LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LWFC Approves Resolutions To Add Waterfowl Habitat Property to Joyce And Salvador WMAs

Release Date: 08/03/2017

Joyce Wildlife Management Area
Salvador Wildlife Management Area

Aug. 3, 2017 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved resolutions to add more than 1,900 acres of waterfowl habitat property to two Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Wildlife Management  Areas (WMAs) during its August meeting Thursday (Aug. 3) in Grand Isle.
 
Joyce WMA in Tangipahoa Parish adds 160 acres, known as the Ponder Tract, and Salvador WMA in St. Charles Parish gets 1,777 acres, known as the White Tract. Both WMAs are wetlands habitat located in southeast Louisiana.
 
The property at Joyce WMA was acquired in September of 2016 through an act of donation by the Conservation Fund to LDWF.
 
The White Tract at Salvador WMA, acquired in June, was purchased with the assistance of Wetlands America Trust, one of the nation’s largest accredited land trusts and the land trust for Ducks Unlimited. Additional support came from the property owners, Ducks Unlimited’s Gulf Coast Initiative, LDWF, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant.
 
Joyce WMA consists of more than 27,000 acres and is located five miles south of Hammond. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2774.
 
Salvador WMA is made up of more than 32,000 acres and is located along the northwestern shore of Lake Salvador about 12 miles southwest of New Orleans. For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2765.

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Louisiana anglers get another red snapper weekend

Release Date: 08/03/2017

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana is definitely the Sportsman Paradise for anglers hoping to catch red snapper.

Latest estimates from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries show that the catch total is still thousands of pounds below the mark that would signal the end of the red snapper season.

The latest catch statistics recorded by LDWF’s LA Creel, the department’s near real-time data collecting program, is 736,159 pounds covering the period ending July 23. The last reported catch amount was 709,595 pounds, covering the period through July 16.

The state’s self-imposed cutoff number is 1.04 million pounds for 2017. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to end the red snapper season when it appears Louisiana’s harvest will meet the set limit.

LDWF believes that being accountable for the state’s catch limit will improve its chances of receiving federal government permission allowing Louisiana to oversee 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 for 39 days. The dates left on the schedule are Aug. 4-6, Aug. 11-13, Aug 18-20, Aug. 25-27, and Sept. 1-4.

Any dates after this weekend will be cancelled immediately if the limit is reached before Sept. 4.

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/redsnapperwebsitedocument7-23-17.pdf

Sherburne WMA South Farm to Host Wood Stork and Wading Bird Viewing Event on Aug. 12

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Aug. 2, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a wood stork and wading bird viewing event on Aug. 12 from 7 a.m.-noon within the South Farm area of the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) complex. The South Farm area is located in Iberville Parish and is accessible via I-10.
 
There is no entry fee for the event. However, participants are reminded that anyone between the ages of 16-60 is required to have either a valid Louisiana hunting or fishing license or a Wild Louisiana Stamp to visit a LDWF WMA. These can be purchased at any license vendor selling LDWF hunting or fishing licenses, on-line at www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at 1-888-765-2602.
 
This event provides an excellent opportunity for bird watchers, photographers and anyone who enjoys wildlife. The South Farm habitat also attracts alligators, white-tailed deer and many other species of birds. Individuals and professionals will be on hand to discuss the management of the area and provide wildlife identification assistance. Participants are advised to arrive early for improved wood stork viewing opportunities.
 
Wood storks and other wading and shorebirds are readily visible at this time due to the management provided by wildlife division staff. A number of large, moist soil impoundments are flooded in the fall to provide habitat for water birds, especially shorebirds and waterfowl. Aside from seed bearing herbaceous plants, the developed habitat contains an abundance of small fish and crawfish, ideal food sources for wading birds.
 
The South Farm impoundments are drawn down in mid-summer to enhance the growth of wetland plants for wintering waterfowl. The drawdown period is extended almost a month at times due to the size of the impoundments and the management strategy, which is focused on providing mud flats and very shallow water with concentrated prey for shorebirds (sandpipers and others) and wading birds (egrets, herons, spoonbills, storks and ibis).
 
The wood stork is the only stork native to North America. These large wading birds, which can grow as tall as four feet with a 66-inch wingspan, are an indicator of the condition of our nation’s wetlands.  As wetlands disappear, wood stork numbers also diminish. Although many of these birds are from Mexico, the water management units at the South Farm have become critical habitat for the species survival.
 
To get to South Farm take I-10 to the Ramah Exit (Exit 135). Drive north to the first road on the left, located near the small bait stand/store, then past the store take a right to cross the bridge and turn right on the levee road, which is a gravel road. Drive approximately one mile or until you see the South Farm sign, cross over the levee and enter the parking lot. Event coordinators will be there to provide additional information.
 
For more information about the South Farm birding event, call the LDWF Wildlife Division Opelousas Field Office at 337-948-0255.

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Body of Missing Boater Found in Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents recovered the body of a missing boater in Lake Pontchartrain this morning, Aug. 2.

The body of Lawrence Guimont, 57, of New Orleans, was found about 7 a.m. near where his capsized vessel was found the previous day under the Hwy. 11 Bridge in Orleans Parish.

LDWF agents along with the U.S. Coast Guard, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police responded to a report of a capsized vessel under the Hwy. 11 Bridge on the morning of Aug. 1.  LDWF agents were able to recover the vessel along with the attached trolling motor.

The search and rescue crews were able to link Guimont to the vessel and a truck at a nearby boat launch and then contacted his family who confirmed he went out fishing.  The search and rescue crews searched throughout the night before finding his body this morning.

It is unknown at this time what caused the vessel to capsize.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Guimont was found without wearing a personal flotation device and his body was turned over to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown on Lake Martin for Aquatic Vegetation Control

Release Date: 08/01/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown for vegetation control on Lake Martin in St. Martin Parish. The drawdown is scheduled to begin after the Labor Day holiday on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
 
The lake level will be lowered 2 to 3 feet below pool stage. This level is required to successfully dry out aquatic nuisance vegetation.  The lake is scheduled to return to pool stage by January 31, 2018, by pumping in water from Ruth Canal.  Filling the lake at this time will ensure adequate water levels for spring-time spawning.
 
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan developed to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Martin sport fishery. It will also enhance the buttonbush and bald cypress forest regrowth in the bird rookery.  
 
While the drawdown may impact navigation in parts of the southern end of the lake for duck hunters in late fall and winter, it is anticipated that hunting and fishing on the majority of the lake will not be affected. The lake will not be closed to fishing during this time.
 
Other recent control efforts include regular herbicide applications for floating and emergent vegetation, and the release of 2,680 triploid grass carp in November 2015 to control the growth of submerged vegetation. Herbicide spraying will be conducted during the drawdown in accessible areas. 
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jody David, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jdavid@wlf.la.gov or (337) 948-0255. 

AMENDED - August 2017 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 08/01/2017

The next regular Commission meeting will be held at 1:30 PM on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at the Grand Isle Fisheries Lab located at 195 Ludwig Annex Grand Isle, LA 70358.

 

 Agenda:

1.     Call to Order

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Adoption of July 6, 2017 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6.     Enforcement Report July, 2017 – Captain Edward Skena

7.     House and Senate Natural Resources Committee Update – Chairman Chabert and Chairman Bishop

8.     Receive and Consider a Resolution to Add Property to Salvador Wildlife Management Area – Alvin Landry, Land Attorney

9.     Receive and Consider a Resolution to Add Property to Joyce Wildlife Management Area – Alvin Landry, Land Attorney

10.  Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to add Sterlet sturgeon to the Domesticated Aquatic Organism (DAO) list – Rob Bourgeois, Biologist

11.  Presentation on Red Snapper harvest estimates – LDWF staff

12.  Receive presentation on Louisiana Management for Recreational Red Snapper Draft Amendment – LDWF staff

13.  Receive update on Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s August Meeting – LDWF staff

14.  Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the Fall Inshore Shrimp Season – Jeff Marx, Biologist

15.  Set December, 2017 Commission Meeting Date

16.  Receive Public Comments

17.  Adjournment 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5307185781503222786

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. 

 

 

LDWF Schedules Drawdown on False River

Release Date: 07/31/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in conjunction with the False River Watershed Council and Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury, has scheduled a drawdown for False River on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, as a management tool to improve water quality, decrease sedimentation and improve sportfish habitat.
 
The lake will be lowered at a rate of 1.5 inches per day to a maximum of 6 feet below pool stage.
 
The drawdown structure is scheduled to close on January 15, 2018, and the lake will be allowed to refill.
 
Property owners should take necessary action to secure or remove vessels, floating docks and other items potentially impacted by the drawdown prior to its commencement.
 
The lake will remain open to fishing and other recreational use during the drawdown. However, caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater structures.
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Brian Heimann, LDWF Biologist Manager, at bheimann@wlf.la.gov, or (225) 765-2337.

Louisiana Schools Claim Championships in National Archery in the Schools Program World Event

Release Date: 07/31/2017

Benton Middle and Elementary school participants in NASP World Tournament.
Benton High participants in NASP World Tournament.
Haughton Middle School participants in NASP World Tournament.
Kingston Elementary School participants in the NASP World Tournament.
Northwood Middle School participants in the NASP World Tournament.

July 31, 2017 – Benton Middle School and Kingston Elementary captured world titles in their divisions of the 2017 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) World Tournament and 2017 NASP World International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) 3-D Challenge held July 21-22 in Orlando, Florida.
 
Benton Middle School won the middle school championship and Kingston Elementary took home the elementary school crown. Benton Elementary finished as the runner-up in the elementary division. Haughton Middle School was fourth in the middle school division. Weston Wray and Thomas Allen, both from Kingston, earned second and sixth place in the elementary boy’s bullseye competition.
 
For the companion event, the NASP IBO 3-D Challenge, Benton Elementary finished second and Kingston Elementary was third in the elementary category. Benton Middle was fourth in the middle school division and Haughton Middle finished sixth.
 
Thomas Allen from Kingston took second place for the elementary boy’s 3-D division. Cassidy Walters, also from Kingston, took second place and Madeline Lowry of Benton Middle earned fourth place in the elementary girl’s 3-D division. Abbie Rutledge from Benton High took fifth place in the girl’s high school 3-D division.
 
A total of 149 student archers from eight schools represented Louisiana at the NASP World tournament. All Louisiana schools participate in NASP through the Archery in Louisiana Schools Program, administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and supported by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.
 
“Louisiana is now known worldwide for its outstanding student archers,’’ said Jan McGovern, LDWF’s ALAS Coordinator. “We would like to recognize and congratulate all the Louisiana archers, teams and coaches who participated in the 2017 NASP World Tournament. They have achieved great things and our state is proud of them.”
 
The world tournament provides an opportunity for students not only in the United States but also other countries to come to together to share the commonality and enthusiasm for the sport of archery.
 
The 2017 NASP World Tournament, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, saw 3,764 students from 276 schools from around the world take part in the bullseye competition and 1,270 archers from 145 schools in the IBO 3-D portion of the tournament.
 
Countries that were invited to the event included the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Mongolia, British Virgin Islands, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. NASP is designed for student archers in grades four through 12.
 
Other Louisiana schools that competed in the world tournament included Northwood High School, Greenacres Middle School and Apollo Elementary School.
 
The ALAS program teaches NASP to students as part of the in-school curriculum. The ALAS program is available to all Louisiana schools, public and private.
 
For more information about the ALAS program, contact McGovern at jmcgovern@wlf.la.gov or 985-543-4930.   

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LDWF Accepting Applications for WMA Waterfowl Lottery Hunts for 2017-18 Season

Release Date: 07/28/2017

July 28, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for waterfowl lottery hunts on wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the 2017-18 hunting season.
 
The hunts include the WMA Youth Waterfowl Lottery Hunts at Bayou Pierre, Russell Sage and Sherburne WMAs, the Sherburne WMA Disabled Veterans Waterfowl Lottery Hunt, the Sherburne WMA General Waterfowl Lottery Hunt and the Bayou Pierre WMA General Waterfowl Lottery Hunt.
 
These special hunts are restricted to hunters selected through the lottery application process. These hunts offer the opportunity for selected hunters to experience an enjoyable, wildlife oriented outdoor experience on these WMAs.
 
Details on the qualifications, application requirements and dates of the hunts are listed on the application forms. The application deadline is Sept. 29.
 
Successful applicants will be selected by a random computer drawing. Applications for the lottery must be submitted to LDWF by the deadline listed on the application. A $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application.
 
Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office or by visiting the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts .
 
Applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 of the LDWF headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge or by mail.  The mailing address is: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
 

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LDWF Accepting Applications for Physically Challenged and Disabled Veterans Deer Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 07/28/2017

July 28, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting deer lottery hunt applications for physically challenged hunters on Sabine and Floy McElroy Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and disabled veterans on Camp Beauregard WMA for the 2017-18 hunting season.
 
These special hunts are restricted to hunters selected through the lottery application process. These hunts offer the opportunity for selected hunters to experience an enjoyable, wildlife oriented outdoor experience on these WMAs.
 
Details on the qualifications, application requirements and dates of the hunts are listed on the application forms. The application deadline is Sept. 1.
 
Successful applicants will be selected by a random computer drawing.  Applications for the lottery must be submitted to LDWF by the deadline listed on the application. A $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application.
 
Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office or by visiting the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts .
 
Applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 of the LDWF headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge or by mail. The mailing address is: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.
 
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

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