The following is a news release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:
March 18, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited six Louisiana individuals for alleged oyster violations on March 17 in Cameron Parish.
Agents cited Jerell Dwayne Christopher, 52, of Abbeville; Carroll Henderson Laws, 71, of Abbeville; Matthew Gaskins, Jr., 54, of Lake Charles; Waverly Evans Levere, 53, of Abbeville; Hubern Ray Doxey, Jr., 18, of Cameron; and Angela Kay Trahan, 21, of Creole; for unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms in Calcasieu Lake.
Christopher was also cited for failing to display proper numbers on his oyster vessel. Doxey was also cited for taking undersized oysters from a natural reef.
Due to complaints received at the Lake Charles office and regular patrols concerning oystering in closed areas of Calcasieu Lake, LDWF Enforcement dispatched a plane to patrol the area by air. Special concern was given to a cultch planting on a reef on the south end of the lake, which is a closed area for oystering.
From the plane, agents observed three oyster boats working in the area of the closed reef. LDWF agents then met the boats at the oyster docks while the plane was able to keep constant contact with the vessels.
Agents seized 22 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water. They also seized the three vessels and dredges.
Unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms carries a fine between $400 and $950, or jail time up to 120 days or both plus court costs and forfeiture of anything seized. Failing to display proper numbers on an oyster vessel brings a $50 fine or jail time up to 15 days. Taking undersized oysters from a natural reef carries a $100 to $350 fine, or up to 60 days in jail, or both plus court costs.