LDWF News Release

St. Charles Parish Man Arrested for DWI and Child Endangerment

Release Date: 04/25/2012

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent arrested a St. Charles Parish man on April 23 for allegedly driving while intoxicated (DWI) on April 23.

LDWF Agent Jared Taylor arrested Darren McGovern, 25, of Norco, after observing him operating his vehicle erratically on Airline Hwy. while crossing the Bonnet Carre Spillway.  Agent Taylor also watched McGovern toss a white plastic grocery bag out his window.

McGovern allegedly failed his field sobriety test and his blood alcohol content registered over the legal limit of .08.  McGovern was then booked into the St. Charles Parish Correctional Facility for second offense DWI and intentional littering.  He was also cited for child endangerment, since he had his 8-year-old daughter in the vehicle.

A second offense DWI brings a fine between $750 and $1,000 and 30 days to six months in jail.  Intentional littering carries a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.

Because McGovern had an 8-year-old in the vehicle with him at the time of his DWI, he faces the additional charge of violating the Child Endangerment Law.  This law states that if a child 12 years of age or younger was a passenger in the vehicle, aircraft, vessel or other means of motorized conveyance at the time when the defendant was arrested, the minimum mandatory sentence provided for each offense cannot be suspended.

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


Annual Drawdown at Catahoula Lake Scheduled to Begin May 1

Release Date: 04/25/2012

April 25, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) plans to begin de-watering Catahoula Lake starting May 1 with a target date of June 30 for  reaching drawdown pool stage.  That is one month earlier than the traditional June-July drawdown dates.

“We’ve worked to complete an earlier drawdown since we began experimentally changing the drawdown dates two years ago,” said Larry Reynolds, LDWFWaterfowl Study Leader. “But late spring rainfall and flooding have not allowed it.”

The water level at Catahoula Lake is currently between 34 and 35 feet MSL and will be lowered to approximately 31 feet by May 31 and to 27.5 feet by June 30, rainfall and runoff permitting.

Fishing is popular during the drawdown period when water is flowing through the diversion canal structure.  In 2010, spring rainfall delayed an intended early drawdown, and de-watering of the lake proceeded at near normal timing.  Last year, heavy spring flooding again prohibited an early drawdown and the lake was de-watered a month later than normal.  The later drawdown in 2011 interrupted normal summer fishing patterns and many fishermen found no water flowing on the 4th of July weekend.  LDWF is communicating intended drawdown dates sooner toavoid similar issues in 2012.

Catahoula Lake provides important wetland habitat for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wetland birds in Louisiana, especially during the late-summer and early-fall when shallow-flooded habitat is generally limited across the state.  Lowering water levels in summer exposes mudflats, which are used extensively by migrating shorebirds of many species, and stimulates germination and growth of annual plants that produce seeds and tubers that provide excellent foods for migrating and wintering waterfowl.

Varying summer drawdown dates is one aspect of a management/research program exploring methods to combat encroaching woody vegetation on the lakebed, while maintaining or enhancing the production of high-quality food plants for migrating and wintering waterfowl.  Static water-level management is well known to reduce productivity in wetland systems, and may be providing conditions favoring the spread of Swamp privet and Water elm trees, which displace waterfowl food-producing plants like Chufa flatsedge and Sprangletop.

LDWF has partnered with researchers at LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources to expand ecological knowledge of Water elm, relate the encroachment of woody species to past environmental conditions, and evaluate vegetation responses to recent management actions in hopes of developing a more comprehensive plan for managing the lake to maintain or improve habitat conditions for migratory waterfowl.

For more information contact Larry Reynolds at (225) 765-0456 or Lreynolds@wlf.la.gov.



Spring FUN Camp Successful, Fall FUN Camp Registration Open Now

Release Date: 04/24/2012

April 24, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) held the annual Father-Child FUN Camp April 13-15 at the Woodworth Outdoor Education facility.

Eleven families participated in various activities including .22 rifle and shotgun target shooting, archery, canoeing, outdoor cooking, orienteering, bird house fabrication, night hiking, fishing and overnight camping in tents.   

FUN means Families Understanding Nature and offers parents and their children an opportunity to spend a weekend in the outdoors, re-establishing bonds and honing outdoor skills.

The next scheduled Mother-Child FUN Camp will be offered October 5-7, 2012, at the Woodworth Outdoor Education facility south of Alexandria.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited and filled on a first come, first served basis.  Registration is $50 for each family (a parent and child).  Each additional child is $25.  The fee covers meals, lodging and supplies (including tents) used over the weekend.  Bed linens and sleeping bags are not provided.

To obtain a registration form on-line, visit LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/fun-camp or contact Karen Crabtree at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov.

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.