LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Oyster Task Force to Meet September 5

Release Date: 09/01/2017

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

I.Roll call and introduction of guests

II.Approval of August 1, 2017 Meeting Minutes and September 5, 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)

                     K.      Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)

V.New Business

A.     Consideration of a State-Wide (Public/ Private Leases) 3-Inch Minimum Size Limit on Market Oysters- Steve Beck

B.     To Consider a Draft Resolution for the State’s Continued Work on the Gulf Hypoxia Issue- OTF

C.     Discussion of Tagging Regulations for Mini-Sacks- Brad Robin

D.    To Hear a Presentation on Oyster Import Data- Jack Isaacs

E.     To Hear an Update on the Summer 2016 Oyster Die-Off - Steve Beck

F.     To Hear an Update on the Assessment of Oyster Loss on Public Reefs East of the MS River – Steve Beck

G.     To consider funding and Participation in the 2018 LA Alive & Acadiana Events- OTF

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 at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6279452028767510017

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. . For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

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 rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Reopen Friday at Sunrise, LDWF Announces

Release Date: 08/31/2017

Aug. 31, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will reopen most of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on Friday (Sept. 1) at sunrise.
 
The south end of Price Lake Road will remain closed until flood waters recede and repairs to the road can be made. This closure is just south of the bird observation tower. Visitors are cautioned not to drive through any standing water or the shoulder of the road.
 
Areas available for public access include the Joseph Harbor Boat Launch and East End Locks Road, both located about three miles east of refuge headquarters. Water control structures throughout the refuge are open but visitors are urged to use extreme caution around these structures as the water current is high.
 
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, which consists of 76,042 acres, is located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion parishes. It borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 miles and extends inland toward the Grand Chenier ridge, a stranded beach ridge, six miles from the Gulf. For more information on the refuge, go to ttp://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/rockefeller-wildlife-refuge.
 
For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 337-491-2000 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov.

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Sperm Whale Stranded at Grand Isle Third Found On Louisiana Coast in the Last Year

Release Date: 08/31/2017

A female sperm whale was found stranded near Grand Isle on Aug. 26.
The female sperm whale found stranded near Grand Isle on Aug. 26.

Aug. 31, 2017 – A female sperm whale found dead on a sandbar just off of Grand Isle Beach on Aug. 26 was the third sperm whale found stranded along the coast of Louisiana within the past year and the fifth stranding of this endangered species in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
 
The sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, is listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Gulf of Mexico. This was either an older juvenile or a young adult, said LDWF biologist Mandy Tumlin, the Louisiana Marine Mammal Stranding and Rescue Program Coordinator.
 
“Sperm whales found in the Gulf of Mexico are generally smaller than those found in other locations,’’ Tumlin said. “This animal was a female and they tend to be a lot smaller than males in this species. Sperm whales only have teeth on the lower jaw, those teeth have been collected and can be used in determining the age of the animal.’’
 
Staff from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), City of Grand Isle and Audubon’s Coastal Wildlife Network responded to the stranding. They were able to get the animal onto the beach and to perform a necropsy on the whale.
 
The necropsy allows biologists to collect internal samples from organs and tissues that are analyzed by a lab in an effort to determine the cause of death. Upon conclusion of the necropsy, the City of Grand Isle buried the carcass on the beach further away from camps and residences. LDWF thanks the public, Grand Isle Employees, Coastal Wildlife Network and everyone who assisted with these efforts.
 
“It is important to note that sometimes we may not be able to identify an exact cause of death,’’ Tumlin said. “However, each and every stranding is important for obtaining valuable information about each of these species, especially in this case of an endangered species such as the sperm whale.’’
 
LDWF encourages the public to report any marine mammal strandings to the NOAA Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 1-877-433-8299. To report marine mammal violations, such as people feeding, attempting to feed, or harassing marine mammals in the wild, please contact the national NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. Information may be left anonymously. Sperm whales are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. It is illegal to harass or interact with marine mammals whether they are dead or alive.
 
Dos and Don’ts For Encountering Marine Mammals
 
DO immediately report all dead marine mammals, even if they are decomposed. Call the Southeast Region Stranding Network 24-hour hotline: 1-877-WHALE HELP (1-877-942-5343) to be connected to your state’s marine mammals stranding network. The stranding network will send out trained responders who will get to the scene quickly with appropriate equipment.

DON’T push the animal back out to sea! Stranded marine mammals may be sick or injured. Returning animals to sea delays examination and treatment and often results in the animal re-stranding in worse condition.

If the animal returns to the water on its own, DON’T attempt to interact with it (swim with, ride, etc.).

DO put human safety above animal safety. If conditions are dangerous, do not attempt to approach the animal.

DO stay with the animal until rescuers arrive, but use caution. Marine mammals can be dangerous and/or carry disease. Keep a safe distance from the head and tail. Also, minimize contact with the animal (use gloves if necessary) and avoid inhaling the animal’s expired air.

If the animal is alive, DO keep its skin moist and cool by splashing water over its body. Use wet towels to help keep the skin moist and prevent sunburn.

If the animal is alive, DON’T cover or obstruct the blowhole. Try to keep sand and water away from the blowhole.

DO keep crowds away and noise levels down to avoid causing further stress to the animal.

DO keep dogs/pets away from the live or dead marine mammal.

DON’T collect any parts (tissues, teeth, bones, or gear, etc.) from dead animals. They are still covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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Elmer's Island to Reopen Tomorrow at Noon After Temporary Closure.

Release Date: 08/31/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will reopen Elmer's Island on Friday, September 1 at 12:00 pm.  The island was temporarily closed as a precaution due to Hurricane Harvey.

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.

White Lake WCA Birding and Nature Trail Closed Due to Flooding From Harvey

Release Date: 08/31/2017

Aug. 31, 2017 – The White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) Birding and Nature Trail has been closed until further notice due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LWDF) will notify the public when the trail will reopen.
 
The White Lake property is located in southwest Louisiana in Vermilion Parish. White Lake WCA consists of 71,905 acres along the western boundary of Vermilion Parish. For more information on White Lake WCA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/white-lake-wetlands-conservations-area .
 
For more information, contact Schuler Dartez at sdartez@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, extension 2.

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LDWF Cancels Leased Dove Field Hunts in DeRidder and Ragley Due to Excessive Rain From Harvey

Release Date: 08/31/2017

Aug. 31, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has cancelled its leased dove field hunts in DeRidder and Ragley due to the excessive rainfall from Hurricane Harvey. However, the LDWF leased dove field hunt in Tangipahoa Parish will be available for Saturday’s (Sept. 2) opening day of dove season as will several wildlife management areas (WMAs) throughout the state.
 
Go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove for a list of WMAs providing dove hunting opportunities and information on the LDWF leased dove field in Tangipahoa Parish. 
 
LDWF will continue to work with the landowners to provide an alternative date for the DeRidder and Ragley hunts. If successful, LDWF will announce the dates via a news release and on the LDWF website.
 
Hunters are reminded that on state WMAs and LDWF leased dove fields non-toxic shot is required when hunting doves; no lead shot is allowed.
 
For more information, contact Jeff Duguay at jduguay@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2353.

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Issuance of Alligator Hunting Licenses And Tags at Rockefeller Refuge will begin Friday at 1 P.M.

Release Date: 08/31/2017

Aug. 31, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will issue alligator hunting licenses and tags at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge on Friday (Sept. 1) beginning at 1 p.m. The issuance of the tags was delayed earlier this week because of impacts from Hurricane Harvey.
 
For more information contact the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge at 337-538-2165 or the LDWF Field Office in New Iberia at 337-373-0032

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Red snapper fishing continues through Labor Day weekend

Release Date: 08/31/2017

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana anglers will be able to complete the 39-day extended red snapper season which ends Monday, Sept. 4 at 11:59 p.m., according to the latest LA Creel landings data.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission had ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to shut down the red snapper season when it appears anglers will meet the self-imposed limit of 1.04 million pounds.

The latest catch statistics from LDWF’s LA Creel, the agency’s near real-time data collecting program, show that 880,603 pounds of red snapper had been caught as of August 20. The last reported amount was 849,227 pounds.

The LDWF established a limit on its red snapper catch because it believes that being accountable for the catch limit will help the state’s chances of receiving federal government permission allowing Louisiana to manage its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.

The red snapper fishing season was extended 39 days as part of an agreement reached earlier this summer involving Louisiana, the four other Gulf states – Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida - and the U.S. Department of Commerce. It allowed recreational anglers to fish out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper on weekends through Labor Day.

Also under the agreement, there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out nine miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and September 4. Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches, per day.

*For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page/41176-red-snapper-long-range-plan-facts/redsnapperwebsitedocument8-20-17.pdf

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov. To receive LDWF email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF, IHEA-USA Offer Dove Hunter Safety Tips as Season Set to Begin Saturday

Release Date: 08/30/2017

Aug. 30, 2017 – Dove hunting season begins Saturday (Sept. 2) throughout the state and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) along with the International Hunter Education Association-USA (IHEA-USA) wants to remind hunters to be aware of their safe zones of fire.
 
Here are some safe hunting practices for dove hunters:
 
·         For safety purposes, it is best to hunt in groups of three or less.
·         Hunters should be spaced 24 to 40 yards apart. Each hunter has a safe zone that spans roughly 45 degrees directly in front of each hunter.
·         If a dove flies behind the line of hunters, it is best that hunters do not fire.
·         No hunter should ever point a firearm at another hunter when swinging on a dove.
 
For more information, go to https://www.hunter-ed.com/.
 
LDWF would also like to remind dove hunters that a new regulation governing the type of shot they may use on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and LDWF leased dove fields will be in effect for the 2017-18 hunting season.
 
Hunters on those areas will be limited to the use of non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller for dove hunting. To see a list of LDWF leased dove fields and public dove hunting opportunities on WMAs, go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove .
 
The change is intended to reduce the deposition of lead shot and potential effects of lead on wildlife. Current research has demonstrated that in dove fields and areas surrounding dove fields, deposition of lead is high and concentration of lead is elevated in the soil.
 
The regulation was proposed and adopted in order to mitigate the potential exposure of lead to wildlife in areas impacted by this activity. Go to the LDWF web site at wlf.louisiana.gov to see the 2017-18 hunting rules and regulations.
 
ABOUT IHEA – USA
The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) - USA is the professional hunter education association affiliated with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the 50 state fish and hunter education programs. The programs employ 57,000 instructors, many of whom are volunteers who teach hunting and shooting safety and responsibilities throughout the United States.
 
Hunter education courses train and certify more than 700,000 students annually. Since 1949, almost 44 million students have completed hunter education courses that cover firearm safety, bow hunting, wildlife management, field care of game, responsible hunting, landowner relations, wildlife identification and much more. For more information, go to www.ihea-usa.org .

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Dove Season Opens Saturday with New Hunting Regulation on WMAs and LDWF Leased Dove Fields in Effect

Release Date: 08/29/2017

Aug. 29, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding dove hunters that a new regulation governing the type of shot dove hunters may use on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and LDWF leased dove fields will be in effect for the 2017-18 hunting season. Dove season begins throughout Louisiana on Saturday (Sept. 2).
 
Hunters on those areas will be limited to the use of non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller for dove hunting. To see a list of LDWF leased dove fields and public dove hunting opportunities on WMAs, go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove .
 
The change is intended to reduce the deposition of lead shot and potential effects of lead on wildlife. Current research has demonstrated that in dove fields and areas surrounding dove fields, deposition of lead is high and concentration of lead is elevated in the soil.
 
The regulation was proposed and adopted in order to mitigate the potential exposure of lead to wildlife in areas impacted by this activity. Go to the LDWF web site at wlf.louisiana.gov to see the 2017-18 hunting rules and regulations.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at ssmith@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2359.

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