Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Port Sulphur man for alleged commercial oyster violations on Sept. 19.
Agents arrested Nelson C. Williams III, 41, of Port Sulphur, for taking oysters from an unapproved area, taking oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully taking oyster from unleased state water bottoms, and violation of the state’s sanitation code for refrigeration.
Agents received a tip about Williams illegally harvesting oysters from an unapproved area and from unleased state water bottoms on April 22 around 1 a.m. Agents arrived on scene and found Williams' vessel already at the Hi-Ridge Marina with 30 sacks of oysters on the vessel.
LDWF agents found a cell phone on the vessel and after obtaining a warrant had a forensic download performed where evidence was found linking Williams’ vessel to unapproved areas and unleased state water bottoms in the Grand Bayou area.
This is Williams’s third offense for taking polluted oysters from waters closed by Department of Health and Hospitals, which can carry up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail. Williams may also be have his oyster harvester license revoked for 10 years from the date of the third conviction, which would make him unable to be present on a vessel harvesting or processing oysters.
The penalty for taking oysters during illegal hours, from unleased state water bottoms, and violation of the state’s sanitation code for refrigeration each carries up to a $950 fine and 120 day in jail for each offense.
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Adam Young, Senior Agent Travis Bartlett and Agent Blaine Wagner.