Three men cited for red snapper violations

Illegal snapper allegedly found aboard offshore supply boat in federal waters, LDWF says

Three men aboard a offshore supply boat were cited May 16 in connection with alleged red snapper fishing violations, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced.

LDWF enforcement agents cited Vergice Bergeron, 41, of Cutoff; Morgan City’s Chester Ellingson, 52; and Jimmy Pitre, 32, of Galliano for possession of red snapper during a closed season, over limit of red snapper and failing to keep saltwater fish intact, the agency reported.The citations came while agents were on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol 40 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, the LDWF said.

Agents allegedly observed an oil supply boat tied to a stationary rig, and upon approaching the rig the agents observed several rods and reels on the deck of the vessel, the agency reported.

Agents allegedly discovered fillets of red snapper when they searched the vessel, the LDWF news release explained.

Agents seized 42 red snapper fillets that weighed approximately 21 pounds. The civil restitution value of 21 red snappers totals $602.49.

Red snapper season in Gulf of Mexico waters opens on June 1 with a two fish per person per day limit.

Taking red snapper during a closed season carries a fine up to $350 and up to 60 days in jail. Taking over the limit of red snapper and failing to keep saltwater finfish intact brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.