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Louisiana Seafood Still Safe to Eat; Average Consumer Could Eat 63 lbs of Louisiana Shrimp, Each Day for 5 Years

Release Date: 02/10/2011

Louisiana state officials confirm seafood safety; state has tested more than 1,000 composite samples of Louisiana seafood since start of BP oil spill

(Feb. 10, 2011) – The average consumer could eat 63 pounds of shrimp each day for five years before reaching the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “levels of concern” for oil contamination according to Louisiana state officials. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that levels of contaminants being found in Gulf seafood are so low that the average consumer would have to consume extreme amounts of seafood before approaching a level that approaches a health risk, according to the FDA.

State officials with LDWF and the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) examined the levels of contaminates associated with the BP oil spill, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), being found in Louisiana seafood that have been collected throughout the spill and determined that the levels were so low that they do not pose a risk to consumers. The average consumer could eat any of the following amounts of seafood each day for up to five years without exceeding the health risks for contamination:

  • 63 pounds of peeled Louisiana shrimp, or 1,575 jumbo shrimp,
  • 5 pounds of Louisiana oyster meat, or 130 individual oysters, or
  • 9 pounds of Louisiana fish, or 18 8-ounce fish filets.

LDWF and the Department of Health and Hospitals have tested more than 1,000 individual seafood samples for contamination associated with the BP oil spill since May 9, 2010. Seafood samples often include more than one specimen. For example, one shrimp sample may include as many as 100 individual shrimp that are then ground into a composite paste and sampled. This composite sampling method provides a more complete picture of the health of seafood off Louisiana’s coast.

All of the seafood samples tested by Louisiana and federal officials have been safe for consumption.

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov (225) 610-8860.

Environmental Education Commission Announces February Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 02/09/2011

February 11, 2011 – 1:00 p.m.
Bonaparte Room
Baton Rouge Marriott
550 Hilton Avenue

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll Call/Sign-in
  3. Introduction
  4. Minutes from last meeting
  5. Financial Report
  6. Coordinator’s Report
  7. Old Business
    1. Symposium Committee Reports, no more than 5 minutes each
      1. Audio Visual
      2. Door Prize/Hospitality
      3. Evaluation
      4. Exhibitor
      5. Finance
      6. Keynote
      7. Lodging Assistance
      8. Programs
      9. Public Relations
      10. Registration
    2. Symposium Volunteer Assignments
    3. Environmental Literacy Plan
  8. New Business
    1. Discuss date for 2012 Symposium
    2. New School Sustainability Grant, Grant reviews
    3. Art & Language Arts Contest judges
  9. Announcements      
  10. Next Meeting Dates: May 10, 2011, August 9, 2011, November 8, 2011
  11. Adjournment

For more information, contact Venise Ortego at 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov.

L.D.W.F. Presents 2011-2013 Hunting Seasons, 2011-2012 W.M.A. Rules to Commission

Release Date: 02/09/2011

Feb. 9, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted notices of intent for the 2011-13 hunting seasons and the 2011-12 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) General Rules and Regulations at their Feb. 8 meeting.

The notices of intent include proposed hunting season dates and changes from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming fall hunting season and provide for a public comment period.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Combining Deer Hunting Area 4 with Area 1 for the 2012-13 hunting season.
  • Extending the primitive firearm season in Deer Hunting Areas 1 and 6 for the 2012-13 hunting season to the end of January.
  • Removal of the requirement that deer hunters must record the validation number on their license after validating their harvested deer and extension of the amount of time required to report harvested deer from 72 hours to seven days.
  • Amending the language pertaining to the take of crows, blackbirds, cowbirds and grackles on private land and WMAs due to a change in federal regulations. Non-toxic shot and an annual report submitted to USFWS will be required.
  • Modifying firearms regulations pertaining to WMAs to be consistent with state law.
  • Eliminating the vehicle tag requirement from the self-clearing permit required to use WMAs.
  • Establishing Limited Access Areas on Joyce and Manchac WMAs.
  • Modifying the hunting season on several WMAs to provide additional opportunities. 

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from March through May and can be submitted to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, until May 5.

The public meeting schedule for the proposed 2011-12 hunting season is as follows:

  • March 9 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas 
  • March 16 at 6 p.m., Ponchatoula High School Cafeteria, 19452 Hwy. 22. 
  • March 17 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 22 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.

West Carroll Men Arrested As The Result Of 14-Point Deer Investigation

Release Date: 02/08/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited five subjects in West Carroll Parish for alleged hunting violations on Jan. 29 south of Goodwill.

While investigating a complaint, agents discovered that Thomas Crawford Boyte, 24, of Pioneer, allegedly killed a 14-point buck with a 30-06 rifle during closed gun season on Jan. 25. Boyte and his wife, Amber Boyte, 19, of Pioneer, then entered the buck into the Simmon’s “Big Buck” contest in Bastrop that will be held on Feb. 12. Agents charged Boyte with taking the deer using illegal methods and failing to properly tag the antlered deer. Agents also arrested Thomas and Amber Boyte for contest fraud and booked them into the Morehouse Parish Jail.

During the investigation, agents also discovered blood and carcass evidence of another freshly taken deer. Agents revealed that Thomas Boyte aided Kevin Allen, 38, of Goodwill, Jacob Faircloth, 22, of Goodwill, and Amber Boyte in killing a deer on the previous night from Allen's pickup. Each subject received citations for taking deer during illegal hours with artificial light and hunting from a moving vehicle.

Agents also discovered that Thomas Boyte and Kevin Allen drove the deer meat and two rifles to a separate location in an effort to hide the items. Subsequently, agents charged Thomas Boyte and Kevin Allen with intentional concealment of illegally taken wildlife.

Agents charged all involved with possession of illegally taken deer. This charge included Thomas Boyte’s brother, Charles Boyte, 24, of Goodwill. Charles Boyte was found to have assisted Thomas Boyte in recovering the 14-point buck from the kill site.

The penalty for taking deer during illegal hours with artificial light is a fine up to $950, an up to 120 days in jail or both. Hunting from a moving vehicle carries fines up to $500, and up to 90 days in jail or both. The penalty for taking deer by illegal methods is up to $500 in fines, and up to 90 days in jail or both. Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries up to a $350 fine, and up to 60 days in jail or both. The penalty for intentional concealment of illegally taken wildlife is up to a $950 fine, and up to 120 days in jail or both. The penalty for possession of illegally taken deer is a fine up to $950, and up to 120 days in jail or both. Contest fraud brings a $500 to $3,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

All charges do not include court costs. Civil restitution penalties for the value of the deer may also be imposed. Agents seized the deer meat and donated it to local charity. The trophy deer head was seized and will be held at the LDWF Monroe office as evidence in the case.

Agents involved in the case were Lt. Scott Mathews, Sgt. James Hagan, Sgt. Wayne Parker, Senior Agent Josh Estis, and Agent Ray Ellerbe.

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

February 8, 2011 Lake Bistineau Update

 

Luckily, Mother Nature is putting a pounding on the giant salvina in Lake Bistineau with sufficient cold weather.  As we observed last year, it takes several weeks for the plants to brown up and fall-out from freeze damage.  So, while giant salvinia  is still visible we expect much of what remains to dissipate by early spring.  Last year our biological staff estimated that only an acre of salvinia remained by “green-up” in early 2010.

We are receiving a lot of inquiries for information about the water levels in 2011.  Our plan is to implement water fluctuations as the plants begin to grow and expand in early summer.  Again, fluctuating the water levels is expected to strand the plants and allow for their desiccation.  Two conditions are required for this method to have desirable results.  First, their needs to be enough water in the system, or capacity to allow for sufficient water level lowering and create stranding opportunities.  Our hope is to fluctuate levels between pool stage to minus 4 feet.  Secondly, we need the plants to be in areas that are susceptible to drying out as a result of fluctuating to lower water levels.  This method is expected to offer the best method for controlling giant salvinia in the lake while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We of course will be spraying aquatic herbicides appropriately.  Hopefully we can use our spraying efforts to keep the plants moving to the edges and out of the trees where matting occurs.  Once the plants mat in the trees they tend to move less and expand in coverage.  In short, it’s impossible to predict when we’ll initiate water level fluctuations.  Everything will be based on the two criteria mentioned above.

I will be providing another update next week.  This update will provide information about continued actions and new initiatives.  I’ll also recap some of the things discussed at the recent task force meeting.

Mark McElroy
Fisheries Biologist

Agents Cite Three Men for Hunting Violations in Bienville Parish

Release Date: 02/08/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Ringgold men for alleged hunting violations on Jan. 26 in Bienville Parish.

LDWF agents Sgt. Mike Kelley, Senior Agent Cullom Schexnyder and Senior Agent Jared McIver were patrolling for night hunters within Bienville Parish.  At 9 p.m. the agents observed Nicholas Eugene Dunn, 23, Douglas Victor Mains, 18, and Tyler Kane Hodges, 18, spot lighting a clear-cut section of woods off Pine Bluff road.

Agents made contact with the three subjects and found a loaded .22 caliber rifle and a spot light inside the vehicle.  Agents also found a suspected marijuana cigarette in a cigarette box near the vehicle that was allegedly thrown by Dunn.

Agents cited all three men for hunting from a moving vehicle and hunting during illegal hours.  Agents also charged and arrested Dunn for possession of marijuana and intentional littering.  He was booked into the Bienville Parish Jail.

For hunting from a moving vehicle and during illegal hours, all three men face a fine between $250 and $500 and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Dunn also faces a $250 to $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail for the possession of marijuana charge and a $250 fine and eight hours of community service for the intentional littering citation.

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

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Rescheduled

Release Date: 02/02/2011

The regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, due to the threat of severe winter weather conditions.  The Feb. 8 meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La.   The agenda remains unchanged from the original Feb. 3 meeting.

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Convicted Felon On Numerous Charges

Release Date: 02/02/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents with the Special Investigations Unit arrested a convicted felon for allegedly resisting arrest and numerous deer hunting violations on Jan. 27 in Iberville Parish.

Agents charged Kirkpatrick Juray Tasker, 28, of St. Gabriel, with flight from an officer, resisting arrest, felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, hunting deer during illegal hours, with an artificial light, from a moving a vehicle and from a public road and driving without a driver's license.

Later in the day, the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office (IBSO) charged Tasker with possession of a stolen firearm and felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after IBSO deputies raided his home with an existing search warrant. The IBSO also arrested four of Tasker's roommates on drug and stolen firearm charges. Tasker is also scheduled for court today, Feb. 2, 2011, for second-degree murder charges in Iberville Parish.

LDWF Senior Agent Robert Turner, Senior Agent Edward Ridgel and Lt. Jay Diez were working a night hunting complaint along La. Hwy. 75 in St. Gabriel when thy heard a gun shot coming from a white Ford Taurus around 1:30 a.m. Agents tried to stop the vehicle, but were led on a seven-mile high-speed pursuit that ended at Tasker's residence. Once at Tasker's residence, agents were able to subdue and arrest Tasker. Tasker was booked into the Iberville Parish Jail.

Agents found a spotlight and a 20-gauge shotgun in the car. Agents were also able to retrieve a freshly taken deer on top of the river levee close to the road where agents tried to stop Tasker's vehicle.

Agents have previously cited Tasker with failing to wear hunter's orange, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements and gross littering.

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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

L.D.W.F. Agents Recover Two Stolen Vessels

Release Date: 02/01/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested three Dequincy men for allegedly possessing stolen vessels on Jan. 26, 2011 in Bayou D'Inde near Sulphur.

Agents arrested Heith Logan Babineaux, 22, Wacey Paul Goodfriend, 19, and Stann Michael Leblue, 19, for unauthorized use of a moveable. The case has been turned over to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office for further investigation.

While investigating a report of a vessel floating freely, LDWF agents noticed another vessel with three occupants in the same general vicinity. The subjects in the vessel were tightening the engine bracket as LDWF agents approached them. Having received a memo a few days earlier, agents recognized the vessel as having been reported stolen the previous week from a residence in Lake Charles.

Agents confirmed the vessel was stolen and detained the three subjects for further questioning. Agents also confirmed that the free-floating vessel was stolen and had been stripped of the motor, which was being used on the previously mentioned stolen vessel. Agents seized the stolen property and returned it to the rightful owners.

The penalty for unauthorized use of a moveable is imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to three years, or up to a $5,000 fine or both.

Participating in the case were Sr. Agents Sean Moreau and Beau Robertson, Sgt. David Sanford and Lt. Remy Broussard.

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

Test Results Confirm Pointe Coupee Bird Deaths Caused by Trauma

Release Date: 01/27/2011

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has confirmed with tests conducted by three independent labs that the bird deaths in Pointe Coupee Parish on Jan. 3 were caused by trauma.
 
The 500 birds found dead along a stretch of LA Hwy. 1 between New Roads and Morganza included red wing blackbirds, starlings, brown-headed cowbirds and grackles. Sample carcasses were sent to the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia in Athens, the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, IA.
 
LDWF preliminary evaluations on Jan. 3 indicated trauma as a factor. Lab testing was needed to rule out other possible causes.
 
Lab reports confirmed subcutaneous hemorrhages, internal organ rupture and broken bones in all birds. Additional tests for organophosphate and carbamate insecticides were negative, and none of the birds tested positive for Avian influenza, Newcastle disease, Eastern or Western equine encephalitis or West Nile virus.  
 
LDWF staff evaluations point to a combination of strong winds from a rapidly moving cold front and disturbance from either vehicular or train traffic that flushed the birds out of the roost trees located across LA Hwy. 1, near two converging power lines. The birds’ apparent flight through those lines resulted in collisions with the power lines and subsequent mortalities. Nearly all of the dead birds were found beneath the wires.
 
For more information, please contact Bo Boehringer, 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

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