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New regulations, red snapper, hot action headline outdoor news | Sports

Written by Mamie M. Arndt


Explanations involving the new Wildlife and Fisheries licensing regulations come every week as this agency’s managers face increasing questions from outdoors folks.

Now, the department is tackling access questions to the handful of shooting ranges and education facilities on its wildlife management areas, refuges and conservation areas.

To access, and be legal, all visitors to these areas must have one of these licenses or permits: the WMA access permit; a Sportsman’s Paradise license; a lifetime hunting and/or fishing license; or a senior license.

The exemption is for all 17 and younger.

And, beginning July 1, anyone visiting a LDWF shooting range and/or education facility will need to complete and retain a self-clearing permit.

Agency managers said there are three ways to check in and check out from these places, and advise using the agency’s web portal and “Self-Clearing” app, which can be loaded into a cellphone from this website: wlf.louisiana.gov/page/wmas-refuges-and-conservation-areas.

From its web portal (computer or cellphone) use: wmacheckincheckout.wlf.la.gov/

As always, there are self-clearing permit stations at WMAs, refuges and conservation areas.

Top 10

The Catholic High of Baton Rouge team of Max Himmel and Tyler Morris finished ninth in a 200-team field with a five-bass catch weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces in the Bassmaster High School Series earlier this month in Saginaw Bay, Michigan.

The winners, a Michigan team of Brady Pinwar and Alec Albrecht won with a 21-9 catch.

Red snapper

Our state’s private recreational offshore fishermen have landed an estimated 145,321 pounds throughJune 5. That’s 18% of Louisiana’s 809,315-pound annual allotment.

This season opened May 27 and is limited to a Friday-through-Sunday take with a daily limit of three per angler with red snapper measuring 16 or more inches long. Anglers must have basic and saltwater licenses and a fee-free recreational offshore landing permit to take and land all reef fish and several other offshore species.

If you’re planning to fish for red snapper in Florida, know the season opened Friday. In addition to all the proper licenses, Florida requires a “State Reef Fish Angler” permit for all anglers. You can get this certification at: GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

Florida’s private recreational red snapper season will run through July 31 with a plan to open a 12-day season in the fall.

Go fish!

Despite the excessive heat and no explanation for this uptick in the action, it appears sac-a-lait are providing the hottest action around our state.

Tube and solid-body jigs — color varies by water color and forage species — along with shiners are providing the incentive for strikes.

There are two patterns: early morning action in shallow places like south Louisiana lakes, bayous and rivers, and at depths in the reservoirs, where deep drops and spider rigs are working.

Fish kills

The LDWF’s Inland Fisheries Section is reporting what it calls “a rash of fish kills in the central and southern regions of the state.”

Summertime fish kills usually result from a combination of excessive air temperatures and storms which trigger hypoxia — a depletion of dissolved oxygen in the water. It can come from a variety of conditions, things like excessive rain runoff and excessive winds from thunderstorms. These things stir the water column and mix anoxic layers from the bottom to lower dissolved oxygen levels.

While most hypoxia conditions affect smaller species, it can kill predator species like panfish, bass and catfish.

State fisheries biologists are advising pond owners to aerate their ponds to avoid hypoxia.

If you find a fish kill, fisheries managers want to know. You can report them on the LDWF website: wlf.louisiana.gov, on the “fish kill” drop down menu.

This week

The LDWF’s licensing section will be closed June 20-24 to walk-in service at state headquarters on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

It’s because the section needs to handle “… a backlog of mailed-in and e-mailed applications.”

Of course, licenses can still be purchased online during this period: louisianaoutdoors.com

Commercial fishermen, including charterboat operators, will be allowed to complete applications during this time and retain the application to serve as their license through June 27 until they can get the application filed.

For boat trailers

Beginning June 27 and several Mondays thereafter, workers from the state Motor Vehicles and Revenue departments will be at state headquarters to handle vessel and boat trailer registration and to pay any taxes that might be due.

And, remember

One thing you can do when renewing your license is give to the statewide Hunters for the Hungry Program. Contributions help defray the costs of getting venison and fish to the needy statewide.

Just last week, a H4H group collected 800 pounds of filleted fish at Venice and used shipped the fish to the New Orleans Mission through the Second Harvest Food Bank.

For more, email H4H director Julie Grunewald: [email protected]





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Mamie M. Arndt