Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents have issued 34 citations over the past two weekends on the Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) in Cameron and Vermilion parishes.
These citations include charges for intentional littering, failure to return by-catch immediately to the water, trespassing in restricted areas, failure to abide by no-wake zones and over limit of crabs and shrimp.
The water management control structure known locally as Mud Hole, in that portion of Rockefeller SWR within Cameron Parish, was closed to the public until further notice on July 11 due to litter problems caused by recreational fishermen.
Refuge regulations prohibit littering, which includes not returning bycatch from recreational cast netting to the water. Public use of the site has led to an accumulation of bycatch fish (mostly menhaden) that has created unsanitary conditions and litter along the banks of a water control structure accessible only by boat.
The unsanitary conditions caused by decaying fish prompted the precautionary closure.
“Agents in uniform and plain clothes monitor and patrol these areas on a regularly daily basis. Users who do not return their bycatch immediately to the water can litter an area in a short time," said LDWF Captain Jubal Marceaux of the Lake Charles Office. "We want the public to be aware that if uniform agents are not seen there is still a good chance agents could be at various locations to observe illegal activity specifically littering."
To report littering on Rockefeller SWR or any LDWF property, individuals are encouraged to report violators to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-442-2511.
Agents also want to let the public know that throwing cigarette butts on the refuge grounds and waterways does constitute litter.
Agents participating in the two weekend operation were Capt. Jubal Marceaux, Lts. Remy Broussard and Robert Buatt, Sgts. Todd Laviolette and David Sanford, Senior Agents Beau Robertson, Anthony Verret, Buddy Murray, Justin Sonnier, Justin Lowry, Cody Soileau, Charles Talbert and Ronnie Englehart.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at firstname.lastname@example.org.