LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Hunting Incident

Release Date: 10/19/2012

Oct. 19, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal hunting incident that took the life of a Lake Charles man in Allen Parish.

The Reeves Police Department received a report on Oct. 18 about a truck that had been parked on the side of Hwy. 190 near Rodeo Pen Road in Reeves for two to three days and notified the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO).

A sheriff’s office deputy found the truck and noticed a trail into the woods.  After walking the trail for approximately 100 yards, the deputy found the body of Donald C. Hodge Sr., 60, shortly after 5 p.m. on Oct. 18.

The APSO deputy found Hodge under a tree with a lock on type deer stand lying next to him with what appeared to be broken straps that would normally secure the stand to the tree.  Authorities did not find a safety harness attached to Hodge or the tree.

His body was turned over to the Allen Parish Coroner’s Office.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency and do not suspect foul play.

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

Fall LASS Speckled Trout Tournament on Tap for the Weekend

Release Date: 10/18/2012

(Oct. 18, 2012)– Speckled trout anglers, get your rods ready, on Oct. 20 the Louisiana Saltwater Series is headed to SeaBrook Harbor in New Orleans for its annual fall trout tournament.  With a perfect weather forecast and excellent fishing conditions, it’s expected to be a great day out on the water.

The entry fee is only $100 per team, and there is a 100% payout, plus loads of prizes.  Teams may consist of one, two, three or four members.  For teams consisting of three or more members, only two of the members may be 16 or older. 

At 7 a.m., anglers will venture out to cast lines and reel in the big ones.  Because speckled trout can be challenging to keep alive, participants are allowed to bring in their fish beginning at 8:30 a.m., when the scales open.  They’ll have until 3 p.m. to make their way back to shore and weigh in.   The aim is for the Department to tag as many fish as possible, so anglers are encouraged to bring in call of their catch (within limit), but can only designate two fish as their weigh fish. 

Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the series was created to promote the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program and catch-and-release saltwater angling.  The program provides an avenue for anglers with an interest in conservation to assist in collecting scientific information about the movements and biology of tagged fish by tagging targeted species of marine gamefish. 

Earlier this year at the spring tournament, 46 speckled trout were tagged and released back in to the wild. 

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday at noon, but those interested in participating can register at SeaBrook Harbor from 5 to 6:30 a.m., the morning of the event.  A $20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team.  Only cash and checks will be accepted for onsite registrants. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com

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

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov(225) 765-2396.

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2012-13 Bonnet Carré Spillway Deer Hunting Season Rules & Regulations

Release Date: 10/17/2012

Oct. 17, 2012 -- Following Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) deer herd assessments made to determine the impacts of Hurricane Isaac on the deer population, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the LDWF has revised the 2012-2013 Bonnet Carré Spillway hunting season rules and regulations.

LDWF’s population assessments showed that parishes impacted by Hurricane Isaac, which have historically lower deer productivity, required revised harvest rules for 2012-13 based on storm-related deer mortality including high fawn mortality.  The changes to deer season at the Bonnet Carré Spillway follow the revisions approved Oct. 4 by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission for the Maurepas Basin, which includes St. Charles Parish, and are as follows:

All hunting shall be still-hunting only, EXCEPT as otherwise specified.

Deer*: Archery and Shotgun (buckshot) only.
Archery: Oct. 1-15 bucks only; Oct. 16 – Feb. 15 either sex
Shotgun: Nov. 23-25 bucks only; Dec. 15-30 bucks only
Youth: Oct. 27-28 bucks only

Additional permit required and posted restrictions apply for all persons regardless of age.  Permits must be signed prior to hunting any game and must be carried at all times while in the field.  For permits or more information, see bulletin boards on-site, visit the project website at www.mvn.usace.army.mil/recreation (then click on Bonnet Carré Spillway), or contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Bonnet Carré Spillway Project Office at (985) 764-7484.

For additional information on revisions to Louisiana’s deer hunting season, please visit the LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/35981.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

Houma Man Charged with Deer Hunting Violations and Drug Possession

Release Date: 10/17/2012

Oct. 17, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Houma man for alleged deer hunting and drug violations on Oct. 11 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents were on patrol in Terrebonne Parish when they made contact with Ryan Young, 34.  Agents found Young in possession of an untagged doe deer that he had harvested with his bow and arrow.  Young was hunting in Area 6, which had a bucks only season with bow and arrows until Oct. 16.

Agents also found Young in illegal possession of marijuana.

Young was charged with taking an illegal deer during the open season, failing to comply with deer tagging regulations and illegal possession of marijuana.

Taking an illegal deer during the open season brings a fine of $500 to $750 and 15 to 30 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a possible fine of $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Illegal possession of marijuana brings a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

In addition to the fines, Young faces civil restitution for the value of the illegally taken deer in the amount of $1624.61.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Dean Aucoin and Stephen Rhodes.

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

LDWF Agents Arrest Fugitive in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 10/17/2012

Oct. 17, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Houma man for alleged oyster violations on Oct. 11 in Terrebonne Parish.

Danny T. Billiot Jr., 25, was dredging for oysters in Bay Long when agents boarded his vessel.  After performing a vessel and license inspection, agents found that Billiot did not possess a commercial license, displayed improper boat numbers, failed to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements and without possession of a fire extinguisher.

After further investigation, agents learned that Billiot had outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for past fishing violations.  Billiot was then arrested and booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

On Oct. 12, Billiot pled guilty to the charges within the eight warrants.  From April of 2007 until August of 2012, Billiot was charged with two counts of taking oysters from unapproved areas, two counts of failing to comply with PFD requirements, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, violating recreational gear license requirements, failing to display valid certificate decal, improper boat numbers, and no boat registration certification, violating seed ground vessel permit regulations, failing to have commercial license in possession, unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease, failing to have written permission, failing to mark oyster lease while harvesting, failing to display proper number on vessel, angling without saltwater and basic fishing licenses, and taking or possessing undersized black drum.

Honorable Judge John Walker of the Terrebonne Parish Court sentenced Billiot on Oct. 12 to six months in parish jail with credit for time served, 18 months of supervised probation in which he cannot fish for oysters and must forfeit all commercial licenses, 24 months of unsupervised probation and a $400 fine.

The charges issued on Oct. 11 are still pending.  Failing to have commercial license in possession brings a fine between $250 and $500 and up to 90 days in jail.  Displaying improper boat numbers, failing to comply with PFD requirements and no fire extinguisher in possession each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Senior Agent Ladd Turner and Agent Adam Tieben.

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

Waddill Education Center to Host Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest

Release Date: 10/16/2012

Oct. 16, 2012 -- The contest to decide the winning design for the 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Waddill Wildlife Refuge and Education Center.  The Waddill Wildlife Refuge and Education Center is located at 4142 N. Flannery Rd. in Baton Rouge.

Competing paintings will be on display starting at 9 a.m. in the Education Building and judging will begin at 10 a.m.  The contest is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend.

The Louisiana Legislature authorized the Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program in 1988 to generate revenues for conservation and enhancement of waterfowl populations and habitats in Louisiana.  During the last 22 years, over $10 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 and the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wetland birds on private lands.

The Louisiana Duck Stamp contest has traditionally attracted high-quality artwork from across the country as evidenced by the outstanding designs that have graced our annual Waterfowl Conservation stamps.

Judges include professional waterfowl biologists, artists, and art dealers with expertise in waterfowl morphology and habitat as well as artistic methods and style that combine to create a beautiful stamp.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at 225-765-0456 or lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Announces Public Hearings Affecting Proposed Actions for Gray Triggerfish and Gag

Release Date: 10/16/2012

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene Public Hearings on two proposed actions to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan.  Reef Fish Amendment 37 proposes modifications to the gray triggerfish rebuilding plan including modifications to the annual catch limits and annual catch targets for the commercial and recreational sectors.  Proposed commercial management measures needed to meet the reduction in the annual catch limit and annual catch target for gray triggerfish include establishing a fixed closed season and a trip limit.  Proposed recreational management measures include establishing a fixed closed season and modifying the recreational bag limit for gray triggerfish within the 20-reef fish aggregate bag limit.  This amendment also includes proposed modifications to the recreational accountability measures to allow NOAA Fisheries Service to close the recreational sector once the annual catch target is reached or projected to be reached, and if the annual catch limit is exceeded, to apply an overage adjustment by reducing the annual catch limit and optional annual catch target the following fishing season.

The Framework Action to set the 2013 gag recreational fishing season, bag limit, and to modify the February through March shallow-water grouper closed season contains alternatives for modifications to regulations addressing recreational fishing for gag and shallow-water grouper. Alternatives being considered to modify the recreational gag fishing season would change the starting date for the recreational gag season from July 1 to an earlier time when there is greater demand to fish for gag, or would split the season into two or three sub-seasons.  Changing the season to times when there is greater demand may reduce the number of fishing days relative to the status quo, so suboptions within the alternatives consider either retaining the current gag bag limit of 2 fish per person within the 4-fish aggregate shallow-water grouper bag limit, or reducing the bag limit for gag to 1 fish in order to extend the season.  The Framework Action will also consider revising the current closed season on recreational harvest of shallow-water grouper by either shortening or eliminating the closed season, moving it to a different date, or having the closed season apply only seaward of the 20 fathom depth contour while eliminating it shoreward of 20 fathoms.

The meetings schedule is as follows:  

October PH Schedule

All meetings will begin at 6pm and conclude at the end of public testimony, but no later than 9pm. 

A virtual public hearing will be available for viewing by visiting http://www.youtube.com/user/gulfcouncil. Comments can be submitted online by visiting the Council web site at  http://gulfcouncil.org/fishery_management_plans/scoping-thru-implementation.php.

Copies of the public hearing materials can be obtained by calling 813-348-1630. Materials will also be posted on the Council website at www.gulfcouncil.org.

These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Council office at least five working days prior to the meeting.

About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

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Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to Meet in Gulfport, Mississippi

Release Date: 10/16/2012

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet October 29 through November 1, 2012, at the Courtyard Marriott, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, Mississippi. The Council Committees will begin meeting Monday at 10:00 am and will meet through 11:30 am Wednesday. The full Council will convene at 1:00 pm Wednesday and is expected to adjourn by 4:00 pm Thursday. Agenda highlights are summarized below.  For a copy of the detailed agenda or to review briefing book materials, please visit the Council web site at www.gulfcouncil.org or call 888-833-1844.

The meeting will open Monday with the Ad Hoc Restoration Committee, which will discuss options for potential restoration projects under both the National Resource Damage Assessment process and the RESTORE Act. The Data Collection Committee will then meet to review a scoping document for electronic reporting requirements by for-hire vessels.

The Shrimp Management Committee will discuss the status of the Electronic Logbook reporting program. The Committee will also review a new shrimp Stock Assessment for penaeid shrimp; SSC recommendations; and the status and health of gulf shrimp stocks. Finally, the Committee will discuss exempted fishing permits related to shrimp (if any).

Later in the afternoon, the SSC Selection Committee will discuss the duties and responsibilities of the SSC, and the Advisory Panel Selection Committee will meet in a closed session with the full Council to review and appoint members to the new Ad Hoc Artificial Substrate Advisory Panel and to discuss appointments of former Council members to advisory panels.

On Tuesday, the Reef Fish Management Committee will meet to to discuss the Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota 5-Year Review, including recommendations from the Socioeconomic SSC. The Committee will also review:

  • Economic Evaluation of Red Snapper Allocation
  • Final action on Amendment 37 - Gray Triggerfish Rebuilding Plan
  • Scoping document for Amendment 39 - Regional Management of Red Snapper
  • The 2013 red snapper season and non-compliance by states
  • Draft Regulatory Amendment for Vermilion Snapper Annual Catch Limits and Bag Limits
  • Final action on a Regulatory Amendment to set the 2013 Gag Recreational Season and Bag Limits
  • SEDAR 27 - Yellowtail Snapper Benchmark Assessment
  • Additional comments from the SSC and Socioeconomic SSC
  • Exempted Fishing Permits related to reef fish (if any)

Immediately following the Committee recess Tuesday, the Council and NOAA Fisheries will hold an informal Question and Answer session on general fishery management issues.

Beginning at 8:30 am Wednesday, the Council will continue with remaining agenda items from the Reef Fish Management Committee. The Joint Reef Fish/Mackerel/Red Drum Committees will convene at 9:30 am, to consider modifications to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics reporting requirements suggested by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council under its Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3. Committee meetings will close with a meeting of the Law Enforcement Committee to review and approve a new Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Law Enforcement Strategic Plan 2013 through 2016, and a new Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Law Enforcement Operations Plan 2013 through 2014. 

The full Council will convene Wednesday at 1:00 pm beginning with the approval of the 2013 Committee appointments. 

Beginning at 1:45 pm, the Council will take public comment on the following:

  • Final Reef Fish Amendment 37 - Gray Triggerfish Rebuilding Plan
  • Regulatory Amendment to set the 2013 Gag Recreational Season and Bag Limits
  • Exempted fishing permits (if any)

The Council will also hold an open public comment session to give members of the public an opportunity to address the Council on fishery issues that may not be on the agenda. Open public comment will be taken immediately following public testimony until 5:30 pm. Comment cards must be completed before the start of public testimony.

Beginning Thursday at 8:30 am, the Council will deliberate and take action on committee recommendations made earlier in the week. 

Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Council and Committees for discussion, in accordance with the M-SFCMA, those issues may not be the subjects of formal action. Actions of the Council and Committees will be restricted to issues specifically identified in the agendas and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the M-SFCMA, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

The established times for addressing items on the agenda may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the timely completion of discussion relevant to the agenda items. In order to allow for such adjustments and completion of all items on the agenda, the meeting may be extended from, or completed prior to, the date established in this notice. Meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Council office at least five days prior to the meeting.

About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

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Commercial Net Season to Begin on False River on November 1

Release Date: 10/16/2012

(Oct. 16, 2012) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will implement a recurring commercial netting season on False River in Pointe Coupee Parish beginning November 1.  This action removes the current net ban and allows the use of specified nets to provide commercial fishermen the opportunity to utilize the resource. 

The commercial season will allow for harvest of fish species including buffalo, catfish and carp.  The season will run from November 1 through the last day of February and is structured in a way to minimize conflict with boaters and recreational anglers.

In 1991, False River gained trophy status and initiated a largemouth bass management plan.  This plan included a slot limit and banned the use of gill nets, trammel nets and seines.  The trophy status was rescinded in 1998 and largemouth bass regulations were altered to manage for a lake of special concern.  Since the lake is no longer managed under trophy status, the need for a net ban no longer exists. 

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.

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

 

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Joseph Harbor Boat Launch and East End Locks Road to Reopen Oct. 16 at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge

Release Date: 10/15/2012

Rockefeller SWR - Joseph Harbor Boat Launch Oct 2012
Rockefeller East End Locks Road - Oct 2012

Oct. 15, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today announced completion of a $2.6 million project at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) that replaced the boat launch and bulkheads at Joseph Harbor and upgraded the East End Locks Road. Both access points will open again Oct. 16for daily public use from sunrise to sunset.

“Rockefeller is a popular site for recreational fishermen and the improved access will benefit that user group plus boaters and nature watchers wishing to utilize the refuge’s abundant natural resources,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.

The site improvements, three miles east of the refuge headquarters along Hwy. 82, were completed with Rockefeller Trust funds available for maintenance on the refuge.

The improved facilities provide for safer vehicle access to the refuge and boat launching into coastal marshes.

Rockefeller SWR is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation and and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Located at the terminus of the vast Mississippi Flyway, south Louisiana winters about four million waterfowl annually. The refuge provides high quality wetlands habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds and wading birds, spanning 26 miles of coastal Louisiana in Cameron and Vermilion parishes.  

An abundant fisheries population provides recreational opportunities to fishermen seeking shrimp, redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and largemouth bass, among others. No hunting is allowed on the refuge, but some regulated trapping is allowed for furbearers that could potentially damage the marsh if their populations are not controlled.

For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or call 337-491-2593.

 

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