Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited five men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on July 31.
While on oyster-growing-area patrol in Four Isle Bayou, agents found a vessel being used to dredge oysters from a private lease without the lease owner’s permission.
Agents cited Lawrence J. Verdin, 61, from Bourg; Wesley P. Verdin, 54, from Theriot; Shaft D. Jones, 29, of Houma; Russell A. Trahan, 24, of Houma; and Walter O. Jones, 29, from Houma, for unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease and failure to have written permission.
The oysters located on the vessel were seized and returned to the water. The boat and dredges were placed under an LDWF seizure order.
The penalty for unlawfully taking oysters from a private lease is a fine between $900 and $950, or imprisonment up to 120 days, or both, plus court costs and forfeiture of anything seized in connection with the violation. Failure to have written permission is punishable by a fine of $400 to $900, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs.
Any person convicted of these violations may for one year after the date of such conviction only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system. Access to the monitoring system shall be granted to LDWF. For that year, the person convicted of these violations shall identify for the department which vessel will be used to harvest oysters.
Agent participating in the case were Sgts. Richard Purvis and Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Norman Deroche.
Image courtesy Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries