Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents concluded an extensive investigation into the illegal sale of spotted sea trout and red drum on Jan. 24, 2014.
Agents arrested Joseph Morris III, 30, of Marrero, for alleged commercial fishing violations after undercover LDWF Agents purchased spotted sea trout and red drum from Morris’ residence in Jefferson Parish.
Agents also secured an arrest warrant from Plaquemines Parish after Morris again sold spotted sea trout and red drum to undercover agents and he also took agents on chartered fishing trips without the required charter boat license.
Commercial fisherman selling without a fresh products license, failing to maintain records, and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a max penalty of $500 and up to 90 days in jail plus court costs for each count. Selling game fish illegally and possessing red drum commercially carries a max penalty of up to $500 and jail up to 30 days, license revocation, and forfeiture of anything seized for each count. Failing to comply with charter boat regulation and selling spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout without a rod and reel license, and taking or selling undersized spotted sea trout carries a max penalty of up to $950 or up to 120 days in jail or both plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized for each offense.
He is also facing a total of $8,329.68 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.
Agents also placed a seizure order on two vessels and one vehicle that were used for these alleged offenses and are property of the State of Louisiana until this case is adjudicated in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes.
Morris also had six outstanding warrants for his arrest in Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes.
Lead agents participating in the case are LDWF’s Special Investigations Unit, and Sgt. Adam Young. Assisting agents were Sgts. Villere Reggio, Kris Bourgeois, and Jeff Boyd with the assistance of Deputy Chad LaFrance with the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Dear Friend of the Louisiana Whooping Cranes,
Please find the link below to the first quarterly newsletter for 2014. As always, we appreciate your continued support of our efforts to restore this important species to its historic Louisiana habitat.
A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent has been appointed to serve on a newly formed national safe boating commission.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Executive Board appointed LDWF Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, of Baton Rouge, to the new Boating Professional Certification Commission.
“I’m honored and excited to be working on this new commission as we lay the groundwork for this new certification for recreational boating program management,” said Capt. Zechenelly.
The commission consists of 13 members that represent state, federal, nonprofit, industry and public stakeholder interests and will look at the National Recreational Boating Program in its entirety to develop the Recreational Boating Professional Certification. The certification will be a voluntary program designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and designate recreational boating professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to recreational boating program management.
Capt. Zechenelly is originally from Pearl River and joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999. In August of 2013, Capt. Zechenelly was named the Boating Law Administrator for the state of Louisiana. She currently oversees the Enforcement Division’s marine theft investigations, boating crash incident investigations, and the statewide boating safety education program.
“Capt. Zechenelly is a great asset to our state’s safe boating program. It is an honor to have our boating program once again receive national recognition and have a positive influence on the national boating program,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.
NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
NASBLA’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.
The Commission will be comprised of representatives from major aspects of the recreational boating program, including training, law enforcement, vessel numbering/titling, education, access, waterway management and accident reporting.
The members and the categories they represent include:
• Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries — States
• John Adey, American Boat & Yacht Council, Boating Industry
• Laurel Anders, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission — States
• Robert Brandenstein, U.S. Power Squadrons — Nonprofit
• Mark Brown, Oklahoma Highway Patrol — States
• Ed Carter, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency — State Agency Management
• Virgil Chambers, Retired Recreational Boating Safety Professional — Public
• Michael Cortese, U.S. Coast Guard (Active Duty) — Federal
• Dan Hesket, Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism — States
• Stan Linnell, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks & Trails — States
• Eric Lundin, Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police — States
• Edwin Lyngar, Nevada Department of Wildlife — States
• Gary Owen, National Water Safety Congress — Nonprofit
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Raceland man for alleged deer hunting violations on Dec. 25, 2013 on Eagle Island.
Agents cited Eric Savoie, 37, for two counts of hunting or taking deer during illegal hours, failing to tag deer, over limit of deer, taking deer illegally during an open season, hunting deer without a big game license, and hunting with an unplugged shotgun.
On Dec. 24, LDWF agents received a complaint that Savoie had killed two does at night on Dec. 20.
When agents approached Savoie’s residence on Eagle Island on Dec. 25, agents observed Savoie seated at the rear of his residence with a loaded 7 mm rifle in hand and a loaded 12 gauge shotgun with buckshot, a loaded .22 rifle and using a utility street light to shine deer to shoot them at night.
Upon further investigation, agents learned that near the light Savoie placed several pounds of soybeans on the ground to attract deer at night.
After Savoie was disarmed by agents, Savoie was questioned. Savoie admitted to harvesting two antlerless deer during illegal hours on Dec. 20 and attempting to harvest more deer during illegal hours on the night of Dec. 25.
Hunting deer during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail per count. Taking deer illegally during an open season carries a $500 to $750 fine and 15 to 30 days in jail. Taking over limit of deer and hunting with an unplugged shotgun each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Hunting without a big game license carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Agents seized one Remington 7 mm rifle, one Ruger .22 rifle, and one 12 gauge shotgun.
Agents involved in case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agents Jamie Folse and Ryan Breaux.