Atchafalaya Delta WMA LAA
Below is the proposal for the LAA on the Atchafalaya Delta WMA Atchafalaya Delta WMA Limited Access Area For the 2010-2011 hunting season, LDWF is proposing two “limited access areas” on Atchafalaya Delta WMA (ADWMA) (as well as one area on Pass a Loutre, Salvador and two areas on Pointe aux Chenes WMAs). One area on ADWMA will be at the Wax Delta (2,100 acres) and the other at the Main Delta (1,150 acres). The total acreage for these areas is 3,250 which is 2.4% of the total WMA and approximately 6.1% of the WMA’s habitat that is suitable for duck hunting. Hunting would be permitted in the limited access areas but with the following restrictions: ► No internal combustion engines allowed during the months of September, October, November, December, and January ► Areas are accessible via pirogue, canoe, etc. or foot (wade/walk in) ► Trolling motors are permitted The area would be posted with boundary signs stating “Limited Access Area”. Hunters would be allowed to access the perimeter of the area, but prohibited from driving a boat powered by internal combustion engine through it. This would mainly prohibit the use of boat blinds that are powered by surface drive motors in these areas. The areas are being proposed primarily to provide exclusive primitive style hunting opportunity for the public (i.e., walk-in, pirogue only, or paddle in areas) which has been requested by multiple users of the WMA. It will also allow LDWF staff to evaluate the effect of shallow drive traffic on waterfowl utilization of the WMA and determine if limited access areas improve the quality of hunting on portions of the WMA. As a by-product of this regulation, portions of the limited access areas may also provide resting/foraging areas for waterfowl when water levels are low and access is difficult. During the 2009-2010 waterfowl season, 146 hunters at Atchafalaya Delta WMA were surveyed to obtain public opinion concerning this regulation change. The results of the survey indicated that 78% of hunters supported the limited access areas. The survey included hunters that operate surface drive vessels on the WMA. Below is a description and map of Atchafalaya Delta WMA limited access areas. The areas are represented as red polygons on the map. Description: Main Delta: Between Community Pass and the western finger of Horseshoe Island, south of Horseshoe and Community Islands approximately four miles to open bay (south of the finger tips of Horseshoe Island). Wax Delta: Between Pintail Pass and Greg Pass, south of the tip of Greg Island approximately 3.75 miles to open bay.
We the hunters do not believe this will fix our problem. We believe that a solid management plan will improve duck hunting on the Delta. The main problem is the birds never have time to rest, there is always pressure which forces them offshore until dark. We need to control the ammount of traffic which runs all over the delta at all times of the day, if we can control that then the birds will not have to go offshore to rest. Creating a LAA will not help our problem, sooner or later everyone will be paddling all over the LAA and the birds will go back offshore to get away from the pressure.