The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) in a joint investigation cited three Mississippi men for illegally shocking fish on the Pearl River on Aug. 11.
Investigators cited Lance O. Davis, 41, of Poplarville, Miss., James A. Howard, 51, of Poplarville, Miss., and Howard D. Restor, 40, of Lumberton, Miss., for taking fish using illegal methods and a federal Lacey Act violation for transporting illegally taken fish from Mississippi to Louisiana.
Investigators learned about the three men shocking fish on the Pearl River from an anonymous informant. During the past month investigators from the two states set up surveillance on the river.
In the afternoon of Aug. 11 an LDWF agent observed the three men in a boat arrange and assemble a shocking device, which consisted of a long electrical wire attached to a small section of chain and a 12-volt electrical supply system.
The agent then observed the men in Washington Parish in Louisiana waters shocking the water and using a dip net to collect fish that came to the surface into the boat. The agent then observed the vessel make its way into Mississippi waters and notified the MDWFP.
From a distance the LDWF agent was able to observe the men using the same shocking technique to collect fish in Mississippi waters. He also watched the men come back into Louisiana waters and to their Louisiana camp on the western shore of the Pearl River.
LDWF and MDWFP agents made contact with the men at their camp. They found the men in possession of 24 catfish filets, one whole catfish and other catfish parts. LDWF agents seized the fish, 14-foot boat, shocking device and 25 horsepower motor. Charges in Mississippi are still pending.
James A. Howard was also cited for failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements and failing to comply with engine cutoff safety switch requirements.
The Lacey Act violation brings up to a $10,000 fine and five years in jail. Taking fish using illegal methods brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. The boating safety violations each bring a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Agents participating in the case for LDWF are Capt. Len Yokum, Sgt. Darryl Galloway and Senior Agent Lee Davis. MDWFP agents include Lt. Kallum Herrington, Sgts. Kelly Farmer and Mike Jones and Privates Bryant Deschamps, Jake Guess and Joey Herrington.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.