BP oil spill not set to put off waterfowl hunting at this time, LDWF says

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold six meetings between July 26 and Aug. 3 across the coastal region to address concerns of waterfowl hunters about potental impacts of oil in coastal marshes and the upcoming hunting season.

“Louisiana hunters can be assured that the waterfowl season is going to open,” said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. “A 16-day teal season, Sept. 11 – 26, was set at the July (Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries) Commission meeting, and continental waterfowl populations are at very healthy levels.”

The meeting schedule is:

• July 26, 6 p.m.
LSU Ag Center
7101 Gulf Highway in Lake Charles

• July 27, 6 p.m.
Evangeline Theater
129 East Main St. in New Iberia

• July 28, 6 p.m.
Abbeville Public Library
405 East Saint Victor St. in Abbeville

• July 29, 6 p.m.
Houma Municipal Auditorium
880 Verret St. in Houma

• July 30,6 p.m.
East Bank Chambers
1221 Elmwood Park Boulevard
Council Chambers, Suite 201, in Jefferson

• Aug. 3, 6 p.m.
Alexandria Convention Hall
915 3rd St. in Alexandria

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said in recent press releases that it believes 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 during the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting on Aug. 5.

Although LDWF is not recommending any broad-scale closures of waterfowl hunting, some areas may have to close to hunting if oil is found, the agency said.

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: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/news/Deep-Horizon-Oil-Spill-and-Waterfowl-Hunting-Season-in-Louisiana.pdf

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