L’Observateur Outdoor reports, information and notices

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 25, 2005


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and local volunteers are sponsoring hunter education courses in your community. Anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969 must take this course before purchasing a hunting license at age sixteen. The course is free to the public and anyone 10 years and older can be certified for life in all fifty states. Participation the entire length of course is mandatory and tardiness is grounds for dismissal. The two courses in Terrebonne Parish is set for July 16-17 and July 30-31 from 7:30-4:30 all days at the sheriffs rifle range, savanne road in Houma.


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with local bow hunter instructors will be sponsoring a NBEF bow hunter education course. Bow hunters are required to have completed this course to hunt on federal lands such as Mandalay, or Tensas National Wildlife refuges. These will be the only two courses available in this area, so be there if you intend on hunting these areas. Also, if you want to become a knowledgeable bow hunter, this is the course for you. The course is free and open to the public. Items you will need to bring include: bow and arrows, bug repellant, rubber boots, rain gear and something to write with. NOTE: THESE TWO COURSES ARE SCATTERED IN SUCH A WAY, AS THE 7 & 7 WORKERS WILL CATCH ONE OF THESE COURSES. Courses are both at the Terrebonne Parish sheriff’s rifle range on savanna road in Houma. Dates are Aug. 12-13 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. till noon on Saturday. The second course is set for September 16 &18, 6 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. till noon on Sunday.


Commercial fishing for large coastal sharks, as defined by Louisiana rule (L.A.C. 76:VII.357), closes in Louisiana waters at 11:30 p.m. on July 23, 2005, and the closure will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. Sep. 1, 2005. Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will also be closed for commercial harvest of large coastal sharks during the same time period.

Upon closure of this season on July 23, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited through 12:01 a.m. Sep. 1, 2005.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Dwight Landreneau made the decision, as authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. Landreneau acted following notification by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the federal waters adjacent to Louisiana waters will be closed on that date.

NMFS determined that the large coastal shark commercial fishery quota for the second trimester fishing season is projected to be reached and action is necessary to ensure that the trimester quota for large coastal sharks for the period July 1 through Aug. 31, 2005, in the Gulf of Mexico is not exceeded.


The commercial fishery for deepwater groupers in Louisiana waters will close at 12:01 a.m. on July 7, 2005, and will remain closed until the opening of the spring commercial deepwater grouper season on Jan. 1, 2006. The deepwater grouper assemblage includes misty, snowy, yellowedge, Warsaw grouper, and speckled hind.

The decision was made by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Dwight Landreneau, following notification by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico is closed for the commercial harvest of deepwater groupers from 12:01 a.m. June 23 until 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2006, and per a request from NMFS.

Regulations for the deep-water grouper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico include a commercial quota. Based on reported landings, the NMFS closed the deep-water grouper commercial fishery in Federal waters off Louisiana, and requested that LDWF enact compatible rules. NMFS requested consistent regulations for Louisiana waters to enhance effectiveness and enforceability of regulations.

Landreneau was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their January 2005 meeting to take these actions to provide consistent regulations between state and adjacent Federal waters, and noted that the season closure is necessary to prevent overfishing of the species assemblage.

The commission also authorized Landreneau to change or modify opening and closing dates for commercial deep-water grouper seasons in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters. The commission’s actions ensure that regulations in state waters will mirror regulations of NMFS for federally managed waters.

After the closure, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, barter, trade, sale or attempts to purchase, barter, trade or sell deepwater groupers is prohibited until 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2006, the date set for the opening of the 2006 season. The prohibition on the sale or purchase of deepwater grouper during the closure does not apply to those that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor provided appropriate records in accordance with R.S. 56:306.5 and 56:306.6 are properly maintained.


The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) is encouraging public comment on proposed duck hunting season dates and bag limits that will be considered at the next commission meeting on Aug. 4.

The commission has a limited time frame during which to consider duck season dates once federal guidelines become available in August. The LWFC is providing this forum now so that the public will have an opportunity to comment before the state’s final duck seasons are adopted at the August commission meeting. Federal guidelines this year will allow either a 60-day or 45-day duck season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommends the following dates under these federal guidelines:



Nov. 12 (Saturday) to Dec. 4 (Sunday) (23 days)

12-day split

Dec. 17 (Saturday) to Jan. 22 (Sunday) (37 days)


Nov. 19 (Saturday) to Dec. 4 (Sunday) (16 days)

12-day split

Dec. 17 (Saturday) to Jan. 29 (Sunday) (44 days)



Nov. 12 (Saturday) to Nov. 27 (Sunday) (16 days)

19-day split

Dec. 17 (Sunday) to Jan. 14 (Saturday) (29 days)


Nov. 19 (Saturday) to Nov. 27 (Sunday) (9 days)

19-day split

Dec. 17 (Saturday) to Jan. 21 (Saturday) (36 days)

The 60-day season is the same as last year, except that it is adjusted for this new calendar year. “Those season dates were well received last year and represent a later season option, which is popular with many hunters,” Robert Helm, LDWF waterfowl program manager, said.

Louisiana has had 60-day seasons since 1997 and the opening date in the west and east zones have ranged from Nov. 7-13 and Nov. 13-20, respectively, during these years. The west zone season, which includes all of the coastal marshes, is normally set earlier than the east because of the early migration of teal and gadwall into those marsh areas. The season closure usually runs to the latest possible date allowed, which is Jan. 29 this year.

The 45-day season recommendation removes a week off the end of each season segment.

Both hunting season proposals will have a daily bag limit of six ducks with no more than four mallards, three mottled ducks, one black duck, two wood ducks, three scaup and two redheads. However, the public will also have the option to comment about whether they believe there should be a one or two mallard hen daily limit with the 60-day hunting season. The 45-day hunting season will only allow for a one mallard hen daily limit.

The two sets of recommended dates listed above are not the only ones available. The season for each zone can only have two segments that total the allocated number of days (60 or 45). LDWF will take other duck hunting season suggestions from the public. Those suggestions will be forwarded to the LWFC, who will consider them before ratifying the final season dates.

Send your comments and/or questions to comments@wlf.louisiana.gov