|Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three fishermen for alleged oyster violations on April 9 in Plaquemines Parish.
Agents cited My Ngoc Nguyen, 52, Rudy Estrada, 28, of Buras, and Tito Mudoz, 30, of Houma, for unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease and failing to have written permission.
Agents were on patrol in Bayou Maringouin located in Port Sulphur responding to theft complaints from local lease holders when they witnessed three occupants in an aluminum flat boat harvesting oysters by hand. Agents made contact with the subjects and found they were harvesting oysters from a private lease without permission.
Agents seized 43 sacks of oysters and returned them to the private lease water bottoms.
Unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failing to have written permission carry up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for each offense.
The fishermen could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF 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 that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Austin Landry. The case will be forwarded to Charles Ballay for prosecution.