L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

L.D.W.F. Public Meetings Begin This Week on Proposed Hunting Seasons, W.M.A. Rules Changes and Waterfowl Zones and Splits Options

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host six public meetings around the state to present proposed 2012-14 hunting season dates, Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) general rules and regulation changes, and waterfowl zones and splits options.

Public comment will be taken on all items under consideration by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission through May 3. The meeting dates and locations include:

  • March 13 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 13 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 14 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas
  • March 15 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.
  • March 21 at 6 p.m., St. John Parish Council Chambers, 1801 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace

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.

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from now through May 3 or can be submitted directly to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to rmyers@wlf.la.gov until May 3.

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

State of Louisiana Announces Louisiana Blue Crab to Be First Sustainable Blue Crab Fishery in the World

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in coordination
with the Louisiana Crab Task Force and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB),
announced the Louisiana blue crab fishery has been recognized with the seal of ‘sustainability’ by a
third-party organization, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This designation by MSC is the first of
its kind for any blue crab fishery in the world.

The independent, third-party certification body, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) assessed the
Louisiana blue crab fishery against the MSC standard in a rigorous, open and transparent process that
was scientifically peer reviewed and involved site visits to the fishery and outreach to stakeholder
groups. During assessment, SCS identified six improvement actions the fishery must perform during the
first five-year certification period that address harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, by-catch
and ecosystem impact and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by
the MSC program.

“This certification fully validates what Louisiana’s blue crab industry and department have known all
along, that our blue crab fishery is managed responsibly at sustainable levels,” said LDWF Assistant
Secretary Randy Pausina. “LDWF is a world-class organization that utilizes the best biologists and
technology when managing all of Louisiana’s abundant fisheries.”

What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability ensures that the blue crab fishery of Louisiana is managed in a way that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the crop for future generations.

Why is it important for a fishery to be certified as sustainable?

In recent years, sustainability has become increasingly important to major retailers like Wal-Mart,
Costco, Kroger and Target to name a few. As such, the push for ‘proof’ that seafood has been harvested
sustainably has led to an emerging market: seafood sustainability certifiers and their associated eco-
labels.

Additionally important to the Louisiana fishing industry, studies suggest that some retailers may be
willing to pay a higher price for seafood that is labeled eco-friendly or sustainable. Additionally,
markets in Europe and the United Kingdom that require such certifications will now be available to our
industry members.

LDWF is currently working with the other Gulf states to identify additional possibilities for
communicating to consumers and buyers that all of our fisheries are managed responsibly at sustainable
levels.

The Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery

While crabs are landed from all state coastal waters, more than half of Louisiana blue crabs are
harvested primarily from two areas: Lake Pontchartrain and Terrebonne basins. The Lake Pontchartrain
basin borders New Orleans to the north and east and includes the lake, marshes and sounds east of

the Mississippi River and the Terrebonne Basin is located southwest of New Orleans and is bounded by
Bayou Lafourche to the east and the Atchafalaya River to the west.

Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are harvested year-round primarily with baited trapstended strictly
during daylight hours. Harvesters target hard shell blue crabs for both the live and processed meat
markets and also peeler crabs for sale to soft crab shedders. Louisiana blue crab landings have averaged
over 40 million pounds in recent years and comprised nearly 30 percent of total U.S. blue crab landings
in 2009.

The Marine Stewardship Council

The MSC was started in 1996 by the World Wide Fund for Nature and Unilever. The charity was
constituted in 1997 and became fully independent in 1999.

It has offices in London, Seattle, Washington and Sydney, New South Wales and local offices in
Edinburgh, Berlin, the Hague, Paris, Cape Town and Tokyo.

As of October 2011, there are over 11,000 seafood products available with the MSC eco-
label, sold in 82 countries around the world. Currently 131 fisheries have been independently
certified as meeting the MSC’s environmental standard for sustainable fishing and 131 are
currently undergoing assessment. Nearly 2000 companies have met the MSC Chain of Custody
standard for seafood traceability.
 

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

For more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Staff Instrumental in Protecting the Resource at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 - Earlier this year, anglers from across the country converged in
Shreveport, La., for the biggest event in tournament fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. The
country’s best anglers battled it out during the three-day event on one of the nation’s best
bass fisheries, the Red River.

The B.A.S.S. Federation is a conservation-based organization, and one of their primary
goals is to have minimal impact on the water bodies that serve as host sites for their
tournaments including the Bassmaster Classic. Catch and release fishing is their standard.

Personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were tasked with
handling and transporting all the tournament entries. The bass were placed in specially
modified hauling tanks filled with water from the Red River and safely returned home.

This is the third year Department staff have assisted the Classic in properly returning bass
to Louisiana waterways and ensuring our department motto: to protect and manage our
abundant natural resources.

To view the video news release, please click on the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxrd5rjODA0

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 on 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.

Authorities Find Missing Boater in Rapides Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2012

Search and rescue teams located the deceased body of a missing boater on Kincaid Lake today, March 9.

William B. Galloway, 53, was found by the Allen Parish Fire Department’s Dive Team shortly after 12 p.m. after two and a half days of searching.  Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office (RPSO) and the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office also participated in the search.

Galloway went fishing alone around 1:20 p.m. on March 6 and was supposed to return at dark.  When Galloway didn’t return at dark, a concerned family member contacted authorities at 7:50 p.m.

Authorities searched for Galloway throughout the night and found his 18 ½ foot fiberglass boat with the 150 horsepower motor idling on the bank of the lake around 10:30 p.m. on March 6.

LDWF deployed their sonar technology, and dive teams from the RPSO and Allen Parish Fire Department assisted in the search.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency to determine the cause of this boating incident.  Contributing factors to the incident are unknown at this time.

Galloway’s body has been turned over to the Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.

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

Eight Oyster Harvesters Cited For Theft In Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited eight subjects for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on March 6.

While on oyster-growing-area patrol in Bayou Coyell, agents found four vessels dredging oysters from a private lease without the lease owner's permission.

Agents cited Dempsey Jackson, 45, from Lake Charles; William Anthony Tillman III,  26, from Sulphur; Rusty Henry, 20, and Dusty Paul Henry, 22, Carolyn Arnold, 27, Harris Guidry Jr., 35, Timothy Blanchard, 26, Cody Lebouef, 22, all from Chauvin; for unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease and failure to have written permission.

Agents seized the boats and dredges and returned 33 sacks of oysters to the water.

Unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease is a fine between $900 and $950, up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized.  Failure to have written permission is punishable by a fine of $400 to $900 and up to 120 days in jail.

Any person convicted of these violations may for one year after the date of such conviction only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system.  Access to the monitoring system shall be granted to LDWF.  For that year, the person convicted of these violations shall identify for the department which vessel will be used to harvest oysters.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Bryan Marie and Agent Norman Deroche.

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

LDWF Announces 2012 Waterfowl Hunter Survey

Release Date: 03/09/2012

March 9, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Waterfowl Section, in partnership with LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources, has begun a survey of resident waterfowl hunters which asks for input on waterfowl hunting zones, zone boundaries, and season dates for future waterfowl hunting seasons.

“We are mailing surveys to 6,400 randomly selected waterfowl hunters -- 1,600 in each of four major regions of the state -- to gather information on their satisfaction with last year’s hunting and with the zones and splits we have been using for many years, as well as preferences for proposed changes in those zone boundaries,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader. “The survey also asks about hunters’ preferred timing of the regular waterfowl season and the Youth waterfowl hunting days, along with questions about Catahoula Lake.”

The same survey is also offered on LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov and all interested waterfowl hunters can provide input.  “We know that results from Internet-based surveys can be biased because participants tend to be the more dedicated and active hunters,” Reynolds said.  “However, in our 2010 Waterfowl Hunter Survey, we received similar responses to most attitude and preference questions from both surveys.”

The department is encouraging all waterfowl hunters, especially those who receive a survey in the mail, to participate in the survey and convey their preferences to better inform decisions on waterfowl harvest regulations.

States have the opportunity to change waterfowl hunting zones and splits every five years, which was scheduled for 2011.  However, additional zones/splits options from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were approved very late in last year’s regulatory cycle, and not all states could take advantage of them.  For that reason, the opportunity to make changes was extended to this year, and selected zones/splits will be in effect for the 2012-2015 waterfowl hunting seasons.

Season dates can be changed every year; only zones/splits selections are set for five years.  Specifically, the new options include four zones with straight seasons (no split) and three zones with split seasons.  Until this year, states had to choose between three zones with straight seasons, two zones with split seasons, or a statewide season (no zones) with two splits (three season segments).

For 31 years, Louisiana has used two zones (East and West) with split seasons, but the department is considering a change to three zones with split seasons to potentially provide additional hunting opportunity and regulatory flexibility.  Maps of the proposed new waterfowl hunting zones, explanation of the proposed boundary changes, and a short Power Point presentation with the considerations for selecting zones, splits, and season dates can be found at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/migratory-and-waterfowl .

In addition, a short presentation will be made and public comment collected on zones/splits and the Waterfowl Hunter survey at six public meetings scheduled around the state over the next two weeks.  Those dates and sites are:

  • March 13 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 13 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 14 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas 
  • March 15 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.
  • March 21 at 6 p.m., St. John Parish Council Chambers, 1801 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace

For more information please contact Larry Reynolds at Lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

Louisiana Shrimp Task Force to Meet Next Thursday in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 03/08/2012

March 8, 2012 – The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force will meet next Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.  in Baton Rouge at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room.                                        

The agenda for Thursday’s meeting is as follows:

  I.  Roll Call

 II.  Discussion of TED Testing, Jeff Gearhart, NOAA

 III. Discussion of Observer Permits, NOAA

 IV. Presentation on Seedco Financial Services Southeast Louisiana Fisheries Assistance Center

  V.  Marketing Update, LSPMB

  VI. Gulf Trace: Electronic Traceability

 VII. Update on Seafood Certification Program

VIII. LouisianaLegislative Session 2012 Overview

  IX. Shrimp Management

   X. Subcommittee reports

  XI. Set next meeting date

 XII. Adjourn

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force was created by Act 606 of the Louisiana Legislature to study and monitor the shrimp industry and to make recommendations to the state.

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.

This meeting is open to the public.

For more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Hosts Series of Outreach Meetings to Discuss Proposed Free Offshore Permit

Release Date: 03/08/2012

March 8, 2012 – In December 2011 the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took measures to establish a free permit for recreational anglers who fish for highly migratory species and to establish reporting requirements for yellowfin tuna. The information gathered through reporting and from this permit will provide essential data about who fishes off Louisiana’s coast and how much yellowfin tuna is harvested each year.

As Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials design the free permit, the need for public input is great, to make it as easy as possible for both recreational anglers and charter fishing boats to report their trips and their catch. 

In an effort to gather input from this community, LDWF will host the following outreach meetings:

March 19, 2012, 6-8 p.m.
Belle Chasse Auditorium
8398 Highway 23
Belle Chasse, La 70037

March 20, 2012, 6-8 p.m.
Houma Municipal Auditorium
880 Verret Street
Houma, La 70360

March 22, 2012, 6-8 p.m.
LDWF Headquarters
Louisiana Room
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, La 70808

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

For more meeting information please contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.gov or (504)284-2032.

Joint Enforcement Patrol Leads to Citations for Two Louisiana Men

Release Date: 03/08/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents participated in a joint enforcement patrol that resulted in two Louisiana men being cited for alleged fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on March 5.

Agents cited Robert J. Canty, 32, of Slidell, for taking over the daily commercial limit of sharks and Long Van Pham, 33, of Kenner, for taking red snapper during a closed recreational red snapper season.  The joint enforcement patrol was in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Agents made contact with Canty in South Pass located near Venice and inspected his catch.  Agents found him in possession of 96 sharks, which is 63 sharks over the allowable commercial daily limit.

Agents stopped Pham near the Venice Marina to conduct a catch inspection and found him to be in possession of 15 red snapper.  The 2012 recreational red snapper season is currently closed and is slated to open on June 1.

Taking over the limit of commercial sharks carries a fine up to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Canty may also face civil restitution fines for the value of the illegally taken sharks.

The penalty for taking red snapper during a closed season carries a fine up to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Pham may also face civil restitution fines totaling $430 for the value of the illegally taken red snapper.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

L.D.W.F. Presents Proposed Feral Hog Trapping Regulations at March Commission Meeting

Release Date: 03/07/2012

March 7, 2012-- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent at their March 1 meeting, to accept public comment on proposed feral hog trapping regulations recommended the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

The proposed regulations would allow feral hogs to be trapped year-round. Persons using cage or corral traps to capture feral hogs would be required to have a valid Louisiana basic hunting license.  Persons using snares to trap feral hogs would be required to have a valid Louisiana trapping license. 

Additionally, cage or corral traps would be required to have an opening in the top measuring at least 22 by 22 inches or 25 inches in diameter.  The purpose of this opening is to allow escape of non-target animals such as the Louisiana Black Bear.

To view the full notice of intent, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .  Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to  Kenny Ribbeck, Wildlife Division, Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to kribbeck@wlf.la.gov prior to Thursday, May 3, 2012.

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

 

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