BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards has appointed state Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The governor's office said Montoucet will take over as head of LDWF on Jan. 16, 2017.
"Jack Montoucet is a friend and a true Louisianan," Edwards said in a written release. "As a businessman, he understands the complex nature of running an organization such as Wildlife and Fisheries, and as an alligator farmer in Acadiana, he shares my belief that nothing should get in the way of Louisiana remaining the Sportsman's Paradise. This single agency represents so much about our culture, and I am excited to have Jack lead it into the future."
"I'm honored to be chosen by our governor to lead an agency that protects Louisiana's legacy and unique culture," Montoucet added in the same release. "I will be a uniter, not a divider, on important decisions about access to wildlife and fisheries that impact our environment and our way of life. I understand the seriousness of the issues raised by a recent audit, and the governor and I are committed to making the necessary reforms to this agency. Businesses, recreational sportsman and every interested party will have a seat at the table and they will be treated fairly, and I am looking forward to serving the Sportsman's Paradise."
Montoucet was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2008, owns a food processing business in Scott and is a retired fire chief with the Lafayette Fire Department.
Officials said Patrick Banks, the assistant secretary of the Office of Fisheries, will serve as the interim secretary until Montoucet takes over.
Charlie Melancon, the former secretary of LDWF stepped down on Dec. 14, 2016. The former congressman resigned on the heels of a state audit showing some problems under his predecessor.