Massachusetts EPO Busts Boston Harbor Striped Bass Poachers

Officers issued nearly $2,500 in fines and seized 15 illegally caught striped bass.

poached stripers

On the evening of Monday, May 18, 2020, Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers conducted a plain-clothed enforcement patrol along the Boston waterfront. Officers encountered several individuals engaged in fishing, ultimately observing numerous striped bass fishing violations, to include: possession limit violations, minimum size violations, and illegal possession of river herring violations.

Boston Harbor striped bass poaching suspects

In total, the Officers issued nearly $2,500 in fines and seized 15 illegally caught striped bass. The seized catch was properly stored overnight and will be donated to the Pine Street Inn, a homeless service shelter in Boston.

47 on “Massachusetts EPO Busts Boston Harbor Striped Bass Poachers

  1. Goody

    Destroying the resources of all and only a $2,500 fine. That is criminal!!!

  2. Robert bird

    They need bigger fines. Confiscate all fishing gear their car and take away their right to fish.

    1. Alcino

      I am the guy on the picture you believe or not I didn’t catch any fish they got a full bag from the Spanish guys next to me and dropped on the ground next too me and saying it was my some cuting fish I didn’t have a knife so they gave me 470 dollars tickets that is not right

  3. billy henault

    how about a thank you for doing a great job..it is appreciated guys/ladies…go get a few more of these idiots

  4. Mkcoxn

    The MEP does not make the fine schedule, DMF does. The courts don’t uphold the present low fines.

  5. John C Klemm Jr

    It has always been criminal that fines are so low. The public is uneducated and just doesn’t care

  6. PK

    They need to be more diligent in New Jersey. People out breaking the law!!!

  7. w marino

    i never caught one but hate hearing these stories cause i pay just to catch and release. fines need to be bigger possessions taken away and weekend in jail or stripper season community service two years in a row

  8. Gregory robinson

    It is ridiculous that these fines are so low but as someone had said that some of these people who are out fishing don’t care that they’re destroying the precious resources that we have hence why regulations were put in place to help protect the species.

  9. Laura Schuetz

    I love rockfish and I can’t afford to buy them . If I’m lucky enough to catch one in my life time I’m keeping it. Not fare the commercial fishermen get to rape the bay for profit but I who pay taxes to live here can’t keep the fish I worked very hard to catch. Close the bay to commercial fishermen for a few years and let the common people keep the one or two they catch.

    1. Billy

      Hey Laura – recreational rockfish/striped bass fishing accounts for 90% of all striped bass harvested (https://www.mass.gov/news/striped-bass-management-changes-pending-for-2020) so closing down commercial striped bass fishing wouldn’t have the effect you think it would. This year’s 28-35″ slot designation for keeper fish is a pretty good compromise to protect the fishery, allowing us to keep fish in that range and protecting the larger, more fertile fish from harvest. If you’re worries about where your taxes are going with regard to the fishery, advocate for better enforcement of limits.

  10. John

    Good nice job guys,plain clothes always gets them. Need more fines handed out in NY, Conn, NJ,and all around Long island. Keep up the great work.

  11. Chris S

    Thank you officers. We need more publicity and enforcement. A percentage from salt water Licenses should support more oversight. Worst penalty any of these knuckleheads could endure is a loss of license for five years – no fishing in any State and if caught mandatory 10,000 fine and possible jail time.

  12. Rodney Manley

    It’s a travesty the fines for such Acts or so lo I myself am an avid striper fishermen here in South Carolina where I guidelines set for stripers must be the minimum 26in. If man had his way he would deplete the Earth of all us natural resources. these jerks don’t realize that they’re disrupting the cycle of propagation of the species. If everyone committed such a treacherous acts there would be no stripers left kudos to the law enforcement agent who apprehended these jerks

  13. Belova

    1, 2,3 maybe not necessary to hold your own tournament. If so, you deserve the fine and some more! Same people buying all the toilet paper up probably. You can go back for more fish and others can enjoy as well.

  14. Ryan Bulle

    Each season a select few pull this nonsense! All this does is rob the resource from everyone who enjoys fishing for them and oddly enough the criminals as well! I’m getting so tired of reading about this. Great job to the officers who caught these clowns!

  15. Paul furtado

    Its about time they started to check people they should come around after 12 a.m. I’ve been calling in violations to a deaf ear for year’s they never came to check on people fishing from shore about time their doing their jobs

  16. Rich

    It’s it even worth taking my boat out to go striper fishing. One fish under 36 and over 28. I have been striper fishing for 40 years. But it’s not worth the gas in my boat or truck just to go for one small fish. Plus these idiots putting these laws into affect aren’t even real fisherman. There are so many stripers out there that the limits are rediculouse. It’s not even worth going.

    1. fishnphreak

      Yeah, Rich, I hear you. Those of us who live 60 miles from the ocean; it’s not worth it to fish for one fish. And if you , by some miracle, catch your fish of a lifetime – which for me would be greater than 44 inches – you have to throw it back? I don’t think so. I guess if a lot of us feel this way, there would be less fishing so the regulations would work. Like back in the 80’s. They finally came back in the 90’s. Of course, I’ll probably be dead by the time they raise the limit.

    2. Billy

      You’re right – the people who make the laws aren’t like you and me, but they’re not “idiots.” Their job is to study and understand the state of a fishery… not to fish it. If you’ve been striper fishing for 40 years you’ve probably seen the fishery in its best and worst days, and you’d know that these limits are what protect the striped bass from getting to the point of the “worst days”. If the gas in your boat in truck is only worth it for the fish you bring home… that’s on you.

    1. Peter T

      Were lucky the EPO ‘s did anything . Inland all they do is ride around waiting to retire . For years I’ve told the EPO’s where people were that had no fishing licenses , and to many fish in their possession , way over the limit . One time I told a EPO cop he should go out on the ice and check licences because I know three guys fishing with no licences . He said yea right and drove away. I reported a a guy once who took 10 Salmon in one day , out limit is two . They did nothing . They are a bunch of lazy people. There is one EPO cop who lives in Winchenton Ma and his truck never leaves his driveway . I bumped into his neighbor once and he told me the truck very seldom leaves the driveway , but I already knew that

  17. Jim

    Headed to New England last week in June. I was hoping to enjoy some tasty ocean fish and the thrill of catching. Kinda sounds like a cluster f**k from all sides. Keep your fish. I’ll keep my tourist dollars.
    Headed to Lake Powell, no limit on striper or walleye. Yes I’m gonna fill my freezer from a properly managed fishery.

  18. Lars

    Catch all you want but just keep your legal limit and return the rest safely for the future. Penalties do need to be tougher to get the point accross and if its for your own food there are more plentiful species that are easier to catch!

  19. Fed Up

    The fines will never be paid by these poachers. They show up to court and plead ignorance and tell the liberal judges that they are trying to feed their starving family! Meanwhile the poacher has 6 EBT cards, Seperated from his wife so they can both get section 8 vouchers and collect $ off the extra one. Collecting Welfare checks, Mass health insurance and his 12 kids are all going to Umass on our taxes!

  20. Don

    The fines are too low however at least their names get recorded so if they ever get caught again they cannot plead ignorance. I think they should show their faces so everyone knows who they are. Hopefully the people that got caught spread the word and it at least slows down. Anyone else think it’s pretty ironic the poacher is wearing an American flag type shirt?

  21. Edzo

    Good ol Easta Boston.
    Ooh how the times have changed.
    Fantastic job to all who were involved. On top of these loosahs keeping illegal fish, they have been trashing the area. I swear to God, these folks are disgusting slobs. Take your damn trash home with you.

  22. Peter Readel

    Mass Environmental Police should have a site that lists who, why and what court people issued a citation are. Your name is published for motor violations why not for environmental ??

  23. Jeff D

    There are always going to be law breakers. Happens in every aspect of outdoor sports. It sucks, I caught the fish of a lifetime last June. 55” and 50lbs. The catch was great, but the release was just as rewarding. With people like that out there, many people may never get that experience. Be happy with a legal fish and go back another day and catch another!!!!! It’s that simple. You don’t get much out to eat out of all those little fish. Good job to the EPO’s catch them all and take all their gear!!!

    1. Steve A

      Great reply Jeff! Personally I haven’t kept a large Striper for over 20 years. I only keep a legal fish that I don’t think will make it and the smaller ones taste better.
      It’s unfortunate that human nature causes regulators to make these rules. Is
      So applaud the EPOs for doing the best they can.

  24. Roman

    Good Job. Here we go again. All these reports fall on deaf ears(or stupid people). How many of these reports will we have to read until something is done. They basically give them a slap on the wrist. The judges need to be fired. They let these clowns get away with murder. We need a special court system to deal with these actions appropriately and not kissing their ***. They need tougher penalties or this will continue. I hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

  25. Vince

    Damn illegal immigrants posing as American citizens! Deport them all!

  26. jack

    The fines will never be paid by these poachers. They show up to court and plead ignorance and tell the liberal judges that they are trying to feed their starving family! Meanwhile the poacher has 6 EBT cards, Seperated from his wife so they can both get section 8 vouchers and collect $ off the extra one. Collecting Welfare checks, Mass health insurance and his 12 kids are all going to Umass on our taxes!

    1. Vincent

      No one but a traditional Catholic family has 12 children. You’re such a whiner!

  27. bruce

    great work to the EPO they are working hard out there and can’t be everywhere

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