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LDWF News Release

LDWF Issues Advisory on Cogongrass

Release Date: 04/28/2015

Patch of Cogongrass flowering in a pine stand - photo by Bill Lamp
Cogongrass leaf with off-center midrib - photo by Ted Bodner
Small circular patch of Cogongrass flowering in a field - photo by C Bryson

April 28, 2015 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising private landowners that cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is in Louisiana, and now is the time to identify it and treat it. It was first discovered in Louisiana in 1990 in Washington Parish and has since spread to most of the southeastern parishes and some western and central parishes.
 
Cogongrass, an invasive exotic species, grows in very dense mats and rapidly displaces native vegetation, eventually converting acres of once productive habitat to an ecological desert, void of almost any desirable plants.  When this happens, the wildlife species that depend on the native vegetation are displaced and must seek other areas to live, feed and reproduce. Cogongrass spreads by underground shoots called rhizomes and by seeds. The dense stands of grass are very flammable and burn with an intense heat that can damage or kill standing timber. Once burned, however, it comes back as vigorous as ever.
 
Identification of cogongrass is relatively easy, since it is typically found in dense, often circular, patches, void of any other grasses or forbs.  The leaves are long and slender, up to six feet long and one inch wide, but more commonly about two to three feet long and ¾ of an inch wide.  The leaves are a light yellowish-green and the midrib is offset to one side.  It flowers in late March to mid-June and produces cylindrical fluffy white flower heads 2-8 inches long.  The seeds are light and carried by the wind, similar to those of a dandelion. 
 
What concerns wildlife biologists and foresters is the difficulty in controlling its growth.  For a long time it was thought that there was no controlling cogongrass, but recent research at the US Forest Service’s Southern Research Station in Asheville, NC, has shown that treating stands of cogongrass for three consecutive years with a mixture of a glyphosate and imazapyr herbicides has been effective (always follow label recommendations).
 
Treatments should occur in May, August or October.  Often, a treatment in the spring before flowering and another in the fall before dormancy is effective.  After the initial treatments, the area should be closely monitored for re-growth and treated as necessary.  LDWF recommends treating this plant when it first appears, which is critical to gaining the upper hand.  Left unmanaged, this grass will take over pine stands, pastures, roadsides and anywhere else it becomes established.   The cost and effort to control cogongrass can escalate quickly if left unattended. Now is the time to look for it and begin treating your property, if needed. 
 
If you suspect you have this weed growing on your property and need assistance with identification and treatment recommendations, contact your local LDWF Private Lands Biologist.  LDWF Wildlife Division field offices and phone numbers include: Monroe (318-343-4044), Minden (318-371-3052), Pineville (318-487-5885), Lake Charles (337-491-2575), Hammond (985-543-4777), Opelousas (337-948-0255), and New Iberia (337-373-0032).
 
For more information on this subject go to www.cogongrass.org , or contact Jimmy Ernst at 985-543-4784 or jernst@wlf.la.gov .

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WETSHOP 2015 Registration Deadline is May 20

Release Date: 04/28/2015

April 28, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the registration deadline for WETSHOP 2015 is May 20. The coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers is scheduled for June 14 through 19, 2015 at LDWF’s Grand Isle Fisheries Research Lab.
 
The focus of this six-day workshop is to provide teachers with an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana.  Participating teachers will accrue 55 hours of instruction covering a wide variety of topics including wetland ecology, fisheries management, and coastal restoration.  Teachers will also spend a portion of each day in the field learning about maritime forests, barrier island beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats and marine organisms.
 
All participating teachers will receive GLE correlated wetland lessons and many other educational resources from numerous sponsoring agencies and organizations.  Lodging and meals are provided once participants reach the workshop site.  Upon completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $250 stipend.  An additional stipend is available during the academic year upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.
 
WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF with grant funding provided by the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP).  In addition to this funding, WETSHOP is a collaborative effort with partners that provide experts in the field for presentations and educational materials.  These agencies/organizations include:  BTNEP, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Coastal Planning Protection and Restoration Act and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
 
Teachers interested in WETSHOP 2015 can contact LDWF Biologist Supervisor Angela Capello at 318-623-4661 or acapello@wlf.la.gov.

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Search Crews Looking for Missing Boater in Ascension Parish

Release Date: 04/28/2015

Search and rescue crews are currently looking for a missing boater on Bayou Manchac in Ascension Parish.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division along with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and the St. Amant Fire Department began searching for Allen Fitzgerald, 23, of Prairieville, last night, April 27, around 10 p.m.

According to the passenger in the front of the boat the two men were out boating in a 12-foot bateau with a six horsepower engine.  They were travelling on Bayou Manchac about three to four miles upstream from the Amite River when they began taking on water.

The passenger in the front of the boat was able to jump in the water before the boat sank.  Fitzgerald was in the back of the boat when it was taking on water and it is unknown at this time of his location.  The passenger was able to make it to shore and to a house where he called 911 for help.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  According to the passenger neither of the men was wearing a personal flotation device.

The search crews looked for Fitzgerald till 3 a.m. and resumed the search at daylight this morning.

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

Louisiana Saltwater Series Heads to Empire This Saturday

Release Date: 04/27/2015

(April 27, 2015) – The Louisiana Saltwater Series is as popular as ever and hopes to continue to attract new anglers each year, and it’s not too late to get in on the action in 2015.
 
Who:  Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
 
What:  Tag and release redfish fishing tournament
 
When:  Saturday, May 2, 2015
4 to 6 a.m.  – Registration
6 a.m. – Captain’s meeting
1:30 to 3:00 pm – Weigh-in
 
Where:  Delta Marina, Empire, La.
 
Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for additional details and to register.  Registration is $200 per two-man team, with exceptions for youth entrants.  The tournament series is 100% payout.
 
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 inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

LDWF Agents Arrest One and Cite Another for Illegal Oyster Sales

Release Date: 04/22/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Texas man and cited a Louisiana man for alleged illegal oyster sales in Terrebonne Parish on April 19.

Agents received a public tip about a man selling sacks of oysters from an unrefrigerated truck in Houma.  After investigating the tip, agents found Wally J. Bazar, 33, of New Orleans, selling green tagged oysters to the public from an unrefrigerated truck.  Green tagged oysters are to only be sold to a certified dealer or to a post-harvest treating facility.  Bazar also did not have a wholesale seafood license allowing him to sell oysters.

During questioning, Bazar admitted to buying a total of 10 sacks of oysters from Randy Smith, 51, of Angleton, Texas, on April 18 and 19.  Agents found Smith and learned that he was a deckhand on a commercial oyster fishing vessel.  Agents learned that Smith stole the oysters from the vessel without the owner’s knowledge and put them in his car before selling them to Bazar.

During Smith’s background check, agents found that he was wanted in Texas for the past two years on parole violations in Calhoun County Texas.  Agents arrested Smith as a fugitive from justice and charged him with theft, selling seafood without a wholesale seafood license, failing to maintain records, selling improperly tagged oysters and transporting oysters without a transport license.  He was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail and is awaiting extradition to Texas.

Agents cited Bazar for violating oyster refrigeration requirements, selling seafood without a wholesale seafood license, selling improperly tagged oysters and failing to maintain traceable oyster records.

Theft brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Selling seafood without a seafood wholesale license, failing to maintain records, transport without transport license and selling improperly tagged oysters each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Violating oyster refrigeration requirements brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Sgt. Bryan Marie.

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

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Louisiana Oyster Task Force Special Meeting

Release Date: 04/21/2015

Thursday, April 23, 1 p.m.
UNO Advanced Technology Center,
2021 Lakeshore Drive, suite 210, New Orleans

I. Roll call and introduction of guests

II. Discussion of 2015 Legislation
  A. House Bill 579

III. Public Comment

IV. Adjournment

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/8393290601870661121

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click here.

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.

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LDWF Agents Cite Two Men for Oyster Violations in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 04/17/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two subjects in Terrebonne Parish for alleged oyster violations on April 15.

Agents patrolling in Lucien Bay spotted the vessel and crewmembers harvesting oysters from a private lease without the owner’s permission.

Agents made contact with the occupants and cited Jessie Dardar, 68, from Houma, and Brian Walling, 48, from Montegut, for unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failing to have written permission.

The agents seized the dredge and returned 15 sacks of oysters to the water.  Agents also seized the vessel on a department seizure order.

Unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to have written permission carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

The agents participating in the case are Lt. Joe Arnaud, Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Norman Deroche.

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

2015 Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament

Release Date: 04/16/2015

2015 Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament
2015 Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament
2015 Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament

April 16, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosted the 2015 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament on March 7 at the LSU Ag Center’s State Emergency Shelter in Alexandria.  
 
Students in grades 3-12 from 33 different Louisiana schools participated for the opportunity to take home awards, prizes, and $7,500 in scholarship money.  
Due to the incredible growth of the ALAS program in recent years, this was the first year that schools and individuals had to qualify for the ALAS State Tournament by competing in one of two ALAS Regional Tournaments in January. Nearly 1,000 students competed in this year’s inaugural regional tournaments and the field was narrowed to 730 students for the ALAS State Tournament.
 
Awards were given to the top five individuals in each division, and the top three teams in each division.  The top three male and top three female overall archers received scholarship monies.  A comprehensive list of results can be found at www.nasptournaments.org.
 
Team Awards
 
High School Division :
State Champion – Caddo Magnet High School
Runner Up – Benton High School
3rd Place – Parkway High School
 
Middle School Division:
State Champion – Benton Middle School
Runner Up – Cope Middle School
3rd Place – Haughton Middle School
 
Elementary School Division:
State Champion – Benton Elementary School
Runner Up – Phoenix Magnet Elementary
3rd Place – J.J. Barron Sr. Elementary
 
Top Five (1st to 5th in order)
 
High School:
Rebecca Hutchinson, Caddo Magnet; Dakota Simpson, Caddo Magnet; Wayne Bearb, Acadiana High; Seth Romero, Acadiana High; and Tamera Jones, Bossier High
 
Middle School:
Aidan Haire, Benton Middle; Nathan Delill, Buckeye HS; Kaitlyn Misenheimer, Benton Middle; Kendall Fowler, Benton Middle; and Lake Bradford, Benton Middle
 
Elementary School:
Brady Duncan, Benton Elementary; Kaitlyn Masters, Benton Elementary; Oren Lutz, J.J. Barron Sr. Elementary; Carly Vas Buskirk, Benton Elementary; and Landon Crouch, Benton Elementary
 
Along with the awards and accolades received at the ALAS State Tournament, 30 individuals and 12 teams qualified for the 2015 NASP National Tournament which will be held in Louisville, Ky., from May 7 to 9.
 
“LDWF would like to congratulate all the students, coaches, and schools who participated in this year’s ALAS State Tournament and wish them the best of luck as they compete at the NASP National Tournament,” said Robert Stroede, ALAS program coordinator.  “The ALAS program and LDWF would also like to thank all the sponsors, volunteers, and staff who made the 2014-2015 ALAS tournament season a success.”
 
Supporting individuals, organizations and sponsors included:
 
Scholarship Sponsors: Central Louisiana Quality Deer Management Association, Louisiana Archery and Sports Center, the National Archery in the Schools Program.
 
Platinum Sponsors: Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana National Wild Turkey Federation, GAEDA, and the LSU Ag Center.
 
Additional Sponsors: H & E Equipment Services, Outlaws BBQ, Alexandria Pineville Visitors and Convention Bureau, Y-Not Stop Stores, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Morrell Targets, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Cenla Bowbenders, Swim Cenla, and the Rapides Parish Sherriff’s Office.
 
For more information on ALAS, contact Robert Stroede at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov .
 
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*Photo 1 caption:   Top Female Shooter – Kaitlyn Misenheimer  receives a $2,000.00 scholarship provided by Central Louisiana QDMA.  From left to right Jack Daughtry of Central Louisiana QDMA, Kaitlyn Misenheimer, Benton Middle School, Bob Stevens president of Central Louisiana QDMA.
 
*Photo 2 caption:  2015 Elementary Division State Champions - Benton Elementary.
 
*Photo 3 caption:  Top Male Shooter -- Aidan Haire receives a $2,000.00 scholarship from Louisiana Archery and Sports Center of Pineville; pictured are Aiden Haire, Benton Middle School, and Robert Stroede, ALAS State Coordinator.

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Shrimp Season In Portion Of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters To Open April 22

Release Date: 04/16/2015

April 16, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the shrimp season in the portion of state outside waters extending a distance of three nautical miles, seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy line, will reopen to shrimping at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22. This area lies seaward of Terrebonne Parish.

According to the most recent trawl samples taken by LDWF biologists, small white shrimp which previously occupied these waters since December have reached marketable sizes and the closure is no longer necessary. Significant numbers of smaller size white shrimp still remain in State Outside Waters west of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude, and these waters will remain closed to shrimping until further notice.

The opening dates for the 2015 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their May 7 meeting.

Click here for a map detailing this opening.

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 or  mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286 -4162.

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LDWF Announces Closures on Elmer’s Island for Beach & Dune Restoration

Release Date: 04/15/2015

(April 15, 2015) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced a two-phase closure on Elmer’s Island for the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration Project.
 
Phase one includes closure of the Elmer’s Island access road on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17.
 
During phase two of the project, the west side of Elmer’s Island will close, but the east side and access road will remain open.  This closure will go into effect Monday, April 20.
 
Construction for this critical habitat restoration project will begin on or near May 1.  Visitors to the refuge are asked to yield to construction vehicles and equipment when traveling and parking along the access road.
 
The Caminada headland is located south and east of Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish and is a 14-mile long undeveloped beach that stretches from West Belle Pass on the west to Caminada Pass on the east.  To view a map of the area closure, click here.
 
The Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration Project is managed by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.  The goal of the project is to restore and protect shoreline habitats across the Caminada headland through the direct placement of approximately 5.4 million cubic yards of sandy material from Ship Shoal, an offshore borrow source.  A total of 489 acres of beach and dune habitat will be restored. 
 
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. 
 
For media inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.
 
 

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