Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited two men for alleged oyster violations on July 18 in St. Bernard Parish, according to a news release.
John P. Wust, 20, of St. Bernard, and Joshua Stigler, 24, of Violet, were written up for taking oysters from a polluted area, unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failing to have written permission, according to the release. Wust also was cited for a log book violation.
Acting on complaints in the area, agents allegedly observed a vessel operated by Wust and Stigler actively dredging for oysters in a polluted area. One sack of oysters was seized and returned to the water, and agents seized the dredge and vessel on a department seizure order, the release states.
Taking oysters off a private lease and taking oysters from a polluted area each carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense. Taking oysters without written permission carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Violating a sanitation code for the log book on a vessel carries a $25 fine and up to 10 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. The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year, the release states.