LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Wildlife agent shot 5 times scheduled to be released from hospital

Release Date: 01/25/2017

Senior Enforcement Agent Tyler Wheeler is visited by Col. Joey Broussard, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  Wheeler is recovering after being shot 5 times earlier this month while on patrol. Two people have been arrested in the shooting.

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent, who was shot five times while questioning a motorist, is talking and walking with assistance and may be out of the hospital this week.

Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, 25, of Monroe, is scheduled to be discharged from the LSU Health Shreveport Trauma Center Jan. 26, and will be transported to a rehab facility in Mississippi, according to his father Darren Wheeler.

“His spirits are high,” Wheeler said. “This is amazing.”

The elder Wheeler said his son has been able to walk with the help of a walker and sometimes with the aid of a medical assistant “to keep him steady.” He is talking and “fussing about staying in here (at the hospital).”

Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, said he and his department are elated by Wheeler’s improvement.

“His Wildlife and Fisheries family is very encouraged by Tyler’s progress to date,” Broussard said. “Everything we’ve been told is that it is a miracle that he survived this cowardly attack and that the doctors are very hopeful he can make a full recovery.”

Broussard, who visited Wheeler on Tuesday, said “it is inspiring to see his great attitude and resolve during his recovery.”

Wheeler’s rehab will focus on strength recovery and regaining the ability to eat a normal diet.  The doctors have been pleased with his motor skills, memory and overall condition, Darren Wheeler said.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said Wheeler’s progress “is a true testament to this young man’s amazing will to live. And, it also shows the courage of our law enforcement officers who bravely face dangerous situations every day.”

Wheeler was shot five times, including once in the temple, jaw, shoulder, arm and back on Jan. 7 on Hwy. 165 between Sterlington and Bastrop in the Perryville area.  Wheeler was wearing his department issued body armor vest at the time of the shooting.

Louisiana State Police Detectives arrested 31-year-old Amethyst Baird of Monroe on one count of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.  They also arrested 34-year-old Jeremy Gullette, of Monroe, on one count of accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder.  Both arrests occurred on Jan. 8.

 

 

 

LDWF Public Meetings Set for February on Proposed Hunting Seasons and WMA Rules and Regulation Changes

Release Date: 01/24/2017

Jan. 24, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold six public meetings around the state to present and gather comments on the proposed 2017-19 resident game hunting season dates, 2017-18 waterfowl and migratory bird hunting season dates, 2017-18 wildlife management areas (WMA) general rules and regulation changes, 2018 wild turkey seasons and hunting areas and experimental dove field leasing program.
 
Public comment will be taken on all items currently under consideration as notices of intent by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The meeting dates and locations include:
 
Feb. 20 (Monday) at 6 p.m. at the Ponchatoula High School library, 19452 Louisiana Hwy. 22, Ponchatoula;
 
Feb. 21 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at the New Orleans LDWF Field Office, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, second floor conference room, Suite 210, New Orleans;
 
Feb. 22 (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. at the New Iberia VFW Hall-Post 1982, 1907 Jefferson Terrace Blvd., New Iberia;
 
Feb. 23 (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at the Ruston Historic Fire Station Building, 200 East Mississippi Street, Ruston;
 
Feb. 24 (Friday) at 6 p.m. at the LSU Ag Center Building, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles;
 
Feb. 25 (Saturday) at 2 p.m. at the Louisiana State Evacuation Shelter at LSU-Alexandria, 8125 Hwy. 71, Lecompte.
 
To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from now through March 5 or may be submitted directly to Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359, 318-487-5885 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

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LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest in the West Cove Portion of Calcasieu Lake

Release Date: 01/20/2017

1-20-17 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all oyster harvest in the West Cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish at one half-hour after sunset on Tuesday, January 24, 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 maps detailing today's actions, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons

COMMERCIAL KING MACKEREL SEASON TO CLOSE JANUARY 21, 2017

Release Date: 01/19/2017

January 19, 2017 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at 12 p.m. (noon) on Saturday, January 21, 2017. 

The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the annual quota for the commercial harvest of king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico has been met.  The commercial fishing season for king mackerel was previously closed in federal waters at noon on Tuesday, October 14, 2016. 

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 allocated towards 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 has been harvested.

The commercial king mackerel season in Louisiana waters has previously been closed on March 27, 2009 (08-09 season), September 12, 2009 (09-10 season), February 11, 2011 (10-11 season), September 16, 2011 (11-12 season), August 22, 2012 (12-13 season), September 20, 2013 (13-14 season), October 31, 2014 (14-15 season), and January 7, 2016 (15-16 season).

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery exists, 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.

 

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  

Commercial Netting Season on Poverty Point Reservoir to Begin Friday

Release Date: 01/19/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will allow licensed commercial fishermen to fish gill or trammel nets on Poverty Point Reservoir in Richland Parish for the first time, beginning Friday, January 20, 2017. The season will close on February 28, 2017. 
 
A recurring season has been established and will run from October 1 through the last day of February each year. Only nets with a minimum bar mesh size of 3.5 inches are allowed. The use of hoop nets, wire nets and fish seines will remain prohibited.
 
Department biologists recommended the creation of a netting season on Poverty Point Reservoir in an effort to reduce the abundance of commercial fish species while providing commercial anglers the opportunity to take advantage of an under-utilized natural resource. Abundant populations of catfish, buffalo, carp and freshwater drum have been identified in the 2,700-acre lake. Removing a portion of these fish will benefit the overall fishery and promote growth of sport fish species including largemouth bass and crappie.
 
Licensed commercial fishermen are required to possess either a fresh products or a wholesale/retail license and participate in the LDWF Trip Ticket Program.  A trip ticket must be filled out when the commercial fisherman transfers his catch to a wholesale/retail dealer or fresh products licensee. Interested fishermen should first call the trip ticket office at (225) 765-2449 for program instructions and a special area code for fishing the reservoir. Anglers should then contact either Poverty Point Reservoir State Park at (318) 878-7536 or the LDWF District 2 office in Monroe at (318) 343-4044 for further instructions including fishing boundaries, state park regulations and other requirements. 
 
For more information, contact Ryan Daniel, District 2 Fisheries Biologist Manager, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at (318) 343-4044 or rdaniel@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF to Open the Cheniere Reef Area in Calcasieu Lake

Release Date: 01/19/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open the Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish at one half-hour before sunrise on Monday, January 23, 2017. However, this action does not supersede public health closures. 

The Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area has been re-designated and will be incorporated into the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area.  Oyster resources located in this 87-acre area will be made available for harvest. 

The isolated nature of Calcasieu Lake and recent decline of the oyster stock in this area requires conservative management practices to ensure future oyster production.  LDWF biologists will continue to monitor oyster harvest in Calcasieu Lake and will recommend closure when harvest thresholds are reached. 

The Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area is defined by the following coordinates:

 

A.        29 degrees 51 minutes 09.10 seconds

            93 degrees 17 minutes 06.96 seconds

B.        29 degrees 51 minutes 09.35 seconds

            93 degrees 16 minutes 50.20 seconds

C.        29 degrees 51 minutes 05.33 seconds

            93 degrees 16 minutes 46.06 seconds

D.        29 degrees 50 minutes 50.72 seconds

            93 degrees 16 minutes 45.78 seconds

E.         29 degrees 50 minutes 50.96 seconds

            93 degrees 17 minutes 09.62 seconds

F.         29 degrees 51 minutes 05.56 seconds

           93 degrees 17 minutes 09.90 seconds

For maps of this area visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons

The provisions for the Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area season will follow those already in place for the 2016/2017 Calcasieu Lake oyster season.  Those provisions are as follows:

1.    Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above shall be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 7 sacks of oysters per vessel as provided for in R.S. 56:435.1.1.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440.

2.   If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said public oyster area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are offloaded dockside.

3.   Prior to leaving the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area with oysters harvested from said oyster area: all oysters must be sacked, the number of sacks shall be recorded in a logbook, and each sack shall be properly tagged.

4.   All vessels located in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area during those times between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise shall have all oyster dredges unshackled.

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.

Turner’s Pond to be Stocked and Ready for Get Out and Fish! Event

Release Date: 01/18/2017

Winter weather means cold water, and that means the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is busy stocking ponds with rainbow trout for anglers to enjoy. Six hundred pounds of adult-sized rainbow trout, donated by Greer’s Fish Hatchery, will be stocked in Turner’s Pond in Minden, La. just in time for the next Get Out and Fish! event. LDWF and Lakeview United Methodist Church have partnered to host the community fishing event on Saturday, February 11 from 7 a.m. until noon.                         
 
The event’s main attraction is a fishing competition, with entry levels for all ages, so the entire family is encouraged to participate. Competition categories include “heaviest rainbow trout” and “heaviest other fish.” Age divisions include Little Angler (ages 8 and under), Junior Angler (ages 9-15) and Adult Angler (ages 16 and older). Additional activities will also be available including a mobile touch tank, casting inflatable, and more.

The event is free, and the first 100 pre-registered youth participants will receive a free goodie bag. Pre-registration is available online at www.wlf.la.gov/get-out-and-fish-1. Every participant will also be entered into a raffle for various prizes. Anglers should bring their own gear, bait and tackle, and an ice chest to keep your fish. Youths do not need a license to fish in Louisiana, but anglers 16 and older must have a valid LDWF fishing license available for purchase here
 
Youth anglers with an appetite will be treated to chili pies compliments of Lakeview United Methodist Church, with an option to purchase for adult anglers.
 
The Get Out and Fish! Program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing. The program intends to recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing and promote outdoor activities for future generations.
 
Coca Cola of Minden and local radio stations KBEF 104.5 Real Country and KASO 1240 AM Classic Hits are sponsoring the event.
 
The event is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The LWFF 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.
 
For more information on the Get out and Fish! Program, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.

 

LDWF To Close Shrimp Season in Portions of State Inside Waters

Release Date: 01/17/2017

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the fall shrimp season will close in a portion of state inside waters effective Friday, January 20, 2017, at official sunset.

Those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), a section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Orleans parish from the GIWW East Closure Sector Gate westward to the GIWW intersection with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as bounded by the double-rig line described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.
  • State outside waters not currently closed.

For a map detailing today’s actions click here.

Existing data do not currently support shrimping closures in additional state inside or outside waters. However, the department will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters and will close additional waters if necessary. 

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp should average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.  Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF biologists indicates the average white shrimp size in the waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided the LDWF Secretary with authority to close the fall inshore shrimp season when biological and technical data indicate the need. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

 

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov .

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet January 17th

Release Date: 01/13/2017

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee

Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 11:00 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122

AGENDA

I.  Call to Order

II.  Discussion of Moratorium Lifting Draft NOI

III.  Public Comment

IV.  Set next meeting

V.  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:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8907255127276951811

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.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet January 17th

Release Date: 01/12/2017

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

I.Roll call and introduction of guests

II.Approval of December 12, 2016 Meeting Minutes and January 17, 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)

J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)

V.New Business

A.LDWF Oyster Program Update- Steve Beck

B.Discussion of Oyster Refrigeration Regulations- Gordon Leblanc

C.Discussion of 2016/2017 Oyster Season Options- John Tesvich

 

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 athttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8977127991667923201

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

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

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