LDWF News Release

LDWF Launches Health Permit Compliance Program for Seafood Wholesale / Retail Dealer License Holders

Release Date: 09/27/2013

(September 27, 2013) – Today’s launch of the Health Permit Compliance Program by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) marks the latest endeavor to support the seafood industry with upgrading their equipment and facilities. The new program gives eligible docks or processers with a wholesale/retail dealer license the opportunity to purchase and install equipment in order to meet Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) permitting standards. Participants in this program may qualify for 50 percent of any authorized equipment costs, up to $20,000. 

The Health Permit Compliance Program follows the release of the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP), a voluntary program for Louisiana wild seafood that was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010. LWSCP was developed with the intention of establishing a more professional seafood industry with better handling practices and higher quality products. In order for docks and processors to participate in the LWSCP, they must meet certain DHH permit requirements.  The goal of the Health Permit Compliance Program is to assist docks and processors with making necessary improvements required by DHH in order to meet LWSCP participation requirements.

Eligible Participants

The Health Permit Compliance Program will be open to any dock or processor currently participating in or applying for the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program. In order for an applicant to be eligible, one of the following situations must apply: 1) the applicant does not currently have a DHH permit; or 2) the applicant currently has a DHH permit that was obtained after October 2012 and has receipts for equipment dated after October 2012; or 3) the applicant has a current DHH permit and has received documented notification from DHH for some form of equipment upgrade or repair.

First priority will be given to qualifying applicants who have been identified by DHH as having a critical non-compliance.

Application Process

Applicants must complete a separate application for each LDWF license and each business physical location.  Successful applicants will receive an equipment approval letter notifying them when to purchase the eligible equipment and will be given a deadline to submit receipts for the purchased equipment. Final approval of funds disbursement may be subject to an inspection or DHH permit approval.

Equipment approval is based on DHH permit requirements.  DHH permits are administered by the LA/DHH/Commercial seafood section following the Louisiana Administrative Code Title 51 Part IX Section 311, Public Health Sanitary Code.

For information specific to DHH permitting requirements, please contact DHH at (225) 342-7641.

Application packets will be mailed to all docks and processors with a wholesale/retail dealer’s license currently participating or applied for LWSCP who are required to meet DHH permit requirements. For more information regarding this program, contact LDWF at 225-765-3980.

For press inquiries contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.

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


Deer Hunting Incident Leads to Negligent Injury Guilty Plea

Release Date: 09/27/2013

A Chalmette man pleaded guilty on Sept. 26 to charges stemming from a hunting incident that occurred in Meraux in St. Bernard Parish.

Joshua D. Starr, 28, of Chalmette pleaded guilty to charges of negligent Injury and hunting deer during illegal hours in St. Bernard Parish Court.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents issued Starr those charges after investigating an unintentional shooting while Starr was deer hunting in the wooded area near Bourmouth Park on Jan. 4, 2013.

Starr thought he shot a deer after legal shooting hours.  After approaching what he thought was his downed deer, Starr and a hunting partner realized that he incidentally shot a person.  The shooter mistook the victim for a deer and hit him with his 12 gauge shotgun from 24 yards away hitting the victim in th lower abdomen and legs.

The victim was brought to University Hospital in New Orleans where he underwent surgery to address his injuries.  The victim has made a near full recovery at the last point of contact with LDWF investigators.

Starr was sentenced to pay $1,000 plus court costs for the conviction of the two violations.

Agents involved in the case were Sgts. Tim Fox and Mike Garrity, and Lt. Jason Russo.

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

Media Advisory -- LDWF to Hold Ceremony to Honor Fallen Agents on Oct. 1

Release Date: 09/26/2013

Media: If you plan on covering this event, please contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

What: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a ceremony to honor those Enforcement Division agents who have died in the line of duty.  The ceremony will take place beside the “Fallen Agents” statue that was erected outside of the LDWF HQ building in Baton Rouge earlier this year.

The ceremony will include a prayer by Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association Chaplain Senior Agent Byron Cammack, and speeches by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, Col. Jeff Mayne, LWAA President Davis Madere and Lt. Col. Joey Broussard.

When: Oct. 1 at 10 a.m.

Where: LDWF Headquarters located at 2000 Quail Dr. in Baton Rouge.

The statue depicts an LDWF Enforcement Division agent in an honor guard uniform with his head bowed honoring fallen agents.  The statue sits on top of a granite pedestal that is engraved with the names of the seven LDWF agents that have been killed in the line of duty.

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA) purchased and donated the statue to LDWF where it permanently stands at their headquarters building.

The following are the agents who are engraved on the pedestal and honored by the statue:

Sgt. Paul Stuckey, 47, end of watch (EOW) Sept. 30, 2011.  Sgt. Stuckey was an 18 year veteran and is survived by his wife and three children.

Agent Jim Matkin, 30, EOW March 2, 2005.  Agent Matkin was a six year veteran and is survived by his parents, two sisters and a step-son.

Capt. John Garlington, 53, EOW Feb. 10, 2000.  Capt. Garlington was a 14 year veteran and is survived by his wife and son.

Agent Leon Henderson, 36, EOW March 30, 1996.  Agent Henderson was a 15 year veteran and is survived by his wife and daughter.

Agent Ricky Dodge, 37, EOW Jan. 21, 1992.  Agent Dodge is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

Agent Kenneth Aycock, 35, EOW July 6, 1991.  Agent Aycock is survived by his wife and two sons.

Agent Frank Fagot, 31, EOW Nov. 29, 1927.  Agent Fagot was survived by his wife and two children.

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

Assumption Parish Man Cited for Killing 49 Sea Gulls in Parking Lot

Release Date: 09/26/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Labadieville man for alleged Migratory Bird Treaty Act violations on Sept. 23.

Agents cited Jackoby D. Bertot, 30, for taking other than non-game migratory birds no season for killing 49 sea gulls in a New Orleans suburb parking lot.

Agents started the investigation after receiving complaints by business managers in Jefferson about an unknown male in a white pickup truck speeding through a resting flock of sea gulls in the Elmwood area parking lot around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 2.

Agents were able to obtain the identity of the driver of the vehicle through interviews, witness statements and multiple surveillance videos.

The maximum penalty for violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is up to a $15,000 fine and six months imprisonment.  Additional fines may be imposed for each bird killed in the alleged incident.

Agents involved in the case are Sgts. Tim Fox, Kris Bourgeois, and Austin Arteaga, Lt. Jason Russo and Capt. Steve McManus.

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

Agenda for Commission Meeting

Release Date: 09/26/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, October 3, 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 September 5, 2013

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports September

5.  To establish the Boyce tract as a Wildlife Management Area and include it in the Maurepas Swamp WMA

6.  To establish the Gewalt tract as a Wildlife Management Area and include it in the Sandy Hollow WMA

7.  Request to change LWFC protocol to introduce Hunting Seasons Rules and Regulations NOIs in January of each year

8.  To consider 2014 General and WMA Turkey Hunting Regulations and Wild Turkey Season: Consideration of Amendment to Hunting Dates on Clear Creek WMA and Consideration of Amended Notice of Intent

9.  Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award

10.  To Consider Notice of Intent to amend the Natural and Scenic River Systems Rules and Regulations

11.  Set February 2014 Meeting Date

12.  Receive Public Comments

13.  Adjournment




LDWF to Offer Special Patch Opportunity for Boy and Girls Scouts attending Baton Rouge National Hunting and Fishing Day Festivities

Release Date: 09/26/2013

September. 26, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is offering local Boy and Girl Scouts an opportunity to earn a special LDWF Scout Patch for their participation in the Baton Rouge area National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) event.  
The first 200 Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts that register at the Scout Registration tent will receive an LDWF Scout Program Activity Book. This book will lead Scouts through 10 LDWF Scout Stations with fun and educational activities. At each station the Scouts will complete the objective listed in the book to receive a stamp. Once they have received all 10 stamps, they can return to the registration table for their LDWF Scout Patch.
For more information, contact Heather David at (225) 763-5415, hdavid@wlf.la.gov or Danica Williams at (504) 628-7282, dwilliams@wlf.la.gov.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 28 at four locations across the state. 
All four events are free. The number and types of exhibits vary at each location but all include exhibits on LDWF management programs, shooting and fishing demonstrations, exhibits from local chapters of Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club and CCA, and supporting businesses from the local communities. Attendees have the chance to try their skills at the shooting ranges, fishing ponds and boating activities, as well as learn about wildlife through interaction with live animals. 
For more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, contact one of the four locations or go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/nhfd2013
LDWF District Office 2
368 Centurylink Dr.
Monroe, LA  71203
(318) 343-4044
Baton Rouge
Waddill Outdoor Education Center
4142 N. Flannery Road
Bodcau Wildlife Management Area

1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.

Haughton, LA.  71037

(318) 371-3050 
Woodworth Outdoor Education Center

661 Robinson Bridge Rd.

Woodworth, LA.  71485

(318) 484-2212


Thistlethwaite WMA Bridge Replacement Underway

Release Date: 09/25/2013

Sept. 25, 2013 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is alerting anyone using Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area that the bridge crossing Bayou Wauksha on the east end of Ricefield Road has been closed.  
The Ricefield Road bridge over Bayou Wauksha is being replaced by the Williams Gas Company and construction completion is anticipated in July of 2014.
The bridge will be closed to all vehicles, including ATV’s normally allowed for those users with Physically Challenged Permits, and pedestrian traffic.
In addition to the bridge closure, the Williams Gas emergency access road from the end of Rice Field Road to East Road will be closed to all hunting from the road for the duration of the bridge construction project. That road can only be used by Williams Gas personnel to access gas monitoring facilities at the end of Ricefield Road.  
Thistlethwaite WMA is located in north central St. Landry Parish, immediately northeast of Washington, off Louisiana Hwy. 10.  Access to the WMA via I-49 is also possible by using the Lebeau exit.
For more information, contact Tony Vidrine at LDWF’s Wildlife Division Opelousas field office at 337-948-0255 or tvidrine@wlf.la.gov .



Archery in Louisiana Schools Program Growing in Popularity

Release Date: 09/25/2013

Archery in Louisiana Schools Program Growing in Popularity

Sept. 25, 2013 -- As a new school year begins, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS) continues efforts to attract participants.
Louisiana’s archery program in schools dates back to 2005. Since that time almost 400 basic archery instructors have been trained.  There are currently 75 Louisiana schools participating in the program.
Each year in March, a state archery competition is held to allow ALAS schools and students to compete against their peers and qualify for national and world tournaments.  The ALAS state tournament attempts to mirror National Archery in the School’s Program (NASP) tournament as closely as possible, following all NASP tournament rules.
The 2013 tournament, the largest so far, was held in the LSU Ag and Extension Service’s Mega Shelter in Alexandria and attracted 535 archers competing from 18 schools and a crowd of 2,000 people. Awards were given to the top 3 teams in each division and the top 5 individuals in each division including elementary, middle school and high school.  Awards were provided by LDWF, NASP and the Quality Deer Management Association.
Archery as an extra-curricular program or part of a school’s physical education activities is ideal because any student who can draw back the bow can participate. Archery in schools programs at all levels can be used by teachers and coaches to build self- confidence in students, and most importantly it’s fun for the kids. Surveys of those who have been introduced to archery indicate 89 percent like it and 62 percent said they love it.
Teachers surveyed indicate that they have seen improved confidence, motivation, attendance, attitude and behavior.  It also adds another non-gender specific competitive opportunity for the school and students who become involved develop pride in their school.
Some students may choose to develop their skills for hunting, but all who participate have the opportunity to compete beyond high school and hone their skills based on the practice time dedicated to target shooting.
So how big are archery programs for students outside of Louisiana? In 2012, more students in the U.S. participated in NASP than in Little League Baseball.  Currently 47 U.S. states participate, as well as six Canadian provinces, and even countries such as: Botswana, Mongolia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.  Last year almost 44,000 students participated in state tournaments, and nearly 9,500 shot at the 2013 Nationals.  And if anyone thinks this is just a boys sport, 43 percent of those shooters were female.
Over 10 million students have participated in NASP since 2002, with over 10,440 schools participating.  The program is currently growing by about 1,600 schools per year.
For more information, visit  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/archery/archery-louisiana-schools-alas or contact Robert Stroede, LDWF’s program coordinator at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov .




Release Date: 09/24/2013

Sept. 24, 2013 - In a move anticipated by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials, NOAA Fisheries rejected red snapper landing estimates from its own Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) and set a 14 day fall season in Louisiana federal waters beginning next Tuesday, Oct. 1.  Estimated recreational landings of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico after the first federal season in June indicated that the entire 2013 recreational allowable harvest had been exceeded by more than 14 percent; at that time these estimates had not even accounted for Texas landings. 

NOAA Fisheries’ justification for a supplemental season is recorded in a Sept. 9, addendum to the June 9, 2013 report “Estimated 2013 Season Lengths for a Fall Reopening of the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Recreational Season” and states the following:

At this time, NOAA Fisheries does not have a sufficient understanding of how to use the new MRIP landing estimates without better understanding how they fit into the broader scientific basis for red snapper management, which includes the stock assessment and the full historical times series of fishery dependent and independent data.”

“Assuming catch rates are 75 percent of summer catch rates, the season length would be 14 days (i.e., Oct 1‐Oct 14).”

“’No sufficient understanding’, ’assuming’, this is exactly why Louisiana is conducting its own recreational survey.” stated Assistant Secretary of Fisheries Randy Pausina.  “How can I have confidence making fishery management decisions in Louisiana based on recreational landing data that NMFS themselves barely understand?”

The fall federal season will begin Oct. 1, and end Oct. 14, with a two fish limit and a minimum size of 16 inches.  In an effort to provide for compatible regulations in Louisiana state waters, LDWF Secretary Barham, with the support of the Wildlife & Fisheries Commission, is opening state waters concurrently with the federal opening. 

State Red Snapper Season

The Louisiana, weekend-only season will end Sunday, September 29.  There will be NO red snapper fishing on Monday, September 30.  State and federal waters will be open on Oct. 1, with a two-fish limit and a 16-inch minimum. 

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.


Two Texas Men Arrested For Crab Theft in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 09/24/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested and cited two Texas residents on Sept. 20 for crab theft and other fishing violations in Cameron Parish.

Agents arrested Jireh A. Slaughter, 21, and Tevvin T. Jones, 20, both of Orange, Texas, for theft of crabs; taking commercial fish without a license, without a gear license and without a vessel license; violating interstate commerce regulations; and resisting an officer by flight.

During August and September the LDWF Enforcement Division received numerous complaints of crab theft from several commercial fishermen fishing in Black Bayou in Cameron Parish.  Agents responded by increasing patrols in this area assisted by Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division deputies.

On Sept. 19, a commercial fisherman was watching his own crab traps and observed two men in a vessel stealing crabs from his traps.  He contacted an enforcement agent but was observed by the men before agents were able to arrive.  The men abandoned their vessel and dumped the harvested crabs in the marsh.  The two men then left the vessel and hid in the marsh nearby.

When the agents arrived, they called out to the men to come out of hiding.  After obtaining the suspects’ names from an overdue boater report from the Orange County Texas Sheriff’s Office, agents then contacted Louisiana State Police, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and Cameron Sheriff’s Office for air support and additional officers to assist in the search for these men.

After leading a 14 hour search during severe weather and harsh conditions, LDWF agents received a phone call from an Orange County Deputy saying that the two men arrived at their residence.  The two men walked through the marsh for 14 hours and swam the Sabine River in order to make it back to Texas.

The two men surrendered themselves to LDWF agents at their office in Lake Charles on Sept. 20. The two men were subsequently arrested and booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.

Theft of crabs brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking commercial fish without a license, without a gear license and without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Violating interstate commerce regulations brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Resisting an officer by flight carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Participating in the search and investigation were LDWF agents Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Stuart Guillory, and Senior Agents Sean Moreau, Anthony Verret, Carl Pickett, and Jason Stagg; Louisiana State Police Master Pilot Damion Mayer and Master Pilot Steven Lee; Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ron Johnson and Deputy Ryan Mareno; and Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sammy Faulk and Deputy Benji Primeaux.

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

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