Enforcement

Boating Education Lagniappe Day Slated for April 27

Release Date: 04/03/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the ninth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 27 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.  To register please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses and follow the links to register for one of the eight April 27 classes listed below.

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.

Below is the list of lagniappe class locations:

Webster Parish
LDWF Region 1 Office
9961 Hwy. 80
Minden, LA 71055
Sponsors include Coca-Cola of Minden, Red River Waterway Commission, Bass Pro Shop of Bossier City, and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors and Johnny’s Pizza House.

Rapides Parish
Woodworth Education Center
661 Robinson Bridge Rd.
Woodworth, LA 71485
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agent’s Association (LWAA)

Lafayette Parish
LDWF Lafayette Office
200 Dulles Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70506
Sponsors include Deano’s Pizza of Lafayette

Beauregard Parish
Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office Training Center
412 Boliver Bishop Dr.
Deridder, LA 70634
Sponsors include Beauregard Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited and Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office

Lafourche Parish
St. John Volunteer Fire Department
2072 St. Mary St.
Thibodaux, LA 70301
Sponsors include Renovations Hardware of Galliano and LWAA

Tangipahoa Parish
Manchac Fire Department
30221 Hwy. 51
Akers, LA 70421
Sponsors include the Manchac Fire Department

St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Recreation District #7
67835 Hwy. 41
Pearl River, LA 70452
Sponsors include the St. Tammany Parish Recreations District #7

Body of Opelousas Man Recovered from Lake Dubuisson

Release Date: 03/28/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred in St. Landry Parish on March 26.

LDWF agents recovered the body of Wilma E. Robertson Jr., 59, of Opelousas, from Lake Duboisson following a fatal boating incident.

Agents received information about a boater that entered the water in Lake Duboisson and never resurfaced around 1 p.m. on March 26.  LDWF agents along with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and recovered the body of Robertson Jr. around 2 p.m. within close proximity of his vessel.

According to an eye witness, Robertson was attempting to load his 14 foot aluminum vessel onto his trailer when his vessel began taking on water.  Robertson then entered the water without a personal flotation device on his body and never resurfaced.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

Lake Charles Man Arrested For Impersonating an LDWF Enforcement Agent

Release Date: 03/27/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents arrested a Lake Charles man for allegedly impersonating an LDWF enforcement agent on March 23.

Agents arrested Andy J. Anderson, 43, for false personation of a peace officer or firefighter.

LDWF agents learned that Anderson had identified himself as an LDWF enforcement agent at place of business in Lafayette on March 18.  Anderson had introduced himself as an LDWF enforcement agent and was wearing an LDWF agent jacket.

Agents arrested Anderson and booked him into the Lafayette Parish Jail on March 23.

False personation of a peace officer or firefighter brings up to a $1,000 fine and two years in jail.

Port Sulphur Man Cited for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 03/19/2019

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agent cited a Port Sulphur man for alleged oyster violations on Feb. 28.

The agent cited Randy Johnson, 61, for misbranded seafood, selling fish without a wholesale/retail dealer license and failing to complete trip tickets.

A joint investigation between LDWF, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Enforcement and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources resulted in the citations.

LDWF agents found that Johnson was harvesting oysters in Louisiana following green tag protocols, which stipulates oysters must be consumed fully cooked.  He then labeled the oysters with tags from several oyster processors in Port Sulphur even though the oysters never passed through those processors.

Johnson then sold the oysters to a Mississippi man who sold them raw to consumers in Mississippi.  Agents also discovered Johnson did not have the necessary wholesale/retail dealer license and never completed trip tickets for any of the sales.

Misbranding seafood brings up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.  Selling fish without a wholesale/retail dealer license and failing to complete trip tickets each carries a $250 to $500 fine and 90 days in jail for each offense.

LDWF Participating in “Spring Aboard” Boating Safety Campaign

Release Date: 03/14/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is encouraging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the kickoff of the boating season.

LDWF will be participating in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Spring Aboard-Take a Boating Education Course campaign by providing eight free boating education courses across the state from March 17-23.

Developed by NASBLA, and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boating knowledge or skills based education course.  The campaign emphasizes enrollment in courses verified as meeting the national boating knowledge or skill standard.

“Spring Aboard week is the perfect reminder and opportunity for anyone that needs to get boating certified before the spring and summer boating seasons,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s state boating law administrator.  “The classes are free of charge and bring valuable boating safety information for every boating student regardless of experience level.”

Boating education courses are mandatory for anyone in Louisiana born after Jan. 1, 1984 who operates a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  To register for an LDWF boating education course please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

LDWF implemented Louisiana’s safe boating education program in 2003 and since that time have certified over 100,000 boaters.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

Single Vessel Boating Incident Leads to Fatality in Tangipahoa Parish

Release Date: 03/14/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Tangipahoa Parish.

LDWF agents recovered the body of Edward Ridgel Jr., 66, of Tickfaw, from South Pass Manchac this morning, March 14, around 7:45 a.m.

Agents received a call from Ridgel’s family that he was an overdue boater around 6:30 p.m. on March 13.  Ridgel’s family told agents that he launched his boat from North Pass Landing in the morning to go fishing.

Agents along with members of the Manchac Fire Department and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) deputies immediately began searching for Ridgel.

A commercial crab fishermen spotted an unmanned 16 foot aluminum vessel in South Pass Manchac around 7:15 a.m.  Agents arrived on scene and found Ridgel’s body in the water around 7:45 a.m. about 30 feet from the boat.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  It is unknown at this time how Ridgel was ejected from the vessel.  Ridgel’s body was turned over to the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.  Ridgel was not wearing a personal flotation device at the time of his recovery.

Agents Arrest Pierre Part Man for Illegal Gun and Drug Possession and Wildlife Charges

Release Date: 03/13/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a Pierre Part man for alleged gun, drug and wildlife violations on Feb. 10 and March 8.

Agents arrested Daniel Plaisance Jr., 29, for possession of drug paraphernalia, selling deer meat, possession of an illegally taken deer, hunting deer during illegal hours, taking deer illegally from a boat, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, and hunting without basic season and big game hunting licenses on Feb. 10.

On March 8, agents arrested Plaisance Jr. for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Agents received information on Feb. 10 that Plaisance Jr. had illegally harvested an antlered deer.  Agents went to Plaisance Jr.’s residence where they observed a partially butchered antlered deer on the property in plain view, but Plaisance Jr. was not home.

Agents made contact with Plaisance Jr. at a boat launch in Pierre Part and found cut deer meat, blood, and four used syringes in his vessel.  He admitted to harvesting an eight point deer with a 12-gauge shotgun from his vessel in Bayou Goddel on the morning of Feb. 9.

Plaisance Jr. then took the deer back to his residence and sold some of the deer meat to an unidentified person.  Agents arrested him and booked him into the Assumption Parish Jail on Feb. 10.

After further investigation, agents learned that Plaisance Jr. is a convicted felon and not allowed to possess a firearm.  Agents arrested him again on March 8 and booked him into the Assumption Parish Jail.

Hunting deer during illegal hours carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken deer brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Selling deer meat carries a $500 to $750 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Hunting deer from a boat and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting without a basic season and big game hunting license each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.

Illegally possessing a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Plaisance Jr. may also face civil restitution totaling $1,624 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Agents Cite Three Men for Illegal Gill Net Fishing in Two Separate Cases

Release Date: 03/08/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three men for alleged gill net violations involving two separate cases in Plaquemines Parish.

On Feb. 26, agents cited Timothy P. Cheramie Jr., 33, of Buras, and Danny L. Davis Jr., 35, of Venice, for actively fishing a gill net below the saltwater line.  After a lengthy investigation, agents also cited Salvador Cepriano, 55, of Venice, for actively fishing a gill net below the saltwater line and fishing without a commercial fishing license on March 1.

Agents were on patrol near Dry Cypress Bayou on the evening of Feb. 26 when they observed Cheramie Jr. and Davis Jr. tending a 900-foot gill net.  Agents watched the subjects pull numerous red and black drum from the net.  Agents seized the net and returned the fish to the water.

Agents received a complaint about a man using a gill net in the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.  Agents observed Cepriano using a 900-foot gill net on March 1.  Agents made contact with Cepriano and found him in possession of 1,017 pounds of catfish.  Agents seized the net and sold the catfish to the highest bidder.

Using a gill net in below the saltwater line brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Commercially fishing without a commercial fishing license carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

St. Martin Parish Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 02/22/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited a Coteau Holmes man for alleged deer hunting violations on Feb. 13.

Agents cited Randy J. Bourque, 42, for hunting under hunting license revocation, hunting on a Louisiana State Park, hunting without resident hunting and big game licenses, failing to possess deer tags and failing to follow deer tagging requirements.

On Jan. 5, agents learned about the illegal taking of a deer from Bourque’s social media page.  During the investigation, agents discovered that Bourque illegally killed a 12-point buck on the Lake Fausse Pointe State Park on Jan. 1.  Bourque was hunting without any current hunting licenses or deer tags due to being under revocation.

Agents seized the 12-point rack and cape.

Hunting deer under hunting license revocation, failing to possess deer tags, and failing to follow deer tagging requirements each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting deer on a Louisiana State Park carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without basic season and big game hunting licenses each carries a fine up to $50 and 30 days in jail.

Bourque could also face civil restitution totaling $2033.29 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

LDWF Investigation Indicates Dead Pelicans Succumbed to Natural, Accidental Causes

Release Date: 02/21/2019

Several dead pelicans discovered recently in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes died from natural and accidental causes, according to an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

LDWF’s Enforcement Division launched an investigation Feb. 19 when it was notified of several dead pelicans in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. One of the pelicans was found stuck to a water level gauge. Agents retrieved that pelican and another dead pelican in the surrounding area then brought them to LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge for necropsies, the equivalent of autopsies performed on humans.

The necropsies found no illegal activity associated with the pelican deaths.

The pelican found hanging from the water level gauge in the Caernarvon Diversion area in Plaquemines Parish accidentally hooked its pouch on a protruding screw. The pelican then broke its neck trying to free itself from the screw, according to the LDWF veterinarian

The other pelican, found floating in shallow water, died from severe parasitism and emaciation.

During winter, mortality rates in juvenile brown pelicans can be high. Young pelicans are not as good at fishing as mature pelicans and have higher rates of parasites. Young pelicans also have little to no fat reserves for the colder months and can die from hypothermia and malnutrition.

Due to these naturally occurring events, the LDWF Enforcement Division is closing the investigation pending further evidence that would indicate the birds were illegally killed.

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