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Westwego Man Arrested for Crab Trap Theft

Release Date: 04/09/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Westwego man on April 8 for allegedly using stolen crab traps.

Agents received a tip in mid-March about a man stealing crab traps on Lake Salvador in Lafourche Parish.  On March 20, while patrolling the area LDWF agents observed Kurt Frickey, 29, utilizing stolen crab traps and possessing untagged crab traps.

During the subsequent investigation, agents found Frickey utilizing 206 stolen crab traps that were stolen from 25 different crab fishermen.

Agents obtained an arrest warrant in Lafourche Parish and were able to apprehend Frickey and book him into the Lafourche Parish jail for felony theft.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Joe Arnaud, Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Dean Aucoin.

Felony theft brings up to a $3,000 fine and up to five years in jail.  Utilizing stolen crab traps and possessing untagged crab traps each carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to six months in jail.

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

Agents Make Drug Cases in Jefferson Parish

Release Date: 04/08/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents made three drug related cases from April 2 to 4 in Jefferson Parish.

On April 2, agents observed a group of three men on Elmer's Island Refuge with glass bottles where they are prohibited.  Agents found Dylan W. Melancon, 18, and Brett M. Rodrigue, 19, both of Golden Meadow, in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  Agents also discovered Jhy M. Allison, 21, of Golden Meadow in illegal possession of drug paraphernalia and also cited him for having glass bottles.

On April 3, agents observed a vehicle on Hwy. 1 in Grand Isle swerve several times over the center line.  During the traffic stop, agents found the driver, Jeremy K. Buckner, 36, of Leesville, in possession of 24 packs of synthetic marijuana.  He was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The passenger, Michael L. Parrish, 39, of Leesville, was found to have an open alcoholic beverage.

On April 4, agents observed a man fishing on Elmer's Island Refuge.  Agents made contact with Andrew L. Smith, 28, of Avondale, and found him in illegal possession of marijuana.  Agents booked Smith into the Jefferson Parish Jail.

Illegal possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute is a felony and brings a 10 to 50 year jail sentence and up to $50,000 in fines.  Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia each carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle carries a fine up to $100.  Having glass bottles on the Elmer’s Island Refuge brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents involved in the cases are Senior Agent Dale Wheat and Agent Lucas Hidalgo.

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

Boating Education Lagniappe Day Slated for May 2

Release Date: 04/06/2015

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the fifth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 2 at nine different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Below is the list of class locations and the registration contact information, which can also be found at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday

Webster Parish
LDWF Region 1 Office
9961 Hwy. 80
Minden, LA 71055
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To register please call 318-371-3049.
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitutional Dr.
West Monroe, La 71292
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
To register please call 318-343-2417.
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Pizza Hut.

Rapides Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, La 71301
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To register please call 318-487-5634.
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors.

St. Landry Parish
St. Landry Lumber
207 N Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, La 70570
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To register please call 337-948-0257.
Sponsors include Raising Canes of Opelousas, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and St. Landry Lumber of Opelousas.

Calcasieu Parish
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, La 70601
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To register please call 337-491-2580.
Sponsors include Whitetails Unlimited and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

Terrebonne Parish
Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Rifle Range
2100 Savanne Road.
Houma, La 60360.
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To register please call 985-447-0821.
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

Ascension Parish
Gonzales Boat Club
13311 Diversion Canal Road
St. Amant, La. 70774
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To register please call 225-765-2999.
Sponsors include the Gonzales Boat Club.

St. Tammany Parish
Madisonville Branch of St. Tammany Parish Public Library
1123 Main St.
Madisonville, LA 70447
9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Please call 504-284-2023 to register.
Sponsors include Raising Cane’s and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

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

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Three Galliano Men Cited for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 03/31/2015

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent cited three subjects in Lafourche Parish for alleged oyster violations on March 30.

While on patrol, the agent spotted a vessel and its crew harvesting oysters in an unapproved area on Bayou Faleau.  The agent also observed the crew harvesting on a private lease without permission from the owner.

Agents made contact with the occupants and cited John P. Bruce, 50, Jace P. Griffin, 28, and Jarrod P. Bruce, 29, all from Galliano, for harvesting oysters from an unapproved polluted area, unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease without written permission.

The agent seized the dredges and returned 10 sacks of oysters to the water.  He also seized the vessel on a department seizure order.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area and without permission from the owner each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

The agent participating in the case is Sgt. Bryan Marie.

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

$8,500 Reward for Information on Bald Eagle Shooting

Release Date: 03/31/2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are seeking information on the shooting of a bald eagle that was found near Cavett River Road in Gilliam.  

The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a reward of up to $8,500 for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for this unlawful act.

On March 22, 2015, an incapacitated, mature, American bald eagle was recovered in Caddo Parish near Cavett River Road.  The bald eagle displayed wounds to its chest and left wing.  The eagle was transported to the Louisiana State University Veterinary Hospital for treatment.  X-rays confirmed that the injuries were due to a gunshot.  The eagle was euthanized as a result of the severity of its injuries.

Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Violations of these statutes carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $100,000 and $15,000 respectively and/or up to one year in federal prison.

Anyone with information concerning this eagle is asked to contact U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Brad Rabalais at 601-331-0292 or call the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.

11 Subjects Cited for Turkey Violations During Opening Weekend of Turkey Season

Release Date: 03/31/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited 11 people for alleged turkey hunting violations during the opening weekend of the 2015 turkey hunting season.

On March 28 agents cited the following for hunting turkeys over a baited area: Shannon D. Gray, 45, of Oak Grove, in Concordia Parish; Brian C. Adamson, 41, of Many in Sabine Parish; Jimmy Gordon, 72, of Livingston, in Livingston Parish, Patrick Haggerty, 67, of Kenner, in Tangipahoa Parish; Gary L. Carter, 49, of Rayville, in Jackson Parish; and Neil Hunt, 38, of Sandy Hook, Miss., in Washington Parish.

Agents cited Carl R. Hall Jr., 39, of Lecompte, on March 28 for hunting turkeys without a turkey stamp and failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations in Rapides Parish.

In Desoto Parish on March 29 agents cited both Chase Love, 18, of Grane Cane, on March, and George Hatcher, 56, of Converse, for hunting turkey without a turkey stamp.

On March 29 in West Feliciana Parish agents cited Jason Lipoma, 46, and Doyle Lipoma, 17, both of Gonzales for hunting turkeys over a baited area and failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations.

According to the 2015 Turkey Regulations pamphlet, no person shall hunt or take turkeys by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area.  Hunters are not allowed to place, expose, deposit or scatter corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed to lure turkeys to their hunting area.

Also, turkey hunters are required to possess Louisiana basic hunting and big game licenses, Louisiana wild turkey permit and turkey tags.

Hunting turkeys over a baited area brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Not possessing a turkey stamp brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

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

Search and Rescue Crews Looking for Missing Boater

Release Date: 03/29/2015

Search and rescue crews are still looking for a missing Folsom woman following a fatal single boat incident in the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call yesterday, March 28, at around 5:30 p.m. about a capsized boat near lock #3 on the Pearl River.  The capsized boat included a male operator named Terry J. O’Keefe Jr., 41, and female passenger named Jonie R. Morgan, 31, with her three children, which are eight and six year old boys and a four year old girl all from Folsum.

LDWF agents believe at this time that the 14 foot aluminum vessel capsized after going over the lock after the operator was unable to start the boat.  A 16 year old boy came upon the scene and saw the eight year and six year old boys and mother in the water.

On his way to help, the 16 year old boy’s vessel also capsized.  While in the water the 16 year old boy was able to grab onto the two boys and mother, however the mother’s shirt he was holding onto ripped off of her body and she didn’t resurface.  Another fisherman on the bank then went into the water and was able to get the three boys safely to shore.

While the search and rescue crews arrived on scene shortly thereafter the four year old girl popped up from under the boat and officials were able to safely retrieve her.  It appears at this time that she was stuck under the vessel for about 30 minutes, but was able to breathe.

Search and rescue crews found the body of O’Keefe Jr. victim at 8 a.m. this morning, March 29.  They will continue searching for Morgan.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  All children were found wearing their personal flotation devices.  Investigators don’t believe O’Keefe Jr. and Morgan were wearing personal flotation devices upon entering the water.

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

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LDWF Agents and APCO Deputies Searching for Crawfish Burglar

Release Date: 03/27/2015

Cary G. Bastian is wanted for stealing crawfish.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a Rayne man.  He is wanted in connection with simple burglary at a crawfish dock that occurred early Thursday morning, March 26, on Hwy. 35 south of Rayne.

The APCO and LDWF responded to the 5200 block of Abbeville Hwy. at approximately 3:30 a.m. following a report of a burglary in progress.

When APCO deputies and LDWF agents arrived they learned that the suspect, identified as Cary Gordon Bastian, 28, fled the scene heading south in a white Camaro.  LDWF agents advised that Bastian headed toward the Vermilion and Lafayette Parish line traveling at speeds well over 100 mph.

During the investigation agents and deputies learned that the owner had a person hiding on the premises all evening in an attempt to identify the suspect responsible for stealing crawfish from the owner.  The owner was noticing sacks of crawfish missing from an outside cooler that was locked.  According to the witness Bastian was observed loading six bags of crawfish into the trunk of his Camaro prior to the arrival of law enforcement.

Warrants of arrests have been issued for Bastian of the 15900 block of Gordon Road in Rayne.  Bastian is being charged with one count of simple burglary, one count of reckless operation of a motor vehicle and one count of aggravated flight from an officer.  District Judge John Trahan set bond at $21,000.

An attempt was made later in the day to apprehend Bastian, but he fled into a wooded area near his home in Vermilion Parish.  Please contact the Acadia or Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Offices or LDWF at 1-800-442-2511 if you know of Bastian's whereabouts.

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

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