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LDWF News Release

Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event Set for Aug. 8 at Sherburne WMA’s South Farm

Release Date: 07/23/2015

Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event Set for Aug. 8 at Sherburne WMA’s South Farm

July 23, 2015 -- A Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8, within the South Farm area of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area.  The South Farm area is located in Iberville Parish and accessible via I-10.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are hosting this seasonal event from 7 a.m. to noon. Wood storks and other wading and shore birds 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 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 to 4 feet tall with a 66-inch wingspan, are an indicator of the condition of our nation’s wetlands. As wetlands disappeared, wood stork numbers also diminished. Although many of these birds are from Mexico, the water management units at the South Farm are becoming more critical habitat for the species survival.
 
With only a few thousand of these birds left in the wild, 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.
 
Driving directions to the South Farm: Take I-10 to the Ramah exit (Exit 135); drive north to the first road on the left, then turn right by the market on Mimms Street; cross the bridge and turn right on the lower Atchafalaya Levee Road, 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.
 
There are no fees associated with this program, but participants are reminded that anyone between the ages of 16 and 60 is required to have either a valid Louisiana
Hunting or Fishing License, or a Wild Louisiana Stamp to visit an LDWF Wildlife Management Area.  These can be purchased at any license vendor selling LDWF hunting or fishing licenses, on-line at http://www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at 1-888-765-
2602.
 
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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LDWF Sets Drawdown for Iatt Lake

Release Date: 07/22/2015

(July 22, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown for giant salvinia control on Iatt Lake in Grant Parish on July 27, 2015. 
 
The previously scheduled drawdown was postponed due to high water levels on the Red River, preventing the lake from draining. 
 
The lake level will be lowered 6 feet below pool stage to allow drying of the lake bottom, concentrating giant salvinia and increasing the effectiveness of herbicide applications.  After evaluation, the water level may be lowered an additional 2 feet. 
 
The control structure will be closed no later than November 5, 2015, to allow the lake to refill.
 
The drawdown is a component of LDWF’s plan to control giant salvinia on Iatt Lake.
Currently, an estimated 3,000 acres of giant salvinia coverage exists. The vegetation management plan for the lake identifies a target of 1,500 acres of giant salvinia coverage for a drawdown to be considered. 
 
Additional benefits of the drawdown include increased control of submerged aquatic vegetation as well improvement to fisheries habitat.   After water levels return to pool elevation, 49,000 triploid grass carp will be stocked into the lake to further assist in submerged vegetation control. 
 
Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.
 
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 additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rmoses@wlf.la.gov or (318) 487-5888.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

Additional Roads Closed on Richard K. Yancey WMA

Release Date: 07/21/2015

July 21, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area users that Hogpen Lake Road, Lac-A-Sostien Road, Goose Lake Road, Blount Road, Catfish Bayou Road, and Ross Road from the Crowfoot to Long Bayou, are currently closed to all traffic due to high water.  Dobbs Bay Road and all roads on the east side of the Mississippi River levee remain closed at this time.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares.  Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect the roadways and reopen for traffic if deemed safe for travel. 

Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Hwy. 15 in lower Concordia Parish. 
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidirne@wlf.la.gov .
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Temporary Road Closure on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 07/21/2015

July 21, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is informing WMA users that Alligator Bayou Rd. on Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is currently closed to all traffic for repair.  Once repaired, vehicular traffic will be allowed.

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 .
 

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LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/21/2015

(July 21, 2015) – In an effort to control aquatic vegetation, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will open the water control structure on Lake Bistineau near Minden on August 3, 2015, for a lake drawdown. 
 
Current estimates include 1,781 acres of giant salvinia coverage in the 17,000-acre lake, reaching the threshold necessary for a lake drawdown as identified in the Department’s Lake Bistineau Management Plan.
 
The lake will be lowered at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day, not to exceed a maximum drawdown level of 7 feet below normal pool stage.  The control gates will close no later than January 15, 2016, to allow the lake to refill.
 
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake.  Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch.  Caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 
 
For further information regarding the drawdown, contact LDWF Biologist Manager Jeff Sibley at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066, ext. 1.
 
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, 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 (504) 286-8733.

LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River

Release Date: 07/20/2015

LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River
LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River
LDWF Releases Alligator Snapping Turtles in Calcasieu River

 

July 20, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today released  juvenile Alligator Snapping Turtles into the Calcasieu River Basin as part of a reintroduction program for this species.  The release was made from Sam Houston Jones State Park north of  Lake Charles. 

The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) has experienced significant population declines throughout its range.  It is a Species of Conservation Concern in the state of Louisiana, and is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the Louisiana State Wildlife Action Plan: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/wildlife-action-plan .

A determination of whether or not to list the Alligator Snapping Turtle under the Endangered Species Act is scheduled for 2017 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). LDWF has begun to address conservation issues affecting this species in an effort to reduce the need for federal listing.  Commercial harvest of the Alligator Snapping Turtle has been banned since 2004 in Louisiana, although recreational take is still allowed. It appears that the greatest threat to alligator snapping turtle populations in the state is the lack of juvenile recruitment. 

Since 2012, LDWF has operated a head start program for Alligator Snapping Turtles at the Monroe hatchery facility. The purpose of this program is to ensure a reliable source of turtles for release to supplement populations in the wild. By head starting these animals in captivity, survival rates should increase significantly as the juvenile animals will be too large for many potential predators.

For additional information on Alligator Snapping Turtles, visit this link: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/fact_sheet_animal/32234-Macrochelys%20temminckii/macrochelys_temminckii.pdf .

For more information on the release, contact Amity Bass at 225-765-2975 or abass@wlf.la.gov or Bo Boehringer at 225-938-6391or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

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.

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Photo 1 – Alligator snapping turtle.

Photo 2 – LDWF Natural Heritage Program Manager Amity Bass prepares to release an alligator snapping turtle at Sam Houston Jones State Park.

Photo 3 – LDWF Natural Heritage Program Manager Amity Bass and LDWF Secretary Robert Barham prepare to release alligator snapping turtles at Sam Houston Jones State Park.

 

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Four Men Found Harvesting Oysters in Closed Area

Release Date: 07/20/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested four men for alleged oyster harvesting violations on July 19 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Samuel Dobson, 35, of Houma, Spencer Callahan, 22, of Houma, Luciano Desendez, 42, San Leon, Texas, and Dean Porche, 37, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation.  The captain of the vessel, Dobson, was also cited for violating log book and running light requirements.

On the evening of July 19, LDWF agents were on patrol when they observed a vessel in the Sister Lake Seed Reservation actively dredging for oysters.

Agents stopped the vessel and found the four men in possession of two sacks of oysters.  Agents seized the vessel, oyster dredges and returned the oysters to the water.  The men were booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

With this latest violation Dobson violated the terms of his probation, which prohibited him from being on an oyster harvesting vessel for 10 years.  Agents cited him on Dec. 18, 2014, for harvesting oysters from Sister Lake.  He pleaded guilty on May 19, 2015.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the 2014/15 season.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Violating the running light requirement brings up to a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  Violating the logbook sanitation code requirements carries up to a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

Agents participating in this care are Sgt. Ted Dewitt, Senior Agent Ryan Breaux, Senior Agent Thomas Wolf and Senior Agent Richard Bean.

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

L.D.W.F. Accepting Lottery Hunt Applications for Physically Challenged Deer Hunter Opportunities on Sabine and Camp Beauregard WMAs

Release Date: 07/20/2015

July  20, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting lottery hunt applications for physically challenged deer hunters wishing to participate in hunts to be held at Sabine and Camp Beauregard Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) during the 2015-16 season. 
These special hunts are restricted to physically challenged hunters. The Sabine WMA hunt is open to all qualified, physically challenged persons and the Camp Beauregard WMA hunt is limited to qualified disabled veterans. Additional details on the qualifications are listed on the application forms. The Sabine WMA hunt will be conducted Oct. 10-11, 2015 and the Camp Beauregard WMA hunt is scheduled for Nov. 7-8, 2015.
 
Applicants will be screened by Hunters Enriching Lives of People (HELP) to determining qualifications. Hunting will be from assigned ground blinds which are provided. Volunteers and LDWF staff will be on hand to assist hunters with accessing their assigned blind, recovering / field dressing deer, as well as providing meals.

 

The deadline for submitting applications for the Sabine WMA hunt is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21. Applications for the Camp Beauregard WMA hunt must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. The application form, along with a $5 administrative fee payment, must be sent to LDWF’s Wildlife Division, Lottery PCH Deer Hunts, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000.  Applications are available on the LDWF website at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts.
For more information, contact Jeff Johnson at 318-371-3051or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov.
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Lousiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to Hold Special Session on Thursday, July 23 at 1:30 PM

Release Date: 07/17/2015

AGENDA
SPECIAL SESSION
LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION
BATON ROUGE, LA
July 23, 2015
1:30 PM

 

1. Roll Call

2. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

3. To consider a Declaration of Emergency to set the 2015 Fall Shrimp Season  

4. Adjournment

 

Live streaming of the meeting will be available via GoToWebinar.com.  To access the live stream, please register for LWF Commission SPECIAL SESSION at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4295230447187670530

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
Webinars Made Easy®
 

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Louisiana applauds new legislation to enable regional management of red snapper

Release Date: 07/16/2015

(July 16, 2015) – Today, Congressman Garret Graves (R-South Louisiana) introduced new legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow state-based management of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. The legislation would remove red snapper from federal authority and place responsibility for this highly valuable species in the hands of the Gulf states through a new, independent body called the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority (GSRSMA).
 
The directors of the state fish and wildlife agencies from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas collaborated on the GSRSMA framework earlier this year in response to years of failing federal management of the Gulf red snapper fishery. The GSRSMA framework addresses many of the challenges of current federal management of this fishery including inadequate data and a lack of flexible, responsive management. The framework calls for more precise and timely recreational data collection, more frequent stock assessments, and increased collaboration among the states, among other improvements.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to encourage Congress to support a move to state-based management and the benefits it would provide. “The Gulf states’ marine fisheries directors have mutually agreed upon and unanimously support the GSRSMA. I would like to ask Congress to consider our concerns and support this viable alternative to the current management system,” said Robert Barham, Secretary.
 
Under the GSRSMA framework, each Gulf state would be responsible for all monitoring and management of red snapper in their respective state and adjacent federal waters. The Gulf states already have these responsibilities for numerous major commercial and recreational fisheries and have been effectively managing them for the benefit of fish, fishermen, and coastal communities and economies for years.
 
 “We appreciate Congressman Graves and his co-sponsors recognition of the challenges in red snapper management and confidence in the Gulf states’ abilities to responsibly manage this important fishery,” said Randy Pausina, Assistant Secretary of Fisheries. “Louisiana and the other Gulf states can provide the precise, real-time data and flexible measures needed to sustain this valuable resource and the people that depend on it.”
 
To view complete details of the five-state GSRSMA agreement, click here.
 
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 Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.
 

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