General

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Three Texas Men Cited for Red Snapper Violations

Release Date: 06/27/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) cited three Texas men for allegedly violating federal reef fish regulations on June 19 in the Gulf of Mexico.

Agents cited Oscar Naranjo, 49, of Galveston, Texas, Eustacio Rangel, 51, of Port Isabelle, Texas, and Vincent Longoria, 47, of Palacios, Texas, for being in possession of 42 red snapper.

Agents were on a joint enforcement agreement patrol 50 miles south of Grand Isle in the Gulf of Mexico when they observed an 80 foot vessel trawling for shrimp.  Agents boarded the vessel and performed an inspection of the vessel.

During the inspection, agents located 42 frozen red snapper below the deck inside a large insulated holding box.  The men did not possess a commercial permit that is needed to harvest and sell reef fish under federal quotas and in excess of the bag limits.

Any vessel with shrimp trawls may not exceed the recreational reef fish bag limit, which is two per person with a minimum 16 inches in total length for red snapper.

Agents who are participating in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Michael Marques Jr.

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

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water this Weekend June 28-30

Release Date: 06/26/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 28-30 with increased patrols for boaters operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"Alcohol is always one of the largest contributing factors for boating fatalities in Louisiana and nationwide," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to have a sober operator of the vessel for the safety of those in the vessel and everybody else on the water.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 25 boating fatalities in 2012 with alcohol playing a role in six fatalities or 24 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2012 reveal that 17 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued five DWI citations to boat operators during the 2012 Operation Dry Water weekend and 10 DWI citations over the same weekend in 2011.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

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

Agenda for the July Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 06/25/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, 4142 North Flannery Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70814.

The following items will be discussed:

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of June 6, 2013

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/June

5. To Consider Notice of Intent Scenic River Rules and Regulations

6. To Consider Notice of Intent 2014 Wild Turkey Season Dates, Rules and Regulations

7. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for Early Migratory Game Birds and Special Teal Season

8. To Hear General Notice of 2013-2014 Waterfowl Season Tentative Dates

9. To Discuss Establishing Recreational and Commercial Size and Creel Limits on Tripletail

10. Set November 2013 Meeting Date

11. Receive Public Comments

 

 

Farmers Briefed on Whooping Crane Project, Scenic River Proposal and Ducks Unlimited Program

Release Date: 06/25/2013

June 25, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Ducks Unlimited and the LSU AgCenter hosted an educational seminar for southwest Louisiana farmers on Tuesday at the AgCenter’s Cooperative Extension office in Crowley.

LDWF staff briefed farmers on the status of the department’s whooping crane restoration program now in its third year. Farmers learned how the department tracks each crane’s movement once they are released from the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area and how they can assist staff biologists with research efforts underway.

The department’s Scenic Rivers Program coordinator gave an overview of the program, explained potential benefits for farmers whose fields are adjacent to designated system streams and outlined the steps that could provide for waterways within the Mermentau River Basin and Lacassine Bayou being included within the program.

The benefits to landowners along scenic rivers and streams include: special consideration at the state level regarding proposed new projects, especially water related issues; protection provided by unique regulations that value the contribution farmers make to Louisiana; and a competitive advantage for certain financial incentive programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Today, there are approximately 3,000 miles of Louisiana designated Natural and Scenic Rivers. These rivers, streams and bayous, and segments thereof, are located throughout the state and offer a unique opportunity for individuals and communities to become involved in the protection, conservation and preservation of two of Louisiana's greatest natural resources -- its wilderness and its water.

DU’s  Manager of Conservation Programs Bob Dew presented information about the importance of rice in southwest Louisiana to waterfowl and other migratory birds. These habitats are some of the most important habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl in North America. Through DU’s Rice Stewardship Program, DU and rice producers partner to enhance rice production, sustain natural resources and conserve waterfowl populations.

For more information about LDWF’s Scenic Rivers Program, contact Keith Cascio at 318-343-4045. For details on LDWF’s whooping crane restoration, contact Carrie Salyers at 337-262-2080. Information on DU’s conservation programs can be obtained by contacting Bob Dew at 337-408-3288.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Acadian Sportsman League assisted with this public outreach program.

 

 

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Agents Cite Four Subjects for Recreational Fishing Violations

Release Date: 06/25/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited four subjects for numerous recreational fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on June 23.

Agents cited Nghia Huu Hoang, 33, Loan Huynh, 32, both from Harvey, Thang Van Tran, 38, of Avondale, and Truong Nguyen, 33, of Kenner, for intentional concealment of illegal fish, and red snapper, shark and triggerfish violations.

While on a joint enforcement agreement patrol in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, agents stopped the four subjects aboard their vessel in Empire.  During the stop, agents were shown a limit of red snapper.

After further investigation, agents discovered two hidden compartments in the bow of the vessel, which contained more red snapper and several sharks.  The subjects were in possession of a total of 40 red snapper, 18 of which were under the minimum size limit of 16 inches, three sharks that were also under the minimum size limit of 54 inches and during the currently closed recreational season, and three triggerfish also during the currently closed recreational season.

Intentional concealment of illegal fish carries up to a $950 fine.  Over limit of red snapper, possessing undersized red snapper, possession of shark and triggerfish during a closed season, and possessing undersized shark each brings up to a $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  In addition to the penalties in court they will also be assessed $983.84 in civil restitution for the illegally taken fish.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Jason Gernados.

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

Agents Arrest Six Oyster Fishermen in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 06/18/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested six Terrebonne Parish men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on June 14 and 15.

Agents arrested Hunter Daisy, 19, of Theriot, Darren Billiot, 48, of Theriot, and Rocky Rel, 34, of Houma, for unlawfully taking oysters during a closed season from the Sister Lake seed ground and booked them into the Terrebonne Parish Correctional Facility on June 14.  On June 15, agents arrested Santiago Martinez, 50, of Houma, Luis Carbajal, 22, of Chauvin, and Jose Catarino, 28, of Theriot, for taking oysters from an unapproved area in Bayou Sauveur and booked them into the Terrebonne Correctional Facility.

Agents were working a complaint of subjects taking oysters from the Sister Lake seed ground and observed a vessel actively dredging in the closed area.  Agents made contact with the three men in the vessel and were able to seize and return eight sacks of oysters to the water.

While working complaints of subjects taking oysters from a polluted area in Bayou Sauveur, agents observed a vessel actively taking oysters from an unapproved area.  Agents made contact with the three men in the vessel and were able to seize and return four sacks of oysters to the water.

Taking oysters from an unapproved area carries a fine between $400 and $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters during a closed season carries a fine between $100 and $350 and up to 60 days in jail.

Any person convicted of these violations may for one year after the date of such conviction only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system.  Access to the monitoring system shall be granted to LDWF.

Agents involved in the cases were Senior Agents Stephen Rhodes and Dean Aucoin, and Sgt. Bryan Marie.

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

Special eNews: Quantifying Debris Workshop, June 27-29

Quantifying Debris – A Marine Debris Workshop
June 27-29, 2013
Open to educators in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, & Texas 

Discover a part of Louisiana that few have seen. Join us on the coast at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge for this fantastic marine debris workshop where we will explore remote beaches accessible only by boat, pick up some great lesson activities, crab, and mainly talk trash!

Quantifying Debris, a 2-day workshop for classroom teachers and informal educators, focuses on the dynamics of marine debris. Discover the local flora and fauna with area biologists, conduct beach profiling, participate in a modified beach sweep, receive GPS training and up to 20 professional development hours, and return home with a multitude of lessons and activities for your classrooms. Meals and lodging are provided. Participants will also receive a Garmin eTrex 20 for classroom use. Travel per diem is available.

And what else?!  Funding is also available for approximately nine teachers in attendance to return during the school year with their students (grades 6-12) for a modified version of this workshop.

We’ve had a couple of late cancellations, so now it’s now possible for us to accept a few more applications. Send in yours ASAP if you would like to join in the fun and 2 days of learning on the beach!

For more information, see attached flyer and application or contact Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, at 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov.

Ferriday Man Arrested for Illegal Alligator and Drug Possession

Release Date: 06/11/2013

(June 11, 2013) - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Ferriday man on June 10 in Concordia Parish for illegal alligator and drug possession.

Agents arrested Michael P. Smith, 37, on four counts of possession of an alligator during a closed season, possession of crystal meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Smith was booked into the Concordia Parish Jail.

Agents were patrolling the Old River levee in Ferriday and found Smith and his juvenile son walking up the levee.  After checking Smith, agents found an alligator head in a trash bag.  Agents then found a decapitated 10 foot alligator on the bank not far from where Smith and his son were located.

Agents and Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies were able to secure a search warrant to search Smith’s vehicle and residence.  Agents found one fresh alligator head in his vehicle and two fresh alligator heads in his residence.  During the search, agents also found crystal meth and drug paraphernalia in Smith’s house.

Possession of an alligator during a closed season brings up to a $400 to $950 fine and 120 days in jail for the first offense, up to a $750 to $950 fine and 180 days in jail for the second offense and between $1,000 to $5,000 in fines and 180 days to two years in jail for each subsequent offense.

Contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile carries up to a $500 fine and six months of jail.  Possession of crystal meth brings up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.  Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Participating in the case were LDWF Senior Agents Joseph Merrill and Robert Mayo and two CCSO deputies.

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

LEEC Weekly eNews

Our Weekly eNewsletter is attached below. Please share.
 
Thank you,
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission

 

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