Litter problem closes parts of Rockefeller wildlife refuge

The following is a news release from the LDWF:

July 12, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has closed a portion of Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) due to litter problems created by recreational fishermen.

The water management control structure known locally as Mud Hole, in that portion of Rockefeller SWR within Cameron Parish, will be closed to the public until further notice.

Refuge regulations prohibit littering, which includes not returning bycatch of recreational cast-netting to the water. Public use of the site has led to an accumulation of bycatch fish (mostly menhaden) that has created unsanitary conditions and litter along the banks of a water control structure accessible only by boat.

The unsanitary conditions caused by decaying fish prompted the precautionary closure. Refuge staff and Enforcement Division staff closed the structure July 11 to begin debris and litter removal left by structure users.  This area of the refuge will remain closed until further notice to insure the area is once again safe for public use.

Refuge users are reminded that it is against refuge regulations to litter, including not returning by-catch to the water. Violators can receive a citation for failure to comply.  To report littering on Rockefeller SWR or any LDWF property, individuals are encouraged to report violators to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-442-2511.