The Louisiana Charter Boat Association (LCBA) presented Sergeant Joshua Laviolette with the first Theophile Bourgeois Memorial Award at today’s meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
The LCBA will present this award annually to the law enforcement officer who best exemplifies the mission of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), particularly as it relates to promoting professionalism in the within the Louisiana rental industry.
Since 2018, Sergeant Laviolette has led LDWF law enforcement in charter guide settlement citations, citing subjects 12 times in Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. Several of these quotes involve curbing the epidemic of unlicensed charterers, an illegal activity that the LCBA and LDWF strongly condemn.
“Sergeant Laviolette has proven to be a dedicated, thorough and hardworking law enforcement officer,” said Col. Chad Hebert, LDWF Chief Law Enforcement Officer. “He has been a leader in charter guide compliance and investigating unlicensed guides. He is firm but fair, with a tenacious work ethic.
“This award means a lot, not only to me, but also to Region 8. Without the continued support, teamwork and collaboration of all officers, this would never have been possible,” said Sergeant Laviolette . “Those who have chosen to introduce themselves as charter guides for the state of Louisiana know that when you have clients or booked clients, your goal is to provide an unforgettable experience. When it comes to Enforcement Officers, we recognize the profession and hold it to a high standard knowing that Charter Guides are in state waters in accordance with the laws and showing guests that Louisiana truly is paradise. sportsmen.
“Led by the leadership of Colonel Hébert and the commitment of Sergeant Laviolette, LDWF Enforcement has done tremendous work to increase the professionalism of the charter fishing industry in Louisiana by citing numerous charter violations, including unlicensed charter operators,” said LCBA Executive Director Richard Fischer. “We thank Sergeant Laviolette for his outstanding and selfless service, and we look forward to recognizing LDWF Enforcement’s continued success on this front.
The LCBA made a $1,000 contribution to Sergeant Laviolette’s chosen charity. This contribution was made to the Cure SMA in honor of Sergeant Laviolette. Cure SMA is dedicated to the wonderful cause of providing funds, research and care for people with spinal muscular atrophy.
“I chose Cure SMA as my charity of choice because I have a close relative who suffers from the disease,” Sergeant Laviolette said. “Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a rare inherited genetic disease in which muscles throughout the body are weakened because nerve cells in the spinal cord and brainstem do not function properly. SMA is the primary genetic cause of infant mortality.
The inaugural award given to Sergeant Laviolette is named after the late legendary Charter Captain Théophile Bourgeois. Captain Bourgeois built Bourgeois Fishing Charters in Barataria, Louisiana into one of the state’s premier charter operations. He was quite the character, too, becoming one of the most sought-after TV and digital media personalities Louisiana has ever produced. As it is aptly written in his obituary, “Captain Bourgeois’ work ethic was matched only by his humor and kindness; everyone who crossed Théophile’s path found themselves forever with a story they were eager to share.
“Captain Bourgeois truly possessed the rare quality of being able to put customers on fish while making them laugh with his charm and wit,” Fischer said. “He lived his life with a boisterous cheerfulness that translated seamlessly into every fishing trip and every TV and social media appearance.”
Captain Bourgeois also knew how to be serious when the weather demanded it. He has helped the LCBA win several political victories as a dedicated board member, and he has always been a strong advocate for the utmost professionalism in the Louisiana rental industry.
Sadly, Captain Bourgeois tragically passed away following a seaplane accident on August 18, 2019. Captain Bourgeois’ two clients survived the ordeal and credited him with his life to save theirs. As sad as it is to remember the death of our friend and colleague, the Louisiana charter industry cannot think of a better person in our world who exemplified the oath to put others above self that enforcers live daily in their world. From this great grief, we are honored to name this award in his memory.