CaptZachHall

Another Travesty hits home. BIGGEST POACHING STING in 25 years 3 TONS OF ROCKFISH

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NRP officials seized three tons of illegally caught rockfish off the coast of the Eastern Shore Tuesday - baltimoresun.com

I am literally going to be sick i think. we have been so much more of this lately and it truly needs to stop. I am thankful for as the article says, some AGGRESSIVE POLICE WORK. i think we need to see alot more aggression in other areas. let this AGAIN go to show everyone the importance of TRUE ethical fishing practice. we as anglers and people of the water need to do our part to make the public aware of the problems we face in the commercial fishing industry. We need to be active. we cannot let this happen again.

if you have not already please please please go to KeepAmericaFishing

it is a website designed to help people get their voices heard and it offers and very easy way to voice your opinions to those who matter!

please take a minute of your time to keep our sport alive.

WE can do this! WE can help!

Thanks

Zach

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This really hurts, anything for a dollar. Looks like DNR could have removed the nets to save the fish. $15,000 for three tons of fish I'll bet a dozen recreational fishermen spend that kind of money just to fish striper. I spend a thousand a year just for bait and tackle and gas and licenses. And they didn't even catch these bums! This really stinks!

Stripers Forever

Stripers Forever - Welcome to Stripers Forever

Edited by Baddboy
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Hey DNR !!!!!...

You pinch my finger and this people are the one...

?? :confused: ??

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?? :confused: ??

I was trying to say, If the " net " is elegal ( " Natural Resources Police seized an illegal fishing net filled with nearly three tons of striped bass " ) someone set the net at the place. They should be busted.

I fish just to " catch - release " but I was ask for licenses more of one time and I see the DNR people at the fishing area anytime - day and night. ( "DNR pinch my finger- ask for licenses " ). if they chased the lil - guy, go get the big one too.

The way I see it !!!

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For the second consecutive day, Natural Resources Police officers pulled illegal nets from the Chesapeake Bay Wednesday filled to the brim with striped bass.

In total, they have seized 10 tons of illegally caught fish, the largest haul of its type since the end of the rockfish moratorium more than two decades ago.

After detecting poachers' nets Monday night, patrol boats with grappling hooks snagged nets near Bloody Point at the southern tip of Kent Island Tuesday morning, Tuesday night and again Wednesday afternoon. They pulled up 2.8 tons, 3.5 tons and 3.5 tons.

In addition, an officer found a 2,100-yard submerged net Sunday in the Choptank River. It had just three fish in it, indicating it had been freshly set.

The commercial gill net season opened Tuesday. Marked nets that float and are monitored by fisherman are legal; hidden, anchored nets are not.

"We're going back out at first light," said NRP Sgt. Art Windemuth. "We've got officers who have been reassigned, working 18 hours a day. Any place that has water, we're looking."

While the investigation continues, Windemuth acknowledges they don't know who set these nets and may never know.

The discovery has unleashed a firestorm of criticism from fisheries regulators and the conservation and recreational communities.

Ed Liccione, chairman of the 1,400-member Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, called the total "jaw-dropping" and vowed to ask the General Assembly for a ban on nets if the commercial industry doesn't "get its own house in order."

Yesterday, the Maryland Watermen's Association added its voice to the call for action and begged watermen to turn in the renegades.

"It's just a handful of bad apples. They're out of control," said Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association. "They don't think the laws apply to them. It's not fair to the guys who do this honestly."

Poachers flood the market early in the season, causing a drop in prices. In addition, the fish seized by NRP are weighed and counting against the monthly quota. The February quota is 415,359 pounds.

Simns said fed-up watermen have been tipping NRP to the locations of nets.

"It's hard to catch them red-handed, but I think they will," he said. "It's only a matter of time."

Striped bass is the state fish and the Chesapeake Bay is the spawning ground and nursery for about 75 percent of the stock on the Eastern Seaboard. Decades of overfishing led to a five-year fishing moratorium that ended in 1990 to give the population a chance to rebound. As a result, what happens in Maryland is of interest up and down the coast.

Fishing websites are filled with the news of NRP's bust and Fisheries Service Director Tom O'Connell said he got a call from the head of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Service, the regional regulatory authority which sets Maryland's striped bass quota, asking for an update.

Despite toughening regulations and penalties last year and creating with a district court a pilot program to hear natural resources cases exclusively in Annapolis, O'Connell said the poaching issue will have to be revisited.

"It's become clear that the penalty isn't strong enough to deter this kind of action," O'Connell said. "We are in discussions now about legislation."

Recreational fishing groups stand ready to lobby for those changes.

Dave Smith, executive director of the 7,000-member Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, said, "This has got to stop."

Artical from Baltimore Sun:

"Recreational anglers have to get together and go to the General Assembly and say 'Let's get serious,'" he said.

Drifting gill nets are legal in Maryland waters from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28. Watermen must mark their nets and be within two miles of them. The Department of Natural Resources can close the season early if its appears watermen are going to exceed their monthly quota. This year, the season closed on Jan. 17 and reopened on Feb. 1.

Anchored gill nets — more efficient and deadly and harder to detect — have been illegal since 1985.

If convicted, poachers can be fined $1,000 for a first offense plus $1,500 per each striped bass. The state's points and penalties system for watermen, which took effect last February, could result in license suspensions or revocations.

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I was trying to say, If the " net " is elegal ( " Natural Resources Police seized an illegal fishing net filled with nearly three tons of striped bass " ) someone set the net at the place. They should be busted.

I fish just to " catch - release " but I was ask for licenses more of one time and I see the DNR people at the fishing area anytime - day and night. ( "DNR pinch my finger- ask for licenses " ). if they chased the lil - guy, go get the big one too.

The way I see it !!!

OOOO. gotcha ya. :icon_thumright:

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Good News

MD DNR Closes Gill net season

February 4, 2011- Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) just announced that the current commercial gill net season has been closed until the Department determines the extent of illegal nets and their impact on the remaining quota. The announcement follows the discovery of submerged nets near Bloody Point over the past several days that held more than 10 tons of striped bass. The announcement was made by DNR Deputy Secretary Joseph Gill at an Annapolis news conference this afternoon. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that illegal fishing that steals the resource from all Marylanders will not be tolerated,” said CCA Maryland Executive Director Tony Friedrich. “The Department, Secretary Griffin and Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell are to be congratulated for their swift, decisive action. Also, the Natural Resources Police should be commended for their hard work. We look forward to working with the Department and other stakeholders to ensure the penalties for these types of crimes are strengthened and those responsible are held fully accountable.

While the gill net season would normally close at the end of this month or earlier if the allocation were reached, today’s announcement means all nets must be pulled now. The season could be re-opened later in the month if DNR determines that illegal nets nets are no longer a threat to the resource and that the commercial quota has not been caught, according to Friedrich.

Gill also announced a $5,000 reward for help in the arrest and conviction of those who have placed the illegal nets already discovered. CCA Maryland has added $1,000 to that reward.

“We encourage members to contribute to a fund that will support the reward,” Friedrich said. “Checks should be made out to ‘CCA MD’ with ‘gill net fund’ indicated on the check. They should be mailed to the state office, 701 Melvin Ave., Suite B, Annapolis, MD 21401.

A video from the news conference will be available at our home page at soon as possible.

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Turn them in(Poachers)

I know there are those of you that say this hurts everyone even the good commercial watermen and you are right. It shows us that the actions of a few bad apples affects us all and in this case it does.

I think the message DNR/NRP is sending here is loud and clear, that POACHING activity will not be tolerated. We all know that the watermen and the commercial fishing industry is a close knit community. Now maybe just maybe the good guys will roll/flip on the poachers and turn them in. And why not they don't care what they are doing to the law abiding, they don't care if you lose revenue due to their actions, they don't care if your family can't pay the bills or has no food on the table. TURN THEM IN!

Ask yourself this "What would the government do if you didn't pay your taxes" this is exactly what they(poachers) are doing to us all, they cheat everybody and everyone and don't care! TURN THEM IN!

Poachers do all this and more while depleting a fishery and you guessed it-they don't care. Think about how long they have been doing this and they don't care.

Sorry for the rant had to get it off my chest....OH and TURN THEM IN!

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i think its good they are closing the season. it is nice to see that things are getting done even if the fix MAY only be temporary its still better than the continued use of the nets. the idea that gill nets are harmful are up for debate, and the FACT that gill nets are dangerous needs to be vocalized! as i stress on majority of my posts we need to write letters and make calls to dc to let the govt that we are putting in our 2 cents because this is our resource too. WRITE LETTERS!

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My only question is how does somebody not see them setting the nets or why doesnt somebody question a boat with nets like that on board i mean it may be more time consuming for dnr but if it saves 10 tons of rockfish from being illegally harvested i think that they should/can make time for it. just my thoughts

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@brandon

well thats kinda the thing they are doing they are starting to reward other commerical fisherman for reporting any activities that arent good ie setting up nets and such. i

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Yea that's a good thing... I know waterman have a typical code of silence but I forsee that being broken quite a bit now... With times being tough and money tight these poachers have ruined many peoples oppertunities to make money during the slow winter. I believe its gonna become every man for himself in this situation and hopefully get these poachers turned in! Just my thoughts

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Brilliant Police work and investigating by the DNR. What a bunch of yahoos. They could have caught these idiots very quickly. It is called surveillance. They would have obviously come back to pick up these nets. Rather than pull them, and put out everywhere in the media what has been done, Just put a covert 24 hour watch on the net. The damage had already been done, as the net was full. Instead these guys went and set more nets doing more damage. How about the second net? Nope! Lets tell everyone about it so the people go into hiding. They need to buy a clue.

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There are still nets drifting in the Chessie.

I saw one on sonar Sunday and verified it with side scan.

I called it in and stayed around til dark but no one ever showed up.

Schmucks!

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