We are pleased to announce a new professional development workshop for educators in EPA Region 6 States!
Quantifying Debris, a marine debris workshop to be held on June 27-29, 2013, is open to educators from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. See attached for application and additional information.
April 18, 2013 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the third annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.
During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.
Interested participants must register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday and calling the contact number listed for the chosen class. LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.
LDWF has certified 493 boaters from the previous two Boating Education Lagniappe Days.
"Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety,” said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator. “We want to make the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will be offered completely free."
Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.
The 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. Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.
Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program. States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.
LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 50,000 boaters during that time.
"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator. "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."
Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Pizza Hut, Cabela's, Songy’s Sporting Goods of Houma, South Louisiana Bank of Houma, Evergreen Cajun Center of Houma, St. Landry Lumber Company, Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc., Krispy Kreme of Metairie, Village Inn Restaurant, C&M Fuel/Team Lafitte Harbor, West Marine of Lakeview, Boat Stuff, Alario Bros. Marine Supply, Temento's Dive Shop and Puglia's Sporting Goods.
Below is the list of class locations and the registration contact information:
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA 71111
Call the Minden Office at 318-371-3049 to register.
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Call the Monroe Office at 318-362-3102 to register.
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Call the Pineville Office at 318-487-5634 to register.
St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.
Lake Charles Civic Center - Contraband Room
900 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.
Evergreen Cajun Center
4694 Main St.
Houma, LA 70360
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.
2200 W. Cabela's Pkwy.
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.
Bayou Segnette State Park Nature Center
7777 Westbank Expressway
Westwego, LA 70094
Call the New Orleans Office at 504-284-2023 to register.
April 16, 2013 -- A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent arrested a Texas man on several alleged felony fraud and theft violations this morning, April 16.
LDWF Sgt. Louis Burnett arrested Trac T. Tran, 41, of Seadrift, Texas, on seven felony violations and booked him into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. The seven felonies are for two counts of filing false documents, two counts of injuring public records and three counts of theft.
Sgt. Burnett began his investigation of Tran on March 18, 2013, after Tran was denied renewal of his Louisiana residential commercial fishing license, residential commercial vessel license and residential crab trap gear license. Tran attempted to renew these licenses with a Texas driver’s license.
After completing his investigation, Sgt. Burnett determined that Tran was a Texas resident who also illegally obtained Louisiana residential commercial fishing, vessel and crab trap licenses in 2010 and 2011. The difference in costs between the residential and non-residential commercial licenses was $525 for each of the three years, which makes the total theft from the state $1,575.
Filing false public records and injuring public records each brings up to five years with or without hard labor or up to a $5,000 fine for each count. Theft of more than $1,500 carries up to a $3,000 fine and 10 years in jail for each count.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents made six illegal turkey hunting cases during the April 12-14 weekend.
On April 12, agents cited Michael A. Kowalski, 34, of Katy, Texas, in Webster Parish for obtaining a license by fraud, hunting turkey without non-resident basic and big game licenses, and hunting turkey without a non-resident turkey stamp.
Agents cited Stephen K. Breaux, 37, of Houma, in East Feliciana Parish on April 13 for hunting turkey over a baited area, with an electronic device and failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations. Agents seized the electronic call.
Alton D. Cook, 44, of Denham Springs, and Shane M. Johnston, 19, of Walker, were cited in East Feliciana Parish on April 13 for hunting turkey over a baited area, possession of an illegally taken turkey and criminal trespassing. Agents also cited Johnson for failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations. Agents seized the shotgun Cook and Johnston used and the illegally harvested turkey.
On April 13, agents cited Ashtin J. Willis, 21 of Grosse Tete, for taking over the limit of turkeys with two gobblers in the same day and possession of an illegally taken turkey on the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area in Iberville Parish.
Agents cited Ryan E. Dowden, 22, of Deridder, for possessing a loaded gun in a vehicle and possession of a rifle during turkey season while on the Peason WMA on April 14.
According to the 2013 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 basic hunting and big game licenses, Louisiana wild turkey permit and turkey tags.
Possession of an illegally taken turkey carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Hunting turkeys over a baited area, taking over the legal limit, possession of rifle during turkey season, obtaining a license by fraud and hunting with an electronic device each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense. Criminal trespassing carries a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations and hunting without non-resident basic hunting and big game licenses each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense. Failing to possess a turkey stamp brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
LDWF agents involved in these cases are Lt. Will Roberts, Senior Agent Garrett Kimble, Senior Agent Carl Armstrong, Senior Agent Clay Marques, Senior Agent Bryant Coburn, Lt. Kenny Balkom, Lt. Curt Belton and Senior Agent Thomas J. Ashley.
Today, April 11, a Boothville man pled guilty to one count of criminal damage under $500 and one count of harassing a person lawfully fishing in Plaquemines Parish.
Judge Kevin Conner of the 25th Judicial District of Plaquemines Parish accepted Nathan J. Creppel’s, 58, plea and sentenced him to pay a total of $650 in fines plus court costs.
Judge Conner also ordered Creppel to forfeit his 2013 commercial crab license and was barred from the commercial crab industry in any form for the remainder of 2013. In addition, Creppel was also given a suspended six month prison sentence and placed on two years inactive probation with the stipulation that he commit no wildlife offenses. Furthermore, he was ordered to pay $200 in restitution to the victim.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents conducted an investigation into Creppel after receiving a hidden game camera that took photos of Creppel cutting the corks of another crab fisherman’s traps in the Mississippi River below Venice. Cutting the corks rendered the gear unusable and unsalvageable.
Agents confronted Creppel at his home with the photos and he was subsequently cited for the violations on Oct. 11, 2012.
Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Robert Cosse Jr. Assistant District Attorney Jerry Lobrano prosecuted the case.