ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. — Three men were caught dredging for oysters on a lease in Lake Coquille that wasn’t theirs, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Lorenzo Nicosia, 25, of Violet, Bronson Dunnam, 47, of St. Bernard, and Garrett Ledet, 28, of New Orleans, were arrested for unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failure to have written permission.
An LDWF agent was on patrol south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet channel June 8 when he observed a vessel actively dredging for oysters in Lake Coquille around 9:15 a.m. The agent determined the vessel was dredging on a lease not owned by Nicosia nor did any occupant have permission to dredge in the area.
The agent seized 17 sacks of oysters and returned them to the water. The agent also seized two oyster dredges and placed a forfeiture order for Nicosia’s vessel. The men were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail.
Unlawfully taking oysters off of a private lease and failing to have written permission both carry up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.
The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to 10 years.
The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 to 120 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year for first offense or ordered to cease commercial oyster harvest during license revocation upon second and third offenses.