POSTED: Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 1:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, May 20, 2012 - 1:04am
LOUISIANA — Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited three men for fishing violations on May 16 in federal waters.
LDWF Strike Force agents cited Vergice Bergeron, 41, of Cutoff, Chester Ellingson, 52, of Morgan City, 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.
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.
While on a Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) patrol 40 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, agents observed an oil supply boat tied to a stationary rig. Upon approaching the rig, agents observed several rods and reels on the deck of the vessel. Upon further investigation, agents discovered fillets of red snapper.
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.
Agents participating in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agents Nick Guillory and Doug Danna.
LDWF maintains a JEA with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fishery Service for assistance in patrolling federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.