The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted last week to introduce a coastal zone, increasing the number of zones to three. The two-split hunting seasons in each zone will likely continue unchanged.
The old, two-zone system, consisting of an east and a west zone, had been in effect for thirty years.
Vermilion Parish and the entirety of the Louisiana coastline were a part of the west zone.
According to the LDWF Web site, one intention of creating the third zone was to separate northern Louisiana from coastal Louisiana, as the two regions have distinct habitats.
The three-zone system “could provide season dates more satisfying to hunters in that region and provide additional harvest opportunity for hunters that use more than one zone.”
Another intention of the new zone is to group together the marshes around Lake Pontchartrain in with similar habitats used by similar duck species along the coast.
“When changes to the East zone season in 2011 reduced the number of early-season hunting days, LDWF received complaints from hunters in that region, so this option intends to group those similar habitats into a Coastal zone,” it says on the Web site.
The other major shift on the new zone map is a movement of the line between the east and west zones from Shreveport to Hwy. 167.
Though the three-system is here to stay, the commission will look at possible variations during its July 2 meeting. Season dates will also be outlined at that time.
In August, the season dates for this year will be made official.