LDWF News

LDWF News Release

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water this Weekend June 28-30

Release Date: 06/26/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 28-30 with increased patrols for boaters operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"Alcohol is always one of the largest contributing factors for boating fatalities in Louisiana and nationwide," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to have a sober operator of the vessel for the safety of those in the vessel and everybody else on the water.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 25 boating fatalities in 2012 with alcohol playing a role in six fatalities or 24 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2012 reveal that 17 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued five DWI citations to boat operators during the 2012 Operation Dry Water weekend and 10 DWI citations over the same weekend in 2011.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

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

Agenda for the July Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting

Release Date: 06/25/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, 4142 North Flannery Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70814.

The following items will be discussed:

1. Roll Call

2. Approval of Minutes of June 6, 2013

3. Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4. To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/June

5. To Consider Notice of Intent Scenic River Rules and Regulations

6. To Consider Notice of Intent 2014 Wild Turkey Season Dates, Rules and Regulations

7. To Consider a Declaration of Emergency for Early Migratory Game Birds and Special Teal Season

8. To Hear General Notice of 2013-2014 Waterfowl Season Tentative Dates

9. To Discuss Establishing Recreational and Commercial Size and Creel Limits on Tripletail

10. Set November 2013 Meeting Date

11. Receive Public Comments

 

 

Farmers Briefed on Whooping Crane Project, Scenic River Proposal and Ducks Unlimited Program

Release Date: 06/25/2013

June 25, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Ducks Unlimited and the LSU AgCenter hosted an educational seminar for southwest Louisiana farmers on Tuesday at the AgCenter’s Cooperative Extension office in Crowley.

LDWF staff briefed farmers on the status of the department’s whooping crane restoration program now in its third year. Farmers learned how the department tracks each crane’s movement once they are released from the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area and how they can assist staff biologists with research efforts underway.

The department’s Scenic Rivers Program coordinator gave an overview of the program, explained potential benefits for farmers whose fields are adjacent to designated system streams and outlined the steps that could provide for waterways within the Mermentau River Basin and Lacassine Bayou being included within the program.

The benefits to landowners along scenic rivers and streams include: special consideration at the state level regarding proposed new projects, especially water related issues; protection provided by unique regulations that value the contribution farmers make to Louisiana; and a competitive advantage for certain financial incentive programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Today, there are approximately 3,000 miles of Louisiana designated Natural and Scenic Rivers. These rivers, streams and bayous, and segments thereof, are located throughout the state and offer a unique opportunity for individuals and communities to become involved in the protection, conservation and preservation of two of Louisiana's greatest natural resources -- its wilderness and its water.

DU’s  Manager of Conservation Programs Bob Dew presented information about the importance of rice in southwest Louisiana to waterfowl and other migratory birds. These habitats are some of the most important habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl in North America. Through DU’s Rice Stewardship Program, DU and rice producers partner to enhance rice production, sustain natural resources and conserve waterfowl populations.

For more information about LDWF’s Scenic Rivers Program, contact Keith Cascio at 318-343-4045. For details on LDWF’s whooping crane restoration, contact Carrie Salyers at 337-262-2080. Information on DU’s conservation programs can be obtained by contacting Bob Dew at 337-408-3288.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Acadian Sportsman League assisted with this public outreach program.

 

 

Agents Cite Four Subjects for Recreational Fishing Violations

Release Date: 06/25/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited four subjects for numerous recreational fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on June 23.

Agents cited Nghia Huu Hoang, 33, Loan Huynh, 32, both from Harvey, Thang Van Tran, 38, of Avondale, and Truong Nguyen, 33, of Kenner, for intentional concealment of illegal fish, and red snapper, shark and triggerfish violations.

While on a joint enforcement agreement patrol in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, agents stopped the four subjects aboard their vessel in Empire.  During the stop, agents were shown a limit of red snapper.

After further investigation, agents discovered two hidden compartments in the bow of the vessel, which contained more red snapper and several sharks.  The subjects were in possession of a total of 40 red snapper, 18 of which were under the minimum size limit of 16 inches, three sharks that were also under the minimum size limit of 54 inches and during the currently closed recreational season, and three triggerfish also during the currently closed recreational season.

Intentional concealment of illegal fish carries up to a $950 fine.  Over limit of red snapper, possessing undersized red snapper, possession of shark and triggerfish during a closed season, and possessing undersized shark each brings up to a $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  In addition to the penalties in court they will also be assessed $983.84 in civil restitution for the illegally taken fish.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Jason Gernados.

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

L.D.W.F. Offering Hunter Education Instructor Training in St. Tammany Parish June 28-29

Release Date: 06/21/2013

June 21, 2013 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Education Section is offering a Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor Class at the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Training and Educational Facility on June 28 and 29.

The training facility is located at 39395 Pine Street in Pearl River and class begins on Friday, June 28 with a three-hour session from 6 to 9 p.m., and concludes on Saturday, June 29 with eight hours of training from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Participants must attend both parts to be certified as a Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor.  Successful completion of this course will certify attendees as instructors for LDWF hunter education courses.

There is no charge for the class and it is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in teaching hunter education courses. Topics covered will include safe gun handling, wildlife management, responsibility and ethics, and general outdoor safety. Live fire exercises will also be part of the training.                 

Requirements for Becoming a Hunter Education Instructor are:

  • Attend the 12-hour instructor training course
  • Complete a live fire exercise
  • Pass a written exam
  • Undergo a criminal background check

Volunteer instructors are the backbone of LDWF’s hunter education program. One of the rewards of serving as a volunteer instructor is the self satisfaction of knowing you are helping to preserve the future of hunting by passing on a time honored tradition. Become a part of a team that makes a difference.

What Does LDWF Look For In a Volunteer Instructor?

  • Firearm safety experience
  • Courteous and respectful demeanor
  • Good communications skills
  • Someone who believes in the importance of education

For more information about the class, or to register, contact Gene Cavalier at 985-882-9159 or gcavalier@wlf.la.gov , or Aimee Robert at 225-765-2932 or arobert@wlf.la.gov .

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.

 

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LDWF Gopher Tortoise Research Underway

Release Date: 06/20/2013

Gopher tortoise relocated to Sandy Hollow WMA.
Gopher tortoise habitat.
Gopher tortoise in active burrow at Sandy Hollow WMA.

LDWF Gopher Tortoise Research Underway

June 20, 2013 -- The Louisiana Natural Heritage Program (LNHP), within the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, is currently partaking in habitat restoration and population distribution surveys for gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) within eastern Louisiana.

The multi-year research project is targeting habitat in Washington, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

LNHP is working with colleagues throughout the southeastern U.S. on a multi-state habitat restoration project to assist private landowners with habitat management needs including mechanical clearing of understory, herbicide application, prescribed burning and planting longleaf pine. Additionally, LNHP has worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to generate priority areas for their Working Lands for Wildlife program that promotes cost share opportunities with landowners for habitat improvements for gopher tortoises.

Gopher tortoises range across portions of the Gulf coastal plain of the southeastern U.S. from southern South Carolina to southeast Louisiana and in Louisiana, Mississippi and western Alabama the tortoise is listed as “threatened” and subject to protection under the Endangered Species Act. The most important reason for the gopher tortoise decline is habitat loss and degradation.  The upland habitats gopher tortoises require are the high and dry sites that are favored for commercial and residential developments.  Also, changes in forest management and reduced occurrence of natural and prescribed fire have greatly reduced the amount of open canopy forest that these tortoises prefer.

Gopher tortoises require sandy, well drained soils for digging extensive burrows that provide protection from winter cold and summer heat. This species can be found in a variety of habitat types but prefer well-managed upland longleaf pine and mixed pine-hardwood forest. An important characteristic of the well-managed forest stands preferred by gopher tortoises is that they have an open canopy that allows ample sunlight to reach the ground to promote the growth of herbaceous food plants and provide sunny areas for nesting and basking. In the absence of preferred habitat, these tortoises will set up camp in marginal habitats such as roadsides, ditch banks, utility and pipeline rights-of-way and pastures.

The LNHP has been working to determine an estimate of the number of gopher tortoises in the state and to implement gopher tortoise habitat conservation measures. In addition, the LNHP strives to identify sites that provide important habitat and add gopher tortoise occurrence records to the LNHP database. Population estimates for this species are conducted through burrow occupancy surveys.  With the use of a specialized scope and camera, researchers can verify the activity status of a burrow and determine the presence of a tortoise.

Individuals living within eastern Louisiana are reminded not to disturb any gopher tortoises seen in the wild. Instead individuals are advised to leave tortoises where they are found in their native habitat. The open upland forest habitat required by gopher tortoises is one of the most diverse habitats found in Louisiana and among the most quickly disappearing.  In addition to gopher tortoises, this type of habitat supports a wide variety of birds, including game birds such as bobwhite quail and wild turkeys.

The LNHP is responsible for conservation of the state’s rare, threatened and endangered species and habitats. For more information on the LNHP, visit the program’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/louisiana-natural-heritage-program.

To report the sighting of a gopher tortoise, or you are a private landowner in eastern Louisiana and interested in participating in approved gopher tortoise habitat restoration efforts, please contact Keri Landry at (225) 765-2809 or klandry@wlf.la.gov

 

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Louisiana Oyster Task Force Finance Committee Meeting

Release Date: 06/20/2013

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Finance Committee Meeting.
Friday, June 21 10:00 a.m.
UNO Advanced Technology Center,
2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122.
            
AGENDA
 
I.  Discussion of FY 2014 Budget

 

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Agents Arrest Six Oyster Fishermen in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 06/18/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested six Terrebonne Parish men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on June 14 and 15.

Agents arrested Hunter Daisy, 19, of Theriot, Darren Billiot, 48, of Theriot, and Rocky Rel, 34, of Houma, for unlawfully taking oysters during a closed season from the Sister Lake seed ground and booked them into the Terrebonne Parish Correctional Facility on June 14.  On June 15, agents arrested Santiago Martinez, 50, of Houma, Luis Carbajal, 22, of Chauvin, and Jose Catarino, 28, of Theriot, for taking oysters from an unapproved area in Bayou Sauveur and booked them into the Terrebonne Correctional Facility.

Agents were working a complaint of subjects taking oysters from the Sister Lake seed ground and observed a vessel actively dredging in the closed area.  Agents made contact with the three men in the vessel and were able to seize and return eight sacks of oysters to the water.

While working complaints of subjects taking oysters from a polluted area in Bayou Sauveur, agents observed a vessel actively taking oysters from an unapproved area.  Agents made contact with the three men in the vessel and were able to seize and return four sacks of oysters to the water.

Taking oysters from an unapproved area carries a fine between $400 and $950 and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters during a closed season carries a fine between $100 and $350 and up to 60 days in jail.

Any person convicted of these violations may for one year after the date of such conviction only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system.  Access to the monitoring system shall be granted to LDWF.

Agents involved in the cases were Senior Agents Stephen Rhodes and Dean Aucoin, and Sgt. Bryan Marie.

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

Revised Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Regular Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 06/18/2013

Regular Meeting Agenda
June 19, 2013
10:00 a.m.
Louisiana State Capitol, Senate Committee Room A
900 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, La. 70804

  1. Call to order and introduction of guests
  2. Opening Remarks by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne
  3. Approval of the May 15, 2013 Minutes
  4. Election of officers
    1. Vice Chairman/Chairman-elect
    2. Secretary-Treasurer
  5. Committee Appointments
  6. Legislative Update
    1. Technical By-law Revision
  7. Treasurer’s Report through May 31, 2013
    1. Adoption of Fiscal Year 2014 Budget
  8. BP Memorandum of Understanding
    1. Amendment to extend
    2. Adoption of BP Extended Budget
    3. Resolution authorizing Executive Director to enter into contracts
  9. Seafood Marketing Campaign
    1. GCR
    2. Newsroom Ink
    3. The Food Group
    4. Graham Group
  10. Public comment
  11. Next Regular Meeting is scheduled for August 14, 2013
  12. Adjourn
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White Lake Property Advisory Board Meeting Set for June 19

Release Date: 06/14/2013

The next regular White Lake Property Advisory Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area located at 15926 Louisiana Highway 91 in Gueydan, La.   

The following agenda items will be discussed:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of April 12, 2012 Meeting
  3. Department Financial Report
  4. Election of Officers
  5. Birding and Nature Trail Update
  6. Public Waterfowl Hunts 2012-2013 and Expansion of Public Hunts
  7. Alligator Egg and Wild Harvest Data Report
  8. Wood Duck Boxes on White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area
  9. Feral Hogs on White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area
  10. Elevation Survey and Staff Gauge Update
  11. January Flood, Rainfall, and Salinity Data Report
  12. Refuge Vegetation Survey
  13. Update on Agricultural Leases
  14. Update on Canal Erosion Matters; Intracoastal Canal and Florence Canal
  15. Other Business
  16. Public Comment
  17. Adjournment

 

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