Jul 16, 2010 7:17 PM by Melissa Canone
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a series of six meetings to address the concerns of waterfowl hunters about the effect of oil in coastal marshes and the upcoming hunting season.
At the public meetings planned between July 26 and Aug. 3, LDWF will convey current plans and take comment from hunters.
"Louisiana hunters can be assured that the waterfowl season is going to open," said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. "A 16-day teal season, September 11 - 26, was set at the July Commission meeting and continental waterfowl populations are at very healthy levels."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said in recent press releases that they believe restricting hunting seasons due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is currently unnecessary. LDWF expects the Mississippi Flyway Council to recommend waterfowl hunting season parameters similar to recent years. The council meets during the week of July 19 and state waterfowl hunting regulations will then be set at the La. Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting on Aug. 5.
Although LDWF is not recommending any broad-scale closures of waterfowl hunting, if oil is found, some areas may have to close to hunting. Additional closures may be considered if large areas of the coast become covered with oil from tropical storm activity or continued movement of oil into the marshes.
More information on LDWF's current intentions and considerations for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season can be found at the following website: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/news/Deep-Horizon-Oil-Spill-and-Waterfowl-Hunting-Season-in-