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$7,000 Reward Offered in Black Bear Death

Release Date: 12/23/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear who was found in Avoyelles Parish.

A combined reward of $7,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing of this bear. LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are each offering a reward of $1,000 for a total of $2,000. Additionally, The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward up to $5,000.

A citizen alerted authorities on Dec. 5, 2014 about a dead black bear lying in the woods on Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge. The bear was collected by LDWF and USFWS agents.

A necropsy revealed that the bear was shot with a bullet that went through the abdomen and was likely dead for about 10 to 14 days before he was found. The length, weight and teeth wear of the bear suggest that the animal was a juvenile. The bear weighed approximately 70 pounds.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program. Information can also be provided to USFWS Federal Wildlife Officers at the Central Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex by calling 318-253-4238.

To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 are monitored 24 hours a day. Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed by the federal Endangered Species Act as a threatened species since 1992. Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both State and Federal laws. Violators are subject to penalties up to $50,000 and six months in jail. In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Montegut Man Cited for Spotted Sea Trout Fishing Violations

Release Date: 12/22/2014

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Southern Strikeforce agent cited a Montegut man for alleged spotted sea trout fishing violations on Dec. 17 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agent Lucas Hidalgo cited Mark J. Trahan, 42, for possession of 35 undersized spotted sea trout and possessing over the limit of spotted sea trout.

Agent Hidalgo stopped Trahan in Robinson Canal in Chauvin to conduct a boaters safety inspection.  During the inspection, Agent Hidalgo found Trahan in possession of 49 spotted sea trout of which 35 were undersized.  The daily limit for spotted sea trout is 25 per person and the minimum legal length is 12 inches.

Possessing over the limit of spotted sea trout and possessing undersized spotted sea trout each carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Trahan may also face a civil restitution charge of $1,013.95 for the 35 undersized spotted sea trout.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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Four Men Found Harvesting Oysters in Closed Area

Release Date: 12/18/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested four men for alleged oyster harvesting violations on Dec. 16 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Alfredo De-Laoanaya, 21, of Houma, Francisco Maradingo-Ruiz, 34, of Houma, Esteban Morelos-Reyes, 60, of Houma, and Eliazar Martine-Macedo, 28, of Beaumont, Texas, for take oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation and taking oysters during illegal hours.  The captain of the vessel, De-Laoanaya, was also cited for violating the log book and vessel sanitation requirements sanitation codes, improper running lights, and improper boat numbers.

On Dec. 16, LDWF agents were notified about someone harvesting oysters during a closed season off of the Sister Lake Seed Reservation.  Agents setup surveillance and observed a vessel in the open water of Sister Lake dredging for oysters.

Agents stopped the vessel shortly before 6 p.m. and found the four men in possession of 60 sacks of oysters.  Agents seized the vessel, two oyster dredges and returned the oysters to the water.  The men were booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the 2014/15 season.

Agents participating in this care are Sgt. Bryan Marie, Senior Agent Stephen Rhodes, Agent Ryan Breaux and Agent Lucas Hidalgo.

Taking oysters during illegal hours carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Having improper running lights and improper boat numbers carries up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.  Violating the logbook sanitation code and vessel sanitation requirements each carries up to a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail for each offense.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Crab Trap Thief Sentenced in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 12/18/2014

On Dec. 16, a Marrero man pleaded guilty to commercial fishing violations committed in Plaquemines Parish.

Jessie Gainey, 45, pleaded guilty to his second offense of theft of crab traps in the 25th Judicial District Court of Plaquemines Parish.  Judge Michael Clement sentenced him to a fine of $250 plus court costs and a suspended jail term of six months.

Judge Clement also ordered Gainey to surrender his 2014 crab trap license.  Gainey is also prohibited of being on any commercial crab boat as a deckhand or captain and possessing a crab trap license until 2017.  He is also barred from selling crabs for the period of his license revocation.

The plea stems from an incident that occurred on July 9, 2014 when Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested Gainey for removing the contents of crab traps that were not owned by him, failing to mark crab traps and theft of crab traps.

Agents set up surveillance on a line of crab traps in Grandpa Bayou in Port Sulphur.  Agents watched Gainey run a line of crab traps and empty the contents into his vessel.  Agents found the traps in Gainey’s boat untagged, tags cut and some with Gainey’s commercial fisherman’s tag on top of another fisherman’s tag.

Robert White with District Attorney Charles Ballay’s office prosecuted the case.  LDWF Investigating agents were Sgt. Adam Young and Agent Travis Bartlett.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF Agents Cite Seven Men on Closed Sister Lake Seed Ground

Release Date: 12/11/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited seven men for oyster fishing violations in the past month on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation in Terrebonne Parish.

On Nov. 7, agents cited Angel Torres-Cuevas, 36, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season and taking oysters from a polluted area.  Agents seized his oyster dredge and dumped a sack of oysters back into the water.

Agents cited Policarpo D. Olivier, 41, and Maximo Aguilar-Lara, 32, both of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season on Nov. 10.  Agents dumped 12 sacks of oysters back into the water and seized Olivier’s two dredges.

On Dec. 1, agents cited Alfredo Oanaya, 31, of Houma, Eliazar Macedo, 28, of Beaumont, Texas, Esteban Reyes-Morelos, of Houma, and Francisco Ruiz-Maradiaga, 34, of Houma, for taking oysters during a closed season and for using an illegal dredge.  Agents also cited the captain, Oanaya, for violating the logbook sanitation code.  Agents seized two dredges and dumped 10 sacks of oysters back into the water.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the 2014/15 oyster season.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters from a polluted area carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Using an illegal dredge brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Violating the logbook sanitation code carries up to a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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