LDWF News

LDWF News Release

SIX MEN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DEER HUNTING ON KISATCHIE NATIONAL FOREST

Release Date: 07/01/2010

Six men were sentenced on April 23 for hunting deer illegally on Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) by the 10th Judicial District Court in Natchitoches Parish.

Robert L. Belsha, 37, Jeremy C. Martin, 23, John D. Redden, 31, Michael L. Sanders Jr., 23, John H. Saucier III, 27, all of Leesville, each pled guilty to possession of an illegally taken deer.  George F. Sheppard, 45, also of Leesville, pled guilty to not abiding by commission rules and regulations.

The men were charged following an investigation into illegal deer being killed during the bucks only segment of deer season on KNF.  Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents began the investigation after receiving information that a doe deer had been killed on KNF during a deer hunt with dogs on Dec. 22, 2009. 

As a result of the investigation, agents were able to document six doe deer that were killed illegally by the men using deer dogs from Dec. 19 through Dec. 26, 2009, on KNF.  LDWF agents seized three illegal deer and an antlerless deer tag.

Judge Dee Hawthorne accepted the guilty pleas and issued a suspended sentence of six months in jail to each man.  Martin was fined $600 plus court costs, with each of the others fined $500 plus court costs.  Redden, Sanders, and Sheppard were each ordered to pay LDWF restitution in the amount of $524.54 for their illegal deer.  Belsha was ordered to pay LDWF restitution in the amount of $1049.08 for two illegal deer.

All six men were also placed on supervised probation for one year or until their fines and restitution are paid in full.  In addition, Judge Hawthorne suspended the hunting privileges of Martin, Sheppard, Redden, Sanders and Belsha for one year.

Lt. Bill Tyree, Sgt. Curt Belton, and Senior Agents Russell Brack, Scotty Delaney, and Eric Droddy participated in the case.

The case was prosecuted by Natchitoches Parish District Attorney's Office.

For more information, contact Capt. Peter Oliver at poliver@wlf.la.gov or 318-487-5634.

2010-E39

BOATING EDUCATION COURSE NOW MANDATORY FOR GREATER NUMBER OF YOUNG BOATERS IN LOUISIANA

Release Date: 06/30/2010

Beginning Thursday, July 1, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984, will be required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower in Louisiana. The state law previously required that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988, had to complete a course. The 2009 Legislature approved the new age requirement with July 1, 2010 as the effective date.

For anyone in need of boating safety certification, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is offering numerous safe boating course opportunities this summer.

The LDWF-offered, NASBLA-approved boating courses are free and available across the state to assist boaters, fishermen and hunters in meeting boating education requirements.  Anyone interested in attending a free course can view a schedule of courses on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.  An online NASBLA approved course is also available for a small fee.

"Studies show that boating education is an important factor in reducing boating crashes and fatalities.  Even experienced boaters can benefit from taking a boating education course," said LDWF Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.

A person may operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower in Louisiana without proof of course completion, if accompanied by someone over 18 years of age who, if required, has completed the course.   LDWF reminds boaters to follow the rules of the road, wear a personal flotation device and designate a sober vessel operator to keep Louisiana?s waterways safe for all boaters.  For more information on regulations or boating safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

For more information, contact Capt. Rachel Zechenelly at 225-765-2984 or rzechenelly@wlf.la.gov.

2010-202

BLACK BEAR KILLED IN WALKER FOLLOWING AUTO INCIDENT

Release Date: 06/30/2010

A Louisiana black bear was killed Tuesday night after being hit by an automobile and then shot by a Walker Police officer following a close encounter at the accident scene.

A Walker Police Department officer arrived on the scene at Burgess Ave. near Tiffany St. around 11 p.m. to investigate the auto incident and determine what kind of animal the vehicle had struck. The driver was not able to identify the animal before it moved into a wooded area near the accident site. While searching the wooded area for the animal that was struck, the officer came upon the black bear, startling the injured bear and forcing the officer to react in self defense.

Dr. Jim LaCour, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) veterinarian, determined the bear had moderate to severe internal injuries from the vehicle accident, but could not determine if the bear would have survived those injuries.

The bear was an adult male weighing between 350 and 400 pounds. LDWF records indicate the bear was previously captured in 2008 in Patterson, but had not been reported as a nuisance bear since.  Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.

"The breeding season is June and July for black bears in Louisiana, so we are right in the middle of their peak activity," said Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager.  "Male bears will travel miles daily to look for possible mates and will cross roadways in the process."

Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people.  Anyone seeing a bear in their neighborhood should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24-hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or 225-931-3061.

2010-201

Black Bear Killed on Hwy. 70 Near Belle River

Release Date: 06/29/2010

A Louisiana black bear was killed Sunday when struck accidentally by an automobile while crossing LA Hwy. 70 near Belle River on the St. Martin-Assumption Parish line.

The bear had been reported in the Oaks at Belle River subdivision around dusk and was struck by a passing motorist after sunset, as it accessed the highway by swimming across Belle River.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) records indicate the bear was previously captured in the Patterson area in the summer of 2008 and subjected to aversive conditioning on site. Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.

"It's the breeding season for the Louisiana black bear," according to Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager. "Male bears are traveling long distances in search of mates and consequently are crossing roadways in the process. This bear was a young adult male weighing approximately 250 pounds."

Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people.  If a person sees a bear in their neighborhood they should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24 hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.

The St. Martin Parish Sheriff?s Office, Assumption Parish Sheriff?s Office and LDWF Enforcement and Wildlife Division personnel were all part of the weekend response effort. 

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or 225-931-3061.

2010-201

L.D.W.F. RECRUITING ENFORCEMENT CADETS FOR NEXT ACADEMY

Release Date: 06/29/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is currently seeking interested candidates who want to become LDWF enforcement agents for the next LDWF Cadet Academy Training Program, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 1, 2010.

Interested applicants must submit an application for employment online at www.civilservice.la.gov by July 18, 2010.  Paper applications may also be submitted via fax, mail or hand delivery LDWF.  If mailed, the envelope must be postmarked on or before the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

Applicants must have an active or converted score of 70 or above on the Civil Service Law Enforcement and Protective Services (LEAPS) exam.  Preference may be given to applicants with a score of 77 or higher.  Applicants may apply to take the test by accessing the Civil Service Web site at http://www.civilservice.la.gov/info/LEAPS/Applying%20for%20the%20LEAPS%20Test.pdf.

All Enforcement Cadets receive full state benefits and pay from the first day of training.  The starting pay is $31,500 a year.  Training will last 22 weeks and mostly be held in Baton Rouge Monday through Friday.  Cadets will be allowed to go home on the weekends and holidays. 

"This is one of the greatest jobs in the world if you enjoy law enforcement work and have a love for the outdoors," LDWF Enforcement Division's Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze said.  "An agent?s life is never boring because it is seasonal in nature.  The job changes according to the time of year with hunting regulations enforcement in the fall and winter and boating and fishing in the spring and summer."

Cadets receive six months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy.  At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.  Cadets are also trained for search and rescue and are charged as the lead agency in search and rescue coordination under the Governor?s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

For more information about testing and application information, please visit www.civilservice.la.gov or call the LDWF?s Human Resources Office at 225-765-2850.

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

2010-200

LDWF Announces Fishing Openings in Portions of Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jeffserson and Plaquemines and a Closure in St. Bernard

Release Date: 06/25/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following openings to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes and a closure of recreational and commercial fishing in a portion of St. Bernard Parish effective immediately today, June 25.

Fishing Openings

Terrebonne Parish

The portion of inside waters near Bay Blanc north of 29 degrees 07 minutes 19 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 09 minutes 04 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 42 minutes 46 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 44 minutes 47 seconds west longitude.

Lafourche Parish

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 12 minutes 50 seconds north latitude near the southern shoreline of Little Lake west of Leeville and south of 29 degrees 21 minutes 42 seconds north latitude from the eastern shoreline of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds west longitude and the western shoreline of Grand Bayou Blue.

Jefferson and Lafourche Parish

The portion of state inside waters north of  29 degrees 18 minutes 30 seconds north latitude near Bay Des Ilettes and south of 29 degrees 35 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from the eastern shoreline of the Barataria Waterway westward to 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude.

The portion of Caminada Bay and adjacent waters north of 29 degrees 16 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 18 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 00 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

Plaquemines Parish

The portion of state inside waters north of the inside/outside shrimp line west of the Mississippi River from 89 degrees 30 minutes 12 seconds west longitude to the western shoreline of Grand Bayou.

Fishing Closure

St. Bernard Parish Fishing Closure

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 57 minutes 29.6 seconds north latitude to the Louisiana/Mississippi territorial sea boundary from 89 degrees 15 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the Louisiana territorial sea boundary. 

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas. Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily. As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

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.

2010-199

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Lafayette Parish Man Cited for Overlimit Bass

Release Date: 06/25/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Lafayette Parish man on June 21 for allegedly taking over the limit of largemouth black bass. 

Kelly Barkley, 37, of Lafayette, was cited after fishing on Turkey Creek Lake in Franklin Parish.  Upon making contact with Barkley, agents discovered 14 bass in his ice chest. The bass were seized, photographed and donated to charity.  The daily limit for bass on Turkey Creek is 10.

The penalty for taking over the limit of bass is a fine up to $350, or jail time up to 60 days or both plus court cost.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Leah Grover and John Hendrix.

For more information, contact Capt. Alan Bankston at abankston@wlf.la.gov or 318-362-3139.

2010-E35

Ouachita Parish Man Cited for Possession of Spotted Fawn

Release Date: 06/25/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Ouachita Parish man for allegedly possessing a spotted fawn on June 21.

Agents received a complaint that Danny Underwood, 45, of West Monroe, had a spotted fawn inside a mobile home in the Bawcomville community.  Agents made contact with Underwood and he admitted to catching the fawn earlier in the day.  The fawn was seized and released to the LDWF Wildlife Division.

The penalty for possessing a spotted fawn is a fine up to $750 and jail time between 15 and 30 days.

Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Duane Taylor and Agent Scott Bullitt.

For more information, contact Capt. Alan Bankston at abankston@wlf.la.gov or 318-362-3139.

2010-E37

Concordia Parish Men Cited for Overlimit of Bass

Release Date: 06/25/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited two Concordia Parish men for allegedly taking over the limit of bass on Turkey Creek in Franklin Parish on June 20. 

Casey W. Martin 27 and Edward R. Martin 41, both from Ferriday, were cited after being found in possession of 38 bass in their boat.  The daily limit for bass on Turkey Creek is 10 per person.  The bass were seized and donated to charity.

The penalty for taking over the limit of bass is a fine up to $350, and jail time up to 60 days or both plus court cost.  Both subjects will also be issued civil restitution citations for the value of the fish.

Agent involved in the case was Senior Agent Lee Tarver.

For more information, contact Capt. Alan Bankston at abankston@wlf.la.gov or 318-362-3139.

2010-E36

LDWF ANNOUNCES FISHING OPENINGS IN PORTIONS OF BAYOU LAFOURCHE AND OTHER LAFOURCHE INSIDE WATERS

Release Date: 06/23/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following opening to recreational and commercial fishing in a portion of Bayou Lafourche and a portion of inside waters east of Bayou Lafourche in Lafourche Parish effective immediately, today June 23.

Fishing Opening

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 09 minutes 29 seconds north latitude from the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche to the Fourchon Road (LA Hwy 3090) and north of LA Hwy 1 from 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche and the portion of Bayou Lafourche itself north of the LA Hwy 1 bridge in Leeville.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas. Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily. As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov/. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP http://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

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