Block Island Anglers Busted With Illegal Stripers In Federal Waters

DLE Police Officer with seized illegal striped bass
DLE Police Officers Harold Guise & Kyle Murray boarded vessels from New York and Delaware & found the captains of both boats to be in illegal possession of striped bass in the EEZ.

Last week while patrolling federal waters off Block Island through DEM’s Cooperative Enforcement Agreement with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)), DLE Police Officers Harold Guise & Kyle Murray boarded vessels from New York and Delaware & found the captains of both boats to be in illegal possession of striped bass in the EEZ.

The captains were cited & NOAA General Counsel will prosecute the cases. DLE seized 2 fish — including the striper being held by EPO Guise (pictured above) & donated them to the Galilee Mission, a nonprofit drug & alcohol treatment program based in Narragansett.

The central goals of all fishery management plans are 1) to prevent overfishing, while achieving a steady maximum sustainable yield from each fishery; and 2) to restore overfished or depleted stocks to sustainable levels.

The Marine Unit of DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) helps by enforcing both recreational & commercial fishing, shellfishing, & lobstering laws & regulations in our state’s waters & in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The EEZ is an area from 3 miles to 200 miles offshore where the U.S. has jurisdiction over natural resources.

30 thoughts on “Block Island Anglers Busted With Illegal Stripers In Federal Waters

  1. Eric Silfen

    Excellent work. There are plenty of fishing opportunities obeying the rules. Let’s not let greed cloud our good sense.

  2. edward murray

    why not publish the names of the scumbags?? So sickening to see this over and over….

  3. Rob

    The fish looks legal sized why was it seized? Did the captain’s not have a licence to operate in those waters?

    1. Roman Dudus

      You can’t catch or be in possession of striped bass in federal waters which extends starting from 3 miles out to 200 out. You have to know this especially if you fish around Block Island. Stupidity isn’t an excuse.

  4. Matt

    If I legally catch a striper within 3 miles of Block Island, how do I get it home? Four miles of the trip from BI to Galilee is federal water.

    1. Christopher C

      It’s not technically being caught between the two boundaries ding-dog. Fish is already in transit back to port. It is only illegal if you are intentionally targeting them whilst in federal waters 👍🏽

  5. Donnald A. Smith

    While it is illegal to fish for stripers in the EEZ you are allowed to transport stripers across the EEZ as long as you have no fishing lines in the water while traveling across the EEZ.
    If you caught a striper in state Waters at Block Island and then trolled rigs back towards Galilee through the EEZ you would be subject to arrest.

    1. Roman Dudus

      You can’t be in possession of any striped bass in the EEZ. There is a map that shows where you can travel from Block Island to the mainland to be legal. If not, you can get caught.

  6. Fishguru

    Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. Poachers don’t deserve leniency. They spoil the joy and beauty of fishing. Good work.

    1. Matt

      I read it. It’s pretty easy to see how each of these two boats could have assumed that they were operating within the law. The wording is pretty obscure, complex, and probably pretty difficult to obtain. If the captain had a recreational non-resident license, caught one fish in RI waters, and was transporting it home, I could see how he could assume he was clear. I mean each boat had one fish… It’s not like the bust of the century. I don’t know why everyone is up in arms to hang these guys, it could be an honest mistake.

      1. Don

        There is no excuse for ignorance of the law. It is the responsibility of a boat captain or boat owner to know the laws of the water. If you are planning a godhing trip and read the law as you posted and think it is vague, I’m sure a call to wildlife service could set you straight. Again no excuse for ignorance of the law.

  7. Touching Cloth

    that fish is enormous. or maybe the EPO is really short?

    1. Roman Dudus

      Illegal is illegal. Don’t defend them. Stupidity isn’t an excuse.

  8. APEX

    Matt’s probably right, honest mistake and remember innocent until proven guilty. A feed sack full of schoolies and shorts is a much bigger bust.

  9. Matt

    Wow! “Hang ’em high”, “Poachers”, “prosecute them to the fullest…”publish the names of the scumbags”. You all are so quick to judge but have no idea what really happened. There’s a reason why their names aren’t published! They haven’t been convicted! We’ve heard a fraction of one side of a 2nd hand story. Each boat had one fish, and the one we’ve seen is obviously legal size. We don’t know where the boat was, if it was under way, still fishing, commercial or recreational, if the captain had a legit permit and was heading home, etc. Try reading this and see if you can be sure that everything you’re doing is 100% legal:

    Remember, It could easily be you that makes a mistake, gets boarded and cited. It’s not like anyone reading this hasn’t accidentally done something illegal. Also, the thousands of gut hooked, mortally wounded, undersized fish that we’ve all released over the years is a way bigger problem than someone allegedly having a legal sized fish but being on the wrong side of a complex federal statute.


  10. Roman Dudus

    Here we go again. When is this going to stop? When are we going to stop reading about this? When are these judges actually going to do something? People keep getting caught and what happens to them? Start completing these stories with the outcomes and maybe people will learn! A Representative from New York by the name of Lee Zeldin has cut off funding for enforcement of that area by the Coast Guard and NOAA but it backed fire! And guess where one of the offenders is from? Scumbags, deserve never to be able to fish again. PRISON time and harsh fine is deserving! Great job DLE officers, keep up the Great work and hopefully the judicial branch will do their job.

  11. Matt

    It’s not going to stop because it really isn’t a crime. Imagine if you caught a fish within the state waters of Block Island. So far, everything is completely legal, you had your permit, you caught ONE fish that was legal size, and you went home. On the way, you either stopped for some reason, or went off course and fished again. Now you’re a criminal. You get hauled to court, fined, etc. Over one fish. They wont be prosecuted because there are more important things in the world to worry about than ONE fish that may have been legally caught, but ALLEGEDLY illegally transported.

  12. Aj

    I agree with both sides! There needs to be more talk about the solution to this problem! I beleive the literature of the law needs to be expanded and defined. & regardless if u dont know the speed limit on the street or not; if you’re hoing over it. Your definately getting cited. We all have to learn the rules & play by them.

  13. James Langlais

    It’s a shame if these people caught this fish leagully and get prosecuted
    3 mile rule is tough to enforce
    I don’t like pouchers
    Big strippers need to be released
    So the species can rebound
    If the species is this depleted then ban the catch all together till it rebounds

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