Multiple Fish Poachers Busted in Massachusetts

It's been a busy season for the Massachusetts Environmental Police

Massachusetts Striper Poaching

Poachers have been active this spring, but thankfully the Massachusetts Environmental Police have been working hard to nab the greedy criminals. Perhaps the increased penalties for poaching fish in Massachusetts are not enough of a deterrent.

Remember, Massachusetts Environmental Police Dispatch can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-632-8075. Violations can also be reported online at

Multiple Fish Poaching Violations in Buzzards Bay

During the weekend of June 1st and June 2nd, Massachusetts Environmental Police conducted patrols in the greater Buzzards Bay area via land and water. Fishing activity was extremely heavy due to the amount of black sea bass being caught in the area. Officers issued upwards of $3,000.00 in fines for various fishing and boating safety violations. Fishing violations included possession of over the limit black sea bass, possession of undersized Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass, Summer Flounder, and Tautog. Additionally, several violations were issued to individuals who did not possess a valid saltwater fishing license.

Poaching Striper Tautog


White Perch Poacher

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Massachusetts Environmental Police received information from a concerned citizen regarding individuals actively taking white perch in excess on the Taunton River and storing them in a vehicle. Officers were able to locate the individual based upon the description provided. Further investigation showed that the individual was in possession of 68 white perch – 43 fish over the legal limit. Citations were issued for possession over the limit and failure to display catch. The fish were not fit for human consumption due to improper storage and were subsequently destroyed.

White Perch Poacher


Falmouth Harbor Striper Poacher

On the morning of May 27, 2019, at the mouth of Falmouth Harbor, an Environmental Police Officer investigated a tip provided by the Falmouth Marine Environmental Services (MES) which resulted in a striped bass violation. The individual was found to be in possession of eleven (11) undersized striped bass. Each fish measured between 19-inches and 22-inches. The recreational possession limit for striped bass is one fish per day, a minimum of 28-inches in length.

The individual was arrested and charged with possession of undersized striped bass and being over the daily retention limit. The individual’s rod and reel, tackle box, and catch were seized; the catch was subsequently donated. The individual was arraigned in Falmouth District Court on Tuesday, May 28, and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in early July.

Massachusetts Striper Poaching


Duffle Bag Poacher

On the evening of Thursday, May 16, 2019, Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers responded to a report in New Bedford of an individual keeping undersized striped bass and hiding them within a duffle bag. Officers encountered the individual as he was leaving the area and found him to be in possession of 6 striped bass ranging from 16-23 inches in length. The gear was seized and the individual was criminally summonsed for fishing without a saltwater permit, possession of undersized striped bass, and possession over the recreational limit. The fish were still alive and returned to the sea. The Massachusetts Environmental Police remind fishermen that the recreational limit for striped bass is one fish, a minimum of 28-inches.

Schoolie Striper Poacher

On Monday, May 6, 2019, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Dennis Police Department contacted Massachusetts Environmental Dispatch to report they had located an individual fishing without a valid saltwater license and in possession of undersized striped bass. The individual will receive a citation for possession of undersized striped bass, possession over the limit of striped bass, and fishing without a valid saltwater license.


48 on “Multiple Fish Poachers Busted in Massachusetts

    1. Jeremy Hillcrest

      Hear, hear!
      Public shaming should be part of the penalty.

    2. William

      Agree totally show the mugs so we know who’s not playing fare.start showing faces..maybe makes undesirables think twice

  1. Gary Zera

    I am so thrilled to see this enforcement…We need to do way more…

  2. scott

    AGREED!!! They would be more humiliated over that than the small (slap on the wrist) fine they recived.

  3. Hammy

    Nice to see that people called in to report these guys and that EPO’s did a nice job writing tickets and confiscating equipment. Now hopefully the courts will do their part as well!

  4. Poppi

    the dollar amount is not stopping them these people need to be banned from a fishing period. second offense jail time

      1. Roman

        Spend the money to get a copy of the report. Then you can apologize!!

      2. Dennis dugan

        Immigrants are not one race why would you even say that. That in itself is a racist remark.

      3. Brian Casey

        Racist? Xenophobe likely, but not necessarily racist…. And yes, I’ve seen a good number of white American citizens taking more than their fair share..

  5. John Zenewicz

    They all should have their pictures posted in local bait shops as known poachers

  6. Jason M Maclean

    Great job to the Environmental police! I wish these types of articles were published more frequently.

  7. Tom

    Names and Pictures would be good. I think the uptick in enforcement is great. But just taking their gear and then a small fine is not enough. Do like the Canadiens and take the boat, Trailer, and the car that towed it. If they don’t have a bot take the car or bike or whatever means they got to the location. These people are reprehensible!!!!

  8. Ricky C

    Proper walk of shame (game of thrones style) down and back on the canal would be great.

  9. Mario cemento

    Whaddaya doin takin such a small fishes?
    Pure and simpal greed.
    Must be donal tromp associate.

    1. Juan

      You’re a moron. Learn how to spell. You had to make even this story political. That’s why you suck.

      1. Mario cemento

        Maybe I a call a the ICE for you meesir Juan.

    1. Art

      IT IS PRINTED ON YOUR FISHING LICENSE. You have one of those, right??

  10. BrianP

    see above in article, I just added to my cell, i’m sick of seeing this and will start calling. hate being a snitch but these scumbags deserve it.

  11. Tom Palladino

    3 morons fishing in front of SP barracks by garden. Watched them for 30 minutes snag hooking herring illegal, caught 3 schoolers while snagging and through back to die. Called but nobody showed!! I would park right there if I was a environmental officer!!!

  12. chris

    These people suck. Recreational fishermen need to be held accountable. No problem at all calling it in.

    Then again, consider how much damage bottom trawling does, so many undersized fish killed and discarded dead, habitat destruction (wolf fish all but gone), high grading at sea to get the best price on fluke, dumping an entire trawl of “wrong sized” porgy after killing them to take a look, etc. Not all commercial fishermen are bad – but all have to compete with the bad apples.

    Profit motive should not be the guiding principal of fisheries management like it is now. Science denial, profit motive, increasing pressure on decreasing fish stocks. This actually works against protecting commercial fisherman and their communities!

    Consider donating to the Conservation Law Foundation if you want representation at the policy level to push back against commercial over harvesting and protecting vital ecosystems that support our fisheries, or the Coastal Conservation Association if you want a voice in fisheries management policy.

    1. RK

      I’ll think about donating to them as soon as they stop trying to permanently shut down Stellwagen bank for recreational fishing.

  13. Roman Dudus

    Great job by enforcement!! But we need to keep this from happening. They should lose their license for good. Their pictures should be posted on a website of shame. We need stricter and permanent punishment for offenders.

  14. Al

    That person is not a racist. I have seen this firsthand where a law enforcement person will not arrest an illegal person because they say they’re not going to show up to court anyway. It is sad but if the same thing happened to you on me they would throw the book at us.

  15. Hugh Harp

    I agree with the first comment. NAMES AND FACES PLEASE!! I think poaching is, by far, worse than a misdemeanor. People arrested with misdemeanors, end with their names and their photos in thousand of local papers. Lets have a column specifically for poachers only. I truly think humiliation triple the fines may slow some of them down. Not only that take all their equipment including their boats. Any one else agree???

    1. Joseph Smith

      1st citation – lose all gear and equipment + court penalties, fines + court costs.
      2nd citation – lose all gear, boat & trailer + court penalties, fines + court costs.
      3rd citation – lose all gear, boat, trailer and vehicle pulling boat/trailer + court penalties, fines, + court costs – and time in jail. Third strike is definitely a felony and lose fishing permit for life in all of USA.


    Great job !! these jerk’s should loose there car or truck also

  17. Jeff D

    Hard to take a license away from someone who doesn’t have one!!!! Take all their gear and fine them heavily. Then they cannot afford to buy new gear. Keep up the good work EPO’s!!!

  18. Frankenfish

    There right to fish in our state should be suspended for no less than 10 years and they should all receive maximum penalties also we should see their picture and picture of their boat (if it is a boat violation ) so we know who the pieces of sh#t are

  19. Shawn St Laurent

    Congratulations to the Environmental Police for there good work on busting these pochers!! Keep up the good work. Good to see people getting busted.

  20. Andrew Posfai

    Called the EPA on a poacher hotspot a couple times, not sure if they ever did anything. Rafes Chasm in West Gloucester is the spot. If you go there you are bound to see a much of poachers in the afternoon, interestingly none of them speak english. Maybe I should call ICE instead to verify their immigration status.

    1. Bill

      Calling the EPA is not the correct organization. In RI, it’s the RIDEM. In MA, it’s the MEP.

  21. Mike

    If these violations were treated more like big game poaching, maybe these people would think twice. Impound their vehicles/boats as well as their fishing gear. A little draconian, I agree but when it starts costing these people SERIOUS money, they just may play by the rules a bit more

    1. jared

      Hammer these *******!!
      Seize their truck/car all gear and how about some nice hefty fines. People start loosing 10-60k less jackwagons will show up.

  22. Ed Doey

    Nice job to those who caught these idiots. The poachers need to be made examples of to deter this. Maybe the local TV news should broadcast the names and pictures of the poachers as it is public record.

  23. Joseph Smith

    I would like to see confiscation of all gear, tackle, fish and it wouldn’t bother me to learn of boat and trailer confiscated if fishing without permit, poaching, over the limit or undersize. Give each report a case number so we might be able to follow – AND – keep the readers posted as to the results of the court hearings. Its either legal or illegal – no grey area.

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