March 10, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the reward has been increased to $20,000 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 contributing to the reward fund include the Humane Society of the U.S., Dr. Ben Burton, the Louisiana Operation Game Thief Program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Sara Simmonds, the Animal Welfare Institute, Operation Migration, Lake Charles Area Sportsmen, the International Crane Foundation, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Audubon Nature Institute, Zoo New England, King White, Lowry Park Zoo, Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, San Antonio Zoo, Joe Brooks 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, operated on and subsequently had to be euthanized when it failed to respond to recovery efforts.
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.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries' Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) is now accepting proposals for their 2014-2015 Grants Program.
The submission deadline for each of these grants is March 17, 2014.
Applications will be accepted via electronic submission only. Educator Grants
- Based on sound scientific principles, have an environmental focus, and be designed to directly impact Louisiana students
- Those eligible: Accredited K-12 Louisiana schools
- Maximum award: $1,000 for 1 teacher or $2,000 for a team
- 2014-2015 LEEC Educator Grant Guidelines
- 2014-2015 LEEC Educator Grant Application Formal/Non-Formal Educator/Professional Development Grants - Based on sound scientific principles, have an environmental focus, and be designed to directly impact pre-service and/or in-service educators in Louisiana
- Those eligible: Louisiana education, state, or environmental agencies, colleges, universities, or 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations
- Maximum award: $2,500
- 2014-2015 LEEC Professional Development Grant Guidelines
- 2014-2015 LEEC Professional Development Grant Application University Research Grants
- Post-graduate research with a focus on environmental issues
- Those eligible: Students attending Louisiana colleges or universities and who are working toward a Masters, Ph.D., or conducting Ph.D. research are eligible to apply on behalf of their school
- Maximum award: $1,200
- 2014-2015 LEEC Research Grant Guidelines
- 2014-2015 LEEC Research Grant Application
For more information on these grants, visit our website at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec.
Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries firstname.lastname@example.org
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Rayne man for alleged shrimp violations on Feb. 26.
Shannon J Roche, 36, of Rayne, was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail for 13 counts of selling shrimp without a retail seafood license, three counts of theft by fraudulent sales, and failing to maintain records.
LDWF agents first learned of Roche’s illegal methods from a number of consumers posting photos of him on social media websites and describing his illegal practices.
During the investigation into Roche’s illegal methods, agents learned that Roche allegedly purchased shrimp from a wholesale retail dealer and resold them to consumers on 13 different occasions during the months of January and February. He additionally made three transactions to consumers whom did not receive the correct amount of shrimp purchased. Roche also did not keep proper documentation of his sales.
Selling shrimp without a retail seafood license brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Theft by fraudulent sales carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Failing to maintain records brings up to a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Justin Sonnier, Sgt. Lance Devillier, and Senior Agents David Boudreaux, Derek Logan, and Donald Murray participated in the case.
On Feb. 25, John Phillipe, 32, Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., pleaded guilty to numerous commercial oyster violations in Plaquemines Parish.
Phillipe pleaded guilty to harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill, violating the state’s health code by not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book, and another count of violating the state’s health code for vessel sanitation requirements, no tarp, no visible boat numbers and taking commercial fish without a vessel license. He was also cited for improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of a vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal.
Patrick Sylve and Jean Taylor pleaded guilty for harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill.
Judge Michael Clement accepted all three pleas and ordered the following sentences: Phillipe was ordered to pay a fine of $3,900 plus all court costs and was placed on two years probation. All of Phillipe’s commercial licenses were also revoked for a period of two years and he is forbidden to be on any oyster vessel for two years. His oyster dredge was also forfeited to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
Patrick Sylve and Jean Taylor were each ordered to pay a fine of $950 plus court costs and were ordered to not be on a vessel harvesting or possessing oysters or gear to take oysters for two years unless that vessel is equipped with a vessel monitoring device that is approved and monitored by the LDWF Enforcement Division.
LDWF agents witnessed Phillipe and his deckhands harvesting oysters from a lease that did not belong to them and under the cover of darkness after legal sunset on Aug. 26, 2013 in Bayou Stephan located in Plaquemines Parish. Agents discovered the boating safety and health code violations during the stop.
Assistant District Attorney Robert White prosecuted the case. Agents participating in the case were Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio.
(Baton Rouge, La.) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the male whooping crane found wounded on Feb. 7 in Jefferson Davis Parish was humanely euthanized at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine this morning, Feb. 19.
LDWF agents believe the male crane, along with a female, were shot on Feb. 6. The female crane was found dead at the scene. 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 on Feb. 7.
The male whooping crane was brought to the LSU SVM’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital by LDWF staff on Feb. 8. LSU SVM’s staff determined a humerus and radius fracture through radiographs taken at that time. The bird underwent surgery on Feb. 9. There was a high risk of infection because the fractures were open, but the bird initially recovered well from surgery.
The crane’s condition began to deteriorate on Feb. 18 and had weakened to the point that any efforts to try to revive him would have exacerbated his condition. The bird was humanely euthanized at the LSU SVM this morning.
Veterinarians at LSU SVM and LDWF worked together on the bird’s recovery and will continue to work together to save Louisiana’s wildlife.
A $15,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the two whooping cranes. Anyone with information on this incident can contact LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program.