LDWF News Release

Commercial and Crab Trap Closure to End March 22

Release Date: 03/16/2017

The 30-day closure of the blue crab commercial fishery and use of crab traps will end Tuesday, March 21 at 11:59 p.m. Commercial and recreational crabbers may return their crab traps to Louisiana state waters beginning 30 minutes before legal sunrise, as described in statue, on Wednesday, March 22. 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind commercial crabbers and recreational users of crab traps of the following regulations:
Effective January 1, 2017, and to extend through 2019:
The commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs is prohibited. There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Only crabs at the “white line” stage or later can be held for making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the restriction while held aboard an active fishing vessel.
An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen. A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen.
Effective November 15, 2017:
A minimum of three escape rings should be placed on the vertical, outside walls flush with the trap floor or baffle with at least two rings located in the upper chamber of each trap. The minimum size of rings should be 2 and 3/8 inches inside diameter. Any crab trap constructed of wire mesh 2 and 5/16 inches square or greater is exempt from escape ring requirements. The above escape ring requirements will be effective in Lake Pontchartrain on November 15 as well.


LDWF’s Waddill Wildlife Refuge to Partially Reopen on March 21

Release Date: 03/15/2017

March 15, 2017 – Portions of Waddill Wildlife Refuge in Baton Rouge will reopen to the public Tuesday (March 21), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. Areas that will be open include the two stocked fishing ponds, air rifle range, archery range, outdoor bathrooms and two outdoor pavilions.
Some hiking trails and all classroom facilities will remain closed until further notice.
Waddill Refuge received substantial damage during the historic floods of August 2016.
Visitors must sign in at the parking lot kiosk. Information regarding fish limits and closed areas will be posted at the kiosk. LDWF asks that all visitors abide by trail closure signs and avoid construction areas in order to maintain safety.
The facility will resume normal business hours Tuesday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning March 21. Waddill Refuge is closed on state holidays, Sundays and Mondays.
For more information, contact Waddill Refuge manager Karla Allen at kallen@wlf.la.gov or 225-274-8192.


Benton Schools Capture Titles in Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament

Release Date: 03/10/2017

Winners from the 2017 ALAS State Tournament held in Shreveport.
ALAS archers compete in the 2017 State Tournament.
ALAS archers compete in the 2017 State Tournament.
ALAS archers compete in the 2017 State Tournament.

March 10, 2017 – Benton schools were the big winners in the Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament in Shreveport last Saturday (March 4), the largest event in in the program’s history. A total of 946 students from 42 Louisiana schools participated in the bullseye competition with 426 of those same students competing in the ALAS 3-D State Tournament.
Students competed for $20,000 in scholarships and other prizes and awards as well as the chance to qualify for the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) National Tournament. The ALAS program is administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
Student archers competed in three divisions, including elementary school (grades 3-5), middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). Top honors in the team portion of both the bullseye and 3-D competitions went to Benton Elementary, Benton Middle School and Benton High School in their respective divisions. The top three teams in each division received a team trophy and each first place team in the bullseye portion earned an automatic berth to the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Ken., on May 11-13.
Top individual honors went to the top five individuals in each division. The top ten male and female archers in each division also receive an automatic berth to the NASP National Tournament. The top male and female in each division also received a state prize bow. Finally, the top three male and female shooters in the bullseye portion received scholarship awards as did the top male and female overall shooter in the 3-D competition.
Top Male and Top Female Overall went to Aidan Haire of Benton High and Amber Long or Benton Middle for their scores of 295 and 287, respectively. Each received a $5,000 scholarship for this outstanding accomplishment. 
Nathan Delill of Buckeye High shot a 294 and Averie Halverson of Benton Middle shot a 286 and took second place Male and Female Overall, earning $2,500 each.  Third place Male and Female Overall went to Dakota Simpson of Caddo Magnet High and Kaylee Misenheimer of Benton High with scores of 292 and 285 respectively, earning a $1,250 scholarship each.
Simpson was also recognized as the Top Male archer in the 3-D event for his score of 291 and received an additional $1,250 scholarship. Abbie Rutledge of Benton High won Top Female in 3-D with a score of 285. She received a $1,250. 
In all, 30 Louisiana archery teams and 60 individuals qualified for the NASP National Tournament.  A list of all national qualifiers can be found at the ALAS Facebook page and full results can be found at www.nasptournaments.org.
Scholarships were made possible thanks to donations by the 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 Safety Systems, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Cenla Bowbenders, and Outlaw’s BBQ. LDWF would like to extend a special thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers, and staff that made this year’s event possible.
The ALAS/NASP program, which serves about 200 schools and 20,000 students in Louisiana, is available to all schools in the state 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.


Registration for the Spring Women’s Fishing Workshops is Now Open!

Release Date: 03/10/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), CCA Louisiana, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund,  National Wildlife Federation and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are teaming up to present two Women’s Fishing Workshops this spring at Cabela’s Gonzales location. The workshops, held on Saturday, April 22nd and Saturday, May 20th, are open to women over the age of 18 who are looking to learn about fishing and utilizing Louisiana’s aquatic resources.

Whether you’ve never fished, or you’re a more advanced angler looking to sharpen your knowledge, these workshops cover a variety of skills to help make fishing more enjoyable. LDWF biologists and aquatic volunteer instructors will instruct 30 women per event in fish identification, best fish handling practices, preparing fishing equipment, basic fishing skills, as well as catching, cleaning, storing, and cooking fish.  Fifteen participants will be randomly selected from each course and will get the chance to apply their newly learned skills on an overnight fishing trip to Grand Isle under the direction of LDWF biologists and volunteer instructors. Participants will stay at the LDWF Fisheries Research lab where they will get a chance to go fishing in the areas surrounding Grand Isle on Saturday and Sunday morning. The trip for the April 22nd workshop will be June 2-4th and July 14-16th for the May 20th workshop.
Interested women may register HERE for the workshop. Please remember that each Women’s Fishing Workshop will be limited to 30 participants per date so register soon. Registration for the April 22nd workshop will end on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, and Wednesday, May 3, 2017 for the May 20th workshop. Participants may only attend one workshop.

Selected registrants will be notified via email or phone prior to each workshop. 

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet March 14th

Release Date: 03/09/2017

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 10:00 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122





I.              Call to Order

II.            Discussion of Recommendations RE: Oyster Seed Grounds

Vessel Permit Training Requirements

III.         Discussion of Moratorium Lifting Draft NOI

IV.          Discussion of Draft Legislation RE: Alternative Oyster Culture; Permits

V.             Public Comment

VI.          Set next meeting

VII.        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


Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet March 14th

Release Date: 03/09/2017

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m. in the second floor conference room of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.  

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1.              Roll Call of Board Members

2.              Approval of Minutes from November 7, 2016 Meeting

3.              Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals

a.     William Van Meter

b.     Joseph Kinkella

4.              Receive Public Comments

5.              Set next meeting date

6.              Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

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.

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Tuesday, March 14

Release Date: 03/08/2017

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 1 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122




      I.         Roll call and introduction of guests
     II.         Approval of February 15, 2017, meeting minutes and March 17, 2017, agenda
    III.         Treasury Report
                 A.      Oyster tag sales
                 B.      LOTF financial report
                          ·      Annual financial disclosure filing reminder
  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.     Discussion of sponsorship & financial polices & procedures (Cara Tyler)
              B.     Discussion of private sector development projects (Damon Morris)
              C.     Discussion of the Audubon G.U.L.F. Program (Damon Morris)
              D.     To discuss a resolution in support of federal Sea Grant funding (OTF)
              E.     To discuss and consider funding for the Oyster Convention & Congressional

                            Staff Meeting
              F.     To consider funding for the Gulf & South Atlantic States Shellfish Conference

             G.     To discuss and consider funding for Spring D.C. Acadiana Event (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



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. 


LDWF Makes Notice of Cancelled Oyster Leases

Release Date: 03/07/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to make public notice regarding the nonpayment of fees related to oyster leases on both its website and in the official journal of the parish in which the delinquent lease is located.
As per Louisiana Revised Statute 56:429, any lessee who pays their rent on or after the first day of February owes the rent due plus an additional 10 percent penalty. Failure of the lessee to pay the rent punctually on or before the first of each January, or within 60 days thereafter, terminates and cancels the lease and forfeits to the department all the works, improvements, betterments and oysters on the previously leased water bottom.
The list of cancelled leases is available HERE.  Notices were made to each lessee who had not yet paid their rent by certified mail. The current list shows those lessees who did not provide payment by March 1, 2017, and those leases that have been cancelled.
For questions regarding delinquent oyster lease payments, please contact Marc Maniscalco at (504) 284-5277.

Fun for All Ages at Annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans City Park

Release Date: 03/02/2017

Fun for All Ages at Annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans City Park

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is gearing up for the 70th annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans City Park on Saturday, March 25. With a fishing category for every age and a family friendly fishtival, there’s sure to be something for everyone.  This year’s event will again include the Battle for the Bass student fishing tournament and Boats on the Bayou non-motorized tournament on Bayou St. John.     
The Big Bass Rodeo is a catch-and-release fishing tournament for anglers targeting the largest bass. For junior anglers (ages 12 and under), the rodeo includes competitive categories for heaviest bass or heaviest cichlid, bream, or perch.
With its successful introduction last year, LDWF will again host the Battle for the Bass Tournament. Students in grades 7 through 12 will represent their respective schools in teams of up to five anglers and will battle it out for the heaviest two-bass combined weight. The winning team will take home bragging rights for the year as well as a 3-foot trophy to display at their school. The first 50 students to register will receive fishing gear donated by Berkley.
Boats on the Bayou is open to anglers with kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft and offers four competitive categories. All participating anglers will be entered to win a kayak, courtesy of Massey’s Professional Outfitters.
The fishtival will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the grandstand area in front of Morning Call on Dreyfous Avenue in City Park. The event will feature music as well as educational and hands-on activities for kids. LDWF mascot Robbie the Redfish will be on hand for photo opportunities. Event raffle prizes include kayaks donated by Cabela’s and Academy Sports and Outdoors, along with tons of fishing gear and other items.
A recreational fishing license is required for participants 16 years and older. To purchase a license online, click HERE.
Registration fees vary depending on division. For more information or to register online, visit www.bigbassfishingrodeo.com. Online registration is open until 5 p.m. on March 23. Contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov with questions.


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.


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