State wildlife and fisheries regulators say Louisiana's wildlife management areas and refuges will remain open during the federal government shutdown that affects similar federal properties.
As deer and resident small game hunting seasons open this week, state officials say Louisiana hunters can access nearly 1.5 million acres of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries-managed public hunting areas.
Louisiana Rep. Patrick Williams (D-Shreveport) is trying to draw attention to the invasive aquatic weed giant salvinia that continues to clog many waterways in the state. He invited the inventor of the "WaterMower" to address the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment during a May 8 hearing. Williams said his constituents want to see results that go beyond chemical sprays and weed eating weevils raised in university research labs.
State wildlife and fisheries regulators have temporarily opened a section of beach along the Elmer's Island Refuge.
The open section will include the area at the end of the access road and continue about a half-mile to the east. Road access will open 30 minutes before sunrise and close 30 minutes after sunset seven days a week.
Officials said Tuesday that the temporary opening will be assessed after 10 days, and is subject to reconsideration.
Areas that will remain closed will be clearly marked.
Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has announced that fall shrimp season will close Friday in all state inside waters east of the Mississippi River — except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.
The department said in a news release Tuesday that it extended the season in December. But current sampling by department biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in the affected waters is smaller than 100 count per pound.
The closure provides an opportunity for the small white shrimp to reach larger, more valuable sizes.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says high water is closing most hunting seasons in the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. They'll close Friday, with only the waterfowl season remaining open.
It says the season will remain closed until the Pearl River drops below 16.5 feet at the St. Tammany Parish town of Pearl River.
The gate at Old U.S. Highway 11, a primary access point to the wildlife management area, will remain closed until the water recedes and all roads and bridges are determined safe for vehicle passage.
The state has acquired more than 11,000 acres of wetlands in Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes as part of a conservation project funded by a settlement over the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana said Monday that the $6.7 million purchase of the forested wetlands on the north shore of Lake Maurepas is funded by MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC, which was a minority partner in BP's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Twenty-eight endangered whooping cranes now live in the wild in southwest Louisiana.
The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says 14 youngsters brought to Gueydan on Nov. 29 were released Monday. They join 14 adults — two released in early 2011 and 12 released late last year in the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish.