LDWF News Release


Release Date: 09/04/2013

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division investigation led to a Texas man pleading guilty to possessing a firearm by a convicted felon on Aug. 29 in U.S. Federal Western District Court in Shreveport.

Larry R. Baker, 50, of Maud, Texas, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Tom Stagg to possessing a firearm after being convicted and serving time for a murder in Texas and other felonies.

Baker faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.  A sentencing date of Dec. 5, 2013 was set.

LDWF agents arrested Baker for night hunting violations and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on Jan. 11, 2013 in Caddo Parish.  Agents observed Baker west of Rodessa operating a motor vehicle traveling north on United Gas Road #1 near the Texas state line.  Baker stopped his vehicle and emerged with a flashlight and a gun.

Baker was then observed firing his weapon at what appeared to be a deer standing near the roadway in his headlights.  Upon further investigation, agents found that Baker had been recently released from prison after serving 20 years for a Texas murder conviction.

Baker was found guilty of murder on Aug. 5, 1993 in the 54th District Court of McLennan County, Texas.  Baker also has prior burglary and property theft convictions.  Baker bought the firearm from an individual who did not know Baker was a convicted felon.

LDWF and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabaco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Gillespie Jr. and U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley prosecuted the case.

LDWF Agents participating in the case were Senior Agent Jay Thomas, Senior Agent Frank Reger and Lt. Roy Schufft.

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

L.D.W.F. Providing Public Dove Hunting Opportunities on Private Land Leases and Wildlife Management Areas on Sept. 7

Release Date: 09/03/2013

Sept. 3, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will provide public dove hunting opportunities for the Sept. 7 season opening on leased private land and state wildlife management areas around the state.
The 2013-14 dove season opens Saturday, Sept. 7 in the north and south zones and hunters have multiple options available. LDWF has leased private land in the following parishes for Sept. 7 only, from noon to sunset:
Beauregard Parish, DeRidder-335 acres harvested corn and milo; 150 acres shredded corn.  Directions:  Take Hwy 190 West from DeRidder.  The field is approximately 5 miles West of DeRidder on the North side of Hwy 190 just past Hwy 3226.  Check in will be near the storage tanks. Contact Kori Legleu at 337-491-2575 x-3021 for more information.  Maps will be available at the Lake Charles Office.
Grant Parish -- 221 acres harvested milo with strips of sunflower.  Directions: Take Exit 99 (Boyce) off I-49 and travel East on Hwy 8.  Cross over the Red River and travel approximately ¼ mile and take left at “dove field” sign. Continue on levee road until you arrive at LDWF permit station.  No ATV’s allowed.  LDWF can assist handicapped hunters to/from their location in the field.  Contact LDWF Pineville Office if additional information is needed at 318-487-5885. EXACT CHANGE IS NEEDED FOR PERMITS.
Avoyelles Parish -- 90 acres harvested milo.  Directions: From Bunkie, take Hwy. 29 to Evergreen, then right on Hwy. 361.  Meet at barn located 1.5 miles south of the intersection of Hwys. 361 and 362. Contact Travis Dufour at 337-948-0255 for more information.
The following rules will apply to all leased fields:
1.  Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
2.  Shot larger than size 7 ½ is prohibited (size 7 ½ , 8, 9 are allowed)
3.  All trash - including shell hulls - must be picked-up.
4.  Only legal doves may be taken.
5.  All hunters must have a daily permit as well as appropriate hunting license with HIP certification; note, hunters under 16 years of age do not need HIP certification.  The daily permit is available at the field and will be issued on a first-come first-served basis.  HIP certifications are available from hunting license vendors.  If hunters have formed a line prior to the time permits are issued, permits will then be issued to those in line in order of arrival.
6.  There is a $10.00 fee per hunter, 16 years of age and older. Cash or check. Hunters under 16 will be admitted free, but they must check-in and have a permit.
7.  When a predetermined number of hunters are admitted, the field will be closed.  Additional hunters may be admitted when someone leaves the field and surrenders his/her permit.  Use of vehicles, including ATV’s, may be restricted and will vary from field to field.  Check with Department personnel about restrictions when you check-in.
8.  These leased fields are open to the public September 7th only.  Entrance at any other time is trespassing.
These leased fields have been made available through the cooperation of the landowners.  Future access to these fields and other private property is dependent on the conduct of the hunters using these fields.
Additionally, LDWF provides public dove hunting opportunities on state wildlife management areas including: Bayou Pierre WMA, northwest Red River Parish; Big Colewa WMA, West Carroll Parish; Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish; Camp Beauregard WMA, Rapides Parish; Clear Creek WMA, Vernon Parish; Elbow Slough WMA, Rapides Parish; Floy McElroy WMA, Richland Parish; Fort Polk WMA, Vernon Parish; Loggy Bayou WMA, Bossier Parish; Pointe-Aux-Chenes WMA, Lafourche Parish; Richard K. Yancey (formerly Red River/Three Rivers) WMA, Concordia Parish; Sandy Hollow WMA, Tangipahoa Parish; Sherburne WMA, Iberville/St. Martin Parishes; and West Bay WMA, Allen Parish.
Notice: Dove hunting on Sandy Hollow WMA is open Sept. 7 and 14, but closed Sept. 8 through 13 of the first split. Dove hunting on Elbow Slough WMA, in southeastern Rapides Parish, on Sept. 7 and 8 only, is restricted to lottery winners only.
All licensed hunters are reminded that the appropriate Louisiana hunting license with HIP certification is required to hunt doves on public and private land.  Those hunters who are ages 18 to 59 are also required to have a WMA Hunting Permit when hunting doves on WMAs.
For more information about public dove hunting opportunities, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove or contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov .



Elbow Slough WMA Opening Weekend Dove Hunting Restricted to Lottery Winners Only

Release Date: 09/03/2013

Sept. 3, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reminding the public of changes to dove hunting on Elbow Slough Wildlife Management Area for the opening weekend of dove season, Sept. 7-8.
To better manage the hunter numbers seen on opening weekend in previous years, and prevent hunters from being turned away due to limited dove field space, a lottery drawing process was established.
The lottery dove hunt access to Elbow Slough WMA in Rapides Parish will provide 80 hunters the opportunity to hunt this Saturday and Sunday.
As with all WMA lottery hunts, applications for the Elbow Slough WMA opening weekend lottery dove hunts were made available on the LDWF website well in advance of dove season.  Applicants were given the choice of the traditional afternoon hunt on opening day or a morning hunt on the second day.  The deadline for applications to be submitted was Aug. 9. A drawing was then held, and 40 hunters were selected to participate each day. 
Only those selected through the lottery drawing will be allowed to attend the dove hunts at Elbow Slough WMA on opening weekend. For safety reasons, guests or other observers will not be allowed.  While this does limit the number of hunters that can be accommodated, it will alleviate the significant overcrowding problems that were resulting in hunters waiting all day for an opening on the field, and at times not having an opportunity to hunt at all on opening day.
Starting on Wednesday Sept. 11, Elbow Slough WMA will be open to all dove hunters, and will remain open for dove hunting by anyone on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays ONLY, through Sunday, Sept. 22.  Elbow Slough WMA will again be open to anyone for dove hunting on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays ONLY, Oct. 12 through Nov. 10.  Dove hunters are reminded that steel shot is required for all hunting on Elbow Slough.
For more information about public dove hunting opportunities, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/dove or contact Jeff Johnson at (318) 371-3050 or jjohnson@wlf.la.gov .



Louisiana Dove Season to Start Sept. 7 Statewide

Release Date: 08/30/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) would like to remind hunters that the 2013-14 dove hunting season starts on Sept. 7 in both the north and south zones.

LDWF is issuing this reminder because the 2013-14 Louisiana dove season falls at a later date than past seasons.  Furthermore, the LDWF smart phone app may not be updated with the current hunting regulations in time for the start of the dove hunting season.

LDWF is currently working with the app provider to get it updated with hopes to have the update available shortly with the 2013-14 hunting regulations.  The current LDWF smart phone app still contains last year’s hunting regulations that had the 2012-13 dove hunting season starting on Sept. 1.

The 2013-14 dove hunting season for the south zone runs from Sept. 7-15, Oct. 19-Dec. 1 and Dec. 21-Jan.6.  The north zone runs from Sept. 7-22, Oct. 12-Nov. 10 and Dec. 14-Jan. 6.  The daily bag limit is 15 in the aggregate with a possession limit of 45 in the aggregate.

For more information on the north and south zone boundaries for the dove hunting season, please refer to the 2013-14 hunting regulations pamphlet found at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations.

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

L.O.W.A. Honors Young Outdoor Writers, Photographers

Release Date: 08/30/2013

Clay Kershaw, Kenny Odinet III and Story Moller were big winners in the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association’s 2013 Youth Journalism Contest celebrated Aug. 10 during LOWA’s annual awards banquet in Lafayette.
Kershaw, a 13-year-old Catholic High-Baton Rouge student, earned first and second places in the Photography Division for his images of alligators in a south Louisiana swamp and a snowy egret perched on a cypress stump.
Odinet, a home-school with his three siblings in Lafayette, took first in Junior Essay (ages 7-13) for this story entitled “Trout on Soft Plastics,” in which he described his first speckled trout catch on an artificial lure.
Moller, 17, attends Cedar Creek School near his Ruston home and took first and third places in Senior Essay (ages 14-18). His winning entry, “Frosty Morning,” documented his first-ever flooded-tree duck hunt, while his third-place story entitled “Gift of a King” recounted memorable family elk hunts in Montana.
Ava Lemoine, an 8-year-old St. Aloysius Elementary student from Baton Rouge, placed this in photography with an image of the Louisiana at sunset.  Kershaw’s younger brother, Alex, 11, attends Parkview Baptist School, placed fourth in Photography for his shot of a lizard on the hunt.
The D’Arensbourg sisters, 13-year-old Kyla and 10-year-old Janae placed second and third, respectively, in Junior Essay. They recounted summer trips to the Louisiana coast, Kyla’s “Fishing on the Pier” and Janae’s “Crabbing on Grand Isle” brought awards to their home in Zachary. Kyla attends Zachary High. Janae is a Copper Mill Elementary student.
Frances Purgerson, a 9-year-old Our Lady of Mercy student, was fourth in Junior Essay for her story about how close she became to a family of chimney swifts living in her backyard.
Averi Young, 16 and a student at West Feliciana High, placed second in Senior Essay for her story, “A Sleepless Night; A Memorable Morning,” about her first-ever squirrel hunt with a dog.
There was a tie for Senior Essay’s fourth place. It was shared by 14-year-old Jesuit High student Jacob DeRamus from River Ridge and recent Baton Rouge High grad Jade Spears, 18. DeRamus recounted this year’s Mardi Gras Day when he and a fishing buddy went bass fishing in New Orleans’ City Park and witness the catch of a park-record largemouth in “Catch Me Something, Mister!”.
Spears’ entry, “The Eagle,” told of her several years trips to Old River in Pointe Coupee Parish on fishing trips with her father and her deepening relationship with a family of bald eagles living along that oxbow.
To view the winning photos and read the winning essays, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lowa-outdoor-journalism-contest .
The Louisiana chapter of Safari Club International sponsors the Youth Journalism Contest.  For more information on the contest, contact Joe Macaluso at 225-388-0293 or jmacaluso@theadvocate.com .



Old Highway 11 on Pearl River WMA to Reopen Aug. 31

Release Date: 08/30/2013

Aug. 30, 2013 – Old Highway 11 on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in southeastern St. Tammany Parish will reopen at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) had closed the road Aug. 22 for repairs. Repairs to the road have been completed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. 
For more information, please contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.



Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge Public Access to Be Temporarily Restricted Beginning Sept. 4

Release Date: 08/29/2013

Aug. 29, 2013 -- Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge will begin the annual nuisance alligator harvest on Wednesday, Sept. 4. During this period, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will not open the refuge to the public each day until 10 a.m.
Due to construction projects in progress, the public is advised that entry sign instructions must be followed even when refuge gates are open.  Failure to follow refuge closure instructions may result in enforcement citations.
After 10 a.m., the public will be allowed to enter the refuge and utilize recreational areas until official sunset each day. The delayed openings will be in effect for seven days or until all alligator trappers have utilized their tags for this controlled harvest. The public is also advised not to tamper with lines left in place by alligator trappers.
The refuge, spanning 26 miles of coastal Louisiana in Cameron and Vermilion parishes, provides recreational opportunities to fishermen seeking shrimp, redfish, speckled trout, black drum, and largemouth bass, among others.
Rockefeller SWR is one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Located at the terminus of the vast Mississippi Flyway, south Louisiana winters about four million waterfowl annually. The refuge provides high quality wetlands habitat for ducks, geese, shorebirds and wading birds.
For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or contact Phillip Trosclair at 337-491-2593.



Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 08/29/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, September 5, 2013, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of August 1, 2013

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/August

5.  To Hear an Update on the 2013 Recreational Red Snapper Season

6.  To Consider a Notice of Intent for the Abandoned Crab Traps Removal Program        

7. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Repeal the Scuba Diving Game Fish Season on Toledo Bend

8.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for Commercial Fish Seining on Old River Lake, Concordia Parish

9.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for Commercial Fish Seining on Lake Louis, Catahoula Parish

10. To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for Commercial Fishing on Lake Bruin, Tensas Parish

11.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to modify Rules for the Domesticated Aquatic Organism License

12.  To Consider a Notice of Intent to Remove the Special Permit for the Harvest of Shad and Skipjack with Experimental Seine and Remove the Experimental Dip Net Permit

13.  To Hear a Presentation on Archery in Louisiana Schools (ALAS) Program

14.  Set January 2014 Meeting Date

15. Receive Public Comments

16. Adjournment



Drawdown Scheduled for Chicot Lake

Release Date: 08/28/2013

(Aug. 28, 2013) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a drawdown for Chicot Lake, just north of Ville Platte, to begin on Tuesday, September 3 to control nuisance aquatic vegetation. 

The water level will be lowered 3 feet from pool stage. Water fluctuations are proven to yield significant beneficial effects for fisheries and aquatic vegetation control, particularly on Chicot Lake.

The drawdown is part of an integrated lake management plan, which utilizes several different control methods to control overabundant nuisance vegetation.  The Department stocked triploid grass carp during the winter of 2012 and will continue herbicide applications.

Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.

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.



Three Men Cited For Illegal Oyster Activity in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 08/27/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited three men for alleged oyster and boating safety violations in Bayou Stephan in Plaquemines Parish on Aug. 26.

Agents cited John Phillipe, 32, Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., for harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill.

Phillipe, the licensed captain, was also cited for twice violating the state’s health code for not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book and vessel sanitation requirements.  He was also cited for taking commercial fish without a vessel license, no visible boat numbers, improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal.

The incident occurred when agents witnessed Phillipe and his deckhands harvesting oysters from a lease near Port Sulphur that did not belong to them and under the cover of darkness after legal sunset.  The boating safety and health code violations were discovered during the stop.

Unlawfully harvesting oysters from a private lease, without written permission from the lease holder, and during illegal hours each carries up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license brings up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Each count of the state’s health code violations carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail and forfeiture of the product.  Each of the boating safety violations brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Agents issued 20 citations, seized one oyster dredge and 11 sacks of oysters were returned to the water.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

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