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LDWF News Release

L.W.F.C. Revises East-West Zone Boundary for 2012-2015 Waterfowl Seasons

Release Date: 07/03/2012

Waterfowl Zone Map 2012-2015

July 3, 2012 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) revised on July 2 the northern boundary for the recently realigned east and west zones that are part of the three-zone framework for the 2012-2015 waterfowl seasons.

Public comments received by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and LWFC members from hunters in northwest and north central Louisiana indicated that popular duck hunting water bodies in the region were separated when the east-west zone boundary was changed to US Hwy. 167 north from Jonesboro to the Arkansas border.

The Commission approved a proposal to move the northern regional boundary for the east and west zones back to the original map coordinates that existed prior to the panel’s vote of June 7. That previous boundary, now re-instated, runs west from Jonesboro along LA 4 to Ringgold, then north along LA 7 to Minden, then west along I-20 to Bossier City, then north along LA 3 to the Arkansas border.

The boundaries for the newly created coastal zone did not change and no other segment of the east-west zone boundary was revised.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-2346 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

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L.D.W.F. Proposes Duck Hunting Dates for 2012-2013 Season

Release Date: 07/03/2012

July 3, 2012 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission tentatively approved proposed duck hunting dates for the 2012-2013 season at their July 2 meeting.

The dates were presented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the new three-zone waterfowl season framework that now includes a coastal zone, added recently to the east-west zone configuration that had been in place for decades.

The proposed duck season dates for 2012-2013 are as follows:

Coastal Zone: Nov. 10 – Dec. 2 and Dec. 15 – Jan. 20 (Youth Hunt Nov. 3-4) 

East Zone: Nov. 17 – 25 and Dec. 8 – Jan. 27.   (Youth Hunt Feb. 2-3)

West Zone: Nov. 10 – Dec. 9, and Dec. 22 – Jan. 20.  (Youth Hunt Nov. 3-4)

The dates recommended reflect preferences noted in the recent waterfowl hunter survey conducted by the Department via a mail-out and an on-line survey form.

The public can comment on the proposed season dates until Aug. 2 by sending comments to: Larry Reynolds, Waterfowl Program Manager, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456.

Shrimp Season to Close Monday July 9 in Additional Portions of Inside Waters

Release Date: 07/02/2012

LA. Spring Shrimp Season Closures 7/9/12

July 2, 2012  – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 9 in portions of the Pontchartrain Basin and all of the Mississippi River, Barataria and Mermentau River basins.

This shrimp season closure includes:

State inside waters from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the eastern shore of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, and

State inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche except for the following waters:

  • Lake Pontchartrain
  • Rigolets Pass
  • Chef Menteur Pass
  • Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO)
  • The part of Lake Borgne seaward of a line extending one-half mile from the shoreline
  • The portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence due south to a point at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2; thence northerly along the double–rig line to a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 12 minutes 37.9056 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 10 minutes 57.9725 seconds west longitude; thence westerly along the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary to the point of beginning
  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these areas was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

In addition to Lake Pontchartrain, Chef and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, MRGO and Mississippi, Breton and Chandeleur Sounds, the inshore shrimp season will remain open until further notice in the following areas:

  • State inside waters from the eastern shore of the Calcasieu Ship Channel westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line
  • All State outside waters

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

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) 765-0489 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

LWFC Approves Changes to Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved several rule changes concerning Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits as required by Act 541 of the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session. 

The changes include the removal of the limitation on the number of permits the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) can issue at any one time.  In addition, the qualifications for obtaining a permit are now the same for all permit applicants, which include holding current and valid commercial fisherman oyster harvester licenses.

The permit remains free of charge and is a requirement for anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Calcasieu Lake.  Permits will now be issued on a calendar year basis and will be valid for one year.  Initial application for a permit must be made at the LDWF point of sale windows in Baton Rouge.

Harvest vessels in Calcasieu Lake are required to have the permit onboard the vessel at all times while commercially harvesting oysters. 

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until August 20, 2012.  Comments may be submitted to Patrick Banks, Office of Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to pbanks@wlf.la.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 721-0489.

L.W.F.C. ISSUES NOTICE OF INTENT FOR 2013 WILD TURKEY SEASON

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission today issued a notice of intent with the proposed 2013 wild turkey season and regulation changes.  The proposed season framework was presented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Wildlife Division at the Commission’s monthly meeting.  The public has 60 days to comment on the department’s recommendation.

If approved as presented, the 2013 wild turkey season would open March 23 in three designated areas with varying end of season dates as follows:  Area A, March 23 - April 21; Area B, March 23 - April 14; and Area C, March 23 - April 7 using the same geographic boundaries utilized in 2012. The statewide youth and physically challenged hunter weekend for private lands would be set for March 16-17. 

Additionally, on USFWS-managed National Wildlife Refuges and US Army Corps of Engineer properties the following turkey hunting dates would be available: Bogue Chitto NWR, March 23 - April 14; Lake Ophelia NWR, March 23 - April 7; Tensas NWR, youth hunters March 16-17 plus March 23 - April 7; Upper Ouachita NWR, youth hunters March 16; Indian Bayou USACOE, youth/physically challenged dates on March 16-17, 23-24 and 30-31; and Old River USACOE, March 23 - April 7.

Proposed changes include added youth lottery hunts on Kisatchie National Forest in the Catahoula, Caney, Kisatchie and Winn ranger districts.

WMA turkey season changes would include reduced days on Sherburne WMA, an earlier season opening on Dewey Wills WMA, an added youth hunt day on Pearl River WMA, an additional three-day lottery hunt on Union WMA, a requirement that Tunica Hills WMA hunters wear research GPS devices and a fall season limit of one turkey at Peason Ridge WMA.

Public comments can be submitted by mail to Kenny Ribbeck, LDWF Wildlife Division, P. O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000, or email to kribbeck@wlf.la.gov through Sept. 6, 2012.

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov .

LWFC Approves Two New Data Collection Measures for the Recreational Harvest of Reef Fish

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved two notices of intent regarding the recreational harvest of reef fishincluding new reporting requirements and the utilization of a free, Offshore Recreational Landings permit. 

The two new measures are the Department’s first steps in a movement towards regional management.  The Department will use this information to collect essential angler and harvest data, which will in turn provide additional liberties and flexibility for recreational fishermen.  

Current management of reef fish involves not only LDWF, but also the federal government.  Management decisions are set for the entire Gulf of Mexico, rather than specific seasons and limits for each fishery at a regional or state level.  These decisions are based upon limited data, often unavailable on a timely basis.  The notices of intent passed today by the Commission will allow data to be readily available shortly after being collected. 

The first notice of intent expands the use of the Offshore Recreational Landings Permit to include all species of amberjack, grouper, hind and snapper, with the exception of gray snapper.  The Offshore Recreational Landings Permit was ratified by the Commission earlier this year and was originally approved for tuna, billfish and swordfish.  This free permit will soon be available to the public. 

In a related action, the Commission also approved a notice of intent that modifies current reef fish regulations.  Regulations will now require reporting and validation for certain recreationally landed reef fish.  Reef fish included in the expanded reporting requirements are: red snapper, greater amberjack, gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, scamp, rock hind and red hind.  The reporting requirements for reef fish would be similar to those approved for yellowfin tuna earlier this year by the Commission. 

Future modifications to reef fish regulations would allow the LDWF Secretary to close, open, reopen or reclose any reef fish season if state or federal landings allocations are met. 

Public comments on both notices of intent will be accepted until Thursday, October 4, 2012.  Comments may be submitted to Jason Adriance, Office of Fisheries, LDWF, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Recreational Fishing for Gray Triggerfish to Close in Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced recreational fishing for gray triggerfish will close in Louisiana waters on July 4, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. and will remain closed until January 1, 2013.

NOAA Fisheries has determined that the recreational quota of 217,000 pounds was met, and the closure is necessary to prevent further overfishing.  NOAA Fisheries closed the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico on June 11. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at today’s meeting to change or modify opening and closing dates for the recreational gray triggerfish season in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters will be consistent with regulations for federally managed waters.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance @wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

L.W.F.C. Sets 2012-2013 Early Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the dates for the 2012-2013 early migratory bird hunting seasons at their July 2 meeting. These dates, recommended by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, are tentative pending U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval.

The proposed dove season is broken down into a north and south zone with each zone having three segments and includes mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed-turtle doves. The dove season in the south zone would go from Sept. 1-9, Oct. 13 - Nov. 25 and Dec. 22 - Jan. 7. The north zone would be from Sept. 1-16, Oct. 6 - Nov. 4 and Dec. 15 - Jan. 7. The daily bag limit for mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared-doves and ringed-turtle doves would be 15 in aggregate and possession of 30 in aggregate. However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed turtle-doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.

The following boundary divides the dove season zones: Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Hwy. 12; thence east along La. Hwy. 12 to its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 190; thence east along U.S. Hwy. 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; then east along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.

Blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal season would last from Sept. 15 - 30 with a daily bag limit of four (4) and a possession limit of eight (8). Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to harvest teal.

Rail and gallinule seasons are proposed to last 70 days. The first segment would be open from Sept. 15 - 30. The other segment will be set in August with the regular waterfowl seasons. King and clapper rails would have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 30. Sora and Virginia rails would have a daily and possession limit totaling 25. Common and purple gallinules would have a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit totaling 30.

Under the proposal, woodcock season would last 45 days from Dec. 18 - Jan. 31, statewide. A three-bird daily bag limit and a six-bird possession limit would be allowed.

Snipe season will be set in August.

Shooting and hawking hours for dove, woodcock, rail, teal and gallinules are tentatively set for half an hour before sunrise to sunset, except for a 12 noon start time on the first day of dove season on Sept. 1, 2012.

Extended falconry mourning dove season would open from Sept. 17 - Oct. 3. Extended falconry woodcock season would open from Oct. 28 - Dec. 17 and will reopen from Feb. 1-11. The falconry daily bag limit would be three and possession limit of six birds for all permitted migratory game birds during the extended falconry and regular hunting seasons. Extended falconry seasons for ducks, rails and gallinules will be set in August with the waterfowl regulations.

Hunters are reminded that they must have a HIP permit to hunt migratory birds.  HIP permits are free and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold.

For more information, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov.

Experience Fishing at Its Best at One of Louisiana’s Many Tournaments

Release Date: 06/27/2012

(June 28, 2012) -Fishing is a popular pastime, no matter the time of year, but summer brings one fantastic fishing tournament after another in Louisiana. 

We encourage all fishermen, both novice and expert, to take the plunge and enter a local contest.  The reward is meeting new fishing buddies, wining a range of prizes, and the possibility of having a new trophy on the wall. 

The Louisiana coast has long been a popular fishing destination, and some of the biggest fishing tournaments in the state are held here during the summer months. 

Tournament details and registration information are as follows:

Faux Pas Lodge Invitational

In its 14th year, the Faux Pas Lodge Invitational is fast becoming one of southeast Louisiana’s most popular rodeos to fish, with the 2011 field including over 800 anglers.  The rodeo will be held in Venice on Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, July 28.  The tournament is comprised of four different divisions: inshore, rig, offshore and live redfish.

Registration begins July 1.  To download an application click here: http://fauxpaslodge.com/index.asp?pg=registration.

The tournament will again be joined by the Recreational Fisheries Research Institute, a non-profit conservation, research and outreach group.

For more information contact Kleo Blue at kleo@fauxpasprints.comor (504) 834-8342.

Empire South Pass Tarpon Rodeo

The Empire South Pass Tarpon Rodeo is back again this year on Thursday, July 5 through Saturday, July 7 at the Delta Marina in Empire.  The entry fee is $40.00 per angler with cash prizes issued on Saturday.

For more information contact The Delta Marina at deltamarina12@yahoo.comor (504) 657-5116.

Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo

The Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo was originally established in 1928 and is the oldest fishing tournament in the Unites States. The tournament will be held at the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo Pavilion located at the end of Highway 1 in Grand Isle. The tournament dates are Thursday, July 26 through Saturday, July 28.

For more details and registration information visit: http://www.tarponrodeo.org/GITR/Home.html.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF. 

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

 

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Revised Agenda for LWFC July Meeting

Release Date: 06/26/2012

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Monday, July 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 June 7, 2012

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/June

5.  To hear Summary of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session

6.  To receive and consider Notice of Intent for Internet Purchase of Commercial Licenses and Permits per Act 61, 2012 Regular Legislative Session

7.  To receive and consider Notices of Intent for the 2013 Spring Wild Turkey Seasons

8.  Declaration of Emergency for Early Season Migratory Bird Hunting regulations, and proposed season dates for the 2012

9.   To hear Evaluation of 3 Proposals for Waterfowl Breeding Grounds Funding

10.  To hear Presentation on Whooping Crane Public Education Campaign

11.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent to revise the rules for Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permit

12.  To receive and consider a Declaration of Emergency for the Closure of the   Recreational Season for Gray Triggerfish

13.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent to Modify the Offshore Landing Permit Rules to Include Reef Fish Species

14.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent to Modify the Reef Fish Rules to Require Reporting of Recreationally Harvested Species – Red Snapper, Greater Amberjack, Shallow-Water Groupers

15.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent to Establish Rules for Charter Boat Fishing Guides and Operations – Liability Insurance Requirements per Act 844, 2012 Regular Legislative Session

16.  Set November 2012 Meeting Date

17.  Receive Public Comments

18.  Adjournment

 

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