Two state agencies, Wildlife and Fisheries along with Ag and Forestry, are warning waterfowl hunters to avoid transporting or planting Roseau cane from any of the state’s southern parishes.

Doing so is a violation of state law, enacted after Roseau Cane Scale was discovered on the cane two years ago.

The “scale” is a small, nonnative insect which has laid waste to vast areas of the cane in several coastal areas with the most disastrous effects seen in the lower reaches of Plaquemines Parish along and off the Mississippi River.

The warning comes before the Labor Day weekend, a time when some teal hunters are getting ready for the Sept. 15 opening of the special 16-day September teal season.

Fishermen also are advised about transporting cane — albeit a sometimes accidental movement from marshes back to landings — after reports of increasing bass-fishing success off the Mississippi River and in advance of the approaching fall and winter speckled trout and redfish action in these areas.

The joint release also advised hunters and fishermen to avoid tying boats to Roseau cane, to remove Roseau cane debris from boats prior to heading back to launch sites, and to “wash and drain boats at or near marinas with soapy water” in an effort to limit the spread of this invasive insect state investigators believe came from China or Japan.

The advisory outlined the quarantined area — all areas south of La. 10 from the Louisiana-Mississippi line west to U.S. 171 in Vernon Parish then south to U.S. 190 in DeRidder to the Louisiana-Texas line.

WTH

What the heck was Benjamin Becnel thinking when state Enforcement Division agents used available technology to track him down earlier this month after alleging Becnel made not one, but two of what the agents’ report were “fake distress calls” while boating on False River.

The report stated the LDWF received a call in the vicinity of the Pointe Coupee Parish oxbow lake, then responded to the call, but found no one in distress. Later in the day, another call was made to the Coast Guard from the same area. According to the report, the Coast Guard dispatched an air search-and-rescue team, and was joined by on-the-water searches by the LDWF and the parish’s Sheriff’s Office.

During the night, LDWF agents and sheriff’s deputies found Becnel, who, the report stated, admitted he made the “fake” calls on a VHF radio.

Becnel was cited for criminal mischief and faces a fine of up to $500 fine and a possible six month jail sentence.