LDWF News Release

Louisiana Saltwater Series Announces Top Ten Team of the Year Anglers for the 2013 Redfish Series

Release Date: 08/21/2013

From left to right: John Garrison and Steve Smith, 2013 LASS Redfish Series Team of the Year winners

(Aug.  21, 2013) – Please join the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation in congratulating the top ten Team of the Year anglers for the 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Series.  The competition was very close throughout the year, and the final standings came down to the wire at the final tournament of the year, held last weekend at the Delta Marina in Empire.

The 2013 top ten teams are as follows:

Team                                                                                  Place                          Payout
Steve Smith & John Garrison                                                  1st                              $3,000
Nash Roberts, IV & Luke Landry                                             2nd                             $1,500
Jacob Leininger & Jeff Rogers                                                 3rd                             $950
Joe Barcelona & John Barcelona                                             4th                             $800
Tony Grose & Sal Fontana                                                       5th                             $750
Matthew Whitman & Ryan Schellhaas                                     6th                             $700
Michael McElveen & Rob Folsom                                             7th                             $650
Gary Wilson & Gus Wilson                                                       8th                            $600
Brandon Treadaway & Ryan Dolese/ Kevin Bergeron              9th                            $550
Charlie Howell & Hunter Howell/ Benjamin Behel                     10th                          $500

In order for teams to be considered for the Team of the Year top ten standings, they must have registered for all six of the redfish series events.  Points are awarded to teams depending on their placing during each regular season event.  Points from each team’s best five finishes are calculated to count toward the Team of the Year standings, which allows each team to drop their lowest score.

“My sincere congratulations to the Team of the Year anglers and all of our LASS anglers for another successful year, as they are the key to success of this tournament series,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “The information the Department gathers from citizen scientists is truly invaluable.”

Cash payouts for the Team of the Year top ten are generated solely from sponsorship support including Shimano, PowerPro, Coors Light, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Daybrook Fisheries, Omega Protein, Plaquemines Parish Tourism, Dockside Marine, Mercury, Conservation Force, Standard Mapping, Marsh and Bayou, Faux Pas Prints, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers. 

The next scheduled LASS event is our inaugural tarpon tournament scheduled for August 24 and 25 in Venice at Venice Marina.  The Redfish Series Championship will be held on October 18 and 19 at Venice Marina, and the public is invited to attend and find out which team will take home the 2013 title.  Our next LASS youth event is scheduled for November 2 at Myrtle Grove Marina.  For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration, visit 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 or 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) 765-2396.






Denham Springs Man Cited for Alligator Violations

Release Date: 08/19/2013

Senior Agent Clarence Marques and Sgt. Randy Lanoux document seized alligator hides.
Lt. Will Roberts documents seized alligator hides

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Denham Springs man with 26 alligator violations on Aug. 15.
Agents cited David Caveretta, 51, for four counts of taking alligators without a license, four counts of taking alligators during a closed season, four counts of failing to comply with alligator tagging requirements, 10 counts of illegal possession of alligator skins and parts and four counts of not abiding the nuisance alligator program rules and regulations.  All violations occurred in Ascension and Livingston parishes over the course of the last two years.
Caveretta was enrolled in LDWF’s nuisance animal program and was a permitted nuisance alligator hunter.  During the investigation, LDWF agents learned that Caveretta was using nuisance alligator complaint tags on alligators that were not nuisances.  Agents found that if Caveretta was given a complaint tag for a specific nuisance alligator and if that alligator was too small or if he couldn’t find that particular alligator, that he would use the nuisance tag on a larger alligator taken from a different area than the original complaint.
Agents seized 10 alligator hides, Caveretta’s remaining 13 unused alligator tags and his nuisance hunter permit.  LDWF also removed Caveretta from the nuisance alligator program.
Failing to adhere to nuisance alligator program rules and regulations and failing to comply with alligator tagging requirements each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each count.  Taking alligators without a license carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each count.  Taking alligators during a closed season and possessing alligator skins and parts each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each count.
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Senior Agent Clarence Marques and Senior Agent Garrett Kimble.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.


LPB Presents: Alive! In America’s Delta -- The Whooping Crane’s Majestic Return

Release Date: 08/15/2013

Aug. 15, 2013 -- Louisiana Public Broadcasting unveils a special presentation of the first episode of its new six-part series Alive! In America’s Delta on Monday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. on LPB and Friday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. on WLAE in New Orleans.
“The Whooping Crane’s Majestic Return” features the biologist team leading the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ whooping crane reintroduction project.
This documentary follows the initiative to reintroduce whooping cranes into their ancestral territory in southwest Louisiana. By increasing the numbers of whooping cranes, the bird could eventually be removed from the list of critically endangered species.
For an exclusive view of these remarkable animals and the professionals who prepare them to thrive successfully in the wild, LPB producer Donna LaFleur and photographer Rex Q. Fortenberry followed alongside the LDWF staff members as they worked with the cranes. Fortenberry even donned the required crane costume to disguise himself and his camera to capture the arrival of the young birds to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area and throughout their release into the Louisiana marshlands south of Gueydan.
Future episodes in the Alive! In America’s Delta series explore Louisiana black bears, wildlife enforcement, and endangered species on land and in the water.
Additional broadcasts of the “The Whooping Crane’s Majestic Return” on LPB are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug.  21 at 10 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. and again on LPB 2 at 9 p.m. Live streaming access to the program will be available on www.lpb.org/live on Monday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. The program will then be available on-line through the end of August at www.lpb.org/alive.
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes ; or contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115.

LDWF Names New Boating Law Administrator for Louisiana

Release Date: 08/15/2013

Capt. Rachel Zechenelly

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has appointed a new state Boating Law Administrator (BLA), which will represent Louisiana on the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, of Baton Rouge, is replacing Col. Jeff Mayne as Louisiana’s BLA after Col. Mayne stepped down from the position when he was promoted to the head of the LDWF Enforcement Division in June.

“I’m honored to be named Louisiana’s Boating Law Administrator as we strive to make our waterways safer for everyone to enjoy,” said Capt. Zechenelly.  “We’ve made a lot of progress in making boating a safer experience and we will continue to look at ways to make it even safer in the future.”

Capt. Zechenelly also said she will expand education outreach programs to paddle sports due to a significant increase in people kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing.

Capt. Zechenelly is originally from Pearl River and joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999.  Capt. Zechenelly started as an agent working out of the New Orleans office where she primarily handled fishery patrols and boating safety enforcement on the water including on the coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Capt. Zechenelly was assigned to LDWF Enforcement Division’s Headquarters Staff in 2005 in Baton Rouge as the boating education coordinator.  In May of 2011, she was promoted to captain and put in charge of LDWF’s Boating Safety Enforcement and Waterways Management.  She currently oversees the Enforcement Division’s marine theft investigations, boating crash incident investigations, and the statewide boating safety education program.

“I have the utmost confidence in Capt. Zechenelly’s ability and experience to spearhead our boating safety programs,” said Col. Jeff Mayne.  “She has led our boating education program almost from the beginning and is familiar with NASBLA’s training curriculum and key personnel.”

Capt. Zechenelly has participated and coordinated the Enforcement Division’s emergency response for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac, the BP Oil Spill in 2010, and the Mississippi River Spring 2011 Flood event.

Capt. Zechenelly completed the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Patrol Officer Course and the month long National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Law Enforcement Training Program.  She also completed the NASBLA Comprehensive Boating Accident Investigation and Analysis Course.

NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

NASBLA’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.

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

Food Plot Workshop Set for Aug. 24 in Abbeville

Release Date: 08/14/2013

Aug. 14, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, National Wild Turkey Federation, LSU Ag Center, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Tractor Supply Company will present a Food Plot Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 24 in Abbeville, La.
The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tractor Supply Company store located at 3410 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville.  This event is free and open to the public, and lunch will be provided by Future Farmers of America.
A panel discussion will begin at 10 a.m. with topics including planting recommendations, benefits of wildlife food plots, land management programs available to the public and more.
The event will also offer information stations, vendor booths, a food plot demonstration area, and activities for kids.  Vendors will include Plot Spike, Wild Game, Record Rack and others.
For more information, contact LDWF Private Lands biologist Kori Legleu in the Lake Charles field office at 337-491-2575 or klegleu@wlf.la.gov .

Buras Man Arrested for Boat Registration Fraud

Release Date: 08/14/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Buras man for alleged boat registration charges on Aug. 13.

Agents arrested Limauel Watson, 66, for filing public false documents and injuring public records and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.

Agents began investigating Watson in May of 2013 after he tried to register a 20-foot aluminum vessel in April of 2013.  Watson claimed on the boat registration forms that he purchased the vessel in April of 2010.

After investigating Watson’s registration, agents learned that Watson’s vessel wasn’t manufactured until July of 2010 and that he didn’t purchase the vessel until October of 2010.

It is believed that Watson filed a fraudulent boat registration in an effort to receive reimbursement payment from BP for work he allegedly did with the vessel helping with the oil spill cleanup in 2010.  Watson has submitted a reimbursement claim with BP that has been unfulfilled at this time.

Injuring public records and filing false public documents each brings up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Louis Burnett, Sgt. Todd Laviolette, Senior Agent Michael Williams, Senior Agent Michael Marques and Senior Agent Adam Tieben.

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

TONIGHT: LDWF Officials Encourage Public Participation in Open Meeting on Red Snapper Management

Release Date: 08/14/2013

August 14, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds the recreational angling community of tonight’s public hearing on regional management of red snapper by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.  Tonight’s meeting is the final meeting in the series of public outreach meetings, in Baton Rouge at the Doubletree Hotel located on 4964 Constitution Avenue at 6 p.m.
“I encourage all interested anglers to attend tonight’s meeting in Baton Rouge,” implored LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “Our Department continues to fight this battle to get our recreational fishing community additional red snapper season days, this is your chance to add your voice to our cause.”
Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper examines dividing the federal recreational red snapper quota among states or regions. This division would potentially give states/regions more flexibility in choosing seasons and bag limits. 
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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.


L.O.W.A. Honors Members for Excellence in Outdoor Communications

Release Date: 08/13/2013

(Aug. 13, 2013) The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) honored members during the group’s 68th annual conference, Aug. 9-10 in Lafayette. The honorees were selected for awards in the association’s 2013 Excellence in Craft (EIC) competition.
The EIC contest, which recognizes excellence within various categories of outdoor-related communications, has been held continuously since 1945. Member entries for the 2013 competition were judged by members of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio.
LOWA membership includes newspaper and magazine writers, editors, columnists, photographers, radio and television broadcast journalists, wildlife artists, internet journalists, book authors, videographers and public relations specialists.
For more detailed information about the competition or LOWA, visit www.laoutdoorwriters.com. The winners and sponsors of the 2013 EIC competition by category:
Magazine Short Feature (less than 1000 words)
1st Jerald Horst: His Mom Made Him Do It
2nd Deborah Burst: Why do I do this?
3rd Deborah Burst: The Lovit Traildogs
*Co-Sponsors: LA Forestry Association and LA Association of Professional Biologists
Magazine Regular Feature (more than 1,000 words)
1st Terry Jones: Pass a Good Time
2nd Terry Jones: Highway Robbery
3rd John Flores: Scout’s Promise
*Sponsor: LA Charter Boat Association
Newspaper Article
1st Lyle Johnson: Getting Ready
2nd Glynn Harris: White River Smacks of March Madness
3rd Chris Holmes: Razorbacks and Diamondbacks
*Sponsor: Louisiana Sportsman Magazine
Broadcast (radio or television)
1st John Jackson: Louisiana Outdoor Adventures – Louisiana Oysters
2nd John Jackson: Louisiana Outdoor Adventures – Capt. Wendy Billiot
3rd Gary Krouse: Sola TV – Saline Lake
*Sponsor: National Wild Turkey Federation – LA Chapter
Electronic Media
1st Wendy Billiot: Plastic Bottles and Prehistoric Fish
2nd John Flores: The Cherubim of Grosse Savanne
3rd Lyle Johnson: Choot Em!
*Sponsor: CCA Louisiana
Black and White Still Photograph
1st Glynn Harris: Cautious Optimism
2nd John Flores: Close Encounter of the Bear Kind
3rd John Flores: The Blind View
*Sponsor: General Motors
Color Still Photograph
1st John Flores: Roseatte Spoonbills
2nd Butch Thurmond: Girl and Bream
3rd John Flores: Diligence and Honor
*Sponsor: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation
For more information, contact Chris Holmes at 504-495-8189 or cholmes@att.net, or Helmut Ermlich at 504-837-2165 or helmut1600@yahoo.com .


LDWF Clarifies Hog Hunting on WMA Regulations

Release Date: 08/13/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has clarified a hog hunting on public lands regulation in this year’s Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

In the 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet on page 47 and 48 in the Feral Hogs and Outlaw Quadrupeds section it states that “feral hogs may be taken during any legal hunting season on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) by properly licensed hunters.”

However, there are raccoon hunting seasons at night on select WMAs throughout the state for a few weeks each year.  During these nighttime raccoon seasons on WMAs, the hunting, taking and possessing of feral hogs will be prohibited and enforced as such.

Furthermore, it states in the 2013-14 Louisiana Hunting Regulations pamphlet on page 29 that the nighttime take of feral hogs can only happen on private lands from the last day of February until the last day of August by properly licensed hunters.  This regulation purposely omits any nighttime take of feral hogs on WMAs and other public lands.

LDWF will take measures for next year’s hunting regulations pamphlet to further clarify this regulation as it pertains to feral hogs.

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

LDWF Agents Rescue Three Men on Toledo Bend

Release Date: 08/12/2013

(Aug 12, 2013) - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued three men from a vessel that was taking on water on Toledo Bend on Aug. 9.
LDWF agents received an emergency call from Aaron Weido, 32, of New Iberia, Marvin Weido, 57, of El Dorado, Ark., and Marvin Weido III, 34, of Magnolia, Ark., around 10 p.m. on Aug. 9. 
The three men were fishing under the Pendleton Bridge off of Hwy. 6 in Sabine Parish when the wind picked up causing four foot swells.  Their 14 foot aluminum boat began taking on water and they were able to get ahold of LDWF agents.
LDWF agents located the men shortly after midnight with the vessel barely afloat.  Agents were able to transport them to waiting Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on land.  The deputies then drove the three men to their vehicle.
LDWF agents were able to later retrieve the boat.  The men did not require any medical attention.
Agents participating in the successful search and rescue were Sgt. Billy Shoemaker and Agent Andrew Mitchell.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.


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