LDWF News Release

LDWF to Host WETSHOP 2017 for Teachers July 9-14 at Grand Isle Research Lab

Release Date: 05/23/2017

May 23, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold WETSHOP 2017, a coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers, July 9-14 at the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab.
The focus of this six-day workshop will be to provide teachers with an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana. Participating teachers will accrue 55 hours of instruction covering a wide variety of topics, including wetland ecology, fisheries management and coastal restoration. Teachers will also spend a portion of each day in the field learning about maritime forests, barrier island beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats and marine organisms. This year, participants will visit one of the largest coastal restoration projects in the world.
All participating teachers will receive standards based correlated wetland lessons and many other educational resources from numerous sponsoring agencies and organizations. Lodging and meals are provided once participants reach the workshop site. Upon completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $250 stipend. An additional stipend is available during the Academic Year (AY) upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.
WETSHOP is sponsored by LDWF in partnership with the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. WETSHOP is also a collaborative effort with partners that provide experts in the field for presentations and educational materials. These agencies/organizations include:  BTNEP, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Coastal Planning Protection and Restoration Act, Keep Louisiana Beautiful and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
Teachers interested in WETSHOP 2017 can contact LDWF Biologist Supervisor Angela Capello at 318-623-4661 or acapello@wlf.la.gov.


LDWF Partnering with LSU RNR Department To Increase Participation in Annual Hunter Harvest Survey

Release Date: 05/23/2017

May 23, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is partnering with LSU’s Department of Renewable Natural Resources in an effort to increase participation in its annual hunter harvest survey. Randomly selected hunters will receive either a survey in the mail from LDWF or an e-mail survey from LSU RNR.
LDWF is advising those receiving the e-mail survey that it is safe to open and complete. This is a two-year pilot project that will encompass the 2016-17 and ’17-18 hunting seasons. LDWF will continue to use mail-out surveys as well.
“Using the e-mail survey will greatly increase the number of hunters we are able to poll annually while substantially reducing the cost of conducting the survey,’’ said Jeff Duguay, LDWF’s Research and Survey Program Manager.
Results from the annual survey are used to aid LDWF in setting harvest regulations and monitoring trends in hunting activity and harvest rates around the state.
For more information, contact Duguay at jduguay@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2353 or Lucien Laborde at llabor2@lsu.edu.


Archery in Louisiana Schools Program Equipment Grants Provided More Than $100,000 to 60 Schools

Release Date: 05/19/2017

May 19, 2017 – The Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS), administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), provided more than $100,000 in equipment grants to 60 Louisiana schools in the last three years.
The grant program was set up to assist 20 new schools each year in getting involved in the ALAS program, part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP). Thanks to opportunities like the ALAS Equipment Loan Program there are now more than 20,000 students at more than 200 schools participating in Louisiana.  
“It’s so much more than just shooting a bow,’’ LDWF Regional ALAS Coordinator Jan McGovern said. “Students are learning focus and discipline, two traits that are valuable both in school and out. Students gain confidence on the range and take that with them wherever they go.” 
The NASP teaches basic archery skills to students in grades 3-12. More than 14,400 schools and 2.4 million students take part in the NASP program each year.
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are still available to assist with funding. For more information about the ALAS program, contact Eric Shanks at eshanks@wlf.la.gov or 337-491-2575.  


Louisiana Student Archers Shine at 2017 NASP National Tournament

Release Date: 05/17/2017

Benton Elementary won the elementary school national championship in the NASP National Tournament.
Aiden Jones of Haughton Middle School placed second in the middle school division.
Kingston Elementary placed second in the elementary division.
Hannah McKenzie of Benton Elementary placed third in the elementary division.
Madeline Lowry placed fourth in the girls elementary 3-D division.

May 17, 2017 – Benton Elementary School captured the elementary national championship in the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) National Tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 11-13
It is the second time a Louisiana school won a national title. Benton Middle School won the first in 2016, taking the middle school national championship. Benton Elementary won this year’s championship over 179 other schools. It also finished fifth in the NASP/IBO 3-D championship. Benton Elementary and other Louisiana schools taking part in the NASP National Tournament are part of the Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS), administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
Kingston Elementary School, located seven miles from Benton Elementary, placed second in bullseye behind Benton Elementary. Kingston also placed second in the NASP/IBO 3-D portion of the NASP National Tournament. Kingston finished just 25 points behind Benton in bullseye and only 22 back of the national champion in 3-D.
On the individual side, Aiden Jones of Haughton Middle School recorded the highest score ever by a Louisiana archer at the NASP National Tournament. Jones shot a 297 and finished second in the male middle school division. Only three archers fired a higher score at the tournament at 298. Jones’ score placed him in the top five male shooters overall. 
Jones participated in the NASP National Scholarship Shoot-off at the awards ceremony. He recorded a score of 49 out of 50 at the shoot-off, sending him to another single-arrow shoot off. Jones came away with a $5,000 scholarship courtesy of New Archery Products.
Two other Louisiana archers brought home individual awards at the event. Hannah McKenzie of Benton Elementary placed third amongst elementary school females in bullseye and fifth in 3-D. Madeline Lowry, also of Benton Elementary, placed fourth in 3-D.
Other top ten finishers for Louisiana teams and archers included: 
Benton Middle School: fourth place, bullseye;
Benton Elementary School: fifth place, 3-D;
Benton High School: 10th place, 3-D;
Thomas Allen, Kingston Elementary, sixth place elementary boys in bullseye, seventh place elementary boys in 3-D;
Ava Searcy, Kingston Elementary, ninth place elementary girls in 3-D.
A total of 14,492 archers from across the United States competed in the 2017 National Tournament, including 349 from Louisiana. Louisiana archers earned the opportunity to attend the NASP National Tournament by qualifying at the ALAS State Tournament in Shreveport in March. To see all scores from the NASP National Tournament visit www.nasptournaments.org.
LDWF would like to extend congratulations to all Louisiana student archers and coaches who competed at the NASP National Tournament.  Many of these students will move on to compete at the NASP World Tournament in Orlando, Florida, on July 21-22.
The ALAS Program is part of NASP, designed to teach students in grades 4-12 international target style archery. The NASP/IBO 3-D program features students shooting life-like 3-D animal targets with the same equipment used in the NASP program. The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are available to assist with funding. 
For more information on the ALAS program, contact Eric Shanks at eshanks@wlf.la.gov  or 225-765-2355.


LDWF Accepting Applications for Waterfowl Group Hunts at White Lake WCA for 2017-18 Hunting Season

Release Date: 05/17/2017

May 17, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has begun accepting applications for waterfowl group hunts for up to 12 hunters per group at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). 
The cost of the 2017-18 waterfowl season hunts will be $30,000 for each group and the application form is available on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications . A completed application form and $2,500 deposit must be submitted to LDWF by the close of business on June 21, 2017.
Interested groups must select one two-day group hunt per application.  When selecting dates from the dates offered (example: Nov. 11-12), it is understood that arrival will be the afternoon before (example: Nov. 10).  The two consecutive days of hunting do not include the arrival day, which will be the day before from 3-5 p.m.
LDWF will select one application by random lottery drawing for each hunt offered.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must submit a separate application for each two-day group hunt they wish to reserve. Applicants can apply for as many as three separate, two-day hunts. If multiple applications are submitted, each will require a separate $2,500 deposit.
Applications must be accompanied by a bank draft, money order or other liquid instrument made payable to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the amount of $2,500.  If the application is selected, the deposit is non-refundable. The applicant will be notified by mail or e-mail, and will be required to submit the final payment of $27,500 no later than Oct. 15, 2017.
PLEASE NOTE: Any unsold hunts after the application deadline will be sold on a first come first serve basis. Please contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 ext. # 1 or email wsweeney@wlf.la.gov  to find out what hunting dates may still be available. A hunt will be considered sold once a deposit and application is received in our Baton Rouge office at the address referenced in the application.
The fee covers up to 12 hunters and includes the following: Transportation to and from the airport (Jennings or Lake Charles or Lafayette), all food and beverages, two-night stay at the White Lake lodge, professional hunting and fishing guides, hunting and fishing licenses, steel shot shotgun shells for waterfowl hunts and steel shot for skeet range, the use of shotguns and fishing gear, bird and fish cleaning and packaging.
On the arrival day, hunters will watch a safety film and then be issued hunting and fishing licenses. If time allows, the group will shoot skeet in the late afternoon hours.  Day two starts with a morning waterfowl hunt from 6-9:30 a.m.  After the hunt lunch will be served and that afternoon the group can fish or shoot clay targets on the skeet range or sporting clays course. On day three, a morning waterfowl hunt is scheduled from 6-9:30 a.m., and checkout is no later than noon, after lunch.
Applications must be mailed or delivered to:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attention: White Lake Group Hunt
2000 Quail Drive, Room 418
Baton Rouge, LA   70808
For more information on White Lake WCA waterfowl group hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .


LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet Receives France’s Prestigious Legion of Honor Medal

Release Date: 05/16/2017

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet Receives France’s Prestigious Legion of Honor Medal

May 16, 2017 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet received France’s Legion of Honor medal, one of the country’s most prestigious awards, during a ceremony Friday (May 12) at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge.
France’s Consul General Grégor Trumel presented the medal to the secretary amid a crowd of relatives and friends, including the host for the event, Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife, Donna.
“This honor symbolizes France’s profound recognition of your eminent career at the Louisiana House of Representatives and…public service,” Trumel said of Montoucet, from Scott, in a letter notifying him that he would be receiving the award.
“This award also recognizes your groundbreaking works and your personal role as a privileged partner of the Consulate General of France in New Orleans and your constant efforts contributing to the promotion of France and especially of French culture and Francophonie (French speaking) in Louisiana,” the letter said.
The secretary was nominated for the award, which has gone to the likes of Colin Powell, Tom Hanks and President Dwight Eisenhower, anonymously.
“I can tell you this, he is very proud of his French heritage and has done a lot to promote the French culture in Louisiana,” the nominator said.
The Legion of Honor medal is France’s premier award and was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize eminent accomplishments of service to France. The Legion of Honor may be given to foreign (non-French) citizens in recognition of actions benefitting the country of France or achievements which uphold its ideas.
“This is a very special award for me and my family,” said Montoucet, who is noted for adding a little French in his political and community speeches. Citing his French ancestry, Moutoucet said his great-, great-, great-grandfather actually served with Napoleon before coming to Louisiana.
“I am both surprised and honored to be selected for this honor,” he said. “I hope I have made my French ancestors proud.”
Montoucet, who has served as LDWF secretary for five months, was in the Louisiana Legislature for nine years prior to being named to the post by Gov. Edwards. He also owned an alligator farming and meat processing business called Jacques’ Croc’s & Farm Pride Processors. In addition, he was fire chief in Lafayette for five years.
Several other Americans have received the Legion of Honor medal, including Wynton Marsalis, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg, Barbara Streisand, Alan Greenspan, Orson Welles and Bob Dylan.


Plenty of fish caught at LDWF's Get Out and Fish! event at William T. Polk City Park in Vidalia, LA

Release Date: 05/15/2017

On Saturday, May 13, 2017 Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the City of Vidalia partnered together to host a Get Out and Fish! event at William T. Polk City Park in Vidalia, LA. Prior to the event the pond was stocked with 600 pounds of adult size channel catfish. The event was a tremendous success with almost 200 participants joining in the fishing fun and educational fishing activities.

Winners in the “Catfish” Category included:

Little Angler                1st Charles Mossey, 2nd Tyler Smith, 3rd Fisher Owens
Junior Angler               1st Aiden Jennings, 2nd Gus Jennings, 3rd Barrett Barron
Adult Angler                1st Clayton Ferguson, 2nd Mark Cannon, 3rd Luke Jennings

Winners in the “Other” Category included:

Little Angler               1st Ace Brixey, 2nd Fisher Owens, 3rd Lawson Jones
Junior Angler             1st Brett Walsworth, 2nd Landon Kruger, 3rd Preston Higgins

Winners at this event took home great prizes and raffle items courtesy of our sponsors including, CCA, Walmart, Woodmen Life, Vidalia Women’s Club, Bumper to Bumper, Home Hardware, Family Dollar, Delta Bank, Cash Saver Grocery, Kim Bowlin, Hicks Chicks, Vidalia Market, Vidalia Dixie Youth.  Lunch was provided by the City of Vidalia.

“This was a great community event with tremendous support, said Danica Williams, LDWF Fisheries Outreach Program Manager.  There was no shortage of smiles on the faces of youth landing channel catfish that ranged from 2 to almost 4 pounds.”  So, grab your fishing gear and Get Out & Fish at William T. Polk City Park because there is still great opportunity to catch stocked channel catfish.  For more information about future stockings at this site you can visit www.wlf.la.gov/get-out-and-fish-1.

For more information on the Get Out & Fish program, contact Megan MacMenamin at mmacmenamin@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2375.


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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Bayou Natchitoches, Fools Bay Bridge Projects Completed at Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 05/12/2017

May 12, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened Bayou Natchitoches and Fools Bay bridges on Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA), following replacement of the two spans.
The Bayou Natchitoches Bridge provides access between north and south Bayou Natchitoches roads. The Fools Bay Bridge provides access to the northern section of the WMA.
Grassy Lake WMA is located in northeastern Avoyelles Parish, approximately 12 miles northeast of Bordelonville. For more information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Cody Haynes at jhaynes@wlf.la.gov.


LDWF Offers Volunteer Opportunity for Aquatic Enthusiasts

Release Date: 05/10/2017

LDWF Offers Volunteer Opportunity for Aquatic Enthusiasts

There is still time to register to become a volunteer with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program. Join us on Wednesday, May 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the City Park Administration Building located at 1 Palm Drive in New Orleans for this free, instructional workshop.
At this hands-on workshop, participants will receive the training needed to become an aquatic volunteer instructor. Topics and activities include knot tying, casting skills, basic fishing techniques, proper fish identification, fisheries management and more. A binder of lesson plans, activity guides and educational materials for future use will be provided to those who attend. (Please note a $25 reservation fee is required to reserve your spot and will be refunded at the workshop).
Upon completion of the 8-hour workshop and background check, volunteers can participate in an equipment loaner kit program. Just as a library loans books, we can provide fishing rods with basic tackle, a knot tying kit, arts and crafts and more. The loaner kit program allows instructors to introduce budding anglers to fishing without having to purchase any equipment.
To find out more information or for other upcoming workshops, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs. For questions about the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, contact Alayna McGarry at (504) 286-4050 or at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov.

Rainy Weather Doesn’t Damper Family Fish Fest Celebration in Lake Charles

Release Date: 05/09/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted yet another successful Family Fish Fest on Saturday, April 29 at Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles. Despite challenging fishing conditions due to high winds and rain, over 80 anglers joined the department to compete in the family-friendly fishing competition. 
Winners include:
Little Anglers - Shore Division
Other Category: Alice Luke, first
Catfish Category: Abigail Luke, first; Mike Luke, second; McKenzie Augustine, third
Croaker Category: Whitt Moffet, first; Heath Brook, second
Crab Category: McKenzie Augustine, first
Adult Anglers - Shore Division
Other Category: Leshiquet Blake, first; Jeremy Augustine, second; James Simpson, third
Redfish Category: William Luke, first
Junior Anglers - Boat Division
Redfish Category: Drew Robertson, first

In addition to the many great prizes awarded during the competition, numerous lucky participants also took home raffle prizes courtesy of our sponsors including Coastal Conservation Association, Petro Bowl, Putt-Putt of Lake Charles, Press Start, Club Tabby, Elliott’s Cajun Snowballs, Cinemark Theater, Once Upon A Child, L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, McNeese Cowboy Football, Texas Coffee Co. and Rotolo’s.
Lunch and refreshments were provided by Little Caesar’s Pizza, Coca Cola of Lake Charles, Starbuck’s Coffee and Industrial Refrigeration.

LDWF Family Fish Fest is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF).  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.
For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282. 

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