WHEREAS, the bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), and its close cousin the pig frog (Lithobates grylio) have been a part of the culinary culture of South Louisiana since Native Americans inhabited the woods and waters of our great state, and
WHEREAS, for untold generations these miniature “amphibian athletes” have maintained their abundance, protected from ever increasing harvest and predation by a variety of natural defenses including impenetrable swamp and vast grassy marshland habitats, keen senses, and resilience to environmental stressors, and
WHEREAS, commercial and recreational harvesters have always depended upon the seemingly endless supply of frog’s legs available for home consumption and the enjoyment of restaurant diners around the world, and
WHEREAS, Louisiana law currently allows harvest of frogs for 10 months of the calendar year, excluding April and May during the peak of the bull and pig frog reproduction season, with no daily/nightly limits during open season, and
WHEREAS, during the months of February and March as frogs emerge from their winter “sleep,” they are sluggish and less capable to respond to danger, and much of their protective cover in the form of water hyacinth and other aquatic plants have been greatly reduced or completely eliminated during the cold season die-off, factors making it less sporting and easier for froggers to approach and capture them, and
WHEREAS, the coastal wetlands of Louisiana, home to the majority of the bull and pig frog populations of the state, are particularly susceptible to dramatic changes in habitat and water quality due to salt water intrusion and storm surge flooding; the population of frogs residing along the state’s coastal freshwater barriers likely were significantly reduced due to the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita that diminished both cover and forage for bull and pig frogs, and
WHEREAS, with the degradation and loss of wetland habitat in Louisiana and the increase in frog harvest efficiency afforded by modern-day tools and technology such as stronger lighting, high-powered mud boats, airboats, mechanical grabbers, nets, etc., coupled with the increased market demand for frogs both domestically and internationally, an assessment of the status of the bull and pig frog populations in the state and consideration of new harvest regulations to insure and conserve sustainable populations of these species is warranted, and
WHEREAS, coastal restoration should include consideration of restoring populations of bull and pig frogs and other sensitive, wetland dependent species to their former abundance in the coastal wetlands of the state.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to determine the status of the bullfrog and pig frog populations in the state, with emphasis on the coastal parishes impacted by the hurricanes of 2005, and further, to consider the need to establish a daily bag limit on bull frogs and pig frogs.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 16, 2008 in New Iberia, Louisiana.