Two men cited for crab trap theft in Calcasieu Parish
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA — Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a man on August 14 and another on August 19 for alleged crab trap violations in Calcasieu Parish.
Agents cited Nicholas Wayne Erny, 35, of Lake Charles, and Eric L. Linden, 33, of Grand Lake, for theft, destroying legal crab traps, violating crab escape ring requirements, using crab traps without the required markings, and taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license. Linden was also cited for selling fish to a consumer without a fresh products license.
Agents heard from an anonymous crab fisherman on Black Bayou in Calcasieu Parish who was missing crap traps. After further investigation, agents found several crab traps near Fred’s Lounge on Black Bayou with the anonymous crab fishermen’s license number on the trap, but with different corks and lines from what the crab fishermen uses. Agents were able to bring the crab fishermen to the traps for positive identification. Agents also observed several traps without any tag numbers and some with no escape rings.
On August 14 agents located Erny who admitted to having stolen crab traps, cutting the lines and corks of the stolen traps, using traps without tag numbers and escape rings. Erny stated he and Linden ran the traps a couple of times for commercial use.
On August 19, agents located Linden who also admitted to stealing crab traps, cutting the lines and corks of the stolen traps, and using traps without tag numbers and escape rings.
Neither Linden nor Erny possessed a commercial gear license. Agents seized 22 crab traps and Linden’s vessel.
Violating crab escape ring requirements, destroying legal crab traps and using crab traps without the required markings brings a fine up to $950 and 120 days in jail for each offense. Taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license and selling fish to a consumer without a fresh products license carries a fine up to $500 and 90 days in jail. Theft brings a $500 to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.