General

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Price Lake Road on Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Remain Closed Until March 12

Release Date: 02/25/2011

Feb. 25, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is advising all visitors to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge that Price Lake Road, a primary access point for public outdoor recreation on the western end of the refuge, will be closed until March 12 due to work needed on the road bed.

This extension of the normal Dec. 1 through March 1 winter closure of Price Lake Road is necessary due to ongoing repairs on the degraded road. Repairs are being made to improve access and for the public’s safety.

All other canals and public access areas on the refuge affected by the winter closure will reopen as scheduled on March 1. Other areas available for public access include the East End Boat Launch/Joseph Harbor Canal and East End Locks Road, both located just over three miles east of the refuge headquarters building, as well as Rollover Landing which features a private boat ramp with launch fee along the refuge’s eastern boundary near Pecan Island. All public access at the refuge is open from official sunrise to sunset.

The first available date for public access on Price Lake Road will be at sunrise on Saturday, March 12, 2011.

Rockefeller Refuge includes 76,000 acres in coastal Cameron and Vermilion parishes and is managed by LDWF. Recreational shrimping, crabbing, fishing, and bird-watching are outdoor recreation options available on the refuge.

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 on Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or call 337-491-2593.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets March Agenda

Release Date: 02/24/2011

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 3, 2011, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of February 8, 2011
  3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
  4. To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/February
  5. To hear Enforcement Update on BP Oil Spill/Leak
  6. To receive and consider Litter Proclamation
  7. Public comments on 2011-13 Hunting Seasons and 2011-12 General & WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations and DMAP
  8. To hear general presentation on Forest Stewardship Program
  9. To receive and consider Notice of Intent to make Freshwater Recreational Fishing Regulations for Border Waters with Texas Consistent
  10. Set July 2011 Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

Littering Leads To Drug Arrest

Release Date: 02/22/2011

Feb. 22, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two Shreveport men on charges of illegal drug possession on Feb. 13 in Keithville.

Agents stopped a vehicle being driven by Leroy Ezernack, 28, after they witnessed the passenger, Ricky Kellogg, 53, throw a cup out of the passenger side window.

During the stop, agents allegedly found Ezernack in possession of drug paraphernalia, marijuana and an open alcoholic container. Ezernack was also cited for driving with a suspended driver's license. Agents also allegedly found Kellogg in possession of hydrocodone pills and open container of an alcoholic beverage. Kellogg was also cited for intentional littering.

Possession of hydrocodone pills without a prescription carries a fine up to $5,000 or up to five years in jail. Possessing drug paraphernalia brings a fine up to $500 fine or up to six months in jail. Possession of marijuana carries a fine up to $500 or up to six months in jail.

Driving with a suspended driver's license carries a fine up to $500 or up to six months in jail. For open container, both men face up to a $100 fine. Intentional littering carries a $75 fine and eight hours in a litter abatement program.

Agents booked the two men into the Caddo Correctional Center. LDWF agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Jay Thomas and Frank Reger.

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

L.D.W.F. Enforcement Division Academy Cadets Become Commissioned Agents At Graduation Ceremony

Release Date: 02/16/2011

To request high resolution version of photo, please email aeinck@wlf.la.gov

(Back row from left to right: Brandon Fontenot, Kurt Hatten, Charles Taylor, Mitchell Saunders, Michael Marques, Kenneth Robertson, Jake Darden, and Justin Lowry.  Front row from left to right: Chadwick Wood, Dale Wheat, Andrew Mitchell, Charles Talbert, Norman Deroche, Cody Soileau, and Adam Tieben.)

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Academy today, Feb. 16, graduated its 26th class of cadets into the ranks of LDWF Enforcement Division agents at a ceremony in Baton Rouge.

After six months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy, 15 newly commissioned agents are ready to begin enforcing hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state's natural resources.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. “You have a tremendous responsibility to protect Louisiana’s rich natural resources and those who enjoy those resources, whether in the field or on the water,” Barham noted. “Congratulations on your achievement which we celebrate today.”

Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, presented certificates and recited the Oath of Office making the cadets’ transition to commissioned agents official. “We welcome them into the ranks and hope they all have long and successful careers as wildlife and fisheries enforcement agents,” said Col. Vidrine.

The 15 new agents are:

Jake Darden, 23, of Chitimacha; Norman Deroche III, 28, of Schriever; Brandon Fontenot, 25, of Sunset; Kurt Hatten, 23, of Dodson; Justin Lowry, 27, of Jennings; Michael Marques Jr., 34, of Slidell; Andrew Mitchell, 23, of Hornbeck; Kenneth Robertson, 25, of Monroe; Mitchell Saunders, 24, of Hammond; Cody Soileau, 26, of Lake Charles; Charles Talbert, 30, of Sulphur; Jared Taylor, 26, of Norco; Adam Tieben, 27, of Lafayette; Dale Wheat Jr., 25, of Baton Rouge; and Chadwick Wood, 28, of Boyce.

During the graduation ceremony, Lowry received the firearms award given for the best marksman in the class and the academic award for having the highest grades. Fontenot took home the physical training award for being the most fit. Lowry also won the overall award, which is a cumulative score from the firearms, academic and physical training categories.

At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas. The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.

The graduating agents fill vacancies in LDWF’s Enforcement Division and will be assigned to a field-training officer for their first six months of duty. Now part of the agency’s commissioned officer staff, the agents will join the ranks of those patrolling land and water to primarily detect game, fish and boating law violations. These duties require travel into Louisiana's forests, swamps, fields, streams, bayous, lakes, marshlands, the Gulf of Mexico and on the state roadway system.

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

Louisiana Man Passes Away in Two-Vessel Collision in Orleans Parish

Release Date: 02/16/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents responded to a fatal boating crash incident on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Unknown Pass in Orleans Parish.

LDWF agents along with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) arrived on the scene at 2:30 p.m. of a two vessel collision involving a 20-foot Hydrosport captained by Ralph Grimaldi, 63, of Slidell, and an 18-foot Boston Whaler captained by Scott Jordan, 49, of Pearl River.

The USCG airlifted Grimaldi to the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse where he was not able to survive his injuries. LDWF agents transported Jordan to Orleans Parish Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel waiting on the shore. EMS personnel then took Jordan to the North Shore Ochsner Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Grimaldi's vessel was also carrying two passengers who did not receive any major injuries.

LDWF agents are currently investigating the incident. Agents do not suspect alcohol or drugs at this time.

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

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. 

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