Dwayne E. Comardelle, 34, was cited by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents on Feb. 23 in Plaquemines Parish for a second offense of commercially fishing without a commercial fishing license and first offense of commercial fishing without a commercial gear license or commercial vessel license.
Agents stopped a vessel being operated by Comardelle on Feb. 17 on the Mississippi River near Buras for a license and creel check. Agents reported to have found a crab crate full of crabs along with other empty crab traps and crabbing equipment on board.
“Agents learned that Comardelle did not possess the required commercial fishing, commercial gear and commercial vessel licenses for commercial crabbing,” a LDWF press release stated. “Agents returned the one crate of crabs to the water. After further investigation, agents also learned that Comardelle illegally harvested 2,823 pounds of blue crabs and sold them for $6,983 earlier in the year.”
A second offense of fishing without a commercial fishing license carries up to a $800 fine and 90 days in jail. Fishing without a commercial gear license or commercial vessel license brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Comardelle may also face civil restitution totaling $4,319 for the replacement value of the illegally harvested crabs.
The case will be forwarded to District Attorney Charles Ballay for prosecution. Agents participating in the case are Corporal Thomas Forehand and Senior Agent Austin Landry.