The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is offering up to a 1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for cutting down trees on Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area in Avoyelles Parish.

According to a news release, LDWF agents acting on a tip found 16 trees cut down in early December, presumably to block access to the northern part of the WMA in hopes of keeping other hunters out of the area.

The cypress, oak and willow trees, which ranged from 10- to 30-inches in diameter, were down crossing a canal that connects Cocodrie Bayou to Bayou de la Bay on the WMA.

 Anyone with information regarding the downed trees should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511, or use LDWF’s tip411 program.

To use tip 411, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411, or download the LADWF Tips app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 are monitored 24 hours a day, and informants can remain anonymous. 

The penalty for cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage of state property, which can bring up to a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.  There may also be a civil restitution charges for the replacement value of the trees and the cleanup required, according to the release.