Release Date: 10/16/2007

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents from Region 8 and the Oyster Strike Force issued a total of 59 criminal citations to alleged oyster violators and 441 sacks of oysters were seized on the public seed grounds east of the Mississippi River between the opening of the season on Sept. 5, 2007 and Sept. 21, 2007.

Agents made daily patrols in the area checking for compliance with minimum size requirements for oysters.  State law mandates that the minimum size for oysters taken from the public seed ground at 3 inches in length from the hinge to the mouth.

Among the citations agents issued, 29 were for taking undersized oysters from a natural reef, 11 for failure to display proper numbers on a vessel, six for sanitation code violations, five for taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, four for violations of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission rules and regulations due to the illegal taking of oysters from a closed cultch area in Black Bay, two for no running lights, and one for taking or possessing commercial fish without a vessel license.

The violations ranged from Class 1 to Class 3 and can carry penalties from $50 to $500, or jail time between 15 to 90 days, or both plus court costs.  These citations were a result of a group enforcement effort and long hours put in by the agents of Region 8 and the Oyster Strike Force.

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