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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting July Agenda

Release Date: 06/30/2011

 

 

June 30, 2011 - The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, July 7, 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 June 2, 2011

     3.     Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

     4.     To hear presentation on Oil Spill Early Restoration Projects

     5.     Discussion of Artificial Reef Fund

     6.     Legislative Update

     7.     To hear presentation on Louisiana Boating Officer of the Year

     8.     To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/June

     9.     To consider Waterfowl Zones and Splits Framework

   10.     To consider Early Season Migratory Bird Regulations

   11.     To consider Notice of Intent on 2012 Turkey Hunting Areas, Seasons and Bag Limits

   12.     To consider Notice of Intent on 2012 Turkey General and WMA Hunting Regulations

   13.     To consider Declaration of Emergency on Deer Season in Atchafalaya Basin Area

   14.     To consider a Notice of Intent on the Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permit

   15.     Set November 2011 Meeting Date

   16.     Receive Public Comments

   17.     Adjournment

LDWF Agents Issue 10 Citations for Illegal Activity on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA

Release Date: 06/30/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited five individuals with 10 violations for alleged illegal activity on the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on June 27.

Agents cited Tony Vaughn, 27, of Montegut, Craig Vogel, 25, of Houma, and Jamie Theriot, 31, of Houma, for not abiding by WMA rules and regulations after agents observed the men crabbing on one of the WMA dams after legal sunset. 

Agents also cited Jamie Dardar, 37, of Montegut, and Calvin Naquin, 43, of Montegut, for not abiding by WMA rules and regulations, using illegal trawls and blocking the passage of fish.  Dardar was also cited for failure to pay class one requirements from a prior wildlife and fisheries related violation.  Dardar and Naquin were observed accessing and using an illegal trawl to block one of the WMA dams after legal sunset.

Not abiding by WMA rules and regulations carries a fine between $100 and $750 or imprisonment between 60 to 90 days.  Using illegal trawls, blocking the passage of fish and failure to pay class one requirements each carry a fine between $250 and $1,000 and between 90 days and 120 days of imprisonment.

It is illegal to be on the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA after legal sunset and to block the free passage of fish using an illegal trawl.

Participating in the case were Senior Agents Nicholas Guillory and Michael Williams.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and Three Donaldsonville Men Assessed $34,810 in Fines for Migratory Game Bird Violations

Release Date: 06/29/2011

 

The Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and three Donaldsonville men pled guilty to Migratory Bird Treaty Act violations on June 24 in Federal Middle District Court in Baton Rouge.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Riedlinger ordered the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and the three men to pay a total of $34,810 in fines and assessments for the violations.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club located near Donaldsonville in September of 2007 for baiting a dove field to attract mourning doves for paid hunts.  Agents also cited Robert Lemann Sr., 62, Robert Lemann Jr., 38, and Kenneth Gomez, 62, and Wayne Gomez, 60, for baiting a dove field.

The Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club was ordered to pay a $25,300 fine and $350 in assessments.  The club was also placed on probation for two years in which they will not be allowed to provide any paid dove hunts.  Lemann Sr. represented the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club and accepted their penalties.

Lemann Jr. was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $70 in assessments.  Kenneth Gomez was fined $3,000 plus $70 in assessments.  Wayne Gomez was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $20 in assessments.  All three men were also placed on one year of probation with the stipulation that they cannot provide any paid dove hunts.

LDWF Agents began investigating the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club in August of 2007 after receiving a public complaint.  Agents setup surveillance on the club and observed dove fields that were baited with wheat seeds in an effort to attract mourning doves.

All four men are either employed or connected to the Palo Alto Rod and Gun Club.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Dennis Bueche, Sgt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Todd Lewis, Senior Agent Chad Menzina and Senior Agent Hal Bridges.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents also assisted in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Issue Littering Citations on the Amite River

Release Date: 06/28/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents issued littering citations to four men who were tubing on the Amite River on July 25.

Agents cited Keynan Long, 19, of Metairie, Byron Diez, 54, of Prairieville, Michael Brassard, 21, of Mamath, Maine, and Bradon Stakes, 19, of Rayne after allegedly observing the men intentionally littering by throwing their empty cans onto the bank, in the water and in the trees.

If convicted of the litter violations, each man will face between $175 and $1,000 in fines and up to eight hours in a litter abatement work program. 

LDWF Enforcement Division agents issued 1,001 littering citations for fiscal year 2009-10 and logged 7,958 patrol hours for littering enforcement. 

According to Keep Louisiana Beautiful, litter in Louisiana costs taxpayers approximately $40 million a year.

LDWF also took over the state's 1-888-LITRBUG (1-888-548-7284) hotline last June.  Citizens can call the hotline to report people that litter and littering sites to the department for further investigation.

Agents working the case were Sgt. Todd Laviolette, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Senior Agent Nick Guillory, Agent Justin Lowry, Agent Mitchell Saunders and Agent Charles Talbert.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Sulphur Man Arrested for DWI on the Water

Release Date: 06/28/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Sulphur man on June 23 for allegedly driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) in Calcasieu Parish.

Agents arrested William Hafer, 40, for DWI and also cited him for destroying crab traps and removing contents, taking commercial fish without a commercial fishing license or commercial gear license.

While on boat patrol, agents observed Hafer on a waterway south of Sulphur running crab traps.  Agents made contact with Hafer and determined that he did not have permission to remove the contents of the crab traps that he was checking.

While investigating the theft of crabs, agents observed that Hafer was operating his vessel under the influence of alcohol.  Hafer was taken to the landing where he was placed under arrest and brought to the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Facility and booked for DWI and crab theft charges.

Destroying legal crab traps or removing contents carries a penalty of $400-$950, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus court costs.  Taking commercial fish without commercial license and without a commercial gear license carries a penalty of $250-$500, or up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs for each offense.

This was Hafer's second offense DWI, which carries a fine of $750-$1,000, plus imprisonment between 30 days to six months.

Agents participating were Lt. Remy Broussard and Senior Agent Beau Robertson.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Issue 10 DWI's During Operation Dry Water Weekend

Release Date: 06/27/2011

 

In support of Operation Dry Water, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) arrested 10 boaters statewide for driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26.

In the northern part of the state agents arrested Michael Smith, 34, of Jonesville, on Bushley Bayou in Catahoula Parish on June 25; Eric Bates Jr., 22, of Bernice, on Corney Lake in Claiborne Parish on June 24; and Bryon Breedlove, 26, of Shreveport, on the Red River in Bossier Parish on June 26.

Agents arrested Lyle Laussade III, 22, of Ponchatoula, on the Tickfaw River on June 25; David Goodale, 43, of Walker, on the Tickfaw River on June 25; Brian Hernandez, 49, of Baton Rouge, on the Amite River/Diversion Canal on June 25; and Chad Panepinto, 27, of Hammond, on the Tickfaw River on June 26 in the eastern part of the state.

In the southern part of the state agents arrested Kevin Davis, 54, of Texas, on the Belle River in St. Martin Parish on June 25; Lance LeBlanc, 23, of Bourg, on the Intracoastal Canal in Terrebonne Parish; and Dwight Landry, 56, of Breaux Bridge, in Henderson Bay in St. Martin Parish on June 25.

"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 32 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2009.  Alcohol was again the leading primary cause of those boating fatal incidents leading to 24 percent of the fatalities.  Nationwide, statistics from 2009 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  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 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.

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 LDWF, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Sets 2011 Season for Gag Grouper

Release Date: 06/27/2011

June 27, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2011 season for the recreational harvest of gag grouper.  The season is set to begin on September 16, and will remain open until November 15, in both state and federal waters. 

The bag limit for gag grouper in Louisiana state waters is up to five gag grouper within a five grouper aggregate bag limit at a minimum size limit of 22 inches total length.  Federal regulations allow only two gag grouper within a four grouper aggregate bag limit with a minimum size of 22 inches total length.

The recreational gag grouper season is set based on rules issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service as recommended by the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. 

Captain and crew of vessels operating as charter vessels have a bag limit of zero.  For further information on gag grouper regulations please visit http://www.gulfcouncil.org/fishing_regulations/index.php

The 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 Jason Adriance at jadriance@wlf.la.gov or (504)284-2032.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

Shrimp Season to Close Saturday in Portion of Zone 2

Release Date: 06/22/2011

Shrimp Season Closure - Portion of Zone 2

 

June 22, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2011 spring inshore shrimp season in a portion of Shrimp Management Zone 2 will close at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25. 

This shrimp season closure includes state inside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel Red Buoy line, with the exception of the following waters north of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line:

•             Those inshore waters south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

•             Those inshore waters south of 29 degrees 06 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 46 minutes 00 seconds west longitude.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small juvenile white shrimp within this portion of Zone 2.  The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp.

Shrimp Management Zones 1 and 3, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice with the exception of those areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The 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 this contact Marty Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-2401.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Enforcement Division Cooperating In Operation Dry Water June 24-26

Release Date: 06/22/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 24-26 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 the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents.  We recommend that boaters avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at all times, and we will have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters."

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 32 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2009.  Alcohol was again the leading primary cause of those boating fatal incidents leading to 24 percent of the fatalities.  Nationwide, statistics from 2009 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

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.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  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.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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