The Other Side of the Wildlife Scene

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

with LDWF Senior Agent Aron Hastings

As field agents we often encounter citizens with lots of questions such as the ones listed below. It is always a good idea to ask or research your questions, as it’s ultimately your responsibility to know what is required of you when engaged in fishing, hunting, or recreational boating. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating laws that have been placed to ensure that fish and wildlife remain a resource and that boating remains safe and enjoyable.

Q: When you buy a recreational fishing license, isn’t it good for a year?

A: That would depend on when you buy it. All recreational fishing licenses, as well as hunting licenses for that matter, expire on June 30th. So if you bought the license in November 2004, it will expire on June 30th 2005. This is different from commercial licenses, which are valid from the date of purchase and expire on December 31st of each year.

Q: I bought a second hand boat from a guy and as this is my first boat, what paperwork do I need for it?

A: Just as a vehicle needs to be registered with the state, so does a vessel that is operated in state waters. Exceptions to the rule are as follows: a sailboat 12 feet or less, sailboards, canoes and pirogues, vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard, or vessels with valid registration in another state or country that are being operated on the waters within Louisiana for fewer than 90 consecutive days. New owners of vessels need to obtain a state of Louisiana boat registration application. Registration forms can be obtained from the boat registration office of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (225-765-2898), LDWF’s website (, many marine dealers, or any LDWF enforcement office. New boat owners have 45 days to change the ownership over into their name. It’s also important to remember to register the boat trailer with the local DMV.