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LDWF News Release

Agenda for the March Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 02/26/2018

The next regular commission meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

Agenda:

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call

4. Adoption of February 1, 2018 Commission Meeting Minutes

5. Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6. Enforcement Report February, 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7. Presentation of the award for the Shikar Safari Club International wildlife agent of the year

8. Consider a Resolution Regarding Transfer of Property from Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area to Joyce Wildlife Management Area.  - Alvin F. Landry, Attorney

9. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting seasons, 2018-19 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting seasons and rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season and rules and regulations, and 2018-19 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations --Tommy Tuma, Wildlife Director

10. Receive an update on discovery of CWD in Mississippi and consider a Declaration of Emergency to cease supplemental feeding of deer in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes. --Dr. Jim Lacour, Veterinarian, and Johnathan Bordelon, Program Manager

11. Receive an update on Public comment relative to the Feral Hog transport rule --Dr. Jim Lacour, Veterinarian

12. Receive and consider a Notice of Intent to amend the Inside/Outside shrimp line – Peyton Cagle, Biologist

13. Receive and consider the Public Comments Report on the Notice of Intent for the Addition of Sterlet Sturgeon to the Domestic Aquatic Organism (DAO) List for final rule making– Rob Bourgeois, Biologist

14. Receive a presentation and consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the 2018 opening date for bait menhaden – Daniel Edgar, Louisiana Bait

15. Gulf Council Update – Chris Schieble, Biologist

16. Set July 2018 Commission Meeting Date

17. Receive Public Comments

 

18. Adjournment

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6284783564634084353 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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 http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

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. 

Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament to Be Held in Shreveport on March 3

Release Date: 02/22/2018

Feb. 22, 2018 More than 1,200 student archers from 52 schools will compete in the 2018 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament on March 3 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Students will be competing for $20,000 in scholarships and a chance to advance to the national tournament.
 
The event, which begins at 8 a.m., is open to the public. Admission fee is $5 for adults and free to those 18 years old and younger. The tournament runs throughout the day with the awards ceremony set for 7 p.m. This year’s state tournament will include both bullseye and 3-D competitions. Students qualified for the state tournament in two regional events held in January and February.
 
Volunteers to assist at this year’s event are still being recruited. To volunteer, please contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 
The ALAS program, administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), is part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), which teaches international target archery skills to students in grades 4-12. About 200 schools and 24,000 students in Louisiana participate in the program. Nationally, more than 14,000 schools and 2.4 million students take part in the NASP program.
 
The 2018 ALAS State Tournament is made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors: Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Man Cave Archery, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation-Louisiana Chapter, Hoot & Holler Archery, LSU AgCenter,  Morrell Targets, H&E Equipment Services, Whitetails Unlimited-Cenla Buckbusters, Quality Deer Management Association-Red River Branch, Homeland Security, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Cenla Bowbenders, Louisiana Bowhunter, Y-Not Stop and Outlaw’s BBQ.
 
ALAS has grown rapidly since May of 2012 when about 35 schools participated. The program is offered in all parts of the state from rural to metropolitan areas.
 
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are available to assist with equipment purchases. For more information about the ALAS program, contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 

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Archery in Louisiana Schools State Tournament to Be Held in Shreveport on March 3

Release Date: 02/22/2018

Feb. 22, 2018 More than 1,200 student archers from 52 schools will compete in the 2018 Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) State Tournament on March 3 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Students will be competing for $20,000 in scholarships and a chance to advance to the national tournament.
 
The event, which begins at 8 a.m., is open to the public. Admission fee is $5 for adults and free to those 18 years old and younger. The tournament runs throughout the day with the awards ceremony set for 7 p.m. This year’s state tournament will include both bullseye and 3-D competitions. Students qualified for the state tournament in two regional events held in January and February.
 
Volunteers to assist at this year’s event are still being recruited. To volunteer, please contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 
The ALAS program, administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), is part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), which teaches international target archery skills to students in grades 4-12. About 200 schools and 24,000 students in Louisiana participate in the program. Nationally, more than 14,000 schools and 2.4 million students take part in the NASP program.
 
The 2018 ALAS State Tournament is made possible by the generous contributions of our sponsors: Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Man Cave Archery, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation-Louisiana Chapter, Hoot & Holler Archery, LSU AgCenter,  Morrell Targets, H&E Equipment Services, Whitetails Unlimited-Cenla Buckbusters, Quality Deer Management Association-Red River Branch, Homeland Security, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, Cenla Bowbenders, Louisiana Bowhunter, Y-Not Stop and Outlaw’s BBQ.
 
ALAS has grown rapidly since May of 2012 when about 35 schools participated. The program is offered in all parts of the state from rural to metropolitan areas.
The ALAS/NASP program is available to all schools in Louisiana and grants are available to assist with equipment purchases. For more information about the ALAS program, contact ALAS State Coordinator Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.
 

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LDWF Announces 2018 Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo; Volunteers Needed

Release Date: 02/21/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo, a volunteer derelict crab trap cleanup event, Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) Center located at 8124 LA-56, Chauvin, LA 70433. This event is being held in coordination with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and Louisiana Sea Grant; the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will be providing lunch. 

We need many volunteers to make this crab trap rodeo successful and keep our Sportsman’s Paradise pristine. Volunteers will help collect traps in the field, unload traps at the dock and count traps as they are unloaded. Commercial crabbers are highly encouraged to participate; their experience with the local waters and ability to stack traps on their vessel is valuable. Event organizers will provide boat owners with the equipment needed to collect the traps; however, they are responsible for transporting traps in their vessels. 

Removing abandoned crab traps is a wet and dirty job, so please wear appropriate clothing and wet gear. Volunteers should bring their own personal floatation device, which should be worn at all times while on the water. A free t-shirt and lunch will be provided to all volunteers as a small token of appreciation for their help to keep our waterways free and clean of derelict crab traps.

Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F9C2L2G

Please note that only LDWF, those approved by LDWF, or those assisting in the crab trap rodeo may remove derelict traps within the designated area. Derelict traps must be brought to the designated disposal site and may not be taken from the area. Furthermore, no one is authorized to access private property during the crab trap rodeo; individual landowners must provide authorization to access private property. 

The crab trap rodeo is part of LDWF’s Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program. LDWF initiated this program in 2004 to help address the abundance of derelict crab traps in public waters. Derelict, or discarded, lost, or abandoned traps, can incidentally catch and kill blue crabs and other species, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards, and reduce the aesthetics of our environment. 

The program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees. Since its inception, program participants have removed and disposed of more than 33,000 derelict crab traps. 

Go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/derelict-crab-trap-removal or contact Peyton Cagle at 337-491-2575 or peyton.cagle@la.gov for more information on Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program.

LDWF Biologists, Veterinarians Meet with Arkansas, Mississippi Personnel to Review CWD Response

Release Date: 02/16/2018

Feb. 16, 2018 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) deer and wildlife health and disease program biologists and wildlife veterinarians met Thursday (Feb. 15) with Arkansas and Mississippi wildlife personnel to discuss and review their respective chronic wasting disease (CWD) response plans.
 
Arkansas, which confirmed CWD in its state two years ago, shared valuable information from its experiences so far. Each agency’s staff will play important roles in upcoming disease sampling and surveillance in Louisiana and Mississippi.
 
A CWD-positive deer was confirmed in Issaquena County, Miss., on Jan. 25, making Mississippi the 25th state to confirm the presence of the disease.
 
Louisiana and Mississippi will have coordinated and measured responses, officials said.  Although Louisiana has not detected the disease, the CWD-positive deer was only about five miles from the Louisiana/Mississippi border. LDWF has implemented its response plan along with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP).
 
Landowner contacts and logistics of surveillance work are being planned and finalized.  Louisiana and Mississippi personnel will communicate closely with each other as well as landowners and the public within the surveillance zones.
 
To view the current Mississippi CWD surveillance zone go to: http://www.mdwfp.com/media/254611/cwd-management-zone.pdf.
 
To review the facts about CWD go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/CWD.
 

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LDWF Announces Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Training Workshop Dates

Release Date: 02/16/2018

Aquatic Volunteer Instructor teaching students about native fish and invasive species found in Louisiana.

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer instructor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)?  Through LDWF’s Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (Aquatic VIP), you can learn not only the basics of fishing and fisheries management, but also how to teach those skills to get younger generations hooked on fishing too! The workshops offered through this program are perfect for teachers, Boy Scout leaders, homeschoolers, and anyone who enjoys fishing and the outdoors!

At this hands-on workshop led by LDWF biologists, you’ll receive the training you need to become a volunteer instructor, an invaluable ally in LDWF’s efforts to increase fishing participation and wise utilization of natural resources across Louisiana. Topics and activities include basic fishing techniques, proper fish identification, invasive species awareness, fish biology, fisheries management and more. A binder full of lesson plans, activity guides and educational materials will be given to all volunteers who attend the workshop. 

After completing the 8-hour workshop and passing a background check, volunteers can borrow equipment to help teach these topics to others. For example, if you’ve always wanted to host your own fishing clinic for youth, but didn’t have the materials and resources to run one, then this is your solution! We can provide fishing rods with basic tackle, a knot tying kit, art and crafts activities and more. Join us at one of our many free* workshops across the state to get started!  Here are the locations and dates of our upcoming Aquatic VIP workshops:

Wed. March 14th in Youngsville
Wed. April 18th in Shreveport
Wed. May 16th in Baton Rouge
Sat. June 16th in Baton Rouge for Teachers Only
Sat. August 11th in New Orleans
Wed. August 15th in Woodworth

If you have a group of people who are interested in taking this training together, please contact Alayna McGarry at 504-286-4050 or amcgarry@wlf.la.gov.  We may be able to come to your area and set up a private workshop for you and your group!

To find out more information or to sign up, please visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs.  For any questions about the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, contact Alayna McGarry at (504)286-4050 or at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov

*A $25 registration fee is required to reserve your spot. This fee will be returned upon your arrival at the workshop. 

 

 

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

Release Date: 02/15/2018

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

Women's Workshop Participant wins her fight with this large Crevalle Jack!

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), CCA Louisiana, National Wildlife Federation, Cabela’s, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) are teaming up to present two Women’s Fishing Workshops this spring at Cabela’s Gonzales location. The workshops, held on Saturday, April 14 and Saturday, April 28, 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 train 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 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 fish, tour and learn about the many projects led by fisheries biologists at the lab. The trip for the April 14 workshop will be June 1-3 and July 13-15 for the April 28 workshop.
 
Interested women may register at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishingworkshops. Please remember that each Women’s Fishing Workshop will be limited to 30 participants per date. Registration for the workshops will end on Friday, March 16, 2018. Participants may only attend one workshop.

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

Participants must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. To purchase a fishing license, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov.

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, on Facebook at www.facebook.com, on Instagram @WLFLA, or on Twitter @LDWF.
 

The Women’s Fishing 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 Public Meetings on Proposed Hunting Seasons and WMA Rules and Regulation Changes to Begin Tuesday

Release Date: 02/14/2018

Feb. 14, 2018 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold six public meetings around the state, beginning Tuesday (Feb. 20) to present and gather comments on the proposed 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 hunting season, 2018-2019 general and WMA hunting seasons, rules and regulations, 2019 general and WMA turkey hunting season rules and regulations and the 2018-2019 migratory bird hunting season rules and regulations.
 
Public comment will be taken on all items currently under consideration as notices of intent by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The meeting dates and locations include:
 
Feb. 20 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Minden Office, 9961 Highway 80, Minden;
 
Feb. 23 (Friday) at 6 p.m. at the LSU Ag Center Building, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles;
 
Feb. 26 (Monday) at 6 p.m. at the Ponchatoula High School library, 19452 Highway 22, Ponchatoula;
 
Feb. 27 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at the Alexandria Convention Hall, 915 Third Street, Alexandria;
 
Feb. 28 (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette;
 
March 1 (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at the LDWF Monroe office, 368 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe.
 
To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulation changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.
 
Public comment will be accepted through April 5 at LWFC monthly meetings or may be submitted directly to Tommy Tuma, LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA., 70898-9000 or via e-mail to ttuma@wlf.la.gov through April 3.
 
For more information, contact Tommy Tuma at 225-765-2349 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov.
 
 

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Slot Limit for Black Bass Removed on Caney Creek Reservoir

Release Date: 02/14/2018

Regulations for black bass on Caney Creek Reservoir in Jackson Parish will change on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. The existing slot limit will be rescinded and replaced with statewide regulations for the species, which is 10 fish daily creel limit with no length restrictions.
 
The protected slot limit was initially adopted as part of an effort to increase the production of trophy bass. Following a 3-year comprehensive assessment, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists determined length limit regulations have little impact upon the fishery, primarily due to the high rate of voluntary catch-and-release fishing by Caney bass anglers.
 
The removal of these regulations will enhance recreational opportunities and simplify regulations for area anglers; however, the department anticipates the potential for overharvest to be very low.
 
LDWF biologists will conduct a yearlong angler creel survey in 2018 to document any changes in angler behavior.
For additional information regarding this regulation change, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066. 

Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Mississippi County Bordering Northeast Louisiana; LDWF closely monitoring situation

Release Date: 02/12/2018

Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Mississippi County Bordering Northeast Louisiana; LDWF closely monitoring situation

Feb. 12, 2018 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is monitoring the discovery of a white-tailed deer found dead with chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Issaquena County, Miss., which borders East Carroll and Madison parishes in northeast Louisiana.
 
CWD is infectious and always fatal in deer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there is no evidence that CWD can infect humans.
 
LDWF encourages landowners in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes to curtail supplemental feeding of deer as a means to limit concentration and spread of the disease.
 
According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) a 4-year-old free-ranging buck, that appeared to be emaciated, was found dead on Jan. 25. It tested positive for CWD on Jan. 29 at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
 
As part of its response, the MDWFP has banned supplemental feeding in Issaquena, Claiborne, Hinds, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo counties. This is the first case of CWD documented in Mississippi, which becomes the 25th state to confirm the presence of the disease.
 
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said LDWF is coordinating with MDWFP for sampling and containment measures.
 
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.
 
LDWF has tested more than 8,300 deer since 2002 and has not detected CWD. LDWF is coordinating with MDWFP for sampling and containment measures. Deer routinely swim the Mississippi River, often to escape floodwaters.
 
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.
 
CWD is caused by prions which are proteins normally found in the body that have mutated. These prions kill nerve cells and cause holes to develop in the brain tissue. They are spread through direct deer-to-deer contact or through contact with urine, feces, saliva and body parts of infected deer or infectious materials in the soil.
 
Decomposing body parts of dead, infected deer can also contaminate the soil.  Plants growing in that soil can take up the prions. Deer can become infected by feeding in areas with prion-contaminated soil and plants. The prions remain in the environment for years. There is no practical method of decontaminating an infected area.
  
For more information, contact the LDWF State Wildlife Veterinarian, Dr. Jim LaCour at  jlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0823. To report sick deer, please contact the nearest LDWF Field Office, including Minden, 318-371-3050; Monroe, 318-343-4044; Pineville, 318-487-5885; Lake Charles, 337-491-2575; Opelousas, 337-948-0255; Hammond, 985-543-4777; or Baton Rouge, 225-765-2346.
 

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