Enforcement

Boating Incident in Avoyelles Parish Leads to Fatality and DWI

Release Date: 05/27/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are investigating a single vessel incident that claimed the life of a Mansura man on May 25 in Avoyelles Parish.

About 6:30 p.m., LDWF agents were notified of a boating incident and a missing boater on the Little River near Marksville.  Agents were able to locate the body of David Crocket, 48, around 8 p.m. and turned him over to the Avoyelles Parish Coroner’s Office.

According to witnesses and the operator of the boat, Marcus Logan Sr., 43, of Mansura, they were traveling west on Little River and swerved to avoid an object in the water when Crocket fell overboard.  Crocket went under the water and never surfaced.

Crocket was not wearing a personal flotation device when he entered the water.

After further investigation, agents determined that Logan Sr. was under the influence of alcohol while operating the vessel and arrested him for driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI).  Agents also cited Logan Sr. for careless operation of a vessel.  Future charges may be pending.

DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail and up to a year suspension of driver’s license and boating operation privileges.  Careless operation of a vessel carries up to a $300 fine and 30 days in jail.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Body of Baton Rouge Man Found in Amite River Diversion Canal

Release Date: 05/26/2014

Search and rescue teams found the body of a Baton Rouge man in the Amite River Diversion Canal about 2:45 a.m. on May 26 in Ascension Parish.

Matthew Green, 28, was found about 2:45 a.m. by search and rescue teams from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, the Gonzales Fire Department and the St. Amant Fire Department.

According to the survivor, Green was on a jet ski and the survivor was in a boat on the Amite River Diversion Canal when they decided to switch positions with each other about 7 p.m. on May 25.  When Green tried to board the vessel he apparently bumped the throttle and when the unmanned boat went into motion he lost his balance and was sent overboard into the water where the vessel then struck Green.

Search and rescue crews were notified immediately and searched until they found Green.

Green's body was turned over to the Ascension Parish Coroner's Office to determine a cause of death.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 17-23

Release Date: 05/14/2014

Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 17-23 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force as always during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.

Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.  LDWF regulations also state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

Alcohol use is another leading cause of boating crash incidents and fatalities on the water.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 50,000 boaters during that time.  Louisiana has lowered the number of fatalities per 100,000 registered boats from 12 in 2008 to 4.9 in 2013.

Last year Louisiana posted a record low for boating fatalities with 15.  In the four years prior to last year, Louisiana averaged 28 boating fatalities per year.  This year to date, Louisiana has had three boating fatalities.

Media: To schedule a safe boating patrol ride along for a story, please contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

164 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 05/13/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 164 boaters statewide after their fourth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 10.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

The eight locations consisted of:

Bossier Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Sponsors: Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bayou Outdoor Supercenter of Bossier City, H&W Marine of Bossier City and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Sponsors: Academy Sports and Outdoors, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Pizza Hut.

Rapides Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Sponsors: Academy Sports and Outdoors and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

St. Landry Parish
St. Landry Lumber
Sponsors: Raising Canes of Opelousas, Acadiana Outfitters of Iberia, Walmart of Eunice and St. Landry Lumber of Opelousas.

Calcasieu Parish
Lake Charles Civic Center
Sponsors: Calcasieu Chapter Whitetails Unlimited.

Lafourche Parish
Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Rifle Range
Sponsors: Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Kief's Hardware Inc. of Cutoff.

Ascension Parish
Cabellas
Sponsors: Cabela’s and Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc.

St. Tammany Parish
Madisonville Branch of St. Tammany Parish Public Library
Sponsors: Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 50,000 boaters during that time.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Violet Man Sentenced for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 05/08/2014

A Violet man pleaded guilt today, May 8, in the 34th Judicial District of St. Bernard Parish for oyster violations.

Judge Jean Nunez Juneau accepted the guilty plea from Oliver F. Rudesell Jr., 32, and sentenced him to pay a $650 fine plus court costs and a 60-day jail term that was suspended.

Rudesell Jr. also must not be on a vessel harvesting oysters, possessing oysters or gear to take oysters for two years unless that vessel is equipped with a vessel monitoring system that is monitored by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents.  He was also placed on two years probation with six months being active in which he cannot be caught committing any Class 3 or higher wildlife offenses.

Rudesell Jr. pled guilty to two counts of taking oysters from unleased state water bottoms, and pled no contest to failing to have a commercial license in possession, taking commercial fish without a gear license and taking commercial fish without a vessel license.

The sentence is a result of numerous occasions where Rudesell Jr. was caught by LDWF Enforcement Division Agents for taking oysters from unleased state grounds and license violations in St. Bernard Parish.

The case was prosecuted by Darren Roy for the St. Bernard Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Agents participating in the case were Capt. Steven McManus, Sgts. Adam Young, Mike Garrity and Villere Reggio and Senior Agent Bret Nabors.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/06/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 23-27 and again from July 21-25.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.  LDWF Environmental Education staff will also assist with the camps and provide workshops on non-consumptive educational programs.

"These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

LDWF and Podnuh’s Bar-B-Q of Baton Rouge is providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.   Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combos for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana are each providing two lifetime hunting and fishing combo licenses that will be given to four of the participants.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application by May 27.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.  The online registration form is located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

Body of Kayaker Found in Lake Charles Identified

Release Date: 05/06/2014

Search crews found the body of a deceased Texas man in Lake Charles on May 3 in Calcasieu Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) found the body of Zachary Collins, 24, of Silsbee, Texas around 9:30 p.m. on May 3.

LDWF agents and CPSO deputies received a call around 6 p.m. on May 3 about an overturned kayak floating off of the Interstate 10 beach on Lake Charles.  The search crews utilized side sonar technology to search the water and locate Collins who was found without a personal flotation device.

Search crews learned that Collins launched his kayak from the beach around 5:30 p.m.

LDWF is the lead investigating agency for this boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Enforcement Division Academy to Enroll 30 Cadets for Training this Summer

Release Date: 05/05/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Law Enforcement Division will begin training up to 30 cadets in July to bolster the ranks of agents in the field.

The cadets will train at the department’s training facility housed within the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge. Successful completion of six months of intensive physical and academic training is required to graduate.

“An LDWF enforcement agent has a tremendous responsibility, protecting Louisiana’s rich natural resources, and those who enjoy those resources, whether in the field or on the water,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “And those responsibilities extend to response efforts during natural disasters when citizens need assistance in impacted areas.”

At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws, and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training required for all state law enforcement officers.

Agents are additionally trained for search and rescue and serve as the lead responders in search and rescue coordination under the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

This class of graduating agents will fill field office vacancies around the state.  Each cadet is assigned to a parish and must reside in that parish upon completion of the academy.

Interested applicants can apply online through the Department of Civil Service website and must complete the LEAPS test to qualify for consideration. Please visit the civil service website at http://www.civilservice.louisiana.gov/ for “Wildlife Enforcement Cadet” and LEAPS testing application information.

For more information including a video about becoming an LDWF agent, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/enforcement/becoming-agent.

The LDWF Enforcement Division has openings in the following parishes: Desoto, Claiborne, Red River, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, Winn, two for Sabine, LaSalle, Iberville, Iberia, Allen, Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, two for Cameron, two for Vermilion, Jefferson, West Feliciana, St. Charles, Orleans, two for St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, St. John and Ascension.

LDWF is charged with managing, conserving, and promoting wise utilization of Louisiana's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their supporting habitats through replenishment, protection, enhancement, research, development, and education for the social and economic benefit of current and future generations; to provide opportunities for knowledge of and use and enjoyment of these resources; and to promote a safe and healthy environment for the users of the resources.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day Slated for May 10

Release Date: 04/23/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the fourth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 10 at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Below is the list of class locations and the registration contact information, which can also be found at www.wlf.louisiana/lagniappeday:

Bossier Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, La 71111
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To register please call 318-371-3049.
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bayou Outdoor Supercenter of Bossier City, H&W Marine of Bossier City and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitutional Dr.
West Monroe, La 71292
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
To register please call 318-343-2417.
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Pizza Hut.

Rapides Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, La 71301
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To register please call 318-487-5634.
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

St. Landry Parish
St. Landry Lumber
207 N Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, La 70570
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To register please call 337-948-0257.
Sponsors include Raising Canes of Opelousas, Acadiana Outfitters of Iberia, Walmart of Eunice and St. Landry Lumber of Opelousas.

Calcasieu Parish
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, La 70601
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To register please call 337-591-2580
Sponsors include the Calcasieu Chapter Whitetails Unlimited.

Lafourche Parish
Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Rifle Range
1156 Hwy. 90
Raceland, La 70394
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To register please call 985-447-0821.
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Kief's Hardware Inc. of Cutoff.

Ascension Parish
Cabelas
2200 W Cabela's Pkwy
Gonzales, LA 70737
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
To register please call 225-765-2999.
Sponsors include Cabela’s and Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc.

St. Tammany Parish
Madisonville Branch of St. Tammany Parish Public Library
1123 Main St.
Madisonville, LA 70447
9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please call 504-284-2023 to register.
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Dubach Man Cited for Turkey Hunting Violations in Union Parish

Release Date: 04/22/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Dubach man for alleged turkey hunting and trespassing charges on April 19 in Union Parish.

Agents cited Anthony J. Lewis, 40, of Dubach, for intentional concealment of wildlife evidence, failing to comply with turkey tagging requirements, hunting turkeys with no basic hunting and big licenses and turkey stamp, criminal trespassing and operating an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on a public road.

Agents received a complaint from an anonymous hunter about Lewis turkey hunting on private property without permission near Dubach.  When agents arrived to the location, Lewis was no longer hunting in the area.  Agents then drove to Lewis’ residence and found him driving down a public road on an ATV.  When Lewis saw the agents he turned the opposite direction to avoid detection.

After a brief pursuit, agents were able to make contact with Lewis to which he admitted to dumping a harvested turkey from earlier in the day in a field during the pursuit.  Agents were able to locate the harvested turkey and issue Lewis his citations.

Intentional concealment of wildlife evidence brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to comply with turkey tagging requirements and hunting without a big game license each carry up a $100 to $350 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting turkey without a turkey stamp and basic hunting license each bring up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.  Criminal trespassing carries a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Operating an ATV on a public road brings up to a $175 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Scott Watson and Senior Agent David Nelson.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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