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Three Terrebonne Men Cited For Harvesting Oysters in Polluted Waters

Release Date: 05/23/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three oyster fisherman for alleged oyster harvester violations on May 22 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Luis Zarraga-Flores, 40, Jose Dolores Vega Hernandez, 25, and Manuel Mendoza Vega, 34, all from Houma, for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents observed the three subjects harvesting oysters with two oyster scrapers in Bay Antoine in lower Terrebonne Parish.  The area was located in an unapproved polluted location.

Agents seized 15 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 for each offense.  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.

LDWF Agents Cite Two Men For Federal Violations in Gulf of Mexico

Release Date: 05/22/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged commercial fishing violations on May 15 in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Agents cited Nghia Van, 53, and Trang Le, 46, both of Boothville La, for violating federal shrimp permit regulations, turtle excluder device regulations and the Endangered Species Act.  Van was also cited for violation of the Marine Mammal Act.

Agents were on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico when they made contact with both subjects who were actively shrimping in the Exclusive Economic Zone south of Terrebonne Parish without possessing a federal shrimp permit.

Upon further investigation, agents found an endangered and deceased loggerhead sea turtle onboard the shrimping vessel.  During questioning, the subjects admitted to dragging their nets continuously for about two hours.  Regulations require skimming vessels to pick their nets up after 55 minutes in lieu of using turtle excluder devices.

Agents followed the vessel into port and seized 1,626 pounds of shrimp.  A search was then conducted on the vessel and two dolphin skulls were found onboard the vessel.

The case has been referred to NOAA Office of Law Enforcement for prosecution.

LDWF Agents Cite Two Louisiana Men for Turkey Hunting Violations

Release Date: 05/17/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged turkey hunting violations on May 16 in Rapides Parish.

Agents cited David Poston, 31, of Woodworth, and Darrell Cole, 29, of Boyce, for hunting turkey without basic season, big game and turkey hunting licenses, hunting turkey with a rifle, hunting turkey during a closed season and possession of an illegally taken turkey.  Poston was also cited for taking an alligator without a license and during a closed season, taking a bobcat without a basic season and big game hunting license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Agents were on patrol when they made contact with Poston on Bayou Boeuf off of North Lake Road.  Agents observed blood and turkey feathers in the back of his truck.

After further investigation and questioning, Poston told agents that a turkey was harvested by Cole with a .17 caliber rifle on May 10.  Agents were able to confirm with Cole that he took the turkey illegally, during a closed season and without the proper hunting licenses.  Turkey season closed for this area of the state on May 5.

Poston also admitted to harvesting an alligator on March 26 and another alligator on May 13 without a license and during a closed season.  He also admitted to taking a bobcat on March 22 without a license.

Agents also found Poston in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Hunting turkey during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of an illegally taken turkey and taking an alligator during a closed season each carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting turkey and alligators without a license and hunting turkey with a rifle each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting without basic season and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia each brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Cole may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken turkey totaling $1,539.  Poston may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken alligators and bobcat totaling $778.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 18-24

Release Date: 05/16/2019

The state of Louisiana has issued a proclamation that recognizes May 18-24 as “Safe Boating Week” in Louisiana, which signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force as always during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.

Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.  LDWF regulations also state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

Alcohol use is one of the leading causes of boating crash incidents and fatalities on the water.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  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.

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.

For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.  Since the safe boating course’s inception in 2003, over 110,000 boaters have been certified in Louisiana.

In 2018, Louisiana reported 20 boating fatalities.  So far, in 2019 Louisiana has reported five fatalities.

Three Mississippi Men Cited for Oyster Violations in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 05/09/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three Mississippi men for alleged oyster violations on May 9 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents cited Delton H Wells, 60, of Liberty, Miss., Raymond A. Johnston, 57, of Summit, Miss., and Gasper S. Penton, 50, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., for failing to have working Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) while using an out of state landing permit.

Agents were on patrol when they found three vessels actively dredging for oysters with two of them in Karako Bay and the other in Fishing Smack Bay.  Agents made contact with the subjects on board the vessels and found they were from Mississippi and were dredging for oysters in Louisiana using an out of state landing permit without working VMS systems.

Regulations state that you must have a properly working VMS system while using an out of state landing permit to fish for oysters.

Agents seized a total of 407 mini sacks of oysters from the three vessels and returned them to the water.

Failing to have a working VMS with an out of state landing permit brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

113 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 04/30/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 113 boaters statewide after their ninth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 27.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

To register for a future boating education class please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses and follow the links to register.

Below was the list of class locations for lagniappe day:

Webster Parish
LDWF Region 1 Office
9961 Hwy. 80
Minden, LA 71055
Sponsors include Coca-Cola of Minden, Red River Waterway Commission, Bass Pro Shop of Bossier City, and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors and Johnny’s Pizza House.

Rapides Parish
Woodworth Education Center
661 Robinson Bridge Rd.
Woodworth, LA 71485
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agent’s Association (LWAA)

Lafayette Parish
LDWF Lafayette Office
200 Dulles Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70506
Sponsors include Deano’s Pizza of Lafayette

Beauregard Parish
Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office Training Center
412 Boliver Bishop Dr.
Deridder, LA 70634
Sponsors include Beauregard Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited and Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office

Lafourche Parish
St. John Volunteer Fire Department
2072 St. Mary St.
Thibodaux, LA 70301
Sponsors include Renovations Hardware of Galliano and LWAA

Tangipahoa Parish
Manchac Fire Department
30221 Hwy. 51
Akers, LA 70421
Sponsors include the Manchac Fire Department

St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Recreation District #7
67835 Hwy. 41
Pearl River, LA 70452
Sponsors include the St. Tammany Parish Recreations District #7

Patterson Man Sentenced for Crabbing Violations

Release Date: 04/30/2019

A Patterson man pleaded guilty to crabbing violations in the 16th Judicial District in St. Mary Parish.

John McCloy Jr., 73, pleaded guilty to destroy legal crab traps or removing contents, failing to complete trip ticket information and selling to consumers without a fresh products license.

The Honorable Suzanne de Mahey sentenced McCloy on April 24 to pay $900 in fines and suspended his commercial fishing license for two years.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement division agents cited McCloy Jr. for theft of crabs, selling to consumers without a fresh products license, and failing to complete trip ticket information on Aug. 29, 2018, in St. Mary Parish.

Agents Cite Two Men for Oyster Violations in Sister Lake

Release Date: 04/29/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on April 25.

Agents cited Larenzo Lara Aguilar, 35, of Houma, and Miguel Rojas, 46, of San Leon, Texas, for taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation, harvesting oysters during illegal hours, and using an illegal dredge.  Aguilar was also cited for violating logbook requirements and improper running lights.

Agents were on patrol in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation around 5:45 a.m. when they observed a vessel with no running lights actively dredging for oysters.

Agents stopped the vessel and found Aguilar and Rojas on board with 20 sacks of oysters.  Agents seized the oysters and returned them to the seed reservation.  Agents also seized the vessel and two dredges on a department seizure order.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the entire 2018-19 oyster season.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters during illegal hours carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Using an illegal dredge carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Operating a vessel at night without running lights brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.  Violating logbook requirements brings up to a $25 fine.

Agents Cite Four Subjects for Shrimping Violations in Lake Pelto

Release Date: 04/25/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited four subjects for alleged shrimping violations on April 21 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Dwayne Trosclair, 50, of Larose, Ernest J. Dion Jr., 33, of Dulac, Larry A. Dion, 58, of Dulac, and Kendy L. Chauvin, 38, of Houma, for using skimmer nets during a closed season.  Trosclair was also cited for improper boat numbers.

Agents received a tip that a boat was using skimmer nets to actively shrimp an area in Lake Pelto that is currently closed to shrimping.  Agents setup surveillance and observed a vessel captained by Trosclair using skimmer nets to actively shrimp in this area.

Agents seized the vessel and skimmer nets on a department seizure order and returned 30 pounds of shrimp back to the water.

Using skimmers during a closed shrimp season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.  In addition for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system, which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.
Operating a vessel with improper boat numbers brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Eunice Man Arrested for Crawfish Theft

Release Date: 04/25/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents along with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) deputies arrested a man for alleged theft of crawfish on April 22.

LDWF agents and EPSO deputies arrested Kenneth J. Douget Jr., 25, of Eunice, for theft of crawfish from a farmer and booked him into the Evangeline Parish Jail.

An LDWF agent received a complaint from a crawfish farmer that an unknown suspect stole 16 sacks of crawfish out of the back of his truck in the Mamou area.

Agents then received a call from a local crawfish dealer that the suspect was at his plant attempting to sell the stolen 16 sacks of crawfish.

An LDWF agent along with the EPSO responded to the crawfish dealer and made contact with the suspect.  During the interview, Douget Jr. admitted to stealing the 16 sacks of crawfish valued at $1,071.

Theft of crawfish in the amount of $1,000 to $5,000 brings up to five years in jail and $3,000 in fines.

Agents seized the 16 sacks of crawfish and returned them to the crawfish farmer.

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