Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation receives $100,000 grant; plans to assist Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries youth program

Baton Rouge, La. -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation which the organization will use to assist the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to train volunteer instructors to teach youth about fishing and conservation.

The LAWFF’s grant will focus on the LDWF’s Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (VIP) which will use the grant assistance to train some 60 instructors to help the agency reach a larger number of youth this year.

“The LAWFF financial assistance will help us increase our classroom activities and aquatic education events,” said Danica Williams, LDWF Biologist Program Manager, who administers the VIP program. “Success will mean more individuals being confident as they participate in the outdoors, especially fishing.”

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “We appreciate the significant cooperation that we get from LAWFF and the Pennington Foundation toward our mission of educating young people about fishing and how they can help conserve the abundant natural resources of our state for the next generation.”

The LAWFF is a nonprofit that helps fund and generate support for LDWF programs. Persons interested in becoming a volunteer instructor should visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs or contact Alayna McGarry at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov .

Registration for the Spring Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops is Now Open!

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) are teaming up to present two Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops this spring. The workshops are open to women over the age of 18 who are looking to learn about fishing and utilizing Louisiana’s aquatic resources. 

The workshops cover a variety of skills to help make fishing more enjoyable. LDWF biologists and aquatic volunteer instructors will train 30 women per event in fish identification, best fish handling practices, preparing fishing equipment, basic fishing skills, as well as cleaning, storing, and cooking fish.  Fifteen participants will be randomly selected from each course and get the chance to apply their newly learned skills on an overnight weekend fishing trip under the direction of LDWF biologists and volunteer instructors.  

Interested women can click HERE to register. Please remember that each Women’s Fishing Workshop will be limited to 30 participants per date. Participants may only attend one workshop. Selected registrants will be notified via email or phone prior to each workshop.     

April 27, 2019 – LDWF Waddill Wildlife Refuge, Baton Rouge 
Registration Open: February 4 – March 15 
Weekend Fishing Trip: May 31 – June 2 

May 18, 2019 – Kiwanis Club of Alexandria, Pineville 
Registration Open: February 4 – April 5
Weekend Fishing Trip: June 28 – June 30 

Participants must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. To purchase a fishing license, visit  www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses-and-permits.   

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.la.gov , on Facebook at  www.facebook.com , on Instagram @WLFLA, or on Twitter @LDWF.   

The Women’s Fishing Workshops are hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LAWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources.  

Women’s Fishing 101 Workshops are funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Fund, a USFWS grant program that provides grant funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas fish and wildlife agencies for fishery projects, boating access and aquatic education.   

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop Registration to Begin Jan. 11

Jan. 9, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will sponsor its 31st Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop on March 22-24, 2019, at Camp Grant Walker in Pollock. It’s an opportunity for women throughout Louisiana and neighboring states to attend an educational hands-on outdoor skills workshop. 

If you are a woman 18 or older and you enjoy the outdoors, you will love this three-day skill’s workshop. 

Registration opens Friday (Jan. 11, 2019). Anyone interested is urged to register as soon as possible beginning Jan. 11. The $200 fee (check or money order only) includes instruction for four selected classes, program materials, use of demonstration equipment, lodging, meals and a T-shirt. 

Participants will enroll in four classes from a selection of more than 30 topics. These subjects include bucks and does, shotgun, rifle, handguns, fly-fishing, kayaking, camping, archery, fishing, boating/trailering, compass skills, outdoor photography, camp cooking and more. Expert instructors donate their time and skills in classes taught in and around the nearby streams, lakes, wooded ridges and forest trails of beautiful Louisiana. 

Natural resource scientist Christine Thomas of the University of Wisconsin founded the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program.  She completed a survey in 1991 entitled ‘Barriers to Women Participating in Hunting and Fishing.’ It documented that the most obvious problem was lack of instruction and encouragement. 

To receive a registration form, download and print from our web page at  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/becoming-outdoors-woman  . The forms will not be available until Friday (Jan. 11, 2019). They must be returned by mail to the address on the form. Hand delivered forms will not be accepted. Please read the registration process and the course descriptions prior to filling out the form. Registration will be taken until the workshop is full. All forms received after the workshop is full will be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations. 

For more information contact Dana Norsworthy in Monroe at  dnorsworthy@wlf.la.gov , 318-345-3912, Chad Moore in Minden at  cmoore@wlf.la.gov , 318-230-4352 or Karen Crabtree at  kcrabtree@wlf.la.gov  318-719-4571. 

Join the fun and be one of those 125 women in the woods. Register for the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop and become skilled in something that you always dreamed about doing. Look us up on Facebook at, BOW Louisiana Style.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation’s Ninth Annual Wild Night Set For Oct. 11

Oct. 5, 2018 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) will hold its annual fundraiser, the ninth annual Wild Night, on Thursday (Oct. 11) at 5:30 p.m. at Live Oak Arabian, 6300 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge.

Tickets are $100 per person for the event and a reserved table for 10 is available for $900. To purchase tickets and for more information, go to  www.wildnight.org/  .

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was created for the purpose of promoting the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and to further encourage public conservation and enjoyment of Louisiana’s natural resources. Upon its creation in December 1995, it was envisioned as a Foundation that would promote the welfare of LDWF, reflecting the belief that there was more to accomplish than governmental resources could cover. The proposed Foundation would support Department programs with additional resources developed through its own facilities. 

LAWFF is a public charitable organization, tax exempt under section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. It receives no funding from the state nor LDWF. Contributions come solely from individual and corporate donors.

For more information about LWFF, go to  www.lawff.org/  or call Sam Barbera at 225-405-7827.

Benton Elementary School Captures World Championship in NASP World Tournament

June 19, 2018 – Benton Elementary School won the elementary world championship in the bullseye and 3-D Challenge divisions of the National Archery in Schools Program World Tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 7-9.

A total of six schools represented Louisiana at the NASP World Tournament through the Archery in Louisiana Schools program, administered through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

Benton Elementary compiled a score of 3,317 to win the title. Hannah McKenzie led Benton Elementary, finishing fifth individually in elementary girls with a score of 284. Teammate Emerson Fite was ninth (282) and Anna Young was 10 th (280). A total of 616 girls competed in the elementary division.

Kingston Elementary finished second in the bullseye and the 3-D Challenge for the elementary division with a score of 3,290. Caden Staggs led Kingston with a score of 286 finishing eighth out of 762 elementary boys. Spencer Campbell finished ninth with a score of 286 also but with two less 10s. Mikayela Sanchez finished seventh in elementary girls with a score of 284.

In the middle school division, Benton Middle finished second out of 92 teams in the bullseye event with a score of 3,403. Emma Rutledge was the top shooter for Benton Middle with a score 291, placing her in fourth out of 885 middle school girls. 

Haughton Middle finished third in the middle school division with a score of 3,391. The Buccaneer’s top shooter was Katelyn Baker with a score of 289 landing her in ninth place in the middle school girl’s division.

In the NASP International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) 3-D Challenge, Benton Elementary’s first place team consisted of three top ten shooters contributing to their score of 1,645. Anna Young finished second out of 171 elementary girls with a score of 282. Mason Hicks shot a 278 with 15 bullseyes placing him ninth out of 204 elementary boys. Tyler Pope’s score of 278 with 12 bullseyes was good enough for a top ten finish. 

Kingston Elementary scored 1,633 which was good enough for a second place finish in the IBO 3-D challenge. Mikayela Sanchez finished seventh in elementary school girls with a score 280. Jackson Vickers finished seventh in elementary boys with a score of 279.  Spencer Campbell earned the eighth position with a score of 278.

Benton Middle’s Cassidy Walters help secure Benton’s third place finish with a score of 287, placing her in sixth place for middle school girls. Benton Middle scored 1,701.  Haughton Middle placed fourth out of 46 other teams with a team score of 1,685.

Northwood High School also represented Louisiana and shot a 1,580.

Northwood’s Case Smith had the highest score for the state in elementary boys with a 283. That score placed him fifth out of 204 elementary boys. 

The World Tournament provides an opportunity for students not only in the United States but also for other countries to come together to share the commonality and enthusiasm for the sport of archery. Countries that were invited to the event included the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Mongolia, British Virgin Islands, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. NASP is designed for student archers in grades four through 12.

The ALAS program teaches NASP to students as part of the in-school curriculum. The ALAS program is available to all Louisiana schools, public and private.

For more information about the ALAS program, contact Chad Moore at cmoore@wlf.la.gov or 318-230-4352.

Get Out and Fish! Welcomes Community Fishing Site in Northern Louisiana

On Saturday, May 5 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the City of Ruston partnered to host a Get Out and Fish! event at the program’s newest site, Elmore D. Mayfield Park in Ruston. Thanks to the generous support of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the pond was stocked with 1,000 pounds of adult-size channel catfish prior to the event. Over 120 participants took advantage of the day’s free fishing activities and competition.

Little Angler            
1: Kaden Smith; 3.16 pounds 
2: JR Robinson; 2.34 pounds
3: Dre Jones; 1.93 pounds

Junior Angler           
1: Jakeim Owen Davis; 2.35 pounds 
2: Steven Brown; 2.27 pounds
3: Shane Rowe; 2.22 pounds

Adult Angler              
1: Calvin Richardson; 2.26 pounds 
2: Robert Davis Sr.; 2.23 pounds
3: Rodney Temple; 2.22 pounds

Little Angler            
1: Izabell Smith

Junior Angler           
1: Shane Rowe 
2: Greg Davis
3: Zaniya Gaines

Adult Angler            
1: Lajoy Graves 
2: Nevada Stringfellow
3: Robert Davis

 The Louisiana Tech University Bass Fishing Team provided volunteers to assist with staffing and fishing education.

This event was made possible through generous donations from our sponsors including: Celebrity Theatres, Chili’s Grill and Bar, Little Caesar’s, DQ Grill and Chill, Dawg House Sports Grill, Utility Brewing, Jimmy John’s, Rosemary’s Kitchen, and Louisiana Fish Fry. Lunch was provided by Grown and Grazed.

Opportunities to catch a stocked channel catfish at Elmore D. Mayfield Park are still plentiful, so grab your fishing gear and try your luck. For information about future stockings and directions to all of our community fishing sites, visit www.wlf.la.gov/get-out-and-fish-1or follow us on Facebook @ldwfgetoutandfish.

The Get Out and Fish! Program, with support from the Sportfish Restoration Program , seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing and to promote outdoor activities for future generations. In order to accomplish this mission, public water bodies that meet the required specifications are chosen by LDWF biologists to join the Get Out and Fish! Community Fishing Program. These community fishing sites are stocked in the spring and fall with adult-size channel catfish and in the winter with rainbow trout if weather permits.  

LDWF’s Get Out and Fish! is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The LAWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources. 

For more information on the Get Out and Fish! program, contact Megan MacMenamin at mmacmenamin@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2375.

Become a volunteer instructor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries!

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer instructor for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)?   Through LDWF’s Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program (Aquatic VIP), you can learn not only the basics of fishing and fisheries management, but also how to teach skills in order to get younger generations hooked on fishing too! This month, LDWF will be hosting an Aquatic VIP workshop in the Shreveport area on Wednesday, April 18 th .   This workshop is perfect for teachers, Boy Scout leaders, homeschoolers, and everyone who enjoys fishing and the outdoors!  

At this hands-on workshop led by LDWF biologists, you’ll receive the training you need to become a volunteer instructor, an invaluable ally in LDWF’s efforts to increase fishing participation and wise utilization of natural resources across Louisiana. Topics and activities include basic fishing techniques, proper fish identification, invasive species awareness, fish biology, fisheries management and more. A binder full of lesson plans, activity guides and educational materials will be given to all volunteers who attend the workshop. 

After completing the 8-hour workshop and passing a background check, volunteers can borrow equipment to help teach these topics to others. For example, if you’ve always wanted to host your own fishing clinic for youth, but didn’t have the materials and resources to offer an event, then this is your solution! We can provide fishing rods with basic tackle, a knot tying kit, art and crafts activities and more. Join us at our free* workshop to get started!  The workshop will be held at the LDWF District 1 Office (9961 Hwy. 80) in Minden, LA.

To find out more information or to sign up, please visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs .  For any questions about the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, contact Alayna McGarry at (504) 286-4050 or at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov , on Facebook at www.facebook.com , on Instagram @WLFLA, or on Twitter @LDWF. 

The Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fisheries resources.  

*A $25 registration fee is required to reserve your spot. This fee will be returned upon your arrival at the workshop. 

LDWF Bird Radio Tracking Project To More Than Double in Capacity Thanks to Grant From ConocoPhillips

Sept. 6, 2017 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Coastal Louisiana Array Project, used to track radio-tagged birds, will more than double in capacity by July 2018 thanks to a generous grant from ConocoPhillips.

This project started as a joint effort among LDWF, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) in the spring of 2016. Louisiana’s network, based on Bird Studies Canada’s successful Motus Wildlife Tracking System, consists of multiple very high frequency (VHF) receiver stations constructed along the coast.

The ConocoPhillips’ grant will allow construction of an almost seamless digital network, consisting of 32 VHF receiver stations stretching from the Texas border to the Mississippi border. To support the donation, ConocoPhillips, through its subsidiary, The Louisiana Land Exploration Company LLC which owns approximately 636,000 acres, will provide free access to its property along the Southeast Louisiana coast.

"BTNEP is pleased to partner with the many organizations and funding partners who understand the value of tracking migratory birds,’’ said BTNEP Director Susan Testroet-Bergeron. “The key benefit of this technology is that it allows biologists to conduct research on target individuals without the requirement of recurring and often random visual observation. This low impact form of monitoring has led to tremendous advances in our knowledge of bird habitat use, breeding success and mortality."

Although radio-tracking of animals has occurred since the 1960s, the miniaturization of electronics and the collaborative nature of the Motus project have revolutionized animal tracking. Biologists across North America have been attaching miniature radio tags, called nanotags, to birds and other animals for several years. Nanotags emit radio signals that are detected by the receiver stations, allowing scientists to study animal behaviors like migration and allowing identification of sites for conservation.

To date, LDWF and BTNEP have constructed 13 receiver stations across coastal Louisiana. Several dozen birds, from songbirds to shorebirds, including federally threatened species like the red knot, have already been detected in just the first year of the project.

Because of the Motus program and Louisiana’s new coastal network, Louisiana scientists and colleagues across the globe are able to more efficiently study animal movements and implement conservation.

Generous funding from ConocoPhillips, BTNEP, LWFF and LDWF ensures Louisiana’s continued contribution to this novel, international scientific network.

For more information, contact LDWF ornithologist Michael Seymour at mseymour@wlf.la.gov or 225-763-3554.

Massive wetland restoration project completed on Russell Sage WMA

WHAM Brake Dedication

Partners gathered to celebrate Wham Brake restoration project

MONROE, La. – June 20, 2017 – Nearly 40 conservation partners gathered at Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area this morning to celebrate the completion of the Wham Brake enhancement project. Ducks Unlimited and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries partnered on the project to enhance 3,500 acres of wetland habitat in northeast Louisiana.

“After adding Wham Brake to Russell Sage WMA, the LDWF wanted to improve waterfowl habitat in this wetland basin and provide increased public hunting opportunities,” said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. “As always, Ducks Unlimited’s restoration and engineering expertise was vital to the success of this project.”

Ducks Unlimited wetland engineers replaced three failing structures, a bridge that connected the entrance road to the boat ramp and levee, and a large, concrete weir water-control structure that controls much of the water level in the basin, enabling LDWF to manage habitat more effectively. This terminal structure is 270 feet wide and made of 550 cubic yards of reinforced concrete.

“This project provides water quality, recreation and wildlife habitat benefits near a major metropolitan area,” said DU Southern Region Director Jerry Holden. “Ducks Unlimited is proud to again partner with LDWF in improving public lands for waterfowl and all who enjoy them.”

The enhancement work is part of a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. Project partners include LDWF, Ducks Unlimited, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the Walker Foundation, Biedenharn Foundation, International Paper and DU major sponsors who support the America's River Initiative.

“The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation is proud to have partnered with the department, DU and the other contributors on the Wham Brake Project as it enabled us to leverage foundation funds to rehabilitate and enhance this WMA for the benefit of wildlife and for public enjoyment for years to come,” LWFF Executive Director Kell McInnis said.

For more information on Ducks Unlimited visit:  www.ducks.org or contact Andi Cooper at (601) 956-1936 or acooper@ducks.org