Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited nine people on April 8 for alleged oyster violations in Hell Hole Bayou in Terrebonne Parish, according to a press release.
After observing the vessels, agents cited Jolio C. Garcia, 30, Omar Ever Aviles Gomez, 28, Daniel M. Sanchez, 21, Francisco Arnulfo Ruiz Maradiaga, 34, all from Houma; Hermilo G. Luria, 25, Mario G. Lara, 37, Carlos T. Gonzaga, 30, Francisco A. Tenoria, 30, all from Gray; and Eduardo L. Alejo, 27, of Theriot, for harvesting oysters from an unapproved polluted area and unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease without written permission.
Agents seized the dredges and returned 115 sacks of oysters to the water, and seized the vessels on a department seizure order, the release states.
Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail, and taking oysters from a private lease without permission carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail, according to the release.
The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year, be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and be allowed to only harvest oysters from a vessel with a monitoring device for up to one year, the release states.