LDWF News

LDWF News Release

Agents Cited Two Men for Stolen Alligator Eggs

Release Date: 07/27/2015

 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents cited two men for taking alligator eggs without a valid egg collection permit.
 
Agents cited Paul A. Canik, 47, of Grand Chenier and Christopher M. Trahan, 24, of Lake Charles for illegal possession of alligator eggs and not abiding by rules and regulations on a refuge.
 
On July 16, agents stopped the pair as they were exiting the marsh in an airboat and flatboat. At the time, Canik explained the eggs were taken from areas he was permitted to collect eggs from. Upon further investigation, the agents were able to determine the nest sites where the eggs had been removed. These locations were not part of the area Canik had been permitted to collect from.
 
On July 21, agents cited Canik and Trahan and seized 523 alligator eggs, a 18’ aluminum boat and a 14’ airboat. The eggs were sold at market value for a total of $10,460.
 
First offense for taking unpermitted alligator eggs carries a $400 to $900 fine and up to 120 days in jail.
 
Agents involved in this case were: Sargent David Sanford, Senior Agents Derek Logan, Jason Stagg, and Anthony Verret. 
 
For more information, contact Gabe Giffin at 225-765-3966 or ggiffin@wlf.la.gov

Two Louisiana Men Sentenced for Illegal Hunting Activity

Release Date: 07/24/2015

Two Louisiana men were sentenced in the Avoyelles 12th Judicial District Court on June 18 for illegal hunting activity.

Judge William Bennett sentenced Barry R. Laiche II, 19, of Marksville, and Travis P. Maddox, 28, of Alexandria, for their involvement in the illegal hunting activity.

For illegally killing a black bear, Laiche was sentenced to 120 days in the Avoyelles Parish Jail with credit for time served and suspended.  He was also placed on two years of probation, which prohibits him from being on any state wildlife management area.  He also has to pay $5,000 in restitution to the state for the replacement value of the bear, a $100 fine, $100 for cost of prosecution, $100 to the Indigent Defender Board and $250 court costs.

For illegally taking deer, Maddox was sentenced to 120 days in the Avoyelles Parish Jail, which was suspended.  He was also placed on two years of probation, which consists of a $50 per month fee.  He also has to pay $2,000 in restitution to the state for the replacement value of the deer, a $500 fine and $250 in court costs.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Gaspard prosecuted the case.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested Laiche and Maddox in October 2013 for several deer violations that had taken place on the Grand Lake Rod and Gun Club in Avoyelles Parish.  The incident consisted of five deer that were illegally taken.

In October 2013, a bear was discovered killed within the vicinity of the Grand Lake Rod and Gun Club.  After an extensive investigation, Laiche and Maddox were arrested for taking the bear during the closed season in early 2014.

Laiche was also sentenced for failing to comply with deer harvest record requirements, hunting deer using illegal methods, taking deer on D Management Assistance Program lands without permission, taking illegal deer during the open season and possession of illegally taken deer.  For these charges he received a total of 330 days in the Avoyelles Parish Jail which was suspended.  He was also ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the state for the replacement value of the deer, a $500 fine, $250 to the Indigent Defender Board, $250 for cost of prosecution and $50 per month while on probation.

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

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18 Men Cited for Illegal Shrimp Harvesting Since April

Release Date: 07/24/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents working St. Mary, Terrebonne and LaFourche parishes have made nine closed season shrimping cases and seized over 6,500 pounds of illegally taken shrimp since April.

Agents cited Chaz Barrios, 26, of Venice, and Walter Heathcock, 31, of Covington, for using skimmer nets during a closed season on April 1.  Agents seized 2,228 pounds of shrimp and shrimp nets.

On May 15, agents cited Wade Lacoste, 46, of Theriot, for using skimmer nets during a closed season.  Agents seized 149 pounds of shrimp and shrimp nets.

Agents cited Charlie Billiot, 61, of Dulac, and Ernest Dion Jr., 30, of Dulac, for using skimmer nets during a closed season and seized 1,495 pounds of shrimp and shrimp nets on June2.

On June 21, agents cited Ha Nguyen, 41, of San Jose, Calif., and Lau Ho, 50, of Gretna, for using skimmer nets during a closed season.  Agents seized 1,100 pounds of shrimp and shrimp nets.

Agents cited Gilday Aucoin, 61, of Belle River, and Michael Edwards, 58, of Pierre Part, for using skimmer nets during a closed season and seized 50 pounds of shrimp and shrimp nets on June 27.

On July 14, agents cited Corey Joseph, 26, of Houma, Rodney Pellegrin Jr., 34, of Houma, and Cilombo Collins, 40, of Houma, for using skimmer nets during a closed season.  Agents seized 86 pounds of shrimp and shrimp nets.

Agents cited Aaron Tillman, 40, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., and Easton Rodrigue, 43, of Montegut, for using skimmer nets during a closed season and seized 1,078 pounds of shrimp and shrimp nets on July 15.

On July 17, agents cited Marquis Broussard, 39, of Montegut, and Bryce Broussard, 42, of Montegut, for using skimmer nets during a closed season.  Agents seized 193 pounds of shrimp and nets.

Agents cited Kelly Lebouef, 33, and Sheri Arceneaux, 39, both of Montegut, for using skimmer nets during a closed season and seized 286 pounds of shrimp and nets on July 21.

Using skimmers during a closed shrimp season brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  In addition to any and all other penalties, for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator's trawl, skimmer, and butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net, only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to LDWF.  The court shall also sentence the violator to perform 40 hours of community service.

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

Three Texas Men Found Harvesting Oysters in Closed Area

Release Date: 07/24/2015

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested three men for alleged oyster harvesting violations this morning, July 24, in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents arrested Israel Beiza-Lopez, 30, Jose L. Lopez, 26, and Pedro M. Cruz, 25, all of Dallas, Texas, for taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation.

On the morning of July 24, LDWF agents were on patrol when they observed a vessel in the Sister Lake Seed Reservation actively dredging for oysters.

Agents stopped the vessel and found the three men in possession of 30 sacks of oysters.  Agents seized the vessel, oyster dredges, GPS device and returned the oysters to the water.  The men were booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the 2014/15 season.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in this care are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Senior Agent Norman Deroche and Senior Agent Stephen Rhodes.

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

LDWF’s June License to Win! Sweepstakes Winners Announced

Release Date: 07/24/2015

 
(July 24, 2015) – As part of it’s first annual License to Win! promotion, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation awarded five lucky winners for its June saltwater license holder drawing.  Winners drawn on July 1 include Clarence Cobbs, Chad Hartman, James Odom, Stephen Smith and Martin Randall.
 
The winners were among thousands of names entered when they purchased a 2015-16 recreational saltwater fishing license.
 
The sweepstakes includes fives monthly prize winners of a YETI Tundra 45 ice chest, Shimano Curado G-Loomis Combo or gift cards from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Texaco and Whole Foods Market.
 
The License to Win! sweepstakes encourages anglers to provide accurate contact information to participate in a survey (LA Creel) that helps LDWF manage their fishery.  LA Creel is the data-gathering survey that allows LDWF biologists to manage our fisheries at localized levels across the state.  The success of LA Creel will not only allow the Department to better manage fisheries, but will ultimately maximize the amount of fishing opportunities for Louisiana anglers. 
 
This promotion has just begun, so visit your nearest license vendor or go online (www.wildlifelicense.com) to purchase your recreational saltwater license to be eligible for next month’s drawing.  The department will continue to select five winners each month, and one lucky angler will take home the grand prize, a 22 foot bay boat, trailer and motor donated by Venice Marina, Mercury Outboards and Mike Gerald’s Trailer Depot.
 
Rules, photos of our winners and additional information can be found at http://www.fishla.org/license-win-sweepstakes/
 
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. To signup for recreational fishing text alerts go to www.fishla.org/text-alert-sign-up
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Sets Fall Shrimp Season

Release Date: 07/23/2015

Fall Shrimp Season

July 23, 2015 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2015 fall inshore shrimp season opening dates.

The season will open in state inside waters at 6 a.m., Monday, August 17.

The Commission set the season based on data presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and public comments.

 

TED and Tow Time Regulations Reminder

During the 2015 regular legislative session, legislators repealed a state law prohibiting LDWF enforcement agents from enforcing federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) laws.  As of August 1, 2015, LDWF agents are authorized to conduct TED inspections aboard shrimp vessels.

Federal TED regulations require any shrimp trawler in the Gulf Area to have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing. However, certain exemptions to these requirements may apply (e.g. vessels without mechanical advantage or power net retrieval, test trawls, skimmer and butterfly nets in compliance with tow time restrictions). A net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp trawler.

Skimmer and butterfly nets are exempt from TED use; however, federal regulations require skimmer and butterfly net fishermen to limit tow times if they do not use TEDs.  The tow time is measured from the time the cod-end of the net enters the water until it is removed from the water.  Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 to October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 to March 31.

 

For a map detailing today’s actions please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/shrimp-seasons.

 

For more information, contact Jeff Marx at (337) 373-0032 or jmarx@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.

To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages directly to your mobile device visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/textalert-signup.  

 

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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Temporary Road Closure on Pearl River WMA

Release Date: 07/23/2015

July 23, 2015 -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is informing WMA users that Po-Boy Road on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be temporarily closed to all traffic for repair beginning on Monday, July 27, 2015.  Once repaired, vehicular traffic will be allowed.
 
Pearl River WMA is located in southeastern St. Tammany Parish, approximately six miles east of Slidell, LA, and one mile east of Pearl River, LA.  For more information on the WMA, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2789.
 
For more information, contact Christian Winslow at 985-543-4777 or cwinslow@wlf.la.gov.
 

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Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event Set for Aug. 8 at Sherburne WMA’s South Farm

Release Date: 07/23/2015

Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event Set for Aug. 8 at Sherburne WMA’s South Farm

July 23, 2015 -- A Wood Stork and Wading Bird Event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8, within the South Farm area of Sherburne Wildlife Management Area.  The South Farm area is located in Iberville Parish and accessible via I-10.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are hosting this seasonal event from 7 a.m. to noon. Wood storks and other wading and shore birds are readily visible at this time due to the management provided by Wildlife Division staff.  A number of large moist soil impoundments are flooded in the fall to provide habitat for water birds, especially shorebirds and waterfowl. Aside from seed bearing herbaceous plants, the developed habitat contains an abundance of small fish and crawfish, ideal food sources for wading birds.
 
The South Farm impoundments are drawn down in mid-summer to enhance the growth of wetland plants for wintering waterfowl. The drawdown  period is extended  almost a month at times due to the size of the impoundments and the management strategy which is focused on providing mud flats and very shallow water with concentrated prey for shorebirds (sandpipers) and wading birds (egrets, herons, spoonbills, storks and ibis).
 
The wood stork is the only stork native to North America. These large wading birds, which can grow to 4 feet tall with a 66-inch wingspan, are an indicator of the condition of our nation’s wetlands. As wetlands disappeared, wood stork numbers also diminished. Although many of these birds are from Mexico, the water management units at the South Farm are becoming more critical habitat for the species survival.
 
With only a few thousand of these birds left in the wild, this event provides an excellent   opportunity for bird watchers, photographers and anyone who enjoys wildlife. The South Farm habitat also attracts alligators, white-tailed deer and many other species of birds. Individuals and professionals will be on hand to discuss the management of the area and provide wildlife identification assistance.
 
Participants are advised to arrive early for improved wood stork viewing opportunities.
 
Driving directions to the South Farm: Take I-10 to the Ramah exit (Exit 135); drive north to the first road on the left, then turn right by the market on Mimms Street; cross the bridge and turn right on the lower Atchafalaya Levee Road, a gravel road. Drive approximately one mile or until you see the “South Farm” sign, cross over the levee and enter the parking lot. Event coordinators will be there to provide additional information.
 
There are no fees associated with this program, but participants are reminded that anyone between the ages of 16 and 60 is required to have either a valid Louisiana
Hunting or Fishing License, or a Wild Louisiana Stamp to visit an LDWF Wildlife Management Area.  These can be purchased at any license vendor selling LDWF hunting or fishing licenses, on-line at http://www.wlf.la.gov or by phone at 1-888-765-
2602.
 
For more information about the South Farm birding event, call the LDWF Wildlife Division Opelousas Field Office at 337-948-0255.
 
 

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LDWF Sets Drawdown for Iatt Lake

Release Date: 07/22/2015

(July 22, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will initiate a drawdown for giant salvinia control on Iatt Lake in Grant Parish on July 27, 2015. 
 
The previously scheduled drawdown was postponed due to high water levels on the Red River, preventing the lake from draining. 
 
The lake level will be lowered 6 feet below pool stage to allow drying of the lake bottom, concentrating giant salvinia and increasing the effectiveness of herbicide applications.  After evaluation, the water level may be lowered an additional 2 feet. 
 
The control structure will be closed no later than November 5, 2015, to allow the lake to refill.
 
The drawdown is a component of LDWF’s plan to control giant salvinia on Iatt Lake.
Currently, an estimated 3,000 acres of giant salvinia coverage exists. The vegetation management plan for the lake identifies a target of 1,500 acres of giant salvinia coverage for a drawdown to be considered. 
 
Additional benefits of the drawdown include increased control of submerged aquatic vegetation as well improvement to fisheries habitat.   After water levels return to pool elevation, 49,000 triploid grass carp will be stocked into the lake to further assist in submerged vegetation control. 
 
Although the lake will not be closed to fishing, caution is advised of boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions.
 
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 additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Ricky Moses, LDWF Biologist Manager, at rmoses@wlf.la.gov or (318) 487-5888.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-8733.

Additional Roads Closed on Richard K. Yancey WMA

Release Date: 07/21/2015

July 21, 2015 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is advising Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area users that Hogpen Lake Road, Lac-A-Sostien Road, Goose Lake Road, Blount Road, Catfish Bayou Road, and Ross Road from the Crowfoot to Long Bayou, are currently closed to all traffic due to high water.  Dobbs Bay Road and all roads on the east side of the Mississippi River levee remain closed at this time.
 
Increasing water levels in associated river systems has caused backwater flooding on these thoroughfares.  Once the water recedes, LDWF will inspect the roadways and reopen for traffic if deemed safe for travel. 

Richard K. Yancey WMA is located approximately 35 miles south of Ferriday on Louisiana Hwy. 15 in lower Concordia Parish. 
 
For information on this WMA, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2767 or contact Tony Vidrine at 337-948-0255 or tvidirne@wlf.la.gov .
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