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I hope LS will quickly provide more background on JBE's recent appointee to the Wild Life and Fisheries commission Telley Savalas Madina. From what I can determine he looks like an odd choice. Sure he has some association with the Louisiana Oystermen Association but no real qualification via life experience or education involving wildlife or biology. Most information I find involves him being a bit of a leftist activist. Hopefully there is more to this story, some non-political affinity for the broad issues at stake for our states natural resources, commercial fishers and sportsman. Appointing folks with no personal understanding of hunting and fishing is the first step down the slippery slope to losing our heritage as The Sportman's Paradise. I'm not sure 'advocating for minority fishing communities ' after BP is really a key qualification to being a top level decider of critical wildlife management decisions. Hopefully LS sportsman can get an interview and some more background.

June 04, 2016 at 5:22am

Y'all see this !

Wonder what the ticket is??? Is the channel itself really part of the refuge??? Crazy! Why not have lottery hunting on the portion inside the levees where the ducks actually are and leave the brackish marsh as a rest area and not screw over fisherman??? Typical they give with one hand (limited crappy hunting) and take with the other!

December 04, 2015 at 5:48pm

Well after prolonged Indian summer, it looks as though liquid water will be in short supply north of MO by turkey day. Will this result in a glut of birds and an end to gripin or will the tales of short stopping by DU and it's endless acres of flooded sauna heated corn fields commence????

PS can't post pics from my iPhone quatro.

November 22, 2015 at 6:20am

Was done at 6:15 this morning. We aren't holding as many birds as opening week last year but the ponds with good wigeon grass have grays. Set up alone (you should've been there pops), and was done quick with decoying grays. Water was back down to normal and there were gulls on trout in Bayou Louttre on the way in.

November 10, 2015 at 6:25pm

I was helping a friend run gator lines today. Saw several flocks of 5-20 teal trading.

August 26, 2015 at 11:28pm

The science of waterfowl management is presumably THE MOST data driven set of hunting regulations in the world, certainly the scale and effort of data collection is an amazing thing. This data is used to generate season frameworks and by all appearances AHM has succeeded in ending decades of contentious and reactionary waterfowl management by federal fiat.

However in stating that maximizing harvest counts is the ultimate goal of setting zonal seasons within the federal framework I feel you are missing the mark. Waterfowl hunting is by its nature a recreation and a pastime. As such one can readily argue that hunter satisfaction with the waterfowling experience is the most realavant statistic. Ordinarily such a mark would be emphearal and hard to quantify, but lo and behold we find ourselves with data showing the previous season's dates produced and unprecedented level of satisfaction amongst coastal zone hunters! It would seem logical to continue in the vien of such sucess.

As to the concept that 'no other game season is managed by popular opinion' realize that most resident game seasons are 4-5months in length and involve hunting realatively static quarry. In other words rabbit season opens in early October but by preference we (the members of my hunting club)will not hunt rabbits on our leases until December or later. If folks in another area choose to brave the heat and snakes their success will in no way be to my detriment and since the rabbit season is long I can get several rabbit hunts in in cool weather while those who prefer it hot can make a fair number of hunts in their preferred conditions. Also hunting rabbits on their property does not affect the behavior of rabbits in my area.

The waterfowler on the other hand is faced with a much more limited season, he is faced with a widely ranging quarry who will become more wary as the season progresses regardless of whether or not a given piece of acerage is hunted. Thus it is much harder for us to 'pick our days' and most of us will simply hunt when we are off. Waterfowling also differs from deer and turkey hunting where optimal hunting period (as determined by breeding behavior of males) occurs in a highly geographically predictable manner. In reality we all know that wind, rain, temperature and tidal conditions frequently have more to do with duck hunting sucess than raw duck counts. There is no way to predict these factors ahead of time but we can predict with fair certainty that balmy and buggy conditions often prevail for the first week of November! In the end however a duck hunter feels a fool for foregoing the opener in the way many rabbit, squirrel and bow hunters do. The season is too precious and the birds too transient to wait on weather. On the other hand in a variety of settings we have voiced our preference to delay said opening till mid November when more enjoyable environmental condition are possible if not likely.

You are correct in contending that a winter weighted season (with most days in late December and January)is sub-optimal for coastal gunners. Most coastal bags consist of species who migrate based on photoperiod as much as weather. You are incorrect however in extrapolating that because a given duck species is not migrating to flee ice-up weather is not still part of the equation and thus 'earlier yet is even better' for duck season. You are also misguided to ignore the recomendations of your head waterfowl biologist who's life work and passion centers on this very topic (who is also a coastal zone waterfowler with skin in the game). He is indicating to you the wisest way forward balancing the realities of hunter preference, meterorogical conditions and both population and harvest data.

August 17, 2015 at 1:25am

Hey was anybody at the commission meeting to know how they set the snipe season? Just curious if they split it the way they have been (hoping they did).

August 06, 2015 at 8:16pm

Here is a study from immediately before and after the MRGO opened. It basically proves the point of both those who want the MRGO to stay closed and those who want it reopened. It addresses Lake Borgne but one can be certain that Lake Pontchartrain was no saltier. The operative point is that L. Borgne had a mean annual salinity of 5 ppt. Also that most speckled trout over 12 inches were captured post and pre spawn in the fall and spring. Bottom line is as always we can' have our cake and eat it too, we can have a dying system that due to saltwater intrusion provides ready near launch access to all esturine species (until final collapse) or we can have a dynamic surviving or even growing system where certain halophilic species will have a seasonal abundance in the upper parts of the estuary.

July 08, 2015 at 2:51pm

Hunted in the winds this morning. The MRGO was rocking when we crossed it in the dark! Got to my pond and set up with 15 decoys just upwind of the point the blind was on. It's a good thing I set up that way because 30 MPH winds made it hard to finish the birds. But despite half the flocks landing short we managed 7 grays, 3 bluewings, 1 greenwing and a spoony by 7:15. Saw more high migrators coming in so you weekend warriors should have fresh birds next Saturday. Even saw a lost lone snow but couldnt get him to circle by the time I dug my goose call out. Altogether a memorable day.

November 17, 2014 at 5:52pm

Hunted my lease in Hopedale this morning. Had a limit of teal by 8 am. If our shooting had been better we would have been done by 7:15. Decoyed 200-250 teal in flocks of 2-30. My friends in the area also limited (12 hunters total). Some had mostly grays, some a mixed bag. Some divers were killed (2 dosgris) and one Greenhead.

November 15, 2014 at 12:54pm

Hunted alone this AM and limited out by 7:45. Would have been no problem to have had a second person limit with me. Had teal coming in as I picked up the decoys. Water is VERY high though and the birds are in the flooded marsh think of the shallowest pond you know and go there. Road around some bayous checking on thins for a friend and it looks like birds were holding on the small potholes just off the ridges where the three corner grass and pig weed was growing. Stopped at a high point on the back levee (on my lease) on the way in and got three rail as a bonus (makes the dog really happy to get some actual hunting in as apposed to just retrieving). Hope everyone finds some this weekend, I'm done since I work the next four.

September 24, 2014 at 11:09am

Killed 5 teal between two hunters in Hopedale this morning. If only we could shoot BBWDs in September ............, I could break out the big gumbo pot. Didn't hear much shooting around me and water was goofy high.

September 20, 2014 at 12:41pm

Got 4 this morning with two of us in the blind. Could have had a couple more. From what I heard the we were top of the leader board in Hopedale. Hopefully we get some more birds down soon. I'll be back at it Tuesday!

September 13, 2014 at 7:23pm

Saw about 100 teal in 4 flocks when I went to dress blinds today. Fingers crossed.

September 06, 2014 at 3:15pm

So Mary Landrieu announced her latest attempt to betray our state today, turning the bulk of the Atchafalaya Basin into a national park! While at first that may sound like a good thing, she is lauding fictitious restoration funds and 'improved acess for tourist', what it really means is a giant NO HUNTING sign in the center of our coast. Also no further oil and gas activity in the area. This designation would serve little other purpose since the bulk of this land is either state or federally owned already and the remainder is protected from development by wetland protection legislation. The main agitators behind the fiasco are the Sierra club, formerly a conservation organization but now overrun by liberal zealots who only want to block all human activity on massive areas of our nation's landscape! So call the traitor Landrieu, call Vitter and call your congressman and tell WE DO NOT WANT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE LOCKING US OUT OF A BIG CHUNK OF OUR SPORTSMANS PARADISE!!!

July 24, 2014 at 3:30pm

Louisiana has always allowed small bore muzzle loaders (the 'squirrel guns' of battle of New Orleans fame) for small game hunting including on WMAs. I do believe that when the requirement was moved from 'muzzle loader' to 'primitive rifle' the wording was changed in reference to small game as well as large. So theoretically any one with a single shot cartridge rifle suitable for the 'primitive arm' deer season could get a second sub-35 caliber barrel for that rifle (it's a really inexpensive if somewhat complicated process if you have a Handirifle) and have a qualifying small game 'primitive arm' for hog killing on a WMA. Granted you won't be able to blaze away at multiple pigs but a single 308 is a lot more effective and from much farther than say 5 .22 magnums or 3 goose loads. Hopefully someone from LDWF enforcement can comment on my reading of this.

April 25, 2014 at 2:17am

Hunted a pond where I scouted 250-300 BW teal a week ago and all we killed today were grays and a couple spoonies. Plenty of grays in Hopedale today. Kill a three man limit before 7:30.

November 09, 2013 at 2:17pm

Grassed blinds today saw more birds than I expected. Checked 4 ponds, best had 250 mostly grays, worst had a few dozen bluewings. Saw birds trading in fair numbers . The key is going to be widgeon grass and seclusion. Between the sight fishing for reds and the surface drive motors I think the birds are keying in on really isolated locals where they can avoid disruptions. Hopefully there will be more by the ninth since there are a couple more fronts to come.

October 28, 2013 at 8:17pm

Scouted 10 ponds from pisana to the southernmost border of Biloxi WMA. No teal seen. Did catch enough fish for dinner.
Not happy but not terribly worried often don't scout well out there for teal and then do well for the opener. Wish the giant high north of us would dissipate!

September 09, 2013 at 10:31pm


February 15, 2013 at 11:43pm
A comment titled: Re: Lead ban in response to a report titled: Lead ban

Those early steel loads were REALLY poor! Today not so much. And there are plenty of loads in steel for doves/snipe/skeet. I cut gizzards on 80% + of my ducks and probably 15% of those have steel shot. In the end lead shot vs. lead rifle bullets is not a comparable issue. Shot gunners put way more lead out there than rifle hunters and rifles aren’t going to work with steel rounds (I know sabot flachettes exist). So switching to monolithics is a much heavier lift than even the switch to steel for ducks. I do think that more and more public land nationwide will require non-toxic shot for all shotgun hunting. I use steel for snipe on my lease. The only problem with steel is it will crack ur teeth! Hunt hard and chew carefully!

November 24, 2020 at 7:14pm
A comment titled: Re: Louisiana dmaps in response to a report titled: Louisiana dmaps

DMAP areas are private land under management in coordination with the LDWF which allows for harvest of does to a specific target number rather than by doe days. It is not a public access program in any way shape or form. The landowner/lessee pays to enroll to improve the management of the deer herd, having forked out extra money to participate in this program I don't think you will have much luck asking for permission to hunt. Sorry

November 19, 2020 at 6:12am
A comment titled: Re: What would you do? in response to a report titled: What would you do?

The academy brand (don't remember the name) is making a nice rattling jig head in both hot pink and metallic gold. The shiny (shiny as a gold spoon) gold was definitely getting more strike the other day but I've only had them for one trip. We have fished the academy rattling heads vs. lead heads and H&H rattlers and it wins. Hold a bait well too. As for the gulp, buy a gulp bucket and throw it in your spashwell and add to it from the bag packs as needed its to frustrating and gross to deal with any other way.

May 16, 2020 at 10:33pm
A comment titled: Re: What would you do? in response to a report titled: What would you do?

My go to would be a chartreuse Gulp of some sort in the same presentation I was using with live. Past that maybe some double rigs with and without corks. Some days you can make the switch and it works fine, other days you have to go find fish that want what you are throwing. These days if they turn on well enough for you to run out of bait you are ahead of the game. I would not assume that you cannot catch once it heats up but you may need to look deeper, look near submerged vegetation or the shady side of rigs or just cover a lot of ground stopping only for 5-10 casts a spot.

May 15, 2020 at 5:58am
A comment titled: Re: Long Haul in response to a report titled: Long Haul

Who thinks they can have too much fish in the freezer this week!

March 21, 2020 at 11:08pm
A comment titled: Re: Tide Magazine 2020 in response to a report titled: Tide Magazine 2020

I have seen how a purse seine works, and it does catch and kill EVERYTHING associated with a school of pogies on the surface. But it doesn't come near the bottom. It is not a gill net or entanglement net by any means and theses boats have been out there doing this for 50+ years so I would question whether they play a major role in the current fishery issue. In the Chesapeake they were damaging the forage base by removing too many menhaden. I have not seen evidence that this is occurring here. But then again I don't think a systemic index of forage base species exists for our waters. We do know that shrimping is a huge factor we just lack the political will to do anything.

March 07, 2020 at 8:14pm

Jeez and yesterday cleaning sheepshead was a sign of the fishing apocalypse!!! That fish was orange like choupique! I hear there are enough blue and channel cats around that I think I will abstain from a hardhead and horse raddish 'po-boy' for now.

March 07, 2020 at 3:39am
A comment titled: Re: Tide Magazine 2020 in response to a report titled: Tide Magazine 2020

Pogie boats have been out there for decades. They Definitely have a lot of bull red bycatch and sharks, jacks, some trout ect. But its a purse seine fishery which means bottom fish aren't likely to be in that net. the deep water trawlers do catch some flounders during their spawning runs to the gulf. The luggers have also been out there for a half century at least and its well known that the bycatch they have is tons of juvenile fish from snappers to tarpon to trout. Not sure how any of this is relevant to flounder populations since these fisheries are far from new??? But if i were looking to blame a net for flouder problems a net on the bottom makes a lot more sense than one on top.

March 07, 2020 at 3:33am
A comment titled: Re: Tide Magazine 2020 in response to a report titled: Tide Magazine 2020

I really don't think any restrictions on creel limits will help East of the river, no one is catching any at any rate! I doubt menhaden fishing is the culprit either. Flounders aren't scooped up in purse seines. If you want a conspiracy try the deep water double rigger shrimp fleet.

March 05, 2020 at 9:48pm
A comment titled: Re: Bass n Sacs in the lake ??? in response to a report titled: Bass n Sacs in the lake ???

We catch lake runners and specks at the same spots some days in Hopedale. Its not the routes into the estuary so much as the ridiculous high river the past decade. High Pearl won't help either. Probably as much water going through the spillway with the gates closed as there is going through Mardi Gras Pass. The river levee has been cut at Ostrica for years and we still caught trout in Quarintine until katrina. Its not a conspiracy or the caernarvon or communist china; its a solid decade of really high rivers. The spillway has opened nearly as many times in the past 12 years as it had the previous 80 years. Sucks but its the weather .

February 21, 2020 at 12:08am
A comment titled: Re: To Mr. Kinny and Mr. Larry in response to a report titled: To Mr. Kinny and Mr. Larry

All Larry Reynolds could do is recommend a ban on ice eaters and hunting flooded unharvested crop fields to the flyway council, or recommend the same to the commission in LA. He can\'t set policy by personal fiat. And he has discussed extensively why those pleas fall on deaf ears. But this year with now snow south of SD no law change would improve the situation. If we get the weather we had in 95,96,97 we will have the ducks we had then. Dry across the lower MS valley then cold snowy winters. The last two years have been really wet from Marksville to Missouri and that equals fields flooded without effort or expense, then no snow, few real fronts ................ I think there are outfitters doing their level best to hold as many birds north as possible but weather is still a top factor. Don\'t just look at temperatures here check them in NE, KS and IA even when its seasonal here if they are having daytime temps above freezing then its not the ice-eaters hurting us it old man winter being lazy.

December 27, 2019 at 8:49pm
A comment titled: Re: Aerial Duck Survey November 2019 in response to a report titled: Aerial Duck Survey November 2019

Well, we check our lease the same way annually, this year is the least ducks I've ever scouted going back 20 years and the feed in our ponds is near the best its ever been. that said most of those 20 years the opener was a double digit day of November and I think there is a lot to come. Last year we had a good push of ducks in early December but most left because feed was sparse after the late storm. this year I think we will hold birds well. the only Silver lining I see in the count is that BW numbers are holding for the opener, pretty sure they will be gone in a week, hopefully replaced by GW teal. Cheers to all and good hunting.

November 07, 2019 at 8:28pm
A comment titled: Re: 1st time marsh fishing question in response to a report titled: 1st time marsh fishing question

Not sure where you have fished before but the marsh is all about the tides. For small boats the falling tides are best as fish will be concentrated at cuts and drains in the marsh. Rising tides are great on the outside but a bit more challenging on the inside. On a rising tide for small water focus on where the cuts and small bayous feed into the ponds from main bayous and any bottlenecks between ponds. Shell Beach will mean crossing the MRGO and/or running it to get to most fishing spots. Hopedale and Delacroix have more abundant 'protected' water spots. aerial maps are a good bet, pick a named bayou then fish the drains leading into it from ponds on a falling tide with either live shrimp or Gulp lures on a jig head under a popping cork and you should catch some reds, come fall you will also catch specks and bass are often around too. If there isn't much tide troll grass lines and cast spinner baits for reds. Once you learn to run the marsh you can start to fish bigger bays and areas further from the launch with the knowledge that shelter is usually not too far away should weather worsen. Keep in mind that winds with an Easterly component will exaggerate the rising tides while west winds especially in winter will drop water levels considerably. Make a note of water levels at the dock and water depths where you fish each trip and realize that places you may catch fish one day may be mud flats another if the wind shifts. Keep moving and look for moving water and bait and you will figure it out. Good luck!

August 01, 2019 at 4:00am
A comment titled: Re: Safely run the Spoil Canal in response to a report titled: Safely run the Spoil Canal

Great, like we need more boats out there!

July 17, 2019 at 9:19pm
A comment titled: Re: Who Dat Goona Eat Dem Fish-Not Me!! in response to a report titled: Who Dat Goona Eat Dem Fish-Not Me!!

YYYYEEEEAAAAHHHH............. there is a lot of bad with the spillway opening, but i really doubt large scale contamination of the indigenous animal protein is occurring. The DEQ has a pretty liberal number of fish consumption advisories for various waterways but none for the muddy Mississippi. I don't think concerns about toxic cyanobacteria are as dire as the media is making it out to be, we haven't seen pets, wildlife or people getting ill; mostly just precautionary beach closures. Sure there are industrial contaminants in that river but they have literally never been more dilute than they are at this moment since this is the highest flow the river has ever seen on an annual basis. People have been eating fish from venice, the canaervon and lake Salvador without any anxiety and all theses areas have routine river water injections. What is the alternative??? Chicken nuggets from chicken fed crops irrigated with river water and pogies cuaght out of venice?? But I applaud your caution and I hope everyone else goes totally catch and release or just quits fishing before they drop the trout limits!!! More seriously my friends currently working in water quality frequently tell me 'DON'T EAT THOSE FISH' from freshwater waterways in the state but have not said that about the river or the lake. The bigger issue I see with the river water is the chronic turbidity throughout the estuary which is inhibiting all manner of normal processes. As well as the excess nutrients that cause algal blooms ect. And of course you can't have a brackish fish fisheries in a kentwood jug! Assuming that the river does not make a habit of being out its banks for 10 months at a time I don't think we will see permanent environmental collapse of the Pontchartrain Basin but going forward the lake will be (as it traditionally was before the MRGO) a fresh to modestly brackish body of water. As far as using the morganza; forget it since it puts Morgan City at risk so that will never be the preferred way of dispensing with overflows. If you look at the history of the Mississippi river the pattern seems to be one of a decade or so of flood events then 10-25 years of normal to low flows, hopefully this will be the last spillway opening of the current outbreak.

July 17, 2019 at 9:17pm
A comment titled: Re: 2019-20 Louisiana Waterfowl Season in response to a report titled: 2019-20 Louisiana Waterfowl Season

I'm more encouraged by the shift from the Canadian side of the border to the US side by many gray ducks and teal that is being reported and that wetland conditions in the Dakotas should yield better numbers of young birds. Generally years with good conditions in the Dakotas have yielded good results for me. Got my wing results and something on the order of 80% of the limited grays i shot were adults. I'm ready for September at any rate!

July 12, 2019 at 2:25am

Don't think it will get that fresh but if it does we can fish sacalait on the causeway. I think the days of catching trout in the western lake in the summer are coming to a close but that was always an artificial circumstance wrought by the MRGO. I doubt back to back spillway openings will be the norm let alone double openings but a much less saline inner estuary will. You just have to adapt with it; I would never have thought 20 years ago that we would catch bass in Pisana routinely but then again in the 1950's likely no thought there would ever be a time when there WERE NOT bass there. Fishing on the east bank will be more like fishing Venice in the future I would think, sans getting crushed by cargo ships, it will take more effort to figure out but there will be more options.

May 18, 2019 at 11:31pm

The water is fresh way past lake robin. I doubt the river water is changing spawning dates as much as it is displacing spawning activity. Females that are ready to spawn will seek saltier water to spawn which right now might be all the way to the chandeleur islands so if you are fishing in fresh water you probably won't have a lot of roe to fry for lunch. In normal years I see this; on trips to the rocks ect. we get good roe from the females whereas the trout we catch close to the launch in fresher water don't have well developed ovaries. Likely they go out to spawn then come back to fatten up for the next round of spawning on the inside where there is more food and less things trying to eat them but I'm not sure any of the tracking data has proven that. The question is with the spawn displaced so far to the outside two years in a row how will that affect the number of juvenile trout returning to the marsh??? In the past research indicated that the increase in forage base associated with the influx of nutrient rich river water offset poor recruitment with faster growth rates but with two full years of very low salinities who knows.

May 18, 2019 at 7:24pm

2018 Opening Pace
After heavy rains in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys increased river stages, the Corps opened the spillway on Jan. 10, 2016.
The Bonnet Carre Spillway will be partially opened on Thursday, March 8, 2018 in order to keep the volume of the Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second (cfs).

In past openings the stated goal is to keep flow rates below that 1.25 million cfs volume, its not actually based around the river height although the two are closely related.

February 23, 2019 at 2:25am

Spillway openings are based around set objective criteria of flow rate in the river. It is not a political process, they are conservative with their benchmark due to the immense amount of lives and property at stake. I don't recall the benchmark offhand but it is published online. There will be fish in the lake, perhaps not your favored species for a few months but in the long run the discharges have historically benefited the Pontchartrain Basin in terms of productivity as a whole. However the repeated openings of late are all but unprecedented (they was a series of openings in the 70's) so how a back to back opening affects things who know. The river is certainly high so I fail to see a conspiracy here.

February 22, 2019 at 7:16pm
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