State wildlife and fisheries officials are postponing the 2012 wild alligator lottery season on the Pearl River, Joyce, Manchac and Maurepas swamp wildlife management areas because of the effects of Hurricane Isaac.
The season was scheduled to open on Saturday but has since been pushed back to Wednesday, Sept. 12.
All alligator hunters are urged to verify that their selected buyer will be open to buy harvested alligators, prior to beginning any harvest effort.
Emergency food stamp aid is available starting today for residents in nine parishes damaged by Hurricane Isaac.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the disaster food stamp program for Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes.
The program will provide aid to households who don't normally get food stamps but need help buying groceries after Isaac.
State officials say the last evacuees that were being housed in state-run shelters have returned to their home communities.
Officials say the final 48 evacuees from the mega-shelter in Alexandria and the last five evacuees from the Jewella shelter in Shreveport returned home Tuesday or to shelters closer to their communities. Most were from St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes.
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 state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is closing off 13 miles of waters off Port Fouchon after a tar mat and tar balls surfaced. The Coast Guard is not yet ready to say it’s oil from the BP spill two years ago.