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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. 

 

 

LDWF Agents Rescue Three People from Burning Trailers

Release Date: 08/01/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents rescued three people and a dog from a fire inside a trailer park in St. Tammany Parish on July 29.

LDWF Sgt. Keith Francis and Corporal Richard Clark were on patrol when they observed a trailer on fire inside Bob’s Trailer Park off of Hwy. 190 on the eastern side of Slidell around 10:45 p.m.  Agents drove into the trailer park and notified the St. Tammany Parish Fire District 1.

The agents noticed that the burning trailer was padlocked from the outside and were informed that no one was inside the trailer, which was completely engulfed in flames.  Due to the heat and size of the fire, agents observed that both trailers adjacent to the fire were smoking, melting and beginning to catch fire.

Agents warned the occupants of the two adjacent trailers about the fire.  Agents rescued an elderly woman and a man and his dog from one of the trailers and an elderly man from the other trailer.

Agents advised all residents to move their vehicles away from the fire and park them in an area that would not block the fire department.  Firefighters responded quickly and put out the fire before additional property was damaged.  No one was injured in the incident.

The St. Tammany Parish Fire District 1 are investigating the cause of the fire.

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Illegal Shrimping Investigation Leads to Flight from Officer and Illegal Purchasing of Fish Charges

Release Date: 07/28/2017

A Lafourche Parish man turned himself into authorities on July 27 a week after fleeing from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents.

Mel Guidry, 37, of Montegut, turned himself into Lafourche and Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Offices on outstanding warrants for using butterfly nets during a closed season; taking commercial fish without a commercial license, commercial gear license and commercial vessel license; failing to tag butterfly nets while unattended; improper running lights; misrepresentation during issuance of a misdemeanor; flight from an officer; and failing to complete trip tickets by a fishermen.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents responded to a complaint of a subject using a butterfly net during the closed shrimp season in Lafourche Parish on July 20.  Agents observed Guidry around 8:30 p.m. that night place the net in the water to catch shrimp and leave the net unattended.  At approximately 11:30 p.m. agents observed Guidry approach the net with improper running lights and begin removing the net from the water.

Agents made contact with Guidry whom subsequently gave the agents a false name.  Guidry then jumped from the agents patrol vessel into the marsh and swam away.  The agents then seized the net and vessel that Guidry was using with approximately 30 pounds of shrimp.  During the investigation agents learned that Guidry was not licensed to fish the net and the net was not properly tagged to be left unattended.

Agents also learned that Guidry was selling his catch to Point Aux Chene Kayak Rentals in Terrebonne Parish owned by Lisa Mullen, 56, of Montegut.  Agents further found that Mullen was not keeping records of the catch and not reporting the proper paperwork to LDWF.  Mullen admitted to buying shrimp from Guidry to sell to her customers as bait shrimp.  Agents cited Mullen for buying commercial fish from an unlicensed fisherman, failing to maintain records and failing to report monthly fish data.

Guidry already had two outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for failure to pay child support.  Agents contacted the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office (LPSO) and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) and made them aware of Guidry's additional warrants.

On July 25, the LPSO made contact with Guidry and once again he fled and escaped.  On July 27, Guidry contacted the LPSO and a patrol unit picked him up and booked him into the Lafourche Parish Jail for his outstanding warrants.

Using butterfly nets 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.

Taking commercial fish without a commercial license, gear license and vessel license each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to tag nets left unattended and failing to complete trip tickets each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Improper running lights brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

Flight from an officer brings a $150 to $500 fine and up to six months in jail.  Misrepresentation during the issuance of a misdemeanor carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Buying commercial fish from an unlicensed fisherman brings a $350 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Failing to report monthly fish data and maintain records each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

LDWF agents involved in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Richard Purvis, Sgt. Bryan Marie, Corporal Dean Aucoin and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

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