General

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Two Louisiana Men Sentenced for Commercial Fishing Violation

Release Date: 07/24/2019

Two Louisiana men were sentenced in the 34th District Court of Louisiana in St. Bernard Parish for commercial fishing violations on June 27.

Shawn C. Thompson, 47, and James H. Williams, 53, both of Port Sulphur, pleaded not guilty for possessing an excess of 15 percent of non-living cultch material on state seed grounds. A third subject, Andrew Duplessis, 40, of Davant, failed to appear in court.

The honorable Judge Darren Roy found both Thompson and Williams guilty and sentenced each to pay a $500 fine plus court costs.  A bench warrant was issued for Duplessis for failing to appear.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents and biologists were performing commercial fish inspections on the Three Mile Pass State Seed Ground in St. Bernard Parish on Oct. 29, 2018 when they came into contact with the three men.  The LDWF agents and biologists determined the three men harvesting oysters were in possession of an excess of over 15 percent of non-living cultch material.

LDWF agents instructed the subjects to return the oysters and cultch back into the water, however the subjects refused to cooperate.  Agents were able to obtain an arrest warrant and arrested the three men on Nov. 5, 2018 in St. Bernard Parish for possessing over 15 percent of non-living cultch material on state seed grounds.

The harvest of seed oysters from a Public Oyster Seed Ground or reservation shall be for the purpose of moving the live oyster resource. The removal of more than 15 percent of non-living reef material in bedding loads is prohibited.

AMENDED: Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet July 30, 1:00 p.m.

Release Date: 07/24/2019

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting
Mitch Jurisich, Chairman Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 1 p.m.
East Bank Regional Library
4747 W. Napoleon Ave, Metairie, LA 70001
I. Pledge of Allegiance
II. Roll call and introduction of guests
III. Approval of May 14, 2019 Minutes and June 25, 2019 Agenda
IV. Treasury Report
A. LOTF Financial Report & Oyster Tag Sales
V. Committee Reports
A. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee (Mitch Jurisich)
B. Enforcement (Major Edward Skena)
C. Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)
D. Research (Earl Melancon)
E. Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)
F. Marketing (LDWF)
G. Health (Justin Gremillion)
H. Aquaculture
I. Joint Task Force Working Group (Mitch Jurisich)
VI. New Business
A. To Discuss the 2019-2020 Public Oyster Seed Grounds Season- LDWF
B. To Hear a Report on Oyster Mortality Surveys Related to the 2019 Flood Event- LDWF
C. Resolution on Gulf Hypoxia, Comments on Louisiana Nutrient Management Strategy-
Doug Daigle
D. To Consider Funding for Task Force Member Travel, Conference Fees, and Membership Dues for the 2019 Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference- OTF
E. To Hear an Update on the 2019 Summer Oyster Task Force Trip to Washington, D.C.-
OTF
F.  To Discuss a State Based Assistance Program for LA Oystermen due to the Current
Flooding Crisis and Loss of Oyster Resources- OTF
G. To Discuss the Effects of Hurricane Barry in Terrebonne Parish- OTF
H. To Consider Recommendations for the Chair of the OTF Aquaculture Committee- OTF
VII.Public Comment
VIII. Set Next Meeting
IX. Adjourn
 
The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq. The public is invited to attend. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 
For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Grand River

Release Date: 07/18/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Iberville Parish that occurred on July 12.

The body of Bud T. Henley, 52, of Franklinton, was recovered from the Grand River shortly after being involved in head on collision with another vessel around 7 a.m. on July 12.

Henley was the operator of a 17-foot vessel when he collided with another 17-foot vessel.  Henley was ejected from the vessel into the water where he was found deceased.  Both Henley’s passenger and the other operator sustained injuries and were taken to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  It is unknown at this time what caused the vessels to collide.  Henley's body was turned over to the Iberville Parish Coroner's Office to determine an official cause of death.  Henley was found without wearing a personal flotation device.

2020 Louisiana Coastal Fellowship Program Eligible Parishes

Acadia
Ascension
Assumption
Avoyelles
Beauregard
Calcasieu
Cameron
East Baton Rouge
East Feliciana
Evangeline
Iberia
Iberville
Jefferson
Jefferson Davis
Lafayette
Lafourche
Livingston
Orleans
Plaquemines
Point Coupee
Rapides
Sabine
St. Bernard
St. Charles
St. Helena
St. James
St. John the Baptist
St. Landry
St. Martin
St. Mary
St. Tammany
Tangipahoa
Terrebonne
Vermilion
Vernon
Washington
West Baton Rouge
West Feliciana

LDWF Agents Arrest Nine Subjects for DWI on the Water During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 07/10/2019

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division arrested nine boaters statewide for alleged driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, July 5 to Sunday, July 7.

On July 5 agents arrested:

Ryan Jackson, 25, of Mooringsport, on Caddo Lake in Caddo Parish;
James Hasting, 48, of Alexandria, on Kincaid Lake in Rapides Parish;
Melissa Strother, 47, of Alexandria, on Cane River in Natchitoches Parish;
Evan P. Daigle, 28, of Lafayette, on Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish;
William Persac, 65, of Baton Rouge, on the Joseph Harbor Canal in Cameron Parish;
Jonathan Arnold, 32, of Baton Rouge, on the Amite River/Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish; all for DWI on the water.

On July 6 agents arrested:

Holly Duet, 32, of Thibodaux, on Bayou Chevreuil in St. James Parish;
Morgan Meginley, 30, of Alexandria, on Kincaid Lake in Rapides Parish;
John D. Guerin Jr., 37, of Ventress, on the False River in Pointe Coupee Parish; all for DWI on the water.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

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 while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 07/03/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal vessel incident that occurred in Cameron Parish this morning, July 3.

The body of Joseph J. Bergeron, 34, of Sulphur, was recovered from the Calcasieu Ship Channel around 11:40 a.m.

According to the survivor, Bergeron was in a 23-foot vessel with another occupant heading south when they hit a dredge pipe around 3:30 a.m. near Hackberry.  Bergeron was ejected into the water without a personal flotation device.  The other occupant stayed in the vessel and was able to get a call out for help.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Bergeron’s body was turned over to the Cameron Parish Coroner’s Office.  The other occupant in the vessel sustained some injuries and was taken to the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water This Weekend

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from July 5 to July 7.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for impaired boat operators.

“We are always on the lookout for impaired boat operators, but this weekend it will be more of a focused effort.  We are in full support of this national campaign and will do our part in removing impaired operators from the waterways this weekend,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We know this will be a busy weekend and we want people to have fun on the waterways.  However, we please ask everybody on the water to wear a personal flotation device and have a sober operator.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Nationwide, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating incidents with alcohol playing a role in 19 percent of boating fatalities.  Louisiana had 20 boating fatalities in 2018, with alcohol playing a role in four fatalities or 20 percent.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

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 while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Agents Cite Two Men for Oyster Violations in Lafourche Parish

Release Date: 07/01/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two oyster fishermen for alleged oyster violations on June 30 in Lafourche Parish.

Agents cited Luis Diego Rodriquez, 20, and Mendez Castro Anceto, 19, both from Houma, for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents responded to complaints they received in the Tidewater area east of Bayou Lafourche.  Using aerial surveillance, agents observed and recorded Rodriquez and Anceto illegally dredging for oysters in polluted waters.

Agents seized five sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.
 

LEEC eNews: LEEC Art & Language Arts Contest Reception, 4-H Job Opportunity

LEEC News

Important Notice

On July 1, 2019, Louisiana Environmental Education Commission programming and staff will transfer from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to the Louisiana Department of Education. The commission and staff will continue to bring unique and exciting programming to formal and non-formal educators around the state. There may be a short delay in communication while we transition, but we'll be back providing information and opportunities soon! 

LEEC Celebrates With Art & Language Arts Contest Winners

On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission hosted its annual Student Environmental Awareness Art & Language Arts Contest reception at the Louisiana Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge. Student winners, their families, teachers and school administrators joined LEEC board members and contest judges for an awards ceremony and address by this year's guest speaker, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program Director Susan Testroet-Bergeron.

A former classroom educator and LEEC commissioner, Ms. Testroet-Bergeron reminded students of the stunning variety of habitats we experience across Louisiana, and congratulated them for highlighting their communities as they produced art and language arts works to illustrate the theme "Taking Environmental Action: What's Great About Your Part of the State?"

First, second and third place winners from four age groups in both art and language arts categories received certificates and cash awards for their work, which will be featured in the annual LEEC Student Visual and Language Arts Calendar to be produced this fall.

Pictured below are the winners, LEEC commissioners and staff, and contest judges attending the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employment Opportunity

4-H Youth Wetlands Program Coordinator

 
The LSU AgCenter is in search of a qualified Extension Associate to act as their Youth Wetlands and Education Outreach Program Coordinator.
 
The successful candidate will coordinate and promote the 4-H Youth Wetlands Program, raise public awareness of the importance of wetlands to the state of Louisiana, and demonstrate ways all Louisiana residents can contribute to wetland restoration.  The Program Coordinator will work full-time in the LSU AgCenter 4-H Youth Development unit with the Youth Wetlands and Education Outreach Program funded through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).
 
The original deadline to apply was June 25, 2019, but the deadline will be extended. See the application web page for more information.
 
 

BUY A PLATE TO EDUCATE

Support the LEEC by purchasing an Environmental Education specialty plate at

www.expresslane.org

 

Body of Missing Boater Recovered from Lake Salvador

Release Date: 06/25/2019

Search and rescue crews found the body of a missing boater in Lake Salvador in Jefferson Parish this morning, June 25.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents recovered the body of Charles Moton, 22, of Marrero, around 10:45 a.m. near where he entered the water.

According to witnesses Moton was on a boat in Lake Salvador when he entered the water and didn’t resurface around 5:45 p.m. on June 23.  Moton had a personal flotation device on when he was in the boat, but it came off when he entered the water.

LDWF enforcement agents will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. Moton’s body was turned over to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office also participated in the search.

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