General

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Oyster Season Remains Closed East of the Mississippi and in Hackberry Bay

Release Date: 01/06/2011

Originally scheduled to open Nov. 15, season opening will be reevaluated at Feb. 3 Commission meeting

The 2010-2011 oyster season for public seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and in Hackberry Bay will remain closed for now. The season, which was originally supposed to open Nov. 15, 2010, has been under evaluation each month at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meetings since November. The Commission has elected to keep the season closed each month in order to allow oyster spat (young oysters less than one inch in length) to develop.  

Samples taken by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists throughout the fall and winter of 2010 indicated the presence of a reproductive event in some areas east of the Mississippi River. The reproductive event resulted in the presence of significant numbers of oyster spat.  This spat set represents potential rebound of the oyster resources in this area for future years.

Significant oyster mortalities were also previously documented during summertime biological sampling in some areas, which further decreased an already stressed oyster resource. The continued season delay will help to protect and conserve the remaining oyster resources located in these areas.  

The public grounds east of the Mississippi River contribute approximately 28 percent of all oyster harvest in Louisiana on an annual basis, but are currently at some of their lowest oyster availability levels in the last 20 years.

All remaining public oyster areas throughout the coast will continue with the current oyster season framework as set by the Commission at their August 2010 meeting.  Most of these areas opened to harvest on November 15, 2010.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.
 

Small Coastal Shark Season Opens January 1

Release Date: 12/30/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced that the 2011 season for small non-sandbar coastal sharks in Louisiana state waters will open January 1, 2011.  LDWF Secretary Robert Barham sets the season in coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service and shark seasons in federal waters.

The non-sandbar small coastal shark group is composed of bonnethead, Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose and finetooth sharks.  The 2010 non-sandbar small coastal shark season was previously closed in November.

The non-sandbar small coastal shark (SCS) fishery is very small in Louisiana and is primarily incidental in nature.  The annual Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico quota for SCS is approximately 1 million pounds.

The 2011 non-sandbar large coastal shark season will open on March 1, 2011.

Information on current regulation for non-sandbar small coastal sharks including trip limits, allowable species, requirements for permits and landings is available here: http://www.gulfcouncil.org/fishing_regulations/index.php.

There is no allowable harvest at any time of prohibited species, which include: Basking, white, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel, Caribbean sharpnose, smalltail, bignose, Caribbean reef, dusky, Galapagos, narrowtooth, night, bigeye sixgill, bigeye thresher, longfin mako, sevengill and sixgill sharks.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or 225-610-8660.

L.D.W.F. Agents Charge Metairie Man With Insurance Fraud

Release Date: 12/28/2010

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division strike force agents charged a Metairie man on Dec. 23 for alleged theft by insurance fraud, filing a false application and injuring public records.

LDWF agents assigned to the southern strike force charged Bryan M. Miguez, 49, of Metairie, for insurance fraud after a joint investigation with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and Progressive Insurance Company.

Miguez accepted a payment from the Progressive Insurance Company for his boat, which Miguez claimed was lost during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In early 2010, Miguez contacted Progressive Insurance Company claiming to have recently found the boat. However, investigators found that Miguez had been in possession of the boat since early 2006.

If convicted of theft by insurance fraud, Miguez could face imprisonment for up to 10 years, or a fine up to $3,000 or both. For filing a false application, Miguez could be ordered to pay a $500 fine, or sentenced for up to 90 days in jail or both. If convicted of Injuring Public Records, Miguez could be sentenced to up to five years in jail, or a fine up to $5,000 or both.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Todd Laviolette and Agent Ronnie Engelhard.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Agenda Set for January Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 12/28/2010

The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 6, 2011, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of December 2, 2010
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To announce 2009-2010 Employee Rewards and Recognition Winners
  5. To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/December
  6. To hear General Information on upcoming Hunting Seasons, WMAs, Rules and Regulations
  7. To hear presentation on Wildlife Division GIS
  8. To consider Declaration of Emergency to open the Primary Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River and the Hackberry Bay Seed Reservation
  9. To consider a Notice of Intent to Modify a Portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds to allow for Oyster Lease Relocation
  10. To consider a Declaration of Emergency for the 2011-2012 Commercial Reef Fish Seasons
  11. To consider a Declaration of Emergency for the 2011-2012 Recreational Reef Fish Seasons
  12. To consider a Declaration of Emergency for the 2011-2012 Commercial King Mackerel Season
  13. To consider a Declaration of Emergency for the Closure of the Recreational Fishery for Gag Grouper in Louisiana Waters
  14. Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
  15. Set May 2011 Meeting Date
  16. Receive Public Comments
  17. Adjournment

First Issue of Louisiana Conservationist Online Magazine Available Now

Dear Louisiana Hunters and Anglers,

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is excited to announce that the first online issue of Louisiana Conservationist is available now. Each issue will contain the same great stories and photography that was the hallmark of our printed magazine — available at http://louisianaconservationist.org/ as Web pages that are viewable in any browser, or at http://louisianaconservationist.org/current in an electronic book format featuring a familiar magazine-style layout.

Two Franklin Parish Residents Cited For Night Hunting

Release Date: 12/14/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two Baskin residents for alleged night hunting violations on Dec. 11 in Franklin Parish.

Sr. Agent Albert Tarver and Sr. Agent Johnny Wilson cited Sherrie A. Mccarty, 23, and Robert Guimbellot, 36, for hunting wild quadrupeds during illegal hours with a artificial light, hunting from a public road, hunting from a moving vehicle and possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle on a public road. Agents also arrested and booked Guimbellot into the Franklin Parish Detention Center for an alleged driving while under the influence (DWI) charge.

Hunting wild quadrupeds at night, hunting from a public road and hunting from a moving vehicle each carry a fine between $250 and $500, or jail time up to 90 days, or both plus court cost. Possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle on a public road and DWI penalties will be set by the presiding judge assigned to the case.

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

L.D.W.F. Agent Arrests Convicted Felon For Firearm Possession

Release Date: 12/14/2010

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent arrested an Arcadia man on Dec. 2 for alleged illegal possessing of a firearm by a convicted felon and booked him into the Claiborne Parish Detention Center.

Rhett Simms, 46, was charged with two counts of illegal firearm possession by a convicted felon, hunting without a basic or big game hunting license and failing to comply with deer tagging regulations.

The penalty for hunting without a basic or big game hunting license is a fine of $50, or up to 15 days in jail or both for each offense. The penalty for a deer tagging violation is a fine between $100 and $350, or up to 60 days in jail or both. The sentence for a convicted felon in possession of a firearm is between 10 and 20 years in jail.

LDWF Sgt. Ryan Brasher participated in the case.

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

LSPMB to Meet this Wednesday December 15

Release Date: 12/13/2010

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will meet this Wednesday, December 15 at 1:00 p.m. in the UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, suite 210 in New Orleans, LA. The agenda is as follows.

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll call
  3. Approval of minutes from October 13, 2010
  4. Reports
    1. Guest Presentations
      1. Shane Carmichael
      2. Acadiana Lafayette Contingency
    2. Executive Directors Report
    3. Treasurers Report
      1. Update on BP funds
  5. New Business
    1. Grant writing for taskforces (shrimp, oyster and crab)
    2. Social Media update- Zehnder
    3. Letters to board members who have more than 3 consecutive absences
    4. Elections of Executive Board for 2011-2012
    5. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute/Sub Committee discussion (Executive, Funding, Legislative, Education and Marketing).
    6. National Seafood Marketing Coalition
    7. Boston Seafood Show
  6. Set Next Meeting
  7. Adjourn

For additional information please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-8735.

L.D.W.F. Seeking Leads In Illegal Black Bear Killings

Release Date: 12/10/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for several illegal black bear killings that have taken place recently.

The killings have taken place from coastal bear habitat in St. Mary and Vermillion Parishes to Tensas Parish.  The bears have either been shot or trapped in hog snares by poachers.

Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 per bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

Anyone with information regarding these illegal bear killings or any other wildlife crime should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear.  Callers will also remain anonymous.

"The department is working very hard to remove the Louisiana black bear from the Endangered Species List with the goal of maintaining a sustainable population that can support legal hunting. Illegal killing of Louisiana black bears may impede this effort and make this goal more difficult to attain," said Maria Davidson, Large Carnivore Program Manager for LDWF.

Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze of LDWF's Enforcement Division added that “The loss of these animals is regrettable and agents of the Enforcement Division will make every effort to locate the poachers responsible for these crimes.”

For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or klacaze@wlf.la.gov. 

Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association Teams with Local Radio Station to Help Kids this Christmas

Release Date: 12/09/2010

In an effort to help children in need this Christmas season, members of the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA) in the Monroe area have this year contributed $2,000 toward the toy drive organized by the radio station K104 and the Radio People in Monroe.

LWAA President Lt. Scott Mathews said the toys were purchased and delivered to the local radio station on Dec. 9 and will be distributed to those in need in time for Christmas.

Mathews also thanked Spotted Dog Sporting Goods in Columbia and Academy Sporting Goods in West Monroe for providing discounts that allowed more toys to be bought for the drive.

“Both stores have been excellent partners in our attempt help out local children in need,” Mathews said. “The agents association would also like to thank K104 and the Radio People for organizing the drive. Through their contacts and wide reach, we know the toys will find a home with the children who most need them.”

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Division Chief Col. Winton Vidrine commended the LWAA for the generous donation. “The gifts are a wonderful way of helping those in need. The toys will surely brighten Christmas morning for a lot of kids,” Vidrine said.

The LWAA is a fraternal organization whose members are LDWF Enforcement Division agents.

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

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