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Shot LDWF Agent Returns to Duty

Release Date: 08/15/2017

Shot LDWF Agent Returns to Duty

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent who was shot in the line of duty while on patrol in Morehouse Parish in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2017, has returned to duty.

Senior Agent Tyler Wheeler, 25, was shot four times including once in the head and once in the back while questioning a motorist around 2 a.m. on Jan. 7 on Hwy. 165 between Sterlington and Bastrop in Morehouse Parish.  After numerous surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, Wheeler was cleared to return to full time duty in late July.

“Tyler Wheeler is an extraordinary young man with a faith and will to live that I have been blessed to witness," said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. "His courage and determination to return to work after surviving a life-threatening attack, typifies what it means to be a law enforcement officer."

Wheeler’s first day back in uniform was Aug. 4 and he went through a week of in-service training before beginning his first week of patrol duties on Aug. 14.

“We welcome back Senior Agent Wheeler with open arms and are very happy for him, his family, and our division that he has made a miraculous full recovery from his gunshot wounds,” said Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “Senior Agent Wheeler has always had very high spirits during the entire recovery process.  He will once again be a vital asset for our enforcement division moving forward and it is great to have him back at full strength.”

Louisiana State Police Detectives arrested Amethyst Baird, 31, of Monroe on one count of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer and Jeremy Gullette, 34, of Monroe, on one count of accessory after the fact to attempted first-degree murder on Jan. 8.  Both are still awaiting trial at this time.

Wheeler was awarded with the Louisiana Wildlife Agent’s Association (LWAA) “Statewide Agent of the Year” award on March 11.

“I would like to thank everybody who has made it possible for me to return to work especially the doctors who got me stabilized and put back together, the rehab personnel, my family and the enforcement division for always being there every step of the way,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler has been an agent for three and a half years and is married with one child.

Two Men Cited for Closed Season Shrimping Violations

Release Date: 08/15/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited two men for alleged shrimping violations on Aug. 14 in Bay Couquette in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Michael Bourgeouis, 26, of Buras, and Toby Brown, 40, of Boothville, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents found the subjects actively skimming for shrimp in Bay Couquette in the early morning hours of Aug. 14.  Agents seized 513 pounds of shrimp and sold them to the highest bidder.

Using skimmers during a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.

In addition, for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Travis Bartlett and Agent Rich Heinhold.

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Nine Cited for Closed Season Shrimping Violations in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes

Release Date: 08/09/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited nine people in five separate vessels for alleged shrimping violations on Aug. 8 and 9 in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes.

Agents cited Robert M. Buras, 50, of Venice, Carey O’Neil, 49, of Buras, Jeffery Buras, 57, of Hazelhurst, Miss., Philip David Jr., 50, and Joseph Billiot, 56, both of Marrero, Jeffery Billiot Jr., 29, of Laplace, and Derek Perez, 39, of Laffite, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.  Agents found these subjects during the late night hours of Aug. 8 actively using skimmers in the closed season in Bay Long in Plaquemines Parish located in Zone 2.

Agents also cited Lindy Lebouef, 77, of St. Bernard, and Elward Perez Jr., 51, of Violet, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.  Agents found these two in the early morning hours on Aug. 9 actively using skimmers in Drum Bay located in St. Bernard Parish in Zone 1.

A total of 3,422 pounds of shrimp were seized from all vessels involved and sold to the highest bidder.

Both Zone 1 and Zone 2 have been closed to shrimping since June and is not set to reopen until Aug. 18.

Using skimmers in a closed season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail plus forfeiture of anything seized.

In addition, for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents involved in the cases are Sgt. Villere Reggio, Sgt. Austin Arteaga, Corporals Gary Pierce and Bret Nabors, Senior Agents Blaine Wagner, Austin Landry and Joel Cromp, and Agents Jonathan Boudreaux and Thomas Forehand.

Body of Missing Boater Found in Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents recovered the body of a missing boater in Lake Pontchartrain this morning, Aug. 2.

The body of Lawrence Guimont, 57, of New Orleans, was found about 7 a.m. near where his capsized vessel was found the previous day under the Hwy. 11 Bridge in Orleans Parish.

LDWF agents along with the U.S. Coast Guard, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police responded to a report of a capsized vessel under the Hwy. 11 Bridge on the morning of Aug. 1.  LDWF agents were able to recover the vessel along with the attached trolling motor.

The search and rescue crews were able to link Guimont to the vessel and a truck at a nearby boat launch and then contacted his family who confirmed he went out fishing.  The search and rescue crews searched throughout the night before finding his body this morning.

It is unknown at this time what caused the vessel to capsize.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Guimont was found without wearing a personal flotation device and his body was turned over to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

Search Crews Looking for Potential Missing Boaters

Release Date: 08/01/2017

Search and rescue crews are currently searching for possible missing boaters in Lake Pontchartrain.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents recovered an overturned 12 foot flat boat with trolling motor, ice chest and various other debris related to a boating incident this morning, Aug. 1 near the Hwy. 11 bridge.

Search crews with the New Orleans Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana State Police and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office are also participating in the search.
 

AMENDED - August 2017 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 08/01/2017

The next regular Commission meeting will be held at 1:30 PM on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at the Grand Isle Fisheries Lab located at 195 Ludwig Annex Grand Isle, LA 70358.

 

 Agenda:

1.     Call to Order

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Adoption of July 6, 2017 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.     Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6.     Enforcement Report July, 2017 – Captain Edward Skena

7.     House and Senate Natural Resources Committee Update – Chairman Chabert and Chairman Bishop

8.     Receive and Consider a Resolution to Add Property to Salvador Wildlife Management Area – Alvin Landry, Land Attorney

9.     Receive and Consider a Resolution to Add Property to Joyce Wildlife Management Area – Alvin Landry, Land Attorney

10.  Receive and Consider a Notice of Intent to add Sterlet sturgeon to the Domesticated Aquatic Organism (DAO) list – Rob Bourgeois, Biologist

11.  Presentation on Red Snapper harvest estimates – LDWF staff

12.  Receive presentation on Louisiana Management for Recreational Red Snapper Draft Amendment – LDWF staff

13.  Receive update on Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s August Meeting – LDWF staff

14.  Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency setting the Fall Inshore Shrimp Season – Jeff Marx, Biologist

15.  Set December, 2017 Commission Meeting Date

16.  Receive Public Comments

17.  Adjournment 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5307185781503222786

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to the contact at the top of this announcement at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

 

 

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