A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited three subjects in Lafourche Parish for alleged oyster violations on March 30.
While on patrol, the agent spotted a vessel and its crew harvesting oysters in an unapproved area on Bayou Faleau. The agent also observed the crew harvesting on a private lease without permission from the owner.
Agents made contact with the occupants and cited John P. Bruce, 50, Jace P. Griffin, 28, and Jarrod P. Bruce, 29, all from Galliano, for harvesting oysters from an unapproved polluted area, unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease without written permission.
The agent seized the dredges and returned 10 sacks of oysters to the water. He also seized the vessel on a department seizure order.
Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area and without permission from the owner each 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.
The agent participating in the case is Sgt. Bryan Marie.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are seeking information on the shooting of a bald eagle that was found near Cavett River Road in Gilliam.
The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a reward of up to $8,500 for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for this unlawful act.
On March 22, 2015, an incapacitated, mature, American bald eagle was recovered in Caddo Parish near Cavett River Road. The bald eagle displayed wounds to its chest and left wing. The eagle was transported to the Louisiana State University Veterinary Hospital for treatment. X-rays confirmed that the injuries were due to a gunshot. The eagle was euthanized as a result of the severity of its injuries.
Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Violations of these statutes carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $100,000 and $15,000 respectively and/or up to one year in federal prison.
Anyone with information concerning this eagle is asked to contact U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Brad Rabalais at 601-331-0292 or call the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited 11 people for alleged turkey hunting violations during the opening weekend of the 2015 turkey hunting season.
On March 28 agents cited the following for hunting turkeys over a baited area: Shannon D. Gray, 45, of Oak Grove, in Concordia Parish; Brian C. Adamson, 41, of Many in Sabine Parish; Jimmy Gordon, 72, of Livingston, in Livingston Parish, Patrick Haggerty, 67, of Kenner, in Tangipahoa Parish; Gary L. Carter, 49, of Rayville, in Jackson Parish; and Neil Hunt, 38, of Sandy Hook, Miss., in Washington Parish.
Agents cited Carl R. Hall Jr., 39, of Lecompte, on March 28 for hunting turkeys without a turkey stamp and failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations in Rapides Parish.
In Desoto Parish on March 29 agents cited both Chase Love, 18, of Grane Cane, on March, and George Hatcher, 56, of Converse, for hunting turkey without a turkey stamp.
On March 29 in West Feliciana Parish agents cited Jason Lipoma, 46, and Doyle Lipoma, 17, both of Gonzales for hunting turkeys over a baited area and failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations.
According to the 2015 Turkey Regulations pamphlet, no person shall hunt or take turkeys by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area. Hunters are not allowed to place, expose, deposit or scatter corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed to lure turkeys to their hunting area.
Also, turkey hunters are required to possess Louisiana basic hunting and big game licenses, Louisiana wild turkey permit and turkey tags.
Hunting turkeys over a baited area brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Not possessing a turkey stamp brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Search and rescue crews are still looking for a missing Folsom woman following a fatal single boat incident in the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish.
Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call yesterday, March 28, at around 5:30 p.m. about a capsized boat near lock #3 on the Pearl River. The capsized boat included a male operator named Terry J. O’Keefe Jr., 41, and female passenger named Jonie R. Morgan, 31, with her three children, which are eight and six year old boys and a four year old girl all from Folsum.
LDWF agents believe at this time that the 14 foot aluminum vessel capsized after going over the lock after the operator was unable to start the boat. A 16 year old boy came upon the scene and saw the eight year and six year old boys and mother in the water.
On his way to help, the 16 year old boy’s vessel also capsized. While in the water the 16 year old boy was able to grab onto the two boys and mother, however the mother’s shirt he was holding onto ripped off of her body and she didn’t resurface. Another fisherman on the bank then went into the water and was able to get the three boys safely to shore.
While the search and rescue crews arrived on scene shortly thereafter the four year old girl popped up from under the boat and officials were able to safely retrieve her. It appears at this time that she was stuck under the vessel for about 30 minutes, but was able to breathe.
Search and rescue crews found the body of O’Keefe Jr. victim at 8 a.m. this morning, March 29. They will continue searching for Morgan.
LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. All children were found wearing their personal flotation devices. Investigators don’t believe O’Keefe Jr. and Morgan were wearing personal flotation devices upon entering the water.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a Rayne man. He is wanted in connection with simple burglary at a crawfish dock that occurred early Thursday morning, March 26, on Hwy. 35 south of Rayne.
The APCO and LDWF responded to the 5200 block of Abbeville Hwy. at approximately 3:30 a.m. following a report of a burglary in progress.
When APCO deputies and LDWF agents arrived they learned that the suspect, identified as Cary Gordon Bastian, 28, fled the scene heading south in a white Camaro. LDWF agents advised that Bastian headed toward the Vermilion and Lafayette Parish line traveling at speeds well over 100 mph.
During the investigation agents and deputies learned that the owner had a person hiding on the premises all evening in an attempt to identify the suspect responsible for stealing crawfish from the owner. The owner was noticing sacks of crawfish missing from an outside cooler that was locked. According to the witness Bastian was observed loading six bags of crawfish into the trunk of his Camaro prior to the arrival of law enforcement.
Warrants of arrests have been issued for Bastian of the 15900 block of Gordon Road in Rayne. Bastian is being charged with one count of simple burglary, one count of reckless operation of a motor vehicle and one count of aggravated flight from an officer. District Judge John Trahan set bond at $21,000.
An attempt was made later in the day to apprehend Bastian, but he fled into a wooded area near his home in Vermilion Parish. Please contact the Acadia or Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Offices or LDWF at 1-800-442-2511 if you know of Bastian's whereabouts.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Sorrento man for alleged turkey violations this morning, March 24 in East Feliciana Parish.
Agents cited Keanon R. Dickey, for hunting turkeys during a closed season, over a baited area and criminal trespassing.
Agents received an anonymous tip about someone trespassing on private property without permission. Agents setup surveillance off of Caruth Road near Wilson and observed Dickey walk on to the private property and to a hunting spot. Agents also listened to Dickey make calls to entice turkeys closer to his spot.
After making contact with Dickey, agents noticed the field he was hunting over was baited with cracked corn.
Turkey season doesn’t open until March 28 statewide on private lands.
Hunting turkeys during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each count. Hunting turkeys over bait carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Trespassing on private property brings a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Agents involved in the case are Lt. Will Roberts and Senior Agent Terry Hicks.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Lockport man on March 19 for alleged recreational fishing violations.
Agents cited Arthur Freeman, 51, for possessing red snapper during a closed season. The red snapper season opened on March 20.
Agents were patrolling the Grand Isle docks when they stopped Freeman’s boat shortly after he unloaded his commercial catch for the day. During the inspection, agents found a few coolers containing 34 red snapper.
Freeman claimed the red snapper were left over from the sale and he was going to take them home for personal consumption. Agents seized the fish.
Possessing red snapper during a closed season brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Freeman may also face civil restitution of $975 for the replacement value of the fish.
Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Michael Marques and Senior Agent Michael Williams.