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LDWF News Release

11 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population

Release Date: 12/04/2015

11 juvenile whooping cranes arrive at White Lake WCA Dec. 3 to become part of Louisiana’s experimental population.
11 juvenile whooping cranes arrive at White Lake WCA Dec. 3 to become part of Louisiana’s experimental population.
11 juvenile whooping cranes arrive at White Lake WCA Dec. 3 to become part of Louisiana’s experimental population.

Dec. 4, 2015 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists received a sixth cohort of juvenile whooping cranes at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) near Gueydan on Thursday, Dec. 3. The 11 young cranes add to the state’s resident population established through an LDWF species restoration project.

 
With the addition of the eight females and three males, Louisiana’s whooping crane population increases to 46.
 
“We’re beginning year six of this project, and I want to continue to encourage the public to support our biologists in our endeavor by observing the cranes from a distance and reporting any sightings of injured birds or anyone attempting to harm them in any way,’’ LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said. “We are blessed to have many private landowners who have assisted us by working with our staff when the cranes roost on their property and we thank them for their help.’’
 
The White Lake WCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds before their release into the wild. The cranes, which hatched in early May through mid-June, were raised at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation.
 
LDWF continues to work cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, ICF and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state. Project funding comes from LDWF species restoration dedicated funds, federal funds and private/corporate donations, which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Major corporate funding support to date has been provided by Chevron and ConocoPhillips.
 
The whooping cranes in Louisiana are designated as a non-essential, experimental population (NEP) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation were developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area. The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.
Hunters, fishermen and anyone who spends time in the marshes and rice fields of Louisiana are reminded that whooping cranes in Louisiana are still protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.
Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Mature whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand five feet tall and have a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
The LDWF has set up an online reporting form for anyone who sees a whooping crane and encourages the public to share the encounter. That form is available here:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form .
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information immediately to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or the LDWF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Louisiana-Department-of-Wildlife-and-Fisheries-Whooping-Cranes-733006696805446/?fref=ts.

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay

Release Date: 12/04/2015

 

News Release
For Immediate Release
December 4, 2015

Contact: Ashley Wethey
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8733
awethey@wlf.la.gov

 

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay


Offloading material from barge

Depositing material onto reef site


Limestone material

 


Site location map

Enhancement of the Independence Island artificial reef site north of Grand Terre in Barataria Bay was completed early this week. This newest enhancement is another partnership between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and will provide additional hard bottom relief in this popular fishing area. 

An addition of 6,700 tons of limestone was added to a previously barren portion in the northeast section of the 50-acre artificial reef planning area. The limestone added created two parallel mounds, providing refuge for fish in this area with strong tidal flow. This hard material will create complex structure and habitat for a variety of aquatic organisms including popular recreational species like redfish, speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead and flounder.  

Independence Island is one of many examples of former marsh islands that have slipped beneath the waves due to coastal land loss. Now a shoal, the submerged island provides limited natural reef habitat for aquatic species. In 2011, the Department in partnership with CCA Louisiana began enhancement to the area through the establishment of a roughly four acre artificial reef comprised of 8,000 tons of crushed limestone. The initial Independence Island reef was an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast damaged by erosion, thus replenishing aquatic habitats for our coastal species.

The Independence Island reef site is located approximately 1.5 miles east of Queen Bess Island in the southwestern portion of Barataria Bay. Nearest launch locations are Sand Dollar Marina in Grand Isle and Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle. Coordinates for the expansion are 29° 18' 32.15", 89° 55' 52.40”.

For more information, including reef locations and maps, visit the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program site 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.la.gov or www.FishLA.org.

 

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay

Release Date: 12/04/2015

 

News Release
For Immediate Release
December 4, 2015

Contact: Ashley Wethey
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8733
awethey@wlf.la.gov

 

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay


Offloading material from barge

Depositing material onto reef site


Limestone material

 


Site location map

Enhancement of the Independence Island artificial reef site north of Grand Terre in Barataria Bay was completed early this week. This newest enhancement is another partnership between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and will provide additional hard bottom relief in this popular fishing area. 

An addition of 6,700 tons of limestone was added to a previously barren portion in the northeast section of the 50-acre artificial reef planning area. The limestone added created two parallel mounds, providing refuge for fish in this area with strong tidal flow. This hard material will create complex structure and habitat for a variety of aquatic organisms including popular recreational species like redfish, speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead and flounder.  

Independence Island is one of many examples of former marsh islands that have slipped beneath the waves due to coastal land loss. Now a shoal, the submerged island provides limited natural reef habitat for aquatic species. In 2011, the Department in partnership with CCA Louisiana began enhancement to the area through the establishment of a roughly four acre artificial reef comprised of 8,000 tons of crushed limestone. The initial Independence Island reef was an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast damaged by erosion, thus replenishing aquatic habitats for our coastal species.

The Independence Island reef site is located approximately 1.5 miles east of Queen Bess Island in the southwestern portion of Barataria Bay. Nearest launch locations are Sand Dollar Marina in Grand Isle and Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle. Coordinates for the expansion are 29° 18' 32.15", 89° 55' 52.40”.

For more information, including reef locations and maps, visit the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program site 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.la.gov or www.FishLA.org.

 

LDWF Proposal Would Create WMA Within Kisatchie National Forest

Release Date: 12/04/2015

Dec. 4, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Forest Service are in discussion to create a Wildlife Management Area, encompassing the Catahoula National Wildlife Management Preserve within Kisatchie National Forest, WMA Program Manager Steve Smith announced at the LDWF monthly commission meeting Dec. 3, in Lake Charles.
 
The Catahoula National Wildlife Management Preserve is contained within the Catahoula and Winn Ranger Districts located in Grant and Winn parishes. The proposed WMA would consist of 37,813 acres. Habitat types consist primarily of upland pine and upland pine hardwood, with associated bottomland hardwoods in the drainages. The area is popular for outdoor activities, including hunting, camping and hiking.
 
The LDWF will be able to assist the U.S. Forest Service in management activities such as timber harvest treatments, prescribed burning, data collection and habitat surveys.
 
Smith said some of the benefits that the LDWF can provide include:
1)    Increased habitat management through forest timber stand inventories, forest stand improvement practices, and prescribed burning;
2)    Emphasis on a variety of research associated with habitat and species management;
3)    Increased data collection for managed wildlife species;
4)    Enhancements to road and trail infrastructure and associated access for both management activities and public utilization.
The LDWF will begin soliciting public comment for a period of 90 days beginning Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, with support from the U.S. Forest Service.  At the end of this 90-day period, a joint decision will be made on whether or not to enter into this cooperative endeavor. Creation of the WMA would require action from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
 

Comments may be made to Steve Smith, WMA Program Manager at (225)765-2346, (318)487-5885, or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

 

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Louisiana Fisheries Forward to Host Crab Industry Workshop

Release Date: 12/03/2015

(Dec. 3, 2015) - Louisiana Fisheries Forward, a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana Sea Grant collaborative program, will host a free, crab industry workshop next week in Madisonville.
 
Workshop topics include shedding problems and solutions, crab license information, water quality, value-added products and more. These presentations are designed to help those in the crab industry thrive in a constantly changing marketplace.
 
The workshop is scheduled as follows:
 
Wednesday, December 9, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Lake Pontchartain Basin Maritime Museum
133 Mabel Drive
Madisonville, La.
 
LFF was established with the goal of improving the economic success of Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry by showcasing new technology and best practice methods.
 
To register or for more information, contact Carol Franze (985) 543-4129 or Julie Anderson (225) 578-0771.
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 
Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant (www.laseagrant.org) has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.

LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Commercial Large Coastal Shark Harvest

Release Date: 12/03/2015

 

News Release
 
For Immediate Release
December 3, 2015
 
Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Commercial Large Coastal Shark Harvest

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on a Declaration of Emergency to modify the commercial harvest possession limits for non-sandbar, large coastal sharks. The commercial possession limit will increase from 36 to 45 for 2016 commercial harvest. 
 
Earlier in 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service promulgated rules establishing this increase. Today’s action will provide consistency with federal regulations and increased opportunity for Louisiana shark fishermen.
 
The Declaration of Emergency also allows the Secretary of the Department to modify the possession limit during the 2016 commercial season if he is notified by NMFS that the federal possession limit has been changed in-season. 
 
In a related action, the Commission also took action on a Notice of Intent to permanently modify the commercial non-sandbar large coastal shark possession limits. 
 
The non-sandbar large coastal sharks group includes great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse, blacktip, bull, lemon, silky, spinner and tiger sharks. Sandbar sharks are included in the large coastal sharks group; however, harvest and possession is prohibited without a special federal shark research permit issued by NMFS.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.gov prior to March 3, 2016.
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

Access Update for Dewey W. Wills WMA Users

Release Date: 12/02/2015

Dec. 2, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising WMA users of parking requirements for accessing Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area from the Diversion Canal Road.
 
Until further notice, all vehicles must be parked along the Diversion Canal Road with wheels on the roadway and not in the grass along the shoulder of the road. This requirement has been implemented to minimize damage to the levee system.
 
Those utilizing the boat launch at the new Muddy Bayou waterfowl impoundment must return their vehicle to the Diversion Canal Road after launching.  WMA users not in compliance with this temporary parking requirement are subject to a citation from the Tensas Basin Levee District Police Department. 
 
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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Shrimp Task Force to Meet December 9th

Release Date: 12/01/2015

 

News Release
 
For Immediate Release
December 1, 2015
 
Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

Shrimp Task Force Meeting Set for December 9th

 
Mark Abraham, Chairman
The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 10:00 a.m.
Terrebonne Council Meeting Room
8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360
 
AGENDA

  1. Roll call and introduction of guests
  2. Approval of September 14, 2015 meeting minutes and December 9, 2015 agenda
  3. Treasury Report
  4. Old Business
    A. Sustainability update- Damon Morris
  5. New Business
    A. Shrimp enforcement and penalties- Andy Gibson
    B. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) recommendations on Mississippi River Diversions
    C. Officer Elections
  6. Public Comment
  7. Set Next Meeting
  8. 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
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4448837722159705602
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries December Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 11/30/2015

Please note that the regular location and time have changed for the December 2015 LWF monthly Commission Meeting.
 
When: Thursday, December 3rd - 12:00PM (Noon)
Where: Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Government Building - Meeting Room
1015 Pithon Street  Lake Charles, LA  70602
 

Meeting Agenda:

 

1. Call to order

2. Roll call

3. Approval of minutes from November 05, 2015 Meeting

4. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

5. To hear Enforcement Reports November 2015

6. To hear an update from Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) on the Calcasieu River Salinity Control Project

7. To consider a Notice of Intent for modifications to shark harvest regulations

8. To consider a Declaration of Emergency for 2016 commercial large coastal sharks daily harvest limits

9. To hear a general overview of the 2016-2017 hunting seasons and Wildlife Management Area rules and regulations

10. To consider a Notice of Intent to establish rules and regulations for waterfowl hunting on Game and Fish Preserves

11. To consider asking the Attorney General to withdraw the Attorney General Opinion request dated September 11, 2015 requesting an opinion regarding the Commission’s authority pursuant to La. R.S. 56:104(A)(1)(b) (license fee dedication to the development and preservation of breeding grounds for migratory waterfowl)

12. Set April 2016 Meeting Date

13. Receive Public Comments

14. Adjournment

Live streaming of this meeting is available via GotoWebinar.com. 
 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
 
Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
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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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Validate to Win Contest Provides Deer Hunters Chances for End of Season Prizes

Release Date: 11/25/2015

Nov. 25, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) wants all deer hunters to validate their harvested deer to support the department’s Deer Management Program. During the 2015-16 deer season now in progress, Louisiana deer hunters have the added incentive provided by the Validate to Win Contest.
 
Any hunter who validates his/her deer tag information within seven days after harvest will be automatically entered for an end of season drawing for prizes, including a deer rifle package and lifetime hunting licenses. The grand prize rifle package, provided by Bowie Outfitters, will be the winner’s choice of a Remington 700 or Thompson Center breech loading rifle in the winner’s choice of caliber, with a scope and case to go with it.
 
Additionally, four other winners will be selected to receive Louisiana lifetime hunting licenses provided by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The lifetime license recipients will have the option of gifting their prize to a relative or friend if they already possess a lifetime license.
 
There are no entry forms to complete and no entry fees. Hunters need only validate each tag for each deer harvested during the 2015-16 season, as required by Louisiana hunting regulations, and each validated tag equates to an entry in the prize drawing. For those hunters who have already reported their harvest data since the archery season kicked off the 2015-16 deer season, their validated tag information qualifies those hunters for the drawing.
 
“We’re encouraging deer hunters to supply the vital information we need to manage the state’s deer population,” said Jimmy Anthony, assistant secretary, Office of Wildlife. “It is every successful deer hunter’s obligation and requirement to validate their deer harvest.”
 
Deer harvest validation, or reporting, provides parish-level data on the season harvest numbers, sex ratios, and calendar information that illustrate trends in the state’s deer harvest. That information plays a critical role in setting season lengths and bag limits. If harvest data is under-reported, LDWF biologists and managers cannot make accurate determinations on hunting success and deer population parameters. 
 
Prior to hunting deer, all deer hunters, regardless of age or license status, must obtain deer tags and have tags in possession when hunting deer. Immediately upon harvesting a deer, the hunter must tag the deer with the appropriate license tag before it is moved from the site, and the hunter must document the harvest on the attached report card portion of the deer tag license.
 
The hunter must record the date of harvest and the parish on the carcass tag. The tag must remain attached to the deer while kept at camp, or while it is transported to the domicile of the hunter, or to a cold storage facility. Hunters who keep the carcass or meat at camp must also comply with the game possession tag regulations. Within seven days, the hunter must validate the harvest using the toll free validation phone number 866-484-4805 or the web link: www.la.wildlifelicense.com.
 
For more information, contact Johnathan Bordelon at 225-765-2344 or jbordelon@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.la.gov or www.FishLA.org.

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