Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited Davis B. Corley, 47, and William D. Smith, 47, both of Pineville, along with Herbert R. Rusk, 48, of Dry Prong, for allegedly possessing illegally taken fish on Red River in Rapides Parish on Feb. 7.
Senior Agent Spencer Cole and Agent Byron Cammack were on patrol on Red River when they saw Smith and Rusk in a boat near Bayou Maria. As the agents approached the two men, Rusk started throwing fish overboard.
Agents found Smith and Rusk with 212 channel catfish, three crappie and three bream that they admitted taking from recreational hoop nets belonging to Smith. Agents also discovered that 183 of the catfish were under the 11-inch minimum size limit required on channel catfish. The legal limit for catfish is 100 per day with no more than 25 under the minimum size limit.
The agents then saw Corley and a juvenile in a boat in the same area. They found Corley to be in possession of 14 crappie, one black bass and a few catfish that he admitted taking from his recreational wire nets.
Corley, Rusk, and Smith were each cited for possessing game fish illegally. Smith was also cited for two counts of possessing more than the limit of catfish.
Agents seized 212 catfish (158 of which were returned alive to the water), 17 crappie, three bream and one black bass in the case and donated them to charity. Agents also seized two boats, two 50 hp outboard motors, one boat trailer, three hoop nets and four wire nets.
The penalty for possessing game fish illegally is a fine between $400 and $950, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs and forfeiture of anything seized. Possessing over the legal limit of catfish is punishable by a fine between $100 to $350, or jail time up to 60 days, or both plus court costs.
For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.