LDWF News Release

LDWF to Close Shrimp Season in Portions of State Inside Waters

Release Date: 12/14/2017

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the fall shrimp season will close in a portion of state inside waters effective Monday, December 18, 2017 at official sunset.

Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • All state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line except for the following waters located east of the Mississippi River:
    • Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), a section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Orleans parish from the GIWW East Closure Sector Gate westward to the GIWW intersection with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as bounded by the double-rig line described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2

All state outside waters will remain open at this time.

For a map detailing today’s actions visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons

Existing data do not currently support shrimping closures in additional state inside or outside waters. However, the department will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters.

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp should average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided the LDWF Secretary with authority to close the fall inshore shrimp season when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF biologists indicates the average white shrimp size in the waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

For more information, contact Peyton Cagle at (337) 491-2575 extension 3017 or peyton.cagle@la.gov .


Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission January Meeting to Begin at 1 p.m.

Release Date: 12/13/2017

Dec. 13, 2017 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s January meeting, scheduled for Thursday Jan. 4 at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters in Baton Rouge, will begin at 1 p.m. instead of the normal start time of 9:30 a.m.
An agenda will be published prior to the meeting date.
What: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission January meeting.
When:  Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 at 1 p.m.
Where: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, Louisiana Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge.


Bodcau, Woodworth Shooting Ranges to be Closed Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve

Release Date: 12/13/2017

Dec. 13, 2017 - The Bodcau and Woodworth shooting ranges will be closed Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced.
The Woodworth shooting range is located at 661 Robinson Bridge Road in Woodworth. For more information on the Woodworth shooting range, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/shooting-range/woodworth-shooting-range or call 318-484-2212.
The Bodcau shooting range is located at 168 Ben Durden Road in Benton. For more information on the Bodcau shooting range, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/bodcau-wma or call 318-326-3225.
Information on all LDWF shooting ranges can be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges .


LDWF to construct the first artificial reef in Vernon Lake

Release Date: 12/12/2017

Baton Rouge – LDWF will deploy a new freshwater artificial reef into Vernon Lake on Thursday, December 14.

The artificial reef will provide additional habitat for juvenile fish and offer anglers increased fishing opportunity on Vernon Lake.

The reef will be composed of PVC pipe that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.  Woody debris like trees and branches make for great artificial cover and are part of the habitat enhancement tool kit. However, wood and small limbs decompose relatively quickly and buoyancy can sometimes be an issue. Longer lasting artificial structures, using more durable materials, maximizes the benefits over time, so in recent years LDWF has switched to plastic as the material of choice for freshwater artificial reef structures.

Material for this project was secured through a partnership with Entergy Louisiana and the Vernon Parish Game and Fish Commission.

This project on Vernon Lake will increase the LDWF freshwater artificial reef total to 69 reefs on 15 waterbodies across the state.  For more information about the locations of our artificial reefs across the state, check out our ‘Outdoor Explorer Map Tool’ at: http://arcg.is/0GuDKb and then click the 'Get on the Water' tab.

LDWF staff will be available to media at the Spillway Park on the south end of Vernon Lake at noon on Thursday for interviews and to facilitate photos of reefs on the lake bed after deployment.

 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 www.wlf.la.gov/signup.



2018 Turkey Season Lottery Hunt Applications Now Available

Release Date: 12/12/2017

Dec. 12, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for the 2018 turkey season lottery hunts on state wildlife management areas (WMAs). The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 9, 2018.
Regular turkey lottery hunts will be held on nine WMAs this spring. Youth lottery hunts will be held on 11 WMAs.
The application forms for these WMA hunts for adult and youth hunters are now available on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts. The forms list all lottery hunt dates and locations.
The 2018 wild turkey season will open April 7 on private lands in three designated areas with varying end of season dates as follows: Area A, April 7-May 6; Area B, April 7-29; and Area C, April 7-22. For a detailed map, go to http://www.eregulations.com/louisiana/hunting/turkey-hunting-seasons/ .
The statewide youth and physically challenged hunter weekend for private lands will be March 30-April 1. To access additional information on turkey season, review the 2017-18 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet at http://www.eregulations.com/louisiana/hunting/ .
For more information, contact Cody Cedotal at ccedotal@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2361.


LWF Commission Modifies Rules for the Importation of Sterlet Sturgeon

Release Date: 12/12/2017

At its mothly meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission considered a Notice of Intent (NOI) to modify rules and regulations for the importation of Sterlet sturgeon into the state.
The following stipulations were added to existing regulations for importation of this species to address safety and importation concerns expressed by the House Natural Resource Committee.
Shipments of Sterlet sturgeon into Louisiana must be escorted from the state line to the permitted facility by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement or other department approved escorts.
In addition, requests for the importation of Sterlet sturgeon from out of state must be made 10 business days before the expected date of shipment, instead of the previously required 3-day notice.
There will be a public meeting on the amended NOI on January 24, 2018, at 10 a.m. in the Louisiana Room at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge.
Permit restrictions, the full notice of intent and potpourri are available here: 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Robert Bourgeois, LDWF Permit Manager, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 or via email to rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov  prior to January 24, 2018.

LWFC Honors Commissioner Pat Manuel at December Commission Meeting

Release Date: 12/11/2017

(l-r) Chairman Chad Courville, Bart Yakupzak, Jerri Smitko, Manuel, Vice Chairman Bill Hogan, Robert Samanie III, Alfred Sunseri

Dec. 11, 2017 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission honored Commissioner Pat Manuel with a plaque during its December meeting in Baton Rouge. Manuel, an at-large member of the commission for the past six years, completes his term on the board Tuesday (Dec. 12) and attended his final meeting as a commissioner on Dec. 7.
Commission members honoring Manuel include (l-r) Chairman Chad Courville, Bart Yakupzak, Jerri Smitko, Manuel, Vice Chairman Bill Hogan, Robert Samanie III and Alfred Sunseri.


Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet Tuesday

Release Date: 12/11/2017

Oyster Task Force Public-Private Oyster Grounds Committee

Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 10:00 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

New Orleans 70122




I.               Call to Order

II.             Discussion of the RFP for Breton Sound Public Seed Grounds- Earl Melancon

III.           Discussion of the Oyster Lease Relocation Program- LDWF

IV.           Discussion of the Draft Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting NOI- OTF

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:


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. . For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

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.



Commercial Fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks to Open in State Waters January 1

Release Date: 12/07/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial fishing season for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2018. Federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.
The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. on April 1, 2018, until 12:01 p.m. on July 1, 2018, per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping. The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.
During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings as laid out in federal and state regulations. 
The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark. While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. 
Commercial fishing for Small Coastal Sharks will also resume in Louisiana waters on January 1 through December 31, 2018, or until 80 percent of the federal quota has been met. The commercial Small Coastal Shark fishery consists of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark. Blacknose sharks, though part of the Small Coastal Shark group, are managed under a separate quota that is linked to the overall Small Coastal Shark quota. The Small Coastal Group fishery remained open for all of 2017.
There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.
For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov.

Twelve Juvenile Whooping Cranes Released into the Wild at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge

Release Date: 12/07/2017

Whooping cranes released from Rockefeller holding pen.
Whooping cranes released from Rockefeller holding pen.

Dec. 7, 2017 – Twelve juvenile whooping cranes were released into the wild Wednesday (Dec. 6) at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge near Grand Chenier as part of an ongoing effort to protect the species from extinction. These 12 cranes join 11 juvenile whooping cranes, which were released on Nov. 9 on the nearby White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WLWCA) in Vermilion Parish.
The 12 whooping cranes were released into a holding pen at Rockefeller on Nov. 14 for observation as they acclimated to their new home then were released Wednesday.
The 23 juvenile cranes are part of an experimental population that now numbers 72 in the Louisiana wild being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
Support of partners including Chevron, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Nature Institute, U.S. Geological Survey, Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, International Crane Foundation and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation have allowed LDWF to expand its effort in Louisiana.
Of the 12 cranes, seven were reared at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland, two were raised at Calgary Zoo in Canada and three were hatched from eggs collected from the wild in Wisconsin and reared at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans.
Since 2011, Chevron has invested in LDWF’s Whooping Crane Reintroduction Project. In addition to Chevron’s financial contributions their employees have also given volunteer hours.
The Louisiana flock was developed in 2011 when 10 whooping cranes from the U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Facility in Maryland were released to WLWCA to develop the non-migratory flock. This marked a significant conservation milestone with the first wild whooping cranes in Louisiana since 1950. In 2016, the first chick hatched in the wild in Louisiana since 1939, a significant sign of recovery for the species.
Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report the sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form). Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds with a red head and black facial markings along. Birds measure a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet that makes them very distinctive. In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips, a fully extended neck, and legs which extend well beyond the tail.
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to call the LDWF’s Enforcement Division at 1-800-442-2511 or use the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. Citizen Observer, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 
For video of the release, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCfa1mReB5s .

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