General

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LWFC Approves Changes to Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved several rule changes concerning Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits as required by Act 541 of the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session. 

The changes include the removal of the limitation on the number of permits the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) can issue at any one time.  In addition, the qualifications for obtaining a permit are now the same for all permit applicants, which include holding current and valid commercial fisherman oyster harvester licenses.

The permit remains free of charge and is a requirement for anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Calcasieu Lake.  Permits will now be issued on a calendar year basis and will be valid for one year.  Initial application for a permit must be made at the LDWF point of sale windows in Baton Rouge.

Harvest vessels in Calcasieu Lake are required to have the permit onboard the vessel at all times while commercially harvesting oysters. 

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until August 20, 2012.  Comments may be submitted to Patrick Banks, Office of Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to pbanks@wlf.la.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 721-0489.

L.W.F.C. Sets 2012-2013 Early Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the dates for the 2012-2013 early migratory bird hunting seasons at their July 2 meeting. These dates, recommended by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, are tentative pending U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval.

The proposed dove season is broken down into a north and south zone with each zone having three segments and includes mourning, white-winged, Eurasian collared and ringed-turtle doves. The dove season in the south zone would go from Sept. 1-9, Oct. 13 - Nov. 25 and Dec. 22 - Jan. 7. The north zone would be from Sept. 1-16, Oct. 6 - Nov. 4 and Dec. 15 - Jan. 7. The daily bag limit for mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared-doves and ringed-turtle doves would be 15 in aggregate and possession of 30 in aggregate. However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed turtle-doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.

The following boundary divides the dove season zones: Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Hwy. 12; thence east along La. Hwy. 12 to its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 190; thence east along U.S. Hwy. 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; then east along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.

Blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal season would last from Sept. 15 - 30 with a daily bag limit of four (4) and a possession limit of eight (8). Federal and state waterfowl stamps are required to harvest teal.

Rail and gallinule seasons are proposed to last 70 days. The first segment would be open from Sept. 15 - 30. The other segment will be set in August with the regular waterfowl seasons. King and clapper rails would have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 30. Sora and Virginia rails would have a daily and possession limit totaling 25. Common and purple gallinules would have a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit totaling 30.

Under the proposal, woodcock season would last 45 days from Dec. 18 - Jan. 31, statewide. A three-bird daily bag limit and a six-bird possession limit would be allowed.

Snipe season will be set in August.

Shooting and hawking hours for dove, woodcock, rail, teal and gallinules are tentatively set for half an hour before sunrise to sunset, except for a 12 noon start time on the first day of dove season on Sept. 1, 2012.

Extended falconry mourning dove season would open from Sept. 17 - Oct. 3. Extended falconry woodcock season would open from Oct. 28 - Dec. 17 and will reopen from Feb. 1-11. The falconry daily bag limit would be three and possession limit of six birds for all permitted migratory game birds during the extended falconry and regular hunting seasons. Extended falconry seasons for ducks, rails and gallinules will be set in August with the waterfowl regulations.

Hunters are reminded that they must have a HIP permit to hunt migratory birds.  HIP permits are free and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold.

For more information, contact Jeff Duguay at 225-765-2353 or jduguay@wlf.la.gov.

Missing Boater’s Body Found in Lake Maurepas

Release Date: 06/26/2012

 

The deceased body of a missing boater was found on Lake Maurepas on Monday, June 25 around 8 p.m.

A passing boater found the body of Daniel Mitchell, 51, of Springfield, about 2 miles south on Lake Maurepas in Tangipahoa Parish from where his unmanned vessel was found.  The boater notified officials who then recovered Mitchell’s body.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard and the Killian Dive Team have been searching for Mitchell since Saturday, June 23 around 5:30 p.m.

Officials responded to a report of an unmanned 18-foot lake skiff circling near the mouth of the Tickfaw River on Lake Maurepas.  After boarding the circling vessel, LDWF agents were able to match the boater’s registration to Mitchell.  A search of the area was immediately started.

Mitchell’s body was transferred to the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office.  Mitchell was not wearing a personal flotation device.  It is unknown at this time how Mitchell was ejected from the vessel.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-354-9517 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Make Five DWIs Over Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 06/25/2012

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested five boaters statewide for driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 22 to Sunday, June 24.

LDWF agents issued DWIs to Joshua Fortenberry, 23, of Watson, Ark., on Moon Lake in Ouachita Parish, on June 23; Thurman Hitchcock, 65, of West Monroe, on the Ouachita River in Quachita Parish on June 24; Kayward Hebert, 61, of Kaplan, on Henderson Bay in St. Martin Parish on June 23; Nelson Navarre, 54, of Vinton, on the Sabine River in Calcasiue River on June 23; and James Walker Jr., 37, of Baton Rouge, on the Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish on June 24.

"We take DWI enforcement on the water very serious since the leading cause of boating fatalities is alcohol," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "We want everybody on the water to have a good time, but to keep in mind that they need a designated driver just like on land."

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 36 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2011 with five of those listing alcohol as a primary cause.  Nationwide, statistics from 2011 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

LDWF agents issued 108 DWI citations to boat operators in 2011 with 10 of those occurring over the Operation Dry Water weekend.

In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

Agents making the DWI arrests this weekend were Senior Scott Bullitt, Sgt. Duane Taylor, Senior Agent Bear Fletcher, Senior Agent Jones, Senior Agent Bourdreaux, Senior Agent Beau Robertson, Sgt. Aaron Herpin and Sgt. Randy Lanoux.

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

WEEKLY eNEWS: Events, Workshops, Contest, Resources, Lagniappe

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana.

EVENTS

Bays and Bayous Symposium Seeks Presenters (Deadline: September 1)
The 2012 Mississippi-Alabama Bays and Bayous Symposium is seeking presenters for oral presentations and poster presentations to be held November 14-15 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi, Miss. Abstracts are due September 1 and must be submitted to abstracts@masgc.org. For more information about the call for abstracts, go to http://masgc.org/bb2012/abstracts. More information about the event can be found at http://masgc.org/bb2012.

 

WORKSHOPS

|| June’s seedTALK ||(June 28)
This presentation focuses on Commercial Buildings and is full of information how energy trends, legislation and EPA guidelines frame our actions. Presenters are commercial energy expert, Greg Coatesof Storer Energy Solutions, and Tracey Graham of City Energy Manager, Shreveport Energy Efficiency Division. Details are posted on the seedTALK facebook event pageor the attached flyer. CEU certification is offered (register at sign-in). Generous sponsored by Storer Energy Services.
Thursday, June 28th, 11:30 a.m. at Cohab: 610 Commerce Street, Shreveport, LA 71101
$10 Lunch (payable at the door)
Please RSVP on our facebook event: seedTALK: Sustainability & Energy Efficiency in Northwest Louisiana or via email to Nancy Larned
 

OneNOAA Science Seminars: July 2012
ecoOcean - Games in Dissemination, Education and Science

Add Seminar to your Google Calendar:
July 09, 2012, 11:00-12:00 Eastern Time Zone
NOAANMFS NEFSC, James J. Howard Marine Sciences LaboratoryConference Room, Office Building 74 (74 Magruder Road, Sandy Hook, New Jersey)
Speaker(s): Dr. Jörn Schmidt (Sustainable Fishery Group, Dept Economics, Univ. Kiel, Germany)

The Social Coast - Social Science, Simply Explained and Applied
Add Seminar to your Google Calendar:
July 11, 2012, 14:00-15:00 Eastern Time Zone
NOAACoastal Services Center (remote access only)
Speaker(s): Susan Fox (NOAA Coastal Services Center)

Climate Change and Potential Ecosystem Change in Alaska, The Yukon, and The Northwest Territories
Add Seminar to your Google Calendar:
July 24, 2012, 10:00-11:00 Alaska Local Time (14:00-15:00 Eastern Time Zone) [Check U.S. Time clockfor your local time]
ACCAPoffice, second floor of the Denali Building, 3352 College Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska
Speaker(s): Nancy Fresco, Michael Lindgren, Falk Heuttmann (University of Alaska Fairbanks); Karen Murphy (National Park Service)

ISO Metadata Training Series: Transitioning from FGDC to ISO 101 and ISO Content and Organization
Add Seminar to your Google Calendar:
July 24, 2012, 10:00-11:00 Central Time Zone
Webinar access only
Speaker(s): ncddcmetadata@noaa.gov(NCDDC)

Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Fisheries: Future Survival of Larval Cod
Add Seminar to your Google Calendar:
July 25, 2012, 14:00-15:00 Eastern Time Zone
NOAASSMC-4Room 12836 (1305 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910)
Speaker(s): Dr. Trond Kristiansen(Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway and Visiting Scientist, NOAA Climate Programand NOAA Fisheries Service, Silver Spring, MD)

ISO Metadata Training Series: XML Basics
Add Seminar to your Google Calendar:
July 31, 2012, 10:00-11:00 Central Time Zone
Webinar access only
Speaker(s): ncddcmetadata@noaa.gov(NCDDC)

 

CONTESTS

Recycle-Bowl 2012 School Recycling Competition – October 15 - November 9, 2012
The 2012 Keep American Beautiful Recycle-Bowl challenges K-12 students to collect as much recyclable material as they can over a four-week period for the chance for their school to win a $1,000 prize. A national champion will be selected as well. The registration system is now open. Get started here: http://recycle-bowl.org/registration-instructions/

 

RESOURCES

EPA Announces Framework to Help Local Governments Manage Stormwater Runoff and Wastewater
EPA has issued a new framework to help local governments meet their Clean Water Act obligations. The Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework assists EPA regional offices, states, and local governments to develop voluntary storm and wastewater management plans and implement effective integrated approaches that will protect public health by reducing overflows from wastewater systems and pollution from stormwater. In developing the framework, the EPA worked in close coordination with a variety of stakeholders, including publicly owned treatment works, state water permitting authorities, local governments, and nonprofit environmental groups. EPA's framework outlines new flexibility to pursue innovative, cost-saving solutions, like green infrastructure, and will help communities as they develop plans that prioritize their investments in storm and wastewater infrastructure. For more information: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/integratedplans.cfm

EPA Issues Post-Construction Compliance Monitoring Guidance
EPA has issued final guidance on conducting effective post-construction compliance monitoring to assess the performance of measures implemented under long-term combined sewer overflow (CSO) control plans, as provided in EPA’s 1994 CSO Control Policy. This guidance will assist CSO permittees in developing post construction compliance monitoring plans that collect sufficient data for evaluating the effectiveness of CSO controls and assessing compliance with the requirements of the Clean Water Act. The Agency developed a draft of the guidance, and received comments from state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System authorities and other stakeholders. For more information: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=5

Blog Spotlight: Gone with the Wind (and Waves)
Kelly Mercer, intern for EPA's Office of Water, blogs about how being out on the water helped lead to her college major. To read the blog, visit: http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2012/06/gone-with-the-wind-and-waves/

New EPA Environmental Justice Video Series
The EPA's Office of Environmental Justice 20th anniversary video series features stories and experiences from people who have been involved in environmental justice issues for many years from a variety of agencies, to share their insights, lessons learned, and approaches to developing solutions to environmental and health issues in their communities. http://blog.epa.gov/ej/

Four Principles of Effective Civic Engagement
Researchers at the National Park Service Conservation Study Institute created an overview of the principles of civic engagement in parks and other special places. Educators in schools and parks, and community members, can use these research-based recommendations to build a collective capacity for and commitment to conservation stewardship.
Tuxill, J. L., Mitchell, N., & Clark, D. (2009). Stronger together: a manual on the principles and practices of civic engagement. Woodstock, Vermont: National Park Service Conservation Study Institute and National Park Service Northeast Region Office of Interpretation and Education. http://eelinked.naaee.net/n/eeresearch/posts/Four-...

Strategies for Engaging Young Adults in a Sustainable Future
Researchers at the National Park Foundation Conservation Study Institute and Shelburne Farms used the literature review to develop a number of strategies to engage young adults in park or community-based sustainability research, service, and action.
Program Design Principles from the Literature Review. In: Duffin, M., Laven, D., Pranis, E., Mitchell, N., & Camp, M. (2009). Engaging young adults in a sustainable future: strategies for national parks and other special places. Woodstock, Vermont: The National Park Service Conservation Study Institute and Shelburne Farms. http://eelinked.naaee.net/n/eeresearch/posts/Engag...

New EPA Climate Change Website
The Environmental Protection Agency announces a new climate change Web site to help the public better understand how to make everyday decisions today that will affect future risks. Learn more visit the web at www.epa.gov/climatechange/. The site contains information on the science and indicators of climate change, regional impacts, federal and EPA programs and partnerships, and tools for educators and public officials.

Dovetail Partners Redevelops Environmental Education Website
Forestinfo.org - Dovetail's New Home for Environmental Education Resources
Dovetail's new home for environmental education resources, Forestinfo.org, brings together resources for students, teachers, forestry professionals, and anyone interested in protecting, managing, and enhancing the natural environment. Forestinfo.orgcombines resources developed by TFF and Dovetail's former F.R.E.E. Network site.Take a minute to visit the new siteand browse our Videos, Eco-links, Lesson Plans, Teachers' Tools, Research References, upcoming Forestry Tours, and more!

 

LAGNIAPPE

The Journal of American History just released the online version of a special issue on "Oil in American History." The article "Building America's First Offshore Oil Port: LOOP": http://jah.oxfordjournals.org/content/99/1/187.fulloffers a condensed summary of oil and gas development and related environmental impacts on the Louisiana coast.
Oxford Press has made all the articles free to the public online here: http://journalofamericanhistory.org/projects/oil/contents/index.html

BTNEP Invasive Species Mini-Grant Helps Fund Wild Nutria Dog Biscuits
Louisiana-made nutria biscuits provide dog owners a healthy alternative treat that not only tastes good but also helps protect Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.
         
Nutria significantly contributes to the alarming problem of coastal erosion by devouring critical marsh vegetation. To combat this problem, Louisiana initiated the Coastwide Nutria Control Program to reduce the nutria population and address the damage that they cause. The program, consisting of a $5-pertail incentive payment to trappers, has been a success as damage to marshes by nutria is on the decline. Beyond the incentive payment however, trappers find very little demand for nutria. They are an invasive species with few natural predators and very high reproductive rates. This means that the State will have to continue to spend substantial monies on the problem each year—monies that could otherwise be spent addressing other urgent coastal issues. Seeing this problem, Hansel Harlan, an attorney, and his sister Veni Harlan, a graphic designer, came up with the idea of using the high-quality nutria meat in dog treats. With that idea and a grant from the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Marsh Dog© was born.
          Marsh Dog’s premier product “Barataria Bites” is named after the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary, which, notably, is the fastest disappearing landmass in the world. The nutria used by Marsh Dog© are harvested from this estuary. The biscuits are then prepared, baked, and packaged in Baton Rouge. Marsh Dog© supports local farmers by using Louisiana products such as brown rice and sweet potatoes in its biscuits. The biscuits do not contain corn, wheat, soy, chemicals, artificial colorings or preservatives, or other additives, and are packaged in recyclable bags. Visit www.marshdog.comfor more information.

Find out about wetland outreach activities including symposiums, conferences, meetings, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and related support material at the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar at http://lacoast.gov/calendar/


Juliet Raffray, Environmental Education Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov
Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec


 

Alligator Guide Receives a Six Month Sentence

Release Date: 06/22/2012

The U.S. District Court Judge in Baton Rouge sentenced a Plaquemine man to six months in a Federal Jail on June 21 for alligator violations.

Judge Brian Jackson also ordered Gregory Dupont, 38, to pay a $3,000 fine, serve four months in a halfway house and two years of probation.  Dupont’s sentencing was the first ever felony conviction and prison sentence resulting from the illegal hunting of American alligators.

On Feb. 10, 2012 Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents wrapped up a five and a half year investigation into the illegal taking of alligators when Dupont pled guilty to one felony Lacey Act violation.  Dupont was the sole owner and operator of an alligator guide and outfitting business known as Louisiana Hunters Inc.  The Lacey Act is the federal wildlife statute that makes it illegal to transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase illegally taken wildlife.

The investigation uncovered that between 2006 and 2011 Dupont and six other individuals took at least 26 alligators illegally while guiding non-resident alligator sport hunters.  The majority of the illegal alligators taken were between 10 to 12.5 feet in length with an estimated value of $143,000 to the guide.

In September of 2006, Dupont guided his clients to an area that was unapproved, which is an area for that he did not have the required alligator tags.  During this illegal hunt, one of his clients killed an American alligator.  Dupont tagged the alligator illegally with a tag for another property.

Past convictions and penalties associated with this case are as follows:

Travis Dardenne and Jeffrey Brown, both of Plaquemine, were sentenced on Feb. 4, 2010 and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and serve one year of probation for violations of the Lacey Act.  Dardenne and Brown had connections to Dupont’s guiding services.  As part of their punishment, they are prohibited from hunting or guiding anywhere in the world during their probation.

On Sept. 8, 2006, Dardenne, a licensed alligator hunter, and Brown, a licensed alligator helper, guided an out-of-state alligator sport hunter to an area for which Dardenne and Brown did not have appropriate state authorization to hunt. The sport hunter killed a trophy-sized alligator in the unapproved area.

On Sept. 13, 2011 Clint Martinez and Michael Martinez, both of Plaquemine, were sentenced to serve a three year term of probation during which they will be prohibited from hunting as follows: for one year of the probation the defendants will be prohibited from engaging worldwide in all hunting activities, including guiding, with any kind of weapon; for the remaining two years of probation the defendants will be prohibited from engaging worldwide in all commercial alligator hunting activities, including guiding.  In addition, each defendant will pay a $5,000 fine and serve 200 hours of community service.

The Martinez brothers guided out-of-state alligator sport hunters who were clients of Dupont’s, to areas for which they did not have appropriate state authorization to hunt.  In October 2005, the clients killed a 10 foot, two-inch trophy-sized alligator.  In September 2006, clients killed a 10 foot and a 12 foot, six-inch trophy-sized alligators.

On Aug. 10, 2011 Larry Dees Sr., and Larry Dees Jr., both of Maringuoin, were sentenced to three years of probation during which they will be prohibited from hunting as follows: for one year of the probation the defendants will be prohibited from engaging worldwide in all hunting activities, including guiding, with any kind of weapon; for the remaining two years of probation the defendants will be prohibited from engaging worldwide in all commercial alligator hunting activities, including guiding.  Dees Sr. was also fined $3,000.

The father and son guided out-of-state alligator hunters who were Dupont’s clients to unapproved areas on Sept. 10 and 24-25 of 2009.  On Sept. 10, 2009, the clients killed a 9 foot 4 inch trophy-sized alligator.

The Dupont case was prosecuted by Shennie Patel and Susan L. Park of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

Participating in the case were LDWF case agents Sgt. Dusty Rhodes, Lt. Darryl Moore, Sgt. Ronald Hebert and Senior Agent Jerry Stassi.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Philip Siragusa and LDWF’s Noel Kinler and Lance Campbell in the LDWF Alligator program also assisted in the case.

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

Elm Grove Man Sentenced to Two Years in Jail for Illegal Silencer Possession

Release Date: 06/21/2012

June 21, 2012 - After a two and a half year investigation, an Elm Grove man was sentenced on June 20 in Federal Court in Shreveport to two years in a federal penitentiary for illegal possession of a silencer.

Senior Judge Tom Stagg of the U.S. Western District Court accepted Brett Roberts’, 52, guilty plea to the federal charge of possessing a homemade silencer and sentenced him to two years in a federal jail and three years of supervised probation.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents initiated the investigation in November of 2009 after receiving multiple tips that Roberts was illegally night hunting in the Bossier and Webster parish areas.  LDWF undercover agents were able to make contact with Roberts and tag along during some of his illegal hunts and witnessed other illegal activities.

LDWF undercover agents discovered that Roberts was using a homemade silencer on a .22 caliber rifle to kill deer at night and out of season.  Undercover agents witnessed Roberts hunt from a public road from his vehicle and sell deer meat.  Undercover agents also purchased methamphetamines, a stolen boat motor and a rifle silencer from Roberts.

On Jan. 31, 2011, LDWF and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents executed a search warrant of Roberts’ residence and charged Roberts with 228 counts of illegal activities.  Roberts was subsequently booked into the Bossier Max Detention Center in Bossier Parish and the Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center in Webster Parish.

On July 12, 2011, Roberts pled guilty to the following state charges in Bossier Parish; illegal possession of stolen things, possession of drug paraphernalia, hunting with an illegal firearm, hunting deer with illegal methods, hunting and taking deer during illegal hours and hunting from a public road.  Judge Ford Stinson of the 26th District Court sentenced Roberts to serve six months in jail in the Bossier Parish Jail with three months suspended, a $3,000 fine, restitution of $5,300, two years of supervised probation and a five year hunting ban.

On Aug. 5, 2011 Roberts pled guilty to the following state charges in Webster Parish; possession of drug paraphernalia, taking deer during illegal hours, possession of untagged deer, failing to maintain sex identification of deer, failing to tag deer and possession of illegally taken deer.  Judge Bruce Bolin of the 26th District Court in Benton, La. Sentenced Roberts to 18 months in the Webster Parish Jail of which six months were suspended, a $3,000 fine, restitution of $5,300 and two years of supervised probation.  Roberts must also forfeit his hunting privileges.

The jail, probation and restitution charges for each parish run concurrently bringing the total state punishment for Roberts to 12 months of jail, a $6,000 fine, a $5,300 restitution charge and two years of probation.

LDWF agents assisting undercover agents in the case were Senior Agents Jared McIver, Cullom Schexnyder, Wesley Duck, Bryant Coburn, Michael Dunn and Joey Melton; Sgts. Mike Kelley and Ryan Brashier; and Lt. Kenny Balkom.

Prosecuting the state charges were Assistant District Attorneys Sherb Sentell for Webster Parish and Santi Parks for Bossier Parish.  U.S. Assistant District Attorney Robert France prosecuted the federal charge.

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

LDWF Enforcement Division Cooperating In Operation Dry Water June 22-24

Release Date: 06/20/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 22-24 with increased patrols for operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"We want people to be safe and have fun while boating recreationally," commented Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "But alcohol use has become one of the leading contributing factors in fatal recreational boating crash incidents.  We recommend a sober operator of the vessel just like you would have a sober driver on the road."

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 36 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2011 with five of those listing alcohol as a primary cause.  Nationwide, statistics from 2011 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

LDWF agents issued 108 DWI citations to boat operators in 2011 with 10 of those occurring over the Operation Dry Water weekend.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

“There will be arrests this weekend and some boaters will face the consequences of operating a boat while impaired," added Lt. Col. Mayne.  "But we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back."

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

To schedule a media ride along or for more information, please contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Officials Find Second Body in Lake St. John

Release Date: 06/17/2012

Search and rescue teams from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of a second boater from Lake St. John around 11:30 a.m. this morning, June 17.

Authorities located the body of Larry Allen, 52, of Pearl, Miss., under a collapsed pier on Lake St. John in Concordia Parish.  Allen was a passenger in a boat that crashed into a pier shortly after midnight on June 16 that also killed the operator.

LDWF agents responded to a boating incident on Lake St. John around 12:15 a.m. on June 16.  Bruce Pickle, 50, of Ferriday, was found in the water by some onlookers after they witnessed him crash into a pier on Lake St. John with his bass boat.  Pickle was ejected from the boat and was recovered by the witnesses who attempted CPR on him before authorities arrived.

Later on the morning of June 16, LDWF agents received a call about the possibility of Allen being a passenger with Pickle at the time of the wreck.  LDWF agents along with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office immediately began searching for Allen.  Searchers had to remove the collapsed pier in order to get to Allen who was trapped underneath the wreckage.

Both Pickle and Allen were transferred to the Concordia Parish Coroner’s Office.  LDWF agents did pull a blood sample from each man as standard procedure for a toxicology report, but do not suspect alcohol or drugs played a role in this incident at this time.

Neither man was wearing a personal flotation device.  The causes of death are unknown at this time.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-354-9517 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Boating Incident in Lake St. John Results in Fatality

Release Date: 06/16/2012

June 16, 2012 --- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents responded to a boating incident on Lake St. John that left one man dead and possibly another at 12:15 a.m. this morning, June 16.

Bruce Pickle, 50, was found in the water by some onlookers after they witnessed him crash into a pier on Lake St. John with his bass boat around midnight.  Pickle was ejected from the boat and was recovered by the witnesses who attempted CPR on him before authorities arrived.

Pickle’s body was transferred to the Concordia Parish Coroner’s Office.  LDWF agents did pull a blood sample for a toxicology report, but do not suspect alcohol or drugs played a role in this incident at this time.

This morning, LDWF agents received a call about the possibility of another person still under the water at the wreck scene at the pier.  The call has led authorities to believe there may have been a passenger with Pickle at the time of the wreck.

LDWF agents along with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office have begun searching for this possible missing boater.

Pickle was not wearing a personal flotation device.  His cause of death is unknown at this time.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-354-9517 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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