Sample News

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Grand River

Release Date: 07/18/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Iberville Parish that occurred on July 12.

The body of Bud T. Henley, 52, of Franklinton, was recovered from the Grand River shortly after being involved in head on collision with another vessel around 7 a.m. on July 12.

Henley was the operator of a 17-foot vessel when he collided with another 17-foot vessel.  Henley was ejected from the vessel into the water where he was found deceased.  Both Henley’s passenger and the other operator sustained injuries and were taken to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  It is unknown at this time what caused the vessels to collide.  Henley's body was turned over to the Iberville Parish Coroner's Office to determine an official cause of death.  Henley was found without wearing a personal flotation device.

LDWF Agents Arrest Nine Subjects for DWI on the Water During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 07/10/2019

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division arrested nine boaters statewide for alleged driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, July 5 to Sunday, July 7.

On July 5 agents arrested:

Ryan Jackson, 25, of Mooringsport, on Caddo Lake in Caddo Parish;
James Hasting, 48, of Alexandria, on Kincaid Lake in Rapides Parish;
Melissa Strother, 47, of Alexandria, on Cane River in Natchitoches Parish;
Evan P. Daigle, 28, of Lafayette, on Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish;
William Persac, 65, of Baton Rouge, on the Joseph Harbor Canal in Cameron Parish;
Jonathan Arnold, 32, of Baton Rouge, on the Amite River/Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish; all for DWI on the water.

On July 6 agents arrested:

Holly Duet, 32, of Thibodaux, on Bayou Chevreuil in St. James Parish;
Morgan Meginley, 30, of Alexandria, on Kincaid Lake in Rapides Parish;
John D. Guerin Jr., 37, of Ventress, on the False River in Pointe Coupee Parish; all for DWI on the water.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 07/03/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal vessel incident that occurred in Cameron Parish this morning, July 3.

The body of Joseph J. Bergeron, 34, of Sulphur, was recovered from the Calcasieu Ship Channel around 11:40 a.m.

According to the survivor, Bergeron was in a 23-foot vessel with another occupant heading south when they hit a dredge pipe around 3:30 a.m. near Hackberry.  Bergeron was ejected into the water without a personal flotation device.  The other occupant stayed in the vessel and was able to get a call out for help.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Bergeron’s body was turned over to the Cameron Parish Coroner’s Office.  The other occupant in the vessel sustained some injuries and was taken to the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water This Weekend

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from July 5 to July 7.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for impaired boat operators.

“We are always on the lookout for impaired boat operators, but this weekend it will be more of a focused effort.  We are in full support of this national campaign and will do our part in removing impaired operators from the waterways this weekend,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We know this will be a busy weekend and we want people to have fun on the waterways.  However, we please ask everybody on the water to wear a personal flotation device and have a sober operator.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Nationwide, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating incidents with alcohol playing a role in 19 percent of boating fatalities.  Louisiana had 20 boating fatalities in 2018, with alcohol playing a role in four fatalities or 20 percent.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana, a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Agents Cite Two Men for Oyster Violations in Lafourche Parish

Release Date: 07/01/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two oyster fishermen for alleged oyster violations on June 30 in Lafourche Parish.

Agents cited Luis Diego Rodriquez, 20, and Mendez Castro Anceto, 19, both from Houma, for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents responded to complaints they received in the Tidewater area east of Bayou Lafourche.  Using aerial surveillance, agents observed and recorded Rodriquez and Anceto illegally dredging for oysters in polluted waters.

Agents seized five sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.
 

Body of Missing Boater Recovered from Lake Salvador

Release Date: 06/25/2019

Search and rescue crews found the body of a missing boater in Lake Salvador in Jefferson Parish this morning, June 25.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents recovered the body of Charles Moton, 22, of Marrero, around 10:45 a.m. near where he entered the water.

According to witnesses Moton was on a boat in Lake Salvador when he entered the water and didn’t resurface around 5:45 p.m. on June 23.  Moton had a personal flotation device on when he was in the boat, but it came off when he entered the water.

LDWF enforcement agents will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. Moton’s body was turned over to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office also participated in the search.

Agents Cite Captain of Cargo Ship for Red Snapper Violations

Release Date: 06/25/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Philippines man for alleged recreational fishing violations on June 20 in St. John Parish.

Agents cited Alberto Abad Defeo Jr., 47, for possessing over the limit and undersized red snapper, and fishing without non-resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses.

Agents received a tip from Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists that an ocean going cargo ship was docked at the Port of South Louisiana in Reserve with possible illegal fish on board.

Agents were able to board and inspect the cargo ship and found 143 red snapper in the ship’s freezer, refrigerators and galley.  After further inspection, agents determined that 90 of the red snapper on board were also undersized.

Agents interviewed Defeo Jr., who was the captain, and he told them the fish were caught while the ship was anchored about six miles out of southwest pass in the Gulf of Mexico.  Agents explained to Defeo Jr. that there is a daily limit of two red snapper per licensed fisherman and there is a 16 inch minimum size limit.  Defeo Jr. didn’t possess any fishing licenses and agreed to take all of the citations.

Possessing undersized and over the limit of red snapper, and fishing without non-resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Defeo Jr. may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken fish.

Authorities Searching for Missing Boater in Lake Salvador

Release Date: 06/24/2019

Search and rescue crews are currently searching for a missing boater in Lake Salvador in Jefferson Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Coast Guard and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office are looking for a 22 year old male.

The missing male was out boating on Lake Salvador when he entered the water and didn’t resurface around 5:45 p.m. on June 23.  According to witnesses, he had a personal flotation device when he was in the boat, but it came off when he entered the water.

Search crews immediately began looking for him and searched until midnight.  They resumed their search at first daylight this morning, June 24.

LDWF enforcement agents will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

Agents Cite Two Men for Illegal Possession of Saltwater Fish

Release Date: 06/13/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged saltwater fishing violations on June 12 in Lafourche Parish.

Agents cited Jimmy L. Brown, 51, of Mobile, Ala., and Eric J. Breaux, 32, of New Iberia, for taking red snapper during a closed season, taking over the limit of red snapper, failing to keep saltwater fish intact and failing to possess a recreational offshore landing permit (ROLP).

Brown was also cited for not possessing non-resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses.  Breaux was also cited for possessing shark during a closed season.

Agents received a tip about an oil supply boat that possessed fish illegally.  They were able to stop the vessel in Belle Pass and make contact with Brown and Breaux.

Agents found Brown in possession of 90 pounds of red snapper filets, 9.9 pounds of Spanish mackerel filets and 6.5 pounds of cobia chunks.  Agents found Breaux in possession of 16 pounds of red snapper filets and 7.1 pounds of blacktip shark filets.

Failing to keep saltwater fish intact brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Taking over the limit of red snapper and taking red snapper during a closed season each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to possess nonresident basic and saltwater fishing licenses, and possessing shark during a closed season each brings up to a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to possess an ROLP carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Brown may also face civil restitution totaling up to $400 for the replacement value of the illegally possessed fish.  Breaux may also face civil restitution totaling up to $68 for the replacement value of the illegally possessed fish.

Port Barre Man Cited For Hunting Deer During a Closed Season

Release Date: 06/12/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Port Barre man for alleged deer hunting violations on May 31 in St. Landry Parish.

Agents cited Chaz E. Guillory, 27, with two counts of hunting deer during a closed season, two counts of hunting deer during illegal hours and two counts of violating outlaw quadruped night hunting regulations.

Agents received information about a night hunting incident that occurred on May 30 in a field near Lebeau.  Agents started an investigation and learned that Guillory killed an antlerless deer around 10 p.m. on May 30 with a rifle.  During the investigation, agents also discovered that Chaz harvested an antlered deer on May 28 at night.

Hunting deer during a closed season and hunting deer during illegal hours each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Violating outlaw quadruped regulations carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Guillory may also face civil restitution totaling $3,249 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Syndicate content