LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Last day of federal red snapper season for charter vessels is July 14th

Release Date: 07/09/2015

 

(July 7, 2015) – LDWF would like to remind charter vessels and headboats (for-hire sector) that July 14th is the last day of the federal red snapper season.
 
NOAA Fisheries made the decision to split the recreational red snapper quota into two distinct components – private anglers and charter vessels and headboats (for-hire).  Each component has its own quota allocations based upon NOAA’s catch target figures. Private anglers had a 10-day federal season that closed on June 10, and charter vessels/headboats have a 45-day federal season, closing at the end of day July 14, 2015.
 
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 Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.  To sign for text alerts related to recreational fishing visit: http://www.fishla.org/text-alert-sign-up/.

 

Application Available for Elbow Slough WMA Opening Weekend Lottery Dove Hunts

Release Date: 07/08/2015

July 8, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for lottery dove hunts on Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for the opening weekend of dove season, Sept. 5-6.
 
The lottery dove hunt access to the WMA in Rapides Parish will provide 80 hunters the opportunity to hunt on the first Saturday and Sunday of the first season split. Hunt times each day will be from one half hour before sunrise until noon. 
 
The deadline for applications to be submitted is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 7.  The application form, along with a $5 administrative fee payment, must be sent to LDWF’s Wildlife Division, Elbow Slough Lottery Dove Hunts, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000. A random drawing will then select 40 hunters to participate each day. The application is available on the LDWF website at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.
 
Only those selected through the lottery drawing will be allowed to attend the dove hunts at Elbow Slough WMA on opening weekend. For safety reasons, guests or other observers will not be allowed.   
 
Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 9, Elbow Slough WMA will be open to all dove hunters, and will remain open for dove hunting by anyone on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays ONLY, through Sunday, Sept. 27.  Elbow Slough WMA will again be open to anyone for dove hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays ONLY, Oct. 10 through Nov. 8. Hunt times for these scheduled open days will be from one half hour before sunrise until sunset.  Dove hunters are reminded that non-toxic shot is required for all hunting on Elbow Slough.
 
For more information, contact Jeff Johnson at (318) 371-3050 or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .
 
 

 

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LDWF Reminds Offshore Anglers of Free, Required Permit

Release Date: 07/07/2015

 

(July 7, 2015) – With summer in full swing, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries takes this opportunity to remind anglers of the free, required Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  The permit is required for all anglers possessing tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers and snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin, except for anglers under 16 years of age or anglers fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.
 
The program was developed to better quantify and characterize the charter and recreational fishermen who fish beyond Louisiana’s territorial waters. 
 
The permit is available at no cost to the public.
 
Anglers wishing to obtain or renew a permit can register at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov.
 
Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration.  A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit.  A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 media inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

 

L.W.F.C. Sets 2015-2016 Early Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 07/02/2015

July 2, 2015 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the dates for the 2015-2016 early migratory bird hunting seasons at their July 2 meeting. These dates, recommended by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), are tentative pending U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval.

The proposed dove season is broken down into a north and south zone with each zone having three segments and includes mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed-turtle doves. The upcoming dove season will provide 90 days to hunt doves in Louisiana.

The north zone splits include Sept. 5 – 27; Oct. 10 – Nov. 8; and Dec. 10 – Jan. 15. The south zone splits include Sept. 5 – 13; Oct. 10 – Dec. 1; and Dec. 19 – Jan. 15.

The dove hunting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on all dates in each split, EXCEPT on Sept. 5 opening day on state wildlife management areas and LDWF leased fields, where the hunting hours will be 12 noon to sunset, except for Elbow Slough WMA which will open one-half hour before sunrise on opening day.

The daily bag limit for mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared-doves and ringed-turtle doves would be 15 in aggregate and possession of 45 in aggregate. However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed turtle-doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.

The following boundary divides the dove season zones: Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Hwy. 12; thence east along La. Hwy. 12 to its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 190; thence east along U.S. Hwy. 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; then east along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.

Blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal season would last from Sept. 12 - 27 with a daily bag limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to harvest teal.

Rail and gallinule seasons are proposed to last 70 days. The first segment would be open from Sept. 12 - 27. The other segment will be set in August with the regular waterfowl seasons. King and clapper rails would have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 45. Sora and Virginia rails would have a daily and possession limit totaling 75. Common and purple gallinules would have a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit totaling 45.

Under the proposal, woodcock season would last 45 days from Dec. 18 - Jan. 31, statewide. A three-bird daily bag limit and a nine-bird possession limit would be allowed.

Snipe season will be set in August.

Shooting and hawking hours for dove, woodcock, rail, teal and gallinules are tentatively set for half an hour before sunrise to sunset, including the first day of dove season on Sept. 5 on private land.  However, the shooting and hawking hours for these species will start at noon on the first day of dove season on state wildlife management areas, except for Elbow Slough WMA which will open one-half hour before sunrise on opening day of dove season.

Extended falconry mourning dove season would open from Sept. 13 - 29. Extended falconry woodcock season would open from Oct. 28 - Dec. 17 and will reopen from Feb. 1 - 11. The falconry daily bag limit would be three and possession limit of nine birds for all permitted migratory game birds during the extended falconry and regular hunting seasons. Extended falconry seasons for ducks, rails and gallinules will be set in August with the waterfowl regulations.

Hunters are reminded that they must have a HIP permit to hunt migratory birds.  HIP permits are free and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold.

For more information, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Additional Roads Closed on Richard K. Yancey WMA

Release Date: 07/02/2015

July 2, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area users that Sostien Bayou Road, Goose Lake Road, Blount Road, Catfish Bayou Road, and Ross Road from the Crowfoot to Long Bayou, are currently closed to all traffic due to high water.  Dobbs Bay Road also remains closed at this time.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares.  Once the water recedes, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Hwy. 15 in lower Concordia Parish. 
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidirne@wlf.la.gov .

 

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LDWF Advisory on Senate Bill 212

Release Date: 07/02/2015

July 2, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising bow hunters that they may lawfully carry any caliber firearm when bow hunting on private property during Louisiana’s archery season. Previous law prohibited bow hunters from carrying any firearm larger than a .22 caliber pistol while bow hunting.

Senate Bill 212 by Sen. Rick Ward, signed into law on June 29 by Governor Bobby Jindal, provides hunters that option for personal protection during archery season. As such, any firearm, including pistols, rifles and shotguns may be carried by a bow hunter. The new law should not be construed to mean that game can be taken with firearms carried for protection.

The bill’s language, however, does not limit the ability of the department and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) to regulate hunting activities and weaponry in a wildlife management area (WMA). Current WMA regulations for 2015-16 allow bow hunters to carry rifles and handguns .22 caliber, or smaller, during archery season.

For more information on the upcoming hunting season, review the 2015-16 Louisiana Hunting Regulations available on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting/regulations .

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

For more information, Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or 318-487-5885, or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Louisiana Shrimp Task Force applauds the passage of HB 668

Release Date: 07/01/2015

 
July 1, 2015 - The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force applauds the actions of state legislators and Governor Jindal as HB 668 by Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill was signed into law today.  Effective August 1, HB 668 repeals state laws, which up to this point have prohibited Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents from enforcing federal turtle excluder device (TED) and by-catch reduction device (BRD) regulations in state territorial waters.
 
Louisiana shrimpers have always been required to comply with federal TED regulations, but this bill authorizes LDWF agents to enforce the regulations.
 
Throughout the year, the Shrimp Task Force worked with industry members and attended public meetings to better understand the industry’s concerns regarding the repeal of the existing laws.   Based on the feedback and support received from the industry, the Shrimp Task Force led the way and voted unanimously at their April 1, 2015 meeting to repeal the current prohibition of enforcement.
 
“Today is a monumental day for our shrimp industry and will show the world that Louisiana fishermen and processors have always been concerned with the successful management of our shrimp fishery, said Mark Abraham, Shrimp Task Force Chairman. “The Shrimp Task Force applauds Governor Jindal and our state legislators who worked with us to pass this legislation.”
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov. To sign for text alerts related to commercial fishing visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/textalert-signup.

 

LDWF Agents Make Three DWI’s on the Water During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 06/30/2015

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested three boaters statewide for alleged driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28.

On June 26 agents arrested Steven P. Sander Jr., 35, of Metairie, on Bayou Segnette in Jefferson Parish for DWI on the water.  Agents also arrested Donald Lennox, 54, of Prairieville, on the Amite River Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish, and Jay B. Burchfield, 39, of Hammond, on North Pass in Tangipahoa Parish for DWIs on the water on June 27.

Louisiana had 18 boating fatalities in 2014 with alcohol playing a role in six fatalities or 33 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2014 reveal that 21 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued five DWI citations to boat operators during the 2014 Operation Dry Water weekend.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

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

Authorities Recover Body of St. Landry Man from Bayou Marron

Release Date: 06/30/2015

Search and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of a St. Landry man from Bayou Marron on June 29.

Search and rescue crews were notified around 3 p.m. of a missing canoer in Bayou Marron.  The crews found the body of Lawrence Fontenot, 58, around 5:45 p.m.

According to the other canoer with Fontenot, the two men were frogging from a canoe early in the morning on June 29 in the vicinity of Chatagnier when the canoe capsized.  The survivor was able to make his way to the shore and call for help.

Neither man was wearing a personal flotation device when they entered the water.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

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

Shrimp Season to Close July 2 in Remainder of State Inside Waters Except for Breton and Chandeleur Sounds

Release Date: 06/29/2015

 
June 29, 2015 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2015 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, in the remainder of state inside waters except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.
 
This action closes shrimping in inside waters within the Mermentau, Calcasieu and Sabine Rivers Basins extending from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line. It also closes those inside waters in Eastern Louisiana currently open, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne and a portion of the Mississippi Sound located in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.  This action also closes those portions of Barataria Bay, Terrebonne Bay and Lake Pelto that remained open on June 19.
 
Effective with this closure all state inside waters will be closed to shrimping except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double–rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.  All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these waters was made to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.
 
For more information visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will meet August 6 to consider opening dates for the fall inshore shrimp season.  At the July 2 meeting of the Commission, they will consider action to authorize LDWF Secretary Robert Barham to open the fall white shrimp season if needed prior to the August 6 Commission meeting.
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information, contact Jeff Marx at 337 -373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

 

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