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Greater Amberjack Recreational Season Won’t Close in 2010; 2011 Season Starts Jan. 1

Release Date: 12/08/2010

NOAA predicts 2010 quota will not be met; federal and state recreation season will stay open, continuous with 2011 season

(Baton Rouge, La.) December 8, 2010 – Recreational anglers will have the chance to continue to take home their greater amberjack catches in both state and federal waters off the Louisiana coast throughout the remainder 2010 and into the 2011 season, which starts on January 1. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDFW) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plan to keep the greater amberjack recreational season open for the remainder of the year, as NOAA predicts the quota for the harvest of greater amberjack will not be met.

LDWF officials estimate that approximately 14,500 greater amberjack weighing more than 337,000 pounds were harvested in Louisiana in 2009. Each year, recreational anglers in Louisiana land approximately 276,000 pounds of greater amberjack at docks across the state’s coast.
Greater amberjack are found throughout the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in some parts of the Atlantic Ocean in temperate and tropical waters. They are typically found near offshore platforms, artificial reefs and near offshore wrecks in waters as deep as 300 feet.

The average size of a greater amberjack landed in Louisiana is more than 20 pounds, with the record weighing in at 139 lbs. The record catch was made by Bill Weldon in South Timablier Block 300 in May 2009.

Recreational saltwater fishing in Louisiana accounts for $472.1 million in retail sales in Louisiana annually and more than 7,700 jobs. The total economic impact is approximately $757.1 million each year. However, the BP oil spill kept many recreational anglers dockside throughout the summer.

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 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

Operator In Boat Crash Arrested For D.W.I And Drug Violations

Release Date: 12/08/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Hammond man for alleged drug and alcohol charges after he crashed a boat in Bayou Segnette in Jefferson Parish on Dec. 2.

Agents charged Angelo N. Brettillo, 53, with driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI), reckless operation of a moving vehicle, illegal possession of drugs and boating safety violations.

Brettillo allegedly lost control of his vessel causing property damage to nearby camp owners. While interviewing Brettillo about the crash, agents noticed that he was displaying signs of intoxication. After performing poorly on standardized field sobriety testing, he was arrested.

Brettillo was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center where he was found to be in possession of several types of illegal prescription drugs. Chemical analysis and identification are pending with the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

Driving a vessel while intoxicated carries a fine between $300 and $1,000, and shall be imprisoned between 10 days and six months, with the chance of losing driving privileges. Reckless operation of a vehicle carries a fine up to $200, or imprisonment for up to 90 days or both. Illegal possession of drugs carries imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to five years and a fine up to $5,000 for each count.

The agents involved in the case were Sgt. Jason Russo and Agent Terrance Hicks.

For more information, contact Capt. Stephen McManus at 504-284-2023 or smcmanus@wlf.la.gov.

2010-E75

Two St. Charles Parish Residents Cited On Salvador WMA

Release Date: 12/07/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two St. Charles Parish men for alleged hunting violations on Salvador Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Dec 4.

Agents cited Jason Foster, 27, of Luling, and Brad Kubelka, 27, of Des Allemandes, for three counts of not abiding by commission rules and regulations on a WMA.

Agent Austin Arteaga and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois received a complaint about several subjects hunting from illegal stands and baiting for deer on the Salvador WMA. The agents located the stands along with the bait in a remote area on the WMA and set up surveillance on a subsequent date.

Agents observed the subjects on Dec. 4 hunting from the illegal stands, hunting over bait, hunting without the required hunters orange and applying more bait to the hunting area after their hunt.

Hunters are not allowed to bait, hunt over bait or construct a permanent tree stand on any WMA. Hunters may leave a portable deer stand on a WMA if the stand is removed from the tree and left in the non-hunting position properly tagged with the user’s name, address, phone number and big game hunting license number (or lifetime license number).

The penalty for each violation carries a fine up to $350, jail time up to 60 days, or both plus court costs.

For more information, contact Capt. Steve McManus at 504-284-2024 or smcmanus@wlf.la.gov.

2010-E74 

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Shreveport Man On Drug Violation

Release Date: 12/07/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Shreveport man for allegedly selling game fish, possessing marijuana and driving with a suspended driver's license on Dec. 1.

Gregory L. Norwood, 54, was arrested after he sold 10 crappie to an undercover LDWF agent on the bank of the Sabine River. After selling the fish and leaving the area, an agent in a marked unit stopped his vehicle and placed Norwood under arrest. Norwood was found to be in possession of suspected marijuana and to also be driving with a suspended driver’s license.

The penalty for selling game fish is a fine between $300 and $500, jail time up to 30 days, license revocation and forfeiture of any items seized. The penalty for possession of marijuana is a fine up to $500 and imprisonment for up to six months. Driving with a suspended license is carries a fine up to $500 or imprisonment for up to six months.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Michael Dunn and Joey Melton.

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

2010-E73

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.

L.W.F.C. Welcomes New Commissioner Billy Broussard at December Meeting

Release Date: 12/02/2010

Billy Broussard

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) today welcomed Billy Broussard of Pecan Island to the seat previously held by Earl King. Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Broussard in November, replacing Mr. King, who resigned due to health issues. Broussard, a coastal parish resident, will serve as a representative of the commercial fishing and fur industries, as required by statute.  He owns and operates Pecan Island Redfish Charters.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission was created to protect, conserve and replenish the natural resources and wildlife of the state, including all aquatic life. The commission has the authority to establish definite management programs and policies and to approve and accept all contracts at its discretion. According to the statute, the commission is comprised of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to senate confirmation. Members include three residents of the coastal parishes of the state who are representatives of the commercial fishing and fur industries and four members from the state at large.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225/765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

Amended Agenda for December Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 11/29/2010

The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, December 2, 2010, 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 November 4, 2010
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/November
  5. To hear presentation on NAWCA Project Update on Russell Sage WMA
  6. To consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill
  7. To consider Declaration of Emergency to Close Portions of State Outside Waters to Shrimping
  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 Notice of Intent on Oyster Lease Relocation for Leases Not Available for Renewal Due to those Leases Being Located Within a Public Oyster Seed Ground
  10. Set April 2011 Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

Accidental Shooting In Ouachita Parish Leads To Night Hunting Citations

Release Date: 11/29/2010

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited two Ouachita Parish men for alleged night hunting violations on Nov. 23.

James Allen Clark, 18, of West Monroe, and Tyler Blaine Jones, 17, of Calhoun, were each cited after they arrived at Glenwood Hospital Emergency room seeking treatment for a gunshot wound.

On the morning of Nov. 23 while allegedly attempting to illegally night hunt from Okaloosa Road in South Ouachita Parish, Jones was struck in the head by a ricocheted bullet from Clark’s .270-caliber rifle.

Clark allegedly admitted to holding a spotlight while Jones attempted to shoot over the cab of their truck at what they believed to be a deer. While attempting the shot, the rifle accidentally discharged inside of their truck striking Jones. Jones was treated and later released from the emergency room suffering a minor injury.

Sgt. Duane Taylor cited Clark and Jones for hunting deer during illegal hours, hunting from a public road and hunting from a moving vehicle. Jones was additionally cited for spotlighting from a public road. Clark was also cited for discharging a firearm from a public road.

The penalty for hunting deer during illegal hours is a fine up to $900, or jail time up to 120 days, or both, plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized. Hunting from a moving vehicle is punishable by a fine up to $500, or jail time up to 90 days, or both plus court cost. Hunting from a public road carries a fine up to $350, or jail time up to 60 days, or both plus court cost. Discharging a firearm from a public road is punishable by a fine up to $50 plus court cost. The penalty for spotlighting from a public road carries a fine up to $50 plus court cost.

For more information contact Capt. Alan Bankston at abankston@wlf.la.gov or 318-362-3102.

2010-E72 

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Louisiana Man On Fraud Charges

Release Date: 11/29/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Louisiana man for alleged boater registration fraud on Nov. 23.

Agents booked Zachary Rarick, 21, of Pride, into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of filing false public records, injuring public records and filing false applications.

Rarick allegedly tried to register a new boat that he said was homemade. However, after an LDWF investigation, agents revealed the vessel was reported stolen from Go-Devil Manufactures in 2008.

For filing false public records and injuring public records, Rarick faces up to five years in jail, or up to $5,000 in fines or both for each offense. For filing false applications, Rarick face up to $500 in fines and up to 90 days in jail or both.

The agent investigating the case was Senior Agent Randy Lanoux with assistance from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriffs Office.

For more information, contact Capt. Len Yokum at 765-2999 or lyokum@wlf.la.gov.

2010-E71 

Joint Effort Leads To Successful Coordinated Search and Rescue Mission

Release Date: 11/23/2010

Personnel with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Cameron Parish Sheriff's Office helped coordinate and rescue a missing Kaplan boater on Nov. 18 in Cameron Parish.

Jacob Blanchard, 31, left the Lakeside public boat launch at approximately 7:30 a.m. and headed to a camp near the Old Intracoastal Waterway near Grand Lake.  After being reported as on overdue boater, LDWF agents received information mid afternoon of Blanchard's potential whereabouts from the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office.

LDWF quickly dispatched eight agents and five boats to the area, but were hampered with strong north winds, high seas and shallow water.  Since the water was making a boat rescue difficult and agents were concerned for the missing person not being found with temperatures expected to fall to low 50s, LDWF requested a USCG helicopter to assist with the rescue.

LDWF agents provided the USCG helicopter with GPS coordinates and an outlined grid description for a specific area to search.  The helicopter arrived in the Grand Lake area at 6 p.m. and began searching the east side of Grand Lake and the Old Intracoastal Waterway.

At approximately 6:30 p.m. the helicopter located a subject flashing a light on the south bank of Grand Lake near Betty Lake in Cameron Parish.  The helicopter was able to air lift the victim from his boat to the helicopter and fly Blanchard to Chennault Air Field in Lake Charles.

Blanchard said he ran out of gas on his trip across Grand Lake and due to high seas had drifted to the south bank obscured behind a rock dam.

"The smooth coordination between our department, the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office, Coast Guard and the subject's family helped find and retrieve this young man very quickly," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "If he would have had to spend the night in the cold conditions, then hypothermia could have been a very real possibility."

For more information, contact Captain Jubal Marceaux at 337-491-2580 or jmarceaux@wlf.la.gov.
 

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