LDWF News Release

Two Houma Residents Cited For Illegal Shrimping In Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 04/24/2012


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two men for allegedly shrimping during a closed season in Terrebonne Parish on April 21.

Agents cited Joshua M. Verdin, 26, and Jimmie D. Robling Jr., 52, both from Houma, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

Agents responded to an area where they received complaints of illegal shrimping and observed the vessel occupied by the two subjects engaging in skimming operations in Bayou Grand Caillou.  Agents issued the men citations and seized 290 pounds of 26-30 count white shrimp.  In addition, the vessel and two skimmer nets were seized.

Using skimmers during a closed season brings a $400 to $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 case were Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Thomas Wolf.

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

Chauvin Man Apprehended After Foot Chase

Release Date: 04/23/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Chauvin man for allegedly resisting arrest and battery to a police officer on April 19 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Christopher Duplantis, 30, for resisting arrest, battery to a police officer, misrepresentation of a misdemeanor, injuring public records, no possession of a basic or saltwater fishing license and possession of an undersized black drum.  Duplantis was booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

Agents first cited Duplantis in February for possessing an undersized black drum and not having a basic or saltwater fishing license.  Duplantis also did not possess any kind of identification and gave agents a false name and address of a friend.

Duplantis’ friend showed up for his court date on April 15 to plead that he was falsely accused.  His violations were subsequently dropped as agents verified he was not the individual who received the citations.  Duplantis’ friend then told agents who he thought was the real offender.

Agents went to Duplantis’ residence on April 19 and spotted Duplantis on an all-terrain vehicle as they turned down his street.  Agents made contact with Duplantis and a brief struggle ensued as Duplantis fled on foot.  Agents then found Duplantis hiding under his house and arrested him.

Battery of a police officer, misrepresentation of a misdemeanor, and resisting arrest each bring up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.  Injuring public records carries up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

Fishing without a basic or saltwater license carries a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.  Possession of an undersized black drum brings up to a $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Nicholas Guillory.

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

2012 Youth Outdoor Journalism Contest Accepting Entries

Release Date: 04/20/2012

April 20, 2012-- The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) is accepting entries for this year's Youth Outdoor Journalism Contest sponsored by LOWA and the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) with support from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). 

The contest includes both essay and photography categories that will be judged based on presentation of Louisiana outdoor themes that include hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, camping, or other related outdoor experiences. All entries are judged by professional educators and outdoor communicators.

The essay contest is broken into two age divisions: senior (ages 14-18) and junior (13 years of age and younger).  The essays must be about personal experiences related to the outdoors and between 300 and 1,000 words in length. Essays submitted must be typed, double-spaced and only on one side of each page submitted as part of an entry.

The photography category is open to all students 18 years of age and younger. Only original, unpublished photos in color or black and white in a 4x6 inch, 5x7 inch or 8x10 inch print format, center-mounted on 8x10 inch poster or mounting board will be accepted.

First place prize winners will receive $150 cash prize. Second place will receive $100, third place winners get $50 and honorable mentions receive $25.  All of the winning applicants will receive an LOWA award certificate. The cash prizes are donated by the Louisiana Chapter of SCI and will be presented at the annual LOWA Conference in August. Winning entries will also have their work published in various media outlets and web sites.

All entries must be postmarked no later than May 11, 2012and sent to: The Advocate Educational Services/LOWA, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. The entries must also include the contestant's name, age, school, home address and telephone number at the top of the first page of the essay or attached to the back of the mounting board of the photos.  Participants that want to have their entries returned must include a self addressed stamped envelope.  Winners will be notified by mail.

For more information, visit the LOWA website at http://www.laoutdoorwriters.comor send inquiries to Ghhutchinson@gmail.com.


LDWF Continues Pearl River Restoration Efforts

Release Date: 04/20/2012

(April 20, 2012) – This week, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries stocked over 16,000 largemouth bass in the Pearl River as part of the Department’s planned recovery efforts in the wake of last year’s fish kill. 

This is the Department’s second stocking effort following the Temple-Inland incident in 2011 that killed over 500,000 fish and freshwater mussels in the river.  The bass were raised and distributed from the Department’s Monroe Fish Hatchery in north Louisiana.  Northern largemouth bass are native to the Pearl River.

A three-year sampling effort to monitor the recovery of the river will be initiated later this year.  Two additional ponds of Northern bass are dedicated to the Pearl River restoration effort and will be harvested and stocked based on need. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources.  Fore 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.


*Amended-2nd Annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" Slated for May 12*

Release Date: 04/19/2012

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the second annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 12 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.

At last year’s Boating Education Lagniappe Day LDWF certified 264 boaters.

"We want to make this an annual event as we heard nothing but positive feedback from the participants in last year’s lagniappe day,” 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 approximately 48,000 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, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, Coca Cola, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Landry Lumber Company, Austin’s Outdoors of Opelousas and Mayor Randy Roach’s Office of Lake Charles.

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

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA
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.

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

St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
3rd Floor
Lake Charles, LA 70602
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.

Larose Civic Center
307 East 5th St
Larose, LA 70373
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.

2200 W. Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.

Academy Sports and Outdoors
1000 West Esplanade Blvd.
Kenner, LA 70065
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.


STEP OUTSIDE DAY Set for May 12 at Sherburne W.M.A.

Release Date: 04/19/2012

April 19, 2012-- The 8th Annual STEP OUTSIDE DAY, an outdoor education program, will be held at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in the Atchafalaya Basin on Saturday, May 12.

STEP OUTSIDE DAY is open to all children and adults.  Sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this outdoors day targets youths and individuals with special needs to provide an opportunity to engage in safe, hands-on outdoor activities.  All Activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the Sherburne WMA headquarters area.

This year’s event will include fishing, archery, boating, target and trap shooting, nature photography, bird watching, ATV Safety, and many other outdoor activities, such as turkey trapping demonstrations, trapping techniques, turkey and duck calling, and information on the Louisiana black bear and alligators.

Drinks and food will be provided on site for participants. No alcoholic beverages or glass containers will be allowed on the premises.

Directions to Sherburne WMA headquarters: From US Hwy. 190, take the Sherburne (LA 975) exit, and drive south approx. 3 miles; event activities will be on the left, near Big Alabama Bayou. From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay Exit, and drive north approx. 13 miles on LA 975, event activities will be on the right, near Big Alabama Bayou.

For more information about the event, call the LDWF Opelousas field office, 337-948-0255 or e-mail tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.


Crab Task Force to Meet in Baton Rouge Next Week

Release Date: 04/17/2012

April 12, 2012 – The Louisiana Crab Task Force will hold a special meeting next Tuesday, April 24th, at 2 p.m. at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters in Baton Rouge in the Louisiana Room. 

This meeting is being held to discuss proposed legislation, House Bill 538, currently being considered by the Louisiana Legislature and will also include discussion on the Marine Stewardship Council certification of the blue crab fishery and conditions to maintain that certification.

For more information please contact Carl Britt at cbritt@wlf.la.gov or (985) 882-0027 or Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.


Houma Man Arrested for Possession of a Stolen Boat

Release Date: 04/16/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a Houma man for allegedly possessing a stolen boat in Terrebonne Parish on April 16.

While on patrol in Bayou Little Caillou, LDWF Strike Force agents spotted Tyler Trahan, 18, operating a powered pirogue with no hull number.  Trahan also didn’t possess any other form of ownership of the boat.

During the stop, a man began yelling from the shore saying that was his powered pirogue.  The man said the pirogue was stolen from his yard on Tuesday, April 10.  The man on the shore had all the proper documentation for the boat and agents returned the boat to him.  The man said he saw the boat as he was driving down Hwy. 56, which runs parallel with the bayou.

Agents then arrested Trahan and booked him into the Terrebonne Parish Jail for possession of stolen property valued at $1,800.

Possession of stolen property valued higher than $500 is a felony and punishable with up to $3,000 in fines and up to 10 years in jail.

Agents participating in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Doug Danna.

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

Flatwoods Man Arrested for Negligent Injury

Release Date: 04/13/2012


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Flatwoods man for allegedly shooting a hiker in Natchitoches Parish on April 12.

Agents arrested Jerry Merrill, 63, for negligent injury and booked him into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

Merrill was turkey hunting on the Red Dirt Federal Refuge around 9 a.m. when he allegedly mistook a hiker for a turkey shooting him with a shotgun.  The hiker received minor injuries and was treated and released by emergency workers at the scene.

Negligent injury carries a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

Hunters are reminded that positive target identification is critical for hunter safety and a basic component of legal game harvest.

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

Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge Temporarily Closing Joseph Harbor Boat Launch and East End Locks Road

Release Date: 04/13/2012

April 13, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today a $2.6 million project at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge that will replace the boat launch and bulkheads at Joseph Harbor and provide for improvements to East End Locks Road.

The work on East End Locks Road in Cameron Parish is currently underway and the road is now closed.  Both the East End Locks boat launch and road will remain closed until the contractor completes construction activities along the road. The closed areas are three miles east of the refuge headquarters along Hwy. 82.

The Joseph Harbor boat launch will close on Wednesday, April 18 and remain closed until the construction project is completed in August 2012.

Price Lake Road, located along the refuge’s western boundary in Grand Chenier, La., will remain open to public recreation access until the normal December 1, 2012 closure.  Additionally, a private boat ramp with launch fee, along the refuge’s eastern boundary near Pecan Island in Vermilion Parish, is open. All public access at the refuge is open from official sunrise to sunset.

Access to Rockefeller Refuge will be limited due to the Joseph Harbor and East End boat launch closures, but the entire Refuge will remain open during construction.  The public can enter the refuge from the Gulf of Mexico to pursue recreational activities.  Visitors are advised that only large seaworthy boats should be used to access the refuge from the Gulf.

For more information on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov or call 337-491-2593.


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