Outdoorsmen across Louisiana know its time to be outdoors. Cooler water temperatures mean more active bass and sac-a-lait, and we’re walking into the door of the deer, squirrel, rabbit and dove seasons.
Today, there will be several brief updates from Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. These actions’ full recounting can be read on the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website: wlf.louisiana.gov under the “News Releases” section.
By emergency declaration, the commission reduced the days allowing the take of either-sex deer on the Joyce, Maurepas Swamp and Salvador/Timken wildlife management areas. State wildlife biologists sought move after Hurricane Ida’s impact on these WMAs threatened the survival of fawns.
The move means bucks-only take allowed Nov. 26-28, Jan. 8-9 and Jan. 24-30 on Joyce and Maurepas Swamp. Either-sex take will be allowed on these two WMAs during Oct. 16-Feb. 15 archery and Nov. 6-7 youth firearm seasons.
On Salvador/Timken, the change moves Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 20-26 openings to bucks-only take, but allows either-sex take during the Nov. 1-Jan. 31 season and Oct. 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 and 30-31 youth-only firearm weekends.
A pogey vote
In a much debated move, and by a 4-3 vote, the LWFC allowed a push through the Notice of Intent period to add buffer zones along the coast to regulate the commercial take of millions of pounds of menhaden, a forage species known as “pogeys” in south Louisiana.
Changes in the proposed notice establishes an “inside-outside line” where commercial interests can and cannot use purse seines.
Notably the line will be a quarter-mile from the shoreline in all coastal waters except a one-mile buffer from “...the eastern shore of Belle Pass to the eastern shore of Caminada Pass...and the eastern shore of Barataria Pass to the eastern end of Grand Terre Island.” There will be a three-mile buffer in waters from the eastern shore of Caminada Pass to the eastern shore of Barataria Pass.
The first post-Ida update on the recreational red snapper catch came out Friday. Through Sept. 26, the last of the three-day seasons, the take totals 608,736 pounds (73%) of this year’s 832,493-pound allocation. In late September, the season was open to a daily take of four red snapper with a 16-inch minimum size, a season that will close when Louisiana nears the annual allocation but no later than Dec. 31.
-Federal fisheries managers will reopen the federal for-hire season for red snapper to run from 12:01 a.m., Oct 15 through Nov. 6 after it appeared this charter sector had not reached its red snapper recreational annual catch target.
At the same time, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries issued this statement: “...to remind anglers that this reopening only allows for-hire trips in federal waters for vessels that have a federal for-hire reef fish permit. State charter vessels that do not have a federal for-hire reef fish permit may only fish in state waters, out to nine nautical miles, during an open state season.
-Federal and state fisheries announced closure of recreational and commercial seasons on lane snapper for 12:01 a.m., Oct. 18. This fishery will remain closed until Jan. 1. Citing federal data, the move comes when it was determined the 301,000-pound catch limit would be reached by that date.
Wood Ducks 101
The LDWF has set Oct. 23 for a 9 a.m.-noon wood duck hunting seminar for beginners at Waddill Wildlife Refuge on North Flannery Road in Baton Rouge. Hunting techniques, equipment, proper firearm, rules and regulations, navigation and hunting opportunities are on the list.
There’s no fee, but, since space is limited, preregistration is required: la-web.s3licensing.com/Event/Details/187891.
If you need more, email Travis Dufour: email@example.com
The LDWF’s Licensing Section website will be down to make upgrades through Monday, which means you cant get a license from that site or from a vendor.
For young anglers
Johnny Morris, the Pro Bass Shops founder, is looking for youngsters 17 and younger to compete in his Happy Fishin’ Contest for a chance for 10 of them to win a Bass Tracker Classic XL boat- outboard-trailer package, a $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card boat and a spot in November’s US Open National Bass Fishing Championships on Table Rock Lake in Missouri.
Here’s how this plays out: Youngsters need to make a video of two minutes or less showing the young angler’s “passion for fishing.” Morris said grownups can help, but “...the kids need to tell their story and why they love to fish.”
Then, there’s an Oct. 24 deadline to submit their videos and a completed entry form to the contest’s website: basspro.com/KidsFishing.
Winners will be announced Nov. 2, and Morris reminded youngsters to be sure “...to wear your Bass Pro Shops cap.”
Tom Dufour passed away last week. He was a unique man, one who practiced giving back more than he took from Louisiana’s outdoors. Tom went beyond being called “an avid duck hunter,” and dedicated most of the last 20 years making thousands of hen houses, then transporting them to northern duck breeding grounds. Condolences to his family and many friends. Tom Dufour will be missed.