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Investigation Underway for Vandalism of LDWF Property on Atchafalaya Delta WMA

Release Date: 07/29/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office are investigating two acts of vandalism that occurred on the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

An LDWF bulldozer and utility vehicle (UTV) were first noticed missing on July 24 on the Big Island portion of Atchafalaya Delta WMA.  LDWF staff found the missing equipment later that evening on Big Island.  The bulldozer was buried in mud and water up to the floorboard.  The UTV was found stuck in a ditch.

The equipment was vandalized between July 19 when it was last seen by LDWF staff and July 24 when it was noticed missing.

LDWF is offering up to a $1,000 reward for anybody that volunteers information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.  Anyone with tips or leads can call LDWF’s Operation Game Thief’s (OGT) toll free hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or text LDWF OGT by texting LADWF and their tip to 847411.  Tipsters can also download the LADWF Tips iPhone and Android apps from iTunes and Google Play stores free of charge.

The total damage done to the equipment and the costs associated with retrieving both pieces of equipment are unknown at this time.

The Big Island portion of the Atchafalaya Delta WMA is only accessible by vessel.

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

Leads Needed for Missing Buoys off Independence Island Reef

Release Date: 07/25/2013

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is requesting any leads regarding missing mooring buoys on Independence Island Reef.

Six mooring buoys, which were part of a 2011 restoration project, went missing in late June from the popular fishing spot located about 3 miles northeast of Grand Isle.  The buoys are provided to allow fisherman with an identifiable marker of the famed fishing spot.

Anyone with tips or leads can call LDWF’s Operation Game Thief’s (OGT) toll free hotline 1-800-442-2511 or text the LDWF OGT by texting LADWF and their tip to 847411.  Tipsters can also download the LADWF Tips iPhone and Android apps from iTunes and Google Play stores free of charge.

Removing buoys brings up a $250 to $500 fine and 90 days in jail.

Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and LDWF completed construction in 2011 on Independence Island Reef, which is believed to be the largest limestone inshore artificial reef project ever in Louisiana.

Nearly 8,000 tons of limestone were dropped from barges onto four acres where Independence Island was once located.  At the time of the project completion, the total site acreage was more than 50 acres.

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

Golden Meadow Man Dies from Injuries in Boating Incident

Release Date: 07/24/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal boating crash incident that occurred in Lafourche Parish this morning, July 24.

Richard Griffin Jr., 29, of Golden Meadow, was travelling north in Bayou Lafourche alone in his 16 foot vessel around 5:15 a.m. when he struck a piling.  Griffin Jr. sustained severe head trauma from his collision with the piling.

Griffin Jr. was taken to Lady of the Sea Hospital in Galliano and then transported to University Hospital in New Orleans where he was pronounced dead.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating crash incident.

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

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Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet July 30

Release Date: 07/23/2013

Tuesday, July 30 , 1 PM
UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans
AGENDA

I.   Roll Call

II.  Approval of  May 23, 2013  MINUTES

III. Treasury Report
     A. Oyster Tag Sales
     B. LOTF Financial Report
         a. Accounting of Oyster Development Account from FY 2002
         b. Recommended budget spread for FY 2013

IV. Committee Reports
     A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
     B.  Enforcement   - (Steve McManus)
     C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
     D.  Research – (John Supan)
     E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
     F.  Marketing –
     G.  Health – (Tenney Sibley)
     H. Sustainability-

V. Old Business
    A. ISSC Meeting in San Antonio- October 26-November 1
    B.  BP Oil Spill Remediation
         1. Claims Process
         2. Public Reef Remediation
         3. Oyster Lease Remediation               

VI. New Business
     A. Response letter sent to CPRA and state legislators     
     B. Spat report-Tom Soniat
     C. Preliminary Stock Assessment Data and season recommendations   

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII. Adjourn

For more information please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

Deville Man Found Alive after Spending Night Lost in the Woods

Release Date: 07/22/2013

John L. Paul's Mother Hugs LDWF Agents After they Found Her Son Alive

July 22, 2013 -- After searching for over 15 hours, search and rescue teams found a missing Deville man alive on the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in LaSalle Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents along with the Louisiana State Police, LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office started searching for John L. Paul Jr., 29, after he was reported missing at 7:30 p.m. on July 20 on the Dewey Wills WMA.

LDWF agents found Paul on the banks of North Fork Bayou while conducting a search by boat of the area at 10:40 a.m. on July 21.  Paul was released to his family and did not need any medical treatment.  Paul told agents that he was out there with his dog and got turned around and lost.

The last known contact with Paul occurred around noon on July 20 when he called his girlfriend to bring him some water.  When the girlfriend arrived on the scene all she found was Paul’s truck.

The search and rescue teams used dogs, boats, a helicopter and infrared thermal imaging devices in the search.

LDWF agents participating in the search and rescue mission included Lt. Travis Burnett, Lt. Russ Kiser, Sgt. James Parish, Sgt. Marcus Constance, Sgt. Kevin Hill, Senior Agent Jay Callegari, Senior Agent John Volentine, Senior Agent Byron Cammack, Senior Agent Joey Tarver and Senior Agent David Nelson.

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

Kentwood Couple Cited for Possessing Undersized Seatrout

Release Date: 07/12/2013

July 12, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Kentwood couple for alleged fishing violations on July 12 in Jefferson Parish.

While on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol, agents stopped a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico fishing along the beach in Jefferson Parish.

During the vessel inspection, agents found Chad Terrebonne, 30, and Nicole Terrebonne, 29, in possession of 49 spotted seatrout of which 40 were undersized. The legal minimum size limit for spotted seatrout is 12 inches.

Possession of undersized seatrout brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  The Terrebonne’s may also face a civil restitution penalty of $28.97 per undersized fish.

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

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

Vessel Operator Arrested for DWI after Boating Crash Incident on Natalbany River that Severely Injured Six-Year-Old Girl

Release Date: 07/11/2013

July 11, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents today, July 11, arrested a Vicksburg, Miss. man for his alleged role as an operator of a vessel during a boating crash incident that severely injured a six-year-old girl on the Natalbany River.

Agents arrested Anthony Domiono, 40, for operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) with two children under 12 years of age, two counts of negligent injury, and reckless operation of a vessel and booked him into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

The boating crash incident occurred around 4:45 p.m. on June 9 when Domiono was operating a 22-foot-ski boat that had five passengers while towing a tube with two juveniles crashed into a tree along the bank of the Natalbany River in Tangipahoa Parish.  The incident happened about three miles upstream from where the river merges with the Tickfaw River.

After receiving a call from dispatch, LDWF agents arrived on scene and immediately called for a helicopter to transport a six-year-old girl.  The six-year-old-girl was in the boat at the time of the collision with the tree and suffered major head trauma and needed immediate attention.

The helicopter took the girl to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge where she was listed in critical condition.  The girl has since been discharged from the hospital and it is hopeful she can make a full recovery.

Domiono suffered a broken foot and the other five passengers were treated for minor injuries.

As standard procedure agents took blood from the operator to determine if the operator was impaired.  After receiving the blood test results, it was determined that Domiono had a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than the legal limit of .08 BAC.

DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Negligent injury carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months of jail per each count.  Reckless operation brings a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Sgt. Randy Lanoux is the lead investigative agent for this boating crash incident.

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

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