HOUMA, La. — The state hopes to nearly double the harvest of nutria with a goal of hunters killing 400,000 of the invasive rodents next season.
Hunters trapped the highest number of nutria in Terrebonne Parish last season in the state’s control program.
Of the 223,155 nutria tails turned in during the 2018-19 season, 51,960 came from Terrebonne Parish. The second-greatest number of tails was in Plaquemines at 39,657.
Lafourche Parish was fourth in the state at 19,458, according to the 2018-19 season report by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
For the upcoming season, which opens on Nov. 20, the incentive program will increase its payouts to trappers to $6 from $5 in an attempt to control the species that is damaging the state’s wetlands.
Last year, the state paid out about $1.12 million in payments to 241 hunters.
The program has been running since 2002. To participate, individuals must have a trapping license, complete a coastwide nutria control program application and designate which properties the nutria will be harvested from.
“Protection of our coast is of the upmost importance,″ said LDWF Biologist Director Amity Bass in a news release. “The Coastwide Nutria Control Program plays an important part in keeping down the number of this invasive species that destroys our marshes. We hope the increase in the bounty will incentivize hunters and trappers to go after more nutria.″
Once the season opens, it will run through March 31.