LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Public/Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet

Release Date: 11/07/2014

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Public/Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet

1 p.m., Thursday, November 13, 2014

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans 70122

AGENDA

 

I.  Call to Order

II.  Framework development for potential Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) legislation

III. Trip Ticket program discussion on coding for mini –sacks of oysters

IV.  Update on Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery

 

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.

Those interested in listening in to the meeting via Webinar or telephone register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8334104986830567425

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 please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click   here.

 

 

Waterfowl Hunters Advised to Be Alert for Whooping Cranes

Release Date: 11/07/2014

Waterfowl Hunters Advised to Be Alert for Whooping Cranes

Nov. 7, 2014 -- As waterfowl hunters prepare for the start of waterfowl hunting season in November, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding all hunters to be alert for whooping cranes in marshes and fields that contain legally hunted game birds.

LDWF’s whooping crane reintroduction program has released cranes into the wild from White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area each year since 2011. The birds have dispersed over time to locations that include east Texas, but there are whooping cranes situated in Acadia, Avoyelles, Rapides, Vermilion, Jefferson Davis, Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.

Anyone encountering whooping cranes in the wild is advised to observe them from a distance and minimize any disturbance. Hunters are cautioned to positively identify their targets as game birds before shooting. Although whooping cranes in Louisiana are considered an “experimental, non-essential population” under the Endangered Species Act, they cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed and are fully protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act.

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 an impressive 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of 7-8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include fully extended neck and legs, and black wing tips.

Hunters are encouraged to report whooping crane sightings to assist the department in tracking their movements. Location information can be reported to the White Lake WCA office at 337-536-9400, ext. 4 or szimorski@wlf.la.gov . 

LDWF also 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.

Anyone witnessing whooping cranes being pursued, harassed, captured or killed is urged to call the LDWF Enforcement Division’s Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 to report what they’ve seen.

LWFC Establishes Fisheries Forward Program

Release Date: 11/06/2014

November 6, 2014 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a declaration of emergency that establishes the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program to meet the legislatively defined deadline for implementation of November 15.  This program implements certain training requirements for fishermen obtaining crab trap gear licenses who did not possess a commercial crab trap gear license in two out of the four years, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.  This program was designed in close cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Crab Task Force.  These rules will be effective as of November 15 and will remain in effect until the final program rules have been approved.

The training requirements are as follows:

•         Education in the proper fishing techniques necessary for the health and sustainability of crabs;
•         Proper techniques for the best capture and presentation of the crabs for marketability
•         Proper instructions regarding the placement, tending, and maintenance of crab traps to reduce potential conflicts with other user groups
•         Authorizes the program to include a mandatory apprenticeship program
Today’s action does contain a provision that allows LDWF to issue a conditional crab trap license to any applicant who completes their field training prior to the availability of the required training videos.  The training videos are expected to be complete in April of 2015.

For questions regarding the commercial crab trap gear license requirement contact Jason Froeba at jfroeba@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-0121.

For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.
 

Guy Crittenden Wins 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/06/2014

Guy Crittenden Wins 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Nov. 6, 2014 – Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Va., took first place in the 2015 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.

Crittenden, who has placed second in the last two competitions, beat out 19 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 6 meeting as the 2015 winner.  Jeffery Klinefelter, of Etna Green, Ind., the winner of the 2012 and 2008 contests, took second place, and Dale Pousson of Egan, La., who won the contest in 2003 and placed third last year, took third place again this year.  Last year, Tony Bernard of Lafayette, La., won this contest.

Crittenden grew up hunting and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay in Gloucester, Va.  He attended William and Mary College on a full football scholarship and after graduating, attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and earned an Associate Degree in Arts.  He worked for advertising agencies for several years before opening Crittenden Studio in the early 1990’s. His photography and digital art have since gained national recognition as have his wildlife paintings.  He has won the Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Stamp competition four times, has consistently placed in the top 10 at the Federal Duck Stamp competition, and is experiencing a tremendous year in 2014.  Along with winning in Louisiana, Guy has also won Duck Stamp competitions in Connecticut, Michigan, and Oklahoma this year.  “I am thrilled,” Guy said when notified of his victory, “the competition in Louisiana each year is very strong, and this is one of the top honors in my artistic career."

“The Department continues to be impressed with the number of high-quality entries," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  “We had some concerns when artists were restricted to painting Blue-winged teal after five years of open contests where they were free to choose any species known to winter in Louisiana.”  Crittenden’s painting combined outstanding contrast with a classic Louisiana background reminiscent of the first Louisiana Duck Stamp.  “Bluewings are an important species in the bags of Louisiana duck hunters,” Reynolds said, “and the winning design will make an outstanding stamp.”

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands, benefitting migratory waterfowl overwintering in Louisiana. This program has generated over $12 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $472,000 from last year’s stamp/license sales alone.

The 2015 stamp, featuring Crittenden’s work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2015.  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. Luke Laborde, Dr. Jim Bergan, Randy Caminita, Tony Bernard, and Michael Patterson.  Dr. Laborde is a Research Associate and Instructor at LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources; Dr. Bergan is the Director of Freshwater and Wetland Conservation at The Nature Conservancy; Caminita is a professional wildlife artist from Folsom, Louisiana who has competed in this contest many times; Bernard is the 2007 and 2014 contest winner from Lafayette, Louisiana; and Patterson is a Financial Planner for Lee, Dougherty, and Ferrara Investment Management and is the current State Chairman for Ducks Unlimited.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

 

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Planning a Better Future for Louisiana’s Outdoor Legacy

Release Date: 11/06/2014

(Nov. 6, 2014) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and The Conservation Fund released an innovative vision for the wild places that make Louisiana the Sportsman’s Paradise. The 2014 Master Plan for Wildlife Management Areas and Refuges maps and evaluates every inch of the state’s rich tapestry of ecological and recreational resources – including 1.6 million acres managed by LDWF – and establishes a comprehensive strategic direction for management, future conservation, connectivity and restoration of these public lands.
 
“This document provides a comprehensive guide that our land managers can utilize today and for future decision making on how to best manage properties within the WMA program,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The Conservation Fund, which assisted in this cooperative planning effort, continues to be an extremely valuable resource in our conservation mission.”
 
The state’s wide array of landscapes – from vast forests to remote barrier islands to immense wetlands – make Louisiana a popular destination for hunters, anglers, crabbers and nature enthusiasts alike. According to a recent report1, wildlife tourism is one of the largest industries in the Gulf region, contributing nearly $2 billion to the state economy, generating over $200 million in tax revenue and supporting approximately 82,000 jobs in Louisiana alone. Recent trends suggest an increase in Louisianans residing in metropolitan areas, with over 70 percent of the state’s population now concentrated in the cities. These shifting populations pose a number of challenges to the state’s refuges and wildlife management areas (WMAs). Namely, the LDWF and other public land managers must accommodate this regional growth and strike a balance between enhancing public access to a variety of outdoor experiences while addressing ecosystem needs and preventing habitat fragmentation.
 
“Louisiana’s beautiful and diverse landscapes, abundant hunting and fishing opportunities and unmatched biodiversity attract residents and visitors alike to experience nature in a variety of ways,” said Ole Amundsen, program manager of strategic conservation at The Conservation Fund. “With states across the country looking for efficient and economical ways to balance natural resource stewardship and public needs, the LDWF recognized that it needed be able to invest smartly when deciding what lands to protect, how to manage them successfully and how to encourage the next generation to get out and enjoy its renowned natural wonders.”
 
The new master plan will guide the LDWF in these efforts by providing an informed and proactive vision that addresses specific landscape scale conservation goals. For the first time, the plan provides comprehensive descriptions of each and every one of the Department’s 62 WMAs and refuges, highlighting current public uses, opportunities for ecological research and future threats and needs. This valuable data will provide a framework for the development of site level management plans for each location that will be completed by the LDWF within the next three years. In addition, the plan establishes strategic project selection criteria for future land acquisition decisions that focus on treating landowners fairly and using public funds wisely.
 
“The department’s WMA Program was created to manage the habitat on public-accessible properties for the various wildlife and fisheries resources contained within each and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, both consumptive and non-consumptive, for our citizens and those visiting Louisiana,” said Jimmy Anthony, assistant secretary, LDWF Office of Wildlife. “The number of WMAs has grown through the years to the extent that a comprehensive planning document was needed.”
 
Over the past 20 years, The Conservation Fund and its partners have protected more than 205,000 acres across Louisiana, including approximately 160,000 acres of coastal forests and wetlands within the Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain Basin, connecting the Joyce, Manchac and Maurepas Swamp WMAs. The new plan builds on the state’s commitment to land conservation by providing a strategic framework to guide land conservation decisions and future growth. The impetus for the plan emerged in 2009, when the state legislature directed the LDWF to evaluate its existing land portfolio and develop comprehensive acquisition and management plans. With a long track record of successful land conservation projects together, the LDWF turned to the Fund to lead the development of the master plan.
 
To create the plan, the Fund inventoried and evaluated the state’s natural areas to develop a statewide green infrastructure network – linking Wildlife Management Areas, Refuges and other public lands. The network is based on the latest peer reviewed science and benefitted from the input of LDWF field staff. The Fund examined the portfolio of existing LDWF lands and found several key gaps. Reconnecting urban areas with wildlife and corridors to make existing WMAs less isolated was an overarching theme that developed out of the planning process. The Fund also assessed existing federal, state and private sector financing sources and implementation strategies to provide guidance on next steps for the LDWF.
 
To read the full master plan document, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.
 
1. “Wildlife Tourism and the Gulf Coast Economy,” Economic study released by Datu Research LLC, funded by Environmental Defense Fund and Walton Family Foundation, July 2013.

About the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

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.

About The Conservation Fund

At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America. www.conservationfund.org.

Contacts: Bo Boehringer, La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, (225) 765-5115, bboehringer@wlf.la.gov; and Ann Simonelli, The Conservation Fund (703) 908-5809, asimonelli@conservationfund.org.
 
 

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LEEC eNews: Commission Agenda for November 12 Meeting

Release Date: 11/05/2014

The next regular Environmental Education Commission Meeting will be November 12, 2014 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Headquarters Building in Baton Rouge at 1 PM. Agenda follows.

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll Call/Sign-in
  3. Minutes from last meeting
  4. Financial Report
  5. Coordinator’s Report
  6. Old Business
    1. 2015 Symposium Committee Reports
      1. Audio Visual
      2. Door Prize/Hospitality
      3. Evaluation
      4. Exhibitor
      5. Finance
      6. Keynote
      7. Program
      8. Promotion
      9. Registration
      10. Short Course
    2. Environmental Literacy Plan
    3. Art & Language Arts Contest updates
    4. EPA Sub-Grant field experiences
    5. Outreach Program
  7. New Business
    1. LEEC Vote of Officers
  8. Announcements
  9. Next Meeting Dates: February 27, 2015 (at Symposium in Baton Rouge), May 12, 2015, August 11, 2015
  10. Adjournment
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Louisiana Crab Task Force Legislative Committee Meeting

Release Date: 11/03/2014

Wednesday, November 5,  2014 1:00 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

 

I.  Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

II.  New Business

   A.  2015 legislative discussion

  1. Gear license fee structure and trap limits
  2. Expand crab trap gear license professionalism exemption to include dealer landings
  3. Regulations to reduce maiden crab harvest
  4. Establish funding source and allow for travel/per diem for Crab Task Force members

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 join the meeting via webinar register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5544517543238154241

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click   here.

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.

 

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AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 10/31/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 6, 2014, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

  1. Roll Call
     
  2. Approval of Minutes of October 2, 2014
     
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
     
  4. To Hear Enforcement Reports October 2014
     
  5. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency Establishing the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program for the Commercial Crab Industry
     
  6. To Consider a Resolution to Establish the Crusel Tract Acquisition as a Wildlife Management Area and Incorporate it into the Maurepas Swamp WMA
     
  7. To Hear a Presentation of the Wildlife Management Area Master Plan
     
  8. To Hear an Update on the Rockefeller Hurricane Recovery
     
  9. Presentation of the Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest Winner
     
  10. Set March 2015 Meeting Date
     
  11. Receive Public Comments
     
  12. To consider holding an executive session, pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(2), to discuss on-going litigation in Michael Sandlin et al v. LDWF et al, No. C608,050, Div. D, 19th JDC, Parish of East Baton Rouge and USZA et al v. LDWF et al, No. 632,770, Sec. 26, 19th JDC, Parish of East Baton Rouge, and Triche, et al. v. State of Louisiana, Docket No. 631535, Div. 23, 19th JDC.
     
  13. Adjournment

 

 

Live audio streaming of the November Commission meeting is available:

To access the live audio stream, please register for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission November 2014 Meeting on Nov 6, 2014 9:30 AM CST at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7811757798649584898

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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COMMERCIAL KING MACKEREL SEASON TO CLOSE NOVEMBER 7

Release Date: 10/31/2014

October 31, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at noon on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.
 
The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met.  The commercial fishing season for king mackerel closed in federal waters at noon on October 17. 
 
Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico was harvested or projected to be harvested.
 
The commercial king mackerel season in Louisiana waters has previously been closed on March 27, 2009 (08-09 season), Sept. 12, 2009 (09-10 season), Feb.11, 2011 (10-11 season), Sept.16, 2011 (11-12 season), Aug.22, 2012 (12-13 season), and Sept. 20, 2013 (13-14 season).
 
While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.
 
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 release inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

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Two Men Sentenced In Jefferson Parish for Illegal Red Snapper Sales

Release Date: 10/30/2014

Two Bridge City men pled guilty to violations for the illegal red snapper sales in Jefferson Parish on Oct. 28.

Yoan Hernandez, 29, and Manuel Hernandez, 47, were ordered to pay $1,650 in restitution to the state by the 2nd Parish Court in the 26 Judicial District.  Yoan Hernandez was ordered to pay a fine of $835.50 with suspended jail term of 60 days.  Manuel Hernandez was ordered to pay a fine of $715.50 with a suspended jail term of 60 days.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents on a Joint Enforcement Agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration arrested and cited both men on Sept. 9, 2012.  Agents with the Special Investigations Unit purchased a total of 655 pounds of red snapper from the two men in Bridge City.

Agents cited the men with three counts of not having federal reef fish permits, three counts of not having or acquiring individual fish quota (IFQ) of red snapper, three counts of selling fish without wholesale retail licenses, three counts of failing to maintain records and three counts of failing to complete commercial trip tickets.

Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Adam Young, Sgt. Kris Bourgeois, Sgt. Tim Fox and Senior Agent Mitchell Saunders.

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

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