LDWF News Release

Louisiana Youth Can Now Register for 2016 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest

Release Date: 03/22/2017

March 22, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association are seeking submissions for 2016 Youth Hunter of the Year contest. The contest, for the 2016-17 hunting season, is open to Louisiana boys and girls ages 15 and younger.
Did you have a special hunt this past season?  Harvested your first game animal or bird?  Maybe just a hunting trip made great by sharing time in the outdoor with family and friends?  Regardless, you could be a candidate for our male and female Youth Hunter of the Year contest.
Youth Hunters of the Year will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and a gift certificate from Bowie Outfitters. The two winners will also be recognized at the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association conference in August 2017.
To apply, download the registration form on the LDWF web site (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/yhrp). Entrants must submit the registration form along with a photograph and story describing the hunt. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2017. Applications can be sent by mail or submitted electronically.
For more information on this program and how to apply contact John Sturgis at 337-948-0255 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov or Rebecca Triche at 225-344-6707 or Rebecca@lawildlifefed.org. For more information on the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, go to lawildlifefed.org.


LDWF to Hold Public Hearing March 27 in Lafayette on Amendments to Proposed Notice of Intent for 2017-18 Hunting Season Rules

Release Date: 03/18/2017

Main Delta
Wax Delta
Current Deer Area Map
Amended and proposed Deer Area Map

March 18, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host a public hearing March 27 (Monday) in Lafayette to take input on two amendments passed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) at its March meeting regarding the proposed 2017-18 Hunting Season Rules and Regulations.
The meeting, set for 6 p.m., will be held at the NOAA Estuarine Habitats and Coastal Fisheries Center in Lafayette. The center is located at 646 Cajundome Blvd.
The LWFC voted to add two amendments to the proposed notice of intent for the 2017-18 hunting seasons, rules and regulations during its monthly meeting March 2 in Natchitoches. 
The commission voted to move a portion of Deer Area 8 into Deer Area 3 in portions of Allen, Beauregard and Vernon parishes and to expand two limited access areas on the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area.
The amendments read, in part:
·              Change that portion in Allen Parish east of Louisiana Highway 113 form the parish line to U.S. Highway 190, north of U.S. Highway 190 eastward to Kinder, west of U.S. Highway 165 northward to Louisiana Highway 10 at Oakdale and south of Louisiana Highway 10 from Oakdale westward to parish line, and in Beauregard Parish that portion east of Louisiana Highway 113, and in Vernon Parish that portion east of Louisiana Highway 113 from the parish line northward to Pitkin and south of Louisiana Highway 10 from Pitkin southward to the parish line; to become a portion of Deer Area 3, with the same seasons as Deer Area 3, Except to include allowing hunting with or without dogs during the last segment of the Firearms Deer Season (Dec. 3, 2017-Jan. 8, 2018) within this new portion of Deer Area 3.
·              To expand the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Limited Access Areas on the Main Delta and Wax Delta approximately 25 percent. Access would be allowed within the active passes within those areas but once out of the passes, it reverts to limited access.
(To see maps of the affected areas in the amendments please click on the corresponding links: Main Delta, Wax Delta, current deer area map, amended and proposed deer area map).
Deer Area 3 season dates will now reflect still hunt only and with or without dog season dates with only the portion of former Deer Area 8 being open for with or without dogs. There will be no impacts to user groups beyond the change in Deer Area designation. 
The expansion of limited access areas on Atchafalaya Delta WMA will increase from approximately 5.5 percentage of the huntable acreage on the Main Delta and 7.1 percent on the Wax Delta to 25 percent on both deltas. Operation of internal combustion engines inside the limited access areas boundaries is prohibited from Sept. 1-Jan. 31. However, hunters and fishermen may access and navigate limited access areas via use of paddles, push poles or electric trolling motors. Any vessel with a movable outdrive system may enter a limited access area as long as the boat’s internal combustion engine is trimmed up out of the water in an inoperable position. Vessels with fixed propellers must adhere to the no operation rule. See maps for accessible passes adjacent to limited access areas.
To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .
Public comment will be accepted from now through April 5 and may be submitted directly to Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .


Commercial and Crab Trap Closure to End March 22

Release Date: 03/16/2017

The 30-day closure of the blue crab commercial fishery and use of crab traps will end Tuesday, March 21 at 11:59 p.m. Commercial and recreational crabbers may return their crab traps to Louisiana state waters beginning 30 minutes before legal sunrise, as described in statue, on Wednesday, March 22. 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind commercial crabbers and recreational users of crab traps of the following regulations:
Effective January 1, 2017, and to extend through 2019:
The commercial harvest of immature female blue crabs is prohibited. There is an exception for immature female blue crabs held for processing as softshell crabs or being sold to a processor for the making of softshell crabs. Only crabs at the “white line” stage or later can be held for making of softshell crabs. Additionally, legally licensed commercial crab fishermen may have an incidental take of immature female crabs not to exceed two percent of the total number of crabs in possession. Crabs in a work box, used to sort or cull undersized and/or immature female crabs, are not subject to the restriction while held aboard an active fishing vessel.
An immature female crab, also known as a “maiden” or “V-bottom” crab, can be identified as having a triangular shaped apron on her abdomen. A mature female crab can be identified as having a dome shaped apron on her abdomen.
Effective November 15, 2017:
A minimum of three escape rings should be placed on the vertical, outside walls flush with the trap floor or baffle with at least two rings located in the upper chamber of each trap. The minimum size of rings should be 2 and 3/8 inches inside diameter. Any crab trap constructed of wire mesh 2 and 5/16 inches square or greater is exempt from escape ring requirements. The above escape ring requirements will be effective in Lake Pontchartrain on November 15 as well.


LDWF’s Waddill Wildlife Refuge to Partially Reopen on March 21

Release Date: 03/15/2017

March 15, 2017 – Portions of Waddill Wildlife Refuge in Baton Rouge will reopen to the public Tuesday (March 21), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. Areas that will be open include the two stocked fishing ponds, air rifle range, archery range, outdoor bathrooms and two outdoor pavilions.
Some hiking trails and all classroom facilities will remain closed until further notice.
Waddill Refuge received substantial damage during the historic floods of August 2016.
Visitors must sign in at the parking lot kiosk. Information regarding fish limits and closed areas will be posted at the kiosk. LDWF asks that all visitors abide by trail closure signs and avoid construction areas in order to maintain safety.
The facility will resume normal business hours Tuesday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning March 21. Waddill Refuge is closed on state holidays, Sundays and Mondays.
For more information, contact Waddill Refuge manager Karla Allen at kallen@wlf.la.gov or 225-274-8192.


Benton Schools Capture Titles in Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament

Release Date: 03/10/2017

Winners from the 2017 ALAS State Tournament held in Shreveport.
ALAS archers compete in the 2017 State Tournament.
ALAS archers compete in the 2017 State Tournament.
ALAS archers compete in the 2017 State Tournament.

March 10, 2017 – Benton schools were the big winners in the Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament in Shreveport last Saturday (March 4), the largest event in in the program’s history. A total of 946 students from 42 Louisiana schools participated in the bullseye competition with 426 of those same students competing in the ALAS 3-D State Tournament.
Students competed for $20,000 in scholarships and other prizes and awards as well as the chance to qualify for the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) National Tournament. The ALAS program is administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
Student archers competed in three divisions, including elementary school (grades 3-5), middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). Top honors in the team portion of both the bullseye and 3-D competitions went to Benton Elementary, Benton Middle School and Benton High School in their respective divisions. The top three teams in each division received a team trophy and each first place team in the bullseye portion earned an automatic berth to the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Ken., on May 11-13.
Top individual honors went to the top five individuals in each division. The top ten male and female archers in each division also receive an automatic berth to the NASP National Tournament. The top male and female in each division also received a state prize bow. Finally, the top three male and female shooters in the bullseye portion received scholarship awards as did the top male and female overall shooter in the 3-D competition.
Top Male and Top Female Overall went to Aidan Haire of Benton High and Amber Long or Benton Middle for their scores of 295 and 287, respectively. Each received a $5,000 scholarship for this outstanding accomplishment. 
Nathan Delill of Buckeye High shot a 294 and Averie Halverson of Benton Middle shot a 286 and took second place Male and Female Overall, earning $2,500 each.  Third place Male and Female Overall went to Dakota Simpson of Caddo Magnet High and Kaylee Misenheimer of Benton High with scores of 292 and 285 respectively, earning a $1,250 scholarship each.
Simpson was also recognized as the Top Male archer in the 3-D event for his score of 291 and received an additional $1,250 scholarship. Abbie Rutledge of Benton High won Top Female in 3-D with a score of 285. She received a $1,250. 
In all, 30 Louisiana archery teams and 60 individuals qualified for the NASP National Tournament.  A list of all national qualifiers can be found at the ALAS Facebook page and full results can be found at www.nasptournaments.org.
Scholarships were made possible thanks to donations by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Man Cave Archery, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation-Louisiana Chapter, Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA), Louisiana Archery and Sports Center, Hoot & Holler Archery, LSU AgCenter,  Morrell Targets, Louisiana National Guard, H&E Equipment Services, Whitetails Unlimited-Cenla Buckbusters, Quality Deer Management Association-Central Louisiana Branch, , Academy Sports + Outdoors, CENLA Signs, Homeland Safety Systems, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Cenla Bowbenders, and Outlaw’s BBQ. LDWF would like to extend a special thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers, and staff that made this year’s event possible.
The ALAS/NASP program, which serves about 200 schools and 20,000 students in Louisiana, is available to all schools in the state and grants are available to assist with funding. For more information about the ALAS program, contact ALAS State Coordinator, Robert Stroede, at rstroede@wlf.la.gov or 318-484-2276.


Registration for the Spring Women’s Fishing Workshops is Now Open!

Release Date: 03/10/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), CCA Louisiana, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund,  National Wildlife Federation and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are teaming up to present two Women’s Fishing Workshops this spring at Cabela’s Gonzales location. The workshops, held on Saturday, April 22nd and Saturday, May 20th, are open to women over the age of 18 who are looking to learn about fishing and utilizing Louisiana’s aquatic resources.

Whether you’ve never fished, or you’re a more advanced angler looking to sharpen your knowledge, these workshops cover a variety of skills to help make fishing more enjoyable. LDWF biologists and aquatic volunteer instructors will instruct 30 women per event in fish identification, best fish handling practices, preparing fishing equipment, basic fishing skills, as well as catching, cleaning, storing, and cooking fish.  Fifteen participants will be randomly selected from each course and will get the chance to apply their newly learned skills on an overnight fishing trip to Grand Isle under the direction of LDWF biologists and volunteer instructors. Participants will stay at the LDWF Fisheries Research lab where they will get a chance to go fishing in the areas surrounding Grand Isle on Saturday and Sunday morning. The trip for the April 22nd workshop will be June 2-4th and July 14-16th for the May 20th workshop.
Interested women may register HERE for the workshop. Please remember that each Women’s Fishing Workshop will be limited to 30 participants per date so register soon. Registration for the April 22nd workshop will end on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, and Wednesday, May 3, 2017 for the May 20th workshop. Participants may only attend one workshop.

Selected registrants will be notified via email or phone prior to each workshop. 

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet March 14th

Release Date: 03/09/2017

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 10:00 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122





I.              Call to Order

II.            Discussion of Recommendations RE: Oyster Seed Grounds

Vessel Permit Training Requirements

III.         Discussion of Moratorium Lifting Draft NOI

IV.          Discussion of Draft Legislation RE: Alternative Oyster Culture; Permits

V.             Public Comment

VI.          Set next meeting

VII.        Adjourn


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


Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet March 14th

Release Date: 03/09/2017

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m. in the second floor conference room 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.              Roll Call of Board Members

2.              Approval of Minutes from November 7, 2016 Meeting

3.              Hearing of New Renewal Permit Appeals

a.     William Van Meter

b.     Joseph Kinkella

4.              Receive Public Comments

5.              Set next meeting date

6.              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.

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.

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

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Tuesday, March 14

Release Date: 03/08/2017

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 1 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122




      I.         Roll call and introduction of guests
     II.         Approval of February 15, 2017, meeting minutes and March 17, 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.     Discussion of sponsorship & financial polices & procedures (Cara Tyler)
              B.     Discussion of private sector development projects (Damon Morris)
              C.     Discussion of the Audubon G.U.L.F. Program (Damon Morris)
              D.     To discuss a resolution in support of federal Sea Grant funding (OTF)
              E.     To discuss and consider funding for the Oyster Convention & Congressional

                            Staff Meeting
              F.     To consider funding for the Gulf & South Atlantic States Shellfish Conference

             G.     To discuss and consider funding for Spring D.C. Acadiana Event (OTF)
  VI.       Public Comment
VII.        Set Next Meeting
VIII.       Adjourn


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



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 the contact at the top of

this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 


LDWF Makes Notice of Cancelled Oyster Leases

Release Date: 03/07/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to make public notice regarding the nonpayment of fees related to oyster leases on both its website and in the official journal of the parish in which the delinquent lease is located.
As per Louisiana Revised Statute 56:429, any lessee who pays their rent on or after the first day of February owes the rent due plus an additional 10 percent penalty. Failure of the lessee to pay the rent punctually on or before the first of each January, or within 60 days thereafter, terminates and cancels the lease and forfeits to the department all the works, improvements, betterments and oysters on the previously leased water bottom.
The list of cancelled leases is available HERE.  Notices were made to each lessee who had not yet paid their rent by certified mail. The current list shows those lessees who did not provide payment by March 1, 2017, and those leases that have been cancelled.
For questions regarding delinquent oyster lease payments, please contact Marc Maniscalco at (504) 284-5277.

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