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LDWF News Release

LWF Commission Sets 2012-2013 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 08/02/2012

LWF Commission Sets 2012-2013 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

(Aug. 2, 2012) – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2012/2013 oyster seasons based on oyster stock assessments provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry. 

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • The Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds and the Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
  • All remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Monday, October 29, 2012, except for the Bay Gardene and Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservations, which will remain closed.  The area of the public grounds east of the Mississippi River and south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet will be restricted to the harvest of market sacks only, and no seed oyster harvest will be allowed.
  • The oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH Harvest Area 30) will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Thursday, November 1, 2012.  The sack limit during this time period is set at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day.

In addition to closures in Bay Gardene and Sister Lake, the 2011 clutch plants in Mississippi Sound and California Bay and the 2012 cultch plant in Hackberry Bay will remain closed.  The east side of Calcasieu Lake (DHH Harvest Area 29) and the Sabine lake Public Oyster Area will also remain closed for the entire 2012/13 oyster season.

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

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) 765-2396.

 

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LWF Commission Takes Action to Prevent the Spread of Exotics

Release Date: 08/02/2012

(Aug. 2, 2012)– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took measures to prevent the spread two of exotics, the apple snail and Rio Grand cichlid.  Both species pose a threat to native habitat and fish populations.

In order to promote the removal of apple snails, the Commission made it illegal to buy, sell or possess the exotic species.  Apple snails eat vast amounts of vegetation and reproduce at a rapid rate, disrupting the natural ecological process.  They are primarily a threat to wetlands and rice plants. 

The Rio Grand cichlid tends to outcompete native fish for habitat and bedding areas.  The commission’s action revises the existing rule to allow an individual to retain the fish, as long as it is killed upon capture. 

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 more information, contact Rob Bourgeois at (225) 765-0765 or rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 08/02/2012

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

(Aug. 2, 2012) – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the fall inshore shrimp season will open at 6 a.m. on Monday, August 13, 2012, in state inside waters from the Atchafalaya River and Atchafalaya River Ship Channel westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line.  State inside waters from the Atchafalaya River eastward to the Mississippi/Louisiana state line will open to shrimping 12 hours later, at 6 p.m.

The commission set the season based on recommendations presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments from the public.

Some areas are still closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas that remain closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

The commission granted authority to the LDWF Secretary to close the fall shrimp season when biological and technical data indicates the need and to open and close special shrimp seasons.

Preliminary Louisiana shrimp landings statistics provided by NOAA Fisheries Service indicate that approximately 21.8 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-off weight) were landed in Louisiana from January through June 2012.

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 more information, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

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Jackson-Bienville W.M.A. Lease Renewed, Acreage Reduced

Release Date: 08/01/2012

Aug. 1, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has renewed a lease agreement with the Weyerhaeuser Company that will continue to provide public access to a reconfigured Jackson-Bienville Wildlife Management Area (WMA) through June of 2015.

The new lease, effective July 1, 2012, keeps 25,089 acres of Weyerhaeuser property within LDWF’s WMA program. Another 7,000 acres that had previously been under lease, will no longer be public accessible. The property, which straddles the Jackson, Bienville and Lincoln parish lines, has been managed by LDWF since 1951.

LDWF will continue to manage the wildlife resources in the newly configured WMA and maintain access for the public utilizing the WMA for outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, hiking, birding and nature photography. LDWF’s WMA program provides many quality outdoor recreation opportunities for the public on nearly 1.5 million acres around the state. These properties are owned by or leased to LDWF.  

To view a map with the revised boundary of Jackson-Bienville WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2771.For more information contact Kenny Ribbeck at 225-765-2942 or kribbeck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF 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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Three Men Sentenced For Migratory Game Bird Violations

Release Date: 08/01/2012

Three Louisiana men were sentenced in federal court on July 24 for their roles in illegally dove hunting over a baited field during the 2011 hunting season in St. Charles Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents observed three men hunting over an illegally baited field during the 2011 dove season.  The area had been under surveillance after learning about the placing of bait to attract doves. 

After a subsequent investigation by LDWF and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) agents, LDWF agents cited Ronald Guillory, 66, Darrel Guillory, 43, both of Norco, and Thomas Brandt, 75, of Kenner for hunting doves over a baited field.

On July 24, 2012, Ronald and Darrel Guillory and Brandt appeared before a U.S. Magistrate in federal court in New Orleans and pleaded guilty to hunting doves with the aid of baiting.  Each man received a fine of $1,010 and three years of unsupervised probation with a special condition that they forego hunting migratory game birds for one year.  Ronald Guillory also pleaded guilty to the placement of bait and was sentenced an additional $1,510 fine and three years of unsupervised probation to run concurrent with the previous sentence.

LDWF agents testifying in the trial were Sgt. Jason Russo and Agent Jared Taylor.  Investigating agents for the USFWS were Senior Agents Scott Boudreaux and Steven Clark.

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

WETSHOP 2012 Educates Teachers on Issues Facing Louisiana’s Coastal Resources

Release Date: 07/27/2012

WETSHOP 2012 – Grand Isle, La.
WETSHOP 2012 – Grand Isle, La.
WETSHOP 2012 – Grand Isle, La.
WETSHOP 2012 – Grand Isle, La.

July 27, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted a week-long wetlands workshop in mid July to train Louisiana teachers on the history of the state’s coastal wetlands and issues that face the natural resources within those wetlands.

The workshop resources included funding provided by the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) through the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and educational materials provided by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program.

During this comprehensive workshop, educators experienced research trawling, seining, fishing, water quality sampling, coastal botany, birding and presentations from experts in the fields of coastal restoration, invasive species, and oil and gas exploration. Participating teachers earned 55 professional contact hours upon successful completion of the workshop.

WETSHOP 2012 included 19 educators representing 13 different parishes. The base of operation was the LDWF Fisheries Research Lab located on Grand Isle, which provided dormitory and cooking facilities for the workshop conducted by LDWF Aquatic Education staff.  Participants also heard presentations from the lab staff and representatives of the Nature Conservancy, BTNEP, LA Sea Grant College Program, LA Department of Natural Resources, CWPPRA (Coastal Wetland Planning Protection Restoration Act), the Port Fourchon Commission and LUMCON (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium).

Once trained, WETSHOP graduates return to their parishes and collectively train and equip teachers around the state with the knowledge and resources to conduct lessons on the state’s coastal wetlands. Those 19 teachers can impact an estimated 40,000 Louisiana students.

WETSHOP has been conducted since the summer of 1993.  At that time, the workshop was entitled “Wetland Workshop for Upland Teachers” and targeted teachers north of US Hwy. 90.  Since 1995, the workshop has been offered statewide andcontinues to provide educators with up-to-date facts and experiences related to Louisiana’s coast, wetland values and functions, and the history of the state’s rich culture and geography.  Based on pre- and post-workshop testing, participants in 2012 increased their science content knowledge from an average score of 56 to 93 percent.

Teachers that are interested in WETSHOP 2013 can contact Angela Capello, LDWF biologist supervisor, ph. 318-748-6914 or email acapello@wlf.la.gov.

 

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Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 07/27/2012

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, August 2, 2012, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1.Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of July 2, 2012

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/July

5.  To announce Youth Hunter of the Year Awards – Scott Durham

6.  To hear Proposal for Regional Management of Red Snapper - Presentation to the Gulf Council

7.  To Receive Information and Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Setting the Opening Dates of the 2012 Fall  Inshore Shrimp Season

8.  To Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

9.  To Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Set the 2012 Oyster Season on  the Public Oyster Seed Grounds

10.  To Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent on the Take and Possession of Apple Snails  and Rio Grande Cichlids

11.  To Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency to Establish 2012-2013 Waterfowl Season Dates

12.  To Receive Presentation on 2012 Deer Season Harvest Information

13.  Set December 2012 Meeting Date

14.  Receive Public Comments

15.   Adjournment

 

2012-13 Louisiana Hunting Regulations Available Online

Release Date: 07/27/2012

July 27, 2012  -- The 2012-13 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet is available now on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations.

The booklet includes the 2012-13 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) regulations, WMA lottery hunts and physically challenged hunts, deer season dates, mandatory deer tagging information, and information on license fees and types.  The booklet also includes the season dates and bag limits for quail, rabbit, squirrel and migratory game birds with the exception of the late waterfowl season. Duck and goose season dates and bag limits will be available on the LDWF website following the Aug. 2 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.

Printed copies of the booklet will be available mid to late August and found at local hunting license vendors and LDWF field offices.  For contact information and addresses of LDWF field offices, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife-field-offices-and-telephone-numbers  or call 225-765-2800.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

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Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Academy to Be Offered Aug. 7-9 at Waddill Refuge in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 07/26/2012

July 26, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Education Section is offering a Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Academy at Waddill Refuge in Baton Rouge on Aug. 7 through 9.  Waddill Refuge is located at 4142 North Flannery Road and the academy sessions will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night.

Participants must attend all three nights to be certified as a Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor.  There is no charge for the academy and it is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in teaching Hunter Safety Courses.

Requirements for Becoming a Hunter Education Instructor

  • Attend a 12-hour instructor training course
  • Complete live fire exercise
  • Pass a written exam
  • Undergo a criminal background check

Volunteer instructors are the backbone of LDWF’s hunter education program. Become a part of the team that makes a difference.  One of the rewards of serving as a volunteer instructor is the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to preserve the future of hunting by passing on a time honored tradition.

What Does LDWF Look For In a Volunteer Instructor?

  • A professional demeanor
  • Courteous and respectful
  • Good communicator
  • People oriented
  • Dedicated and motivated
  • Someone who believes in the importance of education

 For more information about the academy or to register for the course, please contact Bradley Breland at the Waddill Refuge by calling 225-274-8089 or e-mail him at bbreland@wlf.louisiana.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  Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/26/2012

(July 26, 2012)– In an effort to control aquatic vegetation, the water control structure on Lake Bistineau near Minden, La., will be opened on August 8, 2012, for a lake drawdown. 

As a result of mild winter temperatures, giant salvinia has expanded beyond the control capacity of herbicide applications and salvinia weevils.  Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries survey estimates show giant salvinia coverage to be in excess of 2,000 acres. 

The lake will be lowered 7 feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until January 31, 2013. 

Caution is advised of boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Evan Thames, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 371-5216 or ethames@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  Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.

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