Enforcement

Operation Game Thief Complaint Yields Polluted Oyster Violations Case

Release Date: 09/05/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited four subjects for alleged oyster violations on Sept. 4 in Lafourche Parish.

Agents cited Micky J. Picou, 35, Rusty J. Authement, 29, both from Montegut; and Steve Leboeuf, 57, and Wiley J. Lebouef, 66, both from Chauvin; for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents were responding to an Operation Game Thief complaint of illegal oyster harvesters in polluted waters east of Tidewater Canal.

Agents located the subjects in the morning harvesting oysters from a polluted area.  Agents seized 13 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.  Agents also seized the vessel and dredges on a department seizure order.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department 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 with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Richard Bean.

Two Vessel Collision Leads to Fatality in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 09/03/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Cameron Parish that occurred on Sept. 2.

A two vessel head on collision on Lake Calcasieu resulted in the death of Griffin LeBlanc, 11, of Broussard.

According to witnesses, LeBlanc was operating a personal watercraft with another 11-year-old boy as a passenger near Hebert’s Landing around 4:30 p.m.  LeBlanc and the boy were jumping another vessel’s wakes when they jumped into the path of another oncoming 22-foot vessel.

After the head on collision, the boys were ejected into the water.  LeBlanc’s personal flotation device (PFD) came off when he hit the water while the other boy’s PFD remained on his person.

The boy who was the passenger on the personal watercraft was retrieved from the water by a bystander and rushed to the shore and then taken by ambulance to Lake Charles Memorial hospital.  The boy is still in the hospital listed in serious condition and is expected to live.

Search and rescue teams arrived on scene and were able to retrieve the deceased body of LeBlanc around 10 p.m.  His body was turned over to the Cameron Parish Coroner’s Office.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Agents suspect at this time that LeBlanc was not wearing a properly fitted and in good working condition PFD.  Alcohol is not suspected at this time for either operator involved in this incident.

LDWF along with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in the search.

LDWF Agents have Rescued over 1,500 People in Texas and Louisiana

Release Date: 09/01/2017

LDWF Agents have Rescued over 1,500 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued over 1,500 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued over 1,500 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued over 1,500 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued over 1,500 People in Texas and Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents have rescued a total of 1,505 people and 177 pets to date in Texas and Louisiana from flooded waters caused by Hurricane Harvey.

LDWF agents working in coordination with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division have rescued 1,477 people and 175 pets rescued in Texas.  LDWF agents have also rescued 28 people and two pets in Louisiana.

LDWF sent 40 agents with 40 trucks and 40 vessels to the Houston and Katy areas on Aug. 26 and 27.  From Aug. 26 to Aug. 30, LDWF agents were able to rescue 1,275 people and 128 pets with LDWF vessels in the Houston and Katy areas in Texas.

On Aug. 30, LDWF redirected 38 of the original 40 agents with trucks and vessels to the Kirbyville and Deweyville areas in Texas.  LDWF also deployed an additional 33 agents with 29 trucks and 29 vessels to assist with search and rescue operations on Aug. 30 in the Port Arthur and Orange areas in Texas.  These crews rescued a total of 202 people and 47 pets from these areas.

The original 38 agents with trucks and vessels have been relieved of their duties in Texas and started heading home, this morning, Sept. 1.  Another five agents with trucks and vessels were called back to perform patrols along the Sabine River in Calcasieu Parish.

LDWF currently has 28 agents with 24 trucks and 24 vessels in the Orange, Texas area.

LDWF agents will remain in Texas until no longer needed.

LDWF agents have also rescued 26 people and two pets from Calcasieu Parish and two people from Sabine Parish in the state of Louisiana.

LDWF Agents have Rescued 1,401 People in Texas and Louisiana

Release Date: 08/31/2017

LDWF Agents have Rescued 1,401 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued 1,401 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued 1,401 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued 1,401 People in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents have Rescued 1,401 People in Texas and Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents continue to conduct search and rescue missions in the flooded areas of Texas and Louisiana caused by Hurricane Harvey.  LDWF agents have rescued a total of 1,401 people and 159 pets to date including 1,373 people and 157 pets rescued from Texas and 28 people and two pets rescued from Louisiana.

LDWF sent 40 agents with 40 trucks and 40 vessels to the Houston and Katy areas on Aug. 26 and 27.  From Aug. 26 to Aug. 30, LDWF agents in coordination with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division were able to rescue 1,275 people and 128 pets in that time with LDWF vessels in the Houston and Katy areas in Texas.

On Aug. 30, LDWF redirected 38 of the original 40 agents with trucks and vessels to the Kirbyville and Deweyville areas in Texas.

LDWF also deployed an additional 33 agents with 29 trucks and 29 vessels to assist with search and rescue operations on Aug. 30.  These crews rescued 98 people with 29 pets from the Port Arthur area last night and will be in the Orange, Texas area today.

LDWF currently has 71 agents with 67 trucks and 67 vessels performing search and rescue missions in coordination with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division in Texas.

LDWF agents will remain in Texas until no longer needed.

LDWF agents have also rescued 26 people and two pets from Calcasieu Parish and two people from Sabine Parish in the state of Louisiana.

LDWF Agents Perform Search and Rescue Missions in Texas and Louisiana

Release Date: 08/29/2017

LDWF Agents Perform Search and Rescue Missions in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents Perform Search and Rescue Missions in Texas and Louisiana
LDWF Agents Perform Search and Rescue Missions in Texas and Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division currently has 40 agents with 40 trucks and 40 vessels performing search and rescue missions in coordination with the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Law Enforcement Division in the Houston area for the flooding impacts caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The LDWF agents have mostly been performing search and rescue missions in the southeastern Houston and the Katy areas.  As of the morning of Aug. 29, LDWF agents have assisted Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Law Enforcement Division and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Law Enforcement Division with over 5,000 rescues.

LDWF agents also conducted search and rescue missions in Calcasieu Parish last night, Aug. 28, and into this morning, Aug. 29, rescuing a total of 26 people and two pets.

The LDWF agents in the Houston area will remain until they are no longer needed.  LDWF agents in Louisiana remain on standby and on alert as the storm progresses through Louisiana.

Rescue Volunteers Headed to Houston Urged to Contact Houston Police Department First

Release Date: 08/28/2017

Aug. 28, 2017 – Volunteers with boats who would like to assist in the search and rescue effort in the Houston area are asked to call the Houston Police Department (HPD) at 713-881-3100. The HPD is coordinating search and rescue efforts in the city and is asking volunteers to call its office for directions and other information that will aid department efforts to manage the massive operation.

Houston and other parts of southeast Texas have been inundated with more than 25 inches of rain from what is now Tropical Storm Harvey since Saturday.

In addition, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is working with the Texas Governor’s Office to stage search and rescue efforts in College Station at the TEEX training facility known as Disaster City. Interested individuals who would like to volunteer should contact Texas Task Force 1 at 972-841-2105 or by e-mail at TTF1@soc.texas.gov for additional information.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which has received calls about rescue information, is not coordinating search and rescue efforts in the Houston area.

The LDWF Enforcement Division has sent 40 agents with 40 trucks and 40 vessels to the Houston area to assist with search and rescue.  All agents remain on alert and will be dispatched to the Houston area as requested.

 

 

LDWF sending search and rescue teams to Texas

Release Date: 08/27/2017

The LDWF Enforcement Division has sent 40 agents with 40 trucks and 40 vessels to the Houston area to assist Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with Hurricane Harvey search and rescue efforts.  LDWF sent 10 agents with trucks and boats on Saturday and 30 more agents with trucks and boats on Sunday.  All agents remain on standby and more will be sent as they are needed.

Habitual Commercial Fishing Violator Arrested In Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 08/24/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement division agents arrested a Houma man for alleged violations commercial fishing violations on Aug. 22.

Agents arrested Sam C. Dobson, 39, for taking commercial fish without a commercial fishing license and commercial gear license, failing to possess a commercial fishing vessel license, taking oysters without an oyster harvester license and violating Department of Health Hospitals sanitary code for log book violations.

Agents were on patrol in lower Terrebonne Parish when they received a complaint in the Bay Moncleus area.  Agents responded to the location and saw Dobson leaving the area.

From numerous encounters in the field and court, agents knew Dobson was an unlicensed commercial fisherman.  Agents stopped Dobson and found him in possession of sacked oysters and dredges dripping with oysters and shell.

Agents seized five sacks of oysters and contents in the dredge and returned the oysters to the water.

The four commercial fishing license violations brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Violating the sanitary code for logbook violation carries up to a $25 fine and loss of the oysters.  Agents booked Dobson into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

Dobson has been cited and found guilty of multiple commercial fishing violations in the past.

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Sgt. Bryan Marie.

Des Allemands Man Arrested for Commercial Fishing Violations

Release Date: 08/23/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a Des Allemands man for alleged commercial catfish violations on Aug. 21.

Agents arrested Leon Fonseca, 74, for taking undersized commercial catfish and intentional concealment of fish during a commercial fish inspection.

Agents observed Fonseca actively fishing trotlines from his vessel within Bayou Des Allemands around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.  Before agents could make contact, Fonseca attempted to illegally discard blue catfish that were less than the minimum size limit of 12 inches from his vessel.

Agents were able to retrieve multiple dead blue catfish from the water, but suspect there were many more they could not retrieve.  By adding up the retrieved catfish from the water and the catch still left on the vessel, agents determined that Fonseca possessed undersized catfish that made up 14.5 percent of his total catch.

Commercial fishermen may have an incidental take of undersized blue catfish not to exceed five percent of their total blue catfish catch.  Agents seized 64 pounds of catfish and sold them to the highest bidder.

Taking or possessing undersized commercial catfish carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Intentional concealment of fish brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Cpl. Kyle Wagner and Agent Anthony Corner.

Slidell Man Cited for Crab Trap Theft Violation

Release Date: 08/22/2017

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent cited a Slidell man for alleged crab trap theft violations in St. Tammany Parish on Aug. 21.

LDWF Sgt. Mike Garrity cited Ernest Schmolke, 68, for illegal removal of crab trap contents.

Sgt. Garrity was on patrol in Lake Pontchartrain near Slidell when he observed Schmolke empty contents of six crab traps into his boat.  Upon making contact with Schmolke, Sgt. Garrity was able to determine he did not own the crab traps or have permission to empty them.

Sgt. Garrity seized 10 pounds of blue crab and returned them back to the water.

Illegal removal of crab trap contents brings a $450 to $950 or up to 120 days in jail.

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