LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Investigating a Fatal Boating Crash Incident in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 06/11/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are investigating a boating crash incident between two vessels that occurred on June 10 in the Venice area in Plaquemines Parish.
 
LDWF agents received a distress call around 2:30 p.m. about two vessel collision between a 24 foot bay boat and a 28 foot oil field crew boat in Flat Boat Pass.
 
All three subjects from the bay boat were transferred to University Hospital in New Orleans.  The operator of the bay boat, Steven “Brad” Malcolm, 33, of Madisonville, died en route to the hospital.  Dennis Prince, 60, of Malvern, Ark., is in intensive care at University Hospital with severe head trauma.  Corey Prince, 34, of Fayetteville, Ark., was treated for an elbow laceration.
 
Tyler Scott, of Belle Chasse, was the operator of the crew vessel, and Lyrissa Demolle, of Venice, was the passenger.  Neither Scott nor Demolle were injured.
 
LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating crash incident.
 
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
 

 

Tags:

LDWF Reminds Offshore Anglers of Free Required Permit

Release Date: 06/10/2013

(June 10, 2013) – With the spring in full swing the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries takes this opportunity to remind anglers of the free, required offshore landing permit.  The permit is required for all anglers, including anglers not normally required to possess a recreational fishing license, possessing tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers and snappers (except gray snapper), and hinds.
 
As Louisiana continues to make the case for regional management and the extension of Louisiana’s red snapper season, it is more important now than ever that anglers provide LDWF biologists with this critical data that will only strengthen our fight. 
 
The permit is available at no cost to the public.
 
Get the Permit
 
To obtain a Recreational Offshore Landings Permit click here:  http://rolp.wlf.la.gov/Permit/Apply
 
Permit Reporting
 
Anglers who land yellowfin tuna must report that catch prior to offloading the catch.  Anglers may submit harvest reports via the website @rolp.wlf.la.gov, an iPhone or Android application, or by calling the toll-free reporting line at 877-792-3440.
 
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.  For season and bag limit information, contact Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.gov or (504) 284-2032.

 

Tags:

Youth Anglers and Friends, Bobby Monsted, III, and Aaron Gelfand Winners of LASS Events This Weekend

Release Date: 06/10/2013

(June 10, 2013) - The fourth event of the Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series was held at Port Fourchon Marina in Port Fourchon on Saturday.  Despite a week of afternoon thunderstorms and rising temperatures, typical of a Louisiana spring, 39 teams blasted off from Belle Pass in different directions in the hopes of landing two great redfish.  The catch and release format challenged anglers to catch a limit of two legal redfish using artificial lures only.
 
Many teams were eager to weigh in their fish caught on what turned out to be a clear and sunny day filled with great memories.  When the scales opened at 1 p.m., a steady stream of anglers lined up to see if their fish were large enough to contend for the top prize.  During the weigh in, anglers, friends and families enjoyed a jambalaya, fish and dessert lunch provided by Chris Moran and the staff of Port Fourchon Marina.
 
Friends Bobby Monsted, III, and Aaron Gelfand, both residents of New Orleans, have fished several events since the tournament’s inception.  Taking home top prize for the first time this year with a total weight of 15.38 pounds claimed them an opportunity to compete in the LASS Championship in October. 
 
In order to compete in the Championship, teams must either finish within payout in one of the qualifying events or compete in at least four of the six qualifying events. 
 
Anglers also took home Shimano sublimated jerseys, Shimano reel and tackle bags, a Stick-It Anchor Pin, annual memberships to SeaTow and a Frabill net.  These are just a few of the items from our great sponsors that are awarded to anglers as extra fish raffle prizes.  Teams are allowed to bring in extra fish in addition to their weigh-in fish to be entered into drawings for special prizes, with the number of entries determined by the number of extra fish brought in to be tagged.   Anglers were also treated to breakfast of donuts donated by Krispy Kreme, another one of our supportive sponsors.
 
The awards ceremony started with the recognition of the first place youth, Christopher McElveen, who also took home the first place youth win in the Lafitte Redfish Tournament. McElveen weighed in a beautiful 5.85 pound redfish at Saturday’s weigh-in.
 
The top finishing teams, taking home over $6,920 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Jacob Leininger and Jeff Rogers; 3rd place, Chris Kennedy and Steven Hooter; 4th place, brothers Gary and Gus Wilson; 5th place, Paul Dufrene and Curtis Duet; 6th place, Jack Johnson and David Naron; 7th place, Brandon Treadaway and Kevin Bergeron and for the team with the ‘smallest fish’, the team of Richard Ziegler, Sr. and Chris Barbot. 
 
A total of 71 redfish were tagged and released by Aquarium of the Americas staff as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data. 
 
Two live speckled trout and two live redfish were also tagged and released during weigh-in at the first Louisiana Saltwater Series youth event of 2013, held at Grand Isle State Park during the Department’s annual Free Fishing Weekend.  This was an opportunity for everyone including LASS Redfish Series anglers to bring their families with them to enjoy a fun filled weekend together.  Redfish series anglers Chad Carlton and Scott Guileyardo brought their families down for the weekend, and while they competed in the Redfish Tournament in Port Fourchon, the remainder of the family enjoyed the Fish Fest at Grand Isle State Park.
 
“What a great time with my boys!  From check-in to door prizes, we enjoyed every second.  I loved that my boys were able to participate in this event while my husband fished in the Redfish Series Tournament,” said Leslie Carlton.
 
There were 53 participants in the Youth Tournament at Grand Isle State Park.  The beautiful, sunny day was accompanied by calm surf that was perfect for fishing from the beach or even a little wade fishing. The children and their families enjoyed a day packed with fishing and fun, educational activities such as seining, cast netting, fish tagging, fish ageing, fish id, fish prints and minnow races. Anglers and their friends and families also enjoyed hot dogs sponsored by The Friends of Grand Isle. 
 
The next LASS event is a Redfish Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, June 29 in Delacroix at Sweetwater Marina. The next LASS youth event will be in November at Myrtle Grove Marina.  LASS will also be hosting its first ever kayak tournament in July of 2013. For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.
 
The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.   
 
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.
 

 

Tags:

Six Year Old Girl in Critical Condition after Boating Incident on Natalbany River

Release Date: 06/10/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are investigating a boating incident that took place on the Natalbany River in Tangipahoa Parish on June 9.

Around 4:45 p.m. a 22 foot ski boat that had five passengers while towing a tube with two juveniles crashed into a tree along the bank of the Natalbany River.  The incident happened about three miles upstream from where the river merges with the Tickfaw River.

After receiving a call from dispatch, LDWF agents arrived on scene and immediately called for a helicopter to transport a six year old girl.  The six year old girl was in the boat at the time of the collision with the tree and suffered major head trauma and needed immediate attention.  The helicopter took the girl to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge where she is still listed in critical condition.

The operator of the vessel suffered a broken foot and the other five passengers were treated for minor injuries.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating crash incident.  As standard procedure agents took blood from the operator to determine if the operator was impaired.  It takes up to four weeks to receive the blood test results from the lab.

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

REVISED Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Modify Black Bass Regulations in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde Complex; Lake Fausse Point/Lake Dauterive Complex

Release Date: 06/06/2013

(June 6, 2013) – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the removal of the 14” minimum length limit on black bass in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde Complex; Lake Fausse Point/Lake Dauterive Complex.  The new rule will go into effect on Thursday, June 20, 2013.
 
As a temporary transition measure, LDWF staff recommends a reduction in daily creel limit from 10 to 7 bass for a two-year period.  After the two years, black bass regulations on these waterbodies would be consistent with statewide regulations – no length limit with a 10 fish daily creel.
 
An extensive, three-year study examined the effectiveness of the regulation as a management tool.  Findings show the Atchafalaya Basin largemouth bass population does not exhibit necessary criteria for which a 14” minimum length limit would produce larger bass.  The study indicates that the basin bass population is more heavily influenced by environmental factors, including water fluctuation and the effects of tropical storms, rather than angler harvest.
 
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 inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.
 

 

Tags:

Final 2013 Federal Red Snapper Season Set for Louisiana

Release Date: 06/06/2013

Four days added to Louisiana’s Federal Season
 
June 6, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries took official action to match the modified 2013 federal red snapper season.  The seven-day season will now last through June 29, at 12:01 a.m., with a two fish limit at 16-inch minimum total length.
 
Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the change to the federal season, as a result of a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas which set aside an emergency rule that would allow NOAA the authority to adjust seasons off each Gulf of Mexico state based on whether their state-water seasons and bag limits were consistent with federal regulations.
 
As a result of this court decision, the federal recreational red snapper season must be the same in federal waters off all five Gulf States. NOAA extended federal seasons off Louisiana, Texas and Florida. NOAA Fisheries projects the Gulf-wide federal recreational red snapper season can be 28 days long. Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close to recreational red snapper harvest at 12:01 a.m., June 29, 2013.
 
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, whose office represented the state of Louisiana in U.S. District Court proceedings, said, "I am very pleased with the Court’s decision. NOAA’s new announcement of a 28-day federal Red Snapper season gives all Gulf Coast citizens an equal opportunity to fish for Red Snapper.”
 
The weekend-only Louisiana state red snapper season will resume following the completion of the federal season on June 29, with a bag and possession limit of three fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.  A weekend is defined as a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Labor Day when Monday will be considered a weekend as well. 
 
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.
 

 

Tags:

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Modify Black Bass Regulations in the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and Lake Verrett Complex

Release Date: 06/06/2013

(June 6, 2013) – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the removal of the 14” minimum length limit on black bass in the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and Lake Verret Complex.  The new rule will go into effect on Thursday, June 20, 2013.
 
As a temporary transition measure, LDWF staff recommends a reduction in daily creel limit from 10 to 7 bass for a two-year period.  After the two years, black bass regulations on these waterbodies would be consistent with statewide regulations – no length limit with a 10 fish daily creel.
 
An extensive, three-year study examined the effectiveness of the regulation as a management tool.  Findings show the Atchafalaya Basin largemouth bass population does not exhibit necessary criteria for which a 14” minimum length limit would produce larger bass.  The study indicates that the basin bass population is more heavily influenced by environmental factors, including water fluctuation and the effects of tropical storms, rather than angler harvest.
 
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 inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.
 

 

Tags:

LDWF Names New Chief of Enforcement Division

Release Date: 06/06/2013

LDWF Names New Chief of Enforcement Division

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) promoted Jeff Mayne to colonel, which is the highest ranking position in the Enforcement Division.  Col. Mayne takes over for the recently retired Col. Winton Vidrine, who served the department for 43 years of which the last 25 years were as colonel.

Col. Mayne, 42, of Baton Rouge, graduated from the LDWF cadet academy in 1991 and has been an agent for 22 years.  In 2008, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and has served as an assistant chief since that time.  Col. Mayne served as the department’s legislative liaison from 1999 to 2011 and the state’s boating law administrator since 2008.

“The department’s law enforcement division will be in good hands with Col. Mayne at the helm.  He is a seasoned veteran who has a lot of experience to take over such an important position,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “He has served time as an agent patrolling the outdoors and waterways upholding conservation laws.  He has also served as legislative liaison for the department and has worked during traumatic events such as hurricanes and the oil spill in the gulf.”

In 1997, Col. Mayne was honored as LDWF’s Outstanding Agent of the Year.  He also received the LDWF Chief’s Award in 2001 and a state civil service Charles Dunbar award in 2011 for his civil service career.

Col. Mayne earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2003 and his Masters of Public Administration in 2011 also from LSU.

“I’m very honored to be promoted to such a prestigious position and will continue to advance the Enforcement Division as we take on new challenges and missions in the future,” said Col. Mayne.  “We will continue to uphold conservation game laws as well as perform search and rescue missions after hurricanes, maritime security protecting our vital ports and continue to put an emphasis on boating safety.”

Col. Mayne serves on the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Law Enforcement Committee, Joint Terrorism Task Force Executive Board for the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Louisiana State Analytical and Fusion Exchange Executive Steering Committee, National Marine Fisheries Service Joint Enforcement Advisory Committee, Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel, Keep Louisiana Beautiful Advisory Board, Louisiana Seafood Industry Advisory Board, Louisiana Crab Task Force, Saltwater Recreational Fishing Task Force, Louisiana Seafood Certification Steering Committee, National Association of Boating Law Administrators, and the National Safe Boating Council.

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

Chief of LDWF’s Enforcement Division Retiring

Release Date: 06/05/2013

Chief of LDWF’s Enforcement Division Retiring

After more than 43 years of service to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, Col. Winton Vidrine, 69, of Washington, has announced his retirement and will be leaving the department effective June 7, 2013.

In January of 1970, Vidrine was hired as an LDWF Enforcement Division agent.  Vidrine reached the highest rank of colonel in 1988 and served the last 25 years as the division’s chief of enforcement at the Baton Rouge headquarters office.

“We wish the best to Col. Vidrine in his retirement years.  He has certainly deserved his retirement for all of the years he has served the state of Louisiana.  I’m proud to say that I was able to work with him these past years,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “He was instrumental in many programs and initiatives that improved the enforcement division over the years that have also benefitted conservation of our outdoor resources.”

When Vidrine started there was no formal training for LDWF agents and he was put out in the field on his first day in civilian clothes, driving his own truck and carrying his personal pistol.  He received his Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification in the fall of 1970.  Vidrine worked out of the Opelousas office mostly working boating, night hunting and fish shocking cases.

In 1972, Vidrine was instrumental in creating the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association to help organize agents statewide into a collective unit.  Vidrine was awarded as the LDWF “Outstanding Agent of the Year” in 1975.

After his hiring, Vidrine quickly rose through the ranks achieving captain of the Opelousas office in 1976 and then being promoted to major in 1978 overseeing the Baton Rouge and Opelousas offices.  In 1980, Vidrine was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and worked out of the New Orleans office.

“I’ve had a great career that I wouldn’t have traded for anything,” said Col. Vidrine.  “Just becoming a game warden was satisfying by itself as I was an avid hunter and fisherman and got the chance to uphold rules and regulations that conserved our outdoor resources for my grandkids and their grandkids to enjoy.”

After becoming Colonel in 1988, Vidrine's top priority for the enforcement division was training.  Beginning in 1990, he implemented a more tailored training program for LDWF Wildlife Cadets that included classes on the laws for fisheries and wildlife management, driving while intoxicated detection, migratory game bird and fish identification, boating, and search and rescue training.  These changes increased the training a cadet receives from 12 weeks to over 20 weeks.  In 2001, LDWF initiated their first fully accredited and POST certified Cadet Academy that was completely taught and ran by LDWF agents.

Vidrine also oversaw every agent being issued a pistol beginning in the 1990s, initiation of the Maritime Search and Rescue course in the 2000s, the Maritime Special Response Team in 2010, and the first state to be accredited in the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrator's Boat Operation and Training program in 2011.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes to the enforcement division in my 43 years of service,” said Vidrine.  “Thankfully, I was able to be in a position to make a lot of changes over the years that made us a more professional, efficient and improved law enforcement agency.”

Vidrine will be retiring back to his farm in Washington with his wife of 50 years, one child, two grandkids and two great-grandkids.

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

$10,000 in Reward Money Now Being Offered for Information in Whooping Crane Shooting

Release Date: 06/05/2013

June 5, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are still looking for leads regarding a whooping crane that was found shot to death in Red River Parish in April.

LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the USFWS each initially offered up to $1,000 in rewards, for a total of up to $3,000.

LDWF Whooping Crane Biologist Sara Zimorski said, “We are grateful to the organizations and individuals who have contributed to the reward fund and we hope this extra incentive will bring forward some leads to help solve this case.”

The Humane Society of the United States and the The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering $5,000, John Perilloux is offering $1,000, the International Crane Foundation, through the restitution money from the South Dakota whooping crane shooting case is offering $500, the Audubon Nature Institute is offering $250, and an anonymous donor is offering $250.  This brings the total in rewards to $10,000 for anybody that has any information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

If any group or person wants to donate funds to increase the reward amount, please contact LDWF Biologist Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400 ext. 4.

To report any information regarding this whooping crane shooting, please call 1-800-442-2511.

The whooping crane was found and recovered from the bank of the Red River about two miles northwest of Loggy Bayou on April 16.  After a necropsy of the crane, it was determined that the bird was shot with a 6.5mm/.264 caliber projectile.

Investigators believe the bird was shot between April 10 and 14.  The whooping crane was a part of LDWF's whooping crane reintroduction program and was fitted with a GPS tracking device.  The last tracking point of the crane moving was on April 10 near where she was eventually found dead on April 16.  The last tracking point received was on April 14 at the location she was found.

This whooping crane was released in Louisiana on March 14, 2011.

LDWF has released 40 whooping cranes since 2011 and currently have 25 whooping cranes they are tracking.  This is the third whooping crane that has been found shot with the previous two having been shot in Jefferson Davis Parish in October of 2011.

The reintroduced whooping cranes came from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD, and they were placed in the coastal marsh of Vermilion Parish within LDWF’s White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).  This reintroduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.

LDWF is working cooperatively with the USFWS, USGS, and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to bring the species back to the state.  This non-migratory flock of whooping cranes is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is still protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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

Syndicate content