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Biloxi WMA

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If you hunt the Biloxi Marsh with a mud boat you should contact LDWF. They are fixing to restrict it down to 16 hp and less with staight shaft only. I dont know if it will do any good, I think it is coming from the land owner and if LDWF does not do what they say they may pull the lease.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Only because its tearing up the marsh nothing to do with pressure on ducks
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Re: Biloxi WMA
I been hunting out there for a long time it aint the mud boats its the hurricanes, lack of replenishemnt, wave action from all boats alike and wind. Katrina created openings in the marsh and when the water gets high it goes in and creates a channel on its way out. I have a spot that I had to walk to and now you can drive a boat in never once did i see evidence of anyone else back there and I never took my boat in there. I am glad we have experts on coastal erosion out there making decisions. I did not know mud boats could travel across the marsh and destroy it.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
ldwf has no say in the issue biloxi is a lease so whatever biloxi land corp says has to be the rule
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Re: Biloxi WMA
The land owner is making this decision. They believe from what they see on aerial overflights that the pace of loss has increased with the predominance of surface drives. The only choice LDWF has is to comply or lose the WMA entirely. Biloxi Land Inc. (the lessor) is also banning surface drives on their private duck leases which will cost them money so obviously they are pretty serious about this.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
LDWF needs to take note and do this to the Pearl River WMA.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
It will probabaly help with the pressure. But what they are seeing is not mud boats its Katrina's lasting affects.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
I hope the LDWF takes note of this and outlaws the use of 'mud motors' in the PRWMA as well. The bayou Sauvage refuge is case in point of the effectiveness of these restrictions. Less pressure means more successful hunts, period.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
You can hunt both biloxi and pearl almost 100 percent with outboards n pirogues for sure. I really wish they would do same ban to longtail motors.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
This is just the start of air cooled engine rollback. When you look at the increased success rates in the LAA's, Sauvage, and Delta WMA's it would only make sense to limit the impact on the WMA's. I do not believe they will be eliminated but changes are certainly coming. Examples could be in the form of expanded LAA's or assigned lanes for these boats to run, anchor and then paddle in from there, or both, ect... We will see!!!
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Re: Biloxi WMA
They are going to go the way of the air boat. Its just a matter of time.
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LDWF should abandon the lease and let them just pay taxes on it until it erodes away
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Plenty of people will hunt it with outboards and pirogues so why loose access for those folks. I think the lease is a minimal fee for the state (bascically a gift from Biloxi Land) so there is no real loss in maintaining it. The only bad thing is there aren't bag checks for Biloxi WMA to do a before and after comparison once the surface drive ban takes effect. That would have been really interesting on a 3 yr. with and w/o basis.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Because you can't access most of the 36,000 acres without a suface drive. Hunting pressure is gonna feel 10x worse because everybody is gonna be hunting the ponds off the deep bayou's on top of each other. Plus, the ducks are gonna move to the areas where they can't be pressured and just sit there.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Hahahahahahahahahahaha 'impenetrable without surface drive!' people have hunted in there long before surface drives, it called paddling/pushpoling. I really thought they should have made a senior exemption but other than that it's the land owners call and again I believe the cost of the lease to the LDWF is nominal. It will be work but folks will still hunt it. Those who don't want to expend the effort will go elsewhere. It's probably a bigger impediment to the private lessors who have limited choice of ponds at a given water level. It's funny how fast new tech becomes 'essential'.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Simple question.....would you expect more or less people to hunt it next year with this proposed change?

If your answer is 'less', then this change is a bad thing for the hunters in the state.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
I suppose a few folks who only have surface drives will look elsewhere. I bet most folks will keep going. I don't disagree that less people will hunt there but again the company that owns the land and leases it to LDWF at little to no cost is dictating this change. So there are only two options: have 40k less acres of public hunting or have 40K acres surface drive free. I think that people will distribute further without the surface drives because some folks will go back to running around in bay boats through Lake Borgne to reach the northern parts of the areas. The bottom line is LDWF doesn't have a choice here.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
270 handyman. Simple question but a not so simple, yet one sided answer from yourself. I love the fact that I have half a dozen hunting spots in Biloxi marsh and have never had a hunter set up closer than 300 yards from me. Even with the mud motors the place was not over crowded. But if I made 5 hunts out there this year and noticed people in air cooled motors just riding the backwaters to 'scout' or 'chase Ducks' or whatever you want to call it. Then rest assured that the land owners, wildlife and fisheries and whoever else that makes the decisions out there have taken note as well. Do I hunt out of a surface drive with friends when invited? Hell yeah they are awesome. Would I be livid if I just dropped 20K on a new boat just to be told I can't use it? Hell yeah. But if you have an issue with the ban you should confront the irresponsible owners when you see them doing stupid s@&$.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
I could give 2 squirts of pee about whether or not someone who foolishly dropped stupid cash on a single purpose duck platform, is PO'd that 'their' spot has been taken away from them. I mean you really gotta be crazy or have deep pockets to justify buying some of these rigs anyway. Its mind boggling to me that ppl without private leases are buying these rigs like crazy. Without doubt; no one will ever convince me that the introduction and misuse (excessive 'scouting', trespassing, poaching)of the surface drive motor has changed the game for the bad immediately and for the long term. I think it is absurd that the LDWF has EVER allowed these type engines on ANY of the state WMA's. Even if they realize 10 years in that they are bad for the sport and the property; they should step up to the plate and outlaw them from use in all the ponds/lagoons. Sorry for the rant, but I pay hard earned cash for private property that gets raped and pillaged all the time, 100% of the time it is somebody in a surface drive just 'going where the ducks are'. Tired of.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
I guess if you are to old to pirogue and dont have deep pockets for a lease but have a used surface drive rig with a blind on it you are screwed. I dont disagree that the pressure on the ducks is absurd due to the surface drive engines but LDWF should be making rules not banning the motors all together. People with outboards will create just as much noise and they will get as close to the pond that are hunting as they can to shorten up the paddle. A 16 foot flat boat with a 40 outboard can get pretty shallow. Actions of a few ruin for the rest. I have to go else where now because i am not going to switch motors based on a rule for one management area. People with duck leases kill ducks using mud motors and boat blinds. Guides use mud motors and boat blinds and kill pleny ducks but they are more respectful of their area because its all they have. Need some rules and enforcement out there. Have not seen one agent where I hunt in 10 years. Its like the wild wild west no body is watching.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
By the way the 18 foot mud boat with a surface drive is very useful for many things. Crawfishing, fishing, deer and duck hunting, frogging, perch jerking, aligator hunting, floundering, redfishing, bowfishing. Much more versatile than a bay boat and less expensive. Bay boat fishing outside, some inside and some duck hunting.
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Again this isn't coming from LDWF. And it has nothing to do with pressure on ducks.
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I seems people who dont have mud boats are jealous. Its takes lot of worry out of my life dont have to worry about water levels, dont have to worry about being stuck in marsh and dont have to worry about making a wrong turn in the dark.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Bill Collector, again, you are spot on. Been hunting the Biloxi WMA since before Katrina. Surface drives are not destroying the marsh, that's absurd. Also, have quite a few friends that hunt there also with surface drives. In over 12 yrs NONE of us have ever gone over the marsh. We just run where the water is. Go back and read threads about Biloxi WMA, biggest complaint, not enough hunters. I hunted the last Saturday of the season, 3 of us, only 4 greys. But, never heard any other shots within a mile from us and jumped hundreds of greys on the way out running in just the canals. I travel 1 1/2 hours one way to hunt there, guess what, ain't happening if the ban goes through, same for at least 5 others I know. That place will be a ghost town and basically will now be a refuge. It's amazing to me, how many surface drive haters are out there. There are always gonna be the bad apples in every area of life, why let them ruin it for every one else.
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Ok so on last time, this is a LAND OWNER decision, the LDWF did not want this however it was this or loose the WMA entirely. The Biloxi Land Co. that owns the land would rather idle land than allow surface drives, the LDWF would rather not have 40 K less acres of public duck hunting so there you are.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Idk I've had great hunts there in my go devil but the ride is long. I agree it really is a tough pill to swallow for the surface drive owners however ldwf cannot fight this issue. Best thing you guys can do is get a lease and just supplement a few public land hunts if things get slow. This year I made one hunt in bayou Biloxi was very dissapointed very very few teal in the area usually like mosquitoes at daylight not this year. Our lease has frogs teal during teal season and ducks during big duck season best thing I ever did was join a lease guys it's worth every penny usually at the house by 10:00
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Here we go again! Back in 2011, the LAA issue was debated for the Manchac Management area. As I said then and at the public meeting, any of the so called damage done in the low water pond areas by the mud motors was repaired by Mother Nature. The deeper bayous and cuts are causing erosion due to natural tidal flow, high water issues and hurricanes. Take a ride out to these pond areas in the summer and you will see that grass growth and natural tidal movement flattens out any rutting in the shallow water ponds.
Now, as far as the Biloxi area is concerned. I have hunted it for many years until 2010. I can say that it was not heavily hunted then and as I read on this site complaints about not enough hunters out there to keep the birds moving. So, what do you want? More hunters, less hunters, more birds, no mud boats, more pirogues, etc?
If this request is from the land owner, then that is his right.
Now I am not going to debate all of this again but again I will state why I do not like the present LAA policy. I ask why can't exceptions be made to the present LAA policy?
1)Handicapped individuals are being discriminated against because there is no mitigation plan to allow them to hunt on any public management area of their choice which may have a LAA area. Guys, this may very well include amputee veterans. This is a no-brainer and should already be an exemption for existing LAA's.
2)A young hunter and a parent who hunt on youth hunting days are not allowed to utilize a mud boat in a LAA area for that day. When taking a youngster on a hunt, it is much more enjoyable to keep them in a safe dry boat then in a pirogue. This is a no-brainer.
3)Senior hunters who do not have to buy a license any more should be allowed to utilize a easier and safer mode of travel to hunt on public land. All of you younger hunters will one day be in this situation. My Dad stopped duck hunting at 65 and now at 94 I could still bring him to hunt where I wanted if it was allowed.
I brought out all of these items in a 2011 public meeting and still nothing has changed. Someone once told me to try to change the same policy that exist on the Federal areas first.
Well for reasons of my own, I think about this every time I make a duck hunt on public land with a LAA. I positively believe that if the ACLU had complaints filed against the state and federal land management areas by handicapped individuals especially veterans, the present LAA policy would be modified.
It's easy to do on line, just Google the ACLU Louisiana and a complaint can be done on line. I plan to contact the mud boat/mud motor manufactures in Louisiana to ask them to spread the word.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
I have a question for anyone with LW&F about the new LAA policy in the Biloxi Management Area. Will fishermen with mud boats and mud motors over 16hp be able to use the major bayou's inside this area as a route to access areas to fish that are not inside the management area? Example: Can I run through Cooked Bayou to get to Lake Eugene?
If not, then this policy will also affect some fishermen. If I can't run through there with a mudboat then why would a boat with a outboard be allowed. Will outboards be restricted also at some point?
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Let it go MEV we all know u upset over this nothing u can do. Nothing over 16 hp period im sure dont matter what u goin do. And outboards restricted? That is a ridiculous comment dude stop crying and deal with it or get a lease.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Duckhunter7777
Yes, the LAA policy upsets me! Can't do nothing???Let me ask you a question. Do you believe a handicapped veteran, who may have been injured to preserve your future,be allowed to use any tool necessary to hunt or fish on state lands?
I contacted Don Dubuc already and he totally agreed with me about an exemption for handicapped individuals and also youth day hunts concerning LAA's. He said he would bring this up to Larry Reynolds.
Get a lease? Sure, I can afford it but you can't keep others from hunting on your lease when you are not there.
Can't run an outboard? Ridiculous? The present LAA policy on state lands does not allow 'internal combustion engines' inside a designated area now. That's an outboard also. Federal lands like Big Branch do not allow only air thrust boats, aircraft, mud boats, and air cooled propulsion engines. Outboards are OK with the exception of the Pipeline area off Bayou Parquet Rd.
Read the rules dude.
Please answer my question.
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Its not a LAA its a different situation. Not even mud motor restricted only HP restriction.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Sheesh, LAA's, excepting Manchac, affect only a small percentage of the available hunting area. They work (check the birds per hunter effort stats) and if you don't want to pirouge just hunt the other 75-85% of the WMA. That being said this has ZERO to do with LAA and it's not coming from LDWF. The land owner has an opinion and right or wrong it has to be respected. Since I believe the lease fees are nominal it would not make sense to drop the WMA completely when many will still hunt it. You do raise a point about fishing from surface drive boats, I suspect a limited number of specified bayous and lagoons will be allowed as through ways but all ponds and unnamed trenasses will be off limits.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Duckhunter7777
I don't see the difference between a 16hp and a 35hp. None of them can run on land anyway. I realize the landowner has the right to make such a request.

You avoided my question about an exemption for handicapped and especially wounded veterans.
And this doesn't apply to the Biloxi area.

No one has responded to this subject and I find that very selfish and disturbing!
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Just left the Slidell LDWF Public Meeting. Only two comments on Biloxi. This is a proposed change (not a done deal). The Department is still working with the landowner to limit (what the landowner perceives) as damage to the land due to 'surface drives'. It would seem some restrictions will be imposed.

Possible alternatives mentioned - Creating a large LAA (similar to Pass-au-Loutre), allowing surface drives for handicapped and youth hunters, allowing surface drives on establish navigable bayous.

Comments can still be accepted through April 2, submitted directly to Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov .
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Several of my friends spoke to Biloxi Land LLC and received letters stating that ANY use of surface drives would result in immediate lease termination without refund. I think the LDWF is trying to be diplomatic but based on the comments directly from the landowner I expect minimal accomodation. I'm not sure why youth hunters would be excepted, small kids can ride in a pirogue and teens can paddle. I got a pirouge when I was 13 and was poling myself around. Again 95% of duck hunters in the state got into the sport before surface drives existed. I get exception for seniors and disabled on Biloxi and Manchac beyond that it seems unnecessary. The LAA stats do indicate that keeping motorized vehicles out of feeding and resting ponds improve duck hunting results.
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I cant make the meeting but I willbe sending a letter in t help LDW make a decision that makes sense for all invloved.
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Hopefully they will make an exception bill collector. Definitely for disabled vets.
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This is not a proposal an for LAA this is no mud boats over 16 hp at anytime on the management area. Not for fising not for hunting not for passing through no mud boats at all. This is why I suggest giving uo the lease. At least it allows people to be able to fish out there. If they cant afford a 40,000 dollar bay boat.
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Its just a bummer i suppose if you spend 25000 on a gator trax already and now they come up with this but it is what it is and its a good enough wma to keep no matter what the rules are bud.
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Bowhunt11. Thank you for that link for comments to LWF on this proposed LAA. I already sent mine in. Also, I sent a note to Don Dubuc about this because it could very well effect many fishermen before it is all over. Might be a good topic for his show.
lanco1. The reason I believe youth hunting days should be exempt is first young hunters have to be with an adult hunter. Sometimes this could be a grandfather, like me, who wants to bring his 8 year old grandson out to enjoy a duck hunt. A mud boat is much safer, drier and more enjoyable for the youngsters. No one else is allowed to hunt other than the youngsters so why not give them the best opportunity to have a successful hunt. It's only one or two days a year. I started using a pirogue in 1957 with my Dad , so I am quite familiar with them. They are not safe or enjoyable with a child also inside them.
What stats are you referring to that prove duck hunting results are better without mud motors? We all know that the #1 reason for a good hunt is when an artic front pushes birds down like happened early this year. Even the crowded public areas where mud boats are predominately used did good. When the fronts stopped coming down, the second split was not as good as we all know.
I firmly believe that the main reason for this anti-mud motor climate is that a few idiots are misusing mud boats and causing havoc with other hunters. In my lifetime of duck hunting, I have experienced these idiots who ruined hunts long before mud boats were around. The majority of hunters are good, courteous hunters so why should they suffer? We all have heard that 'you can't fix stupid'. Mud boat misuse is an enforcement issue like any other boat on the water and should be dealt with as such.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
I enjoyed pirouging as a child and I enjoy pirouging with nieces and cousins riding now. Be that as it may bag checks for the LAA have consistently shown more birds per hunter effort than the adjacent parts of the WMAs where air cooled engines are allowed. This effect was especially pronounced at Pass a Loutre, Atchafalaya Delta and Pointe au Chien. If 85% of huntable area is open to surface drives then I don't see why an exception of any sort is indicated. On Biloxi and Manchac exceptions would be reasonable since the entire area is affected in the first case and the majority of the typical waterfowling area is affected in the latter. If they vacate the lease Biloxi land could choose to close all public acess to the Biloxi marsh outside of state owned water bottoms, that wouldn't leave much fishing area, maybe stump and lake Eugenie. There is a considerable percentage of hunters who feel especially ,on public land ,that surface drives are detrimental to their waterfowling experience. LAAs provide them an area to hunt traditionally without significantly affecting other hunters acess (excepting Manchac perhaps). Biloxi Land is concerned enough that surface drives are damaging their wetlands to loose some or all of there surface lease revenue, they may be wrong but they have every right to act on their belief on their own land. If the state drops the WMA then hundreds of guys who currently hunt there with outboards and pirogues get hosed but no surface drive users benefit (in fact competition at other WMAs likely increases. Why dishonor a land owners rights or pick a loose loose scenario????
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Re: Biloxi WMA
http://www.nola.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2015/02/duck_season_totals_strong_on_t.html

Check the LAA vs. at large birds per hunter effort.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
lanco1
Yes I remember reading that story by Todd Masson and the ducks per hunter in the LAA areas is interesting but I wouldn't say conclusive. Did the now LAA areas traditionally draw more birds before the LAA was implemented? I don't know but I think there are more variables that could also make a difference. As always, Pass A Loutre is undoubtedly the best duck area in the state but it is not an easy hunt and can be dangerous.
Now, if mud boats are the reason for less birds per hunter on a public area, then why are private areas where mud boats are used still doing much better? We all know that answer, but no one wants to address the problem. It is overhunting and overcrowding. It has gotten ridiculous and to the point that I will not hunt on weekends. The only way to improve hunting and the experience for all, is to go to a lottery system. Other states are using this and as I read it works just fine. But the truth is that most duck hunters in LA. using public land do not want a lottery system and are not willing to change for the better.
Another way to improve hunting would be to close days to hunting but that will not happen. Look at Big Branch, compared to Pearl River and Manchac public areas, even though it is very heavily hunted Big Branch usually does better. The days closed to hunting help allow birds to rest up. And yes I know it is a no air cooled engine zone.
So what to do. I agree that all hunters should have an opportunity to hunt like they want to on public areas. The older and handicapped hunters should have an equal amount of area to use mud boats to hunt. The guys who want to use a pirogue or kayak should have an equal amount of area to hunt. Now everyone will be happy, right?
The Biloxi area should not be lost. It is a fantastic hunting and fishing area and would be a sin to lose. I have used that area for over 35 years and have seen the land loss after every hurricane or high water event. The mud motors are not the reason for that land loss. I don't agree with the landowners 16hp restriction but that is their right so the LWF needs to come to an agreement with them to preserve that area for the public.
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There are several years of data backing LAAs. Unfortunately there is minimal data on Biloxi for whatever reason (bag checks would be simple enough at loutre and stump) so there won't be any objective way to gauge the effect of eliminating surface drives there. A man (or lady) with a lease has every motivation to not disturb birds on the ponds outside of hunting whereas a lot of folks on the WMAs have decided to 'scout' by running around full throttle through feeding and resting areas which disturbs the birds. Even with a lottery system this would go on with guys scouting for bird concentration before their hunts. Restricting all boats to named bayous and lakes during the fall and winter would likely yield the best duck hunting but enforcing such rules is all but impossible. Biloxi aside the current LAA system seems pretty equitable for folks on all sides of this debate. Really for my part surface drives on Biloxi WMA assists my hunts since my lease is near there and pressure on the WMA tends to heard ducks my way. We have a ton of acreage in our coastal WMAs so I doubt wide spread lottery hunts are in our future. I do wish the LDWF would try to get a WMA going in the outer marshes of delacroix and point a la hache.
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Lancot so if it's the landowner who is setting the rules as you have stated several times why is the LDWF commission seeking comment on proposed changes to the HP restrictions?
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Because the LDWF is responsible for enforcing the WMA rules stemming from the land owners wishes. And no government body does anything without a public comment period.
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So your saying the landowner told the commission it's ok to raise the HP limit?
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The leadership at Biloxi Land oppose surface drives, there has been a dialogue ongoing between that leadership, the on site land managers, the private lease holders and the state about how to make all this happen. It started late last year. If you check the commission minutes they were disgruntled about this and obviously are trying to get as much out of the land owner as possible. I can say I heard of this coming from the land owner well before anything was said by LDWF. This is not coming from the state and has nothing to do with the LAA program.
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Can you link this data you speak of of bag checks on LAA's. The data may indicate more birds per hunter effort in the LAA's but my guess is there are fewer hunters per acre and per day in the LAA than there was thus indicating that it is not the LAA but the decrease in pressure due to number of hunters.

If thats the case then its just commons sense.

I hunted Big Branch for years before I had a boat or mud motor and was able to hunt PRMA. I saw absolutly Zero improvement in hunting succeses in one verses the other according to my hunt logs. I killed birds in both and skunked in both.

In fact I found Big branch to be worse at times b/c when the water drops out you simply can not access as much huntable area and are limited by days per season to hunt(cant slways hunt ideal hunting weather) and end up with more hunters per acre pushing birds out of the area.

It all comes down to mother nature and being in right spot at right time.

In my opinion There needs to be more LDWF presence to enforce ehtical boating practices. In last 5 seasons I've been checked by a game warden one time! They can make all rules they want my bet is you could probably still run whatever you wanted through there 95% of time and never get caught. If a tree fall in a forest and no one is there to see it.....?
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Re: Biloxi WMA
before the surface drive craze , to run the back water and timber you used an outboard and if the water got shallow you push poled or waded in or paddled a pirogue. you didn't see a lot of folks hunting those areas but there also was a lot less hunters. so I don't know if it will help or not here in north la. I do know those suckers are loud with the modified exhausts.
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Re: Biloxi WMA
Amen. Not only should the areas be restricted, but the operators need to be licensed and educated as to the damage they are causing.
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