PEARL, RIVER, Miss. (WJTV) – Three Mississippi men are arrested for illegally shocking fish in the Pearl River.
41-year-old Lance O. Davis of Poplarville, 51-year-old James A. Howard of Poplarville, and 40-year-old Howard D. Restor of Lumberton, Miss., were cited.
Authorities said they were provided a tip that three men were shocking fish on the Pearl River.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks conducted a joint investigation. Officials set up surveillance on the river to see if they could catch the suspects.
On Tuesday, an agent from Louisiana saw the three men assembling a shocking device, which consisted of a long electrical wire attached to a small section of chain and a 12-volt electrical supply system.
The agent then saw the men in Washington Parish in Louisiana waters shocking the water and using a dip net to collect fish that came to the surface into the boat. The agent then saw them make its way into Mississippi waters and then notified the MDWFP. They are accused of shocking fish in Mississippi as well.
Agents found the men with 24 catfish filets, one whole catfish and other catfish parts. LDWF agents seized the fish, 14-foot boat, shocking device and 25 horsepower motor.
Howard was also cited for failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements and failing to comply with engine cutoff safety switch requirements.
These actions are a violation of The Lacey Act, officials said. The Lacey Act violation brings up to a $10,000 fine and five years in jail. Taking fish using illegal methods brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. The boating safety violations each bring a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.