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202 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 04/24/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 202 boaters statewide after their seventh annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 22.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at nine locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

To register for a future boating education class please visit and follow the links to register.

Below was the list of class locations for lagniappe day:

Webster Parish
LDWF Region 1 Office
9961 Hwy. 80
Minden, LA 71055
Sponsors included the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA), Coca-Cola of Minden, McDonald’s, Burger King, Sonic, Raising Cane’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors and Johnny’s Pizza House.

Rapides Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors

St. Martin Parish
1015 Amy St (next to the Henderson town hall)
Henderson, LA 70517
Sponsors included LWAA

Beauregard Parish
First Baptist Church of Deridder
2030 US-171
DeRidder, LA 70634
Sponsors included Beauregard Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited

Lafourche Parish
Galliano Fire Station District 3
1762 West Main St
Galliano, LA 70354
Sponsors included Renovation Hardware in Cut Off

Tangipahoa Parish
Manchac Fire Department
30221 US-51
Akers, LA 70421
Sponsors included Reno Seafood and Manchac Boat Club

Livingston Parish
Bass Pro Shop of Denham Springs
175 Bass Pro Blvd
Denham Springs, LA 70726
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be teaching this class.
Sponsors included Bass Pro Shop of Denham Springs

St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Library Madisonville Branch
1123 Main St
Madisonville, LA 70447
Sponsors included LWAA and Raising Canes.

St. Bernard Parish Man Sentenced For Oyster Violations

Release Date: 04/24/2017

A St. Bernard parish man pled guilty to oyster violations in St. Bernard Parish Court on April 20.

Judge Kirk Vaughn accepted the guilty plea from Joshua C. Alfonso, 30, and sentenced him to pay a $950 fine plus court costs.  Alfonso pled guilty to taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area as set by the Department of Health and Hospitals.

Since this is Alfonso’s second offense, his oyster harvester license will also be revoked for three years.  He is also forbidden to be on a vessel possessing oysters or processing oysters for three years.  Alfonso’s dredge that was seized by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents will be forfeited to the state.

The guilty plea stems a citation Alfonso received from LDWF agents on Sept. 9, 2016 for harvesting oysters from a polluted area closed by DHH in Lake Robin on un-leased state water bottoms in St. Bernard Parish.

District Attorney Perry Nicosia’s office prosecuted the case for the state and Senior Agent Blaine Wagner was the case agent.

LEEC eNews Bulletin: Art Contest Deadline Extended to May 5, 2017

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission has extended the deadline for the annual Environmental Education Art and Language Arts contest to Friday, May 5, 2017 to allow students who were testing or on spring break the opportunity to participate. Our art and language arts contest is a great way for students to paint, draw or tell a story about what the environment means to them.
YOUR STUDENT COULD WIN A CASH PRIZE! First Place: $200 Second Place: $100 Third Place: $75. All of the winners, their families, teachers and principals get invited to a reception at the Governor’s mansion.
UP TO 24 WINNERS! The contest has four age groups (Group 1: Contestants ages 5-7, Group 2: Contestants ages 8-10, Group 3: Contestants ages 11-13, Group 4: Contestants ages 14-18 ) with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in both the art and language arts categories.
Our theme this year is Protecting Louisiana's Endangered Species. The only limit is your students’ imaginations! 

Agents Arrest Two People for Drug Possession

Release Date: 04/20/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested two Roseland residents for alleged drug charges on April 17 in Tangipahoa Parish.

Agents arrested Willie I. Rhodus Jr., 42, and Shelia R. Hutchins, 46, for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal narcotics, and violating wildlife management area (WMA) regulations.

Agents were on patrol when they found the subjects in a vehicle riding in a restricted area on the Sandy Hollow WMA.  After further investigation, agents found the subjects in possession of methamphetamines, a pistol, and various drug paraphernalia.

Rhodus Jr. and Hutchins were arrested and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

Rhodus Jr. was also cited for driving a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license and with a cancelled license plate.  Hutchins also has six outstanding arrest warrants for writing bad checks.

Possession of methamphetamine carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.

Possession of drug paraphernalia brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years of prison.  Violating WMA regulations brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Toby Miller and Senior Agent Lee Davis.

LEEC eNews Bulletin: Exciting Summer PD Opportunity at Grand Isle Lab

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is hosting Watershed Webs, a 4-day professional development workshop for educators June 5-8 at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Research Laboratory in Grand Isle, LA. Made possible by a NOAA B-WET grant, Watershed Webs takes educators through real-world scientific investigations and supports your efforts to familiarize students with scientific protocols, data collection, and data interpretation. Instructional materials are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, engaging students in true investigative learning.
This is a chance for you to DO something about litter and help your students see the impacts. Let us teach you how to make a difference in your classroom! Attendees will learn how to collect and interpret litter data, monitor water quality, conduct a beach profile, identify micro plastics, understand the impacts of litter on wildlife, and use litter to visually trace their watershed. Attendees will also visit a recent beach restoration site, enjoy a barrier island boat tour, and go birding on a Nature Conservancy property a few steps from the lab.  During downtime, you will enjoy a fresh Gulf fish cookout and pier fishing (bring your license and equipment).
Watershed Webs participants will also have the opportunity to engage their own students in a beach sweep activity in their home area. We will help you conduct a field experience with your students and provide financial support through 2017.
Teachers in the coastal parishes/counties of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are eligible to participate. Go to for a list of qualifying parishes and counties.
Participants who complete this workshop will receive:
·       Room and board at the laboratory dorm
·         Handheld WiFi microscope, dissolved oxygen kit, Secchi tube, pH test kit, thermometer, flash drive, & lessons (over $300 worth)
·        Up to 32 hours of professional development
·        Up to $700 in stipends paid; dependent upon participation level:
        ·   Tier 1: $100 for in-state attendees, $300 for out-of-state attendees
        ·   Tier 2: $100 for proof of lesson plan implementation in the classroom
        ·   Tier 3: $200 for conducting an approved field experience with students
        ·   Tier 4: $100 for presenting a related session at an approved conference
·        Student bus transportation, driver stipends and other support for related field experiences
·        Student public service announcement allowance of $100

Registration fee of $25.00 is required. (Check will be returned upon completion of workshop.)
REGISTER NOW - space is limited to 20 participants from eligible counties and parishes.
For more information, contact Venise Ortego at

Three Men Cited For Oyster Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 04/19/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged oyster violations in Plaquemines Parish on April 18.

Agents cited Joseph J. Phillips, 44, Don P. Phillips, 57, and Charles J. Williams Jr., 24, all of Port Sulphur, for taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area and unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms.  The captain, Joseph Phillips, was also cited for a log book violation.

Agents cited the subjects after they were observed actively dredging for oysters in an area that was closed to pollution.  Agents returned the oysters to the water and seized the dredge.  Agents also put the vessel under a department seizure order.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  A log book violation carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Villere Reggio and Sgt. Jason Gernados.

Four Men Cited for Fishing Violations in Jefferson Parish

Release Date: 04/19/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents citied four subjects for alleged fishing violations in two separate cases in Jefferson Parish on April 17.

Agents cited Arthur Borchgrevink, 71, from Metairie, and Rudy Mirandone Jr., 73, from Bay St. Louis, Miss., for taking over the daily limit of spotted sea trout.  Agents also cited Sidney Frechou III, 62, from Pearl River, for taking over the daily limit and possession limit of spotted sea trout, and John Dandry Jr., 60, from Metairie, for not possessing basic fishing and saltwater fishing licenses.

Agents received over the limit of sea trout complaints in Lake Pontchartrain and responded to the area.  Agents stopped a vessel with Borchgrevink and Mirandone Jr. and found them in possession of 43 spotted sea trout.  After further investigation, agents found an additional 59 spotted sea trout in their vehicle that had also been caught that morning.

Shortly thereafter agents stopped a vessel containing Frechou III and Dandry Jr. and found them in possession of 50 spotted sea trout.  Further investigation revealed that Dandry Jr. possessed an additional 52 spotted sea trout that were taken over a multiple day period of which he caught 27 in one of those days.  Frechou III also did not possess basic fishing and saltwater fishing licenses.

The daily bag limit for spotted sea trout is 25 per person for this area.  The possession limit of spotted seatrout is twice the daily bag limit on land, however no person shall be in possession of spotted sea trout over the daily bag limit in any one day or while fishing or while on the water.  This put Borchgrevink and Mirandone Jr. 52 over their daily limit.  It also put Dandry Jr. 27 spotted seatrout over his possession limit and two spotted seatrout over one of his daily limits.

Angling without basic fishing and saltwater fishing licenses each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.  Taking over the daily limit of spotted sea trout brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Taking over the possession limit of spotted sea trout carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Borchgrevink and Mirandone Jr. may also face a civil restitution penalty totaling $1,506 for the illegally possessed fish.  Dandry Jr. may also face a civil restitution penalty totaling $782 for the illegally possessed fish.  Frechou III may also face a civil restitution penalty totaling $724 for the illegally possessed fish.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Gary Pierce, Senior Agent Patrick Dempsey and Senior Agent Jeffrey Farmer.

LEEC Special eNews Bulletin: 2017 LEEC Grants Finalists Announced

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is pleased to announce the 2017 LEEC Grants Program finalists. We are looking forward to seeing the positive effects these worthy projects have in their schools and communities.

Thanks to all of our applicants and congratulations, finalists!

2017 LEEC Grants Program FINALISTS

Last Name

First Name

School/ Organization

Project Title

Number Impacted

 Funding Potential 

Educator Grants



St. Aloysius School

3D Animal Adaptations





Albany Middle School

Environmental Education through Art



Green School Grants



Plaisance Elementary School

The Indian’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative





Lusher Charter School

Operation Plastic Reduction


 $ 4,958.00 



Covington High School

High School Nature Trail



Professional Development Grants



Sci-Port Discovery Center

Watershed to the Red





Academic Distinction Fund

First Time Foresters





Audubon Nature Institute

Discovering the Wonders of Nature





Louisiana Science Teachers Association

The New LSSS for the Informal Science Educator 



University Research Grants



Southeastern Louisiana University

Growth Responses of Three Wetland Plant Species to Various Levels of Flooding and Nutrients


 $   1,200.00 



Louisiana State University 

Long-term population dynamics of an old-growth longleaf pine population


 $     800.00 



Louisiana State University

Impacts of climate change - The roles of abiotic and biotic interactions on community-dynamics in the monarch butterfly system


 $   1,200.00 



Tulane University

Differential Gene Expression in Roots of Spartina alterniflora under Oil Pollution Stress


 $   1,200.00 



Tulane University

Social and environmental information use by foraging brown pelicans


 $   1,109.00 



Louisiana State University

Biological control at a range margin: interactions between multiple agents and host genotypes


 $    1,191.00 



Louisiana State University

Individual and Density Dependent Movement of an Insect within a Patch, Matrix, and at the Border


$     1,200.00



Tulane University

Migration Stopover Ecology of the Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) in the Northern Gulf of Mexico


$    1,200.00



Louisiana State University

Biomarker of resilience in Crassostrea virginica


$       958.00



Tulane University

Population Genetics of a Migratory Bird Population


$     1,128.00



University of New Orleans

Temporal heterogeneity as a driver of microevolution of plasticity in thermotolerance in the differential grasshopper


$   1,200.00



Louisiana State University

Impact of Soil Microbes on Cogongrass Growth in Native and Non-Native Soil


$  1,200.00



Louisiana State University

Determination of carbon sources in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River System


$  1,200.00



Tulane University

Interacting effects of disease and non-native milkweed species on the behavior and survival of monarch butterflies


$   1,080.00



Louisiana State University

Effects of hurricanes, in the context of ongoing sea level rise, on plant communities in coastal transitions


$       807.00



Louisiana State University

Assessment of sand storage of large channel bars in the Lower Mississippi River


$  1,200.00



University of New Orleans

Diversity in an invasive plant: a historic and contemporary perspective


$   1,200.00






 $ 44,494.00 


LW1-17 Hatches Successfully

LW1-17 Hatches Successfully
LW1-17 Hatches Successfully
LW1-17 Hatches Successfully
The following was announced on the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries-Whooping Crane Facebook page April 13th. We wanted to make sure that all our friends of the Louisiana whooping cranes were aware of this exciting news. Thank you as always for your continued support of the Louisiana whooping crane project.
On April 13th, 2017 LDWF welcomed wild-hatched LW1-17 into the world! This chick hatched from an egg produced by captive adults at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland. LDWF received the egg and it was switched into a nest in Avoyelles Parish. Pair L7-11 and L8-11 have nested twice every year since 2014, but so far, have only produced infertile eggs. This, and the fact that they are excellent incubators, made them good candidates to receive a fertile captive produced egg. This year, the timing of their renest and the hatch date of an early laid captive egg coincided perfectly to give these two cranes a chance at working on their parenting skills! On 12 April, L7-11 and L8-11's two eggs were removed from their nest and the pipped (hatching) egg was swapped in. The adults returned to incubate quickly once we had exited the marsh. The two eggs removed were placed into an incubator allowing staff to monitor them for development, although they are likely infertile based on the pairs history. On the morning of the 13th, a call was received from the crawfish farmer that the chick had hatched! Although this chicks biological parent are captive, it is still considered "wild-hatched" and is now known as LW1-17! After years of trying to hatch their own eggs, L7-11 and L8-11 finally have a chick. We hope that their excellent incubation skills will transfer into excellent parenting skills, and that LW1-17 will remain in the population for years to come!

Two Cited For Taking Closed Season Shrimp in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 04/17/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two subjects for alleged closed season shrimping violations on April 17 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents cited Ricky R. Robin, 63, of St. Bernard, and Jonathan Gould, 36, of Violet, for using trawls for shrimp during a closed shrimp season.  Agents observed the men actively shrimping in the Bay Eloi area around 6 a.m.

The Louisiana spring inshore shrimp season is currently closed in this area.  Agents seized 25 pounds of shrimp and returned them to the water.

Using trawls during a closed shrimp season carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Additionally, if convicted the men could be sentenced to harvest shrimp only from a vessel with an approved vessel monitoring system monitored by LDWF.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Jason Gernados and Sgt. Villere Reggio.

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