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      RS 56:6     

  

§6.  Special powers and duties; statistics; rules and regulations; reports

The commission, through its secretary:

(1)  Shall have supervision and control over all employees in every branch of the service, and shall give his entire time to the service and shall employ the unskilled labor and skilled assistance necessary for the efficient operation of the department.  He shall also employ scientists certified by the American Fisheries Society or the Wildlife Society to study the life, habits, and productivity of the wildlife of the state, both land and aquatic, however, he may employ special scientists with the relevant master's degrees.  These scientists shall make studies, compile the results, and promptly report them to the chief of the division to which the subject matter pertains, so that the recommendations predicated upon them may be made by the chief of the division to the secretary.

(2)  Shall receive all necessary expenses when engaged in the discharge of his official duties.

(3)  May fix the compensation and pay the expenses of commission employees; however, such expenditures and his salary shall never exceed the revenues available for the use of the commission.

(4)  May employ an attorney to represent the commission.

(5)  Shall fully represent the commission and discharge all the obligations and duties heretofore devolving upon the three members of the conservation commission, upon the department of conservation, upon the commissioner of conservation and upon the department of wildlife and fisheries with respect to those resources now under the jurisdiction of the director of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, which replaces these prior offices.

(6)  Shall collect, classify, and preserve such data and information as will tend to promote the objects of this Part.

(7)  Shall take charge and keep all records, books, papers, and documents which shall, in the discharge of his duties, come into his possession or under his control.

(8)  Shall make and execute all contracts and generally do all things necessary to carry out the objects of this Part.

(9)  Shall adopt bylaws for the government of the commission and the government of its employees.

(10)  Shall for the comprehensive control of birds, shellfish, finfish, and wild quadrupeds, adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this Part and in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

(11)  Shall examine all accounts and operations of the commission and determine the work to be undertaken.

(12)  Shall improve, enlarge, and protect the natural oyster reefs of this state as conditions may warrant, subject to the provisions stipulated in this Part and any other law.

(13)  Shall protect and propagate, when possible, all species of birds and game of whatever description, and shall establish preserves and hatcheries to be maintained and operated by the commission.

(14)  Shall rigidly enforce all law relative to the bedding, fishing, selling, shipping, and canning of oysters; all law relative to the protection, propagation, and selling of birds and game; all law relative to the protection, propagation, and sale of all species of fish in the state, whether salt water or fresh water fish, shell fish, or fish of any description; and all law relative to diamond-back terrapin and shrimp.

(15)  In general, has full power and control over birds and animals, whether they be game or fur-bearing or not; over all fish, whether salt or fresh water fish; over diamond-back terrapin, shrimp, and oysters of this state, found or being within its borders or within any of its waters, whether rivers, lakes, bayous, lagoons, bays, or gulfs.

(16)  Shall assist in protecting all lessees of private oyster bedding grounds in the enjoyment of their rights.

(17)  Shall assist in the protection of private fish ponds used by individuals to propagate fish.

(18)  Shall protect game preserves placed under the control of the state, provided they are used for the propagation of birds and game, or as resting places for birds or game, and shall see that such preserves are properly posted according to law.

(19)  Shall, in every possible way, assist in developing the natural resources of the state under his jurisdiction to their fullest proportions.

(20)  Shall prepare by the thirty-first day of December, 1954 and shall maintain on a current basis a complete map showing all leases of water bottoms and natural reefs in the waters of this state, as provided for in R.S. 56:421 through 56:460, and shall include a complete list of all leases theretofore made.  This map shall be made in large enough scale and with addenda showing the persons in whose name the leases were granted, the exact locations of said leases, and the exact amount of acreage of said leases.

(21)  Shall, in order to facilitate the distribution of recreational fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses and permits, as provided for in this Chapter, and the distribution of certificates of number and other registration certificates as provided in R.S. 34:851.1 et seq., be hereby authorized to designate and consign to special licensing or certificate agents, the issuance of such licenses, permits, certificates, and the collection of fees therefor.  Such special licensing or certificate agents may include individuals, associations, corporations, and partnerships.  The secretary is hereby specifically authorized to enter into agreements with special licensing or certificate agents which agreements would permit the retention by a licensing agent of a portion of the license fee proceeds collected either on a percentage basis or a per transaction basis, and by certificate agents on a per transaction basis only.  All special licensing or certificate agents, so designated, shall make returns of fees collected in accordance with conditions and terms determined and fixed by the commission.

(22)  The commission shall prohibit the discharge of brine from salt domes which are located on the coastline of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico and other petroleum wastes into any waters off said coastline and extending therefrom three miles or more into the Gulf of Mexico when it becomes evident that said discharge is damaging or threatens to damage the aquatic life in the waters of the state.  The commission may require that any brine disposal be monitored in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commission.

(23)  Is authorized, on behalf of the department and the state of Louisiana, to acquire land in any wilderness area in the state of Louisiana from a willing seller at a price agreed upon by the secretary and the landowner.  The secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, on behalf of the department and the state of Louisiana, is authorized to execute such documents as are necessary to properly effectuate the acquisition of property described herein.

(24)  Shall promulgate rules and regulations for the regulation of the dredging of fill sand and fill material, to effectuate the provisions of Chapter 12 of this Title.

(25)(a)  Shall promulgate rules and regulations, subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, to set seasons, times, places, size limits, quotas, daily take, and possession limits, based upon biological and technical data, for all wildlife and fish.  Any such rule or regulation shall have as its objective the sound conservation, preservation, replenishment, and management of that species for maximum continuing social and economic benefit to the state without overfishing that causes short-term or long-term biological damage to any species, and regarding all species of fish, without overfishing that leads to such damage.  Any season, time, place, size, quota, daily take or possession limit currently set by law shall be superseded upon promulgation by the commission of new rules and regulations concerning a particular species.  Aquaculturally raised fish, as defined by R.S. 56:356, shall be exempt from the provisions of this Section.  Penalties for violation of rules and regulations set by the commission pursuant to this Section shall be established by law.  The authority to determine game fish or commercial status of a particular species shall be retained by the legislature.

(b)  The provisions of this Section shall not amend, supercede, or repeal any other provision of the law pertaining to "Fish" (noun) as defined in R.S. 56:8.

(26)(a)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the secretary shall, after notification by the department to the applicant that the application is complete, grant or deny all applications for permits, licenses, registrations, or compliance schedules relating to oil and gas wells and pipelines within sixty days.  The notification of completeness shall be issued within fourteen days, exclusive of holidays, by the department.  If the application is not complete the department shall notify the applicant in writing of the deficiencies which cause the application not to be complete.  If the secretary does not grant the application, he shall provide written reasons for his decision to deny, and copies of the decision shall be provided to all parties.  The secretary may delegate the power to grant permits, licenses, registrations, variances or compliance schedules to an assistant.

(b)  If the secretary does not grant or deny the application within the time period provided for herein, the applicant may file a rule as provided for in R.S. 49:962.1.

(27)  Repealed by Acts 1995, No. 1316, §3.

(28)  May in accordance with law impose, by rule promulgated in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, a fee for nonresident recreational hunting licenses and nonresident recreational fishing licenses.  The nonresident recreational hunting licenses shall be those nonresident licenses and the nonresident stamps authorized by Subpart A and Subpart A-1 of Part IV of this Chapter.  The nonresident recreational fishing licenses shall be those nonresident licenses authorized by Subpart B of Part VI of this Chapter.

(29)  May provide for a program of dissemination of wildlife and fisheries information and education in the state of Louisiana.

(30)  Shall promulgate rules and regulations to control the importation and private possession of nonindigenous constrictors in excess of twelve feet in length, venomous snakes, and nonhuman primates.  The rules shall provide exceptions for animal sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife research centers, scientific organizations, and medical research facilities, including but not limited to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Primate Center and the Tulane National Primate Research Center.  Such rules shall address internet purchase of such animals.  Such rules shall also provide for permits for certain institutions and for owners who can prove ownership prior to July 1, 2003.

(31)  Shall promulgate rules and regulations to control the importation and private possession of big exotic cats including but not limited to tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and hybrids resulting from cross-breeding of such cats.  The rules shall provide exceptions for big cats traditionally kept by colleges and universities as school mascots, animal sanctuaries, zoos, wildlife research centers, and scientific organizations.  Such rules shall address Internet purchase of such animals.  Such rules shall also provide for permits for certain institutions and for owners who can prove previous ownership. Previous ownership shall include persons who obtained their animal by lawful means and continuously possessed their animal since August 15, 2006.  Violation of rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Paragraph constitutes a class two violation punishable as provided in R.S. 56:32.

(32)  Upon request of a lake commission, a fish and game commission, or a watershed district, may adopt regulations applicable to the use of yo-yo or trigger device fishing gear in a specific waterbody. When adopted by the commission, the regulations shall be uniform in their application to waterbodies subject to the regulations and shall provide that:

(a)  The use of yo-yos or trigger devices shall be governed by the following terms:

(i)  No more than fifty yo-yos or trigger devices shall be allowed per person.

(ii)  Except for those devices that are attached to a privately owned pier, boathouse, seawall, or dock, each yo-yo or trigger device shall be clearly tagged with the name, address, and telephone number of the owner or user.

(iii)  When in use, each yo-yo or trigger device shall be checked at least once every twenty-four hours, and all fish, and any other animal caught or hooked, shall be immediately removed from the device.

(iv)  Except for those devices that are attached to a privately owned pier, boathouse, seawall, or dock, each yo-yo or trigger device must be rebaited at least once every twenty-four hours.

(v)  Except for those metal objects located above the water that are affixed to a private pier, dock, houseboat, or other manmade structure which is designed for fishing, no yo-yo or trigger device shall be attached to any metal object.

(vi)  Except for a metal object used strictly in the construction of a pier, boathouse, seawall, or dock, no metal object which is driven into the lake bottom, a stump, tree, or the shoreline shall be used to anchor a yo-yo or trigger device.

(vii)  Except for those devices that are attached to a privately owned pier, boathouse, seawall, or dock, when not being used in accordance with the provisions of this Paragraph, each yo-yo or trigger device shall be removed from the waterbody immediately.

(b)  The use of trotlines shall be governed by the following terms:

(i)  All trotlines shall be clearly tagged with the name, address, and phone number of the owner or user and the date of placement. The trotline shall be marked on each end with a floating object that is readily visible.

(ii)  At any given time, no person shall set more than three trotlines with a maximum of fifty hooks each.

(iii)  All trotlines shall have an eight-foot cotton leader on each end of the trotline.

(iv)  Except for those metal objects located above the water that are affixed to a private pier, dock, houseboat, or other manmade structure which is designed for fishing, no trotline shall be attached to any metallic object.

(v)  Each trotline shall be attended daily when in service.

(vi)  When not in use, each trotline shall be removed from the waterbody by the owner or user.

(c)  A violation of any of the provisions of this Paragraph shall be a class one violation, except there shall be no imprisonment. In addition, any device found in violation of this Paragraph shall be immediately seized by and forfeited to the department.

(33)(a)  Upon request of a water conservation district, may adopt regulations applicable to the use of jugs or float fishing gear in a specific water body.  If adopted by the commission, the regulations shall be uniform in their application to water bodies subject to the regulations and shall provide for the opening and closing dates for the use of such gear.

(b)  A violation of any regulations adopted by the commission pursuant to this Paragraph shall be a class one violation, except there shall be no imprisonment.  In addition, any device found in violation of this Paragraph shall be immediately seized by and forfeited to the department.

(34)  May promulgate rules and regulations, subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, to manage and collect harvest information for recreational landings of state and federal cooperatively managed species in coordination with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, and to set seasons, times, places, quotas, daily take, possession limits, permitting, reporting procedures, landing requirements, tagging requirements, and other rules and regulations pursuant thereto necessary to manage and collect harvest information on recreational landings.

Added by Acts 1954, No. 581, §1.  Amended by Acts 1974, No. 717, §1; Acts 1975, No. 244, §1; Acts 1979, No. 527, §1; Acts 1981, No. 787, §1; eff. until June 30, 1982; Acts 1982, No. 418, §1; Acts 1982, No. 621, §1; Acts 1986, No. 845, §1; Acts 1989, No. 240, §1, eff. June 26, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 830, §1; Acts 1990, No. 376, §1; Acts 1990, No. 996, §4; Acts 1991, No. 157, §1, eff. July 2, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 708, §1; Acts 1991, No. 828, §3; Acts 1993, No. 754, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1316, §3; Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 31, §2, eff. April 24, 1998; Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 164, §2, eff. Sept. 21, 1998; Acts 2003, No. 1221, §1; Acts 2005, No. 133, §3, eff. June 22, 2005; Acts 2006, No. 715, §1; Acts 2010, No. 631, §1; Acts 2010, No. 777, §2; Acts 2011, No. 266, §2; Acts 2014, No. 697, §1.


NOTE:  See Acts 2014, No. 697, §2, regarding retroactive application.



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