The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled the next regular public board meeting for 9:30 a.m. on February 3, 2011, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advocating the public to call the "Litterbug Hotline" whenever they witness somebody littering or observe an illegal dumping site.
The "Litterbug Hotline" is now housed inside the LDWF Enforcement Division and littering tipsters can call 1-888-LITRBUG or 1-888-548-7284 to report any potential littering violations.
"This hotline is being manned 24 hours a day and we welcome all littering clues and complaints from the public as we strive to keep Louisiana's roadsides, woods and waterways clean," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the Enforcement Division. "Each tip will be investigated by our agents and other litter law enforcement agency partners."
Those convicted of litter violations face between $75 and $1,000 in fines and up to eight hours in a litter abatement work program. Dumping violations can carry even more penalties and higher fines depending on the severity of the dumpsite and the damage to the environment.
If witnessing somebody throwing trash out of a vehicle window or trash blowing out of a pickup truck bed, please call the hotline with the make, model and color of the vehicle and the roadway location. The hotline is also the number to call for detecting or knowing of an unauthorized trash or dumpsite. All callers can remain anonymous.
As a part of the Governor's Office strategy to streamline public services, the LDWF Enforcement Division communication's section took over the litter hotline from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The LDWF Enforcement Division communication's section also handles the Operation Game Thief hotline that takes calls for hunting and fishing violation tips.
Since June 1, the Enforcement Division has received 474 calls through the hotline including 161 calls from East Baton Rouge Parish and 61 from St. Tammany Parish.
LDWF Enforcement Division agents issued 1,001 littering citations for fiscal year 2009-10 and logged 7,958 patrol hours for littering enforcement.
According to Keep Louisiana Beautiful, littering costs Louisiana taxpayers $40 million annually in cleanup fees. Littering also contributes to flooding, lowers property values and damages wildlife habitat.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Thistlethwaite heirs announced the renewal of the lease agreement for Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at the Nov. 5 commission meeting.
This agreement renews the 10-year lease, free of charge, for Thistlethwaite WMA, encompassing 11,000 acres in St. Landry Parish. Through the cooperative effort of the private landowners, Thistlethwaite WMA has been a part of LDWF’s WMA system since 1966.
“The Thistlethwaite’s gift is a perfect example of the commitment outdoorsmen have to conservation,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We honor the Thistlethwaite family for their generous contribution and for ensuring future generations enjoy wildlife and related recreation in this area.”
This property features a vast array of outdoor recreational opportunities for the public. The WMA includes 11 miles of nature trails to make hunting as well as birding and nature walks more accessible.
The WMA is a bottomland hardwood area and is home to a variety of game and non-game wildlife species including whitetail deer, squirrels, rabbits, woodcock and wood ducks. Various species of songbirds and wading birds reside on the property as well.
Additional information may be obtained by calling 337-948-0255.
Three-year partnership will fund concessions stand selling only La. seafood, helps promote fishing industry.
(Baton Rouge, La.) November 5, 2010 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) joined officials with the Office of Community Development (OCD), and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB) today to announce a partnership with the New Orleans Hornets to launch a Louisiana-only seafood concessions stand. Located inside the New Orleans Arena, the Louisiana Seafood Market will promote the state’s seafood industry while serving safe, quality commercial seafood caught in Louisiana waters.
“Louisiana’s fishing industry has battled back from four major hurricanes over the last five years only to face the challenges created by the BP oil spill,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fisheries Randy Pausina. “We have seen a dramatic drop in the value of our seafood this year, and we have to address the industry’s issues now. This partnership is an exciting opportunity to support our fishermen and to help reinforce that Louisiana seafood is safe and healthy. We’re grateful to the Hornets for their incredible support of the industry, and I challenge everyone who comes to the arena to stop by the market for some of the safest, most delicious commercial seafood in the country.”
“The entire Hornets family is proud to support the Louisiana seafood industry and provide our fans at the arena with the freshest seafood straight out of the Gulf,” said Hornets President Hugh Weber. “Through our partnership with the Office of Community Development, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, we are able to send the message to our fans and the entire community that Louisiana seafood is safe, fresh and back open for business. The new Louisiana Seafood Market concession stand is just another way we can provide our fans with options for top-notch local cuisine as they cheer on the Hornets at the Hive.”
The Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit worked closely with LDWF and LSPMB to secure $300,000 in funding from a Community Block Development Grant for the Louisiana-only seafood concessions stand to support the state’s fishing industry. In addition to the three-year agreement for the concessions stand, the Hornets have also committed to working with the state to promote Louisiana seafood with their fans, and in cities across the country as they travel to away games.
“This oil spill could not have come at a worse time for our fishing industry, which was still struggling to recover from the affects of four hurricanes in three years. It’s crucial that we continue to help rebuild and restore our fishing industry and communities by reinforcing the safety and quality of Louisiana seafood, both with our own residents and with those who join us at the arena from out of state,” said Office of Community Development Director Robin Keegan. “I’m incredibly grateful to President Weber and his staff for working to make this concession stand happen. It takes Louisiana companies purchasing Louisiana seafood to help rebuild our industry and our brand – the Hornets are playing an integral part in that today.”
“The Louisiana seafood stand at the New Orleans arena offers attendees a true taste of Louisiana. Whether it is a fan attending a Hornets game, or watching a performance by a world-renowned entertainer, the experience will be complete with flavorful dishes created from fresh Louisiana seafood,” said LSPMB Assistant Executive Director Rene LeBreton.
In addition to supporting the seafood industry through the Louisiana Seafood Market concession stand, the Hornets have teamed up with Chevron and several other corporate partners including Rouses Supermarkets, CVS pharmacies and Take 5 Oil Change to launch the “Believe in Blue” campaign which will serve to raise awareness and funds for the residents of communities affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, restore local coastal wetlands and help return the gulf’s water back to its original color—blue. In the last month alone, the team has raised over $40,000 for Gulf Coast restoration.
All proceeds raised through the entire “Believe in Blue” campaign will benefit the Friends of the Fisherman fund, the officially endorsed fund of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board created to help Louisiana's fishermen, America’s WETLAND Foundation, established to preserve Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans. All funds will be collected and distributed through the United Way.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
A Bridge City man pled guilty to a felony conviction in Jefferson Parish on Nov. 4 for stealing a boat.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested Michael Joseph Higgerson, 25, on April 25, 2010 after being found to be in possession of a boat that was reported stolen in Orleans Parish in late 2009.
24th Judicial Court Judge Erin Shirer Kovach sentenced Higgerson to five years imprisonment at hard labor with three suspended, three years of active probation and 40 hours of community service.
Agents initially stopped Higginson for a standard safe boating check when they found him to be in possession of the reportedly stolen 19 foot Chaparral boat with motor. Agents seized the boat and trailer and returned them to the legal owner.
The prosecuting Assisting District Attorney for the case was Matthew Clausen.
The investigating agents in the case were Sgt. Jason Russo and Cadet Terrance Hicks of LDWF. Detective Nick Vega of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted the agents with the forensic evidence in the case.
A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was honored at the Nov. 4 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting held in Baton Rouge.
Shikar-Safari Club International representative Tom Montgomery was at the commission meeting to present this year's Shikar-Safari Club International Officer of the Year award for Louisiana to LDWF Sgt. Ryan Brasher, 38, of Minden.
The Shikar-Safari award recognizes an agent from each state for outstanding efforts in conservation law enforcement. Sgt. Brasher, an LDWF agent for eight years who patrols the Claiborne Parish area, received the award partly for his teamwork with other law enforcement units on joint cases, diligent work on turkey baiting cases and leadership roles as a field-training officer.
"Sgt. Brasher has always demonstrated a strong work ethic and professionalism since he came to the department and now his leadership roles are rising to the surface," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division. "He does a great job of doing whatever is asked of him and always carries a high case load."
Sgt. Brasher was recently selected as the LDWF Statewide Agent of the Year in March. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where he attained the rank of Corporal.
A Kansas man took home first place in the 2011 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on the LDWF hunting permit commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.
Wes Dewey unanimously beat out 14 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 4 meeting as the 2011 winner. Dale Pousson of Egan, LA, the 2003 winner, came in second place, and third place went to 1994 winner Don Edwards from Keithville, LA. Last year, Richard Clifton of Delaware won the contest.
Dewey has previously won the 1990 Kansas Duck Stamp, was the 2007 Kansas Ducks Unlimited sponsored print artist and has placed eighth two different years in the Federal Duck Stamp contest. Dewey's painting of a male and female wood duck perched on a weathered stump will be featured on the 2011 Louisiana Duck Stamp.
"The department was happy with the quantity of entries this year, but we were blown away by the quality of the paintings," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds. "Dewey's painting showed exceptional attention to detail with the features and scale of wood ducks and will make a fine duck stamp."
For this years' competition, LDWF let the artist choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana except for pintails, which were featured on this year's duck stamp.
The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese. This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $400,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.
The 2011 stamp, featuring Dewey's work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2011. The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.
Judges for the competition were Luke Laborde, R.C. Davis, Dean Bergeaux, Jerry Bowers, and Dr. Clint Jeske. Laborde is a PhD student at LSU on a Delta Waterfowl scholarship doing research on human dimensions in waterfowl management; Davis, a professional artist in Amite, is a past winner of the Louisiana Duck Stamp contest for the 1998-99 stamp design; Bergeaux is a pharmacist in Crowley and current State Chairman for Ducks Unlimited; Bowers is a duck stamp collector and owns Stitch and Frame gallery and frame shop in Lafayette; and Dr. Jeske is a research ecologist specializing in wetland birds for the USGS National Wetland Research Center in Lafayette as well as a decoy carver.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued a missing father and his two sons on Nov. 3 in Union Parish.
Agents received a call from the Union Parish Sheriff's Office shortly after 9 p.m. on Nov. 2 about Timothy Thomas, 36, and his two sons, age 7 and 10, who hadn't returned from a deer-scouting trip in D'arbonne National Refuge. The man and his two sons left the Holland's Bluff boat launch around 2 p.m. on Nov. 2.
LDWF agents found Thomas and his two sons shortly after midnight on Nov. 3 on the bank of Bayou D'arbonne about five miles from the Holland's Bluff boat launch.
Agents transported the family back to the Joe Bob's landing where medical personnel were already standing by. Everyone was treated for mild dehydration and hypothermia and released.
"These agents performed a search and rescue mission under very adverse conditions and successfully returned a man and his two sons to safety. The rainy, foggy and nighttime conditions made it very difficult to traverse the waterway and to find the lost party, but these agents were able to persevere," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division. "This is a very fortunate event as now the man and his two sons can reunite with the rest of the family and move forward with a good story to tell."
Agents participating in the search and rescue were Sgt. Lane Kincaid, Agent Scott Jeansonne, Agent Mike Jones, Agents Scott Bullitt, Lt. Rick Owens, Sgt. Duane Taylor, Agent David Harrell and Scott Bullitt. The Union Parish Sheriff's Office also participated in the search.
The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 4, 2010, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.
The following items will be discussed:
Approval of Minutes of October 7, 2010
Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
To receive and hear Presentation of Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award
To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/October
To receive and Announce Winners of the Duck Stamp Competition
To receive and hear Presentation of Thistlethwaite WMA Lease by Landowners
To receive and hear Overview of Mississippi Alluvial Valley WMAs
To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill
To receive and hear Request by Oyster Task Force to Discuss 2010 Oyster Season East of Mississippi River and Hackberry Bay
NOAA predicts quota will be met; fishery will reopen January 1, 2011.
Baton Rouge (October 27, 2010) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the greater amberjack commercial fishery in state waters at 12:01 a.m., October 28. LDWF Secretary Robert Barham signed the closure, which coincides with the federal closure issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA predicts that the 2010 commercial quota will be met by October 28, and, as a result, has requested that the state match the closure in federal waters.
After the closure, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, barter, trade or sell greater amberjack is prohibited until 12:01 a.m., January 1, 2011, the date set for the opening of the 2011 season. The prohibition on the sale or purchase of greater amberjack during the closure does not apply to those that were harvested, landed ashore and sold prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor provided appropriate records in accordance with R.S. 56:306.5 and 56:306.6 are properly maintained.