LDWF News

LDWF News Release

$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.

Robert Love Receives 2014 Governor’s Award for Conservationist of the Year

Release Date: 03/30/2015

Robert Love Receives 2014 Governor’s Award for Conservationist of the Year

March 30, 2015 -- Robert Love, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries division administrator, was honored Saturday by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation with the 2014 Governor’s Award for Conservationist of the Year.
 
Love, who manages the Coastal and Nongame Resources Division at LDWF, was recognized for leading the department’s biologist team involved with the reintroduction of the whooping crane to Louisiana.
 
“Every species recovery success LDWF has managed through the years has had a point person setting goals, directing personnel and handling the administrative duties so the biologist team can focus on the critical field work,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham at the ceremony in Baton Rouge. “Bob Love has taken that lead with whooping cranes and provided the vision to start and sustain the project.”
 
“The vision that awareness leads to appreciation which leads to protection is working; and I’m hopeful that our citizens can take pride in accomplishing yet another major conservation achievement, in restoring this long lost iconic and charismatic wildlife species,” said Love. “The vast majority of Louisianans respect, appreciate and support our wildlife resource management efforts.”
 
As Coastal and Nongame Resources Division administrator, Love oversees the division that includes LDWF’s Alligator Management Program, furbearer management including the Coast-wide Nutria Control Program, Louisiana’s Wildlife Action Plan, the Natural and Scenic Rivers Program, the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program,  Oil Spill Response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment, plus Coastal Operations including management of 10 wildlife management areas and refuges, and White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Vermilion Parish -- within the same geographic area in which the cranes had at one time thrived.
 
Love initially secured approval for the whooping crane reintroduction project to begin by proposing a funding model which has value-added component utilizing privately raised funds.  He also led efforts to define the entire boundary of Louisiana as a non-essential, experimental population status with the Department of Interior.  This designation allows the experimental population to be treated more like threatened, as opposed to endangered status.  It also allows much greater public acceptance of endangered species restoration, as these birds will not impact the normal lifestyle and activities on the Louisiana landscape.
 
Guiding staff biologists working with the experimental population of whooping cranes that have been in Louisiana since 2011, Love’s interaction with US Fish and Wildlife Services, the Whooping Crane Recovery Team, the International Crane Foundation, and the US Geological Survey Research Center in Patuxent, Maryland, and corporate partners have been key.
He established a regular team meeting management approach to the project, integrating staff field biologists, LSU research biologists, LDWF administration, a formal education program, public awareness and outreach program, maintenance staff, as well as veterinary and law enforcement staff to more fully utilize all available resources for derived benefits to the restoration effort.
 
Relative to project funding, Love has directed fundraising to gather resources, additional to state and federal dollars, to make the project financially stable during the formative years. Those fund raising efforts have brought in $1.5 million since 2011.
 
Love began his career in 1981 as a wildlife specialist in the Baton Rouge District VII office for the Wildlife Division.  Early in his career he worked with many game species, nuisance wildlife species and species of special concern, including alligators.
 
After working on all state Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) throughout the Florida Parishes, he was promoted through the biologist ranks to serve as biologist program manager for nine years, responsible for purchasing more than 80,000 acres of conservation lands for WMAs and refuges. He served 18 years in the Wildlife Division before serving the last 15 years in what was previously known as the Fur and Refuge Division.
 
Love received his undergraduate degree in biology from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois in 1975.  He received his master’s degree in wildlife management in 1981 from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.  His master’s degree thesis focused on the food habits of nutria in brackish marshes, with field work on the State Wildlife Refuge in Vermilion Parish.
 
Over his career, Love has been involved in wildlife groups including the Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, LSU Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries Alumni Association, The Wildlife Society, LA Professional Biologist Association and others. He was honored most recently with the Acadiana Sportsmen’s League 2013 Emeritus Award.
 
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .
 
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*Photo caption: (left to right) LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, Robert "Bob" Love, LWF President Barney Callahan.
 
 

Chevron Honored with 2014 Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award

Release Date: 03/30/2015

Chevron Honored with 2014 Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award

March 30, 2015 -- The Louisiana Wildlife Federation presented Chevron with the  Business Conservationist of the Year Award at Saturday’s banquet honoring recipients of the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards for 2014.
 
Chevron was recognized for support provided to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for stewardship, public education and awareness specific to the department’s whooping crane reintroduction project.
 
“The success of this species recovery project is largely dependent on raising public awareness and appreciation of the whooping cranes’ presence once again in our state, and educating our citizens and landowners about the significance of the project,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham at the ceremony in Baton Rouge. “Chevron grant funding to this end is vital in that phase of the project.”
 
“Chevron is proud to partner with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Department and their work to reintroduce whooping cranes to Louisiana,” said Sakari Morrison, Chevron Gulf of Mexico General Manager of Public Affairs. “We recognize the importance of protecting biological diversity through programs like these that protect, sustain a viable habitat, and raise awareness and respect for the endangered species throughout our state and region.”  
 
In total, $400,000 in Chevron grant funding from 2012 through 2014 has provided for satellite transmitter equipment and associated communications costs for tracking the movement of the whooping cranes released from LDWF’s White Lake Wetland Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish. Biologists plot the birds’ movement, habitat selections and adaptive behavior as they adjust to life in the wild.
 
Grant funds have additionally been utilized for a public outreach media campaign designed to alert the public that the birds are now on the Louisiana landscape, they should be observed from a distance if spotted and LDWF should be notified if anyone witnesses cranes being harmed.  Billboards have been produced, as well as television and radio announcements, to deliver these messages.
 
A third key component funded by the Chevron donation provides lesson plans and classroom tools that have been made available to Louisiana middle and high school teachers through educational workshops. Teachers then deliver endangered species information to students to foster an appreciation for non-game species and awareness of the significance of LDWF’s and its partners’ efforts.
 
Additional project support was provided through Chevron’s joint promotional effort with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans that included home game wildlife awareness efforts for species found in Louisiana such as the alligator, the black bear and the whooping crane; and inclusion in the George Rodrigue Foundation for the Arts 2014 “Student Art Competition” that featured the pelican, the whooping crane, the black bear and the bald cypress tree as images students could select as subjects for their artwork entries.
 
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation coordinated receipt and dispersal of grant funds for stewardship, public outreach and educational purposes.
 
The whooping crane, a very vulnerable species, was found in south Louisiana until their demise during the late 1800s and early 1900s when little conservation ethic was in existence and conversion of prairies and marsh lands to agriculture acreage became a trend. Since 2011, LDWF has soft released 64 isolation-reared, juvenile cranes provided by the US Geological Survey Research Center in Patuxent, Md., into rural southwest Louisiana, and 40 survive today.  Nesting pairs within that experimental population have produced the first eggs in the wild in over 70 years, but no fledglings have resulted as yet.
 
The recovery plan goal is for Louisiana to reach a subpopulation of 25-30 productive pairs, which translates to about 130 cranes in Louisiana. To learn more about Louisiana’s whooping crane population, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/information . To contribute to the whooping crane project or any LDWF initiative, go to the LWFF website at http://lawff.org .
 
For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov .

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*Photo caption -- (left to right) LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, Chevron Gulf of Mexico General Manager of Public Affairs Sakari Morrison, Chevron Gulf of Mexico Asset Development General Manager Marcia Houghton and LWF President Barney Callahan.
 
 

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 03/30/2015

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend. Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 1 p.m. LDWF Headquarters, Louisiana Room 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge

AGENDA

I. Roll call and introduction of guests

II. Approval of March 10 meeting minutes and April 1 agenda

III. Treasury Report

   A. Budget report-LDWF

IV. Marketing Committee Report

V. Old Business

  A. Refrigeration grant program rules

  B. LDWF Enforcement

  C. Letters requested by shrimp task force

VI. New Business

  A. Louisiana Turtle Excluder Device (TED) legislation

VII. Public Comment

VIII. Set Next Meeting

IX. Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq. The public is invited to attend. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6539206133630672386

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click here.

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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AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 03/30/2015

AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

 

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, April 2, 2015, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of March 5, 2015

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement Reports March 2015

5.  To present a commemorative gift to the Commission from Ducks Unlimited / American Fish and Wildlife Association

6.  To hear a presentation from the US Forest Service on the Kisatchie National Forest Quarter 

7.  To hear a presentation and consider a Declaration of Emergency on Greater Amberjack recreational harvest and to set recreational season

8.  To hear a presentation on the opening of the Public Oyster Seed grounds in Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound and adjacent waters north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet

9.  To consider a Notice of Intent to designate and set aside certain water bottoms as Inshore Recreational Reef sites

10.  To consider the use of Request for Proposals for allocating statutory dedicated funds for breeding waterfowl habitat

11.  To hear final summary of public comments for the Notice of Intent 2014-2015, 2015-2016 General and WMA Hunting Seasons and Rules and Regulations

12.  To consider final approval of the 2014-2016 Hunting Season Dates and 2014-2015 General and WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations: Consideration of Conditionally Adopted Amendments to Notice of Intent and Consideration of Amended Notice of Intent

13.  Set August 2015 Meeting Date

14.  Receive Public Comments

15.  Adjournment

Live audio stream of this meeting is available through GotoWebinar.  To listen live, please register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7344610495693582850

The next regular meeting for the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will be held on Thursday, April 2nd at 9:30 AM.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Shrimp Task Force Marketing Subcommittee Meeting

Release Date: 03/30/2015

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Marketing Subcommittee Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Wednesday, April 1,  2015, 10 a.m.

LDWF Headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge

 

AGENDA

I.      Roll Call and introduction of guests

II.     New Business

A.    Seafood Certification Program

III.     Public Comment

IV.     Adjourn

 

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend. The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7745746422277446658

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 inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click   here.

 

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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.

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.

Annual Trappers Convention Set for April 11 at Woodworth Outdoor Education Center

Release Date: 03/27/2015

March 27, 2015 -- The Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association will hold their annual convention on Saturday, April 11 in Woodworth and the public is invited.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Woodworth Outdoor Education Center, south of Alexandria at 661 Robinson Bridge Road, will be the event site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. From I-49, take Woodworth exit 73 and head west on Robinson Bridge Road for 2 miles to the education center entrance on the left.

Association members will demonstrate trapping techniques and educate the members and general public on trapping regulations and related trapping activities. An inflatable obstacle course will be available for youngsters. A youth education program at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. will provide hands-on activities for youngsters to instruct them on how to use trapping equipment and provide tips on trapping. Additionally, a lever action .22-caliber Henry rifle and a Yeti ice chest will be raffled off.

The Association is working closely with the Louisiana Fur Advisory Council on behalf of LDWF to provide this educational experience. For more information about the Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association, go to http://www.louisianatrappers.com or contact Tony Howard at 318-423-7860 or mahoward@centurytel.net.
 

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