LWFC ends monthly meeting in executive session

Commissioners privately discuss possibly suing over Gov. Jindal’s raid on Artificial Reef Program fund.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took care of some minor housekeeping issues at Thursday’s meeting before reconvening in executive session to discuss details of possible litigation against the state for raiding the Artificial Reef Program fund.

The commission approved resolutions setting the commercial and recreational reef fish seasons, commercial king mackerel season and closure of the recreational gag grouper fishery.

At the meeting, Wildlife Chief Kenny Ribbeck also gave commissioners a hint of the proposals the department would make at the February meeting regarding hunting dates and regulations for the 2012-13 season.

Most of the changes would be simple calendar adjustments, with at least one exception: The department will propose that youths hunting WMAs during the primitive-weapon season be allowed to use rifles and shotguns, just like their fellow hunters on private land.

Ribbeck also said the department is waiting to hear back from federal officials about whether deer hunting with dogs will be allowed next season on Kisatchie National Forest.

The feds put out a proposal on Dec. 21 that includes three options: leave the season and regulations as they currently exist, ban dog hunting or allow more limited dog hunting. Ribbeck and his staff will meet with federal officials later this month to get a sense of the direction they’re heading.

After all of the hunting season proposals are made at the February meeting, they will be put out for public comment, and the department will schedule six or seven public meetings to allow hunters to voice their opinions, Ribbeck said.

“If there’s any hot issue that affects one particular area, we’ll be sure to hold a meeting in that area,” he said.

Also at the meeting, commissioners welcomed new commissioner Pat Manuel, who replaced Patrick Morrow, whose term expired after the December meeting.

Commissioners also voted to install Ann Taylor as chairman and Ronny Graham as vice-chairman.

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About Todd Masson 599 Articles
Todd Masson has covered outdoors in Louisiana for a quarter century, and is host of the Marsh Man Masson channel on YouTube.

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