L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Louisiana Becomes First State to Adopt National Boat Training Curriculum for Marine Law Enforcement Officers

Release Date: 11/18/2011

Louisiana Becomes First State to Adopt National Boat Training Curriculum for Marine Law Enforcement Officers
Louisiana Becomes First State to Adopt National Boat Training Curriculum for Marine Law Enforcement Officers

November 18, 2011 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division (LDWF) became the first agency in the United States to receive both state and national accreditation in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program.

According to NASBLA.org, the BOAT program establishes a national standard for the training and qualification of maritime law enforcement and rescue personnel.  Adoption and implementation of the BOAT program provides a true national standard for the purpose of maritime interoperability at the federal, state and local levels.  Standardization ensures maritime agencies can interact together and will bolster their ability to act as force multipliers nationwide.

"Agencies who choose to adopt this national standard of training can assure their ability to conduct missions on our nation’s waterways safely and effectively and operate seamlessly with their federal, state and local partners on the water," said John Fetterman, NASBLA's Director of Law Enforcement.

On Sept. 1, at NASBLA's Annual Conference in Milwaukee, LDWF was recognized as the first agency to receive national accreditation in the BOAT program.  On Nov. 17, the Louisiana Peace Officers Standard and Training (POST) Council accepted the NASBLA training curriculum in the BOAT program.  This action makes Louisiana the first state to adopt the BOAT program for all its marine law enforcement patrol officers.

The Louisiana POST Council is responsible for developing and evaluating the curriculum of mandatory basic training courses for municipal officers, deputy sheriffs, state police, LDWF agents and all other persons commissioned as peace officers defined by state law.

"Our goal was to be the first agency accredited with this new standard of training in the marine environment.  We now shift our focus to training other law enforcement agencies so that we are all on the same page when it comes to securing the maritime domain and providing safety on the waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's Boating Law Administrator.

Through their partnership with NASBLA, LDWF will also offer BOAT program training courses for other state law enforcement entities in the near future.  To help shape the course, LDWF is asking for feedback from the law enforcement community; specifically how many of their marine patrol officers need the training and what part of the BOAT program they are interested in taking.  To offer feedback, please email Lt. Spencer Cole at scole@wlf.la.gov.

For more information on the NASBLA BOAT program, please visit www.nasbla.org and then hover over the training tab and click on the BOAT program link.

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

Two Men Cited For Fishing Violations In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 11/17/2011

 

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent cited two men for alleged recreational fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on Nov. 16.

Sgt. Adam Young cited Lee W. Pierce, 38, and Clay W. Mazyck Jr., 42, both of New Orleans, for taking over the daily limit of red drum and spotted sea trout in the Jefferson Lake Diversion in Point a la Hache.

After receiving a complaint and conducting surveillance in the area, Sgt. Young observed the two men actively fishing and then leaving the area.  Sgt. Young stopped them at the boat launch and found them in possession of 99 spotted seatrout and 15 red drum.  The daily limit for spotted sea trout is 25 per person per day, and the daily limit for red drum is 5 fish per person per day.

"This time of year agents spend most of their time in the woods monitoring hunting activity.  However, this case and others like it prove why it is important to continue to have a presence on the water enforcing fishing regulations in the fall and winter months," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.

Taking over the daily limit of red drum and spotted sea trout each carry a maximum fine of $350, or up to 60 days in jail or both plus court costs for each offense.  In addition, both men could be required to pay civil restitution for the illegally taken fish.

All of the fish were seized and donated to charity as per department policy. 

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

St. Bernard Parish Man Cited For Oyster Violations

Release Date: 11/16/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a commercial oyster vessel captain for alleged oyster violations on Nov. 11 in the Hopedale area.

Agents cited Clifford A. Derouen, 44, of Violet, for failing to fill out oyster tags and violating the oyster harvest sanitary code for refrigeration.

Agents received a complaint that a vessel was unloading oysters, which according to vessel logbooks were harvested on Nov. 9.  However, agents found the oysters were tagged as being harvested on Nov. 10.  Agents also determined that the oysters were not put under mechanical refrigeration before midnight of the day they were reported harvested as required.

Violation of the sanitary code for refrigeration carries a $25 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  Failing to fill out oyster tags correctly carries a fine up to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents returned 60 sacks of oysters to closed waters as per LDWF policy.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young, Sgt. Michael Garrity, Senior Agent Villere Reggio and Senior Agent Gary Pierce.

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

Four Louisiana Men Cited for Federal Fisheries Violations

Release Date: 11/15/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited four men on Nov. 11 for alleged fisheries violations in federal waters.

Agents cited Hershel L. Girouard II, 39, of Youngsville, Shane P. Maturin, 30, of New Iberia, Adam J. Leonard Jr., 38, of Bourg, and George A. Venable, 29, of Church Point, for fishing for red snapper during a closed season and possessing over the limit of red snapper.  Girouard, Maturin and Leonard were also cited for failing to keep fish intact.

Agents boarded an offshore supply vessel approximately 70 miles offshore in federal waters.  Agents observed the four subjects fishing off the back deck of the vessel prior to boarding.

Agents seized 28 red snapper and one snowy grouper.  Agents found some of the red snapper with their heads and tails removed and a grouper with its tail removed.

The recreational season for red snapper was open from June 1, 2011 through July 18, 2011.  The daily possession limit for red snapper during the open season is two per person per trip.  The bag limit during the closed season is reduced to zero.

This case will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for review.  The penalties associated with violating the Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Management Act will be determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of the General Council.

Agents involved in the case were Lt. Bobby Buatt, Senior Agent Buddy Murray and Agent Justin Lowry.

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

Port Barre Man Arrested For DUI And Drug Violations

Release Date: 11/15/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Port Barre resident on Nov. 12 for alleged night hunting and drug violations in St. Landry Parish.

Agents observed Randy Guillory, 55, hunting wild quadrupeds off a public road outside of Part Barre.  Agents then stopped the truck being driven by Guillory.  Upon coming in contact with Guillory, agents found an illegal narcotic, methadone, and cited Guillory for driving a vehicle under the influence (DUI).

Agents charged Guillory with illegal possession of a schedule II narcotic in the presence of a firearm, DUI, hunting wild quadrupeds during illegal hours and discharging a firearm from a public road.  Guillory was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail.

Illegal possession of schedule II drugs carries a fine up to $5,000 or jail time between two and five years.  Driving under the influence brings a fine of $300 to $1,000 and between 10 days and six months in jail.  Hunting from a public road and during illegal hours carries a fine between $250 and $500 and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.

Agents involved in the investigation were Senior Agents Ryan Faul and Channing Duval.

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

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 11/14/2011

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1. Approval of Minutes From January 25, 2011 Meeting

2. Hearing of New Appeals

            a. Walton E. Dardar, Jr.

3. Set next meeting date

4. Adjourn

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.  The act further requires that no new applications for such vessel permits shall be accepted by LDWF after December 31, 2009.

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 Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

Anacoco Lake Drawdown to Begin Early

Release Date: 11/14/2011

(Nov. 14, 2011)– In cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Sabine River Authority, the Anacoco Lake spillway gate will be opened November 15, 2011 to maintain water quality downstream. Plans were already in place for a drawdown to begin in January 2012. The gate will be opened slightly to allow for a slow release. The action is designed to accommodate downstream concerns and still allow water for Anacoco Lake duck hunters.

The lake will be lowered approximately 18 feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until November 1, 2012.

The drawdown is being conducted to reduce muddy water and renovate the lake bottom. It will also allow property owners the opportunity to conduct shoreline and property maintenance. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Eric Shanks, LDWF Inland Fisheries Manager, at (337) 491-2577.

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

 

L.D.W.F. Advises Hunters to Remain Alert, Know Basic Safety Measures for Encounters with Black Bears

Release Date: 11/12/2011

Nov. 12, 2011 -The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising hunters to remain alert for possible encounters with black bears during hunting season.

With Louisiana’s growing black bear population the opportunities for bear sightings and encounters with bears has increased. Additionally, bears are actively foraging at this time of year to gain weight for denning season. LDWF urges hunters to carry bear spray as a personal protection alternative to firearms.

Recent reports of black bears on Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area at the southern edge of the Atchafalaya Basin have prompted LDWF to post signage that hunters need to take necessary safety precautions when hunting in this remote location. LDWF recommends the following for all hunters on public and private hunting property:  

Basic Tips for Hunters Statewide:

  • Corn used as bait will concentrate bear activity – consider an alternative food source.  It is recommended that hunters utilize food plots such as soy beans, when possible, which will be less likely to attract bears.
  • Be aware that bears forage for mast crops and will be attracted to food sources that attract deer.  Heavy mast crop trees may become a food source that bears will defend.

If You Are Approached by a Bear While Hunting:

  • Stand your ground, raise your arms to appear larger, speak in a normal voice and make the bear aware of your presence.  Back away slowly when possible.

  • If the bear continues to approach, stand your ground.  Prepare to use your bear spray per the manufacturer’s recommendation. This product can be easily carried in a belt holster and can be obtained via the Internet.

  • Never run from a bear, as this may trigger the bear’s chase instinct.

  • If attacked by a bear, defend yourself with any available weapon.

The Louisiana black bear remains on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List.  LDWF’s Black Bear Program needs any information hunters can provide on a close encounter with a bear. For assistance with black bears in any situation that public safety is threatened, call 1-800-442-2511 toll free, seven days a week.

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 337-948-0255 or mdavidson@wlf.la.gov.  

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.

LDWF Announces Closure of Seed-Oyster Harvest in Public Areas East of the Mississippi River

Release Date: 11/10/2011

Seed-Oyster Harvest Closure  11.14.11

November 10, 2011 –Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham signed an order to close seed-oyster harvest in selected public oyster areas east of the Mississippi River effective Monday, November 14, at one-half hour past sunset. 

The harvest of legal-size oysters (≥ 3 inches) for market sales is allowed to continue in these areas until further notice. 

The following areas are affected by the seed-oyster harvest closure:

1.      The public oyster seed grounds north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; and

2.      The public oyster seed grounds and reservations south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and west of a line that generally runs from California Point northeast to Point Gardner.

These areas were determined by LDWF biologist to hold only small amounts of seed oyster stock and a significant portion of the available stock has been harvested thus far during the 2011/2012 oyster season.  Additionally, sampling of seed-oyster loads on commercial vessels has determined that excessive amounts of non-living cultch material (reef shell, etc.) is being removed during seed harvest.  This activity threatens the long-term sustainability of the reefs by removing critical settlement substrate upon which oyster larvae settle and grow.  Based on current harvest pressure and the estimated low oyster stock size, these areas should be closed to protect from further impacts. 

All other details, rules and regulations of the 2011/2012 oyster season remain in effect until further notice.

For the latest on the 2011/2012 oyster season visit:   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons

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 Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

Coastal Wildlife Management Areas Provide Young Hunters Opportunity For Success

Release Date: 11/10/2011

Coastal Wildlife Management Areas Provide Young Hunters Opportunity For Success
Coastal Wildlife Management Areas Provide Young Hunters Opportunity For Success
Coastal Wildlife Management Areas Provide Young Hunters Opportunity For Success

November 10, 2011 At the southern end of America’s largest swamp lies Louisiana’s largest public outdoor recreation area, the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (ADWMA).  Here the muddy waters of the Atchafalaya River mingle with the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico to create one of the largest river delta systems in the country and the only significantly accreting property in coastal Louisiana.

This 137,695-acre WMA is dominated by fresh emergent marsh and shallow mud flats created by the Atchafalaya River.  It is home to a wide diversity of wildlife and each winter is home to impressive numbers of migratory birds including hundreds of thousands of waterfowl.

Like most isolated areas along the Louisiana coast, ADWMA hides many secrets known only to a local few.  While this WMA is primarily known for its excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities, it is also one of the best public deer hunting areas in south Louisiana.  For those hunters willing to brave the Atchafalaya River and make their way through the winding marsh, ADWMA provides an opportunity to hunt deer in a primitive setting without fire arms, corn feeders, and noisy neighbors for deer that never hear or see automobiles and rarely a human.  It is an opportunity to hunt deer in a truly wild setting.

The deer herd is closely managed by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)and recent hunting statistics demonstrate an annual harvest in excess of 100 deer taken by archery hunters.  Each year hunters harvest bucks with impressive antler quality and weighing nearly 200 lbs. Year after year, trophy bucks are harvested on the WMA, with several being including in the state record books.  Last year’s harvest totaled 154 deer including a 190-lb., 11 point; a 200- lb., 10 point; and a 175-lb., 13 point buck.

Every year LDWF provides youth hunters an opportunity to apply for the youth lottery deer hunts on several WMAs operated by the Coastal and Nongame Resources Division.  LDWF staff prepare food plots of various food mixes including iron clay cow peas, soybean, and select wildlife mixes to provide a diverse diet for the deer herd, as well as an enhanced opportunity for young hunters to observe and possibly harvest a deer. During these hunts, youth are allowed to use firearms in areas generally reserved for archery hunting.  LDWF staff clear viewing lanes and maintain deer stands for the exclusive use of youth lottery deer hunters and their chaperones.  New stands were constructed this yearand erected on ADWMA for the participants.

Participants in the 2011 youth lottery deer hunts on ADWMA included 27 young hunters who observed 40 deer and harvested 10; 6 bucks and 4 does.  An additional youth hunt on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA attracted 19 young hunters who sighted a dozen deer.

Applications are available for interested youth hunters in August preceding the October hunts. Contact the New Iberia Field Office at 337-373-0032 for more information or visit www.wlf.la.gov .

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