LDWF News Release

LDWF Announces 2016 Duck Stamp Contest

Release Date: 06/08/2015

June 8, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today the rules and timeframe for the 2016 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp, or Louisiana Duck Stamp competition.
“Gadwall will be the featured species in this year’s competition,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader.
Gadwalls, or “gray ducks” as they are often called, are the most abundant duck in Louisiana’s coastal marshes during fall and winter.  Louisiana hunters generally harvest more gadwalls than any other species during the regular waterfowl season.
“With high populations of gadwalls and fewer mallards migrating into Louisiana than 20 years ago, ‘grays’ have become the favorite of coastal duck hunters, but are quite common in hunter’s bags across the state,” Reynolds said.  “No species has been more important for Louisiana duck hunters than gadwalls.”
After five years of open contests, where artist could submit paintings of a species of their choice except for previous winners, the list of not allowed species had grown large enough to complicate the rules.  So the 2015 contest was restricted to blue-winged teal, and Guy Crittenden’s outstanding depiction of a pair of bluewings in flight continued a long tradition of excellent stamp designs.  The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp bearing that design went on sale June 1.
The 2016 contest will be restricted to designs with gadwall as the focal species.  Artists are also reminded of the requirement for associated habitat.  “The primary objective of this program is to provide revenue to create, enhance, and maintain habitat for waterfowl and associated wetland wildlife,” said Reynolds. “So a habitat component is required in each entry and is one of the five judging criteria”. 
To enter, an artist must submit an original, unpublished work of art, along with a signed and notarized artist's agreement and a $50 entry fee.  Entries should be addressed to:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attn: Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Program
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Entries will be accepted from Monday, October 12 through Tuesday, October 20, 2015 with the contest to be held in the Louisiana Room at the LDWF Headquarters building starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.  The public is invited to attend.
Please visit this link to view complete rules and the artist agreement for the 2016 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/2016-louisiana-duck-stamp-contest.
The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988.  The program was created to generate revenues for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana.  During the last 25 years, over $12 million has been generated for wetland conservation with approximately $5 million spent on land acquisition.  In addition, revenues have supported wetland development projects on Wildlife Management Areas and the Louisiana Waterfowl Project, a cooperative endeavor between LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.
Judging for the art competition will be based on the following criteria:
1. Accuracy of form, size, proportion, color and posture.
2. Level and accuracy of detail in all aspects of the waterfowl.
3. Appropriateness, accuracy and detail in depiction of the habitat.
4. Attractiveness and creativity in composition, subject, background and lighting.
5. Suitability for reproduction as stamps and prints.
A panel of judges with experience in waterfowl biology and/or artistic method will select the winning design. The competition is open to all artists 18 years of age and older.  Employees of LDWF and members of their immediate families are ineligible.
For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.
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.



LDWF Announces Text Message Notification System

Release Date: 06/08/2015

(June 8,2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is now offereing a text message notification system for those interested in receiving Louisiana recreational or commercial fishing news.
Text message notifications will be sent on important updates such as season openings and closures, regulation changes and meeting announcements.
To sign up for recreational fishing text alerts visit www.fishla.org/text-alert-sign-up and to sign up for commercial fishing text alerts visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/textalert-signup.
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 media Inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.


QDMA Awards Presented at June Commission Meeting

Release Date: 06/08/2015

Roland Dugas III and Tony Vidrine receive QDMA Awards

June 8, 2015 Two individuals dedicated to improving deer hunting opportunities for those who hunt in Louisiana were honored with Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) awards at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting on June 4.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist Manager Tony Vidrine was honored with the Al Brothers Professional Deer Manager of the Year Award and Roland Dugas III was honored with the Al Brothers Deer Manager of the Year Award for Non-Professionals.
Vidrine is LDWF’s WMA Ecoregion Manager for the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. He earned a degree in Forestry from LSU In 1983.  While at LSU, Vidrine began his LDWF career as a wildlife specialist on Bohemia and Biloxi Marsh WMAs, where he continued to learn and apply the lessons from his time at LSU.  His varied experience gained during his 30-year career has prepared him for his present position as a biologist manager. He currently oversees 11 WMAs and 19 additional staff in his management role.
Vidrine’s deer management experience has been instrumental in regulatory decisions made by the agency in the lower MAV and statewide. The DMAP program under his supervision has flourished and the breeding data collected has been critical in the establishment of the Deer Management Areas in that portion of the state.  Vidrine is credited with implementation of youth lottery hunts on seven WMAs for various species including deer, turkey and waterfowl. 
Roland Dugas III of Baton Rouge holds a BS degree in Petroleum Land Management from LSU. He has extensive experience in the acquisition of rural land, and developing those lands to increase their value.  He has been a QDMA member since 2003 and a sponsor member in 2006 and 2008. He is also a member of the National Deer Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, CCA-Louisiana, the Rocky Mountain Elk Association and the Black Bear Conservation Coalition.
As part owner of a 9,500-acre property in Avoyelles Parish, Dugas has managed the property to improve wildlife habitat and been responsible for implementation of several conservation easements on the property. He has the property enrolled in the DMAP program and partners with the state’s black bear restoration efforts. As a member of the south Louisiana branch of QDMA, Dugas has helped organize and carry out numerous field days, educational seminars and fundraising events. 
The awards presented were named in honor of Al Brothers, who is considered the father of quality deer management.  Each year QDMA selects one individual worldwide, as the recipient of this award.  Individuals are only considered for the award if they are recognized as having a longstanding record or service and contributions to quality deer management and the white-tailed deer resource, having made significant, identifiable impacts on deer and deer hunting through education, research or management on public and private lands.  The award places Vidrine in the honor roll for deer management world along with other distinguished individuals such as Grant Woods, Steve Shea, Karl Miller, and former LDWF employee Dave Moreland.
For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
PHOTO:  (L to R) Robert Dugas III and Tony Vidrine, QDMA award recipients.


LDWF reminds anglers fishing from the Port Eads marina that new possession limits and fish conditions are not currently in effect

Release Date: 06/05/2015

June 5, 2015 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind anglers staying at the Port Eads marina in Plaquemines Parish that the new possession limit (up to 3-day bag limit) and possession condition (filleted fish) requirements are not yet in effect. 
An official press release will be issued to notify our anglers when the new changes take effect.   For information regarding these new rules, you can contact Brett Falterman at 504-286-4160 or the Port Eads marina directly at 504-308-1602.
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.
For press release inquiries contact Rene LeBreton, rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-8733.  

Commission Hears Proposals for Use of Breeding Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Funding

Release Date: 06/04/2015

June 4, 2015 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission received three proposals at their June meeting from organizations seeking funding for Breeding Waterfowl Habitat Conservation dispersed through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
The funding would be utilized over the next three fiscal years beginning in 2016. The proposals will be reviewed by LDWF and recommendations made to the Commission at their July 2 meeting for final approval.
Proposals were submitted by: the United Prairie Foundation, requesting $35,000 annually for three years; Ducks Unlimited, requesting $325,000 annually for three years; and Delta Waterfowl, requesting $160,000 annually for three years.
The proposals can be reviewed via LDWF’s website at this location: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items . For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov .


Road Closure on Dewey W. Wills WMA

Release Date: 06/04/2015

June 4, 2015 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising WMA users that Hunt Road, south of the Diversion Canal, on Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be closed to all traffic once the water level on Larto Lake reaches 45.0 feet.
Based on current water levels and projections, this level is anticipated to occur on June 11.  Increasing water levels in the Mississippi, Black, and associated river systems will result in significant backwater flooding on this road.  Road closures are implemented in the interest of public safety and the protection of the area resources and infrastructure.  Once the water recedes and road conditions allow, the road will be reopened.
Dewey W. Wills WMA is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula parishes in central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2753 .
For more information, contact Cliff Dailey at 318-487-5885 or adailey@wlf.la.gov .


Louisiana’s free fishing weekend set for June 6-7

Release Date: 06/04/2015

(June 4, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries invites Louisianans of all ages to fish for free the first weekend in June without a fishing license on any of the state’s public waters. 
Louisiana offers miles of shoreline and a myriad of freshwater lakes, marsh, and bayous to take opportunity of during this annual event.
The Department hopes the weekend will introduce newcomers, visitors and people with rusty skills to 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. 
Anglers are allowed to fish on all public bodies of waters without a license, but all fishing regulations still apply.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745


2014 recreational red snapper numbers show real-time, regional management is the way to go

Release Date: 06/03/2015

(June 3, 2015) – NOAA Fisheries recently released data on recreational red snapper landings for the 2014 season. Across the Gulf of Mexico, recreational fishermen landed 3,866,531 pounds of red snapper in 2014, 28 percent below the recreational quota of 5.39 million pounds. These data, mainly from NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), were released months after the red snapper season closed. Because of NOAA Fisheries’ inability to monitor recreational landings in real-time during the season, recreational fishermen lost out on the opportunity to harvest more than 1.5 million pounds of red snapper last year. Inadequate data not only reduce anglers’ fishing opportunities but also economic opportunities for fishing communities through lost revenues at marinas, bait shops, and beyond.
These 2014 data further demonstrate that NOAA Fisheries continues to fail to adequately monitor the recreational red snapper fishery. In six of the past seven years between 2007 and 2013 (excluding 2010 when the fishery was closed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill) recreational harvests exceeded the quotas, sometimes by as much as 80 or 90 percent. MRIP simply was not designed to monitor quotas in season, which prohibits any kind of flexible, responsive management such as extending the season to allow fishermen the opportunity to harvest the full quota or closing the season to prevent overharvests. Responsible management of this fishery requires precise, real-time data.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has proven in the last two years that we can provide the data needed to effectively manage this fishery, keeping harvests within limits and maximizing anglers’ time on the water. Through LA Creel, our new recreational data collection program, our biologists are on the dock every day, sampling catch and surveying anglers. Because of this intensive coverage, LA Creel provides more precise landings estimates and allows us to accurately count species such as red snapper as they are landed. Recreational landings estimates are available just two weeks after these data are collected. These near real-time data allow managers to flexibly and appropriately manage the fishing season—the Secretary of LDWF can adjust regulations within 72 hours if necessary. In 2014, for example, data from LA Creel enabled us to extend the state red snapper season by hundreds of days and still remain within our historic and projected share of the total Gulf recreational red snapper quota—good news for red snapper recovery, fishermen, and the businesses that depend on them.
Since Louisiana’s 2015 red snapper season opened in March, LDWF has continued to monitor the state’s recreational red snapper landings through LA Creel and is prepared to modify the season as needed to provide our anglers another successful year of red snapper fishing, conserve this valuable resource, and help keep our coastal communities thriving. LDWF is also currently working with NOAA Fisheries to recognize the validity of LA Creel and establish it as a replacement for MRIP. This process will pave the way for other Gulf states to adopt their own recreational data collection programs, improve data collection for this fishery, and hopefully bring the Gulf states one step closer toward regional, state-based management of the recreational red snapper fishery.  
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 Rene LeBreton at 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.



LDWF Goes Electronic for Licensing

Release Date: 06/02/2015


(June 2, 2015) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is now offering an electronic license option for both hunting and fishing privileges.  Save paper by storing an electronic file on your electronic device, or print the E-license in the convenience of your home for immediate use.

To access this option, simply visit www.wlf.la.gov and select the E-license option when making your purchase. 

Those customers interested in a traditional, hard copy license on durable, waterproof paper can still visit any license vendor or call toll-free 1-888-765-2602.

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, contact Michelle Rayburn at 225-765-2881 or mrayburn@wlf.la.gov .  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.



Release Date: 05/29/2015

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of April 2 and May 7, 2015

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  Special recognition of Tony Vidrine - Quality Deer Managers Association (QDMA) Deer Manager of the Year National Award recipient

5.  To hear Enforcement Reports May 2015

6.  To hear presentations from three proposals to utilize Breeding Waterfowl Habitat Conservation funding

7.  To hear an update on the Legislative Session 

8.  Set October 2015 Meeting Date

9.  Receive Public Comments

10.  Adjournment

Live streaming available for the June 2015 LWF Commission Meeting through GoToWebinar.com.  To register for streaming, please follow this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1430504576958967041
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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