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Three Men Cited for Using Shocking Device to Catch Fish

Release Date: 07/26/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited three Columbia men for alleged fishing violations on July 23 and 25 in Caldwell Parish.

Agents cited Heath B. Rider, 43, Dillon R. Patterson, 26, and David H. Gregory, 41, for taking fish illegally by using a shocking device and fishing without possessing a recreational fishing license.  Rider was also cited for operating an unregistered motorized vessel and failing to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements.

Agents were investigating complaints of people using a shocking device to land fish on the Ouachita River near Columbia.  Agents setup surveillance on the river and witnessed Rider and Patterson in a vessel actively fishing the area with a shocking device on July 25.

Agents made contact with the two men and found them in possession of catfish and two shocking devices.  During questioning, Rider admitted to shocking fish with Gregory on the night of July 23.

The three men did not possess recreational fishing licenses.  Agents seized the 14-foot vessel, motor and shocking devices.  Agents also seized 40 catfish that were caught on July 23 and 25 and donated them to a local charity.

Taking fish illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Fishing without a fishing license, failing to comply with PFD requirements, and operating a vessel without a registration each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.

August 2018 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to Meet August 2 in New Orleans, LA

Release Date: 07/26/2018

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on August 2, 2018, at the Lindy Boggs Conference Center Auditorium at 2045 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70122.

Please note that the location will not be at the usual location.

 

1.    Call to Order

2.    Pledge of Allegiance

3.    Roll Call

4.    Adoption of June 26, 2018 Special Commission Meeting and July 3, 2018 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.    Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6.    Enforcement Report July 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7.    Receive Presentation on Cautioning Deer Hunters on Use of Deer Urine Lures in Relation to Potential Spread of CWD – Dr. Jim LaCour, Wildlife Veterinarian

8.    Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency Setting the 2018 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season – Peyton Cagle, Marine Fisheries Biologist

9.    Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency Setting the 2018-2019 Oyster Season on the Public Oyster Areas of Louisiana – Carolina Bourque, Marine Fisheries Biologist

10. Receive an Update on the 2018 Recreational Red Snapper Season – Jason Adriance, Marine Fisheries Biologist

11. Set December 2018 Commission Meeting Date

12. Receive Public Comments

13. 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/3301862397863804419

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 rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

LDWF Agents Cited a St. Bernard Man for Crabbing Violations

Release Date: 07/25/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a St. Bernard man for alleged commercial fishing violations on July 23.

Agents cited Robert Lopez, 65, of St Bernard for possessing over 20 percent undersized crabs and possessing immature female crabs.

While on patrol in Bayou Biloxi in Plaquemines Parish, agents observed Lopez operating his vessel and stopped him to conduct a license and creel check.  Agents made contact with Lopez and found him in possession of several crates of crabs.

Commercial fishermen are allotted a 10 percent incidental take of undersized crabs and a two percent incidental take of immature female crabs for the total number of crabs in their possession.

Agents sampled each crate and determined that three crates contained 24 percent, 30 percent and 32 percent of undersized crabs.  Agents also discovered that one of those crates contained six percent of immature female crabs. Agents seized approximately 180 pounds of crabs and returned them to the water.

Possessing over 20 percent undersized crabs carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking immature female crabs brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Two Houma Men Cited for Oyster Violations in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 07/25/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two Houma men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on July 18.

Agents cited Israel Beiza-Lopez, 32, and Ruiz Alexis-Luan, 44, for taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation and taking oysters from unleased state water bottoms.

Agents were on patrol around 5 p.m. on July 18 when they observed a vessel in the Sister Lake Seed Reservation actively dredging for oysters.  Agents stopped the vessel and found the men in possession of four sacks of oysters.

Agents seized the vessel and oyster dredges on a department seizure order and returned the four sacks of oysters to the water.

Taking oysters during a closed season and from an unleased state water bottom each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF 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 that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

LEEC eNews: Job Opportunities, Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit, and More!

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Cadet Passes Away During Third Week of LDWF Training

Release Date: 07/20/2018

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) cadet passed away on July 19 in Baton Rouge.

Cadet Immanuel Washington, 38, of Youngsville, passed away at Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge on July 19, a day after being rushed to the hospital.

“Our hearts are broken by this tragedy,” said Jack Montoucet, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “The whole Wildlife and Fisheries family offer our prayers for his wife, his children, his family and friends. From the accounts I received, Mr. Washington was an excellent cadet and an even better person. This is a loss for Louisiana.”

Washington was in the third week of his training to become an LDWF Enforcement Division Agent at the LDWF Training Academy located off N. Flannery Road in Baton Rouge.  After completing a two-and-a-half mile run on the morning of July 18, the cadets were in the cool down period of their physical training when Washington collapsed to the ground.

Training agents immediately called for an ambulance and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Washington.  Agents continued CPR until the ambulance arrived to take him to Ochsner Medical Center.  Once at the hospital, Washington was placed on life support in the intensive care unit until his passing on the morning of July 19.

“All of our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Washington’s family at this point. This is a very sad time for his family, the agents and the cadets that came to know him during his training,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the enforcement division.  “From everything I’ve heard about this man his dream was to become a Wildlife and Fisheries agent.  We were very happy to hire him and believe he would have made a great agent.”

Washington’s body was turned over to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death. He is survived by his wife, a three-year-old-son and a one-year-old daughter.

Gov. Edwards Announces $60M in Coastal Recreational Projects

Release Date: 07/17/2018

Deepwater Horizon settlement funds to pay for engineering, design and construction

Baton Rouge -Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced $60 million in new coastal projects to be built and paid for with funds from the settlement of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

“The oil spill impacted Louisiana’s environment and natural resources, but it also took a toll on our way of life and the recreational opportunities that make Louisiana a true Sportsman’s Paradise,” said Gov. Edwards. “Several beaches were closed, access to fishing areas and bays was limited and recreational fishing was cut short as a result of the spill, not to mention camping and other outdoor activities that were put on hold as a result of the spill and the cleanup efforts.  The funding provided by this settlement will cover the complete cost of the engineering, design and construction of 23 projects spanning our coast that will directly impact the communities that have been recovering since the spill and we are delighted to see these projects get underway.”

Projects will be constructed in nine coastal parishes, with another project enhancing artificial reef sites across Louisiana’s coast. Potential projects were solicited by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group and then vetted through months of public input and hearings. Of the projects ultimately selected, 17 were submitted by the state Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries; five by the La. Office of State Parks; and one by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.   

“This is about recreation, enhancing the opportunities to enjoy the natural bounty of our coast and all it offers,” said Jack Montoucet, Secretary of the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. “We’re going to build or improve boat ramps and mooring docks, and construct new fishing piers in many areas, and we’re going to make Elmer’s Island even more accessible for users to access the recently-restored beach.”

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who experienced the oil spill first hand when he was president of Plaquemines Parish, said he is pleased that our recreational losses have not been forgotten.

“We have beautiful state parks in our coastal zone,” said Nungesser, “and I’m pleased to be in a position to oversee the improvements coming to Grand Isle State Park, Sam Houston Jones State Park, St. Bernard State Park, Bayou Segnette and Cypremort Point State Park. We are very thankful for this oil spill settlement funding in order to refurbish and maintain a number of our state parks – another example of our dedication to Louisiana’s great outdoors.”

The Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, Johnny Bradberry, represents Louisiana’s state agencies on the Trustee Implementation Group. He also chairs the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board.

“These projects comprise the full expenditure of the $60 million pot of money dedicated to addressing recreational use losses,” Bradberry said. “Other post-oil-spill money is, or will be, expended to redress a variety of environmental and economic damages. But I’m pleased our governor cares about all aspects of life in Louisiana, and understands the importance of joie de vivre.”

 

Click here for a complete list of the projects.

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LDWF Enforcement Division Recognized For Re-Accreditation Through NASBLA BOAT Program

Release Date: 07/10/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is being recognized for its achievement of re-accreditation with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program.  LDWF was the first law enforcement agency to receive this national accreditation in 2011. Since then the agency has been an exemplary role model for other agencies pursuing accreditation.

“The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries truly shares our mission for ensuring excellence in the training of our nation’s maritime first responders and readying them in the best way possible to ensure safety on our waterways,” says Dave Considine, NASBLA BOAT Program Director.  “We are excited to see that our first accredited agency continues to hold the bar high for other agencies to follow.”

LDWF’s instructor cadre has played an integral role, not only in the training of Louisiana’s maritime operators, but also as instructors for NASBLA’s direct delivery courses throughout the nation.  At the end of 2017, LDWF’s Enforcement Division had trained all of their agents in Boat Operations Search and Rescue (BOSAR), Boat Accident Investigations, and the Seated Battery of Field Sobriety Tests.

“We need all of our agents to be well-trained in all aspects of safe boating and search and rescue operations as those are two of our main missions,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “We are proud of this re-accreditation as it shows our dedication to effective safe boating patrols and search and rescue operations in Louisiana.”

An additional 68 agents were trained in Boat Crew Member (BCM), 53 in Officer Water Survival, and 34 in the Tactical Operator Course discipline. LDWF has also trained an additional 73 officers in BCM and 8 officers in BOSAR from other marine law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

“The BOAT program and all of its many courses available provide our agents with the opportunity to train to a known standard,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s state’s boating law administrator.  “This accreditation also means our agency can provide the same training to our agents and other law enforcement agencies to ensure we are all on the same page.”

Through the BOAT Program Accreditation process, an agency, division, department or unit and its maritime training policies, procedures, curricula, qualification process and documentation are assessed to ensure alignment with the National Standard. This process and subsequent Accreditation ensures interoperability with marine units across the country in specific applicable competencies. By accrediting agencies and departments throughout the country, NASBLA’s BOAT Program creates more trainers and qualifies more officers than any other program in the nation, truly enhancing the safety and security of America’s waterways. Agencies accredited are required to go through a re-accreditation process every three years.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is a national nonprofit association that represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA’s Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program was established in 2009 through the efforts of multi-organization “Council of Partners,” to ensure the readiness of state, local, and federal law enforcement and emergency response boat crews throughout the country, and in order to conduct missions on our nation’s waterways safely and effectively. The BOAT Program is recognized as the national standard of training, typing and credentialing by the United States Coast Guard, and by the boating authorities of all 50 States and six territories. Learn more about the NASBLA BOAT Program at www.nasblsa.org/boat.

2019 Environmental Education Events

2019 Important Dates and Events

Feb. 2 - World Wetlands Day

Feb. 16 - LEEC Regional Short Courses

Feb. 27 - International Polar Bear Day

 

March 3 - World Wildlife Day

March 8 - Solar Appreciation Day

March 12 - Plant a Flower Day

March 15 - LEEC Grant Applications Due

March 18 - Global Recycling Day

March 20 - World Sparrow Day

March 21 - International Day of Forests

March 22 - World Water Day

 

April 1 - Fossil Fools Day

April 13 - Louisiana Envirothon

April 22 - Earth Day

April 26 - Arbor Day

 

May 11 - International Migratory Bird Day

May 17 - Bike to Work Day

May 17 - Endangered Species Day

May 22 - World Biodiversity Day (International Day for Biological Diversity)

May 23 - World Turtle Day

 

June 5 - World Environment Day

June 8 - World Oceans Day

June 16 - Global Wind Day

June 20 - American Eagle Day

June 21 - World Giraffe Day

July 29 - International Tiger Day

 

Aug. 10 - World Lion Day

Aug. 12 - World Elephant Day

Aug. 17 - National Honey Bee Day

Aug. 19 - World Orangutan Day (International Orangutan Day)

 

Sept. 5 - Amazon Day

Sept. 18 - World Water Monitoring Day

Sept. 21 - National CleanUp Day

Sept. 21 - Zero Emissions Day

Sept. 22 - World Car Free Day

Sept. 22 - World Rhino Day

Sept. 29 - World Rivers Day

 

Oct. 4 - World Animal Day

Oct. 5 - Energy Efficiency Day

Oct. 7 - Child Health Day

Oct. 7 - World Habitat Day

Oct. 23 - Sustainability Day

 

Nov. 15 - America Recycles Day

 

Dec. 5 - World Soil Day

 

Send suggestions for this calendar to tgresham@wlf.la.gov.

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