L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

LDWF, Ducks Unlimited and Partners Celebrate Sherburne WMA Enhancement Project

Release Date: 02/28/2014

Feb. 28, 2014 – Louisiana residents and visitors will have improved and increased opportunity for waterfowl hunting and wildlife watching on the popular Sherburne Wildlife Management Area. Ducks Unlimited partnered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to create additional wetland habitat on the South Farm Unit of the WMA, open new areas for public waterfowl hunting and provide increased habitat management capabilities. Project partners gathered today at the WMA to celebrate the site improvements.
 
“Sherburne is a favorite duck hunting spot in this part of the state for wildlife management area users,” said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. “Projects such as this improve habitat and expand opportunities for public hunting, and are great examples of cooperative efforts that enhance what we as a department can do with limited resources.”
 
Located between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, south of US 190, Sherburne WMA provides many metropolitan residents the opportunity to enjoy hunting and other outdoor recreation. This project not only improves waterfowl habitat on areas already open to hunting, but also opens two new units for pursuing waterfowl.
 
“This project is the first one in the state supported in part by Louisiana DU license plate sales,” said Mike Carloss, DU manager of conservation programs. “This gives DU members and supporters a terrific, tangible example of what supporting Ducks Unlimited means for them in Louisiana.”
 
Partners gathered to dedicate the project to John W. Barton, Sr. of Baton Rouge. Barton was a dedicated outdoorsman, Ducks Unlimited supporter and friend to all who met him.
 
“John had a large impact on me, but he had an even a larger impact on wildlife and the people who enjoy wildlife,” DU volunteer and friend of the Barton family Jeffrey Svendson said. “This is a great project to honor him and his strong belief in wildlife and wetlands conservation. Projects like this wouldn’t happen without a lot of people like John willing to donate time and money for the preservation of our great outdoors and all the critters that live in it.”
 
Partners on the project include LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation, friends of John W. Barton, Sr., Wetlands America Trust and The Mosaic Company, which has operations near Baton Rouge and contributed to the project.
 
“We are excited to partner with Ducks Unlimited in restoring critical habitats for waterfowl in Louisiana,” said Gary N. “Bo” Davis, Mosaic Senior Vice President of Phosphate Operations. “By enhancing water delivery to the habitat at Sherburne, the function of the Atchafalaya Basin will be greatly improved. The health of the basin is crucial, as it captures overflow that would otherwise flood the Mississippi River, one of America’s most important waterways.”
 
The Mosaic Company is the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two essential crop nutrients. Driven by its mission to help the world grow the food it needs, Mosaic is committed to strengthening global food security and protecting critical water resources. The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation make investments in and partner with best-of-class leaders in the focus areas of food, water and local community investments. More information about Mosaic is available at www.mosaicco.com.
 
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.
 
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.
 
For more information contact, Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlfl.a.gov or Andi Cooper at 601-956-1936 or acooper@ducks.org .

 

Rayne Man Arrested For Theft and Selling Shrimp Without A License

Release Date: 02/27/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Rayne man for alleged shrimp violations on Feb. 26.

Shannon J Roche, 36, of Rayne, was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail for 13 counts of selling shrimp without a retail seafood license, three counts of theft by fraudulent sales, and failing to maintain records.

LDWF agents first learned of Roche’s illegal methods from a number of consumers posting photos of him on social media websites and describing his illegal practices.

During the investigation into Roche’s illegal methods, agents learned that Roche allegedly purchased shrimp from a wholesale retail dealer and resold them to consumers on 13 different occasions during the months of January and February.  He additionally made three transactions to consumers whom did not receive the correct amount of shrimp purchased.  Roche also did not keep proper documentation of his sales.

Selling shrimp without a retail seafood license brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Theft by fraudulent sales carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.  Failing to maintain records brings up to a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Justin Sonnier, Sgt. Lance Devillier, and Senior Agents David Boudreaux, Derek Logan, and Donald Murray participated in the case.

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

Gulf Council Hosts Public Hearings on Red Snapper Allocation

Release Date: 02/27/2014

(Feb. 25, 2014) – The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council has scheduled a public hearing in Kenner, Louisiana on Thursday, March 13, to solicit comments on Gulf red snapper allocation. The meeting will be held at LaQuinta Inn and Suites at 2610 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA at 6 p.m.

The Gulf Council is currently considering Reef Fish Amendment 28, which examines allocating red snapper resources between the commercial and recreational sectors. 

The current allocation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper, which is 51% commercial and 49% recreational, was established in 1990 through Reef Fish Amendment 1. This allocation was based on the historical average of red snapper landings by sector from 1979 through 1987. The red snapper stock in the Gulf of Mexico has been under a rebuilding plan since 1997, and in 2012, NOAA Fisheries declared that overfishing of the stock had ended.

The Gulf Council recently held listening sessions throughout the Gulf coast regarding recreational fisheries management.   Louisiana anglers showed up in greater numbers than all other Gulf States combined and overwhelmingly supported the Gulf Council revisiting outdated red snapper reallocations.

The Gulf Council is considering seven allocation alternatives. Their preferred alternative (#5) states that if the red snapper quota is less than or equal to 9.12 million pounds, the commercial and recreational red snapper allocations of 51% and 49% respectively, will be maintained. If the red snapper quota is greater than 9.12 million pounds, then 75% of the amount in excess of 9.12 million pounds will be allocated to the recreational sector and 25% to the commercial sector.

Comments on Reef Fish Amendment 28 will also be accepted online at http://bit.ly/MS14U0.

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 inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 02/27/2014

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 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 February 6, 2014
     
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
     
  4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports February
     
  5. CCA Presentation of the Conservationist of the Year Award
     
  6. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Increase the Possession Limit for Black Bass below the Salt Water Line 
     
  7. To Consider an Amendment to Increase Small Game Possession Limit to Three Days Bag Limit
     
  8. To Consider an Amendment to Adjust Deer Season Area 5 Season Dates for the Year 2014-2015
     
  9. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures Due to the BP Oil Spill
     
  10. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Modify Commercial Netting Restrictions on False River, Lake Bruin and Lake Providence
     
  11. To Hear and Discuss the Louisiana Red Snapper Management Issues
     
  12. Set July 2014 Meeting Date
     
  13. Receive Public Comments
     
  14. Adjournment

Three Men Plead Guilty and Sentenced for Oyster Theft

Release Date: 02/26/2014

On Feb. 25, John Phillipe, 32, Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., pleaded guilty to numerous commercial oyster violations in Plaquemines Parish.

Phillipe pleaded guilty to harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill, violating the state’s health code by not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book, and another count of violating the state’s health code for vessel sanitation requirements, no tarp, no visible boat numbers and taking commercial fish without a vessel license.  He was also cited for improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of a vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal.

Patrick Sylve and Jean Taylor pleaded guilty for harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill.

Judge Michael Clement accepted all three pleas and ordered the following sentences: Phillipe was ordered to pay a fine of $3,900 plus all court costs and was placed on two years probation.  All of Phillipe’s commercial licenses were also revoked for a period of two years and he is forbidden to be on any oyster vessel for two years.  His oyster dredge was also forfeited to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

Patrick Sylve and Jean Taylor were each ordered to pay a fine of $950 plus court costs and were ordered to not be on a vessel harvesting or possessing oysters or gear to take oysters for two years unless that vessel is equipped with a vessel monitoring device that is approved and monitored by the LDWF Enforcement Division.

LDWF agents witnessed Phillipe and his deckhands harvesting oysters from a lease that did not belong to them and under the cover of darkness after legal sunset on Aug. 26, 2013 in Bayou Stephan located in Plaquemines Parish.  Agents discovered the boating safety and health code violations during the stop.

Assistant District Attorney Robert White prosecuted the case.  Agents participating in the case were Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio.

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

Louisiana Saltwater Series Announces 2014 Schedule

Release Date: 02/26/2014

(February 26, 2014) - The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series will commence its 2014 season at Boudreaux’s Marina in Cocodrie on March 8th, and will visit eight different marinas across Louisiana’s coast to create a true test of the best and the most exciting season yet.  The coming year marks the fifth anniversary of the LASS redfish trail.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, tournament host, will be commemorating the milestone with new prizes and partnerships and will again participate in a live weigh-in hosted by Marsh and Bayou Magazine at the Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show for the May 3rd event.

“This year kicks off our fifth annual Louisiana Saltwater Series, and each year, the tournament continues to grow,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “These events are not only intended to highlight and promote the state’s many fishing opportunities but to enlist Louisiana anglers as citizen scientists to help collect scientifically valuable data by tagging all fish caught.”

Last year, 880 redfish were tagged and released, bringing the tournament’s grand total of redfish tagged to 2,858 since its establishment in 2010.

The 2014 LASS Redfish Series dates are as follows:

  • March 8 - Cocodrie, Boudreaux’s Marina;
  • April 5 - Lake Charles, Calcasieu Point Landing;
  • May 3 - Slidell, The Dock/Dockside Bait & Tackle;
  • June 28 - Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina;
  • July 19 - Port Fourchon, Port Fourchon Marina;
  • August 23 - Empire, The Delta Marina; and
  • September 13, - Seaway Marina, Lafitte

Championship - October 17 and 18 Venice, Venice Marina

All information related to the events, including the on-line registration is available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.   For a detailed map of tagged redfish by location click here.

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.

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.

For press inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

Pearl River WMA Hunting Seasons and Road to Close Due to High River Level

Release Date: 02/24/2014

February 24, 2014 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that all hunting seasons on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be closed when the Pearl River stage at Pearl River, La., reaches 16.5 feet.  Additionally, Old U.S. Hwy. 11 will be closed when the river stage reaches 16.5 feet. The river stage is currently forecast to reach 16.5 feet on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 25, 2014.
 
This hunting season closure on the WMA in southeastern St. Tammany Parish will remain in effect until water levels drop below 16.5 feet.  
 
The gate at Old U.S. Hwy. 11, a primary access point to the WMA, will also be closed on Tuesday by 6 p.m. and will remain closed until the water recedes and all roads and bridges are determined safe for vehicle passage. If the river rises above 16.5 feet prior to 6 p.m., the gate at Old U.S. Hwy. 11 may be closed sooner.
 
To monitor water levels, visit the National Weather Service link at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lix&gage=perl1.  For additional information, contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.

 

LDWF Dove Hunter Survey in Progress through March 16

Release Date: 02/24/2014

Feb. 24, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is surveying dove hunters across the state to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting.  Topics include season dates, hunting activities, hunting success, ammunition used, as well as demographic variables.

To participate in this on-line survey visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting  and follow the link provided. Interested hunters will have until March 16, 2014 to participate in the survey.  The full survey consists of 13 questions and an additional section provides space for comments. The survey can be taken by anyone, but LDWF is interested in the opinions of dove hunters.

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

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.
 

L.D.W.F. Public Meetings Begin Feb. 25 to Present 2014-16 Hunting Seasons, 2014-15 W.M.A. Rules for Public Comment

Release Date: 02/20/2014

Feb. 20, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host seven public meetings beginning Feb. 25 to present details on the proposed 2014-16 hunting seasons and the 2014-15 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) general rules and regulations.
 
LDWF’s Wildlife Division will accept public comment that will be reported to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission prior to final approval of seasonal dates, rules and regulations at their April 3, 2014 meeting.
 
Public meeting dates and locations are:
 

  • Feb. 25 beginning at 6:00 p.m., LDWF Minden Office, 9961 Highway 80, Minden
  • Feb. 25 beginning at 6:00 p.m., USGS National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette
  • Feb. 26 beginning at 6:00 p.m., LDWF Headquarters Building Louisiana Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge
  • Feb. 27 beginning at 6:00 p.m., LSU Ag Center (next to Burton Coliseum), 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles
  • Feb. 27 beginning at 6:00 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 3rd Street, Alexandria
  • March 1 beginning at 2:00 p.m., LDWF Monroe Office, 368 Centurylink Drive, Monroe
  • March 1 beginning at 2:00 p.m., Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 2nd Street, Slidell

 
Some of the proposed changes include:
 

  • Allowing small game hunters to carry buckshot and/or slug while small game hunting on private lands.
  • Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish from Deer Area 9 to Area 6.
  • Modification of a portion of St. Mary Parish from Deer Area 7 to Area 9.
  • Modification of a portion of Iberville Parish within Deer Area 9 from gun with dogs to still hunt only.
  • Elimination of requirement for an annual military permit on Camp Beauregard, Fort Polk, and Peason Ridge WMAs.
  • Addition of general turkey lottery hunt on Pearl River WMA.
  • Addition of youth turkey lottery hunt on Richard K. Yancey WMA.
  • Implementation of a Self-Clearing Permit requirement for turkey hunters on Catahoula and Red Dirt National Wildlife Management Preserves within Kisatchie National Forest.
  • Expansion of deer hunting opportunities on Lake Boeuf WMA.
  • Addition of a youth shotgun deer season on Pass-a-Loutre WMA.
  • Expansion of fishing opportunities on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA.

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

Record Number of Competitors Registered for the 2014 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament Set for March 1, Volunteers Needed

Release Date: 02/20/2014

Feb. 20, 2014 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS), a member of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), announced that a record setting 721 archers will compete at the 2014 ALAS State Tournament on March 1 in Alexandria.
 
Students will compete for awards and prizes at the state level, and the opportunity to compete in the NASP National Tournament. Two archers will receive $1,250 scholarships provided by Central Louisiana QDMA.
 
Only students who have participated in the ALAS program as part of their in-school curriculum during the current school year are eligible to participate. Teams and individuals compete in one of three divisions that include 4th and 5th grades, 6th through 8th grades, and 9th through 12th grades.
 
Volunteers are needed to assist with the March 1 tournament competition which will be held at the LSU AgCenter Storm Shelter, 8125 Hwy. 71 in Alexandria. Call 318-484-2276 to sign up as a volunteer. All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, and will receive a state tournament t-shirt and lunch on the day of the competition.
 
The ALAS state tournament is conducted using National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) rules. Those rules can be found at www.nasparchery.com . Awards will be presented to the top three teams in each division and the top five individuals in each division. The state archery competition allows Louisiana archers to qualify for NASP national and world tournament competitions.
 
For more information, contact Robert Stroede, ALAS program coordinator, at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov .

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