LDWF News Release

Hunter Education Awards Presented at Annual Workshop

Release Date: 03/20/2012

John Sturgis, program manager for LDWF, presenting the Todd Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Tommy LeBlanc (right).
– LDWF Private Lands Biologist Cliff Daily demonstrates how to prepare a European deer skull mount.
Left to Right – Roger Crawley, Keith Lowery and Mike Rainwater demonstrating safe gun handling practices.

March 20, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Education Section held their annual Hunter Safety Volunteer Instructor Workshop Feb. 25 at Camp Grant Walker in Pollock with 175 people in attendance.

LDWF utilizes the workshop to honor volunteers for the countless hours devoted to preparation, teaching and sharing of life-saving skills that benefit hunter education students.   Additionally, the workshop is an opportunity for volunteer instructors to network with other instructors and share ideas to enhance their hunter education classes.

Awards were presented to several outstanding instructors who have gone “above and beyond” to help train a new generation of hunters.  Instructor of the Year awards were presented to one team and two individuals in each of the north, southwest, and southeast regions of the state.

Team Awards went to Tom Cathey, Roger Crawley and Keith Lowery from Ouachita Parish; Jesse Mercer, Jr. and Keith Willett from Grant Parish; and Jason Juban, Larry Lapeyrolerie and Huey Smith from East Baton Rouge Parish.  Individual awards were presented to Edward Adams, St. Charles Parish; Ronald Coco, Avoyelles Parish; Charles LeBlanc, Washington Parish;  James Mardis, Morehouse Parish;  Walter “Donny” Moon, Winn Parish; and Roy Page, Bienville Parish.

The Todd Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Thomas “Tommy” LeBlanc from Iberville Parish.

Volunteer instructors were also presented awards based on their years of service in five-year increments.  This year Rupert Breland, Washington Parish; James Greene, Jr., Kenner; and Lloyd Posey, Franklin Parish were inducted into the Hunter Safety Volunteer Hall of Fame for thirty years each of dedicated service to the Hunter Education Program.

The workshop also offered interesting and informative in-service training sessions for the volunteer instructors.  Department biologists gave presentations on wildlife diseases of concern to hunters, the Louisiana Whooping Crane reintroduction project and proposed laws affecting hunters.  Demonstrations were also offered on how to create European deer skull mounts, hands-on teaching ideas and teaching techniques. 

Volunteer instructors are the backbone of the department’s Hunter Education Program, training some 18,000 students annually in hunter safety.  The department truly appreciates their contribution to the sport of hunting and congratulates the award winners.  Persons interested in becoming volunteer hunter education instructors can find out more information on the Hunter Education Program from the department’s website:  www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/hunter-education.

For more information contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov.



New Iberia Resident Arrested for Shocking Fish

Release Date: 03/20/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division Agents arrested a New Iberia man for allegedly shocking fish on March 16.

Agents arrested James J. Bourg, 33, for taking fish with a shocking device, taking commercial fish without a commercial license or commercial gear license, possessing unlabeled catfish, failing to complete trip tickets and theft of crab traps and booked him onto the Iberia Parish Jail.

Agents witnessed Bourg illegally taking fish with a shocking device in the Atchafalaya Basin in Iberia Parish.  During the execution of a search warrant, LDWF agents recovered an electronic shocking device and electronic components used in the manufacturing of additional devices.

Agents also discovered records of Bourg taking and selling catfish without the required licenses.  Bourg was also in violation of not completing trip tickets and labeling requirements on packages of the fish for sale.

Bourg was also found to be in possession of two stolen crab traps.  Agents seized 65 pounds of catfish along with the record information of previous and future proposed sales of catfish.  Agents also seized a 16 foot boat with a 50 horsepower motor and trailer belonging to Bourg, which was used in the illegal taking of the fish.

Taking fish illegally carries a fine between $400 and $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking or selling commercial fish without a commercial license brings a $350 to $500 fine and up to 30 days and forfeiture of anything seized.  Taking or selling commercial fish without a commercial gear license carries $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Possession of stolen crab traps carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Failing to complete trip tickets and possession of unlabeled catfish for sale brings a $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in this case were Sgt. James Rhodes, Senior Agent David Boudreaux, Senior Agent Jerry Stassi and Senior Agent Anthony Adams.

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


Missing Boater Found in Morehouse Parish

Release Date: 03/16/2012

Search and rescue teams located the deceased body of a missing boater in Morehouse Parish on Jones Lake today, March 16.

Walter Sims, 51, of Jones, was found by the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office (MPSO) this morning after five days of searching.  Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office and West Carroll Sheriff’s Office also participated in the search.

Sims was last seen fishing alone around 2:30 p.m. on March 10.  When Sims didn’t return home at dark, a concerned family member contacted the MPSO at 11:30 p.m.

Authorities believe Sims may have fallen into the water.  His 14 foot aluminum boat was found tied up to the lake’s bank directly behind his home. 

Sims’ body was turned over to the Morehouse Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.  LDWF is the lead investigative agency to determine the cause of this boating incident.  Contributing factors to the incident are unknown at this time.

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

WMA Forest Management Prescriptions Available for Review

Release Date: 03/16/2012

March 16, 2012-- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) draft forest management prescriptions for four state wildlife management areas (WMAs) are now available for review.

The prescriptions include areas on Hutchinson Creek, Sandy Hollow, Sicily Island Hills and Tunica Hills WMAs.  The documents detail proposed methods to improve, maintain and sustain wildlife habitat while providing quality wildlife-oriented recreational improvements and sustaining quality timber resources for the long-term.

Prescription documents are available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma-forest-management-prescriptions.

Each document includes a description of the area to be addressed within each WMA, the current condition of each forest type found within the compartment, the soil types and hydrology of the area and current wildlife habitat conditions.  Plans also include management objectives, management concerns and how areas of concern will be addressed to enhance or sustain the wildlife habitat.  Timber harvest is often the most feasible means to manipulate forest habitat for the management of wildlife, while obtaining short and long-term benefits. 

LDWF is asking that any comments on the plans be as specific as possible and provided by April 30.  Comments can be made in writing to Tommy Tuma at LDWF Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 or ttuma@wlf.la.gov .  

For more information, call Tommy Tuma 225-765-2347.


Officials Searching for Missing Boater in Morehouse Parish

Release Date: 03/15/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office (MPSO) deputies are searching for a missing boater on Jones Lake in Morehouse Parish.

Searchers are looking for Walter Sims, 51, of Jones, who was last seen fishing alone around 2:30 p.m. on March 10.  When Sims didn’t return home at dark, a concerned family member contacted the MPSO at 11:30 p.m. 

Authorities believe Sims may have fallen into the water.  His 14 foot aluminum boat was found tied up to the lake’s bank directly behind his home. 

Authorities continue to search for Sims on land and water.  LDWF has deployed their sonar technology, search boats and ATVs to the scene.  The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office has sent their dive team and the West Carroll Sheriff’s Office has assisted with an air search.

LDWF and MPSO are jointly investigating Sims disappearance.

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

LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant Give Update On First Derelict Crab Trap Clean-Up

Release Date: 03/15/2012

Volunteers still needed for this weekend’s clean-up

March 15, 2012 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with Louisiana Sea Grant, has completed the first of two derelict crab trap clean-ups, resulting in the removal and disposal of more than 1,900 abandoned and derelict crab traps.  This project involved temporarily closing a 223,052-acre portion of St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes to the use of crab traps over a 10-day period spanning Feb. 25 through March 5. 

All crab traps retrieved were brought to a disposal site at Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix, which graciously hosted two volunteer clean-up days on Saturday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, March 3.  In addition to retrieving traps, special efforts were made by volunteers and staff to photograph and document the presence of crabs and any bycatch in traps before returning these contents to the water.  Traps were unloaded from boats and buoys, and buoy lines were removed before each trap was crushed and stacked into dumpsters.  The 1,954 traps retrieved completely filled eight 30 cubic yard, roll-on/roll-off dumpsters, which were transported to a metal salvage yard for recycling.  

The recreational and commercial blue crab fishery and industry benefit from and depend on the use of crab traps, but increases in the number of abandoned traps has led to problems which include ghost fishing, mortality of blue crabs and associated bycatch, conflicts with other fishermen and interactions with their fishing gear and boating hazards.

Since 2004, the LDWF, together with volunteer organizations and individual volunteers, has successfully removed and disposed of more than 20,000 abandoned and derelict crabs. 

Volunteers needed for March 17 clean-up

LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant continue to seek volunteers to assist with the next derelict crab trap removal clean-up Terrebonne Parish, which will begin March 17 at 6 a.m. and end March 26 at 6 a.m. A volunteer clean-up day will be hosted on Saturday, March 17, at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in Cocodrie.  Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register with Louisiana Sea Grant at: http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/.

To view a description and map of the Terrebonne Parish closure area, click here.

The success of the derelict crab trap removal program heavily relies on the support and participation of volunteers. LDWF and LSG extend many thanks to all who volunteered.  Special thanks to Cpt. Jack Payne III and Cindy Berry of Sweetwater Marina who provided use of their facilities and sponsored volunteer prizes; Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and members for participating in the trap cleanup, sponsoring additional prizes and assembling a cooking team that prepared food for volunteers; and, the Nature Conservancy.

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.

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, please contact Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2401 or Dr. Julie Anderson at janderson@agcenter.lsu.edu or (225) 578-0771.



LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro

Release Date: 03/13/2012

LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro
LDWF Responds to Flooding in Carencro

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents transported 80 people from the floodwaters in Carencro to dry ground during the flash flood on March 12.

After receiving 15 inches of rain, Bayou Carencro backed up and jumped its banks flooding many Carencro homes, businesses and roads.

LDWF agents got their first call at 7 a.m. about stranded cars on the median of I-49 and other roads.  LDWF responded with 18 agents with 13 boats in the area to help during the flood.

From 10 a.m. to nightfall, LDWF agents rescued 80 people from their home and brought them to higher ground where vehicles could then transport them to the shelter at the Carencro Civic Center.

“The water was anywhere from 2 to 6 feet deep, and people were hanging out of their windows when they would see our boats go by,” said Lt. Darryl Moore.  “The conditions were tough as it was still raining hard with lightning and then you had a swift current and obstructions in the water.  However, our training in search and rescue and past experiences such as Hurricane Katrina has helped our response during flooding events and things went as smooth as possible given the circumstances.”

Agents are currently on standby as the floodwaters recede over the coming days.

"Our agents are highly trained and have the equipment necessary for search and rescue missions.  These agents did a great job in responding as fast as possible and getting 80 people out of the water," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.

Through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, LDWF is the lead agency for search and rescue operations during natural disasters.

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

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting Set for March 15

Release Date: 03/13/2012

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Thursday, March 15, 2012 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 Thursday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of Sept. 13, 2011

3.   Welcome and Opening Comments

4.   Office of Management and Finance Report: FY 2012-13 Budget

5.   Legislative Update

6.   Enforcement Division: Boating Safety Report

7.   Office of Fisheries: Inland Division Report

8.   Office of Fisheries: Marine Division Report

9.   Office of Wildlife: Whooping Crane Reintroduction Report

10. Set Next Meeting Date

11.  Receive Public Comments

12.  Adjournment

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.


L.D.W.F. Public Meetings Begin This Week on Proposed Hunting Seasons, W.M.A. Rules Changes and Waterfowl Zones and Splits Options

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host six public meetings around the state to present proposed 2012-14 hunting season dates, Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) general rules and regulation changes, and waterfowl zones and splits options.

Public comment will be taken on all items under consideration by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission through May 3. The meeting dates and locations include:

  • March 13 at 6 p.m., Alexandria Convention Hall located at 915 Third St.
  • March 13 at 6:30 p.m., LDWF Office in Minden located at 9961 Hwy. 80.
  • March 14 at 6:30 p.m., Yambilee Festival Bldg., 1939 W. Landry, Opelousas
  • March 15 at 6 p.m., Bastrop Visitor Center, 124 N. Washington St.
  • March 15 at 6:30 p.m., LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles.
  • March 21 at 6 p.m., St. John Parish Council Chambers, 1801 W. Airline Hwy., Laplace

To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting season, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from now through May 3 or can be submitted directly to Randy Myers, Wildlife Division, LDWF, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to rmyers@wlf.la.gov until May 3.

For more information, contact Randy Myers at 225-765-2359 or rmyers@wlf.la.gov.


State of Louisiana Announces Louisiana Blue Crab to Be First Sustainable Blue Crab Fishery in the World

Release Date: 03/12/2012

March 12, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in coordination
with the Louisiana Crab Task Force and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB),
announced the Louisiana blue crab fishery has been recognized with the seal of ‘sustainability’ by a
third-party organization, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This designation by MSC is the first of
its kind for any blue crab fishery in the world.

The independent, third-party certification body, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) assessed the
Louisiana blue crab fishery against the MSC standard in a rigorous, open and transparent process that
was scientifically peer reviewed and involved site visits to the fishery and outreach to stakeholder
groups. During assessment, SCS identified six improvement actions the fishery must perform during the
first five-year certification period that address harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, by-catch
and ecosystem impact and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by
the MSC program.

“This certification fully validates what Louisiana’s blue crab industry and department have known all
along, that our blue crab fishery is managed responsibly at sustainable levels,” said LDWF Assistant
Secretary Randy Pausina. “LDWF is a world-class organization that utilizes the best biologists and
technology when managing all of Louisiana’s abundant fisheries.”

What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability ensures that the blue crab fishery of Louisiana is managed in a way that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the crop for future generations.

Why is it important for a fishery to be certified as sustainable?

In recent years, sustainability has become increasingly important to major retailers like Wal-Mart,
Costco, Kroger and Target to name a few. As such, the push for ‘proof’ that seafood has been harvested
sustainably has led to an emerging market: seafood sustainability certifiers and their associated eco-

Additionally important to the Louisiana fishing industry, studies suggest that some retailers may be
willing to pay a higher price for seafood that is labeled eco-friendly or sustainable. Additionally,
markets in Europe and the United Kingdom that require such certifications will now be available to our
industry members.

LDWF is currently working with the other Gulf states to identify additional possibilities for
communicating to consumers and buyers that all of our fisheries are managed responsibly at sustainable

The Louisiana Blue Crab Fishery

While crabs are landed from all state coastal waters, more than half of Louisiana blue crabs are
harvested primarily from two areas: Lake Pontchartrain and Terrebonne basins. The Lake Pontchartrain
basin borders New Orleans to the north and east and includes the lake, marshes and sounds east of

the Mississippi River and the Terrebonne Basin is located southwest of New Orleans and is bounded by
Bayou Lafourche to the east and the Atchafalaya River to the west.

Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are harvested year-round primarily with baited trapstended strictly
during daylight hours. Harvesters target hard shell blue crabs for both the live and processed meat
markets and also peeler crabs for sale to soft crab shedders. Louisiana blue crab landings have averaged
over 40 million pounds in recent years and comprised nearly 30 percent of total U.S. blue crab landings
in 2009.

The Marine Stewardship Council

The MSC was started in 1996 by the World Wide Fund for Nature and Unilever. The charity was
constituted in 1997 and became fully independent in 1999.

It has offices in London, Seattle, Washington and Sydney, New South Wales and local offices in
Edinburgh, Berlin, the Hague, Paris, Cape Town and Tokyo.

As of October 2011, there are over 11,000 seafood products available with the MSC eco-
label, sold in 82 countries around the world. Currently 131 fisheries have been independently
certified as meeting the MSC’s environmental standard for sustainable fishing and 131 are
currently undergoing assessment. Nearly 2000 companies have met the MSC Chain of Custody
standard for seafood traceability.

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 please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

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