Release Date: 01/29/2008

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited Lawrence Nicoscia, 44, of Violet, on Jan. 17 in St. Bernard Parish for allegedly taking undersized oysters.

Agents were patrolling in the lower St. Bernard area known as Hopedale when they observed 14 pallets of oysters located outside of refrigeration at a seafood dock.  Further investigation by the agents revealed the oysters were harvested by Nicoscia. 

Agents determined that the oysters were taken from public grounds where a 3-inch minimum size is required.  Oyster fishermen are allowed a 15 percent tolerance of undersized oysters.  The lot of oysters was found to be in violation, and 262 sacks of oysters were returned to the water.

Taking undersized oysters from a natural reef carries a fine up to $350, imprisonment up to 60 days, or both plus court costs.  Upon conviction, offenders may be required to take oysters only from vessels equipped with an approved vessel monitoring system.

Agents participating in the investigation were Lt. Eddie Skena, Sgt. Scot Keller, Sgt. Bryan Marie, Lt. Billy Gomillion, Senior Agent Mike Garitty, Senior Agent Kris Bourgeois and Agent Timothy Fox.

For further information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or