LDWF News Release

Commercial Fishing for Bait Menhaden to Open March 15

Release Date: 03/02/2017

Today, at its regular meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action on a Declaration of Emergency to open the commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, based upon a request from the bait menhaden industry. 
The commercial season for the harvest of bait menhaden typically opens on November 1 and runs through November 30 with a 3,000 metric ton quota. In the event that quota is not harvested during the normal November season, the bait season may resume April 1 of the following year.  
The bait industry requested the LWFC open the season two weeks earlier on March 15 to meet customer demand. The quota was not met in 2016 and opening the season two weeks earlier in 2017 is not expected to negatively impact the quota or regular commercial menhaden season.


Louisiana Artificial Reef Council to Meet

Release Date: 03/02/2017

The Artificial Reef Council will meet at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 10 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.
      I.         Introduction and welcome
     II.         Approval of minutes
    III.         Approval of agenda
    IV.         Proposal to lift moratorium on Special Artificial Reef Sites (SARS)
    V.          Reef Program update - Mike McDonough & Craig Gothreaux
   VI.         Public comments
  VII.         Other business
 VIII.         Adjourn

March 2017 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 02/27/2017

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, March 2, 2017, in the Magnolia Room at the Natchitoches Events Center located at 750 Second Street in Natchitoches, LA 71457.
The following items will be discussed:
1.      Call to Order
2.      Pledge of Allegiance
3.      Roll Call
4.      Adoption of February 02, 2017 Commission Meeting Minutes
5.      Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege
6.      Enforcement Reports February, 2017 – Lt. Colonel Samuel Martin, Enforcement Division
7.      Receive Update on the 2017 First Extraordinary Legislative Session and Impacts to the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – Cole Garrett, Attorney / Legislative Liaison
8.      Receive an Update on Public Comments and Consider Amendments to previously approved Notice of Intent to Amend the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the 2017-2018 Season, the Resident Game Hunting Season for the 2017-2019 Hunting Seasons, the General and Wildlife Management Area Rules and Regulations for the Turkey Season, the Turkey Hunting Areas, and Seasons, and Bag Limits for the 2018 Turkey Season, and the Migratory Bird Seasons, Regulations, and Bag Limits for the 2017-2018 Hunting Season – Kenny Ribbeck, WMA Administrator
9.      Receive Information on Calcasieu Lake Oysters and Consider a Declaration of Emergency for the Calcasieu Lake Oyster Season – Al Sunseri, Commissioner
10.  Receive a Presentation and Consider a Declaration of Emergency Setting the 2017 Opening Date for Bait Menhaden – Daniel Edgar, Louisiana Bait Products
11.  Receive the Gulf Angler Focus Group Report: Possible Alternative Approaches to Recreational Red Snapper Management – Chris Macaluso, Center for Marine Fisheries, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
12.  Receive Update on Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s February Meeting – Patrick Banks, Assistant Secretary, Office of Fisheries
13.  Receive a Presentation on Aquatic Vegetation Control – Issues and Expectations  for 2017 – Ricky Moses, Biologist Director, Inland Fisheries
14.  Set June, 2017 Commission Meeting Date
15.  Receive Public Comments
16.  Adjournment 
A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
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 recreational or commercial fishing email and text 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. 


New Regulation Governing Importation of Cervid Carcasses into Louisiana Goes into Effect March 1

Release Date: 02/23/2017

Feb. 23, 2017 - A new regulation governing importation of cervid carcasses into Louisiana will go into effect March 1, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. The regulation was passed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) in the fall of 2016 and aims to prevent the introduction of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Louisiana’s white-tailed deer population.
The regulation reads in part: No person shall import, transport or possess any cervid carcass or part of a cervid carcass originating outside of Louisiana, except: for meat that is cut and wrapped; meat that has been boned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached, antlers, clean skull plates with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth. …Any and all bones shall be disposed of in a manner where its final destination is at an approved landfill or equivalent. Said rule shall be effective March 1, 2017.
The ban defines a cervid as animals of the family Cervidae, including but not limited to white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, fallow deer, axis deer, sika deer, red deer and reindeer. 
This ban is strictly for the purpose of reducing the likelihood that CWD will enter Louisiana through carcass importation. Approved parts and meat from other states must contain a possession tag with the hunter’s name, out-of-state license number (if required), address, species, date and location (county and state) of harvest. Each state has different possession requirements for game once processed.
CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk and mule deer as well as white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It’s part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue which leads to death of the animal.
CWD is caused by prions, which are proteins normally found in the body that have mutated. These prions kill nerve cells and cause holes to develop in the brain tissue. They are spread through direct deer-to-deer contact or through contact with urine, feces, saliva and body parts of infected deer or infectious materials in the soil. It’s most commonly found in deer pens and captive facilities.
It is different from hemorrhagic disease (epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus and/ or bluetongue virus), which is a virus spread by bites from infected insects.
Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) there is no evidence that CWD can infect humans. However, the CDCP recommends caution in handling venison in the infected region and that deer be tested for CWD before consuming.
CWD has been documented in 23 states, including Texas and Arkansas, and two Canadian provinces.
For more information, contact Johnathan Bordelon at jbordelon@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2344.


Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament Set For March 4 at Shreveport Convention Center

Release Date: 02/22/2017

Students compete in an Archery in Louisiana Schools tournament.

Feb. 22, 2017 – More than 1,000 student archers from 45 schools will compete in the 2017 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament on March 4 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Students will be competing for $20,000 in scholarships and a chance to advance to the national tournament.
The event, which begins at 8 a.m., is open to the public. Admission fee is $5 for adults and free to those 18 years and younger. The tournament runs throughout the day with the awards ceremony set for 6:30 p.m. This year’s state tournament will include both bullseye and 3-D competitions. Students qualified for the state tournament in two regional events held in January.
Volunteers to assist at this year’s event are still being recruited. To volunteer, please contact ALAS Regional Coordinator Jan McGovern at jmcgovern@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4930.
The ALAS program, administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), is part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), which teaches basic archery skills to students in grades 3-12. About 200 schools and 20,000 students in Louisiana participate in the program. Nationally, more than 14,000 schools and 2.4 million students take part in the NASP program.
The 2017 ALAS State Tournament is made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors: Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Man Cave Archery, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation-Louisiana Chapter, Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA), Louisiana Archery and Sports Center, Hoot & Holler Archery, LSU AgCenter,  Morrell Targets, Louisiana National Guard, H&E Equipment Services, Whitetails Unlimited-Cenla Buckbusters, Quality Deer Management Association-Central Louisiana Branch, , Academy Sports + Outdoors, CENLA Signs, Homeland Security, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Cenla Bowbenders, and Outlaw’s BBQ.
ALAS has grown rapidly since May of 2012 when about 35 schools participated. The program is administered in all parts of the state, from rural areas to inner city schools.
“It’s big,’’ said Robert Stroede, LDWF’s ALAS State Coordinator. “The more schools that got involved, the more schools wanted in. You get two or three schools in a parish and they start competing then all the other schools say, ‘Why don’t we have that?’ Or you get one kid who transfers from a school that has the program to a school that doesn’t and the parents say, ‘Hey, my son or daughter got to do archery at the last school. Why don’t you guys have it?’ It really kind of snowballed once it got started.’’
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are available to assist with funding. For more information about the ALAS program, contact ALAS State Coordinator, Robert Stroede, at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276.


LDWF Offers Volunteer Opportunity

Release Date: 02/22/2017

There’s still time to become a volunteer with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program. Join us on Saturday, March 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Lake Pontchartrain Lighthouse in New Orleans for this free, instructional workshop.
At this hands-on workshop, participants will receive the training needed to become a volunteer instructor. Topics and activities include knot tying, casting skills, basic fishing techniques, proper fish identification, fisheries management and more. A binder of lesson plans, activity guides and educational materials for future use will be provided to those who attend. (Please note a $25 reservation fee is required to reserve your spot and will be refunded at the workshop.)
Upon completion of the 8-hour workshop and background check, volunteers can participate in an equipment loaner kit program. Just as a library loans books, we can provide fishing rods with basic tackle, a knot tying kit, arts and crafts, and more. The loaner program allows instructors to introduce budding anglers to fishing without having to purchase any equipment.
For more information or for other upcoming workshops, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs.
For questions about the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, contact Alayna McGarry at (504) 286-4050 or at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov.

Turner’s Pond Get Out and Fish! Results

Release Date: 02/21/2017

Turner’s Pond Get Out and Fish! Results

On Saturday, February 11 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Lakeview United Methodist Church and radio stations KBEF 104.5 and KASO 1240 AM partnered to host a Get Out and Fish! event at Turner’s Pond in Minden. Prior to the event, the pond was stocked with 600 pounds of rainbow trout donated by Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery. The event was a tremendous success with over 460 participants trying their luck at catching the elusive rainbow trout while landing fish of all species. 
Saturday’s winners are as follows:
Little Angler “Other”: Weston Duck, first; Jake Boyce, second; Marshall Duck, third
Junior Angler “Other”: Elijah Redding, first; Christopher Harris, second; Timothy Berry, third
Adult Angler “Other”: Trey Smith, first; Kris Crocker, second
Weston Duck also took home the prize for the biggest fish, a certificate valued at $400 courtesy of Davidson Taxidermy to have a fish of his choice mounted.
There are still plenty of stocked rainbow trout at Turner’s Pond, so grab your fishing gear before waters warm and try your luck at catching this challenging game fish.
LDWF’s Get Out and Fish! 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 fisheries resources. 
For more information on the Get Out and Fish! program, contact Megan MacMenamin at mmacmenamin@wlf.la.gov.


March Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Location has Changed

Release Date: 02/21/2017

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: Magnolia Room of the Natchitoches Events Center located at 750 Second Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana


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 Public Hearings Begin Feb. 20 to Gather Comments on Proposed Hunting Seasons, WMA Rules and Regulation Changes

Release Date: 02/15/2017

Feb. 15, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold six public meetings beginning Monday (Feb. 20) 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 .


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



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