department of wildlife and fisheries

State officials are still working to determine what killed two whales found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac.

They also are trying to determine the whales' species.

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in an email Tuesday that both whales were badly decomposed, making it difficult to tell the species.

One whale, found at Belle Pass, was more than 8 feet long. The one at Grand Isle was about 10 feet long. Samples were taken from both whales in hopes of determining what killed them.

State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a Bridge City man for alleged commercial finfish violations, ending a three-year investigation into the illegal sale of red snapper.

Agents cited 26-year-old Yoan C. Hernandez on Sunday.

All of the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in St. Tammany Parish is now open but access via Old Highway 11 will remain closed until Thursday because of flooding and damage from Hurricane Isaac.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reopened areas north of Interstate 10 on Tuesday.

It had reopened areas south of I-10 earlier.

The department says it is repairing Old Highway 11.

Elm Hall in Assumption Parish and Elmer's Island in Jefferson Parish remain closed because of debris removal and storm damage affecting vehicle access.


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has reopened the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, which closed before Hurricane Isaac's landfall.

The area in Ascension, Livingston, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes reopened Monday.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists are assessing the impact of Hurricane Isaac on deer populations in parishes flooded by the storm.

Biologists say flooding killed some deer. Aerial, waterborne and ground surveys of the storm's overall impact on deer will continue through September.

Data collected will be used to develop recommendations for possible changes to the upcoming deer season. Such proposals would be presented to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission for consideration at its Oct. 4 meeting.

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reopening three wildlife management areas that were closed in advance of Hurricane Isaac's landfall.

Officials say Joyce, Manchac and a portion of Pearl River will reopen Saturday. Due to flood water preventing full site access, only that part of Pearl River WMA south of I-10 will be opened, until further notice.

Additionally, the Swamp Walk on Joyce WMA will remain closed until further notice.

Alligator hunters are now free to pursue their quarry across the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The 2012 Wild Alligator Harvest Season opened in the state's West Zone today, following the East Zone opening this past Saturday. However, due to the impact of Hurricane Isaac, hunters in some areas may have to wait until floodwaters recede and power is restored, the state said.

Alligator hunters are advised to verify their buyers have opened before actually taking any alligators, and to use extreme caution when hunting in flooded areas.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed 26 state wildlife management areas in parishes in the expected path of Hurricane Isaac.

Included are: the Acadiana Conservation Corridor, Atchafalaya Delta, Attakapas, Biloxi, Elm Hall, Grassy Lake, Hutchinson Creek, Joyce, Lake Boeuf, Lake Ramsey, Manchac, Marsh Island, Maurepas Swamp, Pass a Loutre, Pearl River, Pointe au Chenes, Pomme de Terre, Salvador-Timken, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Spring Bayou, State WMA, Tangipahoa, Thistlethwaite, Tunica Hills and White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is asking residents in areas that may be affected by Hurricane Isaac to be on the lookout for fish kills.

The department said kills should be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

Large amounts of rainfall across south Louisiana may erode organic matter and carry it into bayous and canals. Fish can be killed if organic matter sucks high quantities of oxygen from water.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has set the 2012-13 oyster seasons based on oyster stock assessments provided by state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and the public.

Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds and the Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Wednesday, Sept. 5.