Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged recreational fishing violations in the Gulf of Mexico in Vermilion Parish on August 5.
Agents cited Craig Hebert, 63, of Maurice, Eric Couvillion, 67, of Breaux Bridge, and Matthew Dehart, 31, of Abbeville, for taking over the limit red snapper, failing to keep saltwater finfish intact and intentional concealment of fish. Dehart was also cited for taking an undersized cobia.
Agents were on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico south of Vermilion Parish when they contacted the three men just south of Freshwater Bayou returning from an offshore fishing trip. Agents found them in possession of nine red snapper and an undersized cobia.
After further investigation, agents located an additional ice chest hidden within the vessel. This ice chest contained 80 fillets of red snapper, which is equal to 40 red snapper.
The daily limit of red snapper is three per person. The minimum size limit for cobia is 36 inches in fork length.
Agents seized 49 red snapper and the undersized cobia and donated them to a local charity.
Taking over the limit of red snapper and taking an undersized cobia carries up to a $350 fine. Failing to keep saltwater finfish intact brings a $250 to $500 fine and 90 days in jail. Intentionally concealing fish carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.
The men may also face civil restitution for the replacement of the red snapper and cobia totaling $1,211.
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Beau Robertson, Sgt. Justin Sonnier, Corporal Tib Guillory and Agent Chelsea Moudry.