Two state agencies from Mississippi and Louisiana teamed up over the past month to solve a shocking case on the Pearl River. Three South Mississippi men have been cited for electrocuting fish and transporting their illegal catch over state lines.
The investigation was launched a month ago after an anonymous informant alerted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks that three men were using a shocking device to kill and collect fish on the river.
LDWF investigators say they caught the men red-handed Tuesday.
Investigators say the shocking device consisted of a long electrical wire attached to a small section of chain and a 12-volt electrical supply system.
Officials say Lance O. Davis, 41, James A. Howard, 51, both of Poplarville, and Howard D. Restor, 40, of Lumberton, were observed shocking the water in Louisiana and Mississippi and using a dip net to collect fish that floated to the surface.
A LDWF agent followed the men from waters in Washington Parish into Mississippi and then back to their camp in Louisiana. That’s where LDWF and MDWFP agents found the men with 24 catfish filets, one whole catfish and other catfish parts.
Agents seized the fish, the shocking device, a 14-foot boat and a 25-horsepower motor from the men.
Davis, Howard and Restor were cited by Louisiana authorities for violating the federal Lacey Act and taking fish illegally. Charges in Mississippi are pending. Howard was also cited for boating safety violations.
Each man is facing up to a $10,000 fine and five years in prison for violating the Lacey Act. Taking fish using illegal methods carries a fine of up to $950 and up to 120 days in jail. The boating safety violations bring a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.