LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Environmental Education Commission Meeting Scheduled For November 7, 2012

Release Date: 11/01/2012

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will meet in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, November 7at 1 p.m. in the 4th Floor Conference Room at theLouisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries main office located at 2000 Quail Drive.

I. Call to order

II. Roll Call/Sign-in

III. Minutes from last meeting

IV. Financial Report

V. Coordinator’s Report

VI.Old Business A.2013 Symposium Committee Reports

  1.  Audio Visual

  2.  Door Prize/Hospitality

  3. Evaluation

  4.Exhibitor

  5. Finance

  6.Keynote

  7. Programs

  8.Public Relations

  9. Registration

 10.Short Course

     B. Environmental Literacy Plan

     C.Art & Language Arts Contest update

     D. 2012 Grants Program update

VII. New Business

    A.Social Media Opportunities

    B.Symposium Awards C. LEEC Vote of Officers

VIII. Announcements

IX. Next Meeting Dates: February 22, 2013 (at Symposium in Baton Rouge), May 14, 2013, August 13, 2013

X. Adjournment It is anticipated that this meeting will end at approximately 3:00 p.m.

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Ron Louque Wins 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Release Date: 11/01/2012

Ron Louque Wins 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Nov. 1, 2012 – Ron Louque of Charlottesville, Virginia, captured first place in the 2013 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on what is commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.

Mr. Louque, who also won this contest in 1993, 1996, and 1999, beat out 17 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 1 meeting as the 2013 winner.  Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Virginia, who has won the Virginia State Duck Stamp contest 3 times since 2005 placed second, and Dale Pousson of Egan, Louisiana, who won this contest in 2003, took third place.  Last year, Jeff Klinefelter of Noblesville, Indiana won the Louisiana contest.

Ron Louque was born in New Orleans and grew up in south Louisiana where he was captivated by the beauty of nature through hunting and fishing.  A professional artist since 1974, he won the 2003 Federal Duck Stamp competition, and this win marks his 30th conservation stamp victory.  His painting of a mallard pair resting on the roots of an old stump along a wooded bayou will be featured on the 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp.

"The department was extremely happy with the number of high-quality entries this year," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  "Louque’s painting combined an amazingly detailed depiction of the mallard pair, a favorite species of waterfowl hunters everywhere in Louisiana, with outstanding habitat features."  

For the fourth consecutive year, LDWF held an open contest that allows the artist to choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana for entry in the contest.  Only northern pintails, wood ducks, and American wigeon, which were featured on the 2010, 2011, and 2012 duck stamps respectively, were not allowed.

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese.  This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $270,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.

The 2013 stamp, featuring Louque’s work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2013.  The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.

Judges for the competition were Dr. Tommy Michot, Luke Laborde, Bonnie Camos, Jerry Bower, and Michael Patterson.  Michot is a long-time wetland/waterfowl research biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S.G.S. National Wetland Research Center and is now a faculty member at University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Laborde is a Ph.D. candidate in Wildlife Ecology in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU and past National Art Committee Chairman for Ducks Unlimited; Camos is an exhibiting artist, curator and art instructor in Lafayette who was an official Festival International de Louisiane artist in 2010; Bower is the owner of Stitch and Frame art studio and frame shop in Lafayette, and has been an active participant of the Louisiana State Duck Stamp Program since its inception; and Patterson is a financial consultant for Lee, Dougherty, and Ferrara Investment Management and is the incoming State Chairman-elect of Ducks Unlimited.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

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OYSTER SEASON TO CLOSE IN SMALL PORTION OF PUBLIC GROUNDS

Release Date: 10/31/2012

October 31, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced oyster season will close this Saturday, November 3, at one-half hour after sunset in the Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Terrebonne Parish.  In addition, the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes will close in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR), located in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes, at one half hour after sunset on Saturday, November 3.  Hackberry Bay remains open for sacking purposes.

These small public oyster seed grounds historically hold a very limited oyster supply and harvest pressure during the 2012 oyster season depleted the resource.  Protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in these public seed grounds.

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

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623

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Oyster Season To Close in Small Portion of Public Grounds

Release Date: 10/31/2012

 

Oct. 31, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced oyster season will close this Saturday, November 3, at one-half hour after sunset in the Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Terrebonne Parish.  In addition, the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes will close in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR), located in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes, at one half hour after sunset on Saturday, November 3.  Hackberry Bay remains open for sacking purposes.

These small public oyster seed grounds historically hold a very limited oyster supply and harvest pressure during the 2012 oyster season depleted the resource.  Protection of the remaining oyster resource is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in these public seed grounds.

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

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623

Former Chauvin Resident Arrested for Outstanding Warrants and Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Release Date: 10/30/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a man for allegedly possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and migratory game bird violations on Oct. 27 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Christopher Verdin, 35, of Georgia who recently moved from Chauvin, for possessing a 12 gauge shotgun by a convicted felon.  Verdin was convicted of distributing cocaine in 2006. 

Agents received a complaint from the public about Verdin duck hunting in the Chauvin area.  Agents arrived on the scene at 7 a.m. on Oct. 27 and observed Verdin hunting ducks.  At 8:30 a.m. agents made contact with Verdin and found him in possession of one mottled duck, one teal and four ibis.

Agents cited Verdin for hunting ducks during a closed season, taking ibis for which there is no season, violating the non-toxic shot requirement, field possession of migratory game birds (MGBs), harvesting MGBs during a closed season, hunting MGBs without the required harvest information program (HIP) certification, hunting MGBs with an unplugged shotgun, hunting without a basic hunting license and hunting MGBs without state and federal duck stamps.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Hunting without a basic license brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.  For the remaining eight charges, Verdin faces a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each charge. 

During the background check, agents learned that Verdin had three outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for back child support and traffic violations.  Agents booked him into the Terrebonne Parish jail.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Louis Burnett.

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

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 10/29/2012

***NOTE LOCATION CHANGE***

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 1, 2012, in the Grand Isle Marine Lab, 195 Ludwig Annex, Grand Isle, LA 70358.

The following items will be discussed:

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of October 4, 2012

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/September

5. Award Presentation

6. Presentation of the Louisiana Duck Stamp Contest Winner

7. To receive and consider a Notice of Intent for Rules Governing Alternative Oyster Culture Permits

8. Set March Commission Meeting Date

9. Receive Public Comments

10. Adjournment

 

LDWF Agents Arrest Pontchartrain Blue Crab Owner

Release Date: 10/29/2012

 

Oct. 29, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested Gary M. Bauer, owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, for filing false public records and injuring public records in accordance with an arrest warrant issued by East Baton Rouge Parish.

Agents conducted an inspection of purchase records of commercial fish by Ponchartrain Blue Crab from commercial fishermen.  During the inspection, agents determined that Pontchartrain Blue Crab failed to report to the LDWF, by way of the trip ticket system, the purchase of 170,215 pounds of blue crab, 104,489 pounds of shrimp, 8,564 soft shell crab, 2,122 pounds of sheepshead, 5 pounds of flounder, and 113 pounds of black drum from January 2010 through July 2011.

An arrest warrant was obtained by agents in East Baton Rouge Parish on Oct. 25 for the owner of Pontchartrain Blue Crab, Gary M. Bauer, 54, of Slidell for 18 counts of filing false public records and 18 counts of injuring public records.  Bauer was notified of the warrants and turned himself into agents on Oct. 26.

LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood and the management of the state's seafood resources.

Filing false public records and injuring public records each brings up to five years with or without hard labor or up to a $5,000 fine for each count.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Robert Turner, Louis Burnett, and Edward Ridgel.  The investigation for this case is ongoing.

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

Two Men Charged With Numerous Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 10/29/2012

Oct. 29, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for alleged night hunting violations and cruelty to animals on Oct. 27 in East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana parishes.

During the early morning hours of Oct. 27, agents received information of possible night hunting activity in the northern section of East Baton Rouge Parish.  Agents investigated the area and found Ryan Stogner, 20, of Denham Springs, and Nicholas Tarver, 21, of Zachary, involved in night hunting activities.

After further investigation, agents were able to track and locate a white tail doe deer the pair had shot and killed earlier in the night off of Pride/Port Hudson Road.  Agents also learned that the two men had shot and killed a personally owned malamute husky belonging to a couple in East Feliciana Parish along Hwy. 409 earlier in the night.

Agents cited the two men with two counts each for taking deer during illegal hours, taking deer from a public road, hunting from a moving vehicle, hunting without basic and big game licenses and violating deer tagging regulations in East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana parishes.  Stogner was also cited for discharging a firearm from a public road in both parishes.  Both men were also cited for aggravated cruelty to animals in East Feliciana Parish for killing the husky.

Agents seized one whitetail deer along with one malamute husky, a Remington .308 rifle with scope and a Q-beam spotlight.

Hunting or taking deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each count.  Hunting or taking deer from a public road carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each count.  Hunting from a moving vehicle brings a $250 to 500 and up to 90 days in jail for each count.  Hunting without basic and big game licenses carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each count.  Violating deer tagging regulations brings a $100 to $300 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each count.  Discharging a firearm from a public road carries a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail for each count.

Aggravated cruelty to animals brings a $5,000 to $25,000 fine and between one and 10 years in prison plus possible court ordered physiological evaluation.

In addition to the criminal penalties, both men are subject to pay restitution in the amount of $800 to $1,000 for the malamute husky back to the owners and $1,624.61 for the deer to the state.

Agents participating in this case were Sgt. Randy Lanoux and Lt. Will Roberts.  Deputies from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office also assisted agents in this case.

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

Successful Search and Rescue Mission Results in Finding Two Overdue Boaters

Release Date: 10/27/2012

Search and rescue authorities found two missing boaters alive on Grand Lake this morning, Oct. 27 after a 12 hour search.

Tyler Smith, 24, of Iota, and Gus Atkinson, 28, of Gueydan, were found by search and rescue personnel at 9 a.m. this morning at Cypress Island in the northern section of Grand Lake.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents were notified at 9 p.m. on Oct. 26 about two overdue boaters in the Grand Lake and Lake Arthur areas.  LDWF agents immediately coordinated a search effort throughout the night with the U.S. Coast Guard, Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Smith and Atkinson launched their 14 foot aluminum flat bottom boat from the Hwy. 14 boat launch on Lake Arthur.  By 1:30 p.m. they were fishing at the “Catfish Locks” on Grand Lake.  At 5 p.m. family members notified the two fishermen of a storm kicking up in the area. 

The men started to make their way back to the Hwy. 14 launch, but ran into heavy winds and waves that swamped their boat.  They were able to walk their boat to the shore area and bail out the water and get back underway.  However, shortly thereafter the 25 horsepower motor quit working and they were unable to get it started again.  The men lost communications and decided to drag the boat to the shore area at Cypress Island and wait until help arrived.  Family members notified authorities at 9 p.m. who searched until they found them this morning at 9 a.m.

“These men did a lot of right things to survive this ordeal.  The most important thing they did was that they had a float plan by notifying family beforehand where they would be fishing and the family knew about what time they should be back,” said Capt. Robert Buatt, who coordinated the search.  “This float plan allowed the family to make a decision early on that they were missing and needed help.  The men also were able to get the boat to an area that was less turbulent and safe once they knew they were not going to make it back to the launch.”

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

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

New Hog Trapping, Hunting Regulations In Effect

Release Date: 10/26/2012

Oct. 26, 2012-- Regulations regarding the trapping and hunting of hogs that were adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) are now in effect.  The regulations are authorized by a change in state law that allows year-round trapping of hogs under rules recommended by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and promulgated by the LWFC. 

Under the new rules, feral hogs may be trapped year-round.  Persons who use snares to capture feral hogs must have a valid Louisiana trapping license.  Persons who use cage or corral traps must have a valid Louisiana hunting license.  It is required that all cage or corral traps have an opening in the top that measures 22 inches by 22 inches or larger or 25 inches in diameter or larger.

The required opening in the top of hog traps will allow black bears that are inadvertently captured in a hog trap to escape.  Persons setting hog traps without the required opening are subject to citation and seizure of the trap.

Although not required by the regulations, the department advises trappers not to use snares in areas where bears are present.  Several bears have been captured in snares intended for feral hog or coyotes.  Trappers are advised instead to use foot-hold traps for coyotes and cage or corral traps for hogs in these areas.  If snares are used, it is strongly recommended that trappers use snares with a relaxing lock and breakaway device rated for 350 lbs. or less. For more information on using snares in areas occupied by bears, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/36018-bear-snare/bear_snare.pdf .

For questions concerning trapping hogs, contact any private lands biologist at an LDWF field office. For questions about the hog trapping regulations, contact Fred Kimmel at 225-765-2355 or fkimmel@wlf.la.gov.

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