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Session Information

2004 Regular Session Highlights

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Wildlife & Fisheries

by: Arthur McEnany
(225) 342-2414

BOATS/BOATING

Senate Bill 710 by Senator Ellington (Act 709) prohibits persons under 16 years of age from operating a personal watercraft unless they have completed a boater safety class.

House Bill 106 by Representative Farrar (Act 238) establishes "no wake"zones around public boat launches and public docking facilities.

House Bill 607 by Representative Jack Smith (failed in the house) would have required all persons under 17 years of age to wear life preservers on all boats under 26 feet.

COASTAL RESOURCES

House Bill 620 by Representative Pierre (Act 217) provides that the proper venue for actions for compensation arising out of oyster lease by a person who has entered into an oyster lease with the state shall only be in the 19th JDC, for the parish of East Baton Rouge.

COMMITTEE STUDIES

Senate Concurrent Resolution 107 by Senator Boasso (enrolled) creates the joint legislative commission on saltwater fisheries and the ad hoc saltwater fisheries advisory board to study and make recommendations to the legislature on revision of the laws and regulations for commercial and recreational fishing interests.

FISH/FISHING

Senate Bills 206 and 853 by Senator Butch Gautreaux (withdrawn from the files of the Senate) would have authorized the commercial taking of red drum and established a commercial quota for red drum caught by legal means.

Senate Bill 254 by Senator Butch Gautreaux (Senate Natural Resources Committee) and House Bill 1172 by Representative Odinet (Senate Natural Resources Committee) would have allowed night fishing for mullet.

House Bill 415 by Representative Jack Smith (Act 831) institutes a moratorium on the purchase of commercial crab trap gear licenses for the year 2005 under certain circumstances.

House Bill 733 by Representative Jack Smith and Senator Butch Gautreaux (conference committee report returned to the calendar) would authorize the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to adopt regulations for the use of yo-yo devices in certain lakes. The conference committee report amended the bill to allow night fishing for mullet, a measure (HB 1172) that was defeated earlier in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

House Bill 818 by Representative Odinet (House Natural Resources Committee) would have allowed a limited strike net season for black drum.

FUNDS/FUNDING

Senate Bill 117 by Senator McPherson (Act 174) requires $2 of any penalty or fine to be paid into the Fish and Wildlife Violations Reward Fund to pay rewards to individuals who provide information on fish and wildlife criminal activity.

HUNTERS/HUNTING

Senate Bill 2 by Senator McPherson (Act 927) is a constitutional amendment to preserve the freedom to hunt, fish, and trap subject to regulation, restriction, or prohibition imposed by law.

Senate Bill 375 by Senator Marionneaux (Vetoed) would have provided for statewide uniformity as to size and number of antlers which an antlered deer must possess in order to be legally taken. Any exceptions to uniformity would have had to be approved by the legislature and no rule or regulation in this regard couold have been adopted without formal approval of the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees.

House Bill 606 by Representative Jack Smith (Act 835) provides that a person under the age of 13 may purchase a combination lifetime license for $50 through June 30, 2006. Also provides that a lifetime hunting and fishing license for persons 60 years of age and older may be purchased for $50. Changes the Saltwater Fishery Enforcement Fund to the Saltwater Fishery Enforcement Account and places the account in the Conservation Fund and stipulates that monies in the account are to be used to supplement enforcement efforts related to saltwater fishery laws, rules and regulations. Provides that funds received by the department from contributions, donations, or court awards made specifically to the account shall be deposited to the account.

NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT

Senate Bill 118 by Senator McPherson (Act 613) establishes the White Lake Property Fund in the state treasury as part of the Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Fund and creates the White Lake Property Advisory Board. This instrument takes away management from the White Lake Preservation, Inc., a non-profit private organization.

PUBLIC LANDS

Senate Concurrent Resolution 24 by Senator McPherson (enrolled) requests the governor to adopt a policy that ensures the publicís right to access and use, for both navigation and fishing, naturally navigable waterways owned by the state.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 25 by Senator McPherson (enrolled) requests the governor to direct the state land office to complete an inventory of state waterbottoms and to provide funding to accomplish the task.

WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES DEPARTMENT

Senate Bill 105 by Senator Dupre (Act 297) requires the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to elect its chairman and vice-chairman at their first meeting in January.



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