L.D.W.F. News

L.D.W.F. News Release

Authorities Find Body of Missing Boater on Ouachita River

Release Date: 09/22/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies found the body of Charles Trascher, 64, of Monroe, on the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish this morning, Sept. 22.

Trascher was reported missing shortly after 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 when he did not return home from a fishing trip according to his family.  Authorities recovered Trascher’s 17-foot aluminum vessel in the Ouachita River near West Monroe during the evening hours of Sept. 20. 

Agents and deputies searched for Trascher throughout the night of Sept. 20 and all day Sept. 21.  Trascher's body was found without a personal flotation device around 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 22 about one mile south from where his vessel was recovered.

LDWF had two sonar units on scene to assist in the search.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

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

*Amended* Authorities Searching for Missing Boater on Ouachita River

Release Date: 09/21/2012

*Amended*

Search and rescue crews are currently searching for a missing boater on the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies are searching for Charles Trascher, 64, of Monroe, who was reported missing shortly after 6 p.m. on Sept. 20.

According to family, Trascher never returned home yesterday from a fishing trip.  Authorities recovered Trascher’s 17-foot aluminum vessel in the Ouachita River near West Monroe last night, Sept. 20, and searched throughout the night.

LDWF will have two sonar units on scene today to assist in the search.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

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

Three Avoyelles Men Cited for Wildlife Violations

Release Date: 09/21/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Avoyelles Parish men for alleged wildlife violations on Sept. 14 in Avoyelles Parish.

Agents cited Kristopher A. Dugas, 21, of Marksville, and Eric M. Dauzat, 25, of Hessmer, for allegedly taking a six-point buck during a closed season, during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting from a public road and moving vehicle, without basic and big game licenses, and possession of an illegally taken deer.  Kristopher Dugas was also cited for taking deer with an illegal firearm.

Agents also cited Terry A Ducote Jr., 42, of Hessmer, for possession of the illegally taken deer and illegal possession of an alligator.

An LDWF agent received information that Dauzat and Kristopher Dugas killed a buck at night during the month of August.  During questioning, Dauzat admitted that he and Kristopher Dugas killed the buck at around 12:28 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 21 in the Fifth Ward community with a .17 caliber rifle.

The deer’s six-point head still in velvet was at the residence of Terry Ducote Jr.  When the agents went to Terry Ducote’s residence to take possession of the head, they also found an untagged alligator tail.

Taking deer during a closed season and during illegal hours brings a fine of $900 to $950 or up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a fine of $400 to $950 or up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a public road and taking a deer with an illegal firearm brings a fine of $100 to $350 or up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting from a moving vehicle carries a fine of $250 to $500 or up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without basic and big game licenses brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.

Illegal possession of an alligator carries a fine of $400 to $950 or up to 120 days in jail.

Kristopher Dugas and Dauzat may also be held responsible for restitution in the amount of $1,624 for the illegally taken deer.  Terry Ducote may also be held responsible for restitution in the amount of $375.80 for the illegally taken alligator.

The deer and alligator tail were seized and donated to charity.

Agent participating in the case are Sgt. Gabe Guidry, Senior Agent John Volentine, and Senior Agent Doug Anderson Jr.

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

LDWF Moves Forward with VMS Pilot Program for Public Seed Ground Oyster Vessels

Release Date: 09/20/2012

September 12, 2012 – In an effort to better manage the more than 1.6 million acres of public oyster beds, the state has implement the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Pilot Program, which requires oyster vessels fishing on the public seed grounds to have a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries provided VMS.

Data collected through the VMS Pilot Program will allow LDWF to better manage the resources on the public oyster seed grounds.  The department worked closely with oyster industry leaders to create a program that will not be burdensome to harvesters

VMS units will be provided to all oyster permit holders by LDWF. The entire system, service and installation will be provided at no cost to the vessel operator. Participants in the VMS Pilot Program will only be required to minimally maintain care for the units.

LDWF has contracted Pole Star Space Applications through a competitive bidding process to provide the data collection services. Pole Star will provide the VMS monitoring solution, and will coordinate with vessel owners to install the equipment. Pole Star, along with their sub-contractor Radio Holland USA, will be coordinating the installation effort for the entire oyster fleet.

Oyster vessels who harvest on public seed grounds must have a VMS unit installed to remain in compliance with current regulations.  If they do not have a VMS unit currently installed they need to confirm with LDWF that installation has been scheduled.

To schedule a VMS installation, please contact Sam Boyd with Radio Holland USA at LDWF@radiohollandusa.com, or (713) 378-2145

All information collected by LDWF will be considered privileged and confidential and will not be made public. Vessels owners will be allowed to track their own vessels through VMS installed onboard their oyster vessels.

Currently, over 700 vessels are permitted to harvest on public oyster beds. The Louisiana oyster industry provides more than one-third of the nation’s oyster consumption.

During the 2011 Legislative Session, the Louisiana Legislature passed Act 266, giving LDWF the authority to require VMS devices onboard vessels that harvestoysters for commercial purposes on public seed grounds.  This action was taken to enable the department to better manage the public oyster resource.

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, and on Facebook at www.facebook.comldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Richard Weiser at rweiser@wlf.louisiana.govor (225) 761-2389 or Jason Froeba jfroeba@wlf.la.gov225-765-0121.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504) 430-2623.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Enforcement Committee and Public/Private Oyster Ground Committee to Meet

Release Date: 09/19/2012

(Sept. 19, 2012) – The Louisiana Oyster Task Force Enforcement Committee and Public/Private Oyster Ground Committee will meet together at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 25, prior to the 1 p.m. Oyster Task Force Meeting, at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210 in New Orleans.

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

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at Ashley@louisianaseafood.com or (504) 286-8735.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Next Week in New Orleans

Release Date: 09/19/2012

(Sept. 19, 2012) – The next meeting of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force will be held on Tuesday, September 25 at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210 in New Orleans.

The agenda is as follows:

I.  Roll Call

II.  Approval of  July 31, 2012  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 -

   G.  Health – (Tenney Sibley)

V.  Old Business

   A.  BP Oil Spill Remediation

     1. Claims Process

     2. Public Reef Remediation

     3. Oyster Lease Remediation

VI.  New Business

   A.  Kristin McLaren-Oyster Taskforce appointee to LSPMB

   B.  Assessment of Damages from Hurricane Isaac

   C.  Thomas Soniat- Louisiana Oyster Stock Assessment Workshop

   D.  Private Land Oyster Companies in Louisiana-Mike Voisin

VII. Set Next Meeting

VIII.  Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

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

For more information please contact Ashley Roth at Ashley@louisianaseafood.com or (504) 286-8735.

 

 

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 09/19/2012

(Sept. 19, 2012) -The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. The meeting will convene at 10 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans.

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

I.  Approval of Minutes From July 31, 2012 Meeting

II. Hearing of New Permit Appeals

    a.  Curtis Alfonso

III. Set next meeting date

IV.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.

 

L.D.W.F. Extends East Zone Alligator Season through Oct. 4 Due to Impacts from Hurricane Isaac

Release Date: 09/18/2012

Sept. 18, 2012– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today the extension of the East Zone 2012 Wild Alligator Harvest Season through Thursday, Oct. 4.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham approved the extension in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 49:953B of the Administrative Procedure Act and LAC 76:V.701.A.7.a.i.

LDWF had delayed the scheduled opening of East Zone alligator hunting from Aug. 29 until Sept. 1 due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, which reached hurricane strength before landfall.

The storms impacts included flooding and displacement of residents, and inundation of alligator habitat in coastal wetlands.  For these reasons, many alligator hunters in southeastern Louisiana were delayed in their efforts to begin hunting Sept. 1 and need additional time to complete their alligator harvest activities.  The East Zone is now scheduled to close on the same day as the West Zone, which began as scheduled on Sept. 5.

Alligators taken from the wild may be removed from hook and line, and other legal capture devices, only during daylight hours between official sunrise and official sunset.  Hunters are reminded to coordinate their harvest activity with their local alligator buyer or processor as they may have also been affected by the hurricane.

For more information contact Noel Kinler 337-373-0032 or nkinler@wlf.la.gov.

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

 

LDWF Encourages Local Anglers to Fight Back Against Invasives

Release Date: 09/17/2012

(Sept. 17, 2012)– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will host an invasive species awareness event on Saturday, September 29, including a free fishing rodeo  to help reduce the Rio Grande cichlid population in the Greater New Orleans area. 

Local anglers are encouraged to fight back against this invasive species, which is known to outcompete native sportfish for habitat and bedding areas.

Native to northeast Mexico and southern Texas, cichlids were first reported in Louisiana in June 1996 in Lake Pontchartrain.  During the last few years, they have quickly spread throughout the Greater New Orleans area and are now one of the most common fish found in urban canals. 

This free fishing rodeo, open to youth and adults, was developed to encourage local residents to help reduce cichlid numbers.  Competition categories include adult, team (up to 10 participants), and youth (12 & under) divisions.  In addition to the fishing competition, there will be plenty of other activities including Louisiana fish and invasive species education, casting lessons, fly fishing demonstrations, free giveaways and much more.

Anglers interested in participating in the fishing rodeo can register in advance online at www.wlf.la.gov/rio-registrationor onsite beginning at 5:30 a.m. at the Old Casino Building and Popp Bandstand in New Orleans City Park and can begin casting their line immediately after.  The first 100 registrants will receive a free “Rigged and Ready” rod and reel courtesy of CCA Louisiana.  Fish weigh-in will close at 11 a.m. 

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

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.

LDWF Agents Seize 51 Teal on Catahoula Lake

Release Date: 09/17/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited eight men for allegedly possessing over the limit of migratory game birds on Catahoula Lake in LaSalle Parish on Sept. 15 and 16.

Agents were on patrol on Catahoula Lake on Sept. 15 when they came in contact with four men that were leaving their hunting area.  During a license and limit inspection, agents found the men in possession of 28 teal, which put them 12 over the limit.  The men stated they were unaware of the four teal per person per day possession limit.

John P. Randall, 28, of Urania, Jereme B. Johnson, 27, of Ruston, Clint L. Cooksey, 27, of Jena, and Steven C. Douglas, 28, of Olla were issued state citations for possessing over the limit of migratory game birds.

On Sept. 16 on Catahoula Lake agents came in contact with four more men that were leaving their hunting area.  Agents again performed a license and limit inspection and found them in possession of 23 teal, which put them seven over the limit.

Casey M. Deville, 17, of Lecompte, Dusty D. Ducote, 18, of Alexandria, Austin G. Linzay, 18, of Lecompte, and Brandon L. Simmons, 21, of Marksville, were issued citations for possessing over the limit of migratory game birds. 

Agents seized the 51 teal from the eight men and donated them to charity.

Violating state migratory waterfowl violations brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Troy Mayo and Joey Merrill.

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

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