LDWF News

LDWF News Release

High Speed Pursuit Ends in Arrest for Drugs

Release Date: 12/14/2015

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agent arrested a West Monroe man on Dec. 13 for alleged drug related charges in Ouachita Parish.
 
The agent arrested Dustin W. Wages, 26, for possession of methamphetamines, driving a vehicle while intoxicated (DWI), aggravated flight from an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, no driver’s license and no taillights. 
 
LDWF Agent Tyler Wheeler was on patrol in Chenier Lake Park when he spotted a vehicle parked with two people inside.  Nighttime activity inside Chenier Park Lake is restricted after dark.
 
Agent Wheeler attempted to make contact with the subjects inside the vehicle, but the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed.  When the vehicle was travelling down the road Agent Wheeler noticed it also had no taillights.  Agent Wheeler then put on blue lights to attempt to stop the vehicle.
 
Agent Wheeler chased the vehicle on a five mile high speed pursuit that ended when the vehicle being operated by Wages hit two parked cars and finally stopping after hitting a telephone pole on East Bawcom Street.
 
Agent Wheeler ordered Wages and the passenger to remain in the vehicle.  Agent Wheeler and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies then were able to detain Wages.
 
After further investigation, authorities found meth in Wages possession and determined him to be intoxicated.  Wages was then placed under arrest and booked into the Ouachita Parish Jail.
 
Possession of methamphetamine carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.  Aggravated flight from an officer brings up to a $2,000 fine and five years in jail.  A DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Possession of drug paraphernalia brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
 
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
 
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Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Secures $31 Million in Coastal Funding

Release Date: 12/14/2015

Dec. 14, 2015 -- A $31 million segmented breakwater project at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge was approved at the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection Restoration Act (CWPPRA) meeting Dec. 10.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), which owns and manages Rockefeller, will use the funding to construct and maintain 2.5 miles of breakwater structure initially with the potential to reach nine miles in length. The rock walls will begin on the west side of Joseph’s Harbor Pass and extend westward.
 
“We are pleased to see this project receive the funding it deserves since this area is an erosional hotspot and needs shoreline protection,” said Rockefeller Program Manager Scooter Trosclair. “Southwest Louisiana understands the need for shoreline protection and at Rockefeller we want to maintain our shoreline and demonstrate to other parts of the state viable shoreline stabilization methods. This will be one of the longest continuous spans of breakwaters in the Gulf of Mexico.”
 
CWPPRA held the meeting at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge and voted on four projects that were ready for the Phase II construction.  Phase II construction means the projects have been demonstrated through modeling or small scale demonstrations that confirm the restoration technique can work. Of the four, three were passed. The votes are cast on a weighted scale, the first place project was the segmented breakwater project at Rockefeller.
 
Rockefeller Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project, also called ME-18 (Mermentau Basin, 18th project), has been awaiting a CWPPRA vote of approval for a few years. The project was supported heavily by Rockefeller users, Cameron Parish Police Jury, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Chenier Plain Authority Board and falls in line with the State’s Coastal Master Plan.  Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017.
 
For more information contact Gabe Giffin (ggiffin@wlf.la.gov) or visit rwrefuge.com/me-18.
 
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.
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Facebook Photos Leads to Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/11/2015

December 11, 2015 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Wisner man for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 10 in Franklin Parish.

 

Agents cited Jacob W. Jones, 39, for taking a six point buck with no basic or big game hunting licenses and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

 

LDWF agents were alerted by anonymous complaints about a photo of Jones with a harvested deer that Jones put on his Facebook page.  During the investigation, agents learned that Jones killed the deer on Dec. 9 in Franklin Parish, but did not possess the required basic and big game licenses nor deer tags.

 

Hunting without basic and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Jones may also face civil restitution for the deer totaling $1,624.61.

 

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Scott Watson and Sgt. Joe Chandler.

 

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

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Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting Committee to Meet 12-15-15

Release Date: 12/11/2015

Oyster Task Force

Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting Committee

John Tesvich, Chairman

Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 10:30 A.M.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

AGENDA

 

I.               Roll Call and introduction of guests

II.             Continuing discussion on issues and parameters to follow in lifting oyster lease moratorium

III.           Set next meeting date

III.         Adjourn

 

 

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/565242806263242754

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.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup.

For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

Bodcau WMA Shooting Range to Close Dec. 11-12 for Range Improvements

Release Date: 12/10/2015

Dec. 10, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will close the shooting range at Bodcau Wildlife Management Area on Dec. 11 and 12 for facility improvements. The rifle portion of the range will re-open Sunday, Dec. 13.

While the pistol portion of the range will remain closed for the duration of the project, the rifle range will be open. However, there may be additional closures as needed to facilitate the completion of the project. Beyond the closure dates of Dec. 11-12, range users are advised to call 318-326-3225 to verify that the facility is open prior to traveling to the site. The improvement project is scheduled for completion in February .

Bodcau WMA is located in Bossier and Webster parishes, approximately 30 miles northeast of Shreveport. The shooting range provides for rifle and handgun target shooting at 25, 50, 100, and 200 yards. A shotgun range offers manual target throwers and an archery range provides stationary field targets.

The range facility is located at 168 Ben Durden Road, Haughton, La., within the WMA.

Range hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and there are no fees charged for range use.

For more information, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/bodcau-wma or contact Todd Buffington at LDWF’s Minden office, ph. 318-371-3050 or tbuffington@wlf.la.gov.

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Commercial Fishing For Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks To Open In State Waters January 1st

Release Date: 12/10/2015

News Release
 
For Immediate Release
December 10, 2015
 
Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
 
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov
 
Commercial fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2016.  Federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.
 
The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2016 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2016 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.   The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings, as laid out in federal and state regulations. 
 
The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.  While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. Commercial fishing for Large Coastal Sharks will remain open until 80 percent of the federal quota (769,421 pounds dressed weight) has been met.
 
Commercial fishing for Small Coastal Sharks will resume in Louisiana waters on January 1, as well, through December 31, 2016, or until 80 percent of the federal quota (236,603 pounds dressed weight) has been met.  The Small Coastal Shark fishery consists of the commercial fisheries for blacknose and non-blacknose small coastal sharks.  Blacknose sharks are a member of the Small Coastal Shark group; however they are managed under a separate quota that is linked to the overall Small Coastal Shark quota.  The Small Coastal Shark group is composed of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark and remained open for all of 2015. 
 
There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include Basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.
 
For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov. 
 
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.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF Enhances Spawning Habitat on False River

Release Date: 12/09/2015

(Dec. 9, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury recently completed the installation of the three gravel beds on False River near New Roads to enhance fish spawning habitat on the lake. Siltation had previously covered much of the lake’s natural hard bottom, essential for nesting sportfish.
 
Approximately 24 yards of gravel provided by the police jury were distributed throughout three locations. These beds play an important role in the restoration of False River and promote the spawning of bass, bream and sac-a-lait.
 
Each spawning bed is roughly 400 square feet, measuring in strips of 20-foot by 20- foot or 10-foot by 40-foot, and measuring in thickness of about four inches of gravel. 
 
Alterations that occurred primarily during the 1970s and 80s along and within this oxbow lake’s watershed resulted in deterioration of the water quality, aquatic vegetation and fisheries. A watershed management plan was drafted in 2013 to address issues within the watershed. The plan draws from the expertise of many parish, state and federal agencies, including LDWF, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, as well as other local stakeholders.
 
With the completion of this project, a total of ten artificial reef beds were installed on the lake as part of the False River Restoration Plan.
 
For video footage of gravel bed installation, click here.  

Harvest of Seed Oysters to Close On Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of MS River and South of MRGO

Release Date: 12/07/2015

News Release

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2015

Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes shall close in all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), including the Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation, at one half hour after sunset on Friday, December 11, 2015.  This public oyster area remains open for the harvest of oysters three inches in length or greater for market purposes. These public oyster seed grounds hold a limited oyster supply and harvest pressure during the oyster season, which opened on October 19, has depleted the seed oyster resource and removed excessive amounts of non-living reef material.  Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area. 

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered.  The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

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.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Oyster Harvest to Close On Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of MS River and North of MRGO

Release Date: 12/04/2015

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that the harvest of oysters shall close in all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), including Lake Borgne, at one half hour after sunset on Monday, December 7, 2015.  Oyster harvest south of the MRGO will remain open until further notice.

Since the season opened on October 19, 2015, excessive undersize oyster violations have occurred in this area indicating that the vast majority of the remaining oyster resources are sub-market size (less than three inches in length).  The closure is necessary to protect undersized oysters, allowing growth for future harvest opportunities.  Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area.

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered.  The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

11 Juvenile Whooping Cranes Added to Louisiana’s Experimental Population

Release Date: 12/04/2015

11 juvenile whooping cranes arrive at White Lake WCA Dec. 3 to become part of Louisiana’s experimental population.
11 juvenile whooping cranes arrive at White Lake WCA Dec. 3 to become part of Louisiana’s experimental population.
11 juvenile whooping cranes arrive at White Lake WCA Dec. 3 to become part of Louisiana’s experimental population.

Dec. 4, 2015 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists received a sixth cohort of juvenile whooping cranes at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) near Gueydan on Thursday, Dec. 3. The 11 young cranes add to the state’s resident population established through an LDWF species restoration project.

 
With the addition of the eight females and three males, Louisiana’s whooping crane population increases to 46.
 
“We’re beginning year six of this project, and I want to continue to encourage the public to support our biologists in our endeavor by observing the cranes from a distance and reporting any sightings of injured birds or anyone attempting to harm them in any way,’’ LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said. “We are blessed to have many private landowners who have assisted us by working with our staff when the cranes roost on their property and we thank them for their help.’’
 
The White Lake WCA location in Vermilion Parish provides temporary shelter for the birds before their release into the wild. The cranes, which hatched in early May through mid-June, were raised at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., and flown to Louisiana by the Windway Capital Corporation.
 
LDWF continues to work cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, ICF and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to return the species to the state. Project funding comes from LDWF species restoration dedicated funds, federal funds and private/corporate donations, which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Major corporate funding support to date has been provided by Chevron and ConocoPhillips.
 
The whooping cranes in Louisiana are designated as a non-essential, experimental population (NEP) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation were developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area. The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.
Hunters, fishermen and anyone who spends time in the marshes and rice fields of Louisiana are reminded that whooping cranes in Louisiana are still protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be pursued, harassed, captured or killed.
Waterfowl hunters should be accustomed to seeing large-bodied, white birds with black wing-tips, such as white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, which must be distinguished from the legally-hunted snow geese.  Mature whooping cranes are equally identifiable as they stand five feet tall and have a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet. Easily identifiable characteristics of whooping cranes in flight include black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
The LDWF has set up an online reporting form for anyone who sees a whooping crane and encourages the public to share the encounter. That form is available here:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form .
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information immediately to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender. 
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or the LDWF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Louisiana-Department-of-Wildlife-and-Fisheries-Whooping-Cranes-733006696805446/?fref=ts.
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