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LDWF News Release

LDWF Advises Hunters to Call Field Offices When Problems Encountered with Deer Tag Validation Process

Release Date: 12/10/2012

Dec. 10, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising hunters to call a local LDWF field office when problems are encountered with the phone-in, deer tag validation process.

Some hunters have experienced difficulty with the voice recognition system linked to the toll-free phone number 866-484-4805 that collects information on harvested deer and validates the individual’s deer tag, the final step in reporting harvest data to LDWF.

Wildlife Division staff at field offices around the state will accept and record tag validation information (date and parish of harvest) from hunters to complete the process as needed.  Hunters having difficulty are encouraged to call the field offices during normal work hours for personal assistance with validating their harvest.  LDWF field offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except holidays, in the following locations:

Monroe ph. 318-343-4044

Minden ph. 318-371-3050

Pineville ph. 318-487-5885

Lake Charles ph. 337-491-2575

Hammond ph. 985-543-4777

Opelousas ph. 337-948-0255

Baton Rouge ph. 225-765-2346

Deer hunters have seven days to validate each tag used for a deer harvested this season. Hunters also have the option to validate their deer tags seven days a week, any time of the day, on-line via www.la.wildlifelicense.com.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

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LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized At December Commission Meeting

Release Date: 12/06/2012

LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized At December Commission Meeting

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was honored at the Dec. 6 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International presented their Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Capt. Robert Buatt, 50, of Egan in Acadia Parish.  The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement.

Buatt has been with LDWF for 21 years and recently was promoted to captain of the Lake Charles Office which is in charge of patrolling Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, Cameron and Vermilion parishes.

Buatt received the award partly for his role in investigating a case that led to a second degree murder conviction and coordinating successful search and rescue mission in the Gulf of Mexico south of Marsh Island in which a shrimp boat sank and officials were able to rescue two men.

“Capt. Buatt’s intuition and experience with hunting incidents directly changed a hunting accident into a homicide investigation.  His thorough investigation provided overwhelming evidence for a murder conviction,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “He also coordinated a search and rescue mission off the coast of Vermilion Parish involving agents from three different regions.  These accomplishments as well as his day to day professionalism make him deserving of this prestigious award.”

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Takes Action to Close Portions of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters to Shrimping

Release Date: 12/06/2012

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Takes Action to Close Portions of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters to Shrimping

(Dec. 6, 2012)– At today’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced two shrimping closures in portions of Louisiana offshore territorial (outside) waters.  The action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide the opportunity for these populations to grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

The closure includes the following areas and effective dates:

  • The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495 seaward a distance of three nautical miles, from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line will close to shrimping on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at sunset.  This area generally lies seaward of Terrebonne Parish.
  • The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495 seaward a distance of three nautical miles, from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude will close to shrimping on Monday, January 7, 2013, at sunset. This area generally lies seaward of St. Mary, Iberia and Vermilion parishes.

All state outside waters east of the northwest shore of Caillou Boca as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal and fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone will remain open to shrimping until further notice.

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

Current sampling conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries indicates that average white shrimp size in certain portions of these state outside waters is slightly larger than 100 count per pound; however, historical data indicate that significant numbers of smaller size white shrimp occupying coastal lakes and bays migrate into these waters as temperatures drop with the onset of winter. This action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.

The Commission also authorized the LDWF Secretary to delay the closing date if marketable quantities of shrimp are available for harvest, close any part of state waters if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and to reopen any closed area when the closure is no longer necessary.  The Secretary is also authorized to open and close special shrimp seasons in portions of inside waters where such a season would not detrimentally affect developing brown shrimp.

Shrimp are the state’s most valuable fishery, and Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings.  In 2011, approximately 5,900 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 92 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $130 million. 

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (504) 430-2623.

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LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Large Coastal Sharks

Release Date: 12/06/2012

(Dec. 6, 2012)– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on a Declaration of Emergency to modify the commercial harvest possession limits for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks.  The commercial possession limit will increase from 33 to 36 for the 2013 commercial harvest season.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, in 2008, promulgated rules that established an increase in the commercial possession limit of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks from 33 to 36 sharks beginning with the 2013 commercial season.  This action will provide consistency with federal regulations and increased opportunity for Louisiana shark fisherman to harvest more sharks. 

In a related action, the LWFC also took action on a Notice of Intent to permanently modify the commercial Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark possession limits.

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 e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.govprior to February 7, 2013.

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks group includes great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse, blacktip, bull, lemon, silky, spinner and tiger sharks.  Sandbar sharks are included in the Large Coastal Sharks group, however harvest and possession is prohibited without a special federal shark research permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

For more information please contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.govor (504)284-2032.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (504)430-2623.

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Second Black Bear Found Dead Within a Week

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in Pointe Coupee Parish.

A hunter alerted authorities on Dec. 3 about a dead black bear lying in the woods between the Atchafalaya River and Louisiana Hwy. 1 on property owned by RoyOMartin.  RoyOMartin leases this part of their land for hunters.

Officials found an adult female black bear weighing about 225 pounds dead from an apparent high powered rifle gunshot wound.  LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot and killed late last week between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1.

A cash reward totaling up to $7,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction for this illegal killing of a black bear.  RoyOMartin is contributing $1,000 of the $7,000 total reward.

This is the second bear in a week that was found shot to death.  Officials found a dead black bear in Avoyelles Parish on Nov. 27.  A $6,000 reward is being offered for help in that case.

“RoyOMartin is in full support of black bear conservation in Louisiana and want to see the person who committed this crime held responsible,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF’s Enforcement Division.  “The department is aggressively working to delist the bear and make a legal hunting season for them, but each illegal killing adds time to when that could happen.”

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple App Store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $25,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

US Forest Service Removes Ban on Hunting Deer with Dogs

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Permitting Details Announced for Deer Hunters on Kisatchie National Forest  Dec. 15-23, 2012

Dec. 5, 2012  -- The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday that the ban on deer hunting with dogs within Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) has been removed for the December dates previously approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC).

The “with or without dogs” portion of the 2012-2013 hunting season within the Catahoula, Winn and Kisatchie Ranger Districts and the Evangeline Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District will take place from Saturday, Dec. 15 through Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012.

The Forest Service's decision to prohibit hunting deer with dogs on KNF property in Louisiana was issued Feb. 29, 2012. The Forest Service decision was affirmed by their Washington Office on Sept. 28, 2012. A lawsuit was filed on Nov. 16, 2012, by Louisiana Sportsmen Alliance, LLC, challenging the decision.  While the Forest Service intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit, the decision will not be implemented at this time and the 2012 “with or without dogs” deer season will proceed Dec. 15-23, 2012.

As required in 2010 and 2011, all deer hunters on KNF lands designated for “with or without dogs” hunting during this nine day period will be required to carry a KNF Deer Hunting Permit. The no-cost permit required during the “with or without dogs” portion of the hunting season is available on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) website. To obtain a permit, go to www.wlf.la.govand click on the link to the KNF Deer Hunting Permit.

The special season requiring the KNF Deer Hunting Permit will be bucks only.  Every deer hunter in Kisatchie National Forest, except on the Caney Ranger District and the Vernon Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District, during these dates, regardless of age, is required to have this permit.

Deer hunters using dogs must register an identifying mark with LDWF.  Each dog must wear a collar providing the owner’s name, address and phone number.  To obtain a permit, the hunter must provide their name and address and the identifying mark used on dogs engaged in the hunt.

For additional information on deer hunting on KNF or any rules regarding hunting on the KNF, contact Jim Caldwell at 318-473-7168 or 318-613-1048, or Mike Balboni at 318-473-7102.

If you have difficulty obtaining a KNF Deer Hunting Permit through the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov,call the LDWF Pineville Field Office at 318-487-5885 or the LDWF Wildlife Division Baton Rouge office at 225-765-2346 during weekday business hours.

 

Consistent Regulations for Yo-Yos and Trotlines Now in Effect

Release Date: 12/05/2012

(Dec. 5, 2012)– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind anglers that consistent regulations for the use of yo-yos and trotlines are now in effect on Black Lake, Clear Lake, Prairie Lake, Caddo Lake, Chicot Lake, D’Arbonne Lake and Lake St. Joseph. 

Concerns related to the use of yo-yos and trotlines have been voiced for years in some areas, with most complaints being very similar.  Untended gear interfered with the recreational efforts of other anglers.  Regulations, enacted through legislative action, addressed those concerns but were not consistent, thus creating angler confusion.

Legislative action taken early this year rescinds the existing regulations on the previously mentioned water bodies and replaces them with a uniform set of regulations to reduce angler confusion.  This action does not apply to waters other than those listed above.

For a complete listing of regulations, click here.

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 inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.

 

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Two Men Cited for Duck Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents cited two men for migratory game bird (MGB) hunting violations along the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge on Dec. 2.

Agents cited Asaad Layous, 28, and Daniel Heckman, 61, both of French Settlement for hunting MGB during illegal hours, violating non-toxic shot requirements and hunting ducks without a federal duck stamp.  Layous was also cited for hunting MGB with an unplugged gun.

Agents received an anonymous complaint of people shooting wood ducks after legal shooting hours along the Mississippi River just south of Baton Rouge.  After setting up surveillance, agents witnessed the subjects enter the area via truck and quickly split up along an access road to begin calling in wood ducks.

Agents observed Layous and Heckman hunting well after legal shooting hours.  Agents made contact with the men and issued citations for the violations.

Each charge the men were cited with carries a fine from $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Davis Madere and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Duplessis Man Cited for Illegally Selling Shrimp

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a man for alleged seafood violations in Saint Gabriel on Dec. 1.

Agents cited Louis Soileau, 53, of Duplessis for selling shrimp without a retail seafood vehicle license and for failing to maintain records.

While patrolling in Saint Gabriel, agents witnessed a man selling shrimp from his vehicle on the side of Highway 30.  Agents approached the man and found he did not possess the required license to sell seafood from his vehicle.  Soileau was also unable to provide agents with records of where the shrimp came from.

Selling fish without a retail seafood license (vehicle) and failing to maintain records each carry a fine from $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Davis Madere and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Receives 14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes at White Lake W.C.A. To Bolster Restoration Project Effort

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Whooping crane cohort 3 being offloaded at Jennings airport Nov. 29, 2012.
L.D.W.F. Receives 14 Juvenile Whooping Cranes at White Lake W.C.A. To Bolster Restoration Project Effort
Whooping crane cohort 3 examined prior to delivery to holding pen at White Lake WCA Nov. 29, 2012.
Whooping crane cohort 3 examined prior to delivery to holding pen at White Lake WCA Nov. 29, 2012.
 Whooping crane cohort 3 examined prior to delivery to holding pen at White Lake WCA Nov. 29, 2012.
Whooping crane cohort 3 arrives at White Lake WCA holding pen Nov. 29, 2012.

 

Dec. 5, 2012 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists received a third cohort of juvenile whooping cranes at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan on Nov. 29. The 14 young cranes add to the state’s resident population established through LDWF’s species restoration project in progress.
 
“The continued support from biologists on the research side, plus federal funding and individual and corporate donors who provide additional funding, will be key components as we move into year three of this multi-year project,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.
 
The White Lake WCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds prior to their release into the wild. The cranes were raised at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation. International Paper (IP) assisted with the delivery by designing and producing the transport boxes used during the cranes’ transfer. This month’s delivery increases the Louisiana whooping crane population to 28.
 
LDWF continues to work cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the International Crane Foundation to bring the species back to the state. Project funding is derived from LDWF species restoration dedicated funds, federal funds and private/corporate donations which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Major corporate funding support to date has been provided by Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Acadian  Ambulance.
 
The whooping cranes Louisiana receives are designated as a non-essential, experimental population (NEP) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation were developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area.The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.
Hunters, fishermen and anyone who spends time in the marshes and rice fields of southwest Louisiana are reminded that whooping cranes in Louisiana are still protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.
Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Mature whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand five feet tall and have a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail. Standing whooping cranes also exhibit the bustle of rump feathers more pronounced than other large white birds.
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-251 or using 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.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit www.wlf.la.gov; or contact Bo Boehringer atbboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115.
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