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.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents arrested a Denham Springs man on Sept. 18 for alleged illegal alligator hunting violations.
Agents arrested David Caveretta, 42, for not abiding by alligator hunting rules and regulations, not abiding by Wildlife Management Area (WMA) regulations, taking alligators from unapproved areas, possession of illegally taken alligators, improperly tagging alligators, criminal trespassing and obstruction of justice.
Acting on a public tip, agents began a month long investigation into Caveretta’s alligator hunting guide service. During the investigation agents determined that Caveretta was conducting an illegal hunting guide service on the Joyce WMA in Tangipahoa Parish. It is illegal to conduct guided hunts for money on public lands.
Agents also determined that Caveretta was placing alligator lines and capturing alligators on private lands in Tangipahoa Parish without landowners permission. He also did not have the proper LDWF licenses to capture alligators in those areas.
During questioning, Caveretta attempted to mislead agents about these illegal alligator hunting activities. Agents seized two alligators connected to the case.
Not abiding by alligator hunting regulations, taking alligators from unapproved areas, possession of illegally taken alligators and improperly tagging alligators each bring a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense. Not abiding by WMA regulations brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
Criminal trespass carries up to a $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail. Obstruction of justice brings up to a $10,000 fine and five years in prison.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal single vessel incident in St. Tammany Parish.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office recovered the body of George A. Charrier, 67, of Pontchatoula, around 2:15 p.m. from Lake Pontchartrain.
Charrier's body was found about nine miles from the north shore of Mandeville and about 60 yards east of the Causeway Bridge at mile marker 13.1. Charrier's 14 foot vessel was found partially submerged between the bridge spands.
It is unknown at this time what caused Charrier to enter the water or how long he was in the water. LDWF agents believe the incident may be weather related as a thunderstorm kicked up in the area where Charrier was fishing.
LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. Charrier was found with a personal flotation device on his body though it was not properly fastened or secured. His body was turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office to determine a cause of death.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents recovered the bodies of two men from Bayou Teche in St. Martin Parish this afternoon, Sept. 15.
Agents recovered the bodies of Reese Hebert, 21, and Timothy Guidry, 20, both of Breaux Bridge, from Bayou Teche just south of Breaux Bridge.
Agents received a call around 1 p.m. about two men who were missing after not returning from a fishing trip the night before. Agents arrived on scene around 1:30 p.m. and found Hebert’s Body around 3:20 p.m. and found Guidry’s body around 5:30 p.m.
Agents learned that the two men went out fishing from a pirogue around 1 a.m. this morning, Sept. 15, about 100 yards south of a private fishing pier. After not returning from the fishing trip, the mother of one of the boys searched the bayou and found a partially sunken pirogue and alerted authorities.
LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. The two men were found without wearing a personal flotation device. The bodies were turned over to the St. Martin Parish Coroner's Office to determine a cause of death.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two men for alleged oyster violations on Sept. 13 in Terrebonne Parish.
Agents cited Justin Dunn, 26, and Donovan Adams Jr.,22, both from Houma for taking oysters from a polluted area.
Agents responded to complaints of illegal taking of oysters in polluted areas in several locations around Bayou Terrebonne. Agents identified the two subjects harvesting oysters in the canal west of Bayou Terrebonne. The area is designated as closed to oyster harvesting by Department of Health and Hospitals.
Agents seized 11 sacks of oysters and retuned them to the water. Agents also seized the vessel used in the illegal activity on a department seizure order.
Taking oysters from a polluted area 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. 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 Sgts. Bryan Marie and Ted Dewitt and Senior Agent Norman Deroche.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents rescued two stranded boaters last night, Sept. 12, on Lake Pontchartrain in St. John the Baptist Parish.
Agents were notified about 9:15 p.m. of two boaters who were stranded in between Manchac Pass and Frenier Landing on Lake Pontchartrain. The 45 and 32 year old men called authorities after the motor on their bass boat stalled and high winds pushed the vessel toward the rocky shoreline.
Since the men could not be reached anymore by cell phone and didn’t possess a GPS, agents searched a wide area before hearing a faint voice from the rock sea wall. Agents found the two men on the rock sea wall after they abandoned their swamped boat from the crashing three foot seas.
The agents were able to safely get close enough to the rocks to get the two men in their patrol vessel around midnight. The agents then transported the men to the Frenier boat launch where the men received minor medical treatment from the Acadian ambulance before being released.
LDWF Agents Jeffrey Farmer and Patrick Dempsey participated in the search. St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office, Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard also participated in the search.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents recovered the body of a Garyville man around 3 a.m. this morning, Sept. 12, from a waterway in St. John the Baptist Parish.
LDWF agents along with St. John the Baptist Sheriff Office deputies recovered the body of Nelson Trosclair, 54, from Mississippi Bayou and transported him to the Hope Canal boat launch. Medical personnel pronounced him dead at the boat launch.
Agents learned that three men were frogging in Mississippi Bayou when they hit a submerged tree limb ejecting Trosclair from the 17 foot flat bottom vessel into the water. The two other men on the boat tried to retrieve Trosclair but were unsuccessful and called 911 for assistance.
LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident. Trosclair was recovered without a personal flotation device and his body was turned over to the New Orleans forensic center to determine a cause of death.