2004 Regular Session Highlights
Wildlife & Fisheries
by: Arthur McEnany
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
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
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.
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.
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Butch Gautreaux (withdrawn from the files of the Senate) would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
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
House Bill 818 by Representative Odinet
(House Natural Resources Committee) would have allowed
a limited strike net season for black drum.
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.
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
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.
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
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.