Enforcement

LDWF Agents Rescue Father and Son in Vermilion Bay

Release Date: 11/05/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents performed a successful search and rescue mission on Nov. 3 in Vermilion Bay.

LDWF agents were notified about two overdue boaters on board a vessel about 9 p.m. on Nov. 3.  The missing boaters were a 57-year-old father and his 10-year-old son both from Erath.

LDWF agents immediately began conducting search and rescue efforts in conjunction with U.S. Coast Guard and the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office to locate the missing boaters.

LDWF agents located the missing boat with both boaters safely inside the vessel on Nov. 4 around 1:25 a.m.  LDWF loaded the father and son onto their vessel and transported the boaters back to the dock where they were evaluated by Emergency Medical Services and released to go home.

Agents found out that the boat battery died leaving the two boaters in need of assistance.

LDWF Enforcement Agents Recognized at November Commission Meeting

Release Date: 11/01/2018

LDWF Enforcement Agents Recognized at November Commission Meeting
LDWF Enforcement Agents Recognized at November Commission Meeting

Two Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents were honored at the Nov. 1 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.

Shikar-Safari Club International presented their 2018 Conservation Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to retired LDWF Sgt. Cliff Ortis, of Oscar.  The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement.

Sgt. Dean Aucoin, of Houma, received the Louisiana Waterfowl Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the Mississippi Flyway Council.  The Mississippi Flyway Council recognizes law enforcement officers from each state who make outstanding contributions to the protection of waterfowl.

Sgt. Ortis retired in September of 2018 after serving the department for the past 28 years.  He mainly patrolled West Baton Rouge Parish.  Sgt. Ortis also received the LDWF Enforcement Division’s “2017 Agent of the Year” award.

Sgt. Aucoin mainly patrols Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes and has been an agent for over 12 years.  Sgt. Aucoin was honored for his participation in numerous illegal waterfowl hunting investigations involving hunting migratory waterfowl over bait, taking over the limits of ducks, hunting with unplugged guns and with lead shot.

Golden Meadow Man Cited for Endangered Species Act Violation

Release Date: 10/25/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Golden Meadow man for an alleged endangered species act violation on Oct. 23 in LaFourche Parish.

Agents cited Lee H. Leger Jr., 61, for violating the endangered species act.

Agents received a tip about a Golden Meadow man possessing two green sea turtles at his residence.  Agents went to the residence of Leger Jr. where they found about 20 pounds of turtle meat in freezer bags in the freezer.  Leger Jr. also admitted to possessing two green sea turtles and cleaning them for their meat.

Green sea turtles are federally protected and listed as an endangered species.  Violating the Endangered Species Act brings up to a $50,000 fine and one year in jail.

Five Mississippi Men Cited For Over Limit Red Drum

Release Date: 10/17/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement agents cited five Mississippi men for alleged fishing violations on Oct. 12 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Davis Byrd, 62, Henry Cooper Jr., 45, and Hayden Bryant, 45, all of Star, Miss., Benton Moseley, 29, of Florence, Miss., and Steaven Hardaere, 29, of Harrisville, Miss., for taking double the daily limit of red drum.

Agents received a complaint about these men “double tripping” red drum near Venice. Double tripping fish is the act of catching a daily limit of fish and bringing them back to a launch or camp and then returning to catch an additional limit in the same day.

Agents observed the men in the morning bringing a limit of red drum to be cleaned and packed at a marina and then leave in their vessels again.  Agents stopped the men on the second trip and found them with an additional limit of red drum.

Agents seized a total of 50 red drum from the men.  The daily limit is five red drum per licensed fishermen putting the men double over the daily limit.

Taking double the daily limit of red drum brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men may also face revocation of any and all fishing licenses for the period for which they were issued.  The men may also be prohibited from obtaining any new fishing license for one to three years.

The men will also be assessed civil restitution in the amount of $661 for the replacement value of the red drum.

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issued Over $4,000 in Rewards At Meeting

Release Date: 10/16/2018

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $4,350 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on Oct. 3 in Mansura.

The LOGT board reviewed 12 cases that included public tips from informants.  A total of 25 subjects were apprehended and a total of 76 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases.

The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted of four deer cases, five commercial fishing cases, one alligator case, one black bear case and one migratory waterfowl case.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android apps.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Registration of Houseboats

Release Date: 10/15/2018

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a notice of intent that would establish rules governing the registration of houseboats.

Act 628 of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session requires the registration of houseboats upon Louisiana waters beginning Jan. 1, 2019.  The proposed rule clarifies which vessels qualify as houseboats requiring registration and establishes an application process.

The notice of intent states that every houseboat operated, occupied, inhabited, utilized, or otherwise deployed on the waters of this state must be registered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and be properly numbered in accordance with R.S. 34:851.20.

Houseboats would be defined as any vessel constructed or utilized for the primary purpose of a temporary or permanent dwelling without an effective means of propulsion for safe navigation.

When determining whether a vessel meets the definition of a “houseboat”, the department shall utilize the standard such that a reasonable observer would conclude that the vessel is capable of being used as an abode, habitation, or dwelling for at least a temporary basis.

Such determination should involve, but is not limited to, whether the vessel has a roof and is enclosed, or has multiple walls or structures capable of protecting inhabitants from the elements.

Additional evidence that may be considered include the presence of doors, windows, electrical wiring, plumbing, appliances, cabinetry, bedding, or any other features commonly found in a dwelling. 

While registration of houseboats is mandatory beginning in 2019, titling of houseboats is optional.

Public comment on this notice of intent may be submitted to Major Rachel Zechenelly at rzechenelly@wlf.la.gov.

Four Men Cited for Squirrel Hunting Violations in Winn Parish

Release Date: 10/11/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents cited four men for alleged squirrel hunting violations on Oct. 6 in Winn Parish.

Agents cited Joshua Young, 24, and Ernest Nowlin, 64, both of Tullos, for possessing over the limit of squirrels.  Agents also cited Michael Sullivan, 50, of Olla, and Richard Decker, 54, of Tullos, for hunting squirrels without a basic hunting license.

Agents received a complaint that hunters were taking too many squirrels so they set up surveillance on a hunting camp.  The men arrived back at the camp from their opening day squirrel hunt when agents made contact with the men.

Agents found Young in possession of 16 squirrels, Nowlin in possession of 10 squirrels.  The legal daily bag limit is eight squirrels per licensed hunter for the fall and winter season.  Agents also found Sullivan in possession of seven squirrels and Decker one squirrel with no hunting licenses.

Possessing over the limit of squirrels brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  The men may also face civil restitution up to $365 for the replacement value of the illegally taken squirrels.  Hunting squirrels without a basic hunting license carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.  Agents seized the 34 squirrels.

Mansfield Man To Pay Over $6,000 for Wildlife Violations

Release Date: 10/09/2018

A Mansfield man was convicted in Desoto and Bossier parishes for multiple wildlife violations.

Frank Canizaro Jr., 30, was convicted in Bossier Parish on Sept. 26 for selling deer and failing to comply with deer tagging or harvest record requirements.  He was fined $839 and has to pay $692 in court costs and $4,069 in civil restitution.  Canizaro also lost all hunting privileges for one year.

He was also convicted in Desoto Parish on Oct. 3 for selling deer, selling squirrels and failing to comply with deer tagging or harvest record requirements.  Canizaro Jr. was fined $500 and received six months of probation.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents received a complaint about Canizaro Jr. selling squirrels and deer in 2016.  An undercover LDWF agent made contact with Canizaro Jr. in November of 2016.

The undercover LDWF agents purchased deer and squirrel from Canizaro Jr. in November and December of 2016 in both Desoto and Bossier parishes.  LDWF agents arrested Canizaro Jr. on Jan. 28, 2018 for selling deer and squirrels and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements in Desoto and Bossier parishes.

Three Men Cited for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 10/04/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three Galiano men for alleged oyster violations in LaFourche Parish on Sept. 18.

Agents cited Carl J. Leblanc Jr., 42, Chad Martin, 22, and Bobby W. Taylor, 19, for taking oysters from a polluted area, taking oysters during illegal hours and intentional concealment of oysters.

Agents received a complaint about a vessel dredging for oysters in an area deemed to be polluted by the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).  Agents setup surveillance and found an oyster vessel with Leblanc Jr., Martin and Taylor on board inside the polluted area.

During questioning, one of the men confessed that they were dredging for oysters the night before and that they offloaded their catch onto the bank when they thought agents might be suspecting them of their illegal activity.

Agents found 18 sacks of oysters on the bank one of which had a tag with Leblanc Jr.’s information filled out.  Agents seized the oysters and returned them to the water.

In a separate case, agents also cited Leblanc Jr. for taking oysters from a polluted area on Feb. 13, 2018.

Taking oysters from a polluted area and intentional concealment of oysters each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking oysters during illegal hours carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

LDWF Cites Two Men for Over Limit of Bass

Release Date: 10/04/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two Louisiana men for alleged fishing violations on Sept. 21 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Ray Louviere Jr., 65, of Prairieville, and Robert Holland, 80, of Livingston, for possessing over the limit of black bass.

Agents received a complaint about fishermen possessing over the legal limit of bass on Bayou Black.  Agents setup surveillance at a boat launch near Gibson where they found a truck and empty boat trailer.

When a vessel with Louviere Jr. and Holland approached the marina, agents made contact with the men.  Agents found the men in possession of 53 bass, which put them 33 over the legal limit of 10 bass per day per fisherman.

Over the limit of black bass brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  The men may also face civil restitution totaling $443 for the replacement value of the illegally possessed fish.

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