L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Elmer’s Island to be Closed June 3 Through June 5 to the Public

Release Date: 06/01/2012

May 31, 2012 – Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge, located in Jefferson Parish, will be closed to the general public Sunday, June 3 through Tuesday, June 5.  Regular hours of operation will resume on Wednesday, June 6 at 6 a.m.

Elmer's Island Wildlife Refuge, owned and maintained by the state of Louisiana, is a 230-acre tract of barrier beachfront located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish. It is located directly across Caminada Pass from Grand Isle, LA.

For more information on the island, including hours of operation and rules and regulations, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/elmers-island.

L.D.W.F. Announces 2012 Alligator Lottery Hunts

Release Date: 06/01/2012

June 1, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in order to increase alligator harvest opportunities, will conduct alligator lottery hunts on four Coastal and Nongame Resources (CNR) Division Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 15 Wildlife Division WMAs and 24 public lakes for the 2012 alligator harvest season.

The CNR Division WMAs include: Atchafalaya Delta WMA, St. Mary Parish; Pass A Loutre WMA, Plaquemines Parish; Pointe Aux Chenes WMA, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes; and Salvador/Timken WMAs, St. Charles Parish. 

The Wildlife Division WMAs include: Big Lake WMA, Tensas Parish; Boeuf WMA, Caldwell Parish; Buckhorn WMA, Tensas Parish; Elm Hall WMA, Assumption Parish; Grassy Lake WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Joyce WMA, Tangipahoa Parish; Manchac WMA, St. John the Baptist Parish; Maurepas Swamp WMA, St. John the Baptist, St. James, Livingston and Ascension parishes; Sherburne WMA (state portion only), Pointe Coupee and St. Martin parishes; Spring Bayou WMA, Avoyelles Parish; Pearl River WMA, St. Tammany Parish; Red River WMA, Concordia Parish; Three Rivers WMA, Concordia Parish; Dewey Wills WMA, LaSalle and Catahoula Parishes; and Russell Sage WMA, Ouachita and Morehouse Parishes.

The public lakes include: Lake Bistineau, Webster, Bossier and Bienville parishes; Lake Wallace, Caddo Parish; Black/Cypress Lake, Bossier Parish; Cross Lake, Caddo Parish; Kepler Lake, Bienville Parish; Bayou Desiard North, Ouachita Parish; Caney Lake, Jackson Parish; Bayou Bartholomew, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes; Kincaid Lake, Rapides Parish; Indian Creek, Rapides Parish; Lake Iatt, Grant Parish; Cotile Lake, Rapides Parish; Nantachie Lake, Grant Parish; Saline Lake, Winn Parish; Toledo Bend, Desoto and Sabine parishes; Lake Bruin, Tensas Parish; Lake Concordia, Concordia Parish; Lake St. John, Tensas Parish; Lake St. Joseph, Tensas Parish; Anacoco Lake, Vernon Parish; Caddo Lake, Caddo Parish; Black Lake, Natchitoches Parish; Bundicks Lake, Beauregard Parish; and Lake D’Arbonne, Union Parish.

Interested participants may print out an application from LDWF’s website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts or request an application by phone for CNR Division WMAs at 337-373-0032 or Wildlife Division WMAs and public lakes at 225-765-2346.

To assist applicants in selecting specific WMAs/public lakes, LDWF has posted the percentage of lottery alligator harvest applicants selected in 2011 by WMA or public lake on its website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lottery-alligator-harvest-program.

Applications and non-refundable application fees ($5) must be submitted to the address indicated on corresponding applications and be postmarked by July 6, 2012.  Only one of the three available lottery alligator harvest applications (CNR Division WMA, Wildlife Division WMA or Wildlife Division Public Lakes) may be submitted per applicant.  Additional applications will result in voiding all applications of the applicant.

The lottery alligator harvests will be conducted between Aug. 29 and Oct. 4.  Exact harvest dates will vary by WMA/public lake and will be specified at the time selected hunters are notified.

Applicants must be a legal Louisiana resident and 16 years of age or older.  All successful applicants will be required to purchase an alligator hunting license ($25).  Successful applicants for WMAs will be required to submit payments ($40) for each alligator tag allocated.

All applicants meeting the application requirements will be entered into a randomized computer drawing, which will take place by August, 2012.  Selected hunters will be notified by mail.

For more information concerning CNR Division WMAs, contact Lance Campbell at 337-373-0032 or ljcampbell@wlf.la.gov.  For more information concerning Wildlife Division WMAs or public lakes, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2346 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

 

Agents Curtail Underage Drinking and Illegal Drugs on Scenic River

Release Date: 06/01/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited numerous people with drug and alcohol charges on May 26 on the Ouiska Chitto River in Allen Parish.

LDWF agents coordinated a multi-agency operation on the Ouiska Chitto River North of Hwy. 26 with the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office, Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Phelps Correctional Center Officers.

“The Ouiska Chitto River is a Louisiana scenic river that attracts numerous people for its canoeing, tubing, fishing and camping activities.  Unfortunately, this scenic river also attracts those who choose to engage in underage drinking, illegal drug activity and littering,” said LDWF Capt. Jubal Marceaux who is in charge of the Lake Charles Region.  “Hopefully the success of this operation sends a strong message that local law enforcement and the community are serious in maintaining a safe, clean, fun and family atmosphere for all law abiding citizens here in Louisiana and our tourists.”

The multi-agency operation conducted safe boating stops from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a sand bar along the river.  During the operation, officers checked 150 to 200 canoes resulting in several citations issued.

Richard R. Beaubeuef, 35, of Deville; Jeremy D. Deville, 29, of Deville; Dane D. Bruce Jr., 33, of Eros; Alicia F. Porcell, 27 of Deville; Mare A. Marlin, 24, of Sulphur; Kerry W. Downs, 30, of Deville; Eric S. Fasske, 39, of Lake Charles; Justin L. Smith, 22, of Sweetlake; Rusty D. Tweedel, 32, of Oberlin; Scotty O. Gill, 32, of Pitkin; Gerrad N. Nicholous, 24, of Vidor, Texas; and Martin J. Guillory II, 30, were all cited with illegal possession of marijuana.  Illegal possession of marijuana brings a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

O. Gill and Nicholous were also charged with intentional littering and each could face up to a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.

Guillory II was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine.  Drug paraphernalia brings up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.  Possession of methamphetamine carries up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Mitchell J. Bares, 18, of Maurice, Lance P. Sonnier, 19, of Dry Creek, and three juveniles were all cited for underage possession of alcohol, which brings up to a $100 fine or up to six months in jail.

Steven R. Deese, 38, of Lake Charles; Blade R. Henry, 21, of Lake Charles;  Christopher J. Templait, 22, of Sulpher; Jake E. Ghagan, 21, of Dry Creek; Mary A. Philyaw, 45, of Natchitoches; John C. Gagareaux Jr., 19, of Alexandria; Guillory II and Sonnier were all cited for possession of a glass container on scenic river.  Each could face a fine up to $250.

Agents involved with the operation were Lt. Jesse Savoie, Sgt’s. Scott D. Fontenot and Keith Aucoin, and Senior Agents Steve Vidrine, Danon Maricle, Wendell Vaughn and Stuart Guillory.

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

Louisiana’s Free Fishing Weekend Set For June 9-10

Release Date: 05/31/2012

May 31, 2012  -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is encouraging licensed fishermen to help promote the outdoor sport by introducing someone to fishing during this year’s “Free Fishing Weekend” on June 9-10.

The promotional fishing dates are provided for novices and non-anglers, ages 16 and over, to experience recreational fishing in fresh or salt water without the purchase of a recreational fishing license.  The program is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) efforts to attract more participants into the ranks of licensed fishermen.  Fishing license fees support LDWF's conservation efforts including habitat management.

"No fishing license will be required for residents or non-residents on the weekend of June 9-10," said John Sturgis, LDWF education manager.  "If you fish regularly, use this opportunity to bring someone along who may not.” 

"Free Fishing Weekend" is a part of Fishing Week in Louisiana that runs from June 4 to 10. The state offers some of the best bank and pier fishing opportunities in the south within state and parish park facilities.

In conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend, LDWF is working with supporting sponsors to offer the following events on Saturday, June 9:

Kids Fishing Rodeo at Waddill Wildlife Refuge
4142 N. Flannery Road, Baton Rouge

  • Fishing competition from 7 to 11 a.m.
  • Loaner fishing gear will be available first come, first serve.
  • Prizes to be awarded at 11:15 a.m. provided by Bass Pro Shops-Denham Springs.
  • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
  • For more information, call 225-274-8089.

 

Lake D’Arbonne State Park Kids Fishing Derby
3628 Evergreen Road, Farmerville

  • Registration begins at 8 a.m. for the fishing contest at 9 a.m. and bait casting contest at 10 a.m. with awards to be presented before noon.Contest age groups, 6-9 and 10-14.
  • Grand prizes: 2 bicycles donated by Academy Sports & Outdoors; one per age group.
  • Fishing gear: 100 fiberglass fishing poles donated by the Association of LA Bass Clubs will be given out free to the first 100 kids.
  • LDWF will provide bait for the fishing contest.
  • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • For more information, call Lake D'Arbonne State Park at 318-368-6291.

 

Louisiana Saltwater Series Youth Fishing Event at Elmer’s Island
EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO THREAT OF INCLEMENT WEATHER
-- (Click here for more information!)
LA Hwy. 1, Grand Isle

  • Tournament hours: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • First 50 youth to sign up will receive a free rod and reel to bring home from Cabela’s.  Register online at www.lasaltwaterseries.com .  
  • Additional activities: fish tagging, cast netting, seining, fish cleaning demo.
  • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Call Danica Williams for more information, ph. 504-628-7282.

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.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series Hosts Its First Youth Tournament

Release Date: 05/30/2012

Louisiana Saltwater Series youth tournament

May 30, 2012 -- On Saturday, May 26, over 30 young anglers converged at Myrtle Grove Marina for the first annual Louisiana Saltwater Series youth tournament.  The tournament gave these young anglers the opportunity to watch their catch get tagged and released, thus becoming part of the ongoing Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Cooperative Sport Fish Tagging Program. 

Recreational anglers are increasingly conscious of the need to conserve the fish they love to pursue.  More and more tournaments are adopting an all-release format, including the Louisiana Saltwater Series, which was founded on conservation-based principles.  One of the primary goals of the youth tournament is to pass this mentality along to the next generation. 

Thirty-seven fish were tagged and released by the young anglers, including redfish, spotted seatrout, black drum and sheepshead. 

“It’s fun for the kids to get out and fish,” said LDWF Program Manager Danica Williams.  “There are so many tournaments out there for adults, but not many hands-on opportunities for kids, especially with regard to tag and release fishing.  This is one way to get kids out fishing and learning a lifelong skill.”

The event drew in more than 30 kids, ages 4 to 13.  Participants received a t-shirt plus lots of fishing goodies to take home. 

“This is the first time we’ve hosted a youth tournament, so any number of entrants was a record for us,” explained Williams.  “However, the number of kids pre-registered for our next youth tournament already exceeds this weekend’s total.”

Winners include: Michael Schieble, 1st place overall and redfish; Caleb Hooter, 1st place trout; Campbell Barcelona, 1st place black drum; and Trevor Logrande, 1st place sheepshead.

The LASS plans to host another youth tournament in conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend on Saturday, June 9 at Elmer’s Island from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For more information, visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

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 inquries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.

Act 68 Allows Breech Loading Rifles of .35 or Larger Caliber to Be Used During Primitive Firearm Deer Season

Release Date: 05/29/2012

May 29, 2012 -- Act 68 of the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Regular Session, signed by Governor Bobby Jindal, allows breech loading rifles of .35 or larger caliber to be used during the primitive firearm deer season.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, recently approved a list of primitive firearm calibers, smaller than .38, that would be legal for deer hunting in the state beginning with the 2012-13 hunting season.  That specific list of primitive firearm calibers is no longer needed since the .35 caliber or larger designation includes the calibers the Commission had approved.

The new definition of a legal firearm for the primitive firearm season will now include: single shot, breech loading rifles, .35 caliber or larger, having an exposed hammer that uses metallic cartridges loaded either with black powder or modern, smokeless powder.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@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.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Next Week in New Orleans

Release Date: 05/29/2012

 

May 29, 2012 – The next meeting of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force will be next Tuesday, June 5, in New Orleans at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center in Suite 210.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1.   Roll Call

2.    Approval of April 3, 2012 minutes

3.    Treasury Report

       a.   Oyster Tag Sales

       b.   LOTF Financial Report

4.   Committee Reports

       a.     Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)

       b.     Enforcement  - (Steve McManus)

       c.     Legislative -  (Jakov Jurisic)

       d.     Research – (John Supan)

       e.     Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)

       f.      Marketing -

       g.     Health – (Tenney Sibley)

5.   Old Business

        a.    BP Oil Spill Remediation

                 i.   Claims Process

                 ii.   Public Reef Remediation

                 iii.  Oyster Lease Remediation

         b.    2012 Legislative Update

         c.    Update on Refrigeration Requirements and Compliance with the NSSP (DHH)

6.   New Business

           a.    Drue Banta- update on NRDA process.

           b.    Tom Soniat- Dermo study

7.   Set Next Meeting

8.   Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

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 more information please contact Ashley Roth at Ashley@louisianaseafood.com or (504) 286-8735.

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet Next Week in New Orleans

Release Date: 05/29/2012

 

May 29, 2012 - The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, June 5, at 10 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans Advanced Technology Building located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1. Approval of Minutes from January 10, 2012 Meeting

2. Hearing of New Appeals

            a. Curtis J. Alfonso

3. Discussion of Act 85 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session

4. Set next meeting date

5. Adjourn

This board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.

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 more information please contact Ty Lindsey at (225) 765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov

LDWF Agents Arrest Iberia Parish Man for Crab and Motor Theft

Release Date: 05/29/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a New Iberia Man for allegedly stealing crabs and a boat motor.

Agents arrested Patrick D. Bourgeois, 42, for removing crabs from traps in Vermilion Bay, failing to have a commercial license, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license or vessel license, and possessing over 20 percent of undersized crabs on May 10.  Commercial crab fishermen are allowed to keep 10 percent of their undersized crab catch of crabs less than 5 inches.

Agents were working the Vermilion Bay area after receiving complaints of someone stealing crabs and traps from commercial fishermen.  Agents allegedly observed Bourgeois removing and possessing 198 pounds of crabs from traps belonging to other commercial fishermen.

Crab theft and possession of 10 percent of undersized crabs each carry a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking fish without a commercial license, gear license and vessel license each bring a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Bourgeois was also found to be in possession of an outboard with serial numbers that were removed.  Agents were able to allegedly determine that the outboard belonged to one of Bourgeois’ neighbors that lived several houses down in New Iberia. 

On May 16, agents executed an arrest warrant and booked Bourgeois in to the Iberia Parish jail for the felony possession of stolen things.  The penalty for this charge is up to a $2,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Mitch Darby, Sgt. Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Brian Theriot and Senior Agent David Boudreaux.

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

Allen Parish Resident Arrested for Second Offense Alligator Violation

Release Date: 05/25/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Basile man for an alleged alligator violation on May 21 in Allen Parish.

Agents cited Michael R. Gaspard, 18, for second offense taking or possessing an alligator during a closed season, operating an unregistered motor vehicle without insurance and booked him into the Allen Parish Jail.

Senior Agent Wendel Vaughn allegedly observed Gaspard load a 5-foot alligator, which he caught on the Calcasieu River, into the extended cab portion of a small white truck.  When Senior Agent Vaughn approached the vehicle he found the alligator behind the front seat with a hook and line still in its mouth.  Gaspard and a 15-year-old juvenile admitted to catching the alligator.

Senior Agent Vaughn ran Gaspard’s record and discovered that he was issued citations by LDWF Agents on Jan. 26, 2012 for the possession of alligators during a closed season.  The juvenile was issued a citation for taking or possessing an alligator during a closed season and released to a family member. 

Gaspard and the juvenile each face fines ranging from $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail for possessing an alligator during a closed season.  Operating a motor vehicle without a registration brings a fine up to $100 and up to 30 days in jail.  Operating a vehicle without insurance carries a $50 fine. Gaspard was also charged civil restitution value of the alligator totaling $375.80.

Alligator season in Allen Parish runs from the first Wednesday in September and stays open for 30 days.

Gaspard’s trial date for his first offense of possessing an alligator during a closed season has been set for July.

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

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