Boating

LDWF Closes Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 05/25/2011

May 25, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at 6 a.m. on May 26.

The closure area length is from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side. The width of the closure is from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line half a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area is due to the current high water conditions that are caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway. The elevated water in the area has put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at an expected dangerous clearance level of seven feet for boat traffic.

These lower than usual electrical lines could be a deadly hazard for boaters. In order to avoid de-energizing the lines that would result in loss of electricity to many citizens and the Butte La Rose Welcome Center, LDWF decided to restrict boat traffic in the area described below.

The entirety of that portion of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway between the West Protection (Guide) levee and the Butte La Rose levee on the west bank of the Atchafalaya River, which is south of a line running from 30.331556, -91.7881 to 30.349317, -91.723331 and which is north of a line running from 30.323706, -91.788605 to 30.342755, -91.7196.

Click here to view a map of the closure.

The closure will remain in effect until further notice.

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

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 21-27

Release Date: 05/20/2011

 

Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 21-27 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that nearly 74 percent of boating fatalities were people that drown because the person was not wearing a PFD.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

In Louisiana in 2009 alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  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 on the water or on the road 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.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

First Annual Boating Education Lagniappe Day Certifies 264 Boaters

Release Date: 05/18/2011

May 18, 2011 -  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 264 boaters statewide after their first ever "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 14.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the NASBLA boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more than 250 boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals."

The National Associations of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

Each location provided a free lunch that included crawfish fettuccine, jambalaya, pizza, chicken tenders and chilidogs.  Sponsors also provided door prizes and giveaways such as gift cards, ice chests, personal flotation devices, sunglasses, sunscreen and boating whistles.  LDWF also gave away key chains and cups with the LDWF logo.

"This won't be the last 'Boating Education Lagniappe Day' in this state and we are already planning on next year's event to make it even bigger," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "We heard nothing but good things from the public that attended the event.  Even some of the parents that didn't need the course said they learned a lot about boating safety."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, CCA of Louisiana, All Star Pontiac in Sulphur, Coca-Cola of Lake Charles, Songy's Sporting Goods of Houma, and Gene Kile Inc.

For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Below is the list of the class locations from this past weekend:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beane Dr.
Bossier City, LA 71111

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301

Eunice
Walmart
1538 Hwy. 190
Eunice, LA 70535

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602

Houma
Holiday Inn
1800 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360

Gonzales
Cabela's
Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737

Chalmette
St. Bernard Parish Government Complex
8201 W. Judge Perez
Chalmette, LA 70043

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

Boating Education Lagniappe Day

Date: 
Sat, 05/14/2011

 

LDWF will be hosting the first ever "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.  Click on the link for registration and location information.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day

1st Annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" Slated for May 14

Release Date: 04/21/2011

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the first ever "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

Interested participants must register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday and calling the contact number listed for the chosen class.  LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

"We want to make this an annual celebration of boating safety in the state as boating season kicks into high gear," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety.  We want to make the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will be offered completely free."

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Walmart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn and Songy's Sporting Goods of Houma.

Below is the list of class locations known at this time and the registration contact information:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beane Dr.
Bossier City, LA 71111
Call the Minden Office at 318-371-3049 to register.

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Call the Monroe Office at 318-362-3102 to register.

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Call the Pineville Office at 318-487-5634 to register.

Eunice
Walmart
1538 Hwy. 190
Eunice, LA 70535
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.
Free door prizes to first 100 students to call and register.

Houma
Holiday Inn
1800 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.

Gonzales
Cabela's
Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.

Chalmette
St. Bernard Parish Government Complex
8201 W. Judge Perez
Chalmette, LA 70043
Call the New Orleans Office at 504-284-2023 to register.

For more information on regulations or boating safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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

Boating Education Lagniappe Day - May 11

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the third annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Pizza Hut, Cabela's, Songy’s Sporting Goods of Houma, South Louisiana Bank of Houma, Evergreen Cajun Center of Houma, St. Landry Lumber Company, Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc, Krispy Kreme of Metairie, Village Inn Restaurant, C&M Fuel/Team Laffitte Harbor, West Marine of Lakeview, Boat Stuff, Alario Bros. Marine Supply, Temento's Dive Shop and Puglia's Sporting Goods.

Below is the list of class locations and the registration contact information:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA 71111
Call the Minden Office at 318-371-3049 to register.

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Call the Monroe Office at 318-362-3102 to register.

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Call the Pineville Office at 318-487-5634 to register.

Opelousas
St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center - Contraband Room
900 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.

Houma
Evergreen Cajun Center
4694 Main St.
Houma, LA 70360
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.

Gonzales
Cabela's
2200 W. Cabela's Pkwy.
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.

Westwego
Bayou Segnette State Park Nature Center
7777 Westbank Expressway
Westwego, LA 70094
Call the New Orleans Office at 504-284-2023 to register.

L.D.W.F. Agents Investigating Boating Fatality in Franklin Parish

Release Date: 03/17/2011

March 17, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division (LDWF) agents are investigating what appears to be a one vessel boating fatality that occurred March 16 near Crowville on Crockett Point Lake in Franklin Parish.

Agents determined that James Ray Thomas, 69, of Winnsboro, had reportedly been fishing alone from a 16-foot boat most of the day.  A family member checked on him around 7 p.m. and discovered him missing from his boat that was found adrift against the bank of the lake.

Family members notified local authorities, and LDWF, the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Office and the Madison Parish Sheriff's Office conducted a search of the area.  About 10 p.m. searchers discovered the victim’s body near the lake bank where it was recovered. 

The victim was found without a personal flotation device and there was no evidence of alcohol use.  LDWF will continue their investigation into the boating fatality.

For more information, contact Alan Bankston at 318-362-3102 or abankston@wlf.la.gov. 

Clean Vessel Program

Clean Vessel Program

The purpose of Louisiana's CVA Program is to protect and improve the quality of our waters by providing recreational boaters with a convenient alternative to the overboard discharge of boat sewage.

  1. Bowtie Marina
    City: Lake Charles
    Body of Water: Contraband Bayou
    Latitude: 30.204 N
    Longitude: 93.240 W
    Telephone: (337) 478-0130
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout
    Type of Service: Full
    Fee: $5.00
  2. Cypress Bend Park
    City: Negreet
    Body of Water: Toledo Bend
    Latitude: 31.420 N
    Longitude: 93.679 W
    Telephone: (318) 256-4118
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit (trailer-mounted) / Portable Toilet Washdown Station (fixed)
    Type of Service: Full (pumpout)/ Self (washdown station)
    Fee: None
    Note: Call ahead to schedule use of pumpout unit.
  3. Downtown Marina
    City: Houma
    Body of Water: Intersection of Bayou Terrebonne and GIWW
    Latitude: 29.599 N
    Longitude: 90.711 W
    Telephone: (985) 873-6428
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit/ Portable Toilet Washdown Station
    Type of Service: Full
    Fee: $5 (Free for overnight guests)
  4. Forsythe Point 
    City: Monroe
    Body of Water: Ouachita River
    Latitude: 32.518 N
    Longitude: 92.133 W
    Telephone: (318) 329-4101
    Type of Equipment: 2 pumpout units on floating docks
    Type of Service: Full
    Fee: Free
  5. Lake End Park
    City: Morgan City
    Body of Water: Lake Palourde
    Latitude: 29.718 N
    Longitude: 91.188 W
    Telephone: (985) 380-4623
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit
    Type of Service: Full
    Fee: $3.00
  6. Marina Beau Chene
    City: Mandeville
    Body of Water: Tchefuncte River
    Latitude: 30.417 N
    Longitude: 90.125 W
    Telephone: (985) 845-3454
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit
    Type of Service: Self
    Fee: $5.00
  7. Marina Del Ray
    City: Madisonville
    Body of Water: Tchefuncte River
    Latitude: 30.399 N
    Longitude: 90.153 W
    Telephone: (985) 845-4474
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit
    Type of Service: Self
    Fee: $10.00
  8. Mariners Village Marina 
    City: Mandeville
    Body of Water: Lake Pontchartrain
    Latitude: 30.366 N
    Longitude: 90.091 W
    Telephone: (985) 626-1517
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit/ Portable Toilet Washdown Station
    Type of Service: Full
    Fee: $5.00 or less (No fee for members of BOAT U.S./USCG Auxiliary/Power Squadron)
  9. Moon Lake Resort
    City: Monroe
    Body of Water: Ouachita River
    Latitude: 32.606 N
    Longitude: 92.094 W
    Telephone: (318) 322-2300
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit
    Type of Service: Self
    Fee: None
  10. Orleans Marina
    City: New Orleans
    Body of Water: Lake Pontchartrain
    Latitude: 30.024 N
    Longitude: 90.119
    Telephone: (504) 288-2351
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit
    Type of Service: Self
    Fee: None
  11. Pleasure Point Landing
    City: Toro
    Body of Water:Toledo Bend
    Latitude: 31.242 N
    Longitude: 93.581 W
    Telephone: (318) 565-4810
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit (trailer-mounted)/ Portable Toilet Washdown Station (fixed)
    Type of Service: Full
    Fee: None
  12. Plum Orchard Park
    City: Doyline
    Body of Water: Lake Bistineau
    Latitude: 32.412 N
    Longitude: 93.382 W
    Telephone: (318) 987-7275
    Type of Equipment: Pumpout Unit/Portable Toilet Washdown Station
    Type of Service: Full
    Fee: None

Do Your Part!
Clean water is important to all of us. One way for recreational boaters to improve water quality is to reduce the overboard discharge of sewage.

Sewage discharges are unsightly and contain disease-causing microorganisms. Bacteria and viruses can contaminate shellfish beds and areas used for swimming, skiing, and fishing. The decaying sewage can also degrade aquatic habitats by reducing oxygen levels.

Be part of the solution:
Use shoreside restrooms before going out on the water.
Dispose of waste from portable toilets and on-board holding tanks properly.
Don't throw anything overboard.
Bring cut fishing line ashore.
Avoid discharging bilge waste into the water.
Be careful in fueling -- try to prevent spills.

Keep Our Water Clean -- Use Pumpouts!

LOUISIANA CLEAN VESSEL ACT GRANT PROGRAM

Boaters need pumpout units and portable toilet washdown stations to properly and legally dispose of boat sewage. In 1992 Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) to provide funding to educate the public about boat sewage disposal and to cost-share the installation of sewage pumpout systems and portable toilet washdown stations at recreational boating facilities. The CVA was re-authorized in 1998 for five more years.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has already cost-shared the construction of boat sewage disposal facilities at 14 marinas and boat ramps across Louisiana, using CVA grant funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). These grants reimburse the marina operator up to 75% of the cost of installing or renovating boat sewage disposal systems. Most costs associated with the installation of pumpout and/or washdown stations are eligible for reimbursement under the grants, including design and engineering, permits, equipment, electrical/water/sewer hookups, and construction/installation. The only expenses expressly forbidden by federal regulations are those associated with the purchase and installation of sewage treatment plants or systems.

To help cover operational and maintenance costs, the Program allows marina operators to charge up to $5.00 per use of facilities built with grant funds.

For more information about the Louisiana Clean Vessel Act Grant Program, or to request an application packet, please contact:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Socioeconomic Section
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000
Telephone: (225) 763-5508
E-mail: mbuckner@wlf.la.gov

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