Other seasons receive approval at LWFC meeting
Hundreds of signatures on petitions from the Monroe area brought changes to proposed duck season dates when the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ratified seasons during its Thursday meeting.
Petitioners in the state’s East Waterfowl Zone objected to a nine-day first split of the duck season and further objected to a proposal to push the Youth-only Waterfowl Weekend to the end of the season instead of the state’s long-standing plan to allow young hunters access to hunting the weekend before the opening of the regular season.
Acting on those pleas, the commission approved East Waterfowl Zone hunting dates to run Nov. 17-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-Jan. 27 with the youth-only hunt for Nov. 10-11.
The LWFC-approved West Zone dates are Nov. 10-Dec. 9 and Dec. 22-Jan. 20 with the youth-only hunt set Nov. 3-4.
For the state’s new Coastal Zone, the approved dates are Nov. 10-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-Jan. 20 with the youth-only weekend set for Nov. 3-4.
Although its considered to be a mere formality, the vote charges State Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds to forward those dates to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for final approval. The USFWS has never disallowed the state’s duck season dates, at least not during the recent run of 60-day seasons.
The only change in the season’s daily limit is that the USFWS will allow the taking of four scaup (dos gris) per day up from last season’s two-per-day limit.
Otherwise, the daily limit is six ducks that can include no more than four mallards, of which only two can be mallard hens, 3 wood ducks, 2 redhead ducks, 2 pintails, 1 mottled duck, 1 canvasback and 1 black duck.
Seasons were approved for geese and snipe and the additional 54 days for rails and gallinules.
For blue/snow, Ross’ and speckledbelly geese the dates are Nov. 10-Dec. 9 and Dec. 22-Feb. 3 in the West Zone; Nov. 3-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-Jan. 27 in the East Zone; and, Nov. 10-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-Feb. 3 in the Coastal Zone.
For Canada geese, West Zone dates are Nov. 10-Dec. 9 and Dec. 22-Jan. 31; East Zone dates are Nov. 3-Dec. 3 and Dec. 15-Jan. 27; and, in the Coastal Zone, Nov. 10-Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-Jan. 31.
The daily take during the Canada season has changed to allow hunters to take three Canadas daily with a possession limit of six. The Canada Goose season also allows hunters to take a two-per-day limit of specklebellies, but only if the daily take of Canadas and specklebellies totals three.
Portions of Vermilion and Cameron parishes will remain closed to the take of Canada geese.
The Conservation Order for the take of blue/snow and Ross’ geese only is set for Dec. 10-21 and Feb. 4-March 9 in the West Zone; Dec 3-14 and Jan. 28-March 9 in the East Zone; and, Dec. 3-14 and Dec. 4-March 9 in the Coastal Zone.
The LWFC already approved a Sept. 15-30 season for rails and gallinules — it will run concurrently with the special September teal season — and added a statewide Nov. 10-Jan. 2 season to complete the 70-day season.
The snipe season will run Nov. 3-Dec. 10 and Dec. 22-Feb. 28 in the West Zone; Nov. 3-Dec. 3 and Dec. 15-Feb. 28 in the East and Costal zones.
Other commission action included:
Ratifying an Aug. 13 statewide opener for the Fall Inshore Shrimp Season with a 6 a.m. start for waters west of the Atchafalaya River and a 6 p.m. start for state inside waters east of the Atchafalaya River;
Approving the continued commercial closure of waters along the mouth of the Mississippi River, along Grand Terre Island and in Bay Jimmy in upper Barataria Bay because the lingering effects of the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil disaster;
Hearing a presentation on the state’s regional fisheries management proposal to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council;
Approving opening dates for the oyster seasons on the state’s public oyster seed grounds for Sept. 5 on Little Lake and the Vermilion Bay system; for Oct. 29 for most other areas; for Nov. 1 in West Cove of Calcasieu Lake (10-sack daily limit) and closing the eastern side of Calcasieu Lake, Bay Gardene and Sister Lake to all oystering activity;
Approving the addition of Rio Grande cichlids (perch) and apple snails to the nonnative species list, a move designed to urge outdoorsmen to remove them and “kill the species immediately upon capture;”
Learning that there were six boating fatalities on state waters during July, a count that brings the state’s boating deaths to 26 since Jan. 1;
Learning that state Enforcement Division agents issues 1,683 citations and 703 written warnings during July;
and, voted its December meeting for Dec. 6 in Baton Rouge.