Weather, alcohol and new laws keep wildlife agents busy Labor Day weekend

by Brandon Richards

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - More people at area lakes and beaches for Labor Day weekend, meant more Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents were out and about.

The official statistics are not in, but agents say this was one of their busiest weekends in quite some time.

"[In] the last three days, we've actually had four boat accidents and two fatalities," said Remy Broussard, an agent with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Mother Nature is responsible for one of those fatalities. A Lake Charles man died after lightning struck his boat on the first day of the holiday weekend. Another man on the boat was seriously injured.

Agents say half of the accident reports they handle involve alcohol.

"A lot of it is just operator error," Broussard said. "Where they just tend to be inattentive and don't really pay attention to what's going on."

Aside from dealing with the weather and alcohol-related accidents, agents also spent time enforcing new boating laws.

There were 25 wildlife and fisheries agents working throughout southwest Louisiana on Monday.