Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited 16 people for alleged oyster violations Thursday in St. Bernard Parish.
According to a news release, agents cited Raymond Johnston, 56, Torie Gray, 24, Robert Wells, 57, Thomas Deogracias, 37, Raymond Green, 58, Aaron Tillman, 43, Anthony Johnson, 31, Fredrick Patterson, 39, Karl Carpenter, 34, Paul Farve, 29, Roger Tomasich Jr., 44, Rodney Bass, 49, Richard Mayne, 52, Terry Bilbo Jr., 22, all from Mississippi, Robert Richards, 51, of Laplace, and Jimmy Smith, 46, of Texas, for taking oysters from a polluted area.
Agents were responding to a complaint of boats harvesting oysters in a polluted area on the seed ground near Half Moon Island. According to the release, agents seized 192 sacks of oysters from six vessels and returned them to the water.
Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year. The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year, the release states.