LDWF News Release

St. Amant Man Arrested for DWI Following Collision With LDWF Patrol Boat

Release Date: 05/15/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a St. Amant man for allegedly driving or operating a personal watercraft while intoxicated (DWI) on May 11.

Agents arrested Gary Miller, 43, for third offense DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and operating a watercraft while under a driver’s license suspension.

According to witnesses, on May 6 at about 7:40 p.m. Miller was travelling downstream at a high rate of speed on the Amite River near French Settlement when he collided with an LDWF patrol vessel.

Miller required medical treatment and was released later that same night.  The LDWF agent, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, suffered no injuries.  Miller’s personal watercraft was badly damaged, while the patrol boat suffered minor damage.

On May 11, after LDWF agents received the results of Miller’s blood test that allegedly showed him over the legal alcohol limit, a warrant was obtained for his arrest.

Third offense DWI brings up to a $2,000 and one to five years in jail.  Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Operating a watercraft while under suspension brings an additional one year suspension of his driving privileges.

Agents participating in the investigation were Lt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Todd Lewis, Sgt. Dennis Bueche, Senior Agent Clay Marquez and Senior Agent Hal Bridges.

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

229 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 05/15/2012

229 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 229 boaters statewide after their second "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 12.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more than 200 boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals."

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

Sponsors for each location provided a free lunch, door prizes and giveaways such as sports bags, cups, fishing line, water bottles and sunscreen.

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents
Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, St. Landry Lumber Company, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, Austin’s Outdoor of Opelousas, Coca-Cola of Lake Charles, Songy's Sporting Goods of Houma, and Lake Charles Tackle.

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 48,000 boaters during that time.

Below is the list of the class locations from this past weekend:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292

Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301

St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602

Larose Civic Center
307 East 5th St
Larose, LA 70373

2200 W. Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737

Academy Sports and Outdoors
1000 West Esplanade Blvd.
Kenner, LA 70065

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

Louisiana to Participate in National Survey to Explore Dove Hunter Opinions

Release Date: 05/14/2012

May 14, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries urges hunters to participate in an upcoming survey that will ask dove hunters from across the U.S. to share their experiences and opinions about dove hunting.

The National Dove Hunter Survey is scheduled to begin in late June 2012 and will be completed by the end of the year. Louisiana hunters will be randomly selected andreceive the surveys through the mail to complete and return in a postage-paid envelope. 

Topics will include time spent hunting, demographics, constraints to hunting, and thoughts about potential effects of spent lead from hunting ammunition on mourning doves and other wildlife.  The survey is a cooperative effort involving state fish and wildlife agencies, all four flyway councils and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

"We are conducting this survey because hunter opinions and preferences are important and should be taken into account whenever possible,” says Dr. Ken Richkus of the USFWS’s Population and Habitat Assessment Branch.  “The Service and the states want to make sure we use the best science-based information for the management and conservation of our migratory bird resources.”  

There are more than one million dove hunters nationally and seasons in 40 states.  Dove hunters in every state that has a dove season are being surveyed to collect opinions on a variety of topics.

For more information, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov.



Elmer’s Island Beach Sweep Cancelled Due to Inclement Weather

Release Date: 05/11/2012

(May 11, 2012) – The Elmer’s Island beach sweep, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been canceled due to the threat of inclement weather. 

Event organizers, including the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, plan to reschedule and will announce the new date as soon as it is available. 
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 or (225)721-0489.


LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/11/2012


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 25-29 and again from July 23-27.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.

"Last year’s first ever summer camp proved so successful that we wanted to do two this year.  These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.  Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combo sets for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp2012 by May 25.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

“We want to teach children how much fun and exciting it can be by spending time outside enjoying all that Louisiana has to offer,” said Secretary Barham.  “These camps also get the kids out of the house away from their video games and computers for a week during their summer break.  They will catch some fish, paddle canoes and shoot skeet and for some this might be their first time ever doing any of these activities.”

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

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

Bridge Construction on Pointe-aux-Chenes W.M.A. Requires Closing Access to Eastern Water Control Structure on Montegut Management Unit

Release Date: 05/09/2012

May 9, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising the public that bridge construction across the eastern water control structure on the Montegut Management Unit has closed that structure to public access on Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The closure is due to public safety concerns as construction vehicles and equipment work on the structure during the project.

Bridge construction is expected to be completed in September. LDWF staff has posted the restricted area around the construction site on the WMA. The Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District is coordinating the construction.

Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA is located Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes, southeast of Houma.

For more information on Pointe-aux -Chenes WMA, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or call 985-594-5494.


46 Fish Tagged at the Louisiana Saltwater Series Speckled Trout Tournament

Release Date: 05/08/2012

First place finishers James Tumey and Marcus Rieffel with Tournament Directors Dwayne Mills and Becky Chaney.

(May 8, 2012) -This past weekend’s Louisiana Saltwater Series speckled trout tournament held true to form, and although there were several prized catches, the highlight of the event was inarguably the extraordinary number of fish tagged and released.  A total of 45 trout and one flounder were caught, tagged and released by the 18 participating teams. 

The tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, allows teams to bring extra fish to the weigh-in, thus increasing the total number of tagged fish. 

Josh Hall and Mitchell Chevalier brought in 14 fish to be tagged, earning them the title of team who tagged the most fish for the second year in a row. 

Taking home the tournament’s top prize of $900 were Marcus Rieffel and James Tumey, with a two fish total weight of 6.09 pounds.

The top finishing teams, all taking home cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Chas Champagne and Kristi Mayeux; 3rd place, George Rau and Wesley Rau; 4th place, Benny Sanchez and Kris Robert. 

Chase Rau took home first place in the tournament’s youth division.

For complete event results, including photos, visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com.  The next speckled trout tournament will be held on Oct. 20 out of Seabrook Harbor in New Orleans. 

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.


Longleaf Pine Restoration Workshop Set for May 24

Release Date: 05/08/2012

May 8, 2012 - Private landowners, forestry professionals, wildlife biologists and managers are invited to a Longleaf Pine Workshop on Thursday, May 24 in Sheridan, La.

The event begins at 8 a.m. at the Lee Memorial Forest on LA 10, nine miles west of Bogalusa, and includes morning tours of the area, lunch and afternoon information sessions.

Participants will hear presentations on managing land after a natural disaster, ecosystem restoration and how to establish and manage longleaf pine stands. Information about state and federal cost share programs will also be provided to assist with restoration of longleaf pine.

Longleaf pine forests once covered millions of acres throughout the Southeastern United States. Today, longleaf pine habitat is limited to several thousand acres. Longleaf pine habitat can contain as many as 300 different species of groundcover plants per acre, and approximately 60 percent of the amphibian and reptile species found in the Southeast. Additionally, this forested habitat is home to at least 122 endangered or threatened plant and animal species including the red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise, plus the northern bobwhite, a species of concern.

This field day event will provide time to meet professionals who can share their knowledge of the longleaf pine ecosystem and wildlife habitat it supports.  Participating partners include the Texas-Louisiana Longleaf Taskforce, National Wild Turkey Federation – LA Chapter, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, US Forest Service-Southern Research Station, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Farm Service Agency, LSU AgCenter, Larson-McGowin Forest Managers and Consultants, the Louisiana Society of American Foresters, The Nature Conservancy and Weyerhaeuser Company.

The pre-registration deadline for the workshop is May 16. For more information on registration or the workshop, contact Brian Chandler at 225-683-3101 or bchandler@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Body of Missing Baton Rouge Man Recovered in Lake Maurepas

Release Date: 05/07/2012


Search crews found the deceased body of a missing Baton Rouge man on Lake Maurepas shortly after 7:30 this morning, May 7.

Taylor Russell, 26, was reported missing around 6:30 p.m. on May 5.  Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard responded within minutes to the scene.

According to other passengers in the 24-foot ski boat, Russell jumped from the boat while they were travelling across Lake Maurepas.  The passengers said they never saw Russell resurface and called 911 shortly thereafter.

Russell was reported to go into the water in between where the Amite and Blind Rivers feed into Lake Maurepas.  According to the operator of the boat, they were returning from the Blind River to return to where they launched on the Tickfaw River to go home.

Russell’s body was recovered about a half mile from where he was reported to go into the water and his body was turned over to the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.  The LDWF Enforcement Division will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

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

AMENDED - LWFC Takes Unprecedented Step to Move Forward with “State-waters Only” Red Snapper Season for 2013

Release Date: 05/04/2012

May 4, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) took action to implement a “Louisiana-only” red snapper recreational season, set to begin in 2013. 

This Louisiana red snapper weekend-only season would begin the Saturday preceding Palm Sunday each year and end September 30 of the same year, with a recreational bag limit of three fish per day at a 16 inch minimum.  A weekend is defined as Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Memorial Day and Labor Day, when Monday would be classified as a weekend as well. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham was given the authority to modify the portions of this rule pertaining to red snapper recreational daily harvest limits and seasons if the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Survey institutes sub-regional management for the species or if it is otherwise deemed necessary. 

In related action, next month the Commission will also consider extending state waters from three miles offshore to three marine leagues or approximately 10.357 miles.  This action is being considered based on recent legislative action taken in 2011 in Act 336, which recognizes that the gulfward boundary historically consists of three marine leagues and designates that boundary to be enforced by state law regarding the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources, and regulation of activities affecting them.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623.

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