LDWF News Release

LDWF Closes Elmer’s Island Due to Tropical Storm Karen

Release Date: 10/04/2013

October 4, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announces the temporary closing of Elmer's Island, located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish. The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a tropical storm warning from Grand Isle to the Mouth of the Pearl River. As a precautionary and preparedness measure Elmer's Island will remain closed until further notice.

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 more information contact Rene LeBreton at 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.



LWFC Adopts Revised Protocol for Adopting Hunting Season Rules and Regulations

Release Date: 10/04/2013

Oct. 4, 2013 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a revised protocol for adoption of amendments to hunting seasons and regulations during their Oct. 3 meeting.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries requested the change to combine the proposals presented annually for season dates with the general and WMA hunting season rules and regulations. The new protocol will also provide earlier dissemination of season dates and rules for public comment.

Starting in 2014, the Commission will  receive LDWF staff recommendations in January and will announce a notice of intent at their January meeting, instead of February.  Public meetings around the state will occur during the period February 24 to March 1 each year, allowing hearings to be held on Saturday in most years. Following receipt of public comments and any amendments to the notice, the Commission will adopt the provisions of the notice of intent, with any amendments, in April.

The Legislative oversight committee will then review all proposed rules, regulations and dates prior to June, allowing final ratification of the rule in early June..

The new time frame will provide for a more timely printing and distribution schedule for the department’s hunting regulations pamphlet in mid-summer, instead of late summer.

For more information, contact Kenny Ribbeck, Chief of Wildlife Division, kribbeck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2346.




LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized at October Commission Meeting

Release Date: 10/03/2013

LDWF Enforcement Agent Recognized at October Commission Meeting

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was honored at the Oct. 3 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International presented their Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Sgt. Lance Devillier, of Lawtell.  The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement.

Devillier has been an LDWF agent for seven years and was recently promoted to sergeant and mainly patrols St. Landry, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes.

Devillier also received the LDWF Enforcement Division’s “2013 Agent of the Year” award.  Devillier teaches boating safety classes and is one of the leading agents in making driving or operating a vessel or vehicle while under the influence cases.

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

L.D.W.F. Proposes Revised Rules for Scenic River Regulations

Release Date: 10/03/2013

Oct. 3, 2013 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a notice of intent today to amend the rules governing the Natural and Scenic Rivers System.

Recommendations to amend the existing rules were made by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

Some of the NOI proposed changes include:

  • Prohibiting the use of a motor vehicle or other wheeled or tracked vehicle on a designated system stream, except for permitted uses and direct crossings by immediately adjacent landowners, lessees, and persons who have written permission from the landowner for non-commercial activities that do not significantly degrade the ecological integrity of the stream.
  • Requiring a permit for a moored houseboat or floating camp, except when moored to a legally permitted piling, pier or bulkhead or moored to trees using connections that do not damage the trees and with written permission of the owner of the trees. A permit or letter of certification from the parish health unit, verifying an approved sewerage disposal system is on board, would also be required.

To review the full NOI document, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Interested persons may submit comments on the proposed changes to Keith Cascio, Scenic Rivers Coordinator, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email at kcascio@wlf.la.gov through Dec. 20, 2013 [the original Nov. 29, 2013 deadline for comments has been extended].



Recreational Harvest of Gray Triggerfish to Close in Louisiana State Waters

Release Date: 10/02/2013

Oct. 2, 2013 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced recreational fishing for gray triggerfish will close in Louisiana waters, at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and will remain closed until January 1, 2014.

NOAA Fisheries has determined that the recreational quota of 217,000 pounds was met, and the closure is necessary to prevent further overfishing. Federal waters will also close on Oct. 15.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at its January 2013 meeting to change or modify the opening and closing dates for any recreational reef fish season in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters will be consistent with regulations for federally managed waters.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance @wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.




State Wildlife Management Areas and Refuges to Remain Open During Federal Shutdown

Release Date: 10/01/2013

Oct. 1, 2013 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) properties, including state wildlife management areas and state wildlife refuges will remain open during the federal government shutdown that affects federal wildlife refuges, preserves and national forest properties in Louisiana.
As deer and resident small game hunting seasons open this week, Louisiana hunters can access nearly 1.5 million acres of LDWF-managed public hunting areas.
To learn what is available, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma . For more information, contact Steve Smith at 318-623-9425 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.
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.



L.D.W.F. Enforcement Division Academy to Enroll 30 Cadets for Training This Fall

Release Date: 10/01/2013

Oct. 1, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Law Enforcement Division will begin training cadets in December to bolster the ranks of agents in the field in 2014.

The cadets will train at the department’s training facility housed within the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge. Successful completion of six months of intensive physical and academic training is required to graduate.

“An LDWF enforcement agent has a tremendous responsibility, protecting Louisiana’s rich natural resources, and those who enjoy those resources, whether in the field or on the water,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “And those responsibilities extend to response efforts during natural disasters when citizens need assistance in areas impacted.”

At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training required for all state law enforcement officers.

Agents are additionally trained for search and rescue and serve as the lead responders in search and rescue coordination under the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The 2014 class of graduating agents will fill field office vacancies around the state.

Interested applicants can apply on line through the Department of Civil Service website and must complete the LEAPS test to qualify for consideration. Please visit the civil service website at http://www.civilservice.louisiana.gov/ for “Wildlife Enforcement Cadet” and LEAPS testing application information.

LDWF is charged with managing, conserving, and promoting wise utilization of Louisiana's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their supporting habitats through replenishment, protection, enhancement, research, development, and education for the social and economic benefit of current and future generations; to provide opportunities for knowledge of and use and enjoyment of these resources; and to promote a safe and healthy environment for the users of the resources.

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

LDWF Holds Ceremony to Honor Fallen Agents

Release Date: 10/01/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) held a ceremony on Oct. 1 to honor those Enforcement Division agents who have died in the line of duty.  The ceremony took place beside the “Fallen Agents” statue that was erected outside of the LDWF HQ building in Baton Rouge earlier this year.

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

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.

“This statue will permanently serve as a reminder of those agents who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while enforcing our conservation game and boating laws,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “This statue also emphasizes how dangerous an agent’s job can be on a day to day basis.”

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA) purchased and donated the statue to LDWF where it will permanently stand 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.

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.

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