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LDWF News Release

Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA

Release Date: 12/19/2012

Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.
Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.
Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.
Third Cohort of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA, Dec. 17, 2012.

Dec. 19, 2012 – The fourteen juvenile whooping cranes delivered to White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan last month were released into the wild Monday. The young cranes join fourteen adults which are part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

“We are making history”, said Robert Love, LDWF’s Coastal and Nongame Resources Division administrator. “We are very excited about this new level of progress and with this recent cohort being released into the marsh, the Louisiana population now totals twenty eight. That is more whoopers than existed in this State during the last eighty or so years.”

The cranes arrived in southwest Louisiana on Nov. 29 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md.  LDWF is working cooperatively with US Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to establish a non-migratory population in the state.

The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance.

Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese.  However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7 to 8 feet make them very distinctive.  In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.

Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, visit LDWF’s website at www.wlf.la.gov or contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-5115.

Barataria Man Cited With Multiple Night Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/19/2012

Dec. 19, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Barataria man for alleged night hunting violations in Jefferson Parish on Dec. 13.

Agents cited Noel J. Schouest, 42, of Barataria, for hunting wild game quadrupeds during illegal hours, hunting raccoons illegally, taking non-game quadrupeds illegally, and violating Nutria Control Program regulations.

LDWF agents were on vessel patrol in the Lafitte area when they heard gunshots coming from a marsh area adjacent to The Pen at 8:30 p.m.  They began surveillance of the area for several hours throughout the night until they observed Schouest exit the marsh and proceed to a pickup truck.

Agents approached Schouest and found him in possession of a .22 caliber rifle, two rabbits, one raccoon and 83 nutria tails.  Rabbits may only be taken during legal shooting hours of one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset.  Raccoons can be taken at night with the aid of a hunting dog of which Schouest did not possess.

After further investigation, agents found that Schouest was enrolled as an assistant in the Nutria Control Program, which pays landowners for nutria taken legally on permitted property.  Schouest was found hunting without the Nutria Control Program enrollee and illegally took the nutria after legal shooting hours.

Agents seized the animals and parts as evidence along with his rifle, which is subject to forfeiture.

Hunting wild game quadrupeds and taking raccoons illegally each carry a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Taking non-game quadrupeds illegally brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Violating Nutria Control Program regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail with possible disqualification from the Nutria Control Program.  Furthermore, restitution penalties may be assessed for the value of the rabbits and raccoon taken for a total of $91.17.

The agents involved in the case are Sgt. Jason Russo, Senior Agent Austin Arteaga and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois.

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

2013 Dates Announced For White Lake WCA Facilities Use by Groups Conducting Non-Consumptive Activities

Release Date: 12/19/2012

Dec. 19, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has designated dates between February 1 and May 31, 2013 for public use of facilities at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA).

White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish. LDWF owns and manages lodge facilities and 71,000 acres of wetlands and marsh land. The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, will be available for day-use or overnight use at rental rates that vary based on level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access for 2013 group use dates.

The facilities and landscape are ideal for birding groups, nature photographers, environmental or wetland ecology students, or small business retreats. LDWF can provide site staff for guided boat tours and biologists for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area, which now includes an experimental population of whooping cranes.

White Lake WCA and the surrounding Mermentau River Basin provide abundant habitat for a variety of avian and aquatic species. The property will seasonally have migrant passerine birds, shorebirds, wading birds, rails, gallinules, and the common moorhen. Hawks and owls are also common. Coastal terns and gulls use habitat contained on White Lake at times. Several large breeding rookeries of waders are present on the property. Access dates and fees for 2013 are as follows:

SCHEDULE FOR NON-CONSUMPTIVE ACTIVITIES AT WHITE LAKE WCA

Site visits may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between Feb. 1 and May 31, 2013.

Site visits will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis pending facility and staff availability. At this time, WLWCA will only accommodate one group per day/week and all facility reservations must be made two weeks in advance to allow for staff scheduling.

FEE SCHEDULE FOR WHITE LAKE WCA FACILITY USE

Day Use (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

$300 - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $10/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided. (For up to 15 people.)

$300 + $20/person - Includes one-day use of Lodge for meetings withcoffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided (for up to 15 people) will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.

Exemptions from day-use Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Overnight Use (arrive 2-4 p.m. day 1; depart 1 p.m. day 2)

$400 + $25/person/night --Includes overnight stay at Lodge with only linens provided.

(For up to 12 people.)

$400 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.  (For up to 12 people.)

$900 + $35/person/night -- Includes overnight stay at Lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and linens provided. (For up to 12 people.)

Exemptions from overnight Lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/25 clay pigeons.                   

$15/person/25 clay pigeons, 25 shotgun shells provided.

Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events.

Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for scheduled events)

$10/person/ride.  Limited to authorized function attendees.

Exemptions: Any state, local or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects, or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on White Lake WCA facility use, visit the LDWF Web site athttp://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-wetlands-non-consumptive-use-2013 , or contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400 or wsweeney@wlf.la.gov .

 

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Two Louisiana Men Cited for Duck Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/18/2012

Dec. 18, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for alleged hunting and boating safety violations along Highway 23 near Triumph in Plaquemines Parish on Dec. 16.

Agents cited Christopher Hicks, 25, of Boothville, and Calvin Riggs, 34, of Buras, for hunting migratory game birds (MGB) with an unplugged gun and violating the non-toxic shot requirements.  Agents also cited Riggs for hunting with an unsigned duck stamp.  Furthermore, Hicks was cited for hunt MGBs without a basic hunting license, federal and state duck stamps, possession of an alligator during a closed season and failing to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements.

Agents were patrolling along Highway 23 and observed a vehicle parked in a wooded area and heard people talking near the vehicle further into the wooded area.  Agents then observed several subjects coming from a barrow pit carrying a shotgun and dragging a pirogue.

Agents made contact with the subjects and found several ducks and a small alligator in the pirogue.  Agents checked the shotguns and found both shotguns were unplugged and both subjects hunted MGBs with lead shot.

While conducting a license check, agents found that Hicks did not have a hunting license or a state and federal duck stamp and Riggs did not sign his federal duck stamp.   Agents also discovered Hicks had hunted MGBs from the pirogue without a PFD.

The penalties for hunting ducks without a federal duck stamp, with an unsigned federal duck stamp, with an unplugged gun, violating non-toxic shot requirements, and possession of an alligator during a closed season carry a fine from $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Failing to comply with PFD requirements, hunting without a resident basic license and hunting MGBs without a state stamp carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.

Agents seized and donated seven ducks, three coots and an alligator to charity.  Replacement value of the ducks, coots and alligator may total $605.96 in restitution.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Todd Laviolette and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

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

Fall Shrimp Season To Close In Lake Pelto and Terrebonne and Timbalier Bays

Release Date: 12/17/2012

December 17, 2012– Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced today the fall shrimp season will close in state inside waters within portions of Lake Pelto, and Terrebonne and Timbalier Bays on Thursday, December 20 at sunset. 

This closure includes state inside waters within the Terrebonne Basin south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and those inside waters south of 29 degrees 06 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 46 minutes 00 seconds west longitude.

The fall inshore shrimp season was briefly extended in these waters, however, samples collected by LDWF biologists late last week indicate that average white shrimp size in the areas to be closed is smaller than 100 count per pound. This action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.

Following this closure, shrimping in state inside waters will ONLY be allowed in:

  • State inside waters east of the Mississippi River from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line southward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River.

Shrimping in state outside waters will ONLY be allowed in:

  • The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495 seaward a distance of three nautical miles, from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy linewestward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitudewhich will close to shrimping on Monday, January 7.
  • All state outside waters east of the northwest shore of Caillou Boca as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal and fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone.

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.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623.

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L.D.W.F. Hosts Beyond Becoming an Outdoors Woman Deer Hunt

Release Date: 12/13/2012

BBOW participants (l to r): Jeannie Palermo, Mary Erickson, Kathleen Nichols, Linda Dugas, Tina Faul and Sandy Darwish.

Dec. 13, 2012 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted a Beyond Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BBOW) deer hunt workshop at the Floy Ward McElroy Wildlife Management Area on Dec. 7-9.

The workshop, facilitated by the Wildlife Division / Education Section staff, provided six novice hunters the opportunity to gain hunting experience and harvest deer from a state WMA.

Floy Ward McElroy WMA, located in Richland Parish, consists of 681 acres of mature and recently reforested bottomland hardwoods, sloughs and backwater areas. Hunting activity on the WMA is limited to youth and educational lottery hunts only.

The women hunters were selected by lottery after attending the deer hunting course offered at the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop. Upon arrival Friday, each hunter participated in a safety refresher program and sighted in their rifles at the Richland Parish Sheriff’s Department shooting range.  Overnight accommodations were provided at Poverty Point Reservoir State Park. 

Each hunter was accompanied by a guide and made two hunts on Saturday and one on Sunday morning. A 185-pound, 5-point buck was harvested by Tina Faul and a yearling buck by Linda Dugas. The fall hunting trip included other deer and wildlife sightings, enhancing each hunter’s outdoors experience.

For more information on upcoming BOW or BBOW workshops, visit the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov, scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on Education.  To contact a BOW coordinator directly, call or email Dana Norsworthy at 318-345-3912 or dnorsworthy@wlf.la.gov; Bill Breed at 318-343-1241 or wbreed@wlf.la.gov; or Chad Moore at 318-371-3050 or cmoore@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Finance Committee to Meet December 17

Release Date: 12/13/2012

The following is the agenda for the Finance Committee of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

Regular Meeting Agenda
December 17, 2012
9 a.m.
Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 310, New Orleans, La. 70122

 

I. Call to order

II. Treasurer’s Report through 10/31/2012

III. Fiscal Outlook
       A. Discussion on RFPs

IV. Adjourn

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Agents Cite Seven Men for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/13/2012

Dec. 13, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited seven men for deer hunting violations on Avoca Island in St. Mary Parish on Dec. 8.

Agents cited the following: Linzy Howard III, 44, of Morgan City for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun and possession of an untagged deer; Ernest Singleton, 45, of Morgan City, for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun; Joshua Williams, 25, of Morgan City, for failing to comply with deer tagging regulations; Derwin Hebert, 38, of Morgan City, for hunting deer with an unplugged gun; Arik Louviere, 17, of Morgan City, for possession of untagged deer and over the limit of deer; Johnathan Francis, 59, of Morgan City, for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun; and Rodney Singleton, 39, of Houma, for hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun and possession of untagged deer.

Agents observed a large group of men hunting and approached them to conduct a license and compliance check.  Upon checking the men, agents found that only one of the deer in the men's possession was tagged and that deer was tagged improperly.  Agents also learned that five of the shotguns were unplugged and that Louviere had killed two antlerless deer putting him one over the legal limit in a day.

Agents seized and donated a total of four deer to charity.  Restitution on the four deer that were seized may be assessed at $1624.61 per deer.

Hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun, possession of an untagged deer and possessing over the limit of deer carries a fine from $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a fine from $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Scott Dupre and Jake Darden.

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

Fall Shrimp Season To Close In Large Portion of Inshore Waters

Release Date: 12/12/2012

Fall Shrimp Closure - Large Portion of Inshore Waters

December 12, 2012– Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced today that the fall shrimp season will close in a majority of state inside waters on Tuesday, December 18, at sunset except for inside waters located east of the Mississippi River and in a portion of the Terrebonne Basin.

Shrimping will remain open in the following areas of inshore waters ONLY:

·         State inside waters east of the Mississippi River from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line southward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River

·         The portion of state inside waters within the Terrebonne Basin south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and those inside waters south of 29 degrees 06 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 46 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

Shrimping will remain open in the following areas of outside waters ONLY:

·         The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495 seaward a distance of three nautical miles, from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude which will close to shrimping on Monday, January 7, 2013 at sunset.

·         All state outside waters east of the northwest shore of Caillou Boca as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal and fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone

This closure date coincides with the December 18 closure of a portion of state outside waters approved earlier this month by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. These closures historically take place at this time of year when the temporary exemption from the white shrimp minimum possession size of 100 count per pound expires.

Current sampling conducted by the Department indicates that average white shrimp size in the areas to be closed is smaller than 100 count per pound. This action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.

Shrimp are the state’s most valuable fishery, and Louisiana continues to lead all states in shrimp landings.  In 2011, approximately 5,900 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 92 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $130 million. 

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.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

Three Cameron Parish Men Sentenced in Federal Court for Illegal Shrimping

Release Date: 12/12/2012

Three Cameron Parish men were sentenced in Federal Court on Dec. 4 for their roles in illegal shrimping on the Cameron Parish National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

Judge Kathleen Kay for the Western District of Louisiana in Lake Charles sentenced Anthony G. Theriot, 37, Philip Lejeune, 50, and Jerimie M. Pugh, 37, all from Cameron, to $6,730 in fines and restitution and 30 days in jail for each defendant.

On Sept. 6, 2012, Theriot, Lejeune and Pugh pleaded guilty for commercial operation on an NWR, fishing on an NWR after sunset and taking over the limit of shrimp.  Judge Kay ordered a presentence investigation on the three defendants at this time.

On May 29, 2012, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents observed the three subjects place a shrimp trawl over the boat bay opening at the Grand Bayou water control structure on the Cameron Prairie NWR.  With the aid of a night vision, agents were able to observe and record the subjects tend and remove shrimp from the trawl.

The three subjects were subsequently apprehended and booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.  Agents seized the subject’s vessel, a 36 foot shrimp trawl and 631 pounds of shrimp.

Each defendant was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus a $70 special assessment for commercial operation on an NWR and for fishing on an NWR after sunset.  The men were also assessed $13,980 in restitution for the shrimp, which makes each defendant responsible for $4,660.

Each defendant was also placed on probation for five years in which they will not be allowed on any NWR.  Each defendant was ordered to serve 60 days in jail in which 30 days was suspended.  The defendants were taken into custody in the courtroom to begin serving their jail sentences.

Agents participating in the case were Sgts. David Sanford and Stuart Guillory, Senior Agent Carl Pickett, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Officer Dave Panas.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie.

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

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