LDWF News Release

LDWF Closes Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Because of Tropical Storm Cindy

Release Date: 06/21/2017

June 21, 2017 – Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge has been closed because of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Cindy, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced.
All public access roads and boat launches are closed until further notice.
For more information on Rockefeller, contact refuge manager Phillip Trosclair (ptrosclair@wlf.la.gov) or Gabe Giffin (ggiffin@wlf.la.gov) at 985-351-2783.
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes, is 76,042 acres. 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. The refuge allows visitors opportunity to fish, shrimp and crab recreationally. For more information, go to http://www.rwrefuge.com .


Massive wetland restoration project completed on Russell Sage WMA

Release Date: 06/21/2017

Massive wetland restoration project completed on Russell Sage WMA

Partners gathered to celebrate Wham Brake restoration project
MONROE, La. – Nearly 40 conservation partners gathered at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area Tuesday, June 20, to celebrate the completion of the Wham Brake enhancement project. Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries partnered on the project to enhance 3,500 acres of wetland habitat in northeast Louisiana.
“After adding Wham Brake to Russell Sage WMA, the LDWF wanted to improve waterfowl habitat in this wetland basin and provide increased public hunting opportunities,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “As always, Ducks Unlimited’s restoration and engineering expertise was vital to the success of this project.” 
Ducks Unlimited wetland engineers replaced three failing structures, a bridge that connected the entrance road to the boat ramp and levee, and a large, concrete weir water-control structure that controls much of the water level in the basin, enabling LDWF to manage habitat more effectively. This terminal structure is 270 feet wide and made of 550 cubic yards of reinforced concrete.
“This project provides water quality, recreation and wildlife habitat benefits near a major metropolitan area,” said DU Southern Region Director Jerry Holden. “Ducks Unlimited is proud to again partner with LDWF in improving public lands for waterfowl and all who enjoy them.”
The enhancement work is part of a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. Project partners include LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the Walker Foundation, Biedenharn Foundation, International Paper and DU major sponsors who support the America's River Initiative.
“The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation is proud to have partnered with the department, DU and the other contributors on the Wham Brake Project as it enabled us to leverage foundation funds to rehabilitate and enhance this WMA for the benefit of wildlife and for public enjoyment for years to come,” LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis said.
Fast Facts:

  • LDWF and DU enhanced 3,500 acres of wetland habitat in northeast Louisiana.
  • Wham Brake project improves waterfowl habitat and provides increased public hunting opportunities.
  • Photo album https://flic.kr/s/aHskXy9tqG

Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4bTzmnQ4-E
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 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


LDWF Announces Dates for 2017 White Lake WCA Teal Season Lottery

Release Date: 06/21/2017

June 21, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the 2017 lottery teal hunts on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish.
Available dates include Friday, Sept. 15; Saturday, Sept. 16; Sunday, Sept. 17; Tuesday, Sept. 19; Thursday, Sept. 21; Saturday, Sept. 23; Sunday, Sept. 24; Wednesday, Sept. 27; and Saturday, Sept. 30.
Persons 18 years of age or older can apply and only one application per hunter will be accepted. Applications are available on the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications or by writing to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: White Lake Teal Hunt, 2000 Quail Drive, Room 418, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.
Completed applications must be received by close of business on July 25, 2017. A $5 non-refundable administration fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries must accompany each application.
Each applicant who is selected will be allowed to bring one additional hunter as a guest. All hunters must have appropriate licenses, including a basic hunting license (or Louisiana Sportsman's Paradise license), a Louisiana duck license, federal duck stamp and HIP permit.
Successful applicants will be notified by mail and required to submit an additional check or money order for $250 per hunt party. Applications are non-transferrable.
For more information on White Lake WCA teal season lottery hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .


Greater Amberjack Commercial Season to Close

Release Date: 06/20/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2017 commercial fishing season for greater amberjack in Louisiana state waters will close today, June 20 at 12:01 a.m.

Current landings data indicate the 2017 Gulf of Mexico commercial quota of 394,740 pounds will be harvested by June 20. 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that federal waters will also remain closed to commercial amberjack fishing until the season reopens on January 1, 2018. 


Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close June 23 in a Portion of Inside Waters

Release Date: 06/19/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2017 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 23 from the eastern shore of the Mississippi River westward to the western shore of the Freshwater Bayou canal.

For a map detailing these closures please click here.

All remaining state inside waters as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in R.S. 56:495 will remain open to shrimping 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. The areas that remain open will continue to be monitored and will  close when the presence of smaller white shrimp make it biologically inappropriate to remain open.  

LDWF would also like to remind shrimpers there is a possession count on saltwater white shrimp taken in either inside or outside (offshore) waters of Louisiana of 100 count (whole shrimp per pound). This size restriction applies to the taking or possession of such shrimp aboard a vessel, EXCEPT from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no possession count on saltwater white shrimp taken or possessed. When more than 50 percent by weight of the saltwater shrimp taken or possessed is seabobs or brown shrimp, then the maximum allowable amount of undersized white shrimp taken or possessed shall not exceed 10 percent by weight of the total saltwater shrimp taken or possessed.  If compliance issues develop, remaining open areas can be closed by the Secretary of the Department.

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

Boyce Tower Road at Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area Closed for Repairs

Release Date: 06/16/2017

June 16, 2017 – Boyce Tower Road on Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is closed for repair work, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. It will be reopened once the work is complete.
Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of 122,098 acres, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west to near Sorrento. The WMA includes property in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2791.
For more information on the WMA, contact Forest Burks at fburks@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4781.


Louisiana agrees to 39-day red snapper season in Gulf waters

Release Date: 06/14/2017

BATON ROUGE, LA  –  Louisiana anglers can get ready for a very busy season of fishing for red snapper.

A U.S. Department of Commerce agreement with Louisiana and the four other Gulf states will give recreational anglers 39 days – between June 16 and Sept. 4 – to fish for red snapper in federal waters. 

Recreational anglers will be able to start fishing out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 4. Also included are Monday and Tuesday, July 3 and 4, along with Labor Day on Sept. 4.

“This was an easy decision,” Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “This is what Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he wanted since my appointment. He wanted more days on the water for our anglers and the ability to get more red snapper. This does both. We’re pleased with this agreement and thank all involved for helping make this happen.”


The agreement was reached Wednesday in negotiations with the U.S. Commerce Department and Fisheries leaders in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas.


Anglers will be able to reel in red snapper up to Louisiana’s self-imposed catch limit of approximately 14 percent of the overall Gulf catch. Secretary Montoucet was directed by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Monday to close the state waters if the catch limit is met before Sept. 4 and there would be no fall season in state waters. If the catch limit is not met by Sept. 4, there could be a fall red snapper season in state waters until the catch limit is met.


Under the agreement, there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out 9 miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and Sept. 4.

LDWF sees this program as a two-fold opportunity for Louisiana which could lead to the state gaining control of its fishing seasons in both state and federal waters.


During the 39-day fishing period, LDWF will use LA Creel, the state’s near real-time catch data program, “to be sure that anglers don’t exceed the state’s self-imposed harvest limit,” Montoucet said.


The LDWF will periodically make public the overall catch totals.


“If we manage this effort responsibly and stay within established conservation standards, we stand a better chance of gaining control of fishing for red snapper in federal waters in the future,” he said. “With the cooperation of our anglers, we can make this happen.”


Here are the red snapper fishing days: June 16-18, June 23-25, June 30 - July 4, July 7-9, July 14-16, July 21-23, July 28-30, Aug. 4-6, Aug. 11-13, Aug. 18-20, Aug. 25-27 and Sept. 1-4.

Roseau Cane Mealy Bug Continues Destructive Path Through Southern Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 06/14/2017

June 14, 2017 – A small insect, or scale, known as the Roseau Cane Mealy Bug has decimated thousands of acres of Roseau cane in southern Plaquemines Parish and continues unabated, biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and LSU AgCenter said.


The scale, native from China and Japan, has been identified as Nipponaclerda biwakoensis, commonly referred to as Phragmites Scale or Roseau Cane Mealy Bug. It has had severe effects on the dominant vegetation of the Mississippi River Delta. The rate at which it seems to be expanding and the severity of its impacts is alarming, according to LDWF and LSU AgCenter biologists.


Roseau cane is a tall wetland grass that helps protect Louisiana’s bird foot delta. The severely impacted cane appears to be brown and mostly leafless, in contrast to the 10-foot tall robust leafy green cane normally seen this time of the year.


More than 100,000 acres of Roseau cane dominated wetlands in the Mississippi River Bird Foot Delta has been affected by the scale as biologists continue to look for ways to stop its spread.


“We could be witnessing a major habitat change on the Mississippi River Delta in the next year or so because of this,’’ said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “It could be devastating. We don’t really have an answer yet or the solution. But it’s clear that everyone needs to understand this could be a catastrophic problem and we need to put this on the front burner.’’


Todd Baker, Director in LDWF’s Coastal and Nongame Resources staff, said the scale was discovered only last fall and has advanced quickly. It has been spotted in Grand Isle and in other parts of Jefferson Parish.


“Roseau cane is one of the most robust and hardiest plants that I’ve come across,’’ Baker said. “It can live in three feet of water. It can be inundated for long periods of time. It can live out of water. It can tolerate 20 parts per thousand salinity. It can tolerate fresh water. You can burn it, you can spray it and it keeps coming back. The fact that this bug can damage it to the point that it has is amazing and disturbing.’’


Unlike some marsh vegetation, Roseau cane stands up well to tropical storm events. It is one of the most erosion-resistant marsh plants on the bird foot delta. It also assists in building land by trapping sediment from the Mississippi River. The loss of it could lead to even more rapid land loss in the delta, turning what is now marsh into open water.


What also concerns biologists is that the scale could impact agriculture crops such as sugar cane and sorghum, according to Dr. Rodrigo Diaz, Assistant Professor in LSU’s Department of Entomology. He said it could have significant economic impacts to agriculture crops and native vegetation.


“Roseau cane is a grass,’’ Baker said. “What is known is that where this scale is native (Asia) it gets into other grasses and reeds. It may attack other plants in the United States. Now that it is present in Louisiana, we don’t know what it may impact. It’s a threat but we simply don’t know if it will move into other vegetative species or not.’’


For video, go to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/94d3wntdlkopjbd/AABczKmeQX2c9S4tPF7XYd9Ca?dl=0


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 recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF to Close Roads on Dewey W. Wills WMA for Road Improvements

Release Date: 06/13/2017

June 13, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close Sandy Bayou Road and Muddy Bayou Road from Deville Crossing to Nolan Bayou Road at Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on June 14 for one day to replace damaged culverts. The new culverts will increase drainage capabilities during large rainfall events thus improving roadway conditions for WMA users.
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .


LDWF Lake Bistineau Public Meeting Shifted to June 20

Release Date: 06/09/2017

June 9, 2017 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet and his staff will conduct an informational meeting June 20 (Tuesday) outlining LDWF’s efforts to control salvinia on Lake Bistineau and to gather public input on the situation. The meeting was originally scheduled for June 15.
Who:  LDWF Inland Fisheries Staff
What:  Public information meeting on Lake Bistineau
When:  Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
Where:    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Region 1 Office
                Jonathan Glasscock Memorial Classroom
                9961 Hwy. 80
                Minden, LA 71055
The meeting will include an update on the current status of the lake, and LDWF staff will field questions concerning the management of the lake and giant salvinia. A new idea will be discussed concerning a scheduled “Weevil Day”, planned by LDWF to provide salvinia weevils to the public for stocking into Lake Bistineau. Everyone interested in Lake Bistineau is encouraged to attend. 
Space is limited to 100 individuals, so please keep this in mind when making plans to attend.  
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
For additional information regarding the meeting, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.

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