General

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West Monroe Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Bald Eagle

Release Date: 09/20/2011

 

A West Monroe Man pled guilty for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act in the Federal Western District Court of Louisiana in Monroe on Sept. 19.

Jeffrey M. Miles, 22, entered his guilty plea to U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Hayes for shooting a mature bald eagle in Franklin Parish on April 4, 2011.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents initiated the investigation on April 4 after finding a dead bald eagle in a drainage ditch along Camphouse Road.

After a thorough investigation and receiving tips from the public through the department's Operation Game Thief hotline, agents were able to cite Miles on April 22 for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

"Getting a guilty plea in federal court proves that the investigative work our agents did was factual and sound," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Law Enforcement Division.  "Utilizing the public tips, gathering crucial evidence and interviewing suspects or people with information about this case all led to a successful conviction."

Hayes ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be completed by federal investigators.  A sentencing date has been set for Jan. 3, 2012 in Monroe.  Violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act brings up to a $100,000 fine and up to 12 months in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Capt. Alan Bankston, Lt. Scott Watson, Senior Agent Albert Tarver and Senior Agent Johnny Wilson.

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

Belle Chasse Man Cited for Filing False Boat Registration

Release Date: 09/19/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division Strike Force and undercover agents cited a Belle Chasse man for alleged boat registration violations on Sept. 18.

Agents cited Benjamin Vodopija, 24, for possessing a motorboat with an altered hull identification number in Plaquemines Parish.  Vodopija was also cited for injuring public records and filing false public records in East Baton Rouge Parish in his attempt to illegally register a boat.

Undercover agents answered an Internet classified ad in reference to a subject wanting to purchase a Louisiana boat registration for a vessel that he was unable to obtain a registration for legally.  Undercover agents made contact with Vodopija and sold him a false registration for $200.  Vodopija allegedly registered the vessel in his name with the false registration.

For filing false public records and injuring public records, Vodopija faces up to five years in jail, or up to $5,000 in fines or both for each offense.  Agents seized the vessel along with a Yamaha outboard motor and boat trailer.

Agents involved in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Sgt. Todd Laviolette, Agents Charles Talbert, Justin Lowry, Ronnie Engelhard and LDWF undercover agents.

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

LDWF to Begin Accepting Lake Calcasieu Oyster Permit Application September 26

Release Date: 09/15/2011

September 15, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds interested oyster harvesters that Lake Calcasieu oyster permit applications will begin being accepted at 9 a.m., Monday, September 26.  Applications may be submitted online only.

To view a sample application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/image/sample-application-calcasieu-lake-oyster-permits

For more information on the Lake Calcasieu oyster permit application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/calcasieu-lake-oyster-harvester-permit

For questions concerning the application process, contact Cole Garrett at (225) 763-5577 or at cgarrett@wlf.la.gov.

As required by Act 329 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session, anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Lake Calcasieu must have one of 126 special Oyster Harvester Permits issued by LDWF. 

Of the 126 permits available, 63 will be issued exclusively to eligible fishermen who have historically harvested in Lake Calcasieu since January 1, 2001.  The remaining 63 permits will be issued to any person who is otherwise eligible.

Permits will be valid for a period of one year beginning October 1, of a given year and ending September 30, of the following year.  Applicants are required to hold a current and valid commercial fishing license and oyster harvester license.

At its September meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011 limit at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day at Lake Calcasieu.  Only the portion of the Lake known as West Cove will be open for harvest.  The season is set to open on November 1st.

Applications for permits will be available exclusively online on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website (www.wlf.louisiana.gov).  Permits will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis, determined by the order in which completed applications are submitted through the LDWF website.  Online submission is the ONLY acceptable method to submit completed applications.

Completed applications will be reviewed by LDWF and permits will be issued prior to the opening of the oyster harvest season in Lake Calcasieu West Cove.

Harvesters will be required to reapply on the last Monday of September each year.

A completed application consists of the following information:  applicant’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, commercial license number, and oyster harvester license number.

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

 

National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festival

                                                                 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) on September 26th, 2015. 

NHFD is a national event celebrated by all 50 states on the fourth Saturday in September.  It was created in 1972 when Congress passed two bills establishing a specific day to celebrate the conservation contributions of our nation’s hunters and anglers. Forty years later, the events are still going strong.

LDWF introduced its first NHFD event in 1982 at the Monroe district office.  In the following years, three more locations were developed in Baton Rouge, Minden and Woodworth.  Today, more than 10,000 people statewide attend the celebrations, creating the largest public event for the department.

All four events are free. The number and types of exhibits vary at each location but all include exhibits on LDWF management programs, shooting and fishing demonstrations, exhibits from local chapters of Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club and CCA, and supporting businesses from the local communities. Attendees have the chance to try their skills at the shooting ranges, fishing ponds and boating activities, as well as learn about wildlife with live animals.

For more information about this national event, visit NHFday.org


LDWF Family Fish Fest events include a fishing competition, fishing instruction, interactive activities, educational displays, awards and prize giveaways. Whether you are new to the sport of fishing or an experienced angler, these events provide something for all ages and skill levels.

 
The first 50 registrants for each event will receive a complimentary rod and reel, and the first 100 youth registrants will receive a fishing goodie bag. In addition, every registered participant is automatically entered into raffle drawings for prizes! Events with an entry fee also include a t-shirt for each registered participant.
 
A Family Fish Fest event will be held at the Baton Rouge Hunting and Fishing Day Location.  For more event formation about this Family Fish Fest event, CLICK HERE!
 

Minden
Bodcau Wildlife Management Area
1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.
Haughton, LA.  71037
(318) 371-3050

 

 

 

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close September 16

Release Date: 09/14/2011

September 14, 2011 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at 12 p.m., on Friday, September 16, 2011. 

The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.01 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met.  The commercial fishing season for king mackerel will also close in federal waters at noon on Friday. 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.01 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico will be harvested by September 16, 2011.

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800,000 to 900,000 pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Deslatte-Wooderson at 225.610.2363 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Unveils New Toll Free Information Hotline

Release Date: 09/13/2011

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now offering a free information hotline to the public that will cover popular season dates and regulations.

The public can call the toll free hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-256-2749.  As seasons are set, LDWF will update the hotline with the most current information.

"The department anticipates the most useful feature of the hotline will be for those looking for season dates after our normal operating hours and on weekends," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "This hotline provides another tool the public can use to find out about newly set seasons in addition to our Web site and other publications."

After calling the hotline, the public will listen to an operator and follow the prompts to access the information they are seeking.

Hunting and fishing dates will be available through the hotline for the following seasons: shrimp, deer, squirrel, rabbit, migratory game birds, turkey, quail, recreational finfish and commercial finfish.

"In efforts to increase voluntary compliance, we want to ensure the public is aware of what seasons are currently open and the legal take and limits," said Mayne.

The hotline will also feature boating safety, Wildlife Management Area and hunter safety information as well as the contact information for regional offices located around the state.

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

WEEKLY eNEWS: Upcoming Events, Grants, Employment Opportunities, & Resources

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana


UPCOMING EVENTS:

NSTA New Orleans Area Conference (November 10-12)
Join the NSTA 2011 New Orleans Area Conference on Science Education where the history is as colorful as the local architecture. The conference headquarters hotel is the New Orleans Marriott. Conference registration and some sessions will be at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, as will the exhibits and the NSTA Science Bookstore. Additional sessions and events will be held at the Marriott. http://www.nsta.org/conferences/2011new/?lid=tnav


GRANTS:

Great Opportunity for K-12 Public School Math and Science Teachers! (Deadline: September 16)
Looking for a way to purchase math and science classroom materials? The QSM program administered by the Gordon Cain STEM Center at LSU (http://www.cain.lsu.edu) has approximately $162,000 in funds to award grants to eligible classroom teachers for the 2011-12 school year. Grants of up to $750 each for approved materials and equipment are awarded on a competitive basis to individual classroom teachers to use in providing standards-based instruction to help meet state accountability goals. Applicants must show that their proposals will enhance the quality of instruction for regular education students who are enrolled in mathematics or science classes. Only full-time classroom teachers assigned to teach mathematics or science in the K-12 regular education program in public schools are eligible to submit proposals. Go to http://www.seasystem.net/cgi-bin/qsm for the full guidelines and regulations.

The North Face Explore Fund (Deadline: October 5)
The Explore Fund supports organizations that encourage youth outdoor participation, focusing primarily on creating more connections of children to nature, increasing access to both front and backcountry recreation, as well as providing education for both personal and environmental health. Grants will be given up to $2,500. For more information: www.outdoornation.org/grants

Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (Deadline: October 13)
The Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE) program supports efforts to understand and address gender-based differences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce participation through research, the diffusion of research-based innovations, and extension services in education that will lead to a larger and more diverse domestic science and engineering workforce.
Diffusion of Research-based Innovation Proposals Program Guidelines: NSF 10-516
For more information, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5475&WT.mc_id=USNSF_39&WT.mc_ev=click

Gulf of Mexico Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program (Deadline: October 14)
The National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Region is now seeking proposals under the Gulf of Mexico NOAA Bay-Watershed Education and Training (Gulf B-WET) Program. The full FY12 Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) can be found at Grants.gov or the following Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office URL: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/grants/B-Wet.htm. Applicants should apply through Grants.gov. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 14, 2011 to be considered for funding. Please see the FFO for all application details. The Gulf of Mexico B-WET program is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. Funded projects provide meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) for students, related professional development for teachers, and help to support regional education and environmental priorities in the Gulf of Mexico.

National Park Service Outdoor Nation Grants (Deadline: October 14)
The Outdoor Nation Grants opportunity is awarding $2,500 to bring innovative ideas to life. This grant is designed to allow youth to tackle some of the many challenges facing young people today, from a population’s disconnect with the outdoors to a community’s overall declining health. These community based, youth led initiatives will leverage existing programs and resources including the National Park Service. For more information: www.outdoornation.org/grants


EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES:

PolarTREC Now Accepting Applications for 2012 (Deadline: September 30)
PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a program in which K-12 teachers spend 2-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the polar regions. The goal of PolarTREC is to advance polar science education and understanding by bringing K-12 educators and polar researchers together through hands-on field experiences. Most costs associated with participation in the program are covered. This includes travel, lodging, food, essential field gear, and substitute costs, if needed. Whether you are interested in a teacher research experience, building new professional networks, or enriching your classroom content—PolarTREC has something for every educator! For more information: http://www.polartrec.com/teachers/applications/2012


RESOURCES:

Current Event! For information pertaining to the very significant drought and related wildfires in our area of the United States, visit:
Texas Agrilife Extension Service – Click on “Wildlife Resources” and “Drought Information” for excellent information on causes of, preparation, latest maps, etc.: http://texashelp.tamu.edu/disaster-information-main.php
Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry – Daily fire weather probability map, current burn ban map: http://www.ldaf.state.la.us/portal/Offices/Forestry/ForestProtection/tabid/135/Default.aspx
Texas Forest Service – map of active fires with pertinent statistics: http://ticc.tamu.edu/Response/FireActivity/

Climate Change Starter’s Guidebook
This publication from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provides an introduction and overview for education planners and practitioners on the wide range of issues relating to climate change and climate change education, including causes, impacts, mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as some broad political and economic principals. For more information: www.unesco.org/new

Toolkit for Teachers to Facilitate an Air Quality Workshop
This Toolkit is designed for anyone who would like to conduct an air quality workshop for teachers. The goal of the workshop is for K-12 teachers to gain a better understanding of air quality and air pollution issues, experience hands-on activities, and gain insight into topics such as global warming and climate change, calculating a carbon footprint, and the health effects of air pollution. The knowledge gained will support the teacher’s classroom instruction and in turn will motivate and increase student’s interest in air quality. For more information: http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=learning.workshop_for_teachers


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/


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

Ecotourism Workshop Set for Sept. 28-29 in Monroe

Release Date: 09/09/2011

Ecotourism Workshop Set for Sept. 28-29 in Monroe

Sept. 9, 2011 - A two-day workshop on developing outdoor recreation on agricultural lands has been scheduled for Sept. 28-29 at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe, La.

Sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and Mississippi State University’s Natural Resource Enterprises Program, the program will focus on developing ecotourism activities featuring wildlife and water systems on farmlands.

Guest speakers will talk about revenue potential, outdoor recreational opportunities on farmlands, how to start an outfitter business and legal concerns, as well as hunting and crawfish production, Hatch said.

Nationally known river guide John Ruskey will speak and offer a canoe trip on the first day of the workshop. The river guide and outfitter from Clarksdale, Miss., will lead two 10-person canoes on a two-hour paddle. The fee is $25.

Keynote speaker for the first day will be Daryl Jones, director of Mississippi State University’s Natural Resource Enterprises Program. Jones will present statistics about enterprise development and trends that are making outdoor recreation popular.

LSU AgCenter agritourism coordinator Dora Ann Hatch will discuss marketing enterprises, and LSU AgCenter wildlife specialist Don Reed will talk about managing private lands for fee or lease hunting.

Optional activities at the end of the first day will include a photography session and a bird-watching session offered by the Friends of the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

The second day will give participants an opportunity to learn about successful tourism programs in paddling, becoming an outfitter and legal liabilities associated with navigating waterways. Keynote speaker for day two will be Tom Potter, executive director of North Carolina Paddle Trails, who will provide information on the economic and social impacts of paddling. A panel of speakers will talk about how they got involved in paddling and offering their services to others.

After the panel, Stuart Johnson, assistant secretary in the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism Office of State Parks; Keith Casio with the Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers Program in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Bob Strader, Gay Brantley and Jean Mikeal with National Wildlife Refuges in Mississippi and in Monroe and Tallulah, La., will talk about state and national opportunities for nature-based tourism in their respective areas.

Registration for this event is available online at www.LSUAgCenter.com/onlinestore and at www.lsuagcenter.com/agritourism . The fee is $50 for single days or $75 for both days.

For more information, contact Dora Ann Hatch at 318-927-9654, ext. 229, or at dhatch@agcenter.lsu.edu or John Hanks at 318-343-4044 or jhanks@wlf.la.gov .

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