LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Agents Arrest Man In Connection with Cut Down Trees on Spring Bayou WMA

Release Date: 03/06/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Hessmar man this morning, March 6, for his alleged involvement in the cutting down of trees on the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Avoyelles Parish.

After conducting their investigation and receiving an anonymous tip, agents arrested Rick K. Savoy, 48, at his residence for criminal damage to state property.  He was also arrested for operating an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) off of a WMA ATV trail, not complying with WMA self-clearing permit regulations and interference with navigation.

LDWF found up to 100 trees cut down on the WMA since early December of 2014.  Agents believe the trees were cut down to block navigation to the northern part of the WMA in order to keep other hunters out of the area.  The trees blocked all three entrances to an area known as the “Bean Field” in the northwest corner of the WMA.

The trees ranged from 10 inches to 30 inches in diameter and up to 50 foot tall including cypress, oak and willow trees.

LDWF agents booked Savoy into the Avoyelles Parish Jail in Marksville.

The penalty for cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage of state property and brings up to a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.  There may also be a civil restitution charge for the replacement value of the trees and cleanup required.

Operating an ATV off of a WMA ATV trail and failing to comply with self-clearing permit WMA regulations each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Interference with navigation carries a $50 fine and to 15 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. John Volentine, Sgts. Gabe Guidry, Chad Watts and Bear Fletcher, and Senior Agents Doug Anderson Jr., Jay Callegari, Heath Wood, Kurt Hatten, Dale Wheat, Kenny Robertson and John Hattaway.  Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Matthew Smith and Detective Jeremiah Honea also assisted in the case.

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

Commission Adopts Notice of Intent to Amend the Proposed Rule Addressing Vessel Restrictions on Biloxi WMA

Release Date: 03/05/2015

March 5, 2015 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a notice of intent today to amend the proposed rule on vessel restrictions on Biloxi Wildlife Management Area in St. Bernard Parish.
 
The amendment, as proposed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), reads as follows:
 
“Mud boats or air-cooled propulsion vessels can only be powered by straight shaft “long tail” air-cooled, mud motors that are 25 total horsepower or less on the WMA. All other types of mud boats or air cooled propulsion vessels (including “surface drive” boats) are prohibited.”
 
The original NOI had set the maximum total power limit at 16 hp. The rule change was proposed in an effort to reduce marsh damage and erosion on the property. To view the amended notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .
 
Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule change to Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, Post Office Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or ssmith@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m. on April 1, 2015.
 
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.

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New Iberia Man Charged with Illegal Killing of Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 03/05/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a New Iberia man for allegedly killing a Louisiana black bear on Feb. 28 in St. Mary Parish.

Agents received a call from a hunting group that Richard A. Picard Jr., 52, illegally shot and killed a Louisiana black bear while he was hog hunting.

Picard Jr. was hog hunting with a group of hunters near Cypremort Point when he shot a 350 pound Louisiana Black Bear.  Picard Jr. claims to have mistakenly identified the black bear as a wild hog.

He shot the five year old male bear with buckshot from his 12 gauge shotgun.  Agents seized Picard Jr.’s shotgun and issued him a citation for killing the bear.

Killing a Louisiana Black Bear brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Picard Jr. also faces up to $10,000 civil restitution for the replacement value of the black bear.

Hunters are advised to always identify their targets before pulling the trigger for any wildlife they may be hunting.

Agents involved in the care are Senior Agent Joey Thompson, Senior Agent Jake Darden, Senior Agent Jason Marks and Senior Agent Cullom Schexnyder.

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

OYSTER SEASON TO OPEN IN A PORTION OF THE PUBLIC GROUNDS

Release Date: 03/05/2015

March 5, 2015- Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a Declaration of Emergency to open the oyster season in a portion of the public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, including Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound, at one-half hour before sunrise on March 16, 2015 through one-half hour after sunset on March 31, 2015.  This area was originally scheduled to open on October 20, 2014, but was delayed to protect a successful spatfall event in the area.  During the period of this opening, and only in this portion of the public oyster seed grounds, no sack limit and no sacking-only area shall be in effect. The 2013 cultch plants located in Drum Bay and 3-Mile Pass shall remain closed.

To view a detailed map of this area click here

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered.  The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

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Mississippi Man Arrested for Possession of Stolen Personal Watercraft

Release Date: 03/05/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Mississippi man for alleged possession of stolen property on March 3.

Agents arrested Donald Juan, 36, of Picayune, Miss., after finding him in possession of two stolen personal watercrafts and a trailer that belonged to a New Orleans man.

The personal watercrafts and trailer were reported stolen in the summer of 2013.  LDWF agents received an anonymous tip that the stolen watercrafts were located in Slidell in St. Tammany Parish in February of 2015.

After further investigation, agents were able to trace the personal watercrafts back to Juan.  Agents booked him into the St. Tammany Parish Jail and seized the personal watercrafts and trailer.

It is unknown at this time who was responsible for stealing the personal watercrafts and trailer in 2013.  Agents believe that Juan fully knew they were stolen when he acquired the stolen property.

Possession of stolen property brings up to a $3,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Michael Marquez and Mike Williams.

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

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 03/04/2015

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 1 p.m.

LDWF Headquarters, Louisiana Room

2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge

 

AGENDA

I.  Roll call and introduction of guests

II.  Approval of August 6 meeting minutes and March 10 agenda

III.  Treasury Report

   A.  Budget Report-LDWF

IV.  Old Business

  A.  Gulf-wide seafood certification

  B.  Inside/Outside shrimp line

  C.  Refrigeration grant program

  D.  Federal shrimp permit status

V.  New Business

  A.  Trip tickets as a financial document

  B.  Shrimp hatcheries

  C.  LDWF enforcement issues

  D.  Imported shrimp issues

    a.  Subsidy case status

    b.  Legislation for increased inspections

    c.  Increased import volume

VI.  Public Comment

VII.  Set Next Meeting

VIII.  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 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7669940592505340930

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click here.

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.

 

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Spring Brings Family Fishing Action at LDWF's Family Fish Fests

Release Date: 03/03/2015

(March 3, 2015) - With spring just around the corner, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced they will again host a series of Family Fish Fest events across the state.  In its second year, this program provides a unique opportunity for families to learn fishing basics and participate in activities to increase fishing knowledge and skill. 
 
The first 50 registrants for each event will receive a complimentary rod and reel, and the first 100 registrants will receive a fishing goodie bag.  Competitive categories are available for nearly all legal fish species, and every participant is automatically entered into a raffle for outdoors prizes courtesy of event sponsors.
 
Entry for each event is $10 per participant (except for the September 26 event), and includes a t-shirt and lunch.  Participants must provide their own fishing equipment and bait.  Events will begin shortly after sunrise and will conclude by noon.
 
The competition portion of each event will include divisions for all ages and fishing categories for multiple species, with a boat division at locations that have launch access.  Live redfish and speckled trout will be tagged and released by LDWF biologists in conjunction with the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program at all saltwater locations. 
 
Outside of the competitive arena, numerous additional outdoor activities will be available, including a mobile touch tank, fish identification, fish ageing, knot tying, casting tutorials and arts and crafts.  Robbie the Redfish, LDWF’s fish tagging mascot, will be onsite for photo opportunities and to greet guests.
 
Event information and pre-registration are available at www.wlf.la.gov/familyfishfest.
 
Mark your calendar for our 2015 Family Fish Fests:
 
April 11, 2015: Louisiana Oil & Gas Park – Jennings, La.
May 16, 2015: Ivan Lake Recreation Area – Cotton Valley, La.
June 13, 2015: Myrtle Grove Marina – Myrtle Grove, La.
July 11, 2015: Elmer’s Island – Grand Isle, La.
September 26, 2015: National Hunting & Fishing Day at Waddill Wildlife Refuge – Baton Rouge, La.
 
The 2015 Family Fish Fest series is made possible by the following sponsors: CCA Louisiana, Pure Fishing, Dufrene Building Materials, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission, Myrtle Grove Marina, Friends of Grand Isle, The Angler Magazine, Coon Neck Wildlife and Art Gallery, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh and Bayou Outfitters and Emprint Moran Printing.
 
Family Fish Fests are also made possible by the help of dedicated volunteers who devote time to share their fishing expertise with event participants.  Volunteering with the department provides an opportunity to share your passion for fishing and other outdoor activities with anglers of all ages and levels of experience.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email outreach@wlf.la.gov.
 
The series is hosted in conjunction with Pure Fishing, CCA Louisiana and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. 
 
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosting Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit in Houma

Release Date: 03/02/2015

(March 2, 2015)  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) together with their partners at Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU AgCenter are excited to present Fisheries Forward 2015, the third annual summit for Louisiana commercial fishermen and the seafood industry.

The free summit will be held on March 11 at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.  This year’s summit topics include; the future of Gulf seafood; information on LDWF programs, including the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program and crab industry professionalism program; and oyster fishery weights and measures.  This year’s hand-on demonstrations include a Coast Guard Helicopter rescue, proper turtle-excluder device installation and the new wing trawling system.

A fishermen’s input session will provide attendees the opportunity to interact with the program and provide live, anonymous feedback concerning fishery and seafood issues.  There will also be a trade show featuring organizations that provide products or services to those involved in the commercial fishing and seafood industry.

There is no charge to attend the summit and complimentary lunch will be provided to all attendees.   Advance registration is encouraged at LouisianaFisheries.com.  For more information about the summit email summit@lsu.edu.

Media inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click  here.

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AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 03/02/2015

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 5, 2015, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of February 5, 2015

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement Reports February 2015

5.  To hear a presentation on setting the timing on Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

6.  To hear a presentation on the use of Request for Proposals for allocating statutory dedicated funds for breeding waterfowl habitat

7.  To consider amending the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 General and Wildlife Management Areas Rules and Regulations – Vessel Restrictions on Biloxi WMA  

8.  To hear public comment updates on the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Hunting Seasons Notice of Intent

9.  To consider a Declaration of Emergency establishing the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program for the commercial crab industry

10.  To hear a presentation and consider a Resolution for the 2015 recreational Red Snapper season

11.  To consider a Declaration of Emergency to open a portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds

12.  To consider a resolution to confirm and reaffirm the selection and establishment of the Big Lake Wildlife Management Area

13.  Set July 2015 Meeting Date

14.   Receive Public Comments

15.  Adjournment

Live audio streaming of the March 2015 Commission meeting is available.

To listen live, please register for March 2015, LWF Monthly Commission Meeting on Mar 5, 2015 9:30 AM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1239482021898184962

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

 

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Two Men Arrested for Oyster Violations and Drug Charges in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 02/27/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Chalmette men for alleged oyster harvesting and drug violations on Feb. 25 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents arrested Oliver Rudesill Jr, 33, and Tracy Gallardo Jr., 23, for several oyster, boating safety and drug violations after a boating safety inspection.

After observing a large skiff come into the Reggio Marina with improper running lights, LDWF agents performed a boating safety inspection.  During the inspection, agents found 28 sacks of oysters and learned that Rudesill Jr. is on probation until May of 2016 because of prior oyster harvesting violations.  Agents also learned that Rudesill Jr. did not have a working Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that was part of his probation.

Rudesill Jr. also did not fill out an oyster harvesters log sheet for that day’s harvest.  Additionally, the vessel did not have a valid commercial vessel license, was not equipped with a tarp as per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations and did not have a proper identification number visible from the air.  Agents also found the sacks of oysters were not properly tagged.  Rudesill Jr. also did not have the proper amount of personal flotation devices, a vessel registration, a working fire extinguisher or navigation lights.

During the interview process, agents found Gallardo in possession of oxycodone, suboxone and drug paraphernalia.

Agents seized and returned the 28 sacks of oysters to the water.  Both subjects were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail with the assistance of St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents.

Violating the VMS guidelines carries a fine of $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of untagged oysters and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Violating sanitation code for not having a tarp and logbook violation each carries a $25 fine and 10 days in jail.

No vessel registration, failing to display proper numbers on a vessel, failing to comply with PFD requirements, no fire extinguisher and improper running lights each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Possession of oxycodone and suboxone each carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.  Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Michael Garrity, Senior Agents Jason Gernados and Brett Nabors and Agent Blaine Wagner.

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

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