Enforcement

L.D.W.F. Agents Recover The Skin And Head of Black Bear In New Iberia

Release Date: 05/23/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear in the Iberia and Vermilion Parish area.

LDWF agents found a black bear skin and its decapitated head on May 19 off of Daniel Lane near a new subdivision in New Iberia.

Agents believe this bear's skin and head are in connection to an illegally killed black bear that was reported through a public tip over a year ago in the Iberia and Vermilion Parish area.  The public's tip indicated someone had shot a black bear and then skinned and stored the bear in a fashion to mount it in the future.

The bear had been apart of LDWF's black bear program and was first tagged in 2000 when it was estimated to be six years old.  The passive integrated transponder implanted during the initial capture was left in the hide when the bear was skinned and provided positive identification.  LDWF had never received a nuisance call about this older male bear that lived mostly in the Weeks Island area of lower Iberia Parish.

"This is a real shame that someone felt compelled to poach this bear during a time when we are trying our best to restore the Louisiana black bear to a sustainable population," said Maria Davidson, Large Carnivore Program Manager for LDWF.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing or any other wildlife crime should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear.  Callers will also remain anonymous.

"We urge anybody with information about this case to come forward so that we can catch the person responsible for this crime," said Lt. Col. Joey Broussard.  "It is believed that the person that dumped these remains of the bear was scared of being caught and thus got rid of the evidence.  We are hopeful that through the public's help and our existing evidence that we can solve this case."

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

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

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 21-27

Release Date: 05/20/2011

 

Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 21-27 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that nearly 74 percent of boating fatalities were people that drown because the person was not wearing a PFD.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

In Louisiana in 2009 alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  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 on the water or on the road 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.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

Seven Louisiana Residents Cited For Vandalism to Sherburne W.M.A.

Release Date: 05/16/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited seven Louisiana residents on vandalism and alcohol related charges on the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on May 15 in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Agents cited David Wayne Stear, 21, of Metairie; Darryl Kent Deville, 19, of Krotz Springs; Natache Brooke Coates, 20, of Lottie; Michael Joseph Guitreau, 21, of Metarie; Kristen Ann Jarreau, 27, of Jarreau; and two juveniles for criminal damage to state property.

Stear, Guitreau, Deville, Coates and Jarreau were also cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Agents also cited Deville, Coates, and two juveniles for possession of alcohol under the age of 21.

Subjects were cited after agents found them drinking and damaging Sherburne WMA signs at the Little Alabama boat launch.

St. Landry Emergency Medical Services transported one of the juveniles to Opelousas General Hospital after she was found passed out from drinking.  All other subjects were cited and then released.  The juveniles were released to their parents.

Criminal damage to state property carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail or both.  Contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile carries up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail or both.  Possession of alcohol under the age of 21 carries up to a $100 fine or up to six months in jail or both.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Cliff Ortis, Senior Agents Lance Devillier, Ryan Faul, Michael Williams and Agent Mitchell Saunder.

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

L.D.W.F. Agents Issue Four Citations for Closed Season Shrimping

Release Date: 05/02/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited four Louisiana men for allegedly shrimping during a closed season in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Rodney Hereford Jr., 28, and Mark Farrell, 41, both of Slidell, and Lenny Serpas Jr., 52, and Aaron Serpas, 19, both of Meraux, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents responded to reports of illegal shrimping in Plaquemines Parish on the morning of April 29 and observed the vessel occupied by Hereford and Farrell engaging in skimming operations in Black Bay near Belle Island.  Agents seized and returned 60 pounds of shrimp to the water.

In the early evening hours on April 30, agents again responded to reports of illegal shrimping in Plaquemines Parish.  Agents observed the vessel occupied by the Serpas engaged in skimming operations in Black Bay near Iron Banks.  Agents seized and returned 40 pounds of shrimp to the water.

Using skimmers in a closed season brings up to a $950 fine, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus courts costs.

In addition to any other penalties, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer and butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer or butterfly net, only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible by LDWF.

Agents participating in the cases were Senior Agents Brett Nabors and Mike Garrity.

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

Golden Meadow Resident Cited For Shrimping Violations

Release Date: 04/29/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Golden Meadow resident on April 28 for an alleged closed season shrimp violation in Lafourche Parish.

Agents cited Toney Morgan Dardar, 51, for using skimmers during a closed season and improper running lights.

In the pre dawn hours, agents responded to reports of illegal shrimping in lower Lafourche Parish.  Agents observed the vessel occupied by Dardar engaged in skimming near the protection levee by Tidewater.  At the time, the vessel was observed without the required running lights.

Agents returned 100 pounds of shrimp to the water and seized the two skimmer nets and vessel.

The penalty for using skimmers in a closed season is a fine up to $950, up to 120 days in jail, or both plus courts costs.  In addition to any other penalties, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer and butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer or butterfly net, only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible by LDWF.

The penalty for improper running lights is a fine of $50 or imprisonment for up to 15 days, or both plus court cost.

Agents participating in the case were Sgts. Bryan Marie and Richard Purvis.

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

1st Annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" Slated for May 14

Release Date: 04/21/2011

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the first ever "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight 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.

Interested participants must register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday and calling the contact number listed for the chosen class.  LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

"We want to make this an annual celebration of boating safety in the state as boating season kicks into high gear," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety.  We want to make the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will be offered completely free."

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.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Walmart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn and Songy's Sporting Goods of Houma.

Below is the list of class locations known at this time and the registration contact information:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beane Dr.
Bossier City, LA 71111
Call the Minden Office at 318-371-3049 to register.

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Call the Monroe Office at 318-362-3102 to register.

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Call the Pineville Office at 318-487-5634 to register.

Eunice
Walmart
1538 Hwy. 190
Eunice, LA 70535
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.
Free door prizes to first 100 students to call and register.

Houma
Holiday Inn
1800 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.

Gonzales
Cabela's
Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.

Chalmette
St. Bernard Parish Government Complex
8201 W. Judge Perez
Chalmette, LA 70043
Call the New Orleans Office at 504-284-2023 to register.

For more information on regulations or boating safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

L.D.W.F. Agents Cite Two Men For Alligator Violations

Release Date: 04/20/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for alleged alligator violations on the Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Bossier Parish.

Agents cited Jon Alsup, 31, or Coushatta, and William Whitley, 26, of Princeton, for taking an alligator without a license and during a closed season and for not abiding by WMA regulations.  Alsup was also cited for an expired boat registration and failing to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements.

While on patrol in Red Chute Bayou in the Loggy Bayou WMA, agents came into contact with the Alsup and Whitley in a boat.  Agents found the suspects in possession of a 243-centerfire rifle, a Ruger 22 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.  Both men stated they were shooting turtles.

Upon further investigation, agents found an 8 foot 3 inch alligator floating nearby with an apparent gunshot wound to its head.  When questioned both subjects admitted to shooting the alligator.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents John Blalock and Frank Reger.

Taking an alligator without a license brings a $250 to $500 fine, or up to 90 days in jail or both.  Taking an alligator during a closed season carries a $400 to $950 fine, or jail time up to 120 days or both.  An expired boat registration and failing to comply with PFD requirements brings a $50 fine, or up to 15 days in jail or both for each offense.  Not abiding by WMA regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine, or up to 60 days in jail or both.

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

L.D.W.F. Agents Cite Two Men for Gill Net Violations

Release Date: 04/19/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for alleged gill net violations in Grand Chenier in Cameron Parish on April 16.

Agents cited Richard Comeaux, 57, of Church Point, and Elridge Benoit, 71, of Duson, for using gill nets illegally, leaving nets unattended, taking commercial fish without a commercial fishing license and without a commercial gear license.

Agents responded to a complaint about illegal gill net activity in the saltwater area south of Highway 82 in Grand Chenier.  Agents observed Comeaux and Benoit retrieve two-gill nets that were hidden in the grass on the levee.  Agents then witnessed the subjects set one of the nets and herd fish into the net by driving their boat down the canal and chasing fish into the net.

After making contact with Comeaux and Benoit, agents determined that neither had a commercial fishing license or gear license.  Agents arrested the subjects and booked them into the Cameron Parish Jail.

Agents seized 147 pounds of garfish, a 15-foot aluminum boat with a 40 horsepower outboard, boat trailer and two gill nets.

Using a gill net illegally carries a fine between $900 and $950, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs.  Taking commercial fish without a commercial license or commercial gear license brings a $250 to $500 fine, up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs for each offense.  Leaving nets unattended carries a $350 to $500 fine, or jail time up to 30 days, license revocation and court costs.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Beau Robertson, Carl Pickett and Sean Moreau.

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

L.D.W.F. Agents Searching for Overdue Boater in Lac des Allemands

Release Date: 04/08/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are actively searching for a missing Vacherie man in Lac des Allemands in St. John the Baptist Parish.

LDWF along with the U.S. Coast Guard and St. John the Baptist Sheriff's Office are searching the lake for Larry T. Brock, 66, who has been missing since the morning of April 7.

The St. John the Baptist Sheriff's Office notified LDWF agents of an unmanned vessel found in Lac des Allemands running in circles around 11 a.m.  The 18-foot aluminum vessel with 130 horsepower motor was found with several catfish on board and bait for hoop nets.

According to a fellow fisherman, Brock is a commercial fisherman who was running hoop nets in the morning.  When Brock did not return by 10:30 a.m., the fellow fisherman went looking for him and found the unmanned vessel and notified the sheriff's office.

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

L.D.W.F. Investigating Decapitated Eagle

Release Date: 04/05/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking the public's help after finding a federally protected decapitated bald eagle in a drainage ditch in Franklin Parish on April 3.

Anyone providing information leading to the arrest or conviction of the guilty party is eligible for up to $2,000 in cash rewards.  LDWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are both offering $1,000 to help solve this case. 

"To see any protected animal decapitated in a ditch is disheartening enough, let alone the animal that represents our symbol of freedom," said Capt. Alan Bankston, LDWF's Regional Captain for the Monroe area.  "However, to find out what happened to this eagle, we really need help from the public.  We are urging the public to offer up any information they might hear so we can hold someone accountable for this brutal crime."

Anyone with information may call the LDWF Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Agents believe the eagle had been dead for a couple of days before being found.  LDWF agents recovered the eagle and are currently scheduling a necropsy to determine a cause of death.

The eagle is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  For each violation of these acts, a $5,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail may be imposed if convicted.

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

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