General

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Request for Workshop and/or Tour Proposals

In 2019, the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is bringing continuing education to you! Throughout the upcoming year, we’ll be focusing on environmental efforts going on in each part of the state, so in lieu of a single-location conference, we are staging workshops and/or tours in each of the major regions around Louisiana. The regional short courses will take place on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

Does your town or parish have a unique take on improving the environment? Do you have a program that teachers in your area would love to see? We are issuing a request for proposals from educators and organizations to present a 3, 4 or 7 hour workshop, tour or combo on your own home turf. Any location from small town to big city will be considered.

Find our request for proposals form below, or visit https://goo.gl/forms/UWzng9tQ5049xrMv1.

 

USFWS and LDWF partner to remove logjam in Pearl River at Pool’s Bluff

Release Date: 08/17/2018

On August 28 The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will begin deploying equipment to remove a logjam on the Pearl River just downstream from Pool’s Bluff.   Logs and other man-made debris have formed a blockage on the Pearl River in Mississippi at the Louisiana / Mississippi border near the town of Bogalusa, LA.

 

The Pearl River navigation canal will be closed at Pool’s Bluff boat launch from August 28 to October 1 to allow for a temporary equipment crossing.   Additionally, a small area of the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge will be closed in the immediate vicinity of the construction work. We anticipate that all construction should be completed prior to the October 1 opening of hunting season.

 

“This project will not only reopen the river for migratory fish like threatened Gulf sturgeon but will also remove trash, plastic and marine debris from the ecosystem,” said Jack Montoucet, LDWF Secretary. Also, it will reduce extreme erosion of adjacent river banks that threaten to fill scarce deep-river habitat in the area. These areas provide essential low-temperature habitats where sturgeon can take refuge from heat of shallow waters in the summer months.

 

Boating on the river will also be safer. Boaters currently navigate the dangerous obstruction which blocks access to much of the 40,000 acres of public land on the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge, as well as portions of the Old River Wildlife Management Area in Mississippi. "This is a great opportunity. It's nice when our work yields a positive impact on species like Gulf sturgeon and also improves public safety and access to our public lands", Glenn Constant, Project Leader US Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

The project is being conducted through the FWS National Fish Passage Program in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and with cooperation from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Additional funding was awarded to the Southeastern Aquatic Resource Partnership (SARP) for this project through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Removal Program.    

 

This project is the culmination of many months of work between federal, state and local leaders. “It is very rewarding that the efforts of a two-state coalition led to the removal of this hazardous logjam,” says State Representative Malinda White.   “It has been a long process but worth all the hard work to restore this section of the river.   There are several challenges ahead for the Pearl. As we lean forward, we will continue to work as a coalition, across state lines, with a holistic approach to our tributaries, river basins, and coastal waterways. One affects the other like dominoes.”

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Elmer’s Island airstrip improvements move closer to reality

Release Date: 08/16/2018

 Seated: Jack Montoucet, LDWF Secretary; David Camardelle, Grand Isle, LA Mayor Back Row: Arthur Bellanger, Kelly Besson, Rep. J

Today, Representative Gisclair, Mayor Camardelle of Grand Isle and others witnessed LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet sign an agreement for the Grand Isle Independent Levee District (GIILD) to operate and manage the Grand Isle Airport at Elmer’s Island. 

This agreement, between Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Grand Isle Independent Levee District (GIILD), would include the development of an aircraft hangar, an aircraft ramp and tie down, fuel tanks, fueling area as well as an area for a terminal building.   “We expect that this airstrip will allow for enhanced public use and recreational activities on the Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge,” stated Governor Edwards.

LDWF conducts inshore and offshore research projects that are vital to the assessment of our oyster and fishery resources in nearby Grand Isle, Louisiana. “In addition to increasing recreational access to the Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge and the Elmer’s Island Management Area, this airstrip will provide our agency easier access to our fisheries research lab and oyster hatchery,” said Jack Montoucet, LDWF Secretary.

This airstrip will improve access for out-of-state tourists to Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island, Grand Isle.  “The Elmer’ Island Airstrip is an airstrip that historically serviced Grand Isle for many years. Now that the airstrip is public owned and locally operated, we have the opportunity to rebuild it into an airstrip that we can all be proud of,” said Mayor Camardelle. “The economic, recreational and public safety benefits associated with this airstrip are tremendous.”

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.la.gov.To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF Agents Cite Two Men for Taking Alligator During Closed Season

Release Date: 08/16/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged alligator violations on Aug. 15 in St. Mary Parish.

Agents cited Barry Pedigo, 59, of Pensacola, Florida, and Logan Madere, 28,of Westwego, for possessing an alligator during a closed season.

Agents received information about an alligator being illegally harvested at Burns Point Park located in St. Mary Parish.

After investigating the information, agents learned that Pedigo captured an alligator by hand.  Pedigo was bit multiple times and had to be taken to Lafayette General Hospital to be treated for moderate injuries.  Madere then killed the alligator.

Agents seized the 4 foot 8 inch alligator.

Harvesting an alligator during a closed brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men may also face civil restitution totaling $375.80 for the replacement value of the alligator.

LDWF Clarifies Commercial Crab Regulation

Release Date: 08/16/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind commercial fishermen about the regulations of egg-bearing crabs.

Fishermen may not harvest any female crabs in the berry stage (when they are carrying eggs or young attached to the abdomen). Egg bearing crabs must be immediately returned to the water without injury to protect this next generation of crabs.

However, a legally licensed commercial fisherman may have, in the fisherman’s workbox only, an incidental take of not more than two percent total crabs in the berry stage.

Violating crab possession limits could result in up to a $950 fine, 120 days in jail and have crabs and equipment seized.

Stephensville Man Arrested for DWI and Drug Charges

Release Date: 08/15/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a St. Mary Parish man for alleged fishing, boating and drug violations on Aug 14.

Agents arrested Mark Derouen, 33 of Stephensville, for operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI), illegal possession of suspected marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, felony cultivation of marijuana, not possessing a recreational fishing license, and fail to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements.  Agents also cited Melinda Hartley, 49, of Stephensville, for violating crab trap marking requirements.

While patrolling the Lake End Park in St. Mary Parish agents observed a vessel on Lake Palourde being operated by Derouen with Hartley and cooler full of crabs onboard.

Agents made contact with both subjects and found that Hartley did not tag any of the crab traps she used with the required LDWF license number.

After further investigation, agents also found Derouen in possession of a zip loc bag with marijuana and a large plastic grocery bag full of fresh marijuana, multiple smoke pipes and other drug paraphernalia.

After receiving permission to search Derouen’s residence, the Morgan City Police Department and St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office narcotic teams inspected Derouen’s residence where they found marijuana plants.

Derouen was also found to be impaired at the time of the stop.  Agents booked Derouen into the St. Mary Parish Jail.

Not tagging crab traps with the required markings carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Not abiding by PFD
requirements and not possessing a fishing license each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

A DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia each brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Cultivation of marijuana carries up to a $50,000 fine and five to 30 years in jail.
 

Lafayette Man Cited for Fake Distress Calls

Release Date: 08/15/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Lafayette man for alleged criminal mischief on Aug. 13 in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Agents cited Benjamin T. Becnel for criminal mischief for making fake distress calls from the radio on his vessel.

Agents received a call on Aug. 13 in the afternoon about a distress call in the vicinity of False River.  Agents made contact with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and informed them that they went to the vicinity of the distress call and could not locate anyone in distress.

On the evening of Aug 13, another mayday call went out to the USCG in the vicinity of False River near Oscar.  The USCG deployed a search and rescue mission by air and the LDWF and Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) deployed vessels to False River.

At approximately 10 p.m. LDWF agents and PCSO deputies made contact with Becnel who was an occupant on a vessel on False River earlier in the day.  During questioning, Becnel informed the agents and deputies that he had made the distress calls by VHF radio from his vessel.

Criminal mischief brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Marrero Man Cited for Recreational Fishing Violations

Release Date: 08/14/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Jefferson Parish man for alleged recreational fishing violations on Aug. 11.

Agents cited Keith Camper, 33 of Marrero, for possessing undersized red drum, using crab traps without required markings, violating crab trap escape ring requirements, violating recreational gear requirements and taking game fish illegally.

While on patrol in the Barataria Waterway in Jefferson Parish near Lafitte, agents observed Camper operating a vessel with several crab traps on board.

Agents made contact with Camper and found him in possession of 11 crab traps of which he admitted to fishing and emptying their contents in his ice chest.  Agents also observed no visible markings on any of the traps and they only contained two escape rings.

Agents found Camper in possession of 47 blue crabs and two undersized red drum that were all caught in the crab traps.  Agents seized and donated the red drum and seized and returned the blue crabs back to the water.

All crab traps, including those deemed as recreational, shall have a minimum of three escape rings.  Recreational crab traps also require markings sufficient to enable agents to clearly identify crab traps including the license number of the owner of such crab traps.  Recreational crab fishermen are also limited to fishing 10 traps per day per licensed fisherman.  Furthermore, red drum may not be retained as by-catch and are still subject to applicable size limits.

Using crab traps without required markings, violating crab trap escape ring requirements, and taking game fish illegally each carry a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Taking and possessing undersized red drum carries $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Violating recreational gear requirements brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Iberia Parish

Release Date: 08/13/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a single fatal boating incident that occurred on Aug. 11 in Iberia Parish.

The body of Leonard Norbert Jr., 58, of New Iberia, was recovered from Mud Lake around 9:50 p.m. on Aug. 11.

LDWF agents along with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office were alerted around 6:40 p.m. by two fishermen that found an unmanned aluminum boat and a fishing pole nearby in the water.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Norbert’s body was found near the unmanned boat without a personal flotation device.

It is unknown at this time how Norbert entered the water.  His body was turned over to the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

Body of Ponchatoula Man Recovered from Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 08/12/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a single fatal boating incident that occurred on Lake Pontchartrain on Aug. 11 in Tangipahoa Parish.

The body of Milton B. Gomez, 66, of Ponchatoula, was recovered around 7:15 p.m. by authorities about a mile south of where the Tangipahoa River feeds into Lake Pontchartrain.

Agents were alerted around 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 about an unmanned 17-foot aluminum vessel in Lake Pontchartrain.  LDWF agents along with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard participated in the search.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  It is unknown at this time how Gomez entered the water.  Gomez’s body was found without a personal flotation device.

Gomez’s body was turned over to the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

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