SHRIMP TRAWLERS CHARGED WITH DESTROYING CRAB TRAPS

Release Date: 01/21/2006

A coordinated effort between Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents and Enforcement Division pilot Russell Johnson resulted in alleged crab trap violations for three Chauvin men on Jan. 4 in Iberia Parish.


Robert Pinell, 37, Darrel Theriot, 44, and Jermaine Domangue, 32, were cited for destroying legal crab traps, removing the contents of crab traps without permission from the licensee and taking commercial fish without a commercial crab trap gear license. 


Enforcement Division Capt. Jubal Marceaux received a complaint from a commercial crab fisherman alleging that people aboard a commercial trawler had picked up a number of his crab traps and would not return them to him.  The crab fisherman stated the trawl boat left the area with the crab traps and he provided the name, description and direction of travel.


Enforcement pilot Johnson located the vessel approximately three miles south of South Point near the Marsh Island State Refuge.  Johnson relayed the vessels position to Senior Agents Keith Delahoussaye and Lonnie Campbell who were on boat patrol near Marsh Island.  The agents boarded the trawl vessel and discovered 10 serviceable crab traps with the floats removed.  Some of the crab traps still contained fresh bait.  All but one trap was tagged.  The tag numbers were traced to six different commercial crab fishermen.  Further investigation revealed that people aboard the trawler had removed the crab traps from the water, cut the floats and removed crabs from some of the traps.  The investigation will continue and further charges may be filed on Pinell, Theriot, and Domangue.


Destroying legal crab traps or removing crab trap contents without permission each carry a fine of $400 to $750, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs.  Taking or possessing commercial fish without a gear license is punishable by a fine of $250 to $500, or jail time up to 90 days, or both plus court costs.


EDITORS: For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or at klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov.