General

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L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Maurice Man for Negligent Homicide

Release Date: 02/14/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Maurice man on Sunday, Feb. 13 for negligent homicide, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence for his alleged role in the death of an overdue hunter.

Quint Mire, 47, of Maurice, allegedly shot and killed Julian Gajan, 56, of Abbeville, on Wednesday, Feb. 9 while the two were hunting near White Lake located in Vermilion Parish.

On Thursday, Feb. 10 the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office contacted LDWF about an overdue hunter. It was reported that Gajan was last seen Wednesday afternoon at 11:30 a.m. when he left by boat to go hunting.

Gajan’s boat was located in a canal tied to a tree off of Schooner Bayou on the east side of White Lake where he hunts. A search of the marsh and surrounding areas was organized. Agencies participating in the search were the LDWF Enforcement Division, Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, the Angola State Penitentiary K-9 Chase Team and the Patterson Police Department's K-9 Unit.

Rescuers searched until 1 a.m. on Friday morning and resumed the search at daylight Friday morning. The search was suspended at dark Friday night and again resumed at daylight Saturday morning.

Rescuers located Gajan’s body at approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12 on a canal levee in the marsh approximately one mile from his boat. Investigators revealed that he was shot with buckshot.

On Sunday morning, Quint Mire came forward and stated to investigators that he accidentally shot Gajan while hunting on Wednesday. According to Mire, he dropped Gajan off on the canal levee then went down and positioned himself farther down the same levee to wait for Gajan to drive a deer past his location. Mire said that he thought Gajan was a deer as he walked through the trees and shot him.

Mire was booked into the Vermilion Parish Jail. The LDWF Enforcement Division and Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office are continuing the investigation of this incident.

If convicted of all three charges, Mire faces up to 28 years in jail and up to $65,000 in fines.

Agents who participated in the search and investigation were Lt. Bobby Buatt, Sgts. Keith Delahoussaye, Kane Thomas and Aaron Herpin, and Senior Agents Justin Sonnier, Lonnie Campbell, Anthony Verret, Derek Logan, Donald Murray and Jason Stagg.

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

L.D.W.F. Investigating Boating Incident in Gulf that Resulted in Four Fatalities

Release Date: 02/13/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries staff and Enforcement Division agents are investigating a boating incident that left four people dead in the Gulf of Mexico on Feb. 12.

The four deceased bodies found in the Gulf were Wayne Dowsey, 61, of Point Clear, Ala., and who was the owner and operator of the vessel; Randy Dowsey, 58, of Fairhope, Ala.; Kerri Burns, 33, of Fairhope, Ala.; and Kenny Mock, 58, of Metairie. The lone survivor was Heath Dowsey, 33, of Fairhope, Ala; who was the son of Randy and nephew of Wayne.

According to Heath, the five left from Venice around 6:30 a.m. for a fishing trip. They left out of the South Pass into the Gulf of Mexico and were about 2 to 3 miles offshore when one of the engines in the twin engine vessel abruptly shut down between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

When checking out the engine, they noticed the back of the boat filling with water, which prompted the operator to turn off the other engine. With both engines turned off, the boat then rapidly filled with water and within minutes the boat was listing to one side according to Heath.

The five were able to grab four life jackets, but were unable to put them on before the boat capsized sending all five into the cold waters of the Gulf. Heath was able to hang on to the rope from the bow of the boat, and the other four were able to hang on to the life jackets and side of the boat. Heath eventually made his way onto the hull of the capsized boat getting himself out of the cold water.

According to Heath, around 1 p.m. an offshore supply vessel located the capsized vessel with Heath on top. The crew boat was able to take Heath into their boat and locate the other four people who had drifted away from the capsized vessel.

Within minutes, an LDWF Office of Fisheries vessel that was in the area doing field work came across the capsized boat and crew boat where the four bodies were still floating lifeless. The LDWF Office of Fisheries Vessel was able to transport the deceased bodies to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Venice. Heath was also transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard vessel for transport to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Venice.

Heath was treated for mild hypothermia by emergency medical workers at the U.S. Coast Guard station. It is unknown at this time if the four people perished from drowning or hypothermia.

The LDWF Enforcement Division will investigate the incident to determine a cause. At this time, LDWF does not suspect drugs or alcohol involvement. The LDWF Enforcement Division and Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office will attempt to recover the capsized vessel for the investigation.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-354-9517 (Cell) or 225-765-2465 (Work).

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Date: 
Thu, 06/02/2011

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled the next regular public board meeting for 9:30 a.m. on June 2, 2011, at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

Allen Parish District Attorney Provides Essential Equipment to Local L.D.W.F. Enforcement Agents

Release Date: 02/11/2011

Feb. 11, 2011 - Allen Parish District Attorney Todd Nesom recently donated equipment to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents patrolling Allen, Beauregard and Evangeline parishes.

Nesom provided two spotting scopes with tripods, a night vision monocular, and a Garmin Map 76 global positioning system (GPS) among other equipment valued at $3,200 to the agents.

Agents in the Allen, Beauregard and Evangeline parishes will utilize this equipment enforcing the West Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Ouiska Chitto River and other night hunting activities in Allen Parish.

Agents completed 54 night hunting related cases this past hunting season in Allen, Beauregard and Evangeline parishes with 35 of those cases occurring in Allen Parish in the vicinity of West Bay WMA. Agents also generated 300 cases during the spring and summer of 2010 on the Ouiska Chitto River along the nine-mile stretch utilized by the local canoe rental companies of Mittie.

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. 

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. 

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