LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Search and Rescue Crews Recover Body of Missing Boater

Release Date: 05/09/2015

Search and rescue crews found the body of a River Ridge man around 1:30 p.m. today, May 9 following a single boat incident in Rattlesnake Bayou in Plaqumines Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of Gary Folks, 61, near where he entered the water after getting ejected from his vessel.

The boating incident occurred around 9 a.m. in Rattlesnake Bayou about 12 miles south of Happy Jack.  According to the surviving passenger the two men were cruising in Rattlesnake Bayou when Folks lost steering control and the boat took a violent turn ejecting both men into the water.  The passenger was able to get away from the unmanned circling boat and make it to shore.  He never saw what happened to Folks.

The passenger was able to make it to shore where he flagged down a passing boater and then called for help around 9:20 a.m..  The search crews were able to recover the boat that eventually grounded itself into the bank of the bayou.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Neither man was wearing a personal flotation device when they were ejected into the water.  Folks’ body was turned over to the Plaquemines Parish Coroner’s Office to determine the official cause of death.

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

Agents arrest Marksville Man for Theft on WMA Campground

Release Date: 05/08/2015

 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Marksville man for his allegedly involvement in the theft of money from the self-pay camping site on Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Avoyelles Parish.
 
On May 8, agents arrested and cited Barry Ray Laiche II, 19, of Marksville on counts of theft, and WMA violations. 
 
Spring Bayou WMA personnel alerted wildlife agents when they noticed that the box where campers self pay their overnight camping fees was short on money; however, the campers had paid for their sites. Over the last month, an electronic surveillance camera showed an individual taking money out of the self-pay box multiple times.
 
LDWF agents set up surveillance on the self-pay site on the evening of May 7. At approximately 1:00 a.m. agents observed Laiche approach the self-pay box and remove envelopes with a specially outfitted tool. Agents intercepted and apprehended Laiche on his way back to his truck. Laiche admitted that the $146.00 on him was from the self-pay box.
 
Agents booked Laiche into the Avoyelles Parish Jail in Marksville. Laiche was charged with 5 counts of theft, 15 counts of violating rules and regulations on a WMA, 1 count of no driver’s license and one count of littering.
 
Agents involved in the case are Sergeant Gabe Guidry, Senior Agent Doug Anderson Jr., Sergeant Byron Cammack, Senior Agent Jay Callegari and Lt. John Volentine.
 
For more information, contact Gabe Giffin ggiffin@wlf.la.gov or 985-351-2783.

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets 2015 Spring Shrimp Season

Release Date: 05/07/2015

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets 2015 Spring Shrimp Season

 May 7, 2015 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the opening date for the 2015 Louisiana spring shrimp season. The spring shrimp season was set based on information provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and on public comments.
 
LDWF provided projections of the dates when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population would reach sizes of 100 count per pound or larger.
 
The 2015 Louisiana inshore shrimp season will open statewide at 6:00 am Monday, May 18 as well as that portion of state outside waters extending 3 nautical miles seaward from the shoreline from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude.
 
In addition to the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds, all state outside waters are currently open to shrimping except for outside waters extending 3 nautical miles seaward from the shoreline from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island westward to the to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.
 
For a map detailing today’s actions please click here.
 
The Commission granted authority to the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to delay these opening dates if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and; to close any portion of Louisiana's inside waters to protect small juvenile white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or if enforcement problems develop.  The Secretary is further granted the authority to open any area, or re-open any previously closed area, and to open and close special shrimp seasons in any portion of state waters. 
 
LDWF reminds fishermen that federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations require skimmer net fishermen to limit tow times.  Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 – October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 – March 31.
 
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 Jeffrey Marx (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286 -4162.
 
 
 

Body of Missing Denham Springs Man Found in Iberville Parish

Release Date: 05/07/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents recovered the body of a Denham Springs man this morning, May 7, near the Bayou Sorrell locks in the Intracoastal Canal in Iberville Parish.

LDWF agents along with the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office (IPSO) and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office began searching for James L. Haley, 61, on May 1 around 10:30 p.m.

Haley’s body was found around 10:15 a.m. about 12 miles south of Plaquemine and 9 miles downstream from where he fell from a houseboat in Grand River.

According to eyewitnesses Haley stepped off a houseboat and slipped while attempting to return to his own vessel. Haley fell into the water and surfaced two times and then disappeared.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Haley’s body was turned over to the Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

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

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Crappie Regulations on Eagle Lake

Release Date: 05/07/2015

(May 7, 2015) - Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries commission adopted a notice of intent to modify current crappie regulations on Eagle Lake in Madison Parish.
 
Passage of this NOI will change the daily take and size regulations to 30 fish per person with an 11-inch minimum length limit in order to establish consistency with Mississippi, who borders the lake on the east.  Provided identical regulations are approved in Mississippi, the rule will become effective on October 1, 2015, and will remain in effect for a four-year period.
 
Future management will be determined after a population stock assessment and angler opinion survey are administered after the four-year period.
 
To view the full notice of intent, please visit here.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relevant to the proposed rule by July 6, 2015, to Randy Myers, Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-1000 or via email at rmyers@wlf.la.gov.
 
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 inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Commercial Fishing Season for Large Coastal Sharks Closed in Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 05/06/2015

May 6, 2015 –The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that effectively immediately, commercial fishing for large coastal sharks is closed in Louisiana waters. The National Marine Fisheries Service also closed commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week.  The season will remain closed in state and federal waters until January 1, 2016, when the season is scheduled to reopen. 
 
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited.
 
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
 
The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters remains open at this time.
 
For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov.  For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.
 

 

2015 STEP OUTSIDE DAY Set for May 9 at Sherburne WMA

Release Date: 05/05/2015

 

May 5, 2015 -- The 11th Annual STEP OUTSIDE DAY, an outdoor education program, will be held Saturday, May 9 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin.

 

STEP OUTSIDE DAY is open to all children and adults. Sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this outdoors day is provided for youths and individuals with special needs to provide an opportunity to engage in safe, hands-on outdoor activities.  All Activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. around the

Sherburne WMA headquarters area and admission is free to all participants.

 

This year’s event will include fishing, archery, boating, target shooting, nature photography, bird watching, canoeing and many other outdoor activities, plus information on trapping techniques, turkey and duck calling, the Louisiana black bear and alligators.

 

Soft drinks and food will be provided on site. No alcoholic beverages or glass containers will be allowed on the premises.

 

Directions to Sherburne WMA headquarters: From US Hwy. 190, take the Sherburne (LA 975) exit, and drive south approx. 3 miles; event activities will be on the left, near Big Alabama Bayou. From I-10, take the Whiskey Bay Exit, and drive north approx. 13 miles on LA 975, event activities will be on the right, near Big Alabama Bayou.

 

For more information, contact the LDWF Opelousas field office at 337-948-0255 or send e-mail inquiry to Tony Vidrine at tvidrine@wlf.la.gov.
 

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211 Boaters Certified During "Boating Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 05/05/2015

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 211 boaters statewide after their fifth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 2.

 

Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

 

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

 

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

 

The eight locations consisted of:

 

Webster Parish


LDWF Region 1 -
 Minden Office


Sponsors included Bayou Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Brown Service Center, Time It Lube, United Rentals, Minden Wal-Mart and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

 

Ouachita Parish


Academy Sports and Outdoors - 
West Monroe 


Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Pizza Hut.

 

Rapides Parish


Academy Sports and Outdoors
 - Alexandria


Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors.

 

St. Landry Parish


St. Landry Lumber
 - Opelousas 


Sponsors included Raising Canes of Opelousas, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and St. Landry Lumber of Opelousas.

 

Calcasieu Parish


Lake Charles Civic Center - 
Lake Charles 


Sponsors included Whitetails Unlimited and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

 

Terrebonne Parish


Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Rifle Range
 - Houma


Sponsors included the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

 

Ascension Parish


Gonzales Boat Club
 - St. Amant


Sponsors included the Gonzales Boat Club.

 

St. Tammany Parish


Madisonville Branch of St. Tammany Parish Public Library
 - Madisonville


Sponsors included Raising Cane’s and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

 

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

 

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 75,000 boaters during that time.

For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at ggiffin@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-3966.

 

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Search Continues for Denham Springs Man in Upper Grand River

Release Date: 05/04/2015

 
Search and rescue crews are currently looking for a Denham Springs man on Upper Grand River in Iberville Parish.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division along with Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office (IBSO), began searching for James L. Haley, 61, of Denham Springs, Friday night, May 1 around 10:30 p.m.
 
According to eyewitnesses, Haley stepped off a houseboat and slipped while attempting to return to his own vessel. Haley fell into the water and surfaced two times but has not been seen since. 
 
The search crews looked for Haley until 3 a.m. and resumed the search at daylight Saturday morning. The search has continued each day since. Other search crews involved are: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office Dive Team and volunteers with their own vessels. 
 
For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 225-765-3966 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov

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NOAA announces recreational red snapper season in federal waters

Release Date: 05/04/2015

(May 1, 2015) – NOAA Fisheries has announced the recreational season for the harvest of red snapper in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will open on June 1, 2015.  The bag and possession limit is two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.

Recently, NOAA Fisheries made the decision to split the recreational red snapper quota into two distinct components – private anglers and charter vessels and headboats (for-hire).  Each component has its own quota allocations based upon NOAA’s catch target figures. Private anglers will have a 10-day federal season running through June 10 closing at midnight, and charter vessels/headboats will have a 45-day federal season, closing on July 15, 2015.

“A 10-day federal season for private anglers is exactly why some states are non-compliant with NOAA’s red snapper regulations”, said Randy Pausina, LDWF Assistant Secretary for Fisheries.

The “Louisiana-only” season

The season for the recreational harvest of red snapper in Louisiana state waters is currently open, will remain open during the federal season and will remain open after the federal season closes.  LDWF continues to monitor real-time red snapper harvest during 2015 through the LA Creel program.  “LA Creel gives our agency the confidence it needs to provide Louisiana private anglers fishing state waters, the proper opportunity to land their share of red snapper,” said Robert Barham, LDWF Secretary. 

Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

The Department reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to posses certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or new the permit, free of charge at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov.

The permit is required for any angler possessing tuna, billfish, swordfish, amberjack, grouper snapper, hind, wahoo, cobia and dolphin, except for anglers under 16 years of age or fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.

Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration.  A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit.  A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.

The Louisiana Gulfward Boundary

In June 2012, the Commission took action to extend Louisiana state waters from three miles offshore to three marine leagues, or approximately 9 nautical miles, offshore.

LDWF officials encourage fishermen to use caution and their own personal judgment when fishing beyond the three-mile boundary that is currently recognized as federal waters, as it is fully expected that federal agents will continue to enforce federal law.  Until U.S. Congress confirms Louisiana’s action, the battle will continue over Louisiana’s state water boundary. 

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF

For press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton at rlebreton@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8745.

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