Enforcement

Two Louisiana Men Cited for Commercial Fishing Violations

Release Date: 12/05/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two mullet fishermen on Dec. 4 for alleged commercial fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Clayton M. Buras, 35, of Franklinton, and Joseph L. Neal, 39, of Boothville, for taking commercial mullet during illegal hours.

Agents were responding to complaints of illegal mullet fishing when they observed the two subjects shining the water in an attempt to locate mullet.  Agents then stopped the vessel and found mullet strike net filled with mullet still alive around 3 a.m. near Port Eads in South Pass.

Agents seized 1,966 pounds of mullet and a 1,200-foot mullet strike net.  Louisiana law prohibits the commercial taking of mullet after legal sunset.

Taking commercial mullet during illegal hours brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

The two may also face a mandatory mullet permit suspension for a conviction of illegal fishing.  There is a mandatory one-year suspension for first conviction, two year suspension for a second conviction and a life suspension for a third conviction.

Agents Cite Night Hunters in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 12/05/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two subjects for alleged night hunting violations in Plaquemines Parish on Dec. 4.

Agents cited Mikal Black, 19, and Adrienne Black, 49, both of Port Sulphur, for hunting wild game quadrupeds during illegal hours and hunting from a public roadway.

Agents were patrolling an area in west Pointe a la Hache around 12:45 a.m. on Dec. 4 when they observed a vehicle driving slowly along the shoulder of Hwy. 23.  Agents watched the subjects for several minutes as they actively shined the side of the roadway with a spotlight in a manner that is common for hunting with a spotlight.

The agents then made contact with the subjects and found that they were in possession of six freshly killed rabbits and two firearms.  Agents seized the six rabbits, two rifles and two spotlights.

Hunting rabbits during illegal hours brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting from a public roadway brings a $100 to $350 fine or imprisonment for not more than sixty days, or both, for the first offense.  The two subjects may also face civil restitution totaling $190 for the replacement value of the illegally taken rabbits.

LDWF Agents Cite 16 People in Terrebonne Parish for Harvesting Oysters from a Polluted Area

Release Date: 11/28/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents have cited 16 people from six different vessels for alleged oyster violations on Nov. 23 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Carlos L. Garcia, 25, of Montegut; Daniel A. Mendez, 35, of Montegut; Antonio C. Aquado, 61, of Houma; Meguel A. Rojas, 45, of San Leon, Texas; Abraham Mendoza-Saaverdra, 22, of Houma; Juan Cardenas-Arredongo, 43, of Houma; Jose Cardenas-Calderon, 24, of Houma; Erica M. Trosclair, 40, of Houma; Mario Gomez, 40, of Houma; Mateo S. Samitez, 25, of Houma; Rios Bernardo, 30, of Gray; Javier Moreno-Mendez, 33, of Gray; Diego Montoya-Garawto, 53, of Bourg; Omar M. Reyes, 25, of Houma; Jose Luis Yanez Ramirez, 37, of Theriot; and Hermico Gomez-Luna, 28, of Houma; for taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area.

Agents were on patrol in Sister Lake when they observed six vessels actively dredging for oysters in unapproved polluted waters.  Agents seized a total of 77 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Complaint Yields Several Polluted Oysters Cases

Release Date: 11/17/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents cited 16 subjects for alleged oyster violations on Nov. 16 in St. Bernard Parish.

Agents cited Raymond Johnston, 56, Torie Gray, 24, Robert Wells, 57, Thomas Deogracias, 37, Raymond Green, 58, Aaron Tillman, 43, Anthony Johnson, 31, Fredrick Patterson, 39, Karl Carpenter, 34, Paul Farve, 29, Roger Tomasich Jr., 44, Rodney Bass, 49, Richard Mayne, 52, Terry Bilbo Jr., 22, all from Mississippi, Robert Richards, 51, of Laplace, and Jimmy Smith, 46, of Texas, for taking oysters from a polluted area.

Agents were responding to a complaint of several boats harvesting oysters in a polluted area on the seed ground near Half Moon Island in Lake Borgne.  Agents located and documented six vessels harvesting oysters from the polluted area.  Agents seized a total of 192 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent Joel Cromp and Corporal Mike Marquez.

Port Sulphur Man Cited for Crab Trap Theft

Release Date: 11/16/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a man Port Sulphur man for alleged crabbing violations on Oct. 27 in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Charles K. Granger, 50, for theft of crab traps and use of crab traps without the required markings.

Agents were on patrol in Yellow Cotton Bay near Venice when they spotted a vessel around 12:30 p.m. being operated by Granger actively tending crabs traps.  As agents investigated the traps they found multiple untagged traps and several traps that did not have tags identifying Granger as the owner.

Theft of crab traps and tending crab traps without the required markings each brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Agents participating in the case are Senior Agent William T. Bartlett and Agent Anthony Corner.

Houma Man Cited for Illegal Shrimping on Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA

Release Date: 11/14/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited a Houma man for alleged shrimping violations on Nov. 9 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Dwayne T. Hotard, 44, for illegally taking commercial fish, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, blocking the passage of fish, over the limit of shrimp on a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and being on a WMA after hours.

Around 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 9, agents received a complaint about a net that was stretched across a flood control structure off of Point Farm Road on the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA.  Agents arrived on scene around 7 p.m. and found a vessel being operated by Hotard fishing a net that was propped up across the flood control structure.

Agents found Hotard in possession of 329 pounds of shrimp.  Agents seized the shrimp and sold them to the highest bidder and also seized the vessel on a department seizure order.

Shrimping on the Pointe-aux-Chenes WMA is limited to 25 pounds per boat per day during an open inside waters shrimping season.

Taking commercial fish illegally carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking commercial fish without a vessel license and blocking the passage of fish each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Being on a WMA after hours and over the limit of shrimp on a WMA each bring a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Sgt. Thomas Dewitt, Corporal Dean Aucoin and Senior Agent Stephen Rhodes are participating in the case.

Biloxi Man Cited for Illegal Shrimping Violation in Breton Sound

Release Date: 11/09/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement agents cited a Biloxi man on Nov. 7 for allegedly shrimping in state waters with illegal turtle exclusion device’s (TED).

Agents were patrolling in Breton Sound conducting a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol when they found a shrimping vessel in Breton Sound.  Agents made contact with the captain, Canh Huu Nguyen, 37, and performed a license compliance check and TED inspection.

During the inspection, agents measured the two TEDS installed in the vessels two large nets and found them both out of compliance with state and federal regulations.

Nguyen was issued a citation and his TEDs were seized.  Agents also seized approximately 2,100 pounds of shrimp and sold them to the highest bidder.

Trawling with illegal TEDs brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Shrimp trawlers in the Atlantic Area or Gulf of Mexico Area need to have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing.  However, certain exemptions to these requirements may apply (e.g. vessels without power or mechanical means of net retrieval, test trawls, skimmer and butterfly nets in compliance with tow time restrictions).

Agents participating in the case are Lt. Dave Nunez, Sgt. Austin Arteaga, Sgt. Keith Francis, and Corporal Rick Clark.

Haynesville Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

Release Date: 11/01/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Haynesville man for alleged deer hunting violations on Oct. 28 in Claiborne Parish.

Agents cited Roy W. Odom, 66, taking over the daily bag limit of antlerless deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received a public tip about a man cleaning two doe deer at a shop near Haynesville around 10 p.m.  Agents responded to the scene and found Odom currently cleaning one doe with another uncleaned doe on the ground next to him.

During questioning, Odom admitted to harvesting both does earlier in the day.  Hunters are only allowed one antlerless and one antlered deer per day during either sex dates in the area Odom was hunting.

Agents also found both deer without the required deer tags.

Possessing over the daily bag limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Odom may also face up to $3,250 in civil restitution for the replacement value of the deer.

Agents involved in the case are Corporal Bryant Coburn and Lt. Kenneth Balkom.

Body of Missing Boater Recovered from Bayou Bienvenue

Release Date: 10/27/2017

Search and rescue crews with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office (SBSO) Marine Division and the U.S. Coast Guard recovered the body of a Zachary man from a St. Bernard Parish waterway on Oct. 27.

The body of Haskin Payne, 44, was recovered from Bayou Bienvenue around 6 p.m. on Oct. 27.  Payne’s body was found near the same area where he fell overboard from his 24-foot-vessel while fishing on Bayou Bienvenue near Chalmette on Oct. 26.

LDWF enforcement agents received a call about a man who fell overboard around 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.  The SBSO Marine Division was the first agency on scene and found Payne’s wife in the boat on the banks of the bayou.  The SBSO was able to transport the wife to an ambulance and then the ambulance transported her to University Hospital in New Orleans where she got treated for hypothermia.

According to the wife, they were fishing when her husband slipped and fell into the water.  Payne’s wife then jumped in the water and was unsuccessful in trying to get him back in the vessel.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Both Payne and his wife were not wearing personal flotation devices at the time of the incident.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 10/27/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred on Oct. 26 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents were notified around 12:20 p.m. of a two vessel collission that fatally injured Charles E. Evans, 86, of Houma, in Bayou Labout near Dulac.

According to witnesses, Evans was operating a vessel in Bayou Labout when he and another vessel collided with the other vessel running over Evans’ vessel.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Evans’ body was turned over to the Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.

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