L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

West Monroe Man Sentenced for Killing Bald Eagle

Release Date: 01/05/2012

A West Monroe man was sentenced on Jan. 3 for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act in the Federal Western District Court of Louisiana in Monroe.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Hayes ordered Jeffrey M. Miles, 23, to pay a $2,525 fine, to serve three years of supervised probation and revoked his hunting privileges for three years for shooting a mature bald eagle in Franklin Parish on April 4, 2011.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents initiated the investigation on April 4 after finding a dead bald eagle in a drainage ditch along Camphouse Road.

After a thorough investigation and receiving tips from the public through the department's Operation Game Thief hotline, agents were able to cite Miles on April 22 for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  Miles entered a guilty plea on Sept. 19.

U.S. Assistant District Attorney Cytheria Jernigan prosecuted the case.

Agents participating in the case were Capt. Alan Bankston, Lt. Scott Watson, Senior Agent Albert Tarver and Senior Agent Johnny Wilson.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Senior Agent Kash Schriefer also assisted in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

 

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Announces Public Hearing for Amendment 35 for Greater Amberjack

Release Date: 01/04/2012

Anglers are encouraged to provide their input regarding changes to recreational and commercial management measures

(Jan. 4, 2012)– The Gulf Council has scheduled a series of public hearings for Reef Fish Amendment 35 for Greater Amberjack.  Reef Fish Amendment 35 contains alternatives that modify the Greater Amberjack rebuilding plan and consider changes to both recreational and commercial management measures. 

The Louisiana public hearing for Reef Fish Amendment 35 is scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport

2829 Williams Blvd.

Kenner, Louisiana

The public hearing begins at 6 p.m. local time, and will conclude at the end of public comment, but no later than 9 p.m. 

These hearings offer the public an opportunity to have a voice in determining federal fishing regulations by actively participating in the Council process. 

A guide to the amendment can be downloaded here, and comments can be submitted here.  The amendment is scheduled for final action during the Council meeting on January 30 through February 3, 2012, in Mobile, Ala.

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

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov(225)765-2396.

 

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet in New Orleans

Release Date: 01/03/2012

January 3, 2012 - The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Building in suite 210.

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1. Approval of Minutes From November 15, 2011 Meeting

2. Hearing of New Appeals

    a. Emmett J. Adolph, Jr.

    b.  Wilfred Cross, Jr.

3.  Hearing of New Permit Requests

     a. Charles Lapeyrouse

4. Set next meeting date

5. Adjourn

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF. Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF and no new applications for such vessel permits shall be accepted after December 31, 2009.

For more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.govor (225)610.2363.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet in New Orleans

Release Date: 01/03/2012

January 3, 2012 – The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet in New Orleans next Tuesday, January 10 at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Building in the second floor conference room. 

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

I.  Roll Call

II.  Approval of  August 23, 2011 MINUTES

III.  Treasury Report

   A. Oyster Tag Sales

   B. LOTF Financial Report

IV.  Committee Reports

   A.  Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)

   B.  Enforcement   - (Steve McManus)

   C.  Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)

   D.  Research – (John Supan)

   E.  Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)

   F.  Marketing - (Dana Brocato)

   G.  Health – (Glenn Cambre)

V.  Old Business

   A.  BP Oil Spill Remediation

        1. Claims Process

        2. Public Reef Remediation

        3. Oyster Lease Remediation

VI. New Business

    A.   Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Legal Update: Irma Espino with Baron and Budd, P.C. and Philip Cossich with Cossich Law

   B.   Early Restoration Plan presentation-Drue Banta

   C.   Ratification of Bylaws

   D.   Officer Elections

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII. Adjourn

Public and Private Grounds Committee will also meet in New Orleans

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force Public and Private Grounds Committee will meet on January 10, at 10 a.m. in suite 310 of the UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive.

The agenda is as follows:

1)  Amendment to seed ground permit system

2) Seed restoration set aside areas

These meetings are open to the public.

For more information please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363

Agenda For Commission Meeting

Release Date: 01/03/2012

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, January 5, 2012, in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The following items will be discussed:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of December 1, 2011

3.  Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege

4.  To hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/December

5.  To hear General Information on Upcoming Notices of Intent for the 2012-2013 Hunting Seasons

6.  To receive and consider a Resolution and Declaration of Emergency for the 2012-2013 Commercial Reef Fish Seasons

7.  To receive and consider a Resolution and Declaration of Emergency for the 2012-2013 Recreational Reef Fish Seasons

8.  To receive and consider a Resolution and Declaration of Emergency for the 2012-2013 Commercial King Mackerel Season

9.  To receive and consider a Resolution and Declaration of Emergency – Closure of the Recreational Fishery for Gag Grouper in Louisiana Waters

10. To consider Declaration of Emergency on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill

11. To consider Notice of Intent to Establish Procedures for a Vessel Monitoring System to be used by Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permittees

12.  Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman

13.  Set May 2012 Meeting Date

14.  Receive Public Comments

15. Adjournment

Authorities Searching for Missing Baton Rouge Couple

Release Date: 12/28/2011

Search and rescue personnel with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office are currently searching for a Baton Rouge couple in St. Tammany Parish following a boating incident.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents were notified by a passing boater around 10 a.m. this morning, Dec. 28, about a capsized boat that was found on the Bogue Chitto River in the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).  The boat belongs to William Holloway, 63, and his wife Kathy, 61.

According to a relative, the Holloways last contact was around 3 p.m. on Dec. 27.  The Holloways were camping on the Bogue Chitto NWR and still have their vehicle parked at the Lock No. 3 boat launch on the Pearl River Navigational Canal off of Lock No. 3 Road.  The Holloways also still have possessions at their campsite.

The 14-foot aluminum flat bottom boat was found about a mile from the boat launch.  LDWF has retrieved the boat and is investigating the cause of this boating incident.

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

Second Group of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA

Release Date: 12/27/2011

LDWF biologist opens holding pen at White Lake WCA to release 16 juvenile whooping cranes into the marsh Dec. 27.
Single juvenile whooping crane explores the marsh at White Lake WCA Dec. 27, following its release.
Whooping crane in flight over marsh at White Lake WCA following the release of 16 juvenile cranes Dec. 27.

Dec. 27, 2011 – Sixteen juvenile whooping cranes were released into the wild today at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan. The juvenile cranes join three adults that were released in March as part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
 
The cranes were delivered to southwest Louisiana on Dec. 1 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD. LDWF is working cooperatively with U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), USGS, and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to establish a non-migratory population in the state.

The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance.
 
Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese.  However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-8 feet make them very distinctive.  In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
 
Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.
 
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can 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.
 
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit www.wlf.la.gov, or contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov  or 225-765-5115. For photos, video footage and research documentation please visit: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes.

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

Father and Son Rescued After Boat Capsizes

Release Date: 12/27/2011

Rescue personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office (SMSO) and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in rescuing a father and son from Duck Lake in St. Martin Parish this morning, Dec. 27.

Russ Tircuit, 58, and his son Michael Tircuit, 25, both of Addis were rescued from the water about 8:35 a.m. by SMSO deputies and transported to the Franklin Foundation Hospital for hypothermia treatment.

Rescue personnel received a 911 call around 8 a.m. from Michael Tircuit that he was able to place on his cell phone.  Michael told the rescuers where they were and that they were clinging to the bow of their capsized boat.

According to Michael, he and his father were duck hunting and got into their 16 foot aluminum boat to retrieve a duck that was floating away.  The boat struck an object in the water, which caused the boat to take a violent right turn ejecting him and his father into the water.

According to Michael, his father was wearing a kill switch, which cut off the boat’s 90 horsepower motor.  When the boat came to a stop they were able to swim back to the floating capsized boat and hang on until rescuers were on sight.

“If the father was not wearing a kill switch, then this incident could have been a tragedy.  We have seen boating incidents similar to this one that turned fatal because the operator was not wearing a kill switch and the runaway boat hit ejected people in the water,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, LDWF’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer.

The LDWF Enforcement Division will conduct a boating investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

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

Black Bear Found Dead in Pointe Coupee Parish

Release Date: 12/22/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found floating in the Mississippi River in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Hunters in the area reported the bear to LDWF on Sunday, Dec. 11 near the old ferry landing.  LDWF performed a necropsy on the bear at the recovery scene, which revealed the bear was shot multiple times and then probably disposed of into the river.  LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot either a day or two before being reported.

"The bear was a lactating female meaning this action has left orphan cubs out there somewhere that will now also die as a result of this unfortunate shooting," said Maria Davidson, LDWF's Large Carnivore Program Manager.  "Losing this mother bear and most likely her cubs is a serious setback for our plans to make the Louisiana black bear a sustainable game animal in the near future."

When LDWF officials went back to retrieve the bear they found the bear had been decapitated by someone since the last visit to the scene.  LDWF is warning the public that being found in possession of parts of a Louisiana black bear is against the law.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing or the whereabouts of the missing black bear head should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

"We have solved cases like this in the past with the public's help and we are again asking for any leads that might guide us in the right direction" said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  "

This bear has no reported nuisance history and by all accounts was a healthy adult female Louisiana black bear.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

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

New Iberia Man Sentenced for Taking Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 12/22/2011

 

A New Iberia man was sentenced in Federal Western District Court in Lafayette on Dec. 21 for illegally killing a Louisiana black bear.

Federal Judge Patrick J. Hanna sentenced Cory R. Ronsonet, 39, to three years of supervised probation, three years of no hunting privileges, a $3,000 fine and 300 hours of community service.  If the fine is paid and community service completed within six weeks, then the probation will be reduced to unsupervised.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents initiated the investigation during the 2008-09 hunting season after receiving a public tip that a black bear had been shot then skinned and stored in a fashion to mount it in the future.  Agents then found a black bear skin and its decapitated head on May 19, 2011 off of Daniel Lane near a subdivision in New Iberia.

During the investigation, Ronsonet admitted to LDWF Enforcement Division agents on May 31, 2011 of taking the black bear in question.  Ronsonet pleaded guilty for violating the federal endangered species act for illegally taking a black bear in Federal Western District Court in Lafayette on Aug. 17.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joe Mickel and Howard Parker prosecuted the case.  LDWF Senior Agent David Boudreaux was the lead investigator on the case and was assisted by Sgts. James Rhodes, Mitch Darby, Brian Theriot and Senior Agent Jason Romero.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Phillip Siragusa also assisted with the investigation.

The bear had been a part of LDWF's black bear program and was first tagged in 2000 when it was estimated to be six years old.  The passive integrated transponder implanted during the initial capture was left in the hide when the bear was skinned and provided positive identification.  LDWF had never received a nuisance call about this older male bear that lived mostly in the Weeks Island area of lower Iberia Parish.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.

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

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