Two men cited for gill net violations in Cameron Parish

The following is a news release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men for alleged gill net violations in Grand Chenier in Cameron Parish on April 16.

Agents cited Richard Comeaux, 57, of Church Point, and Elridge Benoit, 71, of Duson, for using gill nets illegally, leaving nets unattended, taking commercial fish without a commercial fishing license and without a commercial gear license.

Agents responded to a complaint about illegal gill net activity in the saltwater area south of Highway 82 in Grand Chenier.  Agents observed Comeaux and Benoit retrieve two-gill nets that were hidden in the grass on the levee.  Agents then witnessed the subjects set one of the nets and herd fish into the net by driving their boat down the canal and chasing fish into the net.

After making contact with Comeaux and Benoit, agents determined that neither had a commercial fishing license or gear license.  Agents arrested the subjects and booked them into the Cameron Parish Jail.

Agents seized 147 pounds of garfish, a 15-foot aluminum boat with a 40 horsepower outboard, boat trailer and two gill nets.

Using a gill net illegally carries a fine between $900 and $950, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs.  Taking commercial fish without a commercial license or commercial gear license brings a $250 to $500 fine, up to 90 days in jail, or both plus court costs for each offense.  Leaving nets unattended carries a $350 to $500 fine, or jail time up to 30 days, license revocation and court costs.