L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Guatemalan Man Cited For Deer and Alligator Violations

Release Date: 01/27/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Guatemalan man for alleged deer and alligator violations on Jan. 26 in Jefferson Parish.

Agents cited Julio Cesar Agu Marroquin, 30, who resides in Metairie, but is a legal resident of Guatemala, for hunting deer using illegal methods, failing to comply with deer tagging requirements, obtaining a hunting license fraudulently, hunting without a non-resident license, hunting without a non-resident big game license, failing to comply with hunter education requirements, and illegal possession of alligator parts or skins during a closed season.

LDWF agents received a complaint about a man who was skinning a deer in his side yard of an apartment complex in Metairie.  The complainant stated that the man had alligator skins as well.

Agents arrived at the address and observed the subject in possession of a freshly killed untagged deer that he admitted to killing that morning with a 30-30 rifle in Orleans Parish.  That area is currently only open to bow or primitive firearms.

The subject proceeded to show the agents his resident basic and big game licenses that he purchased with a fake state identification card.

Possession of alligator parts and skins carries a fine of $400 to $950 or 120 days in jail.  Taking deer using illegal methods and obtaining hunting licenses fraudulently both bring fines of $250 to $500 or 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging harvest requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Hunting without non-resident basic and big game hunting licenses and failing to comply with hunter safety education requirements each bring a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Civil restitution for the replacement value of the deer and alligator in the amount of $2,000 could also be assessed for this case.

The agents seized the subjects 30-30 Winchester Rifle, the subjects fraudulently obtained licenses, the deer and the alligator skin and parts.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Scot Keller, Sgts. Tim Fox, Kris Bourgeois and Jeff Boyd.

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

LDWF Agents Arrest Marrero Man for Illegal Fish Sales

Release Date: 01/27/2014

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents concluded an extensive investigation into the illegal sale of spotted sea trout and red drum on Jan. 24, 2014.

Agents arrested Joseph Morris III, 30, of Marrero, for alleged commercial fishing violations after undercover LDWF Agents purchased spotted sea trout and red drum from Morris’ residence in Jefferson Parish.

Agents also secured an arrest warrant from Plaquemines Parish after Morris again sold spotted sea trout and red drum to undercover agents and he also took agents on chartered fishing trips without the required charter boat license.

Commercial fisherman selling without a fresh products license, failing to maintain records, and taking commercial fish without a vessel license each carries a max penalty of $500 and up to 90 days in jail plus court costs for each count.  Selling game fish illegally and possessing red drum commercially carries a max penalty of up to $500 and jail up to 30 days, license revocation, and forfeiture of anything seized for each count. Failing to comply with charter boat regulation and selling spotted sea trout without a permit, selling spotted sea trout without a rod and reel license, and taking or selling undersized spotted sea trout carries a max penalty of up to $950 or up to 120 days in jail or both plus court cost and forfeiture of anything seized for each offense.

He is also facing a total of $8,329.68 in civil restitution for the illegally taken and possessed fish.

Agents also placed a seizure order on two vessels and one vehicle that were used for these alleged offenses and are property of the State of Louisiana until this case is adjudicated in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes.

Morris also had six outstanding warrants for his arrest in Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes.

Lead agents participating in the case are LDWF’s Special Investigations Unit, and Sgt. Adam Young.  Assisting agents were Sgts. Villere Reggio, Kris Bourgeois, and Jeff Boyd with the assistance of Deputy Chad LaFrance with the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Launches Shrimp Refrigeration Cost-Share Program for Shrimp Industry

Release Date: 01/24/2014

 
(January 24, 2014) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced  the launch of a shrimp refrigeration cost-share program for shrimp industry members. This announcement marks the latest endeavor to support the seafood industry with equipment upgrades. The program gives eligible shrimp vessel owners, docks, and processing facilities the opportunity to qualify for 50 percent of any authorized refrigeration equipment costs, up to $30,000.  Participants in this program may purchase and install advanced refrigeration equipment onboard their vessels or at their facility in order to produce high-quality seafood products.
 
Wholesale/Retail dealers who want to participate must first be enrolled in the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program (LWSCP), a voluntary program for Louisiana wild seafood that was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010. LWSCP was developed with the intention of establishing a more professional seafood industry with better handling practices and higher quality products.
 
Eligible Equipment
 
Some examples of equipment that are eligible for this program are: Seawater chilling systems, ice makers—limited to land based facilities only, freezers, generators—tied to a refrigeration system, cooler/freezer boxes and associated insulations, brine freezers, plate freezers, other freezer types, combined commercial refrigeration units, condensers and coils of split refrigeration systems, refrigeration supplies, electrical supplies—tied to a refrigeration system, and other equipment and supplies that can be verifiably associated with shrimp refrigeration. All equipment will be evaluated as a complete system to ensure it will meet refrigeration needs of the vessel or facility.  New equipment and currently installed equipment that was purchased beginning January 1, 2010 will be eligible for reimbursement provided it meets program requirements.  New equipment to be installed must be approved prior to purchase. Reimbursement for labor costs associated with professional installation of equipment is limited to 15% of the total cost of equipment, not to exceed $4,500. Final approval of funds disbursement may be subject to an inspection.
 
Application Process
 
Applicants must complete a separate application for each LDWF license and each business physical location.  Successful applicants will receive an equipment approval letter notifying them when to purchase the eligible equipment and will be given a deadline to submit receipts for the purchased equipment.
 
To apply for this program, download a copy of the application packet at the following link http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/SRGP/application. Applicants who are unable to download the application and would like a copy mailed to them should contact LDWF at 225-765-3980 or toll-free 855-262-1764. Applicants who need language assistance to complete the application should contact South Central Planning and Development Commission at 985-655-1051 or toll-free 1-800-630-3791. Funding is allocated. annually, and applications will be selected based on available funds.  To ensure your application receives consideration for funding during this fiscal year, your application must be received no later than March 31st, 2014. Applications will continue to be accepted after this date but may be subject to placement on a waiting list until the next funding allocation. Eligible applicants with completed applications will be awarded funding in order, by postmark/received date of last document submitted.
 
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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.
 

Volunteers Needed for Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up

Release Date: 01/23/2014

Volunteers Needed for Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up

(January 17, 2014) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with Coastal Conservation Association-Louisiana, Audubon Nature Institute, and Louisiana Sea Grant will host the 2014 Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo on Saturday, February 15 from 8:30am to 3:30pm at Toby Voisin’s oyster dock located at the end of Hwy 315 in Dularge.

The Derelict Crap Trap Removal Program was initiated by LDWF in 2004 to address removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps.  The traps increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards, and reduce visual appeal of our environment.  The volunteer-based program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees and since its inception has disposed of more than 22,000 derelict crab traps.

Volunteers

LDWF encourages volunteers to participate in this opportunity to remove abandoned traps and conserve Louisiana’s marine resources.  Volunteers are needed to assist with dockside activities such as unloading and stacking traps. The greatest need is for volunteer boat owners to help maximize trap collection. 

Volunteers willing to participate in the trap clean up can view information and pre-register at http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/volunteers.htm  and volunteer boat owners interested in donating and operating their boat should contact Jennifer Thomas at jkthomas@wlf.la.gov or (225) 763-3541.

All volunteers receive a complimentary lunch, gift, and are entered into a raffle for a chance to win fishing and outdoor prizes.

LDWF representatives and partners will be available at Toby Voisin’s oyster dock beginning at 8:30 a.m. to distribute instructions, maps, and supplies to volunteers, assist with the unloading of derelict traps, and document the number of traps removed. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for February 22nd.

Area Closure

In order to conduct the trap clean-ups, licensed crab fishermen will receive a notice informing them that they must remove their crab traps from within the closure area during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers.

For a map of the closure area 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.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Thomas at jkthomas@wlf.la.gov or (225) 763-3541.

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

 

LDWF Calls for Public Input on Proposed Rule Changes to Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program

Release Date: 01/21/2014

(January 21, 2014)  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public hearing regarding proposed rule changes to the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program on Tuesday, February 25 at 10 a.m. in the Louisiana Room at LDWF Headquarters, 2000 Quail Dr., Baton Rouge, LA.

In November 2013 LDWF published a Notice of Intent in the Louisiana State Register proposing the following rule changes to the Louisiana Seafood Certification Program:

  • Product registration requirements for retail packages bearing the certification program logo
  • Supply chain verification for the product registration process and restaurants wishing to use the certification logo
  • Clarification of guidelines for using the logo.

After a thorough review of the proposed rule changes, and input from the industry, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has made substantive rule changes in the January 2014 edition of the Louisiana State Register that provide for the following:

  • Changes to entities eligible to register a product
  • Changes to the expiration of registered products
  • Reduction in the amount of information requested about the registered product and the addition a photo requirement
  • Clarification regarding acceptable invoices for supply chain verification
  • Extension of a grace period for obtaining DHH permits

The proposed rule changes can be reviewed online at the Louisiana Register.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.govmailto:awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.

 

Our Bears are Back

Release Date: 01/17/2014

This Curtis Darrah article appears courtesy of SLEMCO Power. "Our Bears are Back"

 

Volunteers Needed for Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up

Release Date: 01/17/2014

(January 17, 2014) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with Coastal Conservation Association-Louisiana, Audubon Nature Institute, and Louisiana Sea Grant will host the 2014 Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo on Saturday, February 15 from 8:30am to 3:30pm at Toby Voisin’s oyster dock located at the end of Hwy 315 in Dularge.

The Derelict Crap Trap Removal Program was initiated by LDWF in 2004 to address removal of derelict and abandoned crab traps.  The traps increase ghost-fishing mortality of blue crabs and other species captured incidentally, interfere with other commercial fishing gear types, create navigation hazards, and reduce visual appeal of our environment.  The volunteer-based program is funded through commercial fishermen gear fees and since its inception has disposed of more than 22,000 derelict crab traps.

Volunteers

LDWF encourages volunteers to participate in this opportunity to remove abandoned traps and conserve Louisiana’s marine resources.  Volunteers are needed to assist with dockside activities such as unloading and stacking traps. The greatest need is for volunteer boat owners to help maximize trap collection. 

Volunteers willing to participate in the trap clean up can view information and pre-register at http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/volunteers.htm  and volunteer boat owners interested in donating and operating their boat should contact Jennifer Thomas at jkthomas@wlf.la.gov or (225) 763-3541.

All volunteers receive a complimentary lunch, gift, and are entered into a raffle for a chance to win fishing and outdoor prizes.

LDWF representatives and partners will be available at Toby Voisin’s oyster dock beginning at 8:30 a.m. to distribute instructions, maps, and supplies to volunteers, assist with the unloading of derelict traps, and document the number of traps removed. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for February 22nd.

Area Closure

In order to conduct the trap clean-ups, licensed crab fishermen will receive a notice informing them that they must remove their crab traps from within the closure area during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers.

For a map of the closure area 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.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Thomas at jkthomas@wlf.la.gov or (225) 763-3541.

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

 

LDWF Drafts Inshore and Nearshore Artificial Reef Plan for Public Comment

Release Date: 01/14/2014

(Jan. 14, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Development Program has drafted a plan for future development of inshore and nearshore reefs and is seeking public review and comment.

For years, the program has successfully built reefs in offshore waters via the Rigs to Reef Program.  Until now, the program did not have a defined plan for developing reefs other than offshore.  This document is intended to supplement the Louisiana Artificial Reef Plan and serve as a guide for further establishment and maintenance of inshore and nearshore artificial reefs. 

There are notable differences in developing inshore or nearshore reef versus an offshore artificial reef.  Inshore and nearshore areas are typically in areas of high use by numerous user groups, located in relatively shallow water, subject to high energy events and have additional permitting requirements. 

The plan is available on the Department’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/artificialreefcouncilmeeting

The plan will be presented to the Artificial Reef Council for approval. 

Interested persons may submit related comments regarding the proposed plan by Tuesday, February 11, 2014, to Mike McDonough, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

 

 

LDWF Announces Annual Caney Creek Reservoir Public Meeting

Release Date: 01/13/2014

(Jan. 13, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a public hearing on Caney Creek Reservoir issues, including an overview of aquatic vegetation issues and the results of recent fish population sampling. 
 
LDWF established a comprehensive management plan for Caney Creek Reservoir in 2006, which provides annual public hearings to update the public on ongoing projects, fisheries management issues and aquatic vegetation management.
 
Who:  LDWF biologists
What:  Public meeting on Caney Creek Reservoir
When:  Thursday, January 23, 2014, at 7p.m.
Where:  Jimmie Davis State Park
                Conference Center
               1209 State Park Rd.
                 Chatham, LA 71226
 
The meeting is open to the public and all persons interested in the conservation and management of the fisheries resources and aquatic habitats in Caney Creek Reservoir are encouraged to attend.
 
The Louisiana 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, contact Jeff Sibley at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 283-8733. 
 
 

LDWF Enforcement Division Represented on National Recreational Safe Boating Commission

Release Date: 01/10/2014

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent has been appointed to serve on a newly formed national safe boating commission.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Executive Board appointed LDWF Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, of Baton Rouge, to the new Boating Professional Certification Commission.

“I’m honored and excited to be working on this new commission as we lay the groundwork for this new certification for recreational boating program management,” said Capt. Zechenelly.

The commission consists of 13 members that represent state, federal, nonprofit, industry and public stakeholder interests and will look at the National Recreational Boating Program in its entirety to develop the Recreational Boating Professional Certification.  The certification will be a voluntary program designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and designate recreational boating professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to recreational boating program management.

Capt. Zechenelly is originally from Pearl River and joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999.  In August of 2013, Capt. Zechenelly was named the Boating Law Administrator for the state of Louisiana.  She currently oversees the Enforcement Division’s marine theft investigations, boating crash incident investigations, and the statewide boating safety education program.

“Capt. Zechenelly is a great asset to our state’s safe boating program.  It is an honor to have our boating program once again receive national recognition and have a positive influence on the national boating program,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.

NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

NASBLA’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.

The Commission will be comprised of representatives from major aspects of the recreational boating program, including training, law enforcement, vessel numbering/titling, education, access, waterway management and accident reporting.

The members and the categories they represent include:

• Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries — States
• John Adey, American Boat & Yacht Council, Boating Industry
• Laurel Anders, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission — States
• Robert Brandenstein, U.S. Power Squadrons — Nonprofit
• Mark Brown, Oklahoma Highway Patrol — States
• Ed Carter, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency — State Agency Management
• Virgil Chambers, Retired Recreational Boating Safety Professional — Public
• Michael Cortese, U.S. Coast Guard (Active Duty) — Federal
• Dan Hesket, Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism — States
• Stan Linnell, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks & Trails — States
• Eric Lundin, Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police — States
• Edwin Lyngar, Nevada Department of Wildlife — States
• Gary Owen, National Water Safety Congress — Nonprofit

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

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