Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents with assistance from Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) personnel cited two men for alleged oyster violations on June 29 in Plaquemines Parish.
LDWF agents cited Derrick Bennett, 28, of Violet, and Nicholas Hoey, 37, of Poydrus, for taking oysters from a polluted area and from an unleased state water bottom.
Agents received a call from DHH personnel about two subjects taking oysters in an unapproved polluted area in Bayou Terre Aux Boeufs. Upon arriving on the scene agents along with DHH personnel made contact with Bennett and Hoey.
After investigating the incident and questioning all involved LDWF Agents seized 17 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water. Agents also seized the oyster dredge used in taking the oysters. The vessel involved was seized on a department seizure order.
Taking oysters from a polluted area carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Taking oysters from an unleased state water bottom carries a $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail.
The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department 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 with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Jason Gernades and Agent Blaine Wagner.