 2016 Meeting Minutes and February 15, 2017 Agenda

III.        Treasury Report

A.      Oyster Tag Sales

B.      LOTF Financial Report

IV.         Committee Reports

A.      Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)

B.      Enforcement (Captain Chad Hebert)

C.      Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.     Research (Earl Melancon)

E.      Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.      Marketing (LDWF)

G.      Health (Lance Broussard)

H.     Sustainability (LDWF)

I.        Professionalism (LDWF)

1. To Consider Recommendations for the Oyster Seed Grounds Vessel Permit     Training Requirements

J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)

V.         New Business

A.     To Hear a Presentation on the 2017 Draft Coastal Master Plan- Bren Haase

B.     To Discuss the Interplay of Acts 570 and 595 and the Handling of Property Claims- OSL/ AG’s Office Rep

C.     Discussion of Sponsorship and Financial Polices and Procedures- Cara Tyler

VI.         Public Comment

VII.        Set Next Meeting

VIII.       Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at:



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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest in Calcasieu Lake

Release Date: 02/09/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all oyster harvest in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish at one half-hour after sunset on Monday February 13th, 2017.

The oyster population in Calcasieu Lake has been in decline for several years and continued commercial harvest may threaten the long-term sustainability of remaining oyster resources in this public oyster area. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in this area.

The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

To view a current map of the oyster closures, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons


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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF Makes Delinquent Oyster Lease List Available Online

Release Date: 02/08/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to make public notice regarding the nonpayment of fees related to oyster leases on both its website and in the official journal of the parish in which the delinquent lease is located.

As per Louisiana Revised Statute 56:429, any lessee who pays their rent on or after the first day of February owes the rent due plus an additional 10 percent penalty. Failure of the lessee to pay the rent punctually on or before the first of each January, or within 60 days thereafter, terminates and cancels the lease and forfeits to the department all the works, improvements, betterments and oysters leased on the water bottom.

The list is available HERE.  Notices will also be made to each lessee who has not yet paid their rent by certified mail. All fees must be collected by close of business on March 1, 2017.


For questions regarding delinquent oyster lease payments, please contact Marc Maniscalco at (504) 284-5277.

Volunteers Needed for Derelict Crab Trap Cleanups

Release Date: 02/06/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo with two volunteer cleanup events in March. LDWF encourages volunteers to participate in this opportunity to remove abandon crab traps and conserve Louisiana’s marine resources. Volunteers are needed to assist with dockside activities including unloading and stacking traps. The greatest need is for volunteer boat owners to help maximize collection. 
The department will host the following volunteer cleanup events:
Lake Pontchartrain Basin: In partnership with Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and St. Bernard Parish government, a dedicated volunteer day will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sweetwater Marina located at 6205 Delacroix Hwy. For more information, contact Patrick Smith at patrick@saveourlake.org.
Terrebonne Basin: A second volunteer event will take place at Isle De Jean Charles Marina at 571 Island Road in Montegut on Saturday, March 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Jeff Marx at jmarx@wlf.la.gov
Boat owners will be given the equipment needed to collect the traps and transport them in the owner’s vessel. Additional volunteers are welcome to man the unloading dock and help with the demolition and disposal of traps.
The derelict crab trap cleanups will take place during the 30-day closure of the commercial blue crab fishery. The prohibition on the use of all crab traps begins on the third Monday in February.
The Derelict Crap Trap Removal Program was initiated by LDWF in 2004 to address removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps. The traps increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards and reduce visual appeal of our environment. The volunteer-based program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees, and since its inception has disposed of more than 27,000 derelict crab traps.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Earns Third-Party Certification to SFI on 490,000 Acres of WMA Property

Release Date: 02/06/2017

Feb. 6, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has certified approximately 490,000 acres of state-owned wildlife management area (WMA) forestland through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard.
“This is another method whereby LDWF can show that we’re using proper stewardship managing the property entrusted to us by the citizens of Louisiana,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “Thanks to the SFI Forest Partners Program, the public can remain confident that our forested WMA land is managed in line with the high standards set by SFI. They can also be assured that these forests will remain healthy and productive for generations to come.’’
The SFI Forest Partners® Program was founded by Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers and Pearson, with support from Hearst Enterprises. They are investing in the future of forests by making commitments to increase the source of certified forest products, starting in the U.S. South. By collaborating on shared objectives and linking market leaders directly to stakeholder groups, SFI and its Forest Partners are working together to strengthen forest practices and procurement through certification.
“The long-term success of Louisiana’s forestry industry is dependent on sustainable management of the state’s natural resources,’’ Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “It significantly impacts employment and manufacturing activity. We believe this endeavor boosts our state’s commitment to landowners and timber directors by investing in responsible forest management.’’
SFI’s 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard is based upon principles, goals and performance measures that were developed nationally by professional foresters, conservationists and others with the intention of promoting sustainable forest management in North America. SFI and its many partners work together to balance environmental, economic and social objectives such as conservation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity, harvesting forest products, protecting water quality, providing forest industry jobs and developing recreational opportunities.
“We are thrilled that the LDWF has demonstrated their leadership and commitment to responsible forest management by getting these lands certified to SFI,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “By doing so, they are contributing to SFI’s mission as a sustainability leader and helping to conserve important habitats for the Louisiana black bear and other species. The LDWF is also highlighting the importance of well-managed forests, and the communities and markets that rely on them.”
Much of the 490,000 certified acres sits in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, an area heavily populated by the Louisiana black bear.
“The Louisiana black bear and improving its habitat is certainly high on our list of management concerns,’’ LDWF Forestry Program Manager Duck Locascio said. SFI’s Forest Management Standard helps provide assurances for the protection of rare species, including the Louisiana black bear.
“Accredited third-party auditors evaluate the sustainability of our management of these Department-owned forestlands,’’ Locascio said. “Certification to SFI allows us to show the private landowners we work with, that are interested in managing for wildlife and long-term forest sustainability, that we’re doing what we say we’re doing and what we do works.’’
The primary objective for LDWF is to manage these areas to sustain the wildlife populations associated with the forestlands. The SFI certification will allow LDWF wood products to be accepted into the market as sustainably managed wood. Revenue from that will be put back into management of these lands by LDWF.
“Certification will increase the attractiveness of timber sales on our WMAs,’’ Locascio said. “That will allow our managers greater opportunity and flexibility to provide wildlife habitat enhancement treatments and, thus, further our primary mission to improve wildlife habitat and provide wildlife-oriented recreational opportunities.’’
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)
SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI program. SFI works collaboratively with conservation groups, local communities, youth, resource professionals, landowners and countless other organizations and individuals who share our passion for and commitment to healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 85 conservation and community partnership grants totaling more than $3 million to foster education, research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $9.5 million. In addition, sustainable forestry is promoted through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. SFI on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at www.sfiprogram.org and www.sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.
For more information on LDWF’s Forest Management Program, contact Duck Locascio, Jr., at dlocascio@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.

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