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 http://bit.ly/MEPReport.
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.
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.
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.
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.