LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Mississippi Man Arrested for Possession of Stolen Personal Watercraft

Release Date: 03/05/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Mississippi man for alleged possession of stolen property on March 3.

Agents arrested Donald Juan, 36, of Picayune, Miss., after finding him in possession of two stolen personal watercrafts and a trailer that belonged to a New Orleans man.

The personal watercrafts and trailer were reported stolen in the summer of 2013.  LDWF agents received an anonymous tip that the stolen watercrafts were located in Slidell in St. Tammany Parish in February of 2015.

After further investigation, agents were able to trace the personal watercrafts back to Juan.  Agents booked him into the St. Tammany Parish Jail and seized the personal watercrafts and trailer.

It is unknown at this time who was responsible for stealing the personal watercrafts and trailer in 2013.  Agents believe that Juan fully knew they were stolen when he acquired the stolen property.

Possession of stolen property brings up to a $3,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Michael Marquez and Mike Williams.

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

Shrimp Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 03/04/2015

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 1 p.m.

LDWF Headquarters, Louisiana Room

2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge

 

AGENDA

I.  Roll call and introduction of guests

II.  Approval of August 6 meeting minutes and March 10 agenda

III.  Treasury Report

   A.  Budget Report-LDWF

IV.  Old Business

  A.  Gulf-wide seafood certification

  B.  Inside/Outside shrimp line

  C.  Refrigeration grant program

  D.  Federal shrimp permit status

V.  New Business

  A.  Trip tickets as a financial document

  B.  Shrimp hatcheries

  C.  LDWF enforcement issues

  D.  Imported shrimp issues

    a.  Subsidy case status

    b.  Legislation for increased inspections

    c.  Increased import volume

VI.  Public Comment

VII.  Set Next Meeting

VIII.  Adjourn

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7669940592505340930

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click here.

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.

 

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Spring Brings Family Fishing Action at LDWF's Family Fish Fests

Release Date: 03/03/2015

(March 3, 2015) - With spring just around the corner, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced they will again host a series of Family Fish Fest events across the state.  In its second year, this program provides a unique opportunity for families to learn fishing basics and participate in activities to increase fishing knowledge and skill. 
 
The first 50 registrants for each event will receive a complimentary rod and reel, and the first 100 registrants will receive a fishing goodie bag.  Competitive categories are available for nearly all legal fish species, and every participant is automatically entered into a raffle for outdoors prizes courtesy of event sponsors.
 
Entry for each event is $10 per participant (except for the September 26 event), and includes a t-shirt and lunch.  Participants must provide their own fishing equipment and bait.  Events will begin shortly after sunrise and will conclude by noon.
 
The competition portion of each event will include divisions for all ages and fishing categories for multiple species, with a boat division at locations that have launch access.  Live redfish and speckled trout will be tagged and released by LDWF biologists in conjunction with the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program at all saltwater locations. 
 
Outside of the competitive arena, numerous additional outdoor activities will be available, including a mobile touch tank, fish identification, fish ageing, knot tying, casting tutorials and arts and crafts.  Robbie the Redfish, LDWF’s fish tagging mascot, will be onsite for photo opportunities and to greet guests.
 
Event information and pre-registration are available at www.wlf.la.gov/familyfishfest.
 
Mark your calendar for our 2015 Family Fish Fests:
 
April 11, 2015: Louisiana Oil & Gas Park – Jennings, La.
May 16, 2015: Ivan Lake Recreation Area – Cotton Valley, La.
June 13, 2015: Myrtle Grove Marina – Myrtle Grove, La.
July 11, 2015: Elmer’s Island – Grand Isle, La.
September 26, 2015: National Hunting & Fishing Day at Waddill Wildlife Refuge – Baton Rouge, La.
 
The 2015 Family Fish Fest series is made possible by the following sponsors: CCA Louisiana, Pure Fishing, Dufrene Building Materials, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission, Myrtle Grove Marina, Friends of Grand Isle, The Angler Magazine, Coon Neck Wildlife and Art Gallery, Faux Pas Prints, Marsh and Bayou Outfitters and Emprint Moran Printing.
 
Family Fish Fests are also made possible by the help of dedicated volunteers who devote time to share their fishing expertise with event participants.  Volunteering with the department provides an opportunity to share your passion for fishing and other outdoor activities with anglers of all ages and levels of experience.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email outreach@wlf.la.gov.
 
The series is hosted in conjunction with Pure Fishing, CCA Louisiana and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. 
 
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.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosting Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit in Houma

Release Date: 03/02/2015

(March 2, 2015)  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) together with their partners at Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU AgCenter are excited to present Fisheries Forward 2015, the third annual summit for Louisiana commercial fishermen and the seafood industry.

The free summit will be held on March 11 at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.  This year’s summit topics include; the future of Gulf seafood; information on LDWF programs, including the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program and crab industry professionalism program; and oyster fishery weights and measures.  This year’s hand-on demonstrations include a Coast Guard Helicopter rescue, proper turtle-excluder device installation and the new wing trawling system.

A fishermen’s input session will provide attendees the opportunity to interact with the program and provide live, anonymous feedback concerning fishery and seafood issues.  There will also be a trade show featuring organizations that provide products or services to those involved in the commercial fishing and seafood industry.

There is no charge to attend the summit and complimentary lunch will be provided to all attendees.   Advance registration is encouraged at LouisianaFisheries.com.  For more information about the summit email summit@lsu.edu.

Media inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click  here.

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AGENDA FOR COMMISSION MEETING

Release Date: 03/02/2015

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, March 5, 2015, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of February 5, 2015

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement Reports February 2015

5.  To hear a presentation on setting the timing on Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

6.  To hear a presentation on the use of Request for Proposals for allocating statutory dedicated funds for breeding waterfowl habitat

7.  To consider amending the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 General and Wildlife Management Areas Rules and Regulations – Vessel Restrictions on Biloxi WMA  

8.  To hear public comment updates on the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Hunting Seasons Notice of Intent

9.  To consider a Declaration of Emergency establishing the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Program for the commercial crab industry

10.  To hear a presentation and consider a Resolution for the 2015 recreational Red Snapper season

11.  To consider a Declaration of Emergency to open a portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds

12.  To consider a resolution to confirm and reaffirm the selection and establishment of the Big Lake Wildlife Management Area

13.  Set July 2015 Meeting Date

14.   Receive Public Comments

15.  Adjournment

Live audio streaming of the March 2015 Commission meeting is available.

To listen live, please register for March 2015, LWF Monthly Commission Meeting on Mar 5, 2015 9:30 AM CST at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1239482021898184962

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

 

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Two Men Arrested for Oyster Violations and Drug Charges in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 02/27/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested two Chalmette men for alleged oyster harvesting and drug violations on Feb. 25 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents arrested Oliver Rudesill Jr, 33, and Tracy Gallardo Jr., 23, for several oyster, boating safety and drug violations after a boating safety inspection.

After observing a large skiff come into the Reggio Marina with improper running lights, LDWF agents performed a boating safety inspection.  During the inspection, agents found 28 sacks of oysters and learned that Rudesill Jr. is on probation until May of 2016 because of prior oyster harvesting violations.  Agents also learned that Rudesill Jr. did not have a working Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that was part of his probation.

Rudesill Jr. also did not fill out an oyster harvesters log sheet for that day’s harvest.  Additionally, the vessel did not have a valid commercial vessel license, was not equipped with a tarp as per Department of Health and Hospitals regulations and did not have a proper identification number visible from the air.  Agents also found the sacks of oysters were not properly tagged.  Rudesill Jr. also did not have the proper amount of personal flotation devices, a vessel registration, a working fire extinguisher or navigation lights.

During the interview process, agents found Gallardo in possession of oxycodone, suboxone and drug paraphernalia.

Agents seized and returned the 28 sacks of oysters to the water.  Both subjects were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail with the assistance of St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents.

Violating the VMS guidelines carries a fine of $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Possession of untagged oysters and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Violating sanitation code for not having a tarp and logbook violation each carries a $25 fine and 10 days in jail.

No vessel registration, failing to display proper numbers on a vessel, failing to comply with PFD requirements, no fire extinguisher and improper running lights each brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Possession of oxycodone and suboxone each carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.  Possession of drug paraphernalia carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Michael Garrity, Senior Agents Jason Gernados and Brett Nabors and Agent Blaine Wagner.

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

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up Removes More Than 400 Abandoned Crab Traps from Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 02/26/2015

(February 26, 2015)  On February 21 more than 50 volunteers and seven boats gathered at Johnson’s Bayou boat launch in Cameron Parish for the annual Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo.   Volunteers, LDWF staff, and members of the commercial fishing industry assisted in retrieving more than 400 abandoned crab traps.

This year’s crab trap cleanup was jointly conducted by LDWF and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and focused on border waters within Sabine Lake and adjacent natural bayous.

LDWF initiated the volunteer-based Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program in 2004 to address removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps.  The program is funded in part by the sale of Louisiana commercial and recreational crab fishing licenses. Since the program began volunteers have assisted in removing nearly 25,000 traps. Removal of these traps is imperative since they increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigational hazards, and reduce visual appeal of the environment. 

Boat captain, Raymond Little, received a Target gift card for retrieving the most crab traps during the event, and volunteers received free hats, t-shirts, and lunch along with a number of door prizes provided by generous supporters. The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana donated the volunteer raffle prize, a Costa stainless steel cooler.  

LDWF would like to thank the following organizations for their generous donations and contributions for the event and their commitment to conserve Louisiana’s marine resources; Coastal Conservation Association-Louisiana; Audubon Nature Institute; Coca-Cola Bottling Company; Krispy Kreme Donuts; Target; Lake Charles Tackle; Cajun Tackle and Raising Canes. Thanks especially to volunteers from Audubon Nature Institute, LSU Ag Center, Louisiana Sea Grant and the Girl Scouts.

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.

Media inquiries contact Ashley Roth, aroth@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4162.

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click  here.

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L.D.W.F. Public Meetings in North and Central Louisiana Rescheduled for March

Release Date: 02/26/2015

Feb. 26, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has rescheduled three public meetings that were cancelled this week due to inclement weather.  The rescheduled meetings include:
 
March 2 -  6 p.m., LDWF Outdoor Education Center, 661 Robinson Bridge Rd., Woodworth
March 4 - 6 p.m., Caldwell Parish Courthouse, 201 Main Street, Columbia
March 10 - 6 p.m., Ruston Civic Center, 401 North Trenton Street, Ruston
 
The meetings are being held to gather comments on the proposed 2015-17 resident game hunting season dates, wildlife management areas (WMA) general rules and regulation changes, and 2016 turkey season and turkey hunting areas.

Public comment will be taken on all items currently under consideration as notices of intent by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission through April 2. To view the full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .

Public comment will be accepted at LWFC monthly meetings from now through April 2 or may be submitted directly to Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

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Monroe Man Cited for Cutting Down Trees on Ouachita WMA

Release Date: 02/25/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Ouachita Parish resident for alleged Wildlife Management Area (WMA) violations on the Ouachita WMA.

Agents cited John Johnson, 63, of Monroe, for criminal damage to state property, intentional littering, hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in a hunting position.

Agents observed Johnson returning from a deer hunt on Jan. 31 on the Ouachita WMA, which was closed for deer hunting for the youth waterfowl hunt.  Agents observed Johnson discard plastic bottles on the ground and leave his deer stand in a hunting position from a few days prior.

Upon further investigation, Johnson admitted to agents that he cut 14 trees down along with 79 limbs in various sizes and diameters to clear a shooting lane.  Agents cited him for criminal damage to state property on Feb. 15.

Cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage to state property and carries a fine up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail.  Johnson may also face a civil restitution charge for the replacement value of the trees.

Hunting deer out of season and leaving a deer stand in a hunting position on a WMA each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Intentional littering brings a $250 fine and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program.

Agents involved with the case are Lt. Lane Kincaid, Lt. Thomas Risser, Sgt. Scott Bullitt and Agent Joshua Harris.

LDWF is still investigating and seeking leads for information about who cut down trees on the Spring Bayou WMA in Avoyelles Parish.  LDWF has found up to 100 trees cut down on the Spring Bayou WMA since early December of 2014.

LDWF has secured up to $1,000 in reward money each from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Spring Bayou Restoration Team and Louisiana’s Operation Game Thief.  The reward now totals up to $3,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest in this case.  Anyone with information regarding the cut down trees on the Spring Bayou WMA should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.

To use the tip 411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

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

L.D.W.F. Public Meetings in Ruston and Columbia Cancelled Due to Inclement Weather

Release Date: 02/24/2015

 Feb. 24, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) public meetings scheduled for 6 p.m. today in Ruston and 6 p.m. Wednesday in Columbia have been cancelled due to inclement weather.  The meetings will be rescheduled at later dates.
 
LDWF public meetings around the state are provided to present changes and gather comments on the proposed 2015-17 resident game hunting season dates, wildlife management areas (WMA) general rules and regulation changes, and the 2016 turkey season and turkey hunting areas.
 
The full notices of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes are available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items .

Public comment on proposed changes is being accepted at Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission monthly meetings from now through April 2 or may be submitted directly to Steve Smith, LDWF Wildlife Division, PO Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or via email to ssmith@wlf.la.gov . Monthly Commission meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at LDWF headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

For more information, contact Steve Smith at 225-765-2359 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov .

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