LDWF taking comments on state’s proposed waterfowl zones _lowres


This story about proposed changes in the state’s waterfowl hunting zone boundaries is something that could mimic one of those instances when TV stations, heralding with trumpets, announce an interruption “from our normal schedule for breaking news.”

So, putting on hold opening-weekend successes for squirrel hunters, an unusually terrific weekend for bass and trout fishermen, and trophy whitetails taken by archery hunters, here’s the latest on those proposed zone changes, and the stringent time line for public comment.

That time line demands the state approve any zone changes by a Dec. 1 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deadline. The state has the option of using the current zones and delaying any changes until the 2017-2018 season, but the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted to push for any approved changes for its Nov. 5 meeting in Baton Rouge.

State Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds said the state’s current zones plan runs its five-year course after the upcoming season, and waterfowl hunting zones can be changed every five years.

With the USFWS undertaking a new waterfowl-framework schedule, any plans the state has for changing zones for the 2016-2017 season must be submitted to the USFWS for review by Dec. 1.

The proposed major zone changes came from input by commission members during the LWFC’s Oct. 1 meeting.

The LDWF staff will accept public comment through Nov. 5 commission meeting through Reynolds via email at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.

Reynolds said comments received by Oct. 30 will “be summarized and presented to the commission.”

Any changes made will not affect the 2015-2016 waterfowl seasons.

Email contacts for the six sitting commission members include: Pat Manuel, patmanuel.wlf@gmail.com; Dan Davis, ddavis@marlin-services.net; Billy Broussard, bbillypb@kaplantel.net; Ronny Graham, ronnygraham@lincolnbuilders.com; Bart Yakupzack, bartyak@graylawfirm.com; and, Chad Courville, ccourville@miami-corp.com.

Bonnabel launch closure

The LDWF is teaming with Jefferson Parish to replace and upgrade the four boat-launching ramps at the Bonnabel Boat Launch in Metairie, and will close the ramp beginning Oct. 13. Boaters can use launches at Williams Boulevard in Kenner and at Seabrook in New Orleans.

The Bonnabel launch is scheduled to reopen in February.