General

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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.

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

 

June 21, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, will drawdown Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish beginning September 6, 2011.

The water level will be lowered 4 1/2 feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until December 15, 2011.  The drawdown is being conducted to allow for replacement of a disabled water control structure, vegetation control in the Brushy Lake area, fisheries improvement and also to allow homeowners to conduct shoreline and property maintenance. 

All homeowners are advised to take appropriate prepartory measures as boat access into the lake will be limited. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 343-4044 or Gary Smith, President of the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, at (318) 766-4252.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113. 

Crab Task Force Scheduled to Meet June 23, 2011

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet Thursday, June 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. The agenda for Thursday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Call to order Roll call
  2. Approval of minutes/agenda
  3. Receive public comments
  4. Senior Commercial Fisherman’s License
  5. Whitespot disease (general information and discussion) 
  6. Reports of blue crab mortalities and laboratory findings
  7. Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for crab fishermen
  8. Impacts of freshwater flooding on the blue crab resource
  9. Exports of live blue crabs (opportunities and regulations)
  10. Status of Derelict Crab Trap Removal and Crab Promotion and Marketing Accounts
  11. Blue crab processing and solid waste disposal
  12. Update on MSC Certification of the blue crab fishery
  13. Indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the blue crab industry
  14. Task force vacancies and recruitment efforts
  15. Travel reimbursement for task force members
  16. H-2B visas and labor issues
  17. Status of HB 584
  18. Crab education day planning
  19. Other Business
  20. Next Meeting / Agenda
  21. Adjournment

For more meeting information, contact Carl Britt at (985)882-0027 or cbritt@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at (225)610-2363 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

Local Anglers Take Home Top Prize at Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament

Release Date: 06/21/2011

(Left to right) Tournament Director Dwayne Mills, Kory Matherne, Jason LeBlanc, Becky Chaney.

 

June 21, 2011 –Last Saturday, the second annual Louisiana Saltwater Series made its third stop on the tournament trail at Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix, La., with 44 boats entered and over $7,000 awarded in cash prizes.

The series was developed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

Taking home first place overall were Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne, of Marrero, with a two fish total weight of 16.57 pounds.

A total of 109 redfish were tagged and released during Saturday’s event.  The results of the tagging will aid conservation efforts for redfish in the future, helping to ensure healthy populations and a successful recreational fishing industry.

Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for more information, including event photographs and a complete listing of results. Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

Mark your calendars for our next tournament on July 23 at The Dock and Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell.  The Disney Radio Road Crew will be on-site to entertain kids of all ages with interactive, hands-on, music and contest-filled events, so be sure to bring the entire family. 

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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

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