LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water this Weekend June 26-28

Release Date: 06/25/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 26-28 with increased patrols for boaters 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.

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.

“Alcohol use and operating a vessel don’t mix.  We want people to treat a boat the same way they would a vehicle when it comes to having a sober operator.” said LDWF Lt. Col. Sammy Martin, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to come home safely.”

Louisiana had 18 boating fatalities in 2014 with alcohol playing a role in six fatalities or 33 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2014 reveal that 21 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued five DWI citations to boat operators during the 2014 Operation Dry Water weekend.

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.

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.

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

New rules take effect for overnight guests at Port Eads Marina

Release Date: 06/25/2015

June 25, 2015 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has approved rules that would allow fishermen who stay overnight at Port Eads Marina, located in Plaquemines Parish, to clean their catch on site and transport fileted fish to land-based ports in Louisiana.  Catch inspections and certifications, which can only be issued when LDWF staff is on site at Port Eads, would allow for fishermen to possess and transport up to a 3-day daily creel limit.

These new rules were adopted due to the remote nature of the Port Eads Marina, and that the marina is only accessible by water.

When a certifying agent is present, recreational anglers may seek inspection and certification provided the fisherman is in compliance with the following requirements:

1.   The fisherman holds and is in possession of all current recreational fishing licenses required.

2.  The fisherman is in possession of and can provide a receipt issued by the Port Eads Marina facility that demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the department, an overnight stay at the Port Eads Marina facility.

3.  Catches can only be inspected and certified for days on which LDWF staff is present at the facility. Upon landing his or her daily catch at the Port Eads Marina, the fisherman will contact LDWF staff on duty at the marina so that the catch can be inspected to ensure that the species, size and daily creel are within legal limits.  Following inspection, fish can be fileted and must be marked with catch certification tags that will be provided by the certifying agent.

4.  Once certified, the fishermen will be issued an interview form and bag tags for all bags of fish that correlate with an individual angler’s catch.  No active fishing can take place on board a vessel transporting bags of certified catch.  

5.  The fisherman is only in possession of his or her fish and shall not transport fish taken by another person back to the boat landing.

When a LDWF certifying agent is not present, fishermen should adhere to the state-wide, on the water possession limits.

For more information on the rules and a list of future dates when a certifying agent will be at the marina visit http://www.fishla.org/port-eads-marina-regulations

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 press release inquiries contact Rene LeBreton, rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-8745.  

 

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Additional Roads Closed on Richard K. Yancey WMA

Release Date: 06/24/2015

June 24, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area users that Blount Road and Catfish Bayou Road are currently closed to all traffic due to high water.  Dobbs Bay Road also remains closed at this time.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares.  Once the water recedes, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
 
Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Hwy. 15 in lower Concordia Parish. 
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidirne@wlf.la.gov .

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Outstanding Hunter Education Volunteers Recognized

Release Date: 06/19/2015

Outstanding Hunter Education Volunteers Recognized
Outstanding Hunter Education Volunteers Recognized
Outstanding Hunter Education Volunteers Recognized
Outstanding Hunter Education Volunteers Recognized
June 19, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recently honored volunteer instructors working with the department’s Hunter/Aquatic Education Program.
 
Awards are given annually to recognize some of the most dedicated Hunter Education Volunteers and teaching teams in the state. The awards honor those volunteers whose commitment of time and effort expand LDWF’s ability to provide the mandatory hunter education for those wishing to purchase a hunting license in Louisiana. Those recognized include:
 
2015 Southeast Regional Team Award - Fred Gueho and Mike Lorio:  Gueho and Lorio have been teaching in West Baton Rouge Parish for the past several years.  They partner with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Mike Cazes to conduct several courses a year in Port Allen.  They have dedicated 21 years of volunteer service to teach and mentor thousands of students in the Hunter Education Program.
 
2015 North Regional Team Award - James Franklin, Kyle Luker, Philip Soileau, Justin Blondin, Mark Taylor, Richard Alexander, Leon Taylor and Mike Rainwater: All are with the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office (LPSO) and combine to teach 12 to 14 Hunter Safety classes and Field Days per year. The new LPSO training facility hosts Hunter Safety classes and the Sheriff’s office is currently constructing an air gun range so students will be able to shoot on-site.
 
2015 Southwest Regional Team Award - Rufus Jones, Lane Lenton, Keith McClain, Shelby Nation, Randal Pierson, Dana Rachal, Kevin Sweeney and Kevin Sweeney Jr.: For nearly 10 years the Pineville Police Department has put on an annual hunter education class, at which it often hosts over 100 students.  Prior to putting on the class every year, the police department solicits local businesses for refreshments and prizes which they give away to students at their class. All team members are Pineville Police officers and each teaches a section of the Hunter Safety course related to their expertise.
 
2015 Southwest Region Instructor of the Year - Shane Mayers: As a volunteer hunter education instructor, Mayers was relentless in teaching in Lafayette Parish and the surrounding parishes for the past few years. Despite having terminal cancer, he managed to continue to teach hunter education at the Wilderness Gun Club, and was able to organize courses for the public when asked by local organizations such as the South Saint Landry Community Library. Mayers’ knowledge, enthusiasm and experience made him a very valuable asset to the Hunter Education Program and all who knew him. A truly deserving honoree, Mayers passed away in May.
2015 North Region Instructor of the Year - Chris Bennett: Bennett, a LaSalle Parish High School educator, teaches courses in agriculture and shop, and chose to teach Hunter Safety courses as part of the school’s course curriculum. He also teaches Hunter Safety courses in LaSalle Parish, additional to his school duties.  Bennett’s extensive hunter education knowledge allows him to teach the entire course by himself. (Photo not available)
 
2015 Southeast Region Instructor of the Year - Larry Lapeyrolerie: Lapeyrolerie has been a dedicated volunteer in different facets his entire life and Hunter Safety students have benefited from his skills as lead instructor for the past 11 years. He provides instruction at the Waddill Wildlife Refuge in East Baton Rouge Parish and in the last year has taught 15 courses, certifying over 1,100 participants. (Photo not available)
 
Annually, nearly 18,000 students are certified in hunter education through courses taught statewide.  Volunteers trained to teach hunter education are crucial to the success of this program.  The goal of Louisiana’s Hunter Education Program is to reduce hunting incidents by producing safe and responsible hunters.
 
For more information about Louisiana’s Hunter Education Program, visit www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/hunter-education or contact Eric Shanks at 225-765-2355 or eshanks@wlf.la.gov .
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Caption Photo 1:  (left to right) Volunteer Fred Gueho, seated Sheriff Mike Cazes, Officer Mike Lorio, LDWF Staff Daniel Hurdle
 
Caption Photo 2: (left to right) LDWF Staff Fred Kimmel, Kyle Luker, Philip Soileau and LDWF Staff Todd Buffington
Caption Photo 3: (left to right) LDWF Staff Fred Kimmel, Shelby Nation, LDWF Staff Jeff Daughtry and LDWF Staff Wayne Higginbotham
Caption Photo 4: (left to right) LDWF Staff Fred Kimmel, Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor Shane Mayers and LDWF Staff Ben Stultz.

 

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LDWF Offering Basic Archery Instructor Certification Courses

Release Date: 06/19/2015

June 19, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will offer three National Archery in the Schools (NASP) Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) courses this summer.
 
The eight-hour course provides certification to educators who are looking to bring the NASP/ALAS curriculum to their school.  The NASP/ALAS program introduces students in grades 3-12 to international target style archery as part of their in-school curriculum and is available to all schools in Louisiana.  All professional educators are welcome to attend. 
 
The course dates and locations are as follows:
 
June 27, 2015 at Haughton Middle School in Haughton
June 30, 2015 at Westminster Christian Academy in Opelousas
July 14, 2015 at Hope Baptist School in Alexandria
 
Each class will begin at 8 a.m. and will be completed by 4:30 p.m.  All training materials and equipment is provided and there is no cost for the course for professional educators.  There are a limited number of spots available in each course and they will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  You may register for the class online here: http://naspbai.org/ClassSearch.aspx?country=US&state=LA.
 
For more information regarding the ALAS program, visit our Facebook page at ALAS-Archery in Louisiana Schools or contact program coordinator Robert Stroede at 318-484-2276 or rstroede@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Bowfishermen Guides Arrested For Deer and Alligator Violations In Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes

Release Date: 06/18/2015

After a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division investigation, three men turned themselves into authorities for alleged deer and alligator violations in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes.

On June 16 Blake A. Mitchell, 29, of Gretna, turned himself in to Jefferson and Plaquemines parish authorities.  On June 17 Stephen Black, 19, of Slidell, and Neil Mitchell, 32, of Gretna turned themselves in to Jefferson Parish authorities.

The three men were arrested for failing to tag alligators, taking alligators from an unapproved area, taking alligators without a license, taking or possessing alligators during a closed season, and hunting or taking alligators at night.  Blake Mitchell and Black were also cited for failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

The case stems from an investigation into illegal commercial taking and pursuing of alligators for profit on guided bow fishing trips with Louisiana Bowfishing Inc. from 2013 to 2014.  A search warrant was issued for Blake Mitchell’s cell phone in May of 2015 after agents received information from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) agents of the illegal activity.

The phone contained photographs of Black taken by Mitchell with numerous alligators in Jefferson Parish.  The photos included date stamps that were out of alligator season and GPS data from unapproved alligator hunting areas.

Through the investigation agents also found Neil Mitchell was involved in the illegal taking of alligators in Jefferson Parish and that Mitchell was conducting the same illegal alligator hunting practice in Plaquemines Parish.  Interviews with customers also indicated the three men commonly take alligators illegally to generate more money.

The phone included photographs of deer killed in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes that were not reported through the LDWF Deer Tagging Program as required by law.

Each count of failing to tag alligator, taking alligators from an unapproved area, taking or possessing alligators during a closed season, hunting/taking alligators at night brings up to a $950 fine and 90 days in jail.  Hunting alligators without a license carries up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.  Not abiding with deer tagging requirements brings up to a $350 fine and 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young, Senior Agent Joel Cromp and Agent Travis Bartlett along with USFWS Special Agents.

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

Atchafalaya Basin Black Bass Creel Limit Set to Change

Release Date: 06/18/2015

(June 18, 2015) – Beginning Saturday, June 20, black bass regulations on the Atchafalaya River Basin will be consistent with statewide regulations – no length limit with a 10 fish daily creel.  Impacted waterbodies include the Atchafalaya River Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde Complex and Lake Fausse Point/Lake Dauterive Complex.
 
In June 2013, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved the removal of the 14-inch minimum length, and as a temporary transition measure, reduced the daily creel limit from 10 to seven bass for a two-year period.  This restriction has now expired.
 
The decision to change the regulation two years ago was made after review of an extensive three-year study where findings showed the Atchafalaya Basin largemouth bass population did not exhibit criteria for which a 14-inch limit would produce larger bass.  The study indicated that the Basin bass population is more heavily influenced by environmental factors, including water fluctuation and the effects of tropical storms rather than angler harvest.
 
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 or (225) 721-0489.

2014 Youth Hunter of the Year and Youth Angler of the Year Entry Deadline Approaching

Release Date: 06/17/2015

June 17, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) are encouraging hunters and anglers 15 years of age or younger to enter the 2014 Youth Hunter of the Year and Youth Angler of the Year Contests.  The deadline to enter each contest is June 30, 2015.
 
Both contests are for Louisiana resident youth 15 years of age or younger and require young hunters or fishermen to submit a story about their experience along with a photo of the hunting or fishing experience.  LDWF and LOWA will then select a male and female Youth Hunter of the Year and a male and female Youth Angler of the Year based on the stories and photos that are received.
 
Visit the LDWF website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/yhrp for information on the 2014 Youth Hunter of the Year Contest and registration form. Visit the LOWA website at http://www.laoutdoorwriters.com/YAA/tabid/159/Default.aspx  for information on the 2014 Youth Angler of the Year Contest and registration form.
 
Youth hunters who participated in any hunting activity during the 2014-15 hunting seasons are encouraged to participate.  The Youth Hunter of the Year Contest is about youngsters enjoying a hunting experience, with or without success, and keeping the hunting tradition alive in Louisiana.
 
Young anglers who enjoyed a fishing experience between July 2014 and June 2015 are eligible for the 2014 Youth Angler of the Year Contest. Big fish stories are not a requirement, but enjoying the day and getting hooked on the sport is the story we want to hear.
 
The winners will be recognized at the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Conference on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Morgan City. Winners will receive a plaque in recognition of their achievement and an additional prize.
 
For more information on the Youth Hunter of the Year Contest, contact Scott Durham at 225-765-2351 or sdurham@wlf.la.gov or David Moreland at 225-978-6552 or heflinroots@hotmail.com .  For additional information on the Youth Angler of the Year Contest, contact Captain Wendy Billiot at 985-851-7578 or captainwendy@bayouwoman.com.
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.

 

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Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Scheduled for June 23, 2015

Release Date: 06/17/2015

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.  The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:
1. Roll Call
2. Approval of Minutes of March 17, 2015
3. Welcome and Opening Comments - Chairman
4. Enforcement Division Report
5. 2015 Legislative Session Overview
6. Aquatic Plant Control Report
7. Artificial Reef Program Update
8. Louisiana Black Bear De-Listing Overview
9.  Set Next Meeting Date
10.  Receive Public Comments
11.  Adjournment
 
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 Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

 

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Recreational red snapper season remains open in Louisiana state waters

Release Date: 06/17/2015

June 17, 2015 – After a 10 day federal red snapper season that ran from June 1 through June 10, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries wants to remind recreational anglers that the season for the recreational harvest of red snapper in Louisiana state waters remains open.
 
On March 20, 2015, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries opened the Louisiana red snapper season in Louisiana state waters seven days per week until further notice.  The bag and possession limit for the state-waters season is two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.

 
The Louisiana Gulfward Boundary
 
In June 2012, the Commission took action to extend Louisiana state waters from three miles offshore to three marine leagues, or approximately 9 nautical miles, offshore.
 
LDWF officials encourage fishermen to use caution and their own personal judgment when fishing beyond the three-mile boundary that is currently recognized as federal waters, as it is fully expected that federal agents will continue to enforce federal law.  Until U.S. Congress confirms Louisiana’s action, the battle will continue over Louisiana’s state water boundary.

 
Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

 
The Department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew his or her permit free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov.
 
The permit is required for any angler possessing tuna, billfish, swordfish, amberjack, grouper snapper, hind, wahoo, cobia and dolphin, except for anglers under 16 years of age or fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.
 
Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration.  A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit.  A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
 
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, awethey@wlf.la.gov or 225-721-0489

 

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