LDWF News Release

LDWF Accepting Applications Starting May 17, 2018, for Waterfowl Group Hunts at White Lake WCA for 2018-19 Hunting Season

Release Date: 05/16/2018

May 16, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will begin accepting applications May 17, 2018 for waterfowl group hunts for up to 12 hunters per group at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA). 
The cost of the 2018-19 waterfowl season hunts will be $30,000 for each group and the application form is available on the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications .  A completed application form and $2,500 deposit must be submitted to LDWF by the close of business on June 20, 2018.
Interested groups must select one two-day group hunt per application. When selecting dates from the dates offered (example: Nov. 10-11), it is understood that arrival will be the afternoon before (example: Nov. 9).  The two consecutive days of hunting do not include the arrival day, which will be the day before from 3 to 5 p.m.
LDWF will select one application by random lottery drawing for each hunt offered.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must submit a separate application for each two-day group hunt they wish to reserve. Applicants can apply for as many as three separate two-day hunts. If multiple applications are submitted, each will require a separate $2,500 deposit.
Applications must be accompanied by a bank draft, money order or other liquid instrument made payable to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the amount of $2,500.  If the application is selected, the deposit is non-refundable. The applicant will be notified by mail or e-mail, and will be required to submit the final payment of $27,500 no later than Oct. 15, 2018.
PLEASE NOTE: Any unsold hunts after the application deadline will be sold on a first come first serve basis. Please contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 ext. # 1 or email wsweeney@wlf.la.gov to find out what hunting dates may still be available. A hunt will be considered sold once a deposit and application is received in the LDWF Baton Rouge office at the address referenced in the application.
The fee covers up to 12 hunters and includes the following: transportation to and from the airport (Jennings or Lake Charles or Lafayette), all food and beverages, two-night stay at the White Lake Lodge, professional hunting and fishing guides, hunting and fishing licenses, steel shot shotgun shells for waterfowl hunts and steel shot for skeet range, the use of shotguns and fishing gear, bird and fish cleaning and packaging.
On the arrival day, hunters will watch a safety film and then be issued hunting and fishing licenses. If time allows, the group will shoot skeet in the late afternoon hours.  Day two starts with a morning waterfowl hunt from 6 to 9:30 a.m.  After the hunt, lunch will be served and that afternoon the group can fish or shoot clay targets on the skeet range or sporting clays course.  On day three, a morning waterfowl hunt is scheduled from 6 to 9:30 a.m., and checkout is no later than noon, after lunch.
Applications must be mailed or delivered to:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Attention: White Lake Group Hunt
2000 Quail Drive, Room 418
Baton Rouge, LA   70808
For more information on White Lake WCA waterfowl group hunts, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1, or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .


LDWF Clarifies Red Snapper Season Start Date for Anglers

Release Date: 05/15/2018

(5-15-18) – LDWF would like to clarify that recreational red snapper harvest begins May 25.  A few anglers have had confusion regarding when recreational fishing for red snapper will be allowed for holders of a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP) under the Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) granted to Louisiana.  While the EFP allows the recreational harvest of red snapper from federal waters outside of a federal season, it only allows that harvest at times and seasons set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) when an angler possesses a saltwater fishing license and a ROLP.  

At its May meeting, the LWFC set the recreational red snapper season to open Friday, May 25 and run daily until LA Creel data indicates the allotted quota has been or is projected to be reached. 

For more information on the EFP and the red snapper season, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/snapper-efp-faqs).

To view the announcement regarding the 2018 red snapper season, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/42020.

Finfish Task Force To Meet May 17

Release Date: 05/15/2018

Finfish Task Force Agenda

Thursday, May 17, 2018, 2:00PM

The Louisiana Room

2000 Quail Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70898



I.Call to Order 

II.Roll Call and Introduction of Guests

III.Approval of the December 5, 2017 Meeting Minutes and the May 17, 2018 Agenda

IV.New Business

A.    Election of Vice-Chairman and Alternate Designees-FTF

B.    Approval of the Finfish Task Force Bylaws- FTF

C.    To Hear an Update on the Status of Black Drum and Discussion on Potential Changes to Recreational and Commercial Harvest, Size, and Bag Limits- LDWF

D.   To Hear a Presentation on the Freshwater Stock Assessment- LDWF

E.    To Hear Discussion on Mullet Fisheries Issues- FTF

F.    To Hear Discussion on Finfish Trawling- FTF

V.Public Comment

VI.Set Next Meeting Date and Location


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  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1663073300315091201

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.


LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Single Vessel Incident in Ascension Parish

Release Date: 05/13/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal single vessel boating incident involving a father and son in Ascension Parish.

A 20 foot aluminum vessel being operated by Patrick White, 53, of Sorrento, with Caleb White, 27, of Sorrento, as a passenger hit a bulkhead on the Amite River around 9 p.m. on May 12.  Patrick White sustained minor injuries whereas Caleb White sustained fatal injuries.

According to Patrick White, the two left to go boating in the morning and were returning from their trip when he hit a bulkhead.  It is believed that Caleb White was ejected from the boat and hit the bulkhead before ricocheting back into the boat.

An agent on patrol in the area found the vessel up against the bulkhead and was able to get the father and son into his vessel and call for an ambulance.  Both father and son were responsive at this time.

The agent was able to get the men to the Hilltop Landing where Acadian Ambulance was waiting.  Caleb White died on the way to the hospital.

Agents performed a field sobriety and breathalyzer test on Patrick White and he was found over the legal limit for alcohol.  Agents arrested Patrick White for vehicular homicide, operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) and reckless operation. Caleb White’s body was turned over to the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

Vehicular homicide brings a $2,000 to $15,000 fine and five to 30 years in prison.  DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and 10 days to six months in jail.  Reckless operation brings up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.



Bridge Repair Work on La. Hwy. 975 South Forces Detour to Northern End of Sherburne WMA

Release Date: 05/11/2018

May 11, 2018 – Users of the northern end of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will need to use U.S. Highway 190 to access the area due to bridge repair work on Louisiana Highway 975 South between I-10 and Sherburne WMA.
That includes those planning to attend Saturday’s (May 12) Step Outside Day, an outdoor program hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) at Sherburne WMA. The bridge being repaired is four miles north of Interstate 10.
To access Sherburne WMA headquarters, where Step Outside Day will be held, take U.S. Highway 190 to the Sherburne exit on Louisiana Highway 975 and drive south approximately three miles. The venue will be on the left near Big Alabama Bayou.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov


LDWF Workshops Introduces Women to the Sport of Fishing

Release Date: 05/08/2018

LDWF Workshops Introduces Women to the Sport of Fishing
LDWF Workshops Introduces Women to the Sport of Fishing

Over 50 women joined the ranks of experienced anglers in Louisiana by participating in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Women’s Fishing Workshops.  The two workshops were held last month at the Cabela’s in Gonzales. Participants were taught how to rig their own rod and reel, fishing tactics, methods of cleaning fish and native fish species identification.

The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana sent each participant home with her own rod and reel. In addition, raffle winners brought home new fishing gear courtesy of Cabela’s and Louisiana Fish Fry.     
The workshops are open to women 18 and older who have in interest in fishing and conservation but have not had the opportunity to learn the skills and techniques needed to get started. LDWF and Cabela’s have partnered to hold several of these one-day workshops over the past 5 years, training over 200 women. 
Those who participate in the workshops are eligible for selection for department coordinated fishing trips where they are paired with a fisheries biologist and boat captain, allowing them to put their newly learned skills to use. Selection for these trips is random due to limited accommodations. 
The Department strives to inspire people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors. These workshops are one of the many outreach initiatives LDWF and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation sponsors, designed to do just that. The goal is to provide women with hands-on education and experience from trained staff and volunteers.   
The women’s workshops are hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation . The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources.     


LDWF to Host 14th Annual Step Outside Day on Saturday at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 05/07/2018

May 7, 2018 - The 14th annual Step Outside Day, an outdoor education program hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), will be held Saturday (May 12) at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Lottie on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event, which is free, will take place next to scenic Big Alabama Bayou near Sherburne WMA headquarters.
Some of the events planned for Step Outside Day include pontoon boat rides, canoeing, target and trap shooting, fishing, archery and other outdoor activities.  Children can take part in blue bird box building, turkey and duck calling and other learning events.  All equipment will be provided.
Exhibits of wildlife and fish species and water safety will be available.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided as well as drawings for door prizes.  Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
The Sherburne WMA headquarters is located at 1132 Sherburne Road near Lottie.  From U.S. Highway 190, take Sherburne (Louisiana Highway 975) exit and drive south approximately three miles.  The venue will be on the left, near Big Alabama Bayou.  From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay exit and drive North approximately 13 miles on Louisiana Highway 975.  The venue will be on the right near Big Alabama Bayou.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov or Steven David at 337-948-0255 or sdavid@wlf.la.gov


Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Opens Online Portal for Civil Restitution Payments

Release Date: 05/04/2018

BATON ROUGE, La.--The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has expanded its method of collecting payments for civil restitution associated with violations. Violators can now pay their civil restitution online from anywhere at any time using major credit cards.

An online portal, developed in partnership with Louisiana Interactive, is now available for the convenience of those that need to pay civil restitution. The new technology will allow LDWF to collect civil restitution payments in a more efficient manner.

LDWF is committed to both, ensuring the state receives all restitution owed, and that the public has innovative and user-friendly tools to fulfill their monetary obligations.

In cases that involve civil restitution, LDWF will inform violators by mail of their responsibility to pay the civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken wildlife, fish or damaged habitat.

The new secure portal is available here and can be accessed on any device. A link to this portal will also be available on LDWF’s homepage, www.wlf.la.gov.

“Louisianans are known for their love of our Sportsman’s Paradise,” said Secretary Jack Montoucet. “We are providing this convenient digital service to collect restitution that helps us maintain Louisiana’s wildlife for future generations.”

CWD Sampling Efforts in Northeast Louisiana Continue to Show No Detections

Release Date: 05/04/2018

May 4, 2018 – Continuing sampling efforts conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes have turned up no positive results of the disease.
LDWF has sampled 239 deer from the three parishes, located in northeast Louisiana, with results received back on 188 of the specimens as of May 2 with no positive results detected. The results from the samples will be received within the next three weeks, while additional sampling continues inside the buffer zone area within these parishes.
The sampling measures are part of LDWF’s CWD Response Plan. It was triggered by the discovery of a buck that tested positive for CWD in Issaquena County, Mississippi, on Jan. 25. Issaquena County borders northeast Louisiana and the deer was found only a few miles from the Louisiana border on the east side of the Mississippi River.
LDWF’s target sample size is 300 deer within the buffer zone, which is within 25 miles of the case in Issaquena County. This sample size will provide a 95 percent confidence interval that sampling would detect CWD at a prevalence rate of 1 percent. LDWF continues to work with private landowners to obtain consent for sampling efforts and would like to thank landowners who have been willing to assist and cooperate with LDWF’s sampling project.
Mississippi has also sampled in the area in its state and, with 275 results back, has not detected the disease outside the one case in Issaquena County.
In addition to the LDWF sampling, supplemental deer feeding in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes has been suspended as part of the response plan.
CWD is a neurodegenerative disease found in most deer species, including moose, elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. It is infectious and always fatal. It is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and is similar to BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) of cattle and scrapie in sheep. These diseases cause irreversible damage to brain tissue that leads to salivation, neurological symptoms, emaciation and death of the animal.
Deer infected with CWD can spread the disease even before symptoms develop. It can take one to two years for infected animals to become symptomatic. When symptoms appear, they can include emaciation, lethargy, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. Other signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, teeth grinding and drooping ears.

For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD


LWFC Approves Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules for 2018-19

Release Date: 05/04/2018

May 4, 2018 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2018-19 and 2019-20 resident game hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons, rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season, rules and regulations and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season, rules and regulations at its May meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
The notices of intent presented in January by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons were approved with amendments made subsequently in February.
Approved amendments to the NOI included alteration of the season structure for deer hunting areas 5 and 7. The new dates for Deer Area 5 will occur earlier within the normal season framework, beginning with primitive firearms season, which will start Nov. 10, 2018.
The beginning and closing of archery season is all that will be affected in Deer Area 7. It will open Sept. 15, 2018, and close Jan. 15, 2019. The adjustment will allow Deer Area 7 to run concurrent with deer areas 3, 8 and 10.
An amendment to allow gill and trammel nets for commercial fishing on Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) passed as did an amendment to close Bussey Brake WMA to all activities until further notice.
Changes from previous hunting seasons in the approved NOIs include but are not limited to:
* Deer Area 9 change in either-sex primitive and modern firearms days. Dates will occur earlier within the normal season framework to facilitate antlerless harvest earlier in the season with the intent to improve sex ratios in advance of breeding. There is no reduction or addition of available hunting days.
* Move West Feliciana Parish from Deer Area 4 to Area 6. 
* Prohibition on the use of drones on WMAs.
* Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Tunica Hills WMA.
* Addition of PCHP wheelchair bound waterfowl blinds on Bayou Pierre and Russell Sage WMAs.
*  Addition of vessel language for allowable means of camping on WMAs. 
* Addition of language to clarify where camping can occur on WMAs. 
*  Reduction of available either-sex modern firearm days from three to two and reduction of primitive firearms bucks only days from seven to two for deer on Attakapas WMA.
*  Allowance for use of yo-yo’s and trot lines for fishing in Big and Chain lakes on Big Lake WMA. 
*  Establishment of Limited Access Areas (LAAs) for the Topan Unit and the Old Waterfowl Refuge on Boeuf WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels.
*  Reduction of deer youth lottery and PCHP Wheelchair bound opportunity on Buckhorn WMA.
* Adjustment of dates for primitive weapon deer season on Clear Creek WMA.
* Grassy Lake WMA reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from seven to two days. 
*  Elimination of antlerless deer harvest on Pass-A-Loutre WMA.
*  Reduction of deer either-sex primitive weapon days from seven to two days on Richard K Yancey WMA.
*  Changing the Joyce WMA deer season structure to run concurrent with Maurepas Swamp WMA deer season.
*  Establishment of LAAs for all waterfowl impoundments EXCEPT Wham Brake on Russell Sage WMA, prohibiting the use of motorized vessels.
*  Adjustment of Sabine WMA deer season(s) to make them later in the season.
*  Increase in the number of deer either-sex days for modern firearms from five to14 days on Thistlethwaite WMA.  
*  Adjustment of dates for primitive weapons deer season on West Bay WMA.
*  Addition of a part of St. Martin Parish into Area A for turkey hunting.
To view the full notice of intent and all hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

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