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Six Men Charged For Taking Polluted Oysters

Release Date: 09/22/2015

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited six men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne and LaFourche parishes.

On Sept. 18, LDWF Sgt. Bryan Marie cited Dustin M. Buquet, 18, Richardo Najera-Morales, 25, and Cline J. Ledet, 29, all from Chauvin, for taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area in Bay Antoine in Terrebonne Parish.

On Sept. 22, the agent cited Dillon J. Verdin, 23, from Cutoff, Alexei B. Vargas, 21, and Holden D. Verdin, 21, both from Houma, for taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area in Bayou Faleau in LaFourche Parish.

Both areas are closed by Department of Health and Hospitals due to pollution.

Both vessels were found with 15 sacks of oysters on board.  Sgt. Marie seized the vessels, oyster dredges and returned 30 sacks of oysters to the water.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  In addition, the men could be sentenced to serve 40 hours community service and be required to only harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring system.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

Green Schools

What are Green Schools?

Schools, districts, and institutions of higher education that are making progress toward improving resource conservation and sustainability, promote the health of their students and faculty, and foster engagement between students and their environment exemplify the characteristics of a green school.

The Green School Pillars and Elements are used as a guide to develop green initiatives.  Exemplary Green Schools show characteristics of all pillars and elements.


Louisiana Green Schools Program

The LEEC is proud to offer teachers and schools educational resources and grants as part of its Green School Program. Participation in the program helps to reduce your school’s environmental impact, reduce health disparities that can aggravate achievement gaps, and engage students in hands-on learning. Instruction and activities complement your curriculum with a solid foundation in STEM subjects while teaching civic skills and opening doors to green career pathways.



Inquires may be directed to:

Brian Gautreau
Green Schools Coordinator
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

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Three Men Cited For Tuna Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 09/10/2015

On Sept. 9, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents cited three men for alleged commercial tuna violations in Plaquemines Parish.

While on a Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) patrol in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, LDWF agents made contact with James A. Gerakines, 41, and Charles Updegraff, 52, both of Chalmette, and Perry Menesses, 58, of St. Bernard.  The men were on the commercial fishing vessel “Jasmine” in the area of Tiger Pass located in Venice.

During a federal fish inspection the men were found to be in possession of numerous skipjack and yellowfin tuna.  After a lengthy investigation agents determined that Gerakines intended to sell the tuna upon return to Venice.

When the investigation was completed agents determined no federal commercial highly migratory species (HMS) permit was on board or issued for the vessel in question or captain and of the eight yellowfin tuna on board six were under the minimum size limit of 27 inches.

All three men were charged with failing to comply with taking or possessing tuna without the required commercial HMS permit and taking or possessing under sized yellowfin tuna.  Each of the two charges carries up to a $350 fine and 60 days in jail.

Additionally the men face civil restitution charges for the illegally taken tuna totaling $1,290.20.  Agents seized a total of 285 pounds of tuna and donated it to a local homeless shelter.

Agents participating in the case are Sgts. Adam Young and Villere Reggio.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

LDWF Agent Rescues Eight People from Gulf of Mexico

Release Date: 09/09/2015

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent rescued eight people from the Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 6 in Vermilion Parish.

Sgt. Nicholas Guillory received a call from dispatch around 1 p.m. on Sept. 6 of a vessel that recently launched at Rollover Landing near Pecan Island taking on water.  He made contact with the vessel occupants who said they travelled south in Rollover Bayou and were in the Gulf of Mexico when a storm kicked up producing high seas and lots of wind.

Sgt. Guillory was able to get to the location where Rollover Bayou met the Gulf of Mexico in the pouring rain when he spotted one individual in the mud up to his waist.  He was able to pull him from the mud and get him in his boat.

Sgt. Guillory then noticed two other individuals in a vessel that was taking on water and managed to get those two in his boat.  He also towed their boat safely back to the inside part of the canal and out of the rough seas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Knowing that the three individuals he brought safely to the inside waters were not the original people that needed help, Sgt. Guillory went back into the Gulf of Mexico.  He traveled about a mile west and found two more vessels in trouble.  One of the vessels was completely beached and the other was completely under water.

Sgt. Guillory was able to grab two of the individuals from the sunken vessel and put them in his vessel.   The three people from the beached vessel were on the beach.

Sgt. Guillory then hooked his vessel up to the beached vessel and was able to pull the vessel back into the water.  The vessel started up and he put two of the people on land in that vessel.  Sgt. Guillory then towed the sunken vessel to a position to get enough water out so that it could float enough to be towed to inside waters.  The last person on shore got in Sgt. Guillory’s vessel.

In total Sgt. Guillory was able to rescue eight people and recover three vessels safely and get them back to the boat launch in Rollover Bayou.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

Ponchatoula Man Arrested for Fourth DWI

Release Date: 09/08/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Ponchatoula man for alleged operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) fourth offense on Sept. 5 in Tangipahoa Parish.

Agents arrested Matthew B. Saltzman, 42, for fourth offense DWI, flight from an officer, simple escape, resisting arrest, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, operating a watercraft under a suspended license and three boating safety violations.

Agents were on patrol in South Pass located in Manchac around 10 p.m. on Sept. 5 when a vessel with no running lights passed them.

Agents were able to stop the vessel and since they suspected all four on board to be impaired towed the vessel about 400 yards to a fuel dock to perform field sobriety test on Saltzman.  After the field sobriety test, Saltzman jumped into the water and escaped arrest.

On Sept. 6 agents received information that Saltzman may be at a camp on South Pass.  The owner of the camp, who is Saltzman’s uncle, went inside and found Saltzman in his bathroom with a rifle.  Family members were able to talk Saltzman into surrendering unarmed.  Agents detained Saltzman at that time and turned him into the Tangipahoa Parish Prison.

Fourth offense DWI brings up to a $5,000 fine and 10 to 30 years in jail.  Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a $1,000 to $5,000 fine and 10 to 20 years in jail.  Flight from an officer carries a $150 to $500 fine and up to six months in jail.  Simple escape brings six months to one year in jail.  Resisting arrest and operating a vessel with a suspended license each carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  The three boating safety violations each bring up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Capt. Len Yokum, and Senior Agents Brody Roberts and Doug Danna.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

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Five Good Samaritans Honored for Saving Three Kids

Release Date: 09/03/2015

From left to right: Holmes, Page, Lt. Col. Martin, Leach and Todasto

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) awarded five people with Citizens Meritorious Service Awards at a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge on Sept. 3.

LDWF honored Paul L. Page, 17, of Bogalusa, Diane Leach, 34, of Covington, Timothy Rodosta, 42, of Covington, Chad Thompson, and A. J. Holmes, for helping save three children following a boating incident in the Pearl River Navigational Canal on March 28 in St. Tammany Parish.  The mother of the three children, Jonie Morgan, 31, of Folsom, and her boyfriend, Terry O’Keefe Jr., 41, of Folsom, passed away as a result of the incident.

“We are here today to recognize five individuals for their actions that resulted in saving the lives of three young children,” said Lt. Col. Sammy Martin, the state’s boating law administrator.  “All five individuals involved exhibited leadership, good judgment, and discipline.  All five people should be recognized for their heroic actions during a tragic event.”

Morgan and O’Keefe Jr., with eight and six year old boys and a five year old girl pushed off from the bank of the Pearl River Canal up river of a low head damn (sill) in a 14 foot vessel shortly after 5 p.m. on March 28. Unable to start the motor their vessel drifted to the sill and capsized putting all five occupants into the water.

Page came upon the scene and saw two boys, one girl and Morgan in the water near their capsized vessel.  While trying to help, his vessel also capsized sending him into the water.  While in the water, Page was able to grab onto the two boys while Morgan was holding her five year old daughter.

Page then spotted a vessel with Leach and Rodosta on board waved them over to help and when he looked back Morgan and her five year old daughter had disappeared.  Leach and Rodosta were able to get Page and the two boys into their vessel and safely onto shore.

LDWF Enforcement Agents Sgt. Keith Francis and Senior Agent Joel Cromp arrived on scene at the upstream side of the sill.  While the agents were interviewing witnesses near the sill, the five year old girl floated out from under the capsized vessel.

Agents noticed a vessel on the downstream side operated by Thompson and Holmes and directed them to the girl’s position.  Thompson and Holmes were able to pull the girl from the water and bring her safely to shore.

All three children and Page were wearing personal flotation devices and are in good health.  Search and rescue crews found the body of O’Keefe Jr. on March 29 and Morgan on April 1.  O’Keefe Jr. and Morgan were not wearing PFDs.

​For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

Six Men Arrested For Closed Season Oyster Violations In St Bernard Parish

Release Date: 08/31/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested six subjects on board two vessels for alleged oyster violations in St. Bernard Parish on Aug. 28.

Agents arrested Glenn J. Cascio Sr., 54, and Glenn J. Cascio Jr., 35, both of St. Bernard, from one vessel and Baron T. Navarro, 40, of Mereaux, Sotelo A. Galdino, 36, of Seabrook, Texas, Rigoberto Badillo-Gomez, 38, Mereaux, and Jose Camalgo, 18, of of Seabrook, Texas, from another vessel for taking oysters during a closed season.  Navarro was also cited for failing to comply with refrigeration requirements.

Due to numerous complaints of illegal oyster harvesting on the State Seed Grounds in Drum Bay, agents set up surveillance nearby and at 3:30 p.m. observed two oyster vessels enter the area and begin dredging.  The Drum Bay public grounds are currently closed to all oyster harvesting.

Agents stopped both vessels and found each to have loose oysters on their decks and in their dredges. Agents seized all four dredges and a total of 136 sacks of oysters, which were returned to the water.

All men were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Any person convicted of this violation may only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system monitored by LDWF for a period of one year.  Failing to comply with refrigeration requirements carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Capt. Stephen McManus, Lt. Scot Keller, Sgts. Keith Francis, Adam Young, Mike Garrity and Villere Reggio, Agent Jason Gernados and Senior Agent Richard Clark.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

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