UNLEASED STATE WATER BOTTOMS YIELDS VIOLATIONS IN LAKE MECHANT

Release Date: 07/02/2007

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division's Oyster Strike Force agents cited seven men on June 26 for alleged oyster violations in Lake Mechant located in Terrebonne Parish.


Jesus Resendiz Zarraga, 53, and Mauro Raymundo Aragon Garcia, 32, both from Houma, Tano Flores, 31, of Bourg, Santiago Martinez Flores, 44, of Montegut, Wade Lacoste, 38, Brandon Slaughter, 30, and a juvenile, all from Theriot were cited for taking oysters from unleased state water bottoms.


Responding to complaints in lower Terrebonne Parish, agents saw two vessels dredging for oysters on unleased water bottoms.  The area in question contains unleased state water bottoms and private leases. 


Utilizing LDWF's global positioning satellite equipment, agents marked the locations before boarding the vessel.  The locations were proven to be on unleased state water bottoms, where oyster harvesting is illegal.


Agents seized and returned 70 sacks of oysters to the water and placed four oyster dredges and two boats being used under a department seizure order. 
 
The penalty for unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms is a fine between $400 and $950, or imprisonment for up to 120 days, or both plus courts costs.


Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Mike Garrity.


For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov or 225-765-2988.
2007-172