The good news for Louisiana wing shooters is there will be no changes, other than calendar adjustments, for the upcoming special September teal season and dove-hunting dates and bag limits.
During Thursday’s meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved another in a long line of 16-day September teal seasons, and, for the second year, a 90-day dove season.
With continental teal numbers estimated to be more than 4.7 million, the floor for a “liberal” 16-day special teal season in the Mississippi Flyway, Louisiana hunters get Sept. 12-27 statewide hunting dates with a second year of a six-bird-per-day limit. Taking rails and gallinules also will be allowed during this special season.
Hours after the LWFC’s vote, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its annual breeding count survey. Greenwing teal numbers are up 19 percent from 2014’s survey to an estimated 4.081 million, while bluewing teal numbers, at 8.547 million, remain about the same as last year’s count.
Similar to the last several years, dove season will be divided into three splits for the North and South zones, the dividing line running from the Louisiana-Texas line along La. 12 east to U.S. 190 then to Interstate 12, then I-10 to the Louisiana-Mississippi state line. Both zones will open at one-half hour before sunrise Sept. 5 on private lands. State-run wildlife management areas with dove-hunting opportunities will open the season at noon, except for the half-hour before sunrise allowance for lottery-drawn hunters on the Elbow Slough WMA.
South Zone dove hunters’ first split will run through Sept. 13 with splits following Oct. 10-Dec. 1, then Dec. 19-Jan. 15.
The North Zone’s first split carries through Sept. 27 with Oct. 10-Nov. 8, then Dec. 10-Jan. 15 splits.
Daily limits on doves is 15.
The migratory bird package also contained the usual Dec. 18-Jan. 31 statewide woodcock hunting season.
Other LWFC action included:
•Debating then approving the call for an emergency meeting to set the fall inshore shrimp seasons only if Wildlife and Fisheries-collected data shows the need for opening the season before the LWFC’s already scheduled Aug. 6 meeting in Baton Rouge;
•Learning that LDWF Enforcement Division agents issued 544 citations and 411 written warnings during June along with assisting the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana Air National Guard in the rescue of 113 people attending Louisiana Mudfest south of Colfax after a levee breach in the Red River;
•Learning that there were two boating fatalities during June among the 11 boating accidents in the state, and neither of the victims was wearing life jackets;
•Hearing a plea from Warren Delacroix concerning lack of saltwater movement and tidal flow into Lake Pontchartrain caused by the rock dam blocking the MRGO;
•And approving its November meeting date for Nov. 5 in Baton Rouge.
Commission members Ronny Graham and Ed Swindell were absent. The quorum was made up by Pat Manuel, Billy Broussard, Dan Davis, Bart Yakupzack and Chad Courville.