Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two Mississippi residents for alleged red snapper violations on June 11 while on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol in the Gulf of Mexico.
Agents cited Christopher M. Hinton, 49, and Thomas F. Hinds Jr, 26, for taking over the daily bag limit of red snapper and failing to have recreational offshore landing permits (ROLP). Hinton was also charged with taking undersized red snapper.
Agents were on patrol within the federal Exclusive Economic Zone approximately 12.4 miles from the coast of Grand Isle when they contacted Hinton and Hinds to conduct a license and creel check. Agents found the men in possession of 12 red snapper.
Both fishermen also failed to possess a ROLP, which is required to take and possess reef fish. Hinton also claimed possession of an undersized red snapper during the inspection.
The recreational daily bag limit for red snapper is two per person per day during the open season. Red snapper must be at minimum 16 inches in total length to harvest.
Agents seized the red snapper and donated them to a local charity.
Taking over the daily bag limit of red snapper and taking undersized red snapper each carry a $100 to $350 fine and to 60 days in jail. Failure to have a ROLP brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.
The fishermen may also face possible civil restitution totaling $229.52 for the illegally harvested fish.
Agents participating in the case are Lt. Adam Young, Sgt. Kyle Wagner, Corporal Mike Marques, and Senior Agent Gary Levron.