Here is the article I read. Key is that the 20 men have til Aug. 8 to respond to the charges, accept them and pay fines or contest them and go to court. That would be my guess anyways. A buddy of mine has been going on an annual charter on this boat the same weekend as the G I tarpon rodeo for several years now and so far he hasn't been informed that their charter is canceled.
Charter skipper David Harrelson, his deckhand and the 18 men who chartered the boat Capt. Charlie face more than $125,000 in federal penalties for an illegal catch of red snapper.
The fines came in the form of notices of violation assessment issued to the 20 men Tuesday and Wednesday, said Winton Vidrine, enforcement chief of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The fines stem from an April 28 Wildlife and Fisheries operation that reportedly found the 20 men with 909 red snapper aboard the fishing boat captained by Harrelson, 52, of Lockport.
The recreational red snapper season was closed the day state enforcement agents issued the citations.
During the open season, the recreational limit on red snapper is two per angler per day; the species has a 16-inch-long minimum size before it can be kept by an angler.
Harrelson, listed as the owner and operator of Rebel Charter Services LLC, received notice of an $80,000 violation assessment.
Tacked onto the penalties was a 210-day notice of permit sanction, which will prohibit Harrelson from operating a charter boat for nearly seven months.
A joint violation assessment notice and several individual notices totaling $45,450 were also issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce to the charter boat’s party.
Their catch also was forfeited.
State Wildlife and Fisheries agents sold the 909 red snapper for $9,221.25 on April 29.
Harrelson could not be reached for comment Thursday after a message was left on his cell phone.
The 20 men have until Aug 8 to respond to the assessments, at which point they can either pay the fines or take the matter to federal court.
In March, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted federal regulations approved earlier this year that shortened the recreational red snapper season from an April 21-Oct. 31 season to a June 1-Aug 4 season.
Agents working the April 28 operation said they measured all 909 red snapper held in 27 ice chests aboard the Capt. Charlie, which docks at a Belle Pass port.
Vidrine said at the time that 287 of the red snapper were under the minimum 16-inch size limit.
Harrelson said earlier that none of the fish were in the boat’s built-in ice chest.
Vidrine also said none of the 18 men aboard the charter boat had a nonresident Louisiana basic fishing license or a nonresident Louisiana saltwater license.
Of the 18 men, 17 are from Georgia. Those from Atlanta are: Walter Bailey Jr., 61; Glover Jefferson Jr., 69; Robert Kemp, 72; Lawrence Kendrick, 60; Baxter R. Maddox, 67; and Earnest Sessoms, 79.
Those from elsewhere in Georgia are: Warren R. Brownlee, 36, Palmetto; Harry Crosland, 67, and Andrew R. Smith, 70, both of Decatur; Leslie H. Durham, 45, Douglasville; Willie T. Epps, 72, College Park; Walter L. Gibson Jr., 38, Union City; Kym D. Haywood, 44, Hapeville; Cleveland B. Kemp Jr., 56, Conyers; Charlie W. Patrick 68, Stone Mountain; Artesza Portee, 35, Autell; and Clyde E. Raiford, 68, Fayetteville.
The 18th man is James E. Williams, 65, of Callaway, Fla.
The deckhand, Donald Humphrey, 45, lives in Golden Meadow, citations indicate.