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LDWF News Release

Largest Weights Recorded In LASS Championship History

Release Date: 10/22/2013

(Pictured from left to right) 2013 LASS Redfish Champions, Sean O'Connell and Bruce Lindheim.
2013 LASS Youth Redfish Champion, Drake Garrison

Sean O’Connell and Bruce Lindheim Take Home 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Championship Title with a Two-Day, Four Fish Total Weight of 36.29 Pounds

(Oct. 22, 2013) - The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series Championship was held at Venice Marina in Venice, Louisiana on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19.  When it was all said and done, Sean O’Connell and Bruce Lindheim took home $5,960 and bragging rights as the Champions of the 2013 LASS Redfish Series with a two-day total weight of 36.29 pounds. 

The Championship is a two-day tournament, with a two-fish total weight per day to determine the winner.  There’s no entry fee, and there’s a guaranteed hefty paycheck for the top finishing team. In order to compete in the Louisiana Saltwater Series Championship, teams must either have a finish within payout in one of the six qualifying events or compete in at least four of the six qualifying events over the course of the year.   

A total of 58 teams qualified to participate in the Championship event for 2013. 

On day one of the Championship 39 teams took to the waters to begin their hunt for a chance to take home first place.  At the end of the weigh-in, 59 live redfish were brought to the scales, and Nash Roberts, IV, and Luke Landry stood in first place with a two-fish total weight of 18.47 pounds.  

The awards banquet wrapped up a great day on Friday on the water, with dinner provided by Venice Marina and beverages by Coors Light and Tito’s Vodka.  Dinner was followed by the recognition of the LASS Youth of the Year, Christopher McElveen and the LASS Team of the Year, Steve Smith and John Garrison. 

At the start of day two, 26 teams blasted off in hopes of catching two fish that would give them the winning two-day total. Teams began weighing in at 1 p.m., and Brandon Treadaway and Kevin Bergeron kicked things off with a two-fish total weight of 18.64 pounds, with one fish weighing in at 10.3 pounds!

The LASS also recognized its 2013 Youth Champion, Drake Garrison, who had a two-day total weight of 13.72 pounds.  Youth participants weigh in one redfish per day, competing against one another in a youth-only category.

The LASS is a catch, tag and release tournament, ensuring that nearly 100 percent of the fish caught in this tournament survive and later provide valuable data to the Department.  It provides LDWF a great platform and opportunity to showcase its fisheries management efforts and public programs to thousands of people.   Since the tournament’s inception, a total of 3,112 fish have been tagged and released through the tournament series since its inception in 2010.  Of the 3,112 tagged fish, 2,858 were redfish.

To further encourage tag and release numbers, teams were allowed to bring in extra fish, earning them entries into drawings for special prizes provided by tournament sponsors.  Michael McElveen, Rob Folsom and Christopher McElveen brought in the most extra fish throughout the six redfish season events with a total of 43 fish. 

Tournament sponsorship support includes Shimano, PowerPro, Coors Light, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Daybrook Fisheries, Omega Protein, Plaquemines Parish Tourism, Dockside Marine, Mercury, Conservation Force, SeaTow, Standard Mapping, Marsh and Bayou Magazine, Faux Pas Prints, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins, YETI Coolers and Krispy Kreme Donuts.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation 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.

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 or 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) 765-2396.

 

 

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Bodcau WMA Closed to Small Game Hunting on Oct. 26-27

Release Date: 10/22/2013

Oct. 22, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is reminding Bodcau Wildlife Management Area (WMA) users that small game seasons will be closed on Oct. 26 and 27, as announced with the 2013-14 WMA season regulations and dates approved earlier this year.

The decision was made to close the area to small game hunting on these days to help prevent conflicting uses during the opening weekend of modern firearms deer season.  Additionally this should promote a higher level of hunter safety and satisfaction on the highest use gun deer hunting days on Bodcau WMA.  This has been a common practice for some time on other WMAs which have hunting season structures similar to Bodcau WMA.

For those wishing to small game hunt in northwest Louisiana on these dates, the following WMAs will be open for this activity:

  • Bayou Pierre – DeSoto/Red River Parishes
  • Jackson Bienville – Bienville/Jackson/Lincoln Parishes
  • Loggy Bayou – Bossier Parish
  • Soda Lake (portion east of Twelve Mile Bayou) – Caddo Parish

Users are reminded that a Self-Clearing Permit (SCP) is required for all activities on WMAs.  Specific regulations and season dates about Bodcau WMA and other WMAs can be found in the 2013-2014 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet or viewed on the LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations

Bodcau WMA, owned by the US Army Corp of Engineers and operated by LDWF, is located in Bossier and Webster Parishes and derives its name from the major bayou that bisects it from its northernmost point at the Arkansas-Louisiana state line to its southernmost tip nearly 30 miles to the south.

The WMA is located approximately 17 miles northeast of Bossier City. Numerous access routes to Bodcau WMA are available. The primary access to the area is by traveling north on La. Hwy. 157 from Interstate 20 at Haughton to the community of Bellevue and then following the signs.

For more information contact Jeff Johnson at 318-371-3050 or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Two Louisiana Men Cited for Taking Deer Illegally

Release Date: 10/18/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two Louisiana men for alleged deer hunting violations on Oct. 16 in Avoyelles and Rapides parishes.

Agents cited Barry B. Laiche, 17, of Marksville, and Travis Maddox, 26, of Echo, for taking deer using illegal methods, possession of illegally taken deer, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, taking illegal deer during an open season and hunting on Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) lands without permission from land owner.  Maddox was also cited for hunting without a big game hunting license.

Agents received information that Laiche and Maddox illegally killed a total of five deer on or about Oct. 7 and 8 on Grand Lake Rod and Gun Club property.  Agents learned that Laiche drove his truck onto the property to retrieve the killed deer.

Agents arrived at Laiche’s residence to question him and noticed his vehicle parked in the yard.  Agents found blood and hair on the tailgate of the truck and inside the bed.  Agents then learned that Laiche was incarcerated in the Avoyelles Parish Jail on non-related charges.

After agents questioned Laiche, he admitted that he and Maddox did illegally kill five deer on the Grand Lake Hunting Club with a .308 caliber and 45-70 caliber rifles.  Agents obtained a search warrant for Laiche’s residence and seized photos of three antlerless deer and two antlered deer and antlers from a seven point buck.

Agents then arrested Maddox and booked him into the Avoyelles Parish Jail.

Possession of illegally taken deer brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking illegal deer during an open season carries a $500 to $750 fine and 15 to 30 days in jail.  Taking deer using illegal methods brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and hunting on DMAP lands without permission from land owner each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without a resident big game license brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

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

Federal Facilities on Bodcau WMA Reopened

Release Date: 10/18/2013

Oct. 18, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising Bodcau Wildlife Management Area users that US Army Corps of Engineers’ facilities on the WMA are once again available for public use now that the federal government shutdown has been settled. 

These facilities include:

  • Tom Merrill Recreation Area (improved campground)
  • Comfort stations at South Abutment East and Wenk’s Landing

All other facilities on Bodcau WMA remained open throughout the shutdown.  Users are reminded that a Self-Clearing Permit (SCP) is required for all activities on Bodcau WMA.  Specific regulations and season dates about Bodcau WMA can be found in the 2013-2014 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet or viewed on the LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations

Bodcau WMA, owned by the US Army Corp of Engineers and operated by LDWF, is located in Bossier and Webster Parishes and derives its name from the major bayou that bisects it from its northernmost point at the Arkansas-Louisiana state line to its southernmost tip nearly 30 miles to the south.

The WMA is located approximately 17 miles northeast of Bossier City. Numerous access routes to Bodcau WMA are available. The primary access to the area is by traveling north on La. Hwy. 157 from Interstate 20 at Haughton to the community of Bellevue and then following the signs.

For more information contact Jeff Johnson at 318-371-3050 or by email jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .

 

 

 

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AMENDED: OYSTER SEASON TO CLOSE IN HACKBERRY BAY ON FRIDAY

Release Date: 10/17/2013

October 17, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the oyster season will close this Sunday, October 20, at one-half hour after sunset in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR) in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes.  

LDWF biologists determined protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area. This small public oyster area holds a limited oyster supply and harvest pressure since the oyster season opening on October 15 has provided the industry with much-needed oyster resources.

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.

For updated information of the 2013 Oyster Season please visit:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons

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 press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

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OYSTER SEASON TO CLOSE IN HACKBERRY BAY ON FRIDAY

Release Date: 10/16/2013

October 16, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the oyster season will close this Friday, October 18, at one-half hour after sunset in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR) in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes.  
 
LDWF biologists determined protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area. This small public oyster area holds a limited oyster supply and harvest pressure since the oyster season opening on October 15 has provided the industry with much-needed oyster resources.
 
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.
 
For updated information of the 2013 Oyster Season please visit:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons
 
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 press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

 

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Hefty Prizes and Bragging Rights on the Line at the 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Championship

Release Date: 10/15/2013

(Oct. 15, 2013) – The Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Championship is an exciting event for so many people in so many ways.  It’s a year-end reward for the Gulf Coast’s best redfish anglers who have fished so hard during the regular tournament season to make it here.

For the past four years, this tournament has grown exponentially and been a tremendous support mechanism for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in fulfilling its mission, which is two-fold.  First, to manage and conserve and protect the natural resources of the state.  Second, to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities to the citizens of Louisiana.  The LASS tournament series has been instrumental in helping the Department meet their mission.

The LASS is also important to LDWF for another different reason which is that the format for this tournament is much different than any other format that you see today.  The LASS is a catch, tag and release tournament, ensuring that nearly 100 percent of the fish caught in this tournament survive and later provide valuable data to the Department.  It gives LDWF a great platform and opportunity to showcase its fisheries management efforts and public programs to thousands of people.

Each year, the tournament continues to grow in numbers with 2,832 redfish tagged during the six regular season tournaments and 58 teams qualified to participate in the weekend event.

The 2013 Championship is slated for October 18 and 19 out of Venice Marina, with a full itinerary available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com. The Championship is a two-day tournament, with a two-fish total weight per day to determine the champion.  There’s no entry fee, and there’s a guaranteed hefty paycheck for the top finishing team.

Food will be provided on both days of the tournament, sponsored by Venice Marina and Marsh and Bayou Magazine.

Tournament sponsorship support includes Shimano, PowerPro, Coors Light, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Daybrook Fisheries, Omega Protein, Plaquemines Parish Tourism, Dockside Marine, Mercury, Conservation Force, Standard Mapping, Marsh and Bayou, Faux Pas Prints, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers. 

The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation 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.

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 or 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) 765-2396.

 

 

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Hunter Education Requirements

Release Date: 10/11/2013

Oct. 11, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds hunters that they must have successfully completed an approved Hunter Education class prior to hunting if they were born on or after September 1, 1969.

Younger hunters may hunt without Hunter Education certification if they are under the direct supervision of a person 18 years or older who has proof of Hunter Education certification or are directly supervised by a person born prior to September 1, 1969 and who has a valid hunting license.  Direct supervision means the hunter is within hearing distance of a normal voice and in direct line of sight of the supervising adult.

The Louisiana Hunter Education Program certifies about 18,000 hunters annually and provides the foundation for safe and responsible hunting.  The Hunter Education course covers firearms and outdoor safety, wildlife management and ethics.   Courses include a live-fire exercise and participants must demonstrate safe firearm handling skills.  Hunting accidents have dropped significantly since Hunter Education became mandatory in 1984.

Two options are available for taking Hunter Education.  Students may attend a traditional classroom course that consists of 10 hours of instruction, usually taught over 2-3 days.  Alternatively, students may take the home study version available on-line or by CD-Rom.  Hunters who choose the home study version must also attend a mandatory 6-hour field day event. 

There is no minimum age for attending a Hunter Education course; however, persons under 10 years old cannot receive Hunter Education certification.  The Louisiana Hunter Education certification is recognized and accepted in all 50 states.

There is no charge for the classroom course or CD-ROM version of the home study course.  There is a $15 charge to take the on-line version of the home course.   Home study CD-ROMs are available from LDWF Education Program offices.

To register for a class or to learn more about Hunter Education in Louisiana, visit www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/hunter-education .   There are multiple websites offering Hunter Education information and class schedules, however, some of these contain outdated information and schedules.  Hunters are advised to refer only to the department’s website or links accessed from the department website for current and reliable Hunter Education information.

For more information, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov .

 

 

 

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Louisiana Officer Receives NASBLA President’s Award

Release Date: 10/10/2013

NASBLA President Toby Velasquez and LDWF Capt. Spencer Cole

During its 54th annual conference, held in Boise, Idaho, Sept. 14-18, 2013, Toby Velasquez, president of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), presented a President’s Award to Capt. Spencer Cole with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, for his inspiring leadership of the organization’s Preparedness & Response Committee.

At the end of his/her term, the NASBLA President selects individuals to honor with this special recognition for their contributions during the past year to boating safety and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Under Capt. Cole’s leadership, the Preparedness & Response Committee has delivered exceptional value to NASBLA, always aware of the financial impact.  When appropriate, Capt. Cole deferred actual committee meetings in favor of a far more cost-effective virtual meeting, allowing the committee to remain productive and proactive.  Those cost savings leveraged limited resources and afforded his committee the opportunities to participate on a national stage in Washington when needed most.

“The Preparedness & Response Committee has been instrumental in several of NASBLA’s finest moments with regards to safety and security. Preparedness comes in many forms and this committee has played an important role in shaping national legislation and policy,” said Velasquez when presenting the award.

A few of the committee’s accomplishments include:

Congressional drafting assistance in the FEMA Port Security Grant Program;
FEMA and USCG accepted narrative within Port Security Grant applications;
Drafting assistance in support of the USCG Re-Authorization, regarding training;
First National Scholarship delivery of the Tactical Operators Course in Washington, D.C.; and
First memorandum of understanding between the USCG and NASBLA on National Training Standards.

Along the way Capt. Cole built new partnerships with NASBLA’s associates and partners from every corner of the maritime community. His committee has kept stakeholders informed of funding and training opportunities.

“We look upon Capt. Cole as a valued committee chair, always prepared and articulate in his delivery, a model for future NASBLA committee chairs to emulate,” added Velasquez.

About NASBLA

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, the organization affects the lives of over 76 million American boaters. To learn more about how NASBLA continues to make the waterways safe, secure and enjoyable, visit http://www.nasbla.org.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465 or NASBLA at 859-225-9487.

L.D.W.F. Reminding Deer Hunters That Either Sex Tag Option Available During 2013-14 Season

Release Date: 10/10/2013

Oct. 10, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries is reminding deer hunters that the six tags issued with big game licenses for the 2013-2014 season include an either sex tag.

During the season, licensed hunters can legally harvest three antlerless, two antlered and one deer of either sex. This means hunters may choose either a fourth antlerless deer, or a third antlered deer with the either sex tag. The total season harvest limit remains six. 

Changes have also been implemented in the number and boundaries of some Deer Management Areas. Please refer to the printed 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet or the on-line version available at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations .

Hunters are reminded that all deer must be tagged before being moved from the field and each harvested deer must be reported via phone at 1-866-484-4805 or via the on-line reporting system at https://www.la.wildlifelicense.com/start.php . Click on “Validate Deer Tags” when using the on-line reporting system.

Hunters must report each deer harvested within seven days.

Lifetime license holders, youth hunters 15-and-under, and seniors who are not required to purchase hunting licenses can obtain deer tags free of charge at any license vendor.

For more information, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov.

 

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