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Mike Voisin Remembered During Commission Meeting

Release Date: 02/08/2013

Mike Voisin Remembered During Commission Meeting

Feb. 8, 2013  -- The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) paused for a moment of silence at Thursday’s meeting to reflect on the life and service of Commissioner Michael C. “Mike” Voisin who passed away Feb. 2, following a massive heart attack on Jan. 25.

“Mike could take any problem and bring all parties involved together to get it resolved,” said LWFC Chairman Ronny Graham. “His demeanor calmed the discussion and allowed all viewpoints to be heard.”

“From the department’s standpoint, Mike’s passing is a great loss of a key leader in the seafood industry who we could reach out to on issues important to those who managed and harvested the state’s fisheries resources,” said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham.

Voisin was born in Los Angeles, Calif. and had lived in Louisiana for the past 38 years and resides in Houma. He owned Motivatit Seafoods, Inc., based in Houma since 1971. Voisin's affiliations with conservation organizations included the Louisiana Oyster Dealers and Growers Association, Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Southeastern Fisheries Association, Louisiana Seafood Processors Council and Gulf Oyster Industry Council and the Louisiana Oyster Task Force. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.

Commissioner Billy Broussard was selected to fill the vice chairman position that Voisin had held since January.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@ wlf.la.gov.

 

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Adopts a Notice of Intent to Designate the Fishing Boundary for Crappie Fishing on Lake D’Arbonne

Release Date: 02/07/2013

(Feb. 7, 2013) - Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a notice of intent to designate the fishing boundary for crappie fishing on Lake D’Arbonne in Union and Lincoln parishes.  This rule defines Lake D’Arbonne using the same geographic markers as used in the Department’s netting prohibition regulation.

Lake D’Arbonne includes all areas between the Bayou D’Arbonne spillway structure and Gill’s Ferry Landing on D’Arbonne Creek and Hogpen Landing on Corney Creek.

The daily bag limit was changed to 25 crappie in November 2012.  The change from 50 to 25 fish was approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in response to concerns of overfishing that some anglers had expressed.

To view the full notice of intent, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/36343-bayo... Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule by March 31, 2013, to Mike Wood, Office of Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at comment@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.

For press inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2396.

 

 

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Feds Once Again Thwart State’s Efforts at Flexibility in Recreational Fisheries Management

Release Date: 02/07/2013

February 7, 2013 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham issued the following statement today in regard to yesterday’s failed motion by the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council’s Reef Fish Committee to move forward with regional management of red snapper in Louisiana.

“Yet again, the Gulf Council refuses to work with Louisiana toward a more flexible management of our recreational fishery.  In a final effort to save the 2013 red snapper recreational season with compatible regulations, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife of Fisheries offered a common sense approach to the Gulf Council to modify the 2013 season and allow anglers more opportunities to recreationally fish for red snapper.  Our attempts at a favorable outcome failed.

“We have said time and again that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will work for the entire Gulf Coast when it comes to recreational fishing, which is why we proposed state-by-state or regional management.

“The approach of the Gulf Council is outdated and stagnant.  Louisiana believes that no one cares more about or can better manage our resources than our department. The unwillingness of the Gulf Council to work with us on these matters has left me, my staff and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioners no choice but to move forward with state regulations that will directly contradict those of our federal counterparts.

“In the next 30 days, my staff will work with the Commissioners to decide on a path forward that best suits Louisiana’s recreational sector.  We remain open to further discussion with any and all interested parties.”

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623.

 

 

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Grandfather and Grandson Found Alive After 13 Hour Search

Release Date: 02/07/2013

Search and rescue crews found two overdue boaters alive this morning, Feb. 7, near the Lafitte area.

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) seaplane spotted the overdue boaters waving their arms with their boat tied up to a camp around 9 a.m.  The seaplane called in the location for rescue crews on the water in boats to respond.  The rescue crews were then able to escort the missing boaters back to Joe’s landing in Lafitte.  The missing boaters were in good health when found.

Search crews from LDWF, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Lafourche, Jefferson and St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Offices participated in the search for the missing boaters.

The search crews received word at 8 p.m. on Feb. 6 about a grandfather and grandson who did not return home from a boating trip.  According to the family, the 72-year-old grandfather and 15-year-old grandson both from Gretna departed Joe’s landing at 7 a.m.

The rescue crews searched throughout the night for the two missing boaters until they were found about seven miles from Joe’s landing.

According to the grandfather, they were trying to get back to the landing, but became disoriented when it got too dark and they decided to find a place to tie their 19 foot boat up to for the night.

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

New Iberia Man Arrested For Multiple Felonies

Release Date: 02/06/2013

Feb. 6, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a New Iberia man for alleged drug and wildlife charges in Iberia Parish on Jan. 30.

Agents cited Christopher J. Pellerin, 34, for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of narcotics with the intent to distribute, possession of a controlled dangerous substance while in possession of a firearm, driving with a suspended operator’s license, hunting without a resident basic license or state duck license, wanton waste of migratory game birds and using lead shot in an area designated for steel shot only.

Agents received a call from the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office about a subject poaching and trespassing in crawfish ponds in Iberia Parish on Jan. 27.  The sheriff’s office had already cited Pellerin for trespassing earlier in the day and released him.

Agents made contact with Pellerin later that evening and verified he hunted migratory game birds with a 20 gauge shotgun using lead shot and left dead American coots in the pond to go to waste.

Agents also discovered that Pellerin is a convicted felon with multiple convictions and he cannot possess a firearm.  The agents were issued arrest and search warrants for Pellerin’s residence to seize the firearm he allegedly used.

While serving the warrants on Jan. 30, agents discovered the firearm along with ammunition.  LDWF Agents with the help of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office K-9 division also located a substantial amount of marijuana divided and packaged in amounts to be distributed.  Pellerin was then booked into the Iberia Parish Jail.

Felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon brings 10 to 20 years in jail and a $1,000 to $5,000 fine.  Felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute carries up to five to 50 years in jail and up to a $50,000 fine.  Felony possession of a controlled dangerous substance while in possession of a firearm brings up to a $2,000 fine and one to two years of jail.  Driving with a suspended operator’s license carries a $300 to $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Hunting without a resident basic license and state duck license each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.  Wanton waste of migratory game birds brings up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days of jail.  Using lead shot in an area designated for steel shot only carries up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents participating in this case are Sgt. Dusty Rhodes and Senior Agent David Boudreaux and the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office K-9 Division.

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

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issues $22,100 in 2012

Release Date: 02/05/2013

Feb. 5, 2013--Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $9,200 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on Jan. 26 in Baton Rouge.

For the 2012 calendar year, LOGT approved and dispensed $22,100 in cash rewards for concerned citizens who reported wildlife violations that led to 79 subjects being apprehended in wildlife cases.  There were a total of 53 cases presented and 531 offenses associated with those cases in 2012.

For the last quarter of 2012, LOGT issued $9,200 in reward money on 24 cases.

Louisiana Department Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement LOGT Coordinator Lt. Will Roberts provided LOGT members with information on each case and a recommendation for reward amounts.

“We depend on Operation Game Thief and these public tips to help break a lot of cases that might have otherwise gone unsolved,” Roberts said.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's new tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can anonymously 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.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

Since its inception in 1984, LOGT has issued $324,700 in rewards.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

LOGT meets quarterly throughout the year to review cases and dispense rewards.

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

Three LDWF Employees Receive 2012 NWTF Awards

Release Date: 02/05/2013

Feb. 5, 2013 -- Three Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) employees were recognized for outstanding service at the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Awards Banquet on Jan. 19 in Marksville.

In addition to local NWTF chapter awards, awards were presented for “Agent of the Year”, “Biologist of the Year”, and “WMA Technician of the Year”.

Lt. Scott Watson of Baskin received the 2012 Agent of the Year, representing the Enforcement Division.  Lt. Watson is a 16-year veteran and was recognized for his work enforcing wild turkey regulations in Enforcement Region 2.  Watson’s district led the other two districts within Region 2 for hours devoted to turkey hunting regulations enforcement.

Donald “Duck” Locascio of Metairie, a 16-year Wildlife Division employee, received the 2012 Biologist of the Year for his forest management work on various wildlife management areas (WMA) within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.  In addition to his WMA work, Locascio works with the Natural Resources Conservation Service on improving forest conditions for Wetland Reserve Program forests, restoring bottomland hardwood forests with wildlife management objectives. Locascio was recently promoted to program manager of the LDWF Forestry Section and will continue habitat improvement efforts on WMAs statewide.

Jason Childres of Greenwell Springs was named the 2012 WMA Technician of the Year. An 11-year Wildlife Division employee, Childres received his award for project work on Tunica Hills WMA.  Childres has worked with wild turkey banding projects in past years and is currently assisting with the capture of turkeys for a GPS study on the WMA.  He continues to manage several wild turkey brood habitat openings on Tunica Hills WMA for brood habitat.

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@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.

 

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REVISED Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 02/04/2013

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, February 7, 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 January 3, 2013

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To Hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/January

5.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent for the 2013 – 2015 Hunting Seasons and 2013-2014 WMA Seasons

6.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent on General/WMA Hunting Rules and Regulations

7.  To present recognition to the Tangipahoa Parish School Board for continued free lease of lands comprising the WMA

8.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent on DMAP Fee Corrections

9.  To receive and consider a resolution to add the Rathborne Tract to the Maurepas Swamp WMA                  

10.  To consider the Alternative Oyster Culture Permit proposed Rule for final Rule

11.  To receive and consider a Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

12.  To receive a presentation of Annual Stock Assessment Report for Striped Mullet

13.  Discussion of the 2013 Red Snapper Season

14.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent to designate the fishing boundary for Lake D’Arbonne for purposes of crappie regulations

15.  To receive and consider a Notice of Intent related to black bass regulations in the Atchafalaya  Basin, Lake Verret, Lake Palourde, and Fausse Pointe Lake

16.  To elect Vice-Chairman

17.  Set June 2013 Meeting Date

18.  Receive Public Comments

19.  Executive Session to Discuss Prospective Litigation relative to return of Artificial Reef Fund Monies

20.  Adjournment

 

 

 

2013 Turkey Season Dates Clarified

Release Date: 01/30/2013

Jan. 30, 2013  -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is alerting turkey hunters about a discrepancy in dates listed in the 2012-13 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet and the 2013 Louisiana Turkey Regulations pamphlet. The dates pertain to US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) property in Concordia, Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes.

The dates listed for the upcoming turkey season within the USACE Old River Control and Lock Area on page 86 of the Hunting Regulations booklet are incorrect. The dates printed in the Turkey Regulations pamphlet, which specify a March 23 to April 7, 2013 turkey season within the Corps’ Old River property, are correct.   The correct dates have been inserted into the Hunting Regulations booklet document available on line at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/regulations .

For more information, contact LDWF’s Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361or jstafford@wlf.la.gov or USACE’s Joe Harvey at 225-492-2169.

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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Larto Saline Control Structure Fails

Release Date: 01/29/2013

Jan. 29, 2012 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) personnel have confirmed that a portion of Cross Bayou Weir has failed.  As a result, the Larto-Saline Complex in central Louisiana has begun to dewater and will soon become equal with the water level of Black River.  

The Cross Bayou Weir is a low-water dam designed to allow inflow of beneficial Black River water.  Current estimates suggest that the water level of the complex could fall an additional 6 feet without immediate repairs.  

The Cross Bayou Weir and similar structures at Long Branch and Open Mouth Bayou are considered to be primarily responsible for the renovation of the Larto-Saline sport fishery.  Waters  previously impaired by flood control projects have provided excellent fishing since LDWF constructed the structures in the late 1980’s.  LDWF staff recognize the urgency of the situation and are currently assessing damage to the structure and will initiate repairs as soon as possible.   

For additional information please contact Mike Wood mwood@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquires, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@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.

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