LDWF News Release

LDWF to Open Shrimp Season In Remaining Louisiana Offshore Waters May 1

Release Date: 04/26/2017

LDWF to Open Shrimp Season In Remaining Louisiana Offshore Waters May 1

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the Louisiana shrimp season will reopen in a portion of state outside waters seaward of St. Mary, Iberia and Vermilion parishes at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 1.
The area extends seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line out to the three mile line, from the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy line to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude.
Trawl samples taken by LDWF biologists indicate white shrimp in the area have reached marketable sizes, and the closure is no longer necessary.
Opening dates for the 2017 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their May 4 meeting.
For more information, contact Jeff Marx (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov.

Get Out and Fish! launches newest community fishing site in Vidalia, LA

Release Date: 04/21/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and The City of Vidalia invite you to join them for an event on Saturday, May 13th at William T. Polk City Park pond in Vidalia, LA. Prior to the event, the pond will be stocked with 600 pounds of adult channel catfish. In addition, there will be numerous fishing activities for the entire family including a mobile touch tank, casting inflatable, and a chance to meet Robbie the Redfish. 

Fishing competition categories include heaviest catfish and heaviest “other” fish.  Age divisions include Little Angler (ages 8 and under), Junior Angler (ages 9-15) and Adult Angler (ages 16 and older). You can pre-register for this event at www.wlf.la.gov/get-out-and-fish-1.

The event is free, and the first 100 youth registrants in attendance will receive a goody bag.  In addition, every participant will be entered into a raffle drawing to win prizes. Lunch will be provided by the City of Vidalia while supplies last.

Participants 16 & older must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. If you would like to purchase a fishing license you can do so online at https://www.la.wildlifelicense.com. Don’t forget to bring your own gear, bait and tackle, and an ice chest to keep your fish.

The Get Out and Fish! Program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing. The program intends to recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing and promote outdoor activities for future generations.

This event is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.

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.

For more information on Get Out and Fish! Program, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282. 


LDWF to Offer Expanded Licensing Services in South Louisiana

Release Date: 04/20/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will offer new commercial fishing licenses and renewals and motorboat registration from the following locations:

St. Bernard Parish Government Building
8201 West Judge Perez Drive
Chalmette, La.
April 25-27      
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Lake Charles Office
1213 North Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, La.
May 2-4
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Fishermen are reminded that acceptable forms of payment will include personal checks, cashier's checks, money orders and cash.  No credit cards.  To avoid processing delays, those purchasing licenses are asked to bring their license renewal notices with them. 
 First-time applicants can apply by mail or in-person.  Renewals can be completed online at www.wlf.la.gov. When applying in person you must provide the following:
·       Resident applicants must provide proof of residency such as a Louisiana driver’s license, (held continuously for 12 months) voter’s registration, vehicle registration and state income tax.
·       Non-residents applicants must provide proof of residency from their domiciliary state, such as driver's license, voter's registration, vehicle registration and state income tax.
·       Applicants applying for a license in a business name must provide documentation showing proof of valid federal tax ID# assigned to business name and proof of authorized signature, or an occupational license will be required.
For commercial licenses inquiries, contact (225) 765-2898.

LDWF, LSU AgCenter Issues Warning On Transporting Roseau Cane From Plaquemines Parish to Other Parts of State

Release Date: 04/19/2017

Brown Roseau cane that has been impacted by the scale.
The white spots on Roseau cane are small insects referred to as Phragmites Scale.

April 19, 2017 – Concern over a small insect, or scale, that has infected vast stands of Roseau cane in southern Plaquemines Parish has prompted a warning from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the LSU AgCenter not to transport or transplant Roseau cane into other parts of the state.
The scale, native from China or Japan, has been identified as Nipponaclerda biwakoensis, commonly referred to as Phragmites Scale or Roseau Cane Mealy Bug. It has had severe effects on the dominant vegetation of the Mississippi River Delta. The rate at which it seems to be expanding and the severity of its impacts is alarming, according to LDWF and LSU AgCenter biologists.
“Our message is very simple: Do not transport or transplant Roseau cane,’’ said Dr. Rodrigo Diaz, Assistant Professor in LSU’s Department of Entomology. “The scale that has invaded southern Plaquemines Parish could impact agriculture crops such as sugar cane and sorghum. It could have significant economic impacts to agriculture crops and native vegetation. So it is vital the cane not be moved.’’
“Boaters in lower Plaquemines Parish should avoid contact with the cane and wash their boats after each trip so that they do not inadvertently transport the scale to other areas of the state.’’
LDWF, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and LSU AgCenter biologists are working to find a solution to the infestation, which has impacted thousands of acres of Roseau cane since being discovered. LDWF staff indicated there are likely infestations as far north as Hospital Bay on the west side of the Mississippi River and across from Fort Jackson on the east side.
Roseau cane is a wetland grass that helps protect Louisiana’s bird foot delta. The severely impacted cane appears to be brown and mostly leafless, in contrast to the 10-foot tall robust leafy green cane normally seen this time of the year.
LDWF staff have found the scale on both stressed and apparently healthy cane. The public should not assume that just because the cane appears to be healthy that the scale is not present.
Biologists do not know much about the scale’s life cycle here in Louisiana as this is a new insect to the United States. It is anticipated that the damage to the Roseau cane should be most obvious in the late summer.


Louisiana Artificial Reef Program to Consider Proposals for Special Artificial Reef Sites

Release Date: 04/18/2017

At their April 10 meeting, the Louisiana Artificial Reef Council approved lifting the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program’s moratorium on new proposals to create Special Artificial Reef Sites (SARS). The Council originally enacted this moratorium in 2008.
The Council also approved revisions to the Louisiana Artificial Reef Plan’s Amendment II (the “SARS” Amendment), intended to improve the SARS proposal and approval process.
Amendment II and a flowchart detailing the SARS process can be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/artificialreefcouncilmeeting.
For more information, please contact Mike McDonough at (225) 763-5418 or mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF to Host 13th Annual Step Outside Day on May 13 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 04/14/2017

April 14, 2017 – The 13th annual Step Outside Day, an outdoor education program hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), will be held May 13 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Lottie on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The event, which is free, will take place next to scenic Big Alabama Bayou near Sherburne WMA headquarters.
Some of the events planned for Step Outside Day include pontoon boat rides, canoeing, target and trap shooting, fishing and archery. Children can take part in blue bird box building, turkey and duck calling. All equipment will be provided.
Exhibits on the Louisiana black bear, other wildlife and fish species and water safety will be available.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided as well as drawings for door prizes. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
The Sherburne WMA headquarters is located at 1132 Sherburne Road in Lottie. From U.S. Hwy. 190, take the Sherburne (Louisiana Hwy. 975) exit and drive south approximately three miles. The venue will be on the left near Big Alabama Bayou. From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay exit and drive north approximately 13 miles on Louisiana Hwy. 975. The venue will be on the right near Big Alabama Bayou.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Cody Haynes at 337-948-0255 or jhaynes@wlf.la.gov.


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

Release Date: 04/13/2017

April 13, 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.


Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet April 18

Release Date: 04/13/2017

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting
John Tesvich, Chairman
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 1 p.m.
2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210
New Orleans, LA 70122


I.Roll call and introduction of guests

II.Approval of March 17, 2017 Meeting Minutes and April 18, 2017 Agenda

III.Treasury Report

A.      Oyster Tag Sales

B.      LOTF Financial Report

·      Annual Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

IV.Committee Reports

A.      Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)

B.      Enforcement (Captain Chad Hebert)

C.      Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)

D.     Research (Earl Melancon)

E.      Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)

F.      Marketing (LDWF)

G.      Health (Lance Broussard)

H.     Sustainability (LDWF)

I.        Professionalism (LDWF)

J.      Aquaculture (John Supan)

                      k.      Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)

V.New Business

A.     To Consider Recommendations and Changes to the Oyster Lease Acquisition Program- Duncan Kemp

B.     To Consider the use of the Oyster Seed Grounds and Oyster Development Accounts to Close Mardi Gras Pass- Al Sunseri

VI.Public Comment

VII.Set Next Meeting


The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/404994494913383938


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.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.



LDWF’s Bodcau and Woodworth Shooting Ranges To Be Closed During Good Friday, Easter Sunday

Release Date: 04/13/2017

April 13, 2017 – The Bodcau and Woodworth Shooting Ranges will be closed Good Friday (April 14) and Easter Sunday (April 16) in observance of the holidays, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. Both will be open Saturday (April 15) for normal business hours.
The Bodcau Shooting Range is located on the Bodcau Wildlife Management Area in Bossier and Webster parishes. The Woodworth Shooting Range is located in Rapides Parish.
For more information on these and other LDWF ranges go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges.


LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 04/12/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau in Webster, Bossier, and Bienville parishes for giant salvinia control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement. The water control structure is scheduled to open on May 1, 2017.
Giant salvinia is growing rapidly. Despite LDWF contractors treating over 5,000 acres since February 20, 2017, significant coverage is still present. The department estimates the plant covers 3,349 acres of the lake based on an aerial survey conducted on March 23, 2017.
The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth. Spray efforts are ongoing in areas of the lake that will not dewater during the drawdown. Intensive herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown in an effort to further reduce salvinia on the lake.
The lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day and will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below normal pool stage. The Lake Bistineau control gates are scheduled for closure on November 30, 2017, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early-spring recreational activities.
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch. Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066. 


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