Boating

164 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 05/13/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 164 boaters statewide after their fourth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 10.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

The 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 received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

The eight locations consisted of:

Bossier Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Sponsors: Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bayou Outdoor Supercenter of Bossier City, H&W Marine of Bossier City and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Sponsors: Academy Sports and Outdoors, Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Pizza Hut.

Rapides Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Sponsors: Academy Sports and Outdoors and the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

St. Landry Parish
St. Landry Lumber
Sponsors: Raising Canes of Opelousas, Acadiana Outfitters of Iberia, Walmart of Eunice and St. Landry Lumber of Opelousas.

Calcasieu Parish
Lake Charles Civic Center
Sponsors: Calcasieu Chapter Whitetails Unlimited.

Lafourche Parish
Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Rifle Range
Sponsors: Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Kief's Hardware Inc. of Cutoff.

Ascension Parish
Cabellas
Sponsors: Cabela’s and Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc.

St. Tammany Parish
Madisonville Branch of St. Tammany Parish Public Library
Sponsors: Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association.

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 50,000 boaters during that time.

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

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/06/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 23-27 and again from July 21-25.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.  LDWF Environmental Education staff will also assist with the camps and provide workshops on non-consumptive educational programs.

"These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

LDWF and Podnuh’s Bar-B-Q of Baton Rouge is providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.   Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combos for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana are each providing two lifetime hunting and fishing combo licenses that will be given to four of the participants.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application by May 27.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.  The online registration form is located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary 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.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

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

Body of Kayaker Found in Lake Charles Identified

Release Date: 05/06/2014

Search crews found the body of a deceased Texas man in Lake Charles on May 3 in Calcasieu Parish.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) found the body of Zachary Collins, 24, of Silsbee, Texas around 9:30 p.m. on May 3.

LDWF agents and CPSO deputies received a call around 6 p.m. on May 3 about an overturned kayak floating off of the Interstate 10 beach on Lake Charles.  The search crews utilized side sonar technology to search the water and locate Collins who was found without a personal flotation device.

Search crews learned that Collins launched his kayak from the beach around 5:30 p.m.

LDWF is the lead investigating agency for this boating incident.

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

Region 7 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Address: 

Tangipahoa Parish Government building, 15449 W. Club Deluxe Road, Hammond, LA.

City: 
Hammond
Notes: 

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - Thursday, September 3, 2015
Address: 

Spring Bayou W.M.A.
2628 Spring Bayou Rd.
Marksville, La 71351

City: 
Marksville
Notes: 

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. both nights.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - Thursday, July 16, 2015
Address: 

R.P.S.O. Rifle Range
150 Sheriff's Range Rd.
Alexandria, La

City: 
Alexandria
Notes: 

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. both nights.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - Thursday, December 10, 2015
Address: 

R.P.S.O. Rifle Range
150 Sheriff's Range Rd.
Alexandria, La

City: 
Alexandria
Notes: 

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. both nights.

Boating Course Region 3

Date: 
Monday, February 2, 2015 - Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Address: 

Woodworth Rifle Range
551 Robinson Bridge Rd.
Woodworth, La 71485

City: 
Woodworth
Notes: 

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. both nights.

LDWF Reports Record Low for Boating Fatalities in 2013

Release Date: 02/13/2014

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division’s Boating Safety Program is reporting a record low of 13 boating fatalities for Louisiana in 2013.

The previous low for boating fatalities was 19 in 1992 with a high of 79 in 1974, which was the first year boating incident statistics were recorded.  Louisiana averaged 69 boating fatalities a year from 1974 to 1979, 52 a year from 1980-1989, 32 a year from 1990-1999, 37 a year from 2000 to 2009.  Since 2010 Louisiana has averaged 25 boating fatalities a year including 30 in 2012, 36 in 2011 and 21 in 2010.

“While we are always striving for lower boating incidents and fatalities, we are happy to report this record low for boating fatalities for 2013,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “It shows that some of our boating safety initiatives are working and that boaters are doing a great job of adhering to our safe boating regulations.”

LDWF contributes the drop in boating fatalities to the mandatory boating education class, stricter driving or operating a vessel while under the influence (DWI) enforcement and introducing new regulations for wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).

The LDWF Boating Safety Program began instituting mandatory boating safety education in 2003 for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1988 who operates a vessel in excess of 10 horsepower.  In 2010, LDWF worked with the state legislature to make the boating education course mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984.  Since 2003 LDWF has certified over 50,000 boaters statewide.

“The mandatory boating education course has proven in other states and this one that over time we will have fewer boating crash incidents and fatalities,” said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s Boating Law Administrator.  “We will eventually reach a point of saturation and every boater in the state will be boating education certified, which can only increase the safety of our waterways.”

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating fatalities than states without one.  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.

To take a free LDWF approved boating education course please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/boatingcourses.

LDWF has upped their DWI enforcement on the water and have worked with the state legislature in the recent past to make DWI laws on the water 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 and .02 for anyone under 21 years of age.

LDWF has also introduced a couple of new PFD regulations.  In 2007, LDWF made it mandatory for all on board a recreational vessel less than 16 feet in length that is steered by a hand tiller outboard motor while underway to wear a PFD.  In 2009, LDWF required anyone 16 years of age or younger to wear a PFD while onboard a vessel that is less than 26 feet in length.  The law previously stated that anyone under 12 was required to wear a PFD.

Also in 2007, LDWF made it mandatory for an operator of any recreational vessel less than 26 feet in length that already have an existing engine cut-off switch and equipped with a hand tiller outboard motor to use an engine cut-off switch.  The engine cut-off switches on these types of boats have to be attached to the operator via a lanyard.

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

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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