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LEEC eNews Bulletin: Join Us This Weekend at the Symposium

Please join us this Saturday at the Baton Rouge Marriott for the 2018 Environmental Education State Symposium. This annual event brings together formal and non-formal educators from every corner of Louisiana and surrounding states to sharpen our environmental education skills.

 

The theme this year is “Green STEM” and many of the presentations will highlight the exciting possibilities for education where science, technology, engineering and mathematics meet environmental concepts.

 

If you plan on attending and have not yet registered, you have two options. To pay by credit card, use the pre-registration form on the symposium webpage. To pay by check, visit the registration desk on site beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday.

 

For more information visit http://www.wlf.la.gov/louisiana-environmental-education-symposium or contact Thomas Gresham at tgresham@wlf.la.gov.

 

 

Agent Observes Illegal Fish Transaction in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 02/14/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for their roles in an alleged illegal fish buying and selling transaction in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Patrick Percle, 55, of Schriever, on Feb. 5 for purchasing game fish and buying fish from an unlicensed dealer.  Agents also cited Timmy Autin, 56, of Houma, on Feb. 9 for selling or buying fish without a wholesale/retail license, failing to maintain records, selling or purchasing game fish, selling undersized fish, and buying commercial fish from an unlicensed dealer.

An Agent on patrol on Feb. 5 observed a truck belonging to Percle with multiple ice chests in the bed parked at a gas station on the corner of Hwy. 20 and North Main Project Road in Schriever.  The agent then noticed Autin approach the truck and pour ice and fish into the ice chests in the bed of Percle’s truck.  The agent then observed Percle hand Autin money.

The agent then followed Percle as he left the gas station and stopped his vehicle.  During questioning, Percle admitted to the agent that he purchased red drum and crabs for $50.  The agent counted 22 red drum in the cooler of which 20 were undersized and six dozen crabs.

On Feb. 9, agents met with Autin where he admitted to buying the fish and crabs from another person and then called Percle to sell the fish and crabs to him.

Agents seized the fish and donated them to a local charity and returned the crabs back to the water.

Selling or purchasing game fish and buying commercial fish from an unlicensed dealer each carries a $350 to $500 and 30 days in jail for each offense.

Selling or buying fish without a wholesale/retail license, failing to maintain records, and selling undersized fish each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.

Three Restaurants Caught Selling Swai Fish as Catfish

Release Date: 02/14/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three restaurant managers on Jan. 26 in central Louisiana for allegedly selling swai fish as catfish.

Agents cited Robert Fant, 63, of Pineville, Mollie McDowell, 27, of Pineville, and Michael Rhodes, 39, of Pineville, for selling swai fish as catfish to their customers.

Agents received a tip that the Rosie Joe’s restaurant in Alexandria and the Crazy Cajun restaurant in Tioga were selling swai fish as catfish.  Agents performed an inspection of both restaurants and found that catfish was listed on the menu and found swai fish in the freezer.  Agents cited McDowell and Fant as a result of these restaurant inspections.

Agents also learned that the same practice occurs at the Debarge’s Crawfish restaurant in Alexandria and cited Rhodes.

Selling swai fish as catfish brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

LDWF Agent Arrests Man for Crabbing and Criminal Violations

Release Date: 02/08/2018

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agent arrested a St. Bernard man for alleged criminal and commercial fishing violations on Feb. 6 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agent arrested Michael L. Diaz III, 23, for resisting an officer, taking commercial fish without commercial fishing and vessel licenses, using crab traps without required markings, violating crab trap ring requirements, and intentional littering.

The agent was on patrol in Bayou La Loutre when he observed Diaz III actively fishing crab traps.  The agent approached Diaz III to conduct a commercial license compliance check and commercial fish inspection.

During the inspection, Diaz III was unable to present commercial fishing and vessel licenses.  Diaz III also possessed multiple untagged crab traps, which he admitted to fishing prior to placing into his vessel.  The untagged crab traps were also absent of a third escape ring required during commercial fishing.

When told he would need to release his crabs back into the water, Diaz III threw the crabs and basket into the bayou.  During the Agents encounter with Diaz III, He ignored Agents lawful commands to exit his vessel and became non-compliant.

The agent with assistance from St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies were then able to detain and arrest Diaz III and book him into the St. Bernard Parish Jail.

Taking commercial fish without commercial fishing and vessel licenses each carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Violating crab trap escape ring requirements and using crab traps without required markings each carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Littering carries up to a $500 fine and serving eight hours in a litter abatement work program.  Resisting an officer brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.

St. Bernard Crabber Cited for Numerous Violations

Release Date: 02/08/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a St. Bernard man for alleged crabbing violations on Feb. 5, 2018.

Agents cited Lynn L. Alfonso, 41, for using crab traps without required markings, violating crab trap escape ring requirements, and taking commercial fish without a vessel license.

The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office also cited Alfonso and his deckhand for criminal trespassing.

Authorities observed Alfonso in the Point a La Hache area checking crab traps on private property.  Alfonso was also using crab traps without tags and with less than the required three escape rings.

Using crab traps without the required markings and violating crab trap escape ring requirements each bring a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Criminal trespassing brings a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Bethany Man Caught On Game Camera Illegally Hunting and Trespassing

Release Date: 02/07/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested a Bethany man for alleged criminal and hunting violations on Feb. 3 in Caddo Parish.

Agents arrested Richard Wilson Jr., 38, for resisting an officer, theft, hunting without basic and big game hunting licenses, hunting deer during illegal hours, failing to comply with deer tagging regulations, criminal trespassing, and hunting deer using illegal methods.

Agents received a tip about a man being caught on a game camera hunting at night on a private lease without permission.  Agents setup surveillance on the area and observed a man fitting the description hunting at night.  When agents approached the man and identified themselves as LDWF agents, the man fled the area on foot.

Through further investigation, agents were able to identify the man as Wilson Jr.  Agents then got a search and arrest warrant for Wilson Jr.  Upon serving the warrants and during questioning, Wilson Jr. admitted to illegally hunting at night, not possessing the required hunting licenses, stealing game cameras, and using a .17 caliber rifle to hunt deer.

Wilson Jr. also admitted to taking an antlered deer during the 2016-17 hunting season and two antlered deer during the 2017-18 hunting season all at night without tags.

Agents seized two rifles, three sets of antlers and packaged deer meat.

Hunting deer at night carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting deer using illegal methods brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Hunting without basic and big game licenses each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail for each offense.

Resisting an officer carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Theft brings up to a $3,000 fine and five years in jail.  Criminal trespassing carries a $100 to $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Wilson Jr. may also face civil restitution totaling $4,873 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issued $4,800 in Rewards At Meeting

Release Date: 02/06/2018

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $4,800 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on Jan. 27 in Baton Rouge.

The LOGT board reviewed 13 cases that included public tips from informants.  A total of 23 subjects were apprehended and a total of 181 offenses were written in regards to the reviewed cases.

The cases reviewed and awarded money to the public for their assistance consisted of 10 deer cases, an alligator case, and two migratory waterfowl cases.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, tipsters can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone and Android apps.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

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