Louisiana wildlife officials have cited four of the five fishermen responsible for keeping well over the legal limit of catfish.
The violation took place in Plaquemines Parish, just slightly southeast of New Orleans. According to the report from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, responding officers Lt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Austin Landry were initially responding to a complaint. Soon enough, they found the five men on the Mississippi River levee, south of the Empire Locks with rods and reels in hand. Upon further inspection, the officers discovered that the men had 665 catfish on board. In Louisiana, anglers can keep a total of 100 fish in the aggregate of blue, channel, and flathead catfish. Collectively, these men could only have kept 500 fish.
As it turned out, only four of the men in the incident had actually caught the surplus of catfish. Meanwhile, officers also cited two men for failing to obtain the necessary fishing license.
“Agents cited Timothy Jones, 60, of McComb, Miss., Ellis R. Martin, 57, of Summit, Miss., Thomas Firth, 56, of Tylertown, Miss., and Steven Riley, 59, of Gulfport, Miss., for over the daily limit of catfish,” the Louisiana DWF stated in its report. “Agents also cited Clifton Clark, 44, Gulfport, Miss., and Riley and Jones for not possessing a non-resident basic fishing license.”
Catfish Anglers May See Up to 90 Days in Jail for Crimes
The department also shared just what kind of punishment these four men face.
“Taking over the daily limit of catfish carries a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail,” the DFW said. “Not possessing a non-resident basic fishing license brings up to a $350 fine.”
The group may also face “civil restitution for the replacement value of the catfish,” totaling $493.73.
Following the seizure of the fish, the DWF has donated all 665 catfish to Hunters for the Hungry, a nonprofit organization that provides game and catch from local hunters to food banks.
Texas Anglers Caught with 40 Illegally-Obtained Sharks
Another crew of southern anglers ended up in hot water of their own when authorities discovered they had 40 sharks with them. Fishing for sharks is illegal in Texas, and the U.S. Coast Guard caught these four men red-handed.
“The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Edgar Culbertson launched a 26-foot over-the-horizon cutter boat crew and seized illegal fishing equipment and 40 sharks found on board the lancha. Coast Guard personnel detained the four fishermen and transferred them to border enforcement agents for processing,” the USCG reported.
It’s unclear what the men intended to do with the 40 sharks on board, but it is common for anglers to illegally sell shark fins to restaurants and vendors that specialize in shark fin soup.