Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two men on June 5 for an alleged littering violation near Blind Bay in St. Bernard Parish.
David A. Lewis, 59, and Aaron Francis, 61, both from Braithwaite, were cited for gross littering from a boat.
Responding to complaints in lower St. Bernard Parish, agents saw a vessel being used to dump oyster shells in Blind Bay. This practice is commonly called "bedding" oyster shells. The purpose is to improve the oyster reef and enhance oyster production.
Closer observation revealed floating latex gloves, silicon tubes, plastic covers, and other discarded items floating in the water around the vessel. The trash consisted of items commonly used at an oyster shucking facility. The agents found the same items mixed in the remaining oyster shells on the vessel. The crew on board the vessel were washing the items overboard with high-pressure water, commonly used in the bedding of oysters.
On June 7, 2007, agents located the owner of the vessel. The ensuing investigation revealed that Louis Curt Pannagl, 47, of Braithwaite was responsible for the oyster shells and litter being placed on the oyster grounds in Blind Bay. Agents also cited Pannagl for alleged gross littering.
The penalty for gross littering is a fine up to $1000 and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program as approved by the court. In addition to penalties otherwise provided, a person convicted under this section shall repair or restore property damaged by or pay damages for any damage arising out of the violation of this section and pay all reasonable investigative expenses and costs to the investigative agency or agencies.
Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Bryan Marie, Sgt. Eddie Skena, Senior Agent Mike Garrity, Lt. Stephen McManus, and Capt. Brian Clark.
For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-765-2988.