LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Chauvin Man Arrested by LDWF Agents for Falsifying Trip Tickets

Release Date: 08/05/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested a Chauvin man today, Aug. 5 for allegedly falsifying trip ticket information and are transporting him to the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
Jessie Lambas, 58, allegedly falsified trip ticket documents dated from May and June of 2009 in order to file a claim with BP America due to the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Lambas was charged with three felonies for filing false public records, injuring public records and theft by fraud.  The trip tickets were filed with LDWF on May 27 and represented 5,644 pounds of shrimp with a value of $10,237.50.  Lambas stated that he received three payments from BP America totaling $3,000 from May 24 to July 14.
SIU agents met with Lambas on July 26 and 31 after receiving a complaint from the department's trip ticket section that Lambas did not possess a commercial fishing license in 2009.  Lambas does have a wholesale/retail seafood dealer’s license that allows him access to trip tickets issued to the wholesale/retail seafood dealer.
Lambas stated that he filed trip tickets from 2010, but the department does not have any record of issuing Lambas trip tickets in 2010 according to the arrest warrant.  The warrant also states that the trip tickets under question match the 50 trip tickets that he was issued in 2008.
If convicted, Lambas faces fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail with or without hard labor for each charge of falsifying and injuring public records.  For the fraud charge, Lambas faces a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail with or without hard labor.
"We want to ensure our commercial fishermen and dealers are compensated fairly by using accurate trip ticket information," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "We do not want to see commercial fishermen or dealers tempted to commit felony violations by falsifying trip ticket documents."
LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood.
These reviews are critical to ensure that commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers are appropriately credited with landings in the event of compensation that results from a natural disaster such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the current BP America oil spill.
BP America is requesting commercial fishermen to provide landings information from 2007-10 to determine eligibility for financial assistance.  LDWF is providing a landings data report back to commercial fishermen, when requested, to assist with this eligibility process.
The review of trip tickets has become even more critical during this time period considering that the previous years are being used to establish eligibility for assistance.  Any trip tickets from previous years are being subjected to another layer of review by LDWF staff to confirm their validity.
"The information provided on a trip ticket is the best way for the department to establish the value of Louisiana fisheries and the importance of those fisheries to the nation.  Trip ticket data also plays a key role in the managing of fisheries in Louisiana to ensure sustainability," said Michelle Kasprzak, LDWF Trip Ticket Program administrator.  "We ask that trip tickets be completed accurately and submitted on time as required.  Inaccurate or embellished trip tickets will be investigated by the department's Law Enforcement Division."
Trip tickets are filled out at the first point of sale between a commercial fisherman and wholesale/retail dealer or fresh product license holder and are due on the 10th of every month.  Trip tickets are then entered into LDWFs Trip Ticket Program's database.
Commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers may request their trip ticket landings by following the instructions on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill or calling the trip ticket section at 225-765-2399.
 For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
2010-238

Rehabilitated Brown Pelicans Released at Rabbit Island in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 08/05/2010

State and federal biologists today released the first brown pelicans back into Louisiana coastal habitat since rescue and rehabilitation operations began following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The 15 pelicans were transported from the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Hammond and carefully off loaded on to Rabbit Island by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists and representatives from the International Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

"We are pleased to see our state bird being returned to the coastal zone and applaud the efforts of the biologists who captured the distressed birds and the rehabilitation specialists who work diligently to ensure their survival," said Robert Barham, LDWF  secretary.

Rabbit Island, within Calcasieu Lake, was selected as the release point due to its inland, southwestern Louisiana location which has not been impacted by any oil for the duration of the spill incident. The Cameron Parish location provides 220 acres inhabited by laughing gulls, brown pelicans, and a mix of wading birds that includes roseate spoonbills, herons and egrets.

For photos of today's event go to:

 

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill/gallery

Since bird rescue and rehab began in April, 611 brown and white pelicans have been rescued alive in Louisiana.  248 have been successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild in Texas, Florida, Georgia, and now Louisiana.

For more information related to Louisiana's response to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225/756-5115.

2010-237

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Two Men for Falsifying Trip Ticket Documents

Release Date: 08/04/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) arrested two New Iberia men on Aug. 3 for allegedly falsifying trip ticket information and booked them into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.

An Ly, 36, owner of Ly Ly Seafood, and Samith Huynh, 31, allegedly falsified trip ticket documents from January through April of this year in order to file a claim with BP America due to the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Ly and Huynh were charged for filing false public records and injuring public records.  Huynh was also charged with theft by fraud, and Ly was charged with conspiracy to commit theft by fraud.  All charges against the men are classified as felonies.

The trip tickets were filed with LDWF on June 15 and July 7 and represented 6,347 pounds of crabs with a value of $9,548.91.

SIU agents met with Ly and Huynh on July 28 after receiving a complaint from the department's trip ticket section.  According to the arrest warrant, both men admitted they did not sell or purchase any crabs after agents told the men that Huynh did not possess a commercial fishing license from January through April of this year.  Huynh did purchase his commercial fishing license at the department in May.

Ly stated that he signed and mailed the trip tickets to LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge after Huynh filled them out.  Huynh stated that he received checks from BP America for $5,000 in May and $5,000 in June according to the arrest warrant.

If convicted, both could face fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail with or without hard labor for each charge of falsifying and injuring public records.  For the conspiracy to commit theft by fraud and theft by fraud charges, both face fines up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail with or without hard labor.

"We want to ensure our commercial fishermen and dealers are compensated fairly by using accurate trip ticket information," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division.  "We do not want to see commercial fishermen or dealers tempted to commit felony violations by falsifying trip ticket documents."

LDWF routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood.

These reviews are critical to ensure that commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers are appropriately credited with landings in the event of compensation that results from a natural disaster such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the current BP America oil spill.

BP America is requesting commercial fishermen to provide landings information from 2007-10 to determine eligibility for financial assistance.  LDWF is providing a landings data report back to commercial fishermen, when requested, to assist with this eligibility process.

The review of trip tickets has become even more critical during this time period considering that the previous years are being used to establish eligibility for assistance.  Any trip tickets from previous years are being subjected to another layer of review by LDWF staff to confirm their validity.

"The information provided on a trip ticket is the best way for the department to establish the value of Louisiana fisheries and the importance of those fisheries to the nation.  Trip ticket data also plays a key role in the managing of fisheries in Louisiana to ensure sustainability," said Michelle Kasprzak, LDWF Trip Ticket Program administrator.  "We ask that trip tickets be completed accurately and submitted on time as required.  Inaccurate or embellished trip tickets will be investigated by the department's Law Enforcement Division."

Trip tickets are filled out at the first point of sale between a commercial fisherman and wholesale/retail dealer or fresh product license holder and are due on the 10th of every month.  Trip tickets are then entered into LDWFs Trip Ticket Program's database.

Commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers may request their trip ticket landings by following the instructions on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill or calling the trip ticket section at 225-765-2399.

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

2010-232

L.D.W.F. Enforcement Agents Issue 142 Citations on Ouiska Chitto River

Release Date: 08/04/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents issued 142 citations on the Ouiska Chitto River in Allen Parish during the months of May, June and July 2010.

Numerous Enforcement Division details on the Ouiska Chitto River throughout the summer months consisted of boating safety patrols, surveillance for illegal drug activity, littering and underaged consumption of alcohol.

Agents issued seven boating safety citations, 24 littering citations,78 citations for consuming or possessing alcohol under 21, nine drug citations and 24 glass container citations. LDWF Enforcement agents also made arrests for disturbing the peace for fighting and public intoxication.

The Ouiska Chitto is a scenic river in Allen Parish and is a popular destination for families involved in canoeing, bird watching, photography and fishing. LDWF Enforcement agents along with the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office maintain frequent patrols on the river during the summer months. With the persistent law enforcement presence, there has been a significant decline in underage drinking and littering on the Ouiska Chitto River.

The penalty for purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages under the age of 21 is a fine up to $100, or imprisonment for up to six months or both. The boating safety violations carry a fine of $50, or jail time up to 15 days or both for a first offense. The fines for the glass violations and littering are set by the Allen Parish District Attorney's Office.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
2010-E44

Agenda Announced for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 08/03/2010

The next regular public board meeting has been scheduled by the Commission for 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, August 5, 2010, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of July 8, 2010

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/July

5. To receive and hear Update on Oil Spill and Current Response Efforts

6. To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

7. To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency on Setting Opening Dates for the 2010 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season

8. To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency for the 2010-2011 Oyster Season on Public Oyster Areas

9. To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency to Open Commercial Spotted Seatrout Rod and Reel Fishery

10. To receive and consider Tentative Dates on Waterfowl Season and Public Comment on Canada Goose Closure Zone

11. To receive and consider Contingency Plan for Waterfowl Season due to Oil Spill

12. To receive and hear General Information Presentation on WMA Forest Management

13. Set December 2010 Meeting Date

14. Receive Public Comments

15. Adjournment

2010-226A

Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) Announces Winners of 2010 Youth Journalism Contest

Release Date: 07/30/2010

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) will honor the winners of its 2010 Youth Journalism Contest (YJC) at its 65th annual conference held in Covington on Saturday, August 7, 2010. An annual event, the contest focuses on building literacy among outdoor youth while promoting involvement in the outdoors.  

Winning entries will be available at the LOWA website, www.laoutdoorwriters.com. The Louisiana Chapter of Safari Clubs International (SCI) also publishes the winners in their newsletter.

Students share personal experiences in hunting, fishing, boating, camping, horseback riding, hiking, or any other activities where they engage with nature and the environment. Judges look for literate and enthusiastic work along with photography that captures the essence and spirit of Louisiana.

Prize monies are donated by the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Clubs International, and the Baton Rouge Advocate provided advertising and press releases in the promotion of the contest. First through fourth place winners receive award certificates and cash prizes. The categories are Photography (18 and under), Senior Essay (14-18), and Junior Essay (13 and under). 

For more information about LOWA and its membership guidelines visit their website at www.laoutdoorwriters.com

 The winning submissions are also available, along with contact information on the students by contacting Gordon Hutchinson, LOWA Youth Journalism Chairman at ghutchinson@theadvocate.com.   Special thanks to the judges (and their teams) of the contest:  Senior Essay-Wendy Billiot, Theriot, La.;  Junior Essay-John Flores, Patterson, La.;  Photography-Deb Burst, Mandeville, La.

 The 2010 YJC photography winners and their photos:

 1st place:
Flight of the Egret
Jacob Thompson, Age 18
Oak Forest Academy
Amite, LA

2nd place:
Louisiana Reflections
Brittany Gosserand, Age 16
St. Michael the Arc Angle High School
Baton Rouge, LA

3rd place:
Louisiana Stream
Emily Winter, Age 12
Home School
Gonzales, LA 

Honorable Mention:
Gator Camouflage
Dylan Duvio, Age 15
John Curtis Christian
Kenner, LA

The 2010 YJC Senior Essays 14-18 age group:

1st Place:
Nature's Spectacle
Catherine Parsiola, Age 18
Berwick High School
Berwick

 
2nd Place:
Louisiana Education:  Reading, Writing, Arithmetic.& Fishing!
Joshua Bellau, Age 14
John Curtis Christian School

 
3rd Place:
Photo Challenger
Jacob Thompson, Age 17
Oak Forest Academy
Amite

 
Honorable Mention:
My Outdoors
William Guilbeau, Age 14
Academy of Environmental Sciences
Youngsville

 

The 2010 YJC Junior Essays 7-13 age group:
 
1st Place:
Magpie Lessons
Madeleine Juneau, Age 12
Glasgow Middle
Baton Rouge

2nd Place:
Deer Stand Education
Ashley Davis, Age 13
Lee Road Jr. High
Covington

Third Place:
Will I Ever Get To Go Fishing Again
Alexis Lang,  Age 10
John Curtis Christian School
LaPlace

Honorable Mention:
Duck Hunting At Dawn
Joe Stassi, Age 12
Dutchtown Middle
Prairieville

2010-231

Foundation Donates G.P.S. Camera to L.D.W.F. Enforcement Division

Release Date: 07/30/2010

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) donated a camera package to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division that will be used to document sightings of oil and oiled wildlife in the gulf.
The foundation purchased a Nikon D90 DSLR that came equipped with a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) attachment that the LDWF Enforcement Division will use to report coordinates of oil related sightings.  The camera package was purchased for a total of $3,063 from Kadair's in Baton Rouge.
"This camera will be going into the field immediately on the coast to be used to document the oil spill from the air on our amphibious plane," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  "We can't thank the foundation enough for their timeliness in meeting this urgent request."
The LWFF is a non-profit public, charitable foundation, tax exempt under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The foundation was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with LDWF and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana's wildlife and fish resources.
To make a contribution to the foundation, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/foundation or call 225-765-5100.  Donations can either be earmarked for oil spill causes, other specific purposes or for general usage by the foundation.
"Since the oil spill, we have received a lot of generous donations from almost every state and anywhere between $10 and $20,000. No donation is too small and they all add up," said Kell McInnis, LWFF's Executive Director.  "The foundation was happy to assist LDWF with the purchase of this camera package and look forward to helping the department as they move forward with the oil spill response."
For more information, contact Kell McInnis at 225-765-5100 or kmcinnis@wlf.la.gov.
2010-230

L.D.W.F. Announces Reopening of Commercial Fishing Areas

Release Date: 07/29/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) - in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas that were previously closed due to the BP oil spill. Specifically, commercial fishing will reopen for finfish and shrimp in portions of state waters east of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes effective immediately today, July 29.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these reopenings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA.  The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Details on Commercial Fishing Reopening

The opening includes all state waters inside east of the Mississippi River north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and all state outside waters north of 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude

The areas detailed below will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of the Mississippi/Louisiana state line from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to a line extending 1 mile west from the western shore of the Chandeleur Islands, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 45 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 47 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 51 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters.  The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process; as such LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing.  It is also important to note that the spring inshore shrimp season remains closed except in Lake Pontchartrain, portions of Pass Manchac, Rigoletes and Chef Menteur Passes, portions of Mississippi Sound and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the "double-rig" line.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2917

2010-229

Documents: 

L.D.W.F. Opens Mississippi River Delta to Recreational Fishing

Release Date: 07/29/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the opening of recreational fishing in a portion of the Mississippi River Delta in Plaquemines Parish effective, today, July 29 at 6:00 p.m.

Description of area open is as follows:

The portion of state inside and outside waters south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre westward to the western shoreline of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River shall open to recreational fishing.
The spring inshore shrimp season in these waters ended in early July. These waters will remain closed to shrimping.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke, 225-765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov

2010-227

Documents: 

Agenda Announced for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission August Meeting

Release Date: 07/29/2010

The next regular public board meeting has been scheduled by the Commission for 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, August 5, 2010, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.
1.         Roll Call
2.         Approval of Minutes of July 8, 2010 and July 14, 2010
3.         Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
4.         To receive and hear Update on Oil Spill and Current Response Efforts
5.         To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/July
6.         To receive and consider Tentative Dates on Waterfowl Season and Public Comment on Canada Goose Closure Zone
7.         To receive and consider Contingency Plan for Waterfowl Season due to Oil Spill
8.         To receive and hear General Information Presentation on WMA Forest Management
9.         To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency on Setting Opening Dates for the 2010 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season
10.       To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency for the 2010-2011 Oyster Season on Public Oyster Areas
11.       To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill
12.       Set December 2010 Meeting Date
13.       Receive Public Comments
14.       Adjournment
2010-226

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