LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Accepting Applications for Lottery Deer and Waterfowl Hunts

Release Date: 07/16/2019

July 16, 2019 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for lottery deer and waterfowl hunts on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for the 2019-2020 hunting season. 
 
Lottery hunts for deer and waterfowl will be held for persons with disabilities, including veterans, on select WMAs; see the application for selections.  A general waterfowl lottery hunt will be held on Sherburne WMA. 
 
Lottery hunts for deer and waterfowl will be held for youth, those hunters between the ages of 10-17, on select WMAs. Note that a youth under the age of 10 may apply, provided he or she will be 10 on or before the date of the hunt for which they apply. 
 
Additionally, general deer lottery hunts will be held on select Louisiana Office of State Parks Property; see the application for selections. 
 
These hunts offer the opportunity for selected hunters to experience an enjoyable, unique experience. Details on qualifications, application requirements, application deadlines and dates of the hunts are listed on the application forms.
 
Successful applications will be selected by a random computer drawing. Applications for the deer lottery hunts must be submitted to LDWF by August 31. Applications for the waterfowl hunts must be submitted by Sept. 28. A $5 administrative fee must be submitted with each application. 
 
Applications and more information may be obtained by contacting your local LDWF field office or by visiting the LDWF web site at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts. Applications may be delivered in person to Room 442 of the LDWF headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge or by mail. The mailing address is: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000. 
 
For more information contact David Hayden (dhayden@wlf.la.gov) or Steve Smith (ssmith@wlf.la.gov) by email or at 318-487-5885. 
 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Warns Public Not to Feed Alligators

Release Date: 07/16/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Warns Public Not to Feed Alligators

July 16, 2019 – The high waters around the state this spring and summer have resulted in more alligator sightings. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Alligator Program warns the public not to feed them as doing so can create a potentially dangerous situation for you and others who utilize the water.
 
When alligators are fed by humans, they start associating people with an easy food source bringing them in much closer proximity to people than they normally would. This can lead to increased opportunity for dangerous conflict between people and alligators. Simply put, they may see humans as source of food once they become accustomed to being fed, according LDWF experts.
 
“When alligators are fed by humans they overcome their fear and natural shyness and become attracted to humans,’’ said LDWF Alligator Program Manager Jeb Linscombe.  “That is why it is so vital not to feed or entice them. We also strongly recommend to use caution when swimming at any time in areas frequented by alligators.”
 
Always maintain a safe distance between yourself and alligators. And never offer them food, and remember that although you may not be intending to feed alligators, when you discard fish scraps into the water or attempt to feed other aquatic wildlife, you may be inadvertently feeding alligators as well.
  
LDWF recommends these “do’s” and “don’t’s” when coming in contact with alligators:
·         Do use common sense and precautions.
·         Do inform others that feeding alligators creates safety problems for those who want to use the water for recreational purposes.
          Don’t allow small children to play by themselves around water bodies that may contain alligators.
          Don’t throw fish scraps into the water or leave them on shore. Although you are not intentionally feeding alligators the end result can be the same.
·         Do dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans at boat ramps or fish camps.
·         Do enjoy viewing and photographing wild alligators from a safe distance.·        
 
Per state law, it is illegal to kill, harass, molest or attempt to move alligators.
Don’t remove any alligators from their natural habitat or accept one as a pet. In addition to being illegal, the potential for being bitten or injured by a provoked alligator is high. Alligators do not become tame in captivity and handling even small ones may result in bites. In particular, never go near hatchling/young alligators or pick them up. They may seem harmless, but the mother alligator may be nearby and may protect her young for at least two years.
 
Anyone experiencing problems with nuisance alligators may contact any LDWF office to make a nuisance alligator complaint.
 
The LDWF’s Alligator Program website portal (lagatorprogram.com) provides other details on alligators, including habitat and historical data. LDWF’s sustained use Alligator Program is separated into three categories: wild alligator management, alligator farming/ranching and nuisance alligators.
 
For more information, go to the LDWF website alligator page or contact Jeb Linscombe at jlinscombe@wlf.la.gov.
 
 

LDWF Reopens Elmer’s Island after Hurricane Barry

Release Date: 07/16/2019

LDWF has reopened Elmer’s Island today, the effects of Hurricane Barry have passed and is safe for visitors.
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.
 

LDWF Urges Public to be Mindful of Displaced Wildlife Following Hurricane Barry

Release Date: 07/15/2019

July 15, 2019 – In the aftermath of Hurricane Barry, wildlife species will seek higher ground and be displaced into habitat with which they may not be familiar. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) urges the public to be especially cognizant of wildlife forced into populated areas by flood water from the storm.
 
Rising waters force wildlife from flooded habitat into adjacent residential and commercial areas where they may come into contact with residents. LDWF urges citizens to minimize contact with animals while they seek temporary refuge from their flooded home range.
 
Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed. Feeding wild animals will encourage those animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.
 
Basic Tips:
* Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.
* Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.
* Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.
 
 
Species of Concern:
 
 
Black Bears:  The Louisiana black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident when high water moves bears out of their habitat. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-337-262-2080.
 
Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat.
 
Venomous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake. For more information on snake species found in Louisiana, including frequently asked questions, visit LDWF's website at this link: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/resource/snakes-louisiana.
 
Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable. LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.
 
For more information on displaced wildlife, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/nuisance-wildlife.
 
 
 

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 07/11/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau in Webster, Bossier, and Bienville parishes for the purpose of reducing further expansion of giant salvinia. The drawdown will additionally benefit fisheries production by improving aquatic habitat and reducing the amount of organic matter on the lake bottom.
 
LDWF has requested the Department of Transportation and Development open the water control structure on July 22. Once the water control structure is open, the lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day until it reaches a potential maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below pool stage. This dewater rate could be impacted, however, by local rainfall in the surrounding watershed. During the drawdown, the department will monitor aquatic habitat conditions to determine the best time to conclude the drawdown and allow the lake to refill for early spring recreational activities.
 
The public is reminded to be aware that the department will be installing floating boom during the drawdown for experimental purposes. The boom is intended to collect floating aquatic vegetation to allow for more effective herbicide spraying. The boom is highly visible and will be marked to indicate areas for easy boat passage.    
 
LDWF’s Lake Bistineau Waterbody Management Plan is designed to provide as much use of the lake as possible prior to water levels dropping. However, during the summer, salvinia growth is at its peak. Due to the lake’s large watershed and giant salvinia’s rapid growth capability, the likelihood of a drawdown being effective for the management of salvinia is reduced with a later start date.
 
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters can still access the lake during the drawdown 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.   
 
The drawdown 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. Herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown period.
 
To assist the department with control efforts, click here to report sightings of invasive aquatic plants on the lake.
 
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or 318- 371-3066.

Louisiana Red Snapper Landing Estimates Through June 30

Release Date: 07/11/2019

The latest catch statistics recorded by LA Creel, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' (LDWF) near real-time data collection program, is 348,331 pounds, or 43 percent of Louisiana’s allocation. This estimate covers the period through June 30. 

The season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 816,439 pounds of red snapper approved under the EFP according to landings estimates from LA Creel.

The private recreational red snapper season began May 24 in both state and federal waters. This season will run weekends only (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including the Monday of Memorial Day and Thursday of Fourth of July) with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.

Louisiana is operating under its second year of an EFP which allows the state to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal EEZ, from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the LDWF Secretary or Commission. NOAA Fisheries continues to regulate federal for-hire vessels (charter and headboats). State charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state recreational red snapper season is open. 
  
For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates,  visit:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.

The department urges anglers’ voluntary participation in its electronic reporting program to improve recreational harvest data collection. To learn how to participate in voluntarily reporting your catch, please reference the appropriate link below, depending on the make of your cellular device.

ROLP mobile app (Android phone) 
ROLP mobile app (iPhone)

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

 

LDWF to close Elmer’s Island due to tropical system on Thursday, July 11 at 9 a.m.

Release Date: 07/10/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will temporarily close Elmer's Island beginning on Thursday, July 11 at 9 a.m., due to the anticipated impacts of the tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico. As a precautionary and preparedness measure Elmer's Island will remain closed until further notice.

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.

Louisiana Red Snapper Landing Estimates Through June 23

Release Date: 07/05/2019

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The latest catch statistics recorded by LA Creel, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' (LDWF) near real-time data collection program, is 304,555 pounds, or 38 percent of Louisiana’s allocation. This estimate covers the period through June 23. 

The season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 816,439 pounds of red snapper approved under the EFP according to landings estimates from LA Creel.

The private recreational red snapper season began May 24 in both state and federal waters. This season will run weekends only (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including the Monday of Memorial Day and Thursday of Fourth of July) with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.

Louisiana is operating under its second year of an EFP which allows the state to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal EEZ, from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the LDWF Secretary or Commission. NOAA Fisheries continues to regulate federal for-hire vessels (charter and headboats). State charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state recreational red snapper season is open.  
   
For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates,  visit:   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper .

The department urges anglers’ voluntary participation in its electronic reporting program to improve recreational harvest data collection. To learn how to participate in voluntarily reporting your catch, please reference the appropriate link below, depending on the make of your cellular device.

ROLP mobile app (Android phone)  
ROLP mobile app (iPhone)

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 recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup .

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.

Body of Swimmer Recovered from Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 07/05/2019

Body of Swimmer Recovered from Lake Pontchartrain

The body of a swimmer was recovered from Lake Pontchartrain this morning, July 5, in St. Tammany Parish.
 
The body of Lacy Patrick, 20, from Mobile, Ala., was recovered around 6:50 a.m. from the North Shore Beach area of Lake Pontchartrain.
 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents, The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard started searching for Patrick after she was hit by a vessel while swimming in Lake Pontchartrain around 5:15 p.m. on July 4.
 
LDWF will be the leading investigative agency for this fatal boating incident. Her body was turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death. 

 

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.

 

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LDWF: All segments of fishing community that show impacts are covered by Governor’s fishery disaster declaration request

Release Date: 07/03/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) continues to measure the impacts  that the historic flooding event has had on the state’s crucial aquatic life.

Last month, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ requested a federal fisheries disaster declaration which could provide financial assistance to any segment of Louisiana’s fishing industry impacted and can document a proven financial loss.

“Let’s be clear. The request will be for all fisheries, all sectors of those fisheries, all basins along our coast that are experiencing the impacts and where impacts can be documented according to federal thresholds”, said Patrick Banks, LDWF’s assistant secretary for fisheries.

The governor’s letter, Banks said, was a critical first step in the fisheries disaster process. “It simply gave a heads up to the federal government that we have a problem here in Louisiana and, although it mentioned examples, it was meant to be general in nature and it will include all fisheries, all fishing sectors, and all areas of our coast as long as the data support that declaration.”

The impact analysis, in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), will take months to complete. LDWF emphasizes that the flooding event is ongoing and that damages will likely continue to mount. LDWF cautions against any premature assessment.

LDWF has already documented losses to oysters, crabs, shrimp, fish and finfish over the past several months. (Preliminary sampling results as of June 28, 2019, are available here.)

However, there are variables that could affect the timing of federal monetary assistance.

“Certainly, we welcome the help of local parish governments to request that federal fisheries disaster declaration and to request Congress to appropriate funding to help our fishermen rebound from this,” Banks said.  “But, ultimately the timing is up to the United State Congress to appropriate that money.”

To that end, Congress could decide at any moment, even before an official application is made, provide some financial assistance to those affected. “I’m sure Secretary (Jack) Montoucet at his agency and Gov. Edwards would absolutely support that,” Banks said.

LDWF will continue to collect the data and once completed, it will be submitted to NOAA for its inspection.

An interview with Assistant Secretary Patrick Banks and b-roll footage is available for use by media outlets here: https://ldwf.canto.com/v/2019FisheriesFloodImpacts

 

 

 

 

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