LDWF News Release

L.D.W.F. Announces 2013 Alligator Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 05/21/2013

May 21, 2013 -- In order to continue to provide alligator harvest opportunities, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will select eligible alligator hunters through a lottery selection system on four Coastal & Nongame Resources (CNR) Division Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 15 Wildlife Division WMAs, one U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) property and 24 public lakes for the 2013 alligator harvest season.
The CNR Division WMAs include: Atchafalaya Delta WMA, St. Mary Parish; Pass A Loutre WMA, Plaquemines Parish; Pointe Aux Chenes WMA, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes; and Salvador/Timken WMAs, St. Charles Parish. 
The Wildlife Division WMAs/USACOE property include: Big Lake WMA, Tensas Parish; Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish; Buckhorn WMA, Tensas Parish; Elm Hall WMA, Assumption Parish; Grassy Lake WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Joyce WMA, Tangipahoa Parish; Manchac WMA, St. John the Baptist Parish; Maurepas Swamp WMA, St. John the Baptist, St. James, Ascension, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes; Sherburne WMA (state portion only), Pointe Coupee and St. Martin parishes; Spring Bayou WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Pearl River WMA, St. Tammany Parish; Red River WMA, Concordia Parish; Three Rivers WMA, Concordia Parish; Dewey Wills WMA, LaSalle and Catahoula Parishes; Indian Bayou (USACOE), St. Landry and St. Martin parishes; and Russell Sage WMA, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes.
The public lakes include: Lake Bistineau, Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes; Lake Wallace, Caddo Parish; Black/Cypress Lake, Bossier Parish; Cross Lake, Caddo Parish; Kepler Lake, Bienville Parish; Bayou Desiard North, Ouachita Parish; Caney Lake, Jackson Parish; Bayou Bartholomew, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes; Kincaid Lake, Rapides Parish; Indian Creek, Rapides Parish; Cotile Lake, Rapides Parish; Nantachie Lake, Grant Parish; Saline Lake, Winn Parish; Toledo Bend, Desoto and Sabine parishes; Lake Bruin, Tensas Parish; Lake Concordia, Concordia Parish; Lake St. John, Tensas Parish; Lake St. Joseph, Tensas Parish; Anacoco Lake, Vernon Parish; Caddo Lake, Caddo Parish; Black Lake, Natchitoches Parish; Bundicks Lake, Beauregard Parish; and Lake D’Arbonne, Union Parish.
Interested participants may print out an application from LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts or request an application by phone for CNR Division WMAs at 337-373-0032 or Wildlife Division WMAs and public lakes at 225-765-2346.
To assist applicants in selecting specific WMAs/public lakes, LDWF has posted the percentage of lottery alligator harvest applicants selected in 2012 by WMA or public lake on its website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lottery-alligator-harvest-program.
Applications and non-refundable application fees ($5) must be submitted to the address indicated on corresponding applications and be postmarked by July 5, 2013.  Only one of the three available lottery alligator harvest applications (CNR Division WMA, Wildlife Division WMA or Wildlife Division Public Lakes) may be submitted per applicant.  Additional applications will result in voiding all applications of the applicant.
The lottery alligator harvests will be conducted between Aug. 28 and Oct. 3.  Exact harvest dates will vary by WMA/public lake and will be specified at the time selected hunters are notified.  Selected hunters may be assigned specific areas to conduct alligator harvest activities on certain WMAs/public lakes.
Applicants must be a legal Louisiana resident and 16 years of age or older.  All successful applicants will be required to purchase an alligator hunting license ($25).  Successful applicants for WMAs will be required to submit payments ($40) for each alligator tag allocated.
All applicants meeting the application requirements will be entered into a randomized computer drawing, which will take place by August, 2013.  Selected hunters will be notified by mail.
For more information concerning CNR Division WMAs, contact Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@wlf.la.gov.  For more information concerning Wildlife Division WMAs or public lakes, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2346 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.



LDWF Hosting Kids Fishing Day Camp in June at Woodworth Outdoor Education Center

Release Date: 05/20/2013

May 20, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is hosting a Kids Fishing Day Camp for children 10 to 15 years of age at Woodworth Outdoor Education Center from June 10 to 13, 2013.
The Monday through Thursday day camp will provide activities from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the education center located at 661Robinson Bridge Road in Woodworth, south of Alexandria.  The camp is designed to create future, responsible anglers by providing campers with an appreciation for the sport of fishing and the basic skills needed to enjoy this outdoor recreation activity.
Campers will be supervised by LDWF education staff and volunteers during activities that will include  how to rig fishing equipment, fish identification, boating safety, cast netting, kayak fishing, how to clean the catch and much more.
Registration fees are $75.00 per child and the camp is limited to the first 20 participants registered. Lunch will be provided daily and each child will receive a rod/reel combo and stocked tackle box provided by the Association of Louisiana Bass Clubs.
For more information, or to obtain a registration form, contact Angela Capello at (318) 748-6914 or acapello@wlf.la.gov. Registration forms are also available via the LDWF website at 2013 Woodworth Fishing Camp registration form



Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 05/20/2013

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Thursday, May 23 1:00 PM

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans


I.  Roll Call

II.  Approval of  March 19, 2013  MINUTES

III. Treasury Report

      A. Oyster Tag Sales

      B. LOTF Financial Report

IV.  Committee Reports

A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)

B.  Enforcement   - (Steve McManus)

C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)

D.  Research – (John Supan)

E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)

F.  Marketing –

 G.  Health – (Tenney Sibley)

                       H. Sustainability-

                V.  Old Business

                     A.  BP Oil Spill Remediation

                        1.  Claims Process

                        2.  Public Reef Remediation

                        3.   Oyster Lease Remediation

                     B.  Out Da Bayou      

              VI.  New Business

                     A.  Tom Soniat-Dermo Study

                     B. GOIC/ISSC Meetings

             VII.  Set Next Meeting

             VIII.  Adjourn


Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 05/20/2013

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The meeting will convene at 9:30 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1.  Approval of Minutes from December 4, 2012 Meeting

2.  Hearing of Deferred Appeals

     a.  Mark Tayamen

3.  Hearing of New Permit Appeals

     a.  Brett Johnson

     b.  Marty Melerine

     c.  Vlaho Mjehovich

      d.  Raymond Nehlig

4.  Hearing of Renewal Permit Appeals

      a.  Catfish Lake Oyster Co., LLC

      b.  Kerry Cosse

5.  Set next meeting date

6.  Receive Public Comments

7.   Adjournment

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov



Up to $3,000 in Reward Money Offered for Information in Whooping Crane Shooting

Release Date: 05/17/2013

May 17, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are looking for leads regarding a whooping crane that was found shot to death in Red River Parish.

The whooping crane was found and recovered from the bank of the Red River about two miles northwest of Loggy Bayou on April 16.  After a necropsy of the crane, it was determined that the bird was shot with a 6.5mm/.264 caliber projectile.

Investigators believe the bird was shot between April 10 and 14.  The whooping crane was a part of LDWF's whooping crane reintroduction program and was fitted with a GPS tracking device.  The last tracking point of the crane moving was on April 10 near where she was eventually found dead on April 16.  The last tracking point received was on April 14 at the location she was found.

This whooping crane was released in Louisiana on March 14, 2011.

LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the USFWS are each offering up to $1,000 in rewards for a total of up to $3,000 in rewards for any information about this illegal shooting that leads to an arrest.  To report any information regarding this whooping crane shooting, please call 1-800-442-2511.

“Anytime we lose one of these cranes it sets us back in our efforts to restore the whooping crane population back to its historic levels in Louisiana,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “These were once native birds to Louisiana and the department would like to see these cranes thrive again in the future with a sustainable population.”

USFWS Office of Law Enforcement for the Southeast Region Special Agent in Charge Luis Santiago said, "The shooting of this whooping crane is an insult to all law abiding hunters.  We ask the public to please share any information that will lead us to the shooter.”

LDWF has released 40 whooping cranes since 2011 and currently have 25 whooping cranes they are tracking.  This is the third whooping crane that has been found shot with the previous two having been shot in Jefferson Davis Parish in October of 2011.

The re-introduced whooping cranes came from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and they were placed in the coastal marsh of Vermilion Parish within LDWF’s White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).  This re-introduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.

LDWF is working cooperatively with the USFWS, USGS, the International Crane Foundation and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state.  This non-migratory flock of whooping cranes is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Whooping cranes, the most endangered of all of the world’s crane species, were first added to the federal status of an endangered species on March 11, 1967.

Historically, both a resident and migratory population of whooping cranes were present in Louisiana through the early 1940s.  Whooping cranes inhabited the marshes and ridges of the state’s southwest Chenier Coastal Plain, as well as the uplands of prairie terrace habitat to the north.  Within this area, whooping cranes used three major habitats: tall grass prairie, freshwater marsh, and brackish/salt marsh.  The Louisiana crane population was not able to withstand the pressure of human encroachment, primarily the conversion of nesting habitat to agricultural acreage, as well as hunting and specimen collection, which also occurred across North America.  The last bird in southwest Louisiana was removed to a sanctuary in 1950.

The only self-sustaining wild population of whooping cranes migrates between Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.  Multiple efforts are underway to bring this bird further along its path to recovery.  This includes increasing populations in the wild, ongoing efforts to establish a migratory population in the eastern United States, and establishing a resident population in Louisiana.

There are about 600 whooping cranes left in the world with 421 of those cranes living in the wild.

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

LDWF Announces Series of Wetland Management Workshops

Release Date: 05/17/2013

May 17, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Technical Services Section will present Wetland Management Workshops in May and June at three locations throughout Louisiana’s Mississippi Alluvial Valley Region.  The target audience for these events will be landowners managing shallow water impoundments for waterfowl and wetland birds. 

The Thursday evening workshops are scheduled from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the following locations:

May 30 -- Poverty Point Reservoir Visitor Center

1500 Poverty Point Parkway, Delhi, La.

June 13 -- Concordia Parish Sherriff’s Office Community Room

26356 Hwy. 15, Ferriday, La.

June 27 -- Avoyelles Parish School Board Meeting Room

221 Tunica Drive West, Marksville, La.

Each workshop will cover fundamentals associated with management of wetland impoundments for waterfowl and wetland birds. Topics will include timing of drawdowns, beneficial and invasive plant species, maintenance practices and a brief discussion on timber management in bottomland hardwood reforestation projects. Speakers will include LDWF technical services biologists, waterfowl and forestry program staff, and representatives from the USDA-NRCS. Experienced wetland managers will be on hand to discuss your particular situation.

Over the last 20 years, thousands of acres of wetland impoundments have been constructed, both independently and with the assistance of government cost share programs.  Some landowners are finding that, without management, these wetland units do not remain productive over extended periods of time.  There are certain management practices that must be utilized to maximize use by wetland birds.  Landowners managing Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) properties should find this opportunity particularly beneficial. 

LDWF technical services biologists are available to provide technical assistance to support the efforts of Louisiana landowners. 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.

For more information on the workshops, contact John Hanks at 318-343-4044 or jhanks@wlf.la.gov .




Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 18-24

Release Date: 05/16/2013

To view boating safety videos about proper personal flotation device (PFD) wear for youths and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/enforcement.

May 16, 2013 -- Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 18-24 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force as always during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that 15 out of the 25 boating fatalities in 2012 officially listed drowning as the cause of death.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

Alcohol use is another leading cause of boating crash incidents and fatalities on the water.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI on the water or on the road carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

2013 Free Fishing Weekend in Louisiana Set for June 8-9

Release Date: 05/16/2013

May 16, 2013 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have announced that June 8 and 9 will be “Free Fishing Weekend” for Louisiana citizens and visitors. The promotional fishing dates are provided for novices and non-anglers as an opportunity to experience recreational fishing in fresh or salt water without the purchase of a recreational fishing license. 

The program is part of LDWF’s effort to attract more participants into the ranks of licensed fishermen. Fishing license fees support LDWF's conservation efforts including habitat management.

"LDWF is encouraging anyone who wants to fish in Louisiana to do so on the weekend of June 8-9," said John Sturgis, LDWF education manager.  "It's an activity the whole family can enjoy, even without a boat.  Louisiana offers some of the best bank and pier fishing opportunities in the south."

In conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend, LDWF is working with supporting sponsors to offer the following events on Saturday, June 8

Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Rodeo at Waddill Wildlife Refuge

4142 N. Flannery Road, Baton Rouge

Fishing competition from 7:30 to 11 a.m. for children ages 12 & under and 13-15.

Prizes will be awarded.

Lake D’Arbonne Fishing Derby at Lake D’Arbonne State Park

3628 Evergreen Road, Farmerville

Registration begins at 8 a.m. for the fishing contest at 9 a.m. and bait casting contest at 10 a.m.

Awards to be presented before noon for participants in two age brackets: 6 to 9 years of age and 10 to 14 years of age.

The first 100 kids will receive a free extendable fiberglass pole rigged and ready to fish with. Bait will be provided by LDWF. 

Youth Fishing Derby at Fairview-Riverside State Park

119 Fairview Drive, Madisonville

Fishing competition from 8 a.m. to noon for ages 15 and under.

Participants are advised to bring their own poles and bait.

Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories.

Louisiana Saltwater Series Tournament - Fourchon Marina

282 Floatation Canal Road, Golden Meadow 

The two-man team event has an entry fee of $200, with a 100 percent payout for top finishers.  Anglers can use artificial lures and weigh in their two best redfish, with a maximum length of 27 inches.  For complete information, including rules, regulations and online registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  On-line registration will close Thursday, June 6 at noon.   

*A youth division is also available for no additional cost. Teams are allowed to have two youth anglers as part of their team as long as they are under the age of 16.

LASS Youth Fishing Event at Grand Isle State Park

La. Hwy 1, Grand Isle

7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Participants need to bring their own fishing gear and bait.

$5 registration provides access to youth activities and prizes.

For complete information, contact Danica Williams at 504-628-7282.

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 John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov or Danica Williams at 504-628-7282 or dwilliams@wlf.la.gov.



Bundick Lake Drawdown Scheduled

Release Date: 05/15/2013

(May 15, 2013) – The water control structure on Bundick Lake in Beauregard Parish will be opened soon after Labor Day to allow for a lake drawdown.  The action will allow the Department, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the local police jury, to conduct maintenance and repair work on public infrastructure around the lake. 

The drawdown will also allow lake residents and property owners to conduct shoreline property maintenance.

Similar drawdowns on Bundick Lake are planned for every five years as part of an integrated lake management plan.  The target level for this year’s drawdown is four to five feet below pool stage, and the control structure will remain open through the beginning of next year.

The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions. 

A public hearing to address concerns and questions regarding the drawdown will be held on Tuesday, June 4 at 5 p.m. during the regularly scheduled Beauregard Parish Police Jury Meeting in DeRidder, La.

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.

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






164 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 05/15/2013

164 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 164 boaters statewide after their third "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 11.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals."

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

Sponsors for each location provided a free lunch, door prizes and giveaways such as sunglasses, fishing rod and reels, cups, and water bottles.

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day were the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Pizza Hut, Cabela's, Songy’s Sporting Goods of Houma, South Louisiana Bank of Houma, Evergreen Cajun Center of Houma, St. Landry Lumber Company, Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc., Krispy Kreme of Metairie, Village Inn Restaurant, C&M Fuel/Team Lafitte Harbor, West Marine of Lakeview, Boat Stuff, Alario Bros. Marine Supply, Temento's Dive Shop and Puglia's Sporting Goods.

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 50,000 boaters during that time.

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


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