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"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to  commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria.


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While patrolling the Jefferson Lake area of Plaquemine's Parish on Nov. 2, agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division cited two Avondale men for recreational fishing violations.

Agents cited Charles Gibson, 65, and George Lee Jr, 68, for allegedly possessing twice the daily limit of red drum, more commonly called redfish, and for possession of undersized red drum.

The investigation began when the agents noticed both men actively fishing from a boat. As the agents began to approach, both men started tossing plastic bags into the water. The agents successfully retrieved the bags from the water and found 30 red drum in the two bags. The recreational possession limit is five per person. As agents measured the catch, 23 of the 30 red drum were found to be under the legal size limit of 16 inches.

Agents patrolling the hurricane-affected areas have noticed an increase in recreational harvest in the weeks following the storm. Even with the significant damage to the waterways and surrounding marsh, agents have observed numerous fishermen catching their limits of spotted sea trout and red drum.

The penalties for possessing twice the daily limit of red drum are a fine between $400 and $750 or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court costs and forfeiture of anything seized. In addition, the offender must pay $25 per each fish over the limit to LDWF. Possession of undersized red drum is punishable by a fine between $100 and $350 or jail time up to 60 days or both, plus court costs. Offenders of undersized re drum must also pay $25 per each fish under 16 inches in length to LDWF and are subject to revocation of any and all fishing licenses for one to three years.

Agents participating in the case were Senior Agents Mike Garritty and Roy Pier.