LDWF Invites You to Enjoy a Weekend of Free Fishing in Louisiana

Release Date: 06/01/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries invites Louisianans and non-residents alike to participate in this year’s free fishing weekend on June 11 and 12.  Free fishing weekend provides an opportunity for anglers to fish without a fishing license on any of the state’s public waters.
The Department hopes the weekend will help recruit new anglers and encourage those who haven’t been fishing recently to enjoy one of Louisiana’s most popular sports. If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing.  
In conjunction with free fishing weekend, several fishing events will be offered throughout the state including: 
Anderson Pond Fishing Event
Kisatchie, LA
6:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
(318) 472-1840
Bogue Chitto Fishing Rodeo
9 a.m. – noon
(985) 839-5707
D’Arbonne Fishing Rodeo
8 a.m. – noon
(318) 368-2086
Family Fishing Festival
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge
8 a.m. – noon
(337) 598-2216
In an effort to provide accessible and successful fishing opportunities, LDWF will stock several ponds throughout the state with adult channel catfish. The following locations will be stocked prior to free fishing weekend:
Bombing Range Pond
Winnfield, LA
BREC’s Burbank Pond
12400 Burbank Drive
Baton Rouge, LA
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge
1428 LA- 27
Bell City, LA 70630
Girard Park
500 Girard Park Drive
Lafayette, LA 70503
Sidney D. Torres Memorial Park
8200 Patricia St.
Chalmette, LA 70043
Zemurray Park
400 S. Oak Street
Hammond, LA 70403
Although no license is required, anglers are reminded that all fishing regulations still apply.
With the exception of free fishing weekend, anglers 16 and older must possess a Louisiana fishing license when fishing in any Louisiana public waters. Fishing liceneses can be purchased online at
By purchasing a fishing license, you also help provide funding for public fishing and boating access, fishing programs and education and fisheries management through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

LDWF Reminds Anglers of Amberjack and Gray Triggerfish Closure

Release Date: 05/25/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to advise anglers while targeting red snapper and other offshore species, the 2016 recreational fishing season for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish will close in state waters on Wednesday, June 1. 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also close federal waters to recreational harvest of both species June 1 through July 31.
The season for the recreational harvest of red snapper in Louisiana state waters is currently open and will remain open during the federal season, which begins on June 1, 2016.  
The Department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to posses certain species, including red snapper. Anglers may obtain or new the permit, free of charge at
The permit is required for any angler possessing tuna, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, wahoo, cobia and dolphin, except for anglers under 16 years of age or anglers fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.
Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.


LDWF Partners with Top Professional Anglers for Unique Stocking Event on Toledo Bend

Release Date: 05/16/2016

B.A.S.S. Elite Anglers picking up fingerlings
Florida largemouth bass fingerlings from LDWF's Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery
B.A.S.S. Elite Angler David Walker
B.A.S.S. Elite Angler Fabian Rodrigues

Over the weekend, twenty-two B.A.S.S. Elite Anglers teamed up with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to stock approximately 10,000 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings into the Toledo Bend Reservoir during their fifth stop on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail. This innovative stocking is part of the department’s efforts to ensure consistent, quality fishing for Louisianans, now and in the future, with the hopes these fingerlings will grow to become the next generation of trophy bass.
Saturday’s stocking event tasked volunteer B.A.S.S. Elite Anglers to pick suitable, protective habitat and transport the fingerlings in their personal boats to appropriate sites throughout the reservoir.
“Typically, fingerlings stocked into areas of good habitat will have a better chance of survival,” explained LDWF Biologist Manager Kristi Butler. “Our goal with producing and stocking Florida largemouth bass is to increase anglers’ chances of catching larger than average bass and the Florida/Northern hybrid largemouth bass grow larger than Louisiana’s native Northern largemouth bass.”
Anglers met LDWF hatchery trucks at Cypress Bend Resort Boat Dock on Saturday morning to collect largemouth bass fingerlings bagged with water and oxygen. The fingerlings were produced at Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in central Louisiana, and were roughly 2 to 2.5 inches in size.
“This inaugural stocking event not only directly improves the fishery, but gives the anglers ownership of the lake, which is frequently selected for competitive tournaments,” said Butler.  “In fact, in 2015, Toledo Bend Reservoir earned the top coveted spot on BASSMASTER Magazine’s ‘100 Best Bass Lakes in the Nation.’”
The success of the renowned fishery is due in great part to the agencies and organizations involved in the management of the fishery. Since 1990, LDWF, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Toledo Bend Lake Association, Sabine River Authority and the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission have worked together to release more than 28 million Florida-strain largemouth fingerlings into the massive reservoir. In 2016 alone, LDWF will produce and stock over 820,000 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings into Toledo Bend, helping to continue to rejuvenate the lake and increase catch rate.
The effectiveness of placing fast-growing Florida bass into the lake is evident by the numbers of double-digit fish entered into the Toledo Bend Lake Association’s Toledo Bend Lunker Program.  In 2015, the lake certified 81 bass weighing over 10 pounds. With only a few days left in the 2016 Lunker Program year, the program has certified a phenomenal 139 lunkers.
“That kind of success doesn’t happen by accident. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries “get it.” They know what they’re doing and understand the impact and value of the resource they have here,” explained B.A.S.S. Elite Angler Kevin VanDam. “Their stocking of Florida strain largemouth has really taken off and produced bigger bass here than ever before. As a result, the fishing is better, and Toledo Bend is a “hot” destination for anglers all over the country.”
The Bassmaster Elite Series is the highest level of professional bass fishing tournaments, with only the best anglers competing in nine tournaments plus a Classic bracket event. Toledo Bend was selected as a tournament stop due to its notoriety as prime bass fishing destination.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet

Release Date: 05/11/2016

John Tesvich, Chairman
Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at 1:00 p.m.
UNO Advanced Technology Center
2021 Lakeshore Dr., Room 210
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122
      I.         Roll call and introduction of guests
     II.         Approval of March 29, 2016, Meeting Minutes and May 17, 2016, Agenda
    III.         Treasury Report
                 A. Oyster tag sales
                 B. LOTF Financial Report
  IV.         Committee Reports
                A. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee (Mitch Jurisich)
                B. Enforcement (Captain Chad Hebert)
                C. Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)
                D. Research (Dr. Earl Melancon)
                E. Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)
                F. Marketing (LDWF)
                G. Health (Lance Broussard)
                H. Sustainability (LDWF)
                I. Professionalism (LDWF)
                J. Aquaculture
    V.         New Business
                A. Congresstional staff tour of LA oyster industry in early August (Al Sunseri)
                B. Legislative update (LDWF)
                C. Update from Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana on Oyster Shell 
                     Recycling Program (Corey Miller)
                D. Discussion of Industry Advancement Grants (Steve Beck)
                E. Public Oyster Seed Ground 2015/16 season summary (Steve Beck)
                F. Update on the Public Oyster Seed Ground Account (Steve Beck)
                G. Updates to the Public Oyster Seed Groud Areas (Steve Beck)
  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:

LDWF Announces Lake Bistineau Public Meetings

Release Date: 05/11/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will conduct two informational meetings concerning Lake Bistineau next week. 
Who:  LDWF fisheries staff
What:  Public information meeting on Lake Bistineau
When:  Tuesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Where:  LDWF Region 1 Office
             Jonathan Glasscock Memorial Classroom
              9961 Hwy. 80
              Minden, LA 71055
The May 17 meeting will include an update on the current status of the lake and will focus on the most frequently asked questions concerning the management of Lake Bistineau and giant salvinia. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and have them answered during this meeting. 
During the May 19 meeting, LDWF staff will present information on the use of giant salvina weevils on the lake. Everyone interested in Lake Bistineau management is encouraged to attend. 
Space is limited to 100 people, so please come early. 
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan is available at:
For additional information regarding the meetings, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at or (318) 371-3066. 

Louisiana Spring Shrimp Season Dates Set

Release Date: 05/05/2016

Louisiana Spring Shrimp Season Dates Set

The opening dates of the 2016 Louisiana spring shrimp season were announced at today’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The Commission set the spring shrimp season dates based on information provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and on public comments.
The opening dates for the 2016 Louisiana spring shrimp season are as follows:

  • All state inshore waters at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 23
  •  The portion of state outside waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou to open at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 23

LDWF biologists have monitored hydrological parameters and conducted over 500 trawl samples throughout the state’s estuarine and nearshore waters over the last five weeks to develop management recommendations for spring inshore opening dates.  The department provided projections of the dates when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population sampled reach sizes of 100 count per pound or larger. 
The Commission granted authority to the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to close the season when biological and technical data indicate significant numbers of small, white shrimp have recruited into inshore waters or if law enforcement problems develop. The Secretary is further granted the authority to open any area or reopen any previously closed area, and to open and close special shrimp seasons in any portion of state waters. 
For additional information, contact Jeff Marx at or (337) 373-0032.

LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Recreational Gag and Black Grouper Harvest

Release Date: 05/05/2016

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on a Notice of Intent to modify regulations for the recreational gag grouper season and gag and black grouper minimum size limits.  The Commission also took action on a Declaration of Emergency to make those season and size limits effective immediately, allowing anglers to take advantage of the earlier season opening while rules are promulgated.
The recreational season for gag grouper in Louisiana waters will now open on June 1, 2016, and remain open through December 31, 2016.  The recreational size limit for both gag and black grouper will increase from 22 to 24 inches total length.
NOAA Fisheries promulgated rules establishing this season extension and recreational size limit increase in federal waters off Louisiana.  Today’s action will establish state rules consistent with federal regulations.
To view the full notice of intent, please visit here.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to prior to August 4, 2016.


LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Black Bass on Sabine River

Release Date: 05/05/2016

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission considered a Notice of Intent to modify the size limit on black bass on the Lower Sabine River.
The NOI proposes a decrease in the minimum length limit (MLL) of black bass from 14 inches to 12 inches on the main stem of the Sabine River from the Toledo Bend Reservoir Dam downstream to the Interstate 10 Bridge. If approved, these changes will go into effect on September 1, 2016. The daily bag limit on black bass will remain at eight fish.  
In 2011, Louisiana and Texas entered into an agreement to adopt consistent recreational fishing regulations governing their bordering waters. This modification will maintain consistency with a recent regulation change made by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
To view the full notice of intent, please visit here.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Bobby Reed, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1213 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70601 or via email to prior to July 5, 2016.



Drawdown for Aquatic Vegetation Control on Iatt Lake

Release Date: 05/03/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown for vegetation control in Iatt Lake in Grant Parish on May 16, 2016.
The lake level will be lowered 8 feet below pool stage to allow drying of the lake bottom, concentrating aquatic vegetation and increasing the effectiveness of herbicide applications.
The control structure will be closed no later than the first week of October 2016 to allow the lake to refill.
The drawdown is a component of LDWF’s integrated management plan for control of aquatic vegetation in Iatt Lake. Herbicide applications will also be conducted during the drawdown in accessible areas. In addition, 49,000 triploid grass carp were stocked into the lake in the fall of 2015 to control submerged nuisance vegetation.   
Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at or (318) 487-5888.  

Agency Partnership to Expedite Boat Registrations

Release Date: 05/03/2016

News Release

For Immediate Release
May 3, 2016

Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information - LDWF
(504) 286-8745

Contact: Kizzy Payton
Press Secretary - LDR

Agency Partnership to Expedite Boat Registrations

(Baton Rouge, LA) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) have announced a partnership to help expedite the process of registering boats.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue will have a representative at the LDWF headquarters office in Baton Rouge, LA every Monday to help process tax payments for customers registering boats.  In some instances, when customers register a boat purchased from an individual, they are required to pay the taxes on that boat at LDR prior to registering the vessel at LDWF.  This partnership will prevent many customers from visiting both agencies; both transactions can be accomplished at one location.

“We look forward to this partnership with the Department of Revenue, and we will continue to identify opportunities to provide the highest level of customer service for our citizens,” said LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon.

“The partnership with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries represents a great opportunity to collaborate with other state agencies and provide the services needed for Louisiana taxpayers,” said LDR Secretary Kimberly Lewis Robinson. “We look forward to working with them to help expedite this process through this added convenience.”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at

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