In two separate cases Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited five men for alleged oyster violations on Jan. 10 in Terrebonne Parish.
Agents cited Christopher P. Luke, 44, of Houma, and Rocky L. Rel, 37, from Thibodaux, for taking oysters from a polluted area in Sister Lake. Agents also cited Dustin M. Buquet, 19, Cline J. Ledet, 30, and Homer Pinos-Mazariegos, 20, all from Chauvin for taking oysters from a polluted area, failing to have written permission and unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease in Bay Souri.
While responding to Sister Lake complaints, agents observed Luke and Rel taking oysters north of the lake, which is closed to harvesting. In a separate case agents also found Buquet, Ledet and Pinos-Mazariegos taking oysters from Bay Souri, which is also closed to harvesting. The three men in Bay Souri were also harvesting oysters on a private lease without written permission.
Agents seized a total of 30 sacks of oysters and retuned them to the water. Agents also seized the vessels and gear used in the illegal activity on a department seizure order.
Taking oysters from a polluted area and unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease each carries a $900 to $950 fine 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, 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.
Failing to have written permission carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Norman Deroche.