Enforcement

LDWF Reports Record Low for Boating Fatalities in 2013

Release Date: 02/13/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division’s Boating Safety Program is reporting a record low of 13 boating fatalities for Louisiana in 2013.

The previous low for boating fatalities was 19 in 1992 with a high of 79 in 1974, which was the first year boating incident statistics were recorded.  Louisiana averaged 69 boating fatalities a year from 1974 to 1979, 52 a year from 1980-1989, 32 a year from 1990-1999, 37 a year from 2000 to 2009.  Since 2010 Louisiana has averaged 25 boating fatalities a year including 30 in 2012, 36 in 2011 and 21 in 2010.

“While we are always striving for lower boating incidents and fatalities, we are happy to report this record low for boating fatalities for 2013,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “It shows that some of our boating safety initiatives are working and that boaters are doing a great job of adhering to our safe boating regulations.”

LDWF contributes the drop in boating fatalities to the mandatory boating education class, stricter driving or operating a vessel while under the influence (DWI) enforcement and introducing new regulations for wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).

The LDWF Boating Safety Program began instituting mandatory boating safety education in 2003 for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1988 who operates a vessel in excess of 10 horsepower.  In 2010, LDWF worked with the state legislature to make the boating education course mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984.  Since 2003 LDWF has certified over 50,000 boaters statewide.

“The mandatory boating education course has proven in other states and this one that over time we will have fewer boating crash incidents and fatalities,” said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s Boating Law Administrator.  “We will eventually reach a point of saturation and every boater in the state will be boating education certified, which can only increase the safety of our waterways.”

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating fatalities than states without one.  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.

To take a free LDWF approved boating education course please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/boatingcourses.

LDWF has upped their DWI enforcement on the water and have worked with the state legislature in the recent past to make DWI laws on the water 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.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.  In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher and .02 for anyone under 21 years of age.

LDWF has also introduced a couple of new PFD regulations.  In 2007, LDWF made it mandatory for all on board a recreational vessel less than 16 feet in length that is steered by a hand tiller outboard motor while underway to wear a PFD.  In 2009, LDWF required anyone 16 years of age or younger to wear a PFD while onboard a vessel that is less than 26 feet in length.  The law previously stated that anyone under 12 was required to wear a PFD.

Also in 2007, LDWF made it mandatory for an operator of any recreational vessel less than 26 feet in length that already have an existing engine cut-off switch and equipped with a hand tiller outboard motor to use an engine cut-off switch.  The engine cut-off switches on these types of boats have to be attached to the operator via a lanyard.

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

Reward Now $15,000 for Information on Whooping Cranes Shot in Jefferson Davis Parish

Release Date: 02/12/2014

Feb. 12, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the reward has been increased to $15,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the two whooping cranes found in Jefferson Davis Parish on Feb. 7.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program.

To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

Organizations and individuals contributing to the reward fund include the Humane Society of the U.S., the Louisiana Operation Game Thief Program, Dr. Ben Burton, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, the Animal Welfare Institute, Operation Migration, the International Crane Foundation, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Audubon Nature Institute, Lowry Park Zoo, Zoo New England, King White and anonymous donors.

The whooping cranes were found near the corner of Compton Road and Radio Tower Road just north of Roanoke, about five miles north of Interstate 10. One bird was already dead when found and the second crane was transported to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge and is currently recovering following surgery.

LDWF has been working to restore a wild whooping crane population in Louisiana. Fifty juvenile cranes, brought to Louisiana in four separate cohort groups, have been released at LDWF’s White Lake property near Gueydan since 2011. Prior to this incident, 33 of those birds were alive and well on the landscape in central and southwest Louisiana.  Some have been lost to predators, some to naturally occurring health problems, and five in total have been confirmed as killed or wounded by firearms.

To learn more about LDWF’s whooping crane re-population project, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes .

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

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issues $18,000 in Rewards in 2013

Release Date: 02/12/2014

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $18,000 to diligent citizens statewide in 2013.

The LOGT board met three times in 2013 and reviewed a total of 41 cases.  A total of 68 subjects were apprehended and a total of 294 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases.  The LOGT has paid out a total of $342,700 since inception in 1984.

The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted mostly of turkey, deer and alligator violations.

“We depend on LOGT and these public tips to help break a lot of cases that might have otherwise gone unsolved,” said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and LOGT Coordinator Lt. Will Roberts.  “LOGT provides the incentive for the public to come forward, which is the cash rewards offered for information leading to arrests in these cases.”

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's new tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android apps from the iTunes or Google Play store free of charge.  Texting or downloading the app enables the public to send anonymous tips to LDWF and lets LDWF respond back, creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.

Users of the app or texters can also send in photos to help support their claim and be used as evidence.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

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

LDWF Seeking Leads for Whooping Crane Shootings

Release Date: 02/07/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are looking for leads regarding two whooping cranes that were found shot in Jefferson Davis Parish this morning, Feb. 7.

The whooping cranes were found and recovered near the corner of Compton Road and Radio Tower Road just north of Roanoke about five miles north of Interstate 10.  Agents found a shot and killed female whooping crane and a shot and injured male whooping crane.

LDWF personnel were able to retrieve the injured male crane and will transport it to LSU for examination.  It appears at this time to have an injured wing suffered from the shot.  Agents believe that the birds were shot with bird shot sometime yesterday, Feb. 6.

“Anytime we lose one of these cranes it sets us back in our efforts to restore the whooping crane population back to its historic levels in Louisiana,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “These were once native birds to Louisiana and the department would like to see these cranes thrive again in the future with a sustainable population.”

LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program is offering up to a $1,000 reward for any information about this illegal shooting that leads to an arrest.  To report any information regarding this whooping crane shooting, please call 1-800-442-2511.

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

Region 7 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Address: 

Denham Springs Bingo Hall
2813 Florida Blvd.
Denham Springs, LA. 70726

City: 
Denham Springs
Notes: 

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Region 7 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Address: 

Denham Springs Bingo Hall
2813 Florida Blvd.
Denham Springs, LA. 70726

City: 
Denham Springs
Notes: 

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Region 7 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Address: 

Denham Springs Bingo Hall
2813 Florida Blvd.
Denham Springs, LA. 70726

City: 
Denham Springs
Notes: 

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Region 2 Boating Course

Date: 
Monday, February 24, 2014 - Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Address: 

Poverty Point State Park
1500 Poverty Point Parkway
Delhi, La 71232

City: 
Delhi
Notes: 

5 p.m. to 9 p.m. both nights. Please call 318-343-2417 to register.

Two Louisiana Men Arrested for Hunting Violations

Release Date: 02/05/2014

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) agent arrested two Louisiana men on Jan. 31 for alleged hunting violations on the Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

The agents were patrolling the NWR when they observed Duell S. Moreland, 23, of Monterey, walking down a trail shining a headlight in a searching manner.  Upon approaching Moreland with the aid of night vision, the agents identified themselves as police officers and told Moreland to do not move.  Moreland then attempted to run away on foot before being caught from behind by the agents.

The agents identified Moreland and learned that he is awaiting trial for the illegal killing of a black bear in Concordia Parish.  Moreland was found wearing a head light on his forehead, carrying a loaded crossbow equipped with a night vision scope, a loaded .444 rifle, possession of marijuana and another person’s deer tags.

The agents then went back to a nearby camp on private property where Moreland originated his illegal hunt from and found Ronnie Mason, 43, of Jonesville.  After further investigation, agents revealed that Mason is a convicted felon who was also illegally in possession of a firearm at the camp.

The agents also found a freshly killed untagged doe near the camp with several propeller cuts on its body.  An investigation revealed that while travelling to the camp Mason intentionally ran over the deer in his boat that was attempting to swim across Bayou Cocodrie.

Moreland was booked into jail for hunting deer during illegal hours, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, second offense of illegal possession of marijuana, resisting an officer, possession of marijuana while in possession of a firearm, hunting deer using illegal methods, and using archery equipment with illegal sights.  Mason was booked into jail for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, hunting deer using illegal methods and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Moreland turned himself into the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 18, 2013, for his alleged role in the illegal killing of a Louisiana Black Bear.

Possessing a firearm while in possession of marijuana carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years in jail.  Possessing a firearm by a convicted felon brings a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Second offense possession of marijuana carries a $250 to $2,000 fine and up to five years in jail.  Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.  Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and using illegal sights each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting deer using illegal methods brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are LDWF Sgt. Trey Mason and USFWS Agent Mark Cupit.

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

Agents Arrest Sulphur Man for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 01/31/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Sulphur man on Jan. 29 for alleged deer hunting violations in Sulphur.

Agents arrested, Chris G. Clark, 51, for hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting deer from a public road, hunting or taking deer during a closed season, discharging a firearm from public road and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors.  Clark was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center.

Agents also cited two minors for hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting deer from a public road, hunting or taking deer during a closed season and discharging a firearm from a public road.

LDWF agents received a complaint from the Calcasieu Parish Sherriff’s Office about a deer that was shot off of Ellis Moss Road in Sulphur.  Agents went to the scene and learned from an eye witness who was able to get the license plate number and a detailed description of the vehicle that was used in the illegal shooting of a deer.

The license plate information led agents to a residence in Sulphur.  Upon further investigation, agents learned that Clark drove the vehicle along with three minors to the location where deer were in a field off the road.  Clark equipped one of the minors with a .243 rifle and one with a 30-06 rifle.

After further investigation, agents learned that Clark and the three minors pulled up to the field where Clark then instructed two of the minors to open the door and fire simultaneously at a deer.  After both minors fired multiple shots killing the deer, they observed a vehicle approaching them from behind.  Clark and the three minors then left the scene and did not return.

Agents seized the .243 and 30-06 rifles and a 12 gauge shotgun.

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail for each offense.  Hunting or taking deer during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a moving vehicle brings a $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting deer from a public road carries a $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Discharging a firearm from a public road carries a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Stuart Guillory, Senior Agent Sean Moreau and Senior Agent Chuck Talbert.

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

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