Striped Bass Poachers Busted At Cape Cod Canal

Earlier in the morning of August 24, 2017, Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers were patrolling the Cape Cod Canal in response to numerous complaints regarding striped bass violations.

Officers encounterd a high level of compliance; however, there were also numerous violations of individuals over the recreational limit. Officers observed violators loading their vehicles, hiding fish within the rocks and bushes, as well as filleting fish. Criminal summonses were issued to five individuals, several civil citations were issued as well.

A total of 332-pounds of striped bass were seized and subsequently donated to the New Bedford-area Salvation Army. A total of 16-pounds of fillets were seized, but due to their condition were found not suitable for human consumption and were ultimately destroyed. Fishing gear was seized as well.

  1. Mike isaac

    Great job guys! People like that should never be able to fish again! It makes me sick to see people abusing the sport and population of a great game fish.

    Reply
      • Chuck McGourty

        if they’re hiding them they know what they’re doing and don’t need educating, they need incarcerating

        Reply
        • Vince

          Let’s move all the drug dealers and rapists out of jail so we can make room for fish thieves. I’m sure the majority of tax payers would agree that this is good use of their yearly contributions.

          Reply
          • Phil

            Once again, Vince proves it’s better to be silent and thought a fool….than to speak and remove all doubt.

  2. Steve

    Greed in any shape or form shouldn’t be tolerated. I’m glad to see the EPO boys are doing their part to ensure fairness in the fishing community. Greed is so apparent everywhere. Keep your limit. Respect is key.

    Reply
  3. Roman

    Thank you to the Officers for their work. Next we need the judges to do their job and put these people away. They just passed a law that gives them the right to confiscate property of the violators. Take their vehicles too. I hope they use those laws to the fullest. I hope they will continue to follow these stories to show people what happens.

    Reply
  4. John C

    SOBs! Hope the fines are plenty. Seized “their walmart gear” eh. Better than nothing. Hope they get community service too.

    Reply
  5. John Patterson

    I agree with all the comments fining them big deal 3i days in the cooler does more because they off the watervways . If they are doing what else are they up to I sure it is not singing in the choir at church. Would you want these out laws playing golf with?

    Reply
  6. Jeff

    They could go down there just about every day and find poachers. I see poachers just about every single time I go fishing, how is it the Enviro Police don’t??

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    • Jeff

      If you see something and don’t say something, you’re contributing to the problem. We all have to police our fisheries not just rely on the DEP.

      Reply
    • Patrick

      they should not have to wait for someone to complain before they start looking for poachers. Take away their fishing rights for 5 yrs that will hurt more than a small fine

      Reply
  7. Barry

    Thanks to the officers for taking action against these Dirt bags and for enforcing the law. Take their fishing gear, the vehicle, hell take the house why you’re at it.

    Reply
  8. Joe c

    Keep up the enforcement actions. All decent fishermen/ women appreciate your efforts. Well done.

    Reply
  9. Richard

    Along with taking their fishing gear, you should take their cell phone. A lot can be learned with whom they are communicating with. they are calling their fellow poachers as the EPA officers are patrolling the canal. Good Job, Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Brian J

      I want to see faces and names in the paper and on the news I agree with Adam I also agree that the environmental police are doing a great job preventing poaching but the laws do in fact need to be more penalizing public shaming would deter people from taking fish illegally. Also think about the up and coming anglers like your kids and mine they need a plentiful ocean like the one we have now just better

      Reply
  10. Gerry

    Great to know officers are doing their jobs well. It makes it easier for those who abide by the environmental laws in place.

    Reply
  11. Artie lawson

    Ty for catching those people who don’t care about the fish and I hope you took all there gear they got what they deserve

    Reply
  12. Ramon

    why does always someone have to bring the race card up? they are scumbags i hope they all get caught ruining it for all the great sportmen and women

    Reply
  13. Steve

    Take their drivers license for five years from these idiots. You should’ve made them eat the the rotten fish.

    Reply
  14. Sheldon James

    Terrible… they should be band from fishing in Massachusetts. Sucks to see this

    Reply
  15. bruce

    great work to the EPO .but we need the enforcement all the time on the canal ?? tight lines

    Reply
  16. paul cuzzupe

    I would love to see pics of these losers,names and addresses would be nice too. A little public humiliation goes a long way.

    Reply
  17. Brian P

    The only problem in the world are people.

    Shut down the canal to fishing, that would be funny….

    Reply
  18. John Greska

    Need to set an example with these individuals. They are ruining it for the recreational fisherman

    Reply
  19. PogyPete

    I don’t get much of a chance anymore to rock hop the canal so I really savor the time I can. I’m so glad to see these cheaters get it and I’ll be the first one to make the call if I see it going on, nothing angers me more than this wanton destruction that effect us all! Kudo the the Environmental Police!!!

    Reply
  20. K Lee

    Good job catching the scumbags. They’re greedy and not thinking about the future of the fish stock, and should be treated like others in the criminal system. Keep a database of violators, repeaters get fined more and more. 3 strikes, and they get prison time. No mercy.

    Reply
  21. Tom Oertel

    Great work law enforcement. Now,.if we can only get the friendly Coast Guard to start enforcing the speed limit in the ENTIRE camal, not just first 1/2 mile. Charge the ‘entitled’ offenders and keep the $ for your holiday party! Else, why post the straw warnings?

    Reply
  22. TFR

    A bigger and better discussion is around shutting down the commercial fishery for striped bass in the state. This removes the market to sell fish and the financial incentive to cheat. At a fish market on route 28 I saw striped bass at $30/pound.

    Reply
  23. Steve A

    I agree with increasing the penalties and publicize the names including pictures. Losing their fishing license for a few years should be the first penalty. Enforcement of the license loss would be difficult but if they are caught fishing the license loss should be permanent.

    Reply
    • John Connors

      Most states you would loose your license for poaching deer what is the difference

      Reply
  24. John connors

    My friends and have been calling for the last few weeks this bunch of guys would right in front of you grab 2 fish and just walk up the hill , one day there was a ton of fish around and they were culling fish throwing smaller dead fish back to keep the bigger one they just caught and they would come but always to late I hope the guys that got caught were the same guys Good job

    Reply
  25. Eli

    Good job takeing their gear. Next take their cars ,their drivers license ,and their wallets.

    Reply
  26. Benjamin DeVita

    I had to read it twice. In one morning they seized 332 lbs of linesiders but “compliance was strong” does that seem scary to anyone. We CC’s have 7 months of strong striper fishing. June to August we need more officers to do this more than occassionally. By the way what happens to the seized gear? There are plenty of guys who own $1000 set ups who can’t cast. There should be an auction to raise money for extra officers for the summer season. “Fish lives matter”. Lol nice one, definitely more than “fisherman” taking schoolies that is both an embarrassment and sickens me for the agency also. 28lbs not 28 inches. See you in September.

    Reply
  27. Jim lowrie

    I aggree,I keep the fish&game # in my phone. And a few direct cells I have aquired.and I call, they come. I am in NJ , I hate poachers of any kind,crabs,fish, deer birds……

    Reply
  28. John

    New to the site and only freshwaterfish except for yearly deep sea fishing charter so forgive the dumb question. I find some of the regulations sorta confusing so maybe people here can answer WHY certain rules exist. Just one for now, why are u not allowed to cull fish on shore?- Using undersize for bait etc? I am licensed and appreciate the guys/gals that enforce the laws that keep it fun for everyone. They say, see something, say something so I guess thats we should do.

    Reply
  29. G.R.D

    I’m appalled by the people who abuse these wonderful fish this way. Great job MA EPO!! Keep those criminals off the water for good!

    Reply
  30. fishnphreak

    Could someone clarify the filleting thing? I know when you have them in your boat they are supposed to be whole except you can gut them. But after you are back at dock, before you take the bass home , you can’t filet them?

    Reply
    • Brian

      Its so a fish can be measurable for legality..a 27 an 28 in fish prob have very similar filets..

      Reply
  31. gary wilson

    Instead of showing the officers (although they are very photogenic!) you should show pix of the perps so that all sportsmen will know who to be on the lookout for!

    Reply
  32. JOHN A

    I think that the police did a great job and but I wish they would have the identities of the offenders

    Reply
  33. Brian

    I feel as canal angler’s we need to police our waters … this place is a gem and its on us as fisherman to stand up and say something when bullish like this is going on …. well done to the epa officials who were on call and to the people who reported this situation they approached the situation correctly..Cant say that we all would have kept our composer .. shyt like this happens far to often and goes undetected..hope massive fines were handed out

    Reply
  34. John A. Fife

    Great job EPO it sickens me to see these ignorant dirtbags filleting and releasing these beautiful fish and abusing the rules and regulations I am always fishing in my backyard, the canal I have seen way to many violators, keep up the great work guys!

    Reply
  35. striper king

    hey Lee..maybe we should ask the fish what race is on the other end, then they could choose what bait to bite….what an IDIOT…we are talking FISHING dude!!!!

    Reply
    • Lee

      Hey yeah total idiot here waiting for the lower echelon of commenters to tell us that mostly people of certain races are predisposed to non compliance. The fish won’t care but there’s an element in this country that does. I’m sure the “king” here what I’m saying now

      Reply
  36. Rich Myers

    I have the opportunity to fish much of the east was at the canal in July. It happens all over and everyday, with every type of fish, by all types of people. It really is ashamed more do not get caught. With enforcement spread thin it is important to police our sport, call in when you see these thing happen.

    Reply
  37. RozzieBo

    Put their names and faces on billboards, tackle shop and grocery store windows, local news, post offices and church bulletins. Do whatever it takes to publicly humiliate these lowlife thieves of our valuable resources. Seize their cars and trucks, all the fishing and hunting gear they own including firearms which I’m sure they use to poach our fur and feather wildlife year round also. No three strikes. These people have been doing this for years I’m sure. Ban these scumbags from all fishing and hunting activities for LIFE !

    Reply
  38. Rick

    I think the more important question needs to be asked, what happens to them in court? I have heard first hand that very little punishment takes place. It’s nice to grab headlines with arrests but convictions and harsh punishment like lifetime loss of license or total confiscation of gear in addition to fines is what really matters. Is there a way to follow up on the outcome of the arrests?

    Reply
    • Vince

      They end up being place in court with “real” criminals. I.E. Rapist, drug-dealers, murderers… Compared to other cases, judges would laugh at the matter and pretty much lighten up the punishment.

      Reply
      • fluffyguy99

        YA in court with REAL criminals : they put them on the group W bench with all the father raping, mother stabbing,weirdos,and vile mean and nasty creatures that kick dogs and eat little fluffy kittens:
        Then they give them a cookie and a glass of milk ask them if they were sorry. tell them it was a bad thing they did. AND THEN > send them home with a note to have there parents sign
        promising they wont do it again

        Reply
  39. Greg W

    LAW ENFORCEMENT, thank you for good and hard work in the field.
    OTW, thank you for keeping the SPOT LIGHT shining.
    From, and speaking for all
    Conserned SPORT ANGERS.
    P.S.
    I see this criminal behavior in other aspects of our sport and in other states.
    Trout ponds everywhere- Power bait guy catch a fish then casually walks to his cars trunk unlocks it throws it in cooler then locks it back up and heads back to his lawn hair his two rods laid in front of him like he’s some sort of a one man commercial fisherman operation.
    I witnessed one family salmon fishing early spring a well known inlet of Winni there kids running the fish back thru an almost empty parking lot to their car conveniently parked in a parking lot across the street.
    If I have reception I call it in.
    BUT depending on the state not always shore who to call.
    Would love to see you guys at OTW to write a quick article with contacts and what to do and report in these situations covering the different states of New England.
    THX.
    Conserned Sport Angler.

    Reply
  40. KBV

    First time out there this weekend and our group of 3 released 2 stripers that were keepers in search of bigger fish. Once we hit the big fish, we were packed and gone. Silly, but we did not want to risk injuring the fishes in the event that they swallowed the bait, such as my keeper that did. Awesome time though!

    Reply
  41. carmen

    I caught a commercial tog poaching operation last fall in Atlantic city. A local cab driver was coming by every hour and taking plastic bags full of tog from a guy on the jetty. I sent F&G pics of the vehicle tags and the poacher. Hopefully they took care of it.

    Reply
  42. Mark

    Glad to see this… I fished the Canal the last breaking tide and I noticed a dozen or so violations. Stumbled upon a full sized striped bass rotting in the rocks which really pissed me off. Lots of people taking above their limit. Time to start making the penalties count.

    Reply
  43. john

    Great job DEM I went to the Canal camping and walked out to the canal that day it was blistering with bait and big stripers were being caught all over I am glad to see the DEM clamp down on the ones that take over their limit .

    Reply

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