LDWF News Release

LASS Tournament Anglers Enjoy First Live Weigh-in in Tournament History

Release Date: 03/05/2013

(March 5, 2013) – Proud anglers took the stage showing off their trophy catches at Saturday’s Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show in Slidell, host to the first live weigh-in in Louisiana Saltwater Series Redfish Tournament history.  According to LASS Tournament Director Mandy Tumlin, 25 of the 47 participating teams entered in the tournament came to scales with fish to be weighed, tagged and released.  The field of anglers was led by first place finishers Nash Roberts, IV and Luke Landry, both of the New Orleans area, whose catch weighed in at 15.22 pounds, winning them a $2,500 purse. 

“The fish were on a typical cold weather pattern,” explained first place finisher Nash Roberts, IV.  “We caught more fish on the tournament day then we did in practice, with several fish over the slot limit.”

This is Roberts and Landry’s third year to participate in the tournament, but there was no shortage of new faces to the series, with nine teams participating for their first time.

A total of 74 redfish were brought in, tagged and released as part of the Louisiana Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, where anglers become citizen scientists for the agency, collecting invaluable data.

Tumlin said the kick-off tournament for the Louisiana Saltwater Redfish Series, a six-event tour plus a championship, “never fails to draw the crowds.” She said despite the weather, the anglers and their families “had a great time,” finding good fishing, friendly people and lots of entertainment.

The top finishing teams, taking home over $8,360 in cash prizes, include: 2nd place, Chris Pike, Jr. and Darin LeBlanc; 3rd place, Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne; 4th place, Joe and John Barcelona; 5th place, Steve Smith and John Garrison; 6th place, Matthew Whitman and Ryan Schellhaas; 7th place, Gary and Gus Wilson; 8th place, Ben Saucier and Adam Shields; and 9th place, Pete Denham and Pete Miller.

Beyond the standard 100% payout cash prizes, brothers Gus and Gary Wilson took home a brand new trolling motor sponsored by Mercury by preregistering for all six tournaments, qualifying them for a special raffle.  Roberts, IV and Landry also took home a rod and reel package sponsored by Shimano for winning one of the extra fish raffle prizes.  Teams are allowed to bring in extra fish in addition to their weigh-in fish to be entered into drawings for special prizes, with the number of entries determined by the number of extra fish to be brought in to be tagged.  In addition to their winnings, Roberts, IV and Landry also bagged a $500 contingency prize sponsored by Standard Mapping. 

The next redfish tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 in Lake Charles at Calcasieu Point Landing.  For complete information, including rules, regulations and registration go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

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, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.



Charter Guide Sentenced for Tuna Violations and Resisting Agents in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 03/01/2013

A Denham Springs man, who owns Deep South Charters out of Venice, was sentenced on Feb. 27 in Plaquemines Parish for tuna fishing violations and resisting an officer.

Josh S. Howard, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of resisting an officer, one count of intentional littering and one count of violating recreational take of tuna regulations.

Judge M. Clement of the 25th Judicial District of Plaquemines Parish accepted Howard’s guilty plea and sentenced him to forfeit his 2013 charter boat guide licenses and forbid him from acting as a charter captain for 2013.  Howard was also sentenced to a total of $850 in fines plus court costs, 32 hours of community service and two years of probation with the addition that no wildlife and fishery offenses can be committed during the time of probation.  If Howard does commit any wildlife and fishery violation during his two years of probation, he may face further revocation of charter boat licenses.

Howard’s guilty plea stems from an investigation conducted by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents.  LDWF agents were tipped off by confidential informants that Howard participated in the catching and retaining of a large Bluefin tuna in April of 2012 after the season had closed.

After a lengthy investigation, agents secured a subpoena for the cell phone owned by Howard where photos of the fish were believed to be stored.  When agents approached Howard with the subpoena and asked for his phone on May 18, 2012, Howard threw the phone overboard into the water thereby destroying any suspected evidence.

Howard was placed under arrest and booked into the Plaquemines Parish Jail.  Agents were able to secure a search warrant for his home in Denham Springs and seize his computer.  Howard then provided agents with photos and videos of the illegally harvested tuna.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Adam Young, Sgt. Roy Pier, Sgt. Louis Burnett, Senior Agents Villere Reggio and Ladd Turner and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Special Agent Charles Tyre.

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

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 03/01/2013


The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, 4142 North Flannery Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70814.

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of February 7, 2013

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/February

5.  To Receive Public Comments on Notice of Intent for the 2013-2015 Hunting Season Dates

6.  To Receive Public Comments on Notice of Intent for General WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations

7.  To Receive Public Comments on Notice of Intent for DMAP Fee Corrections

8.  To consider a Declaration of Additional Acreage to Maurepas Swamp WMA

9.  Resolution of Support for the LDWF Assessment of Blue Crab in Louisiana Waters

10.  Set July 2013 Meeting Date

11.   Receive Public Comments

12.  Executive Session to Discuss Prospective Litigation Relative to Return of Artificial Reef Fund Monies

13.  Adjournment




DHH Closes Oyster Harvesting Area Due to New Oil Spill

Release Date: 02/27/2013


(Feb. 27, 2013) – The Louisiana Departments of Health and Hospitals and Wildlife and Fisheries announced today the precautionary closure of oyster harvest Area 11 in response to an oil spill. Area 11 is west of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.
DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein, Office of Public Health Assistant Secretary J.T. Lane and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the closure order, which will take effect at sunset today, Wednesday, February 27, 2013. Area 11 will remain closed indefinitely until it is determined the oysters are safe to eat.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Tuesday night a crew boat sheared an inactive wellhead in Area 11, causing the oil spill. It was also reported that the well is spewing less than 20 barrels a day. The well has been out of service for five years.
Tomorrow morning, DHH will send personnel to Plaquemines Parish to assess Area 11 and the adjacent oyster harvest areas to determine if more closures are necessary.
DHH has notified local oyster harvesters that work the affected area, as well as the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series Kicks Off With a Unique Twist

Release Date: 02/27/2013


Live weigh-in to be held at the Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show in Slidell
(Feb. 27, 2013) - It’s yet another exciting year for tournament fishing in coastal Louisiana, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Louisiana Saltwater Series reigns as the state’s premier tag-and-release redfish tournament.  The series kicks of this weekend with a unique twist, a live weigh-in at the Northshore Boat-N-Fishing Show in Slidell at the Northshore Harbor Convention Center.
Whether you are fishing as part of the series or just a fan of the sport itself, the live weigh-in is sure to be an exciting event for adults and children alike.  The weigh-in is scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m.
The tournament continues to captivate anglers throughout the Gulf Coast by offering some of the most select prizes in the south, including 100 percent payout for the top finishers.  Over $168,000 in prize money has been awarded since the tournament’s inception.
According to Tournament Director Mandy Tumlin, the field will be comprised of both professionals and amateurs.  “We have always held to the fact that we don’t cater just to the professional tournament fishermen,” explained Tumlin.  “The heart of the competition is not only to promote tagging, but to encourage youth and families to get involved in the sport – with a chance, of course, to hook some great prizes.”
Originated in 2010 by the Department, the tournament has tremendous success in supplementing the agency’s Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program, with over 2,100 fish tagged and 107 recaptures in four years.
The 2013 Louisiana Saltwater Series consists of six tag-and-release redfish tournaments culminating with a no-entry championship in October.   The 2013 redfish tournament schedule is as follows:
March 2 The Dock/Dockside Bait and Tackle, Slidell;
April 20 Calcasieu Point Landing, Lake Charles;
May 4 SeaWay Marina, Lafitte;
June 8 Port Fourchon Marina, Port Fourchon;
June 29 Sweetwater Marina, Delacroix;
August 10 The Delta Marina, Empire and
Championship, October 4 and 5 Venice Marina, Venice.
Each redfish tournament includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event.  Up to two anglers under 16 are allowed to participate per team.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series. There is a 90 percent payout for the first six events with 10 percent retained for the championship. Payout is determined separately for each event based upon the total number of boats entered. 
A youth division is also available for no additional cost to introduce our young anglers to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation.  Youth division participants compete against one another in the youth division, and all youth anglers will be recognized. 
LASS staff are continually monitoring the weather and conditions forecasted for Saturday, and will make a determination on including an additional launch site within the same water basin by Friday, March 1 at noon.  This announcement will be communicated to anglers and the public on the tournament’s website as well as the Department and tournament Facebook pages.   The safety of our anglers is our primary concern.
For complete information, including rules, regulations and online registration go towww.lasaltwaterseries.com.  Online registration will close tomorrow, Thursday, February 28 at noon.   A $20 fee for all onsite tournament registrants will be incurred per team.  
Tournament sponsors include Shimano, PowerPro, Daybrook Fisheries, Plaquemines Parish, Mercury Marine, Standard Mapping, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh & Bayou, Swamp Swatter, Frabill, Stick It Anchor Pins and YETI Coolers.
The Louisiana Saltwater Series is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.
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 atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information, contact Ashley Wethey atawethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.

LDWF Schedules Water Hyacinth Control at Henderson Lake

Release Date: 02/27/2013

(Feb. 27, 2013) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has scheduled a series of large-scale herbicide applications for Henderson Lake as a preventative measure to address a chronic issue with water hyacinth. 

The Department wants to remind the public that the herbicides are not toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms when applied properly.  LDWF standard procedure requires that only herbicides certified as safe by the EPA will be used.   

The herbicide applications are scheduled to begin Wednesday, February 27 and extend through the end of March.

Prior to recent Department efforts, the invasive species restricted boating and fishing throughout the lake.  The Department has determined that preventative measures are far more effective than treating the problem at a later date. 

For further information regarding these spray efforts, contact Alex Perret, LDWF Inland Fisheries, at 225-765-2328.

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 (225) 765-2396.




Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board Meeting Cancelled

Release Date: 02/26/2013

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 28, 2013 at 9:00am at the LDWF offices inside the University of New Orleans (UNO) Advanced Technology Building located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA in the second floor conference room has been CANCELLED.  As of now a reschedule date has not been set.  Notice of the new meeting date will be published as soon as a date is chosen.
This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF.
For more information, contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov.



Marksville Man Arrested for Killing Black Bear in Avoyelles Parish

Release Date: 02/26/2013

A Marksville man was arrested and booked into the Avoyelles Parish Jail on Feb. 25 for his alleged role in the illegal killing of a Louisiana black bear.

Derek P. Sayer, 30, was arrested for shooting and killing a Louisiana black bear on Nov. 27, 2012 in Avoyelles Parish.  A hunter alerted authorities on Nov. 27 about a dead black bear laying on an all-terrain vehicle trail on Avoyelles Parish School Board property located 20 miles northwest of Marksville.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers responded to the scene and immediately started a joint investigation.  After a lengthy investigation, officials concluded that Sayer allegedly killed the bear.

LDWF performed a necropsy of the bear, which revealed the bear was fatally shot with buckshot.  The bear was approximately two years old and weighed about 100 pounds.

Harvesting a Louisiana black bear brings a state fine between $900 and $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  In addition, restitution for the value of the animal up to $10,000 could be imposed.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.

The North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory in Alexandria and the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office provided forensic and technical assistance during the investigation.

For more information, contact Major Sammy Martin at 225-765-2536 or smartin@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Legislative Committee Meeting

Release Date: 02/25/2013

Thursday, February 28 Noon

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans

I.  Discuss 2013 legislation related to Louisiana Oyster Industry.





Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 02/25/2013

Thursday, February 28 1:00 PM

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans


I.  Roll Call

II. Approval of  December 4, 2012  MINUTES

III.  Treasury Report

  A.  Oyster Tag Sales

  B.  LOTF Financial Report

IV.  Committee Reports

  A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee

  B.  Enforcement  

  C.  Legislative

  D.  Research

  E.  Coastal Restoration

  F.  Marketing –

  G.  Health

  H.  Sustainability

V.  Old Business

     A. BP Oil Spill Remediation

  1. Claims Process
  2. Public Reef Remediation
  3. Oyster Lease Remediation

     B.  Letter and follow up meetings with coastal district attorneys

     C.  Oyster Predation by Drum Fish

     D.  Out Da Bayou      

VI.  New Business

     A.  Officer Elections     

     B. Summer Demo Study/Oyster Sentinel- Tom Soniat

     C. D.C. Walk the Hill Update-John Tesvich     

     D.  Upcoming ISSC Board Meeting, March 6 & 7 Atlanta, Georgia        

     E.   New ISSC NSSP Time to Temperature Model Ordinance changes

     F.  NRDA Update-Drue Banta

VII.  Set Next Meetings

VIII.  Adjourn



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