Cape Cod Canal Poachers Busted

Cape Cod Canal MEP

On the morning of Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the Massachusetts Environmental Police responded to a complaint regarding a group of individuals possibly poaching striped bass along the Cape Cod Canal and hiding the catch in a vehicle near the railroad bridge parking area in Buzzards Bay. Upon arrival at the scene, Officers observed a male carrying a striped bass towards the parking lot.

The individual noticed the Officers and ran back towards the Canal, throwing the fish into the water. Officers pursued the individual who was ultimately placed in custody.
A subsequent check of the vehicle revealed three additional striped bass – two of which were over the limit of 35-inches. Furthermore, two of the three fishermen in the group, including the one in custody, did not have a 2020 Saltwater Recreation Fishing permit.

The arrestee was charged with failure to display catch upon demand, possession of over the limit striped bass, and fishing without a saltwater recreation permit. The owner of the vehicle was issued a civil citation for possession of a striped bass larger than 35-inches and fishing without a saltwater recreation permit. Further charges may be pending.

The catch was seized and subsequently donated to the Plymouth Area Coalition.

Striped bass fishermen are reminded that commercial striped bass fishing in the Canal is prohibited. If you are a commercial permit holder fishing recreationally, you are required to also obtain a recreational fishing permit. Persons recreational fishing for striped bass may not retain more than one striped bass and the fish must be a minimum of 28-inches to under 35-inches in length.

The Massachusetts Environmental Police remind the public that if you have concerns regarding hunting or fishing in the Commonwealth or believe a violation is occurring please contact MEP Dispatch at 1-800-632-8075. MEP Dispatch is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

55 on “Cape Cod Canal Poachers Busted

  1. Rozziebo

    Why didn’t they seize the vehicle and everything else? What about tackle? No fishing permits either. A slap on the wrist. These scumbags will be back in the Fall or sooner. Makes me sick.

    1. Vince

      Seizing the vehicle over a petty violation? How would you feel if the cops repossessed your car for running a red light? You must understand that poaching striped bass isn’t a crime but a violation. Learn the laws or go back to your sh*t hole country.

      1. mortianmor

        Vince, You have no clue what you are talking about. What Rozziebo mentioned is standard protocol. Anyone that fishes in these areas know that and should deal with it. That guy knew, Why do you think he ran. Unless you fish down the canal or anywhere on the Cape, just keep quiet and don’t interfere

      2. Capt. John Domings

        They seize your boat why not your car? Maybe it’s petty to you but those of us that appreciate the stiper it’s far from petty!

  2. Ken

    Thank you to the person who noticed the Illegal taking of fish and reporting it

    1. Tim

      Right…..because the death penalty and life in prison has done so much for the murder rates over the last 300+ yrs!?! All increasing fines do is make governments richer.

  3. Eric Zodl

    Give them a 1000 dollar fine and you’ll see how fast poaching will stop

    1. Joe

      One of their favorite methods is to Ovserve from a distance with binoculars and move on violators. I have been ‘observed’ on several occasions.

  4. Eric

    I agree the laws need to be stronger to make them quit illegally fishing. Take the gear, fine them hard and take the vehicle and everything else that they have make it hurt.

  5. Mr CLEAN

    Sites like this are full of the lovers. You recreational fishermen love conservation but are out on the canal killing fish everyday. You are no better.

  6. Mr CLEAN

    Sites like this are full of losers. You recreational fishermen love conservation but are out on the canal killing fish everyday. You are no better.

  7. David S

    You recreational fisherman are no better than these guys. You go out of the canal everyday after work and lead to just as many fish dying, but since you think you’ve mastered catch and release, no harm no foul.

  8. Andrew MacDonald

    I totally agree that a very severe and complete application of the F@G should follow those Boys’

  9. Tim Petracca

    Why isn’t EPO around on the canal? They tout their single success and yet I haven’t seen them at all in 3 years! Never had my license checked! Never see the truck! They are too busy to follow up most calls unless they have staff right there! What are the punishments for these criminals. Enforcement is needed and visibility is required to ensure compliance.

    1. Nate

      There are only 80 or so officers for the entire state. Save their phone number in your phone. If you see something, call. I’ve done it.

    2. Bill

      They are present at the canal. Half the time these articles are posted, it’s from the canal. One would think they could fund the entire EPO department on the fines, except the cases often get dismissed or reduced to something comparable to a speeding ticket.

  10. John Clark

    Poaching is a serious offense and should be treated as such with consequences that reflect the violation. I agree that higher fines will give poachers something to think about before they re-offend. DEM should not have to spend valuable time dealing with these repeat offenders.

  11. José Bordonada

    The officers did the right thing I’m a sport surf Fisherman and I always release the stripers or any other fish that’s under the limit the should pay a big fine for their disrespect to the law and the good Fisherman it give us fisherman a bad name .

  12. TJ

    If they had a commercial licence that should have been taken also with no hope of getting it back

  13. JayL

    Impound their vehicles, bicycles, gear, plus a fine….let them walk home.

  14. Steve Skenyon

    Penalties are not severe enough and likelihood of getting caught is remote. I would pay top dollar to buy confiscated equipment that has a story of being taken from one of these criminals.

  15. Saulo

    If the E. P. Wanted to catch poachers, all they had to do is go to the Hering run. Lots of folks posing as tribal. I called many times and heard “they have different rules”. All good but, are they tribal? Hell no. No checks, they scream “discrimination” and life goes on.
    I stoped going to the canal.

  16. Jasper

    It’s always fun to see the sissy’s in the blueberry fields complaining about the bears eating all the berries, that’s nature…..this is top of the food chain cheating and depleting a food source for many individual’s who abide by the law. Don’t defend these a$$hole poachers, they deserve much worse punishment. Take the car for sure next time and see how quickly it stops and the fish population is again sustainable.

    Must not fish or something.

  17. John

    They are always at the canal. I’ve been checked 4 times this year. A big thanks to the Environmental police for doing a great job. I will gladly show my license anytime with a smile.

  18. Wayne cole

    We are gonna have to take matters in our own hands!!!☠️?

  19. Tony Cabral

    The sad part of this is we can’t be the only state that in forces this problem other states don’t even care about it and the bass migration goes through a lot of states we all have to be on the same page for this to work

  20. qui

    Applause for the MEP. Keep it up. One bust at a time. Nothing changes overnight.

  21. MarineBob

    There needs to be lots more enforcement. Watch the tourists let their kids kill small crabs they catch, fill buckets with small scup (God only knows what people do with them). I remind these losers they need to have a license. The best I get is ‘no understand English.’ A few fines, confiscated equipment, maybe bring them to the station to book the violation? Publicize the events. Might have a an impact

    1. Steve

      Good Work by the MEPs, keep it up. I agree that a greater MEP presence is needed, undercover if that is allowed. Also, increase the penalties, at least confiscate the fishing equipment and a large fine. If it’s a commercial violation permit should be taken. Taking a vehicle for a first offense is probably too much. I think the size of the catch should be considered in determining the penalties.

  22. Bill


    Poaching still going on, I bought my salt water permit, spent $60 for a commercial license, which I can’t use and still put up with the crowds and poachers. Looks like a bigger problem than the guys with Commercial licenses, enforce the law, maybe a few ICE officials to go along with the EVO’s would help

  23. Jim

    Based on the article, two of the three had no recreational fishing licenses. The canal is closed to commercial fishing. Two of the stripers were over the 35 inch limit. These people knew they were poaching, by their actions of throwing another fish back! As a licensed recreational fisherman and operating within the laws, I say throw the book at them, up to the extent of the laws. We need to petition the Governor to step-up the EVO’s interventions, especially along the canal.

  24. Derrick D. La Rue

    Please take their vehicles and auction them off! This will never stop! Good job to the people who called and to and great job to the officers

  25. Mike

    Fine the guys for no licenses,
    Fine the guy for each fish,
    Fine the guy for throwing an out of limit fish back,
    Make the fines 100 per with no ability to reduce,
    Pull their ability to renew their license for one year from the date of the incident
    Publish their names and the town where they reside in the paper.
    Do that a couple of time and the issue would be dealt with

  26. dean kelley

    I agree the fines should be heavy , especially for multiple offences , have the vehicle towed & impounded , that will make the poaching not so lightly taken !

  27. Derrick D. La Rue

    We need to start our own citizens anti poaching group and start seizing these guys cats, trucks and equipment. If the the law and mdem can’t or won’t do it. Let us take matters into our own hands, guys who will show the law how it should be done. So sick of these people poaching over and over and over again.

  28. Derrick D. La Rue

    Mass and RIdem don’t do enough to punish these people. Its the damn laws that are protecting these joker’s. Let’s sink there vehicles in the canal, then and only then will the law start to change.

    1. Rome

      It’s not law enforcement, it’s the crooked judges that let these clowns get away with it. They throw out all these cases before it even gets to them. Put the blame where it belongs, the judges.

  29. Derrick D. La Rue

    Why don’t we here anything from the officers themselves and let them tell us why the laws sucks on poachers.

  30. Derrick D. La Rue

    I want to be president of the New England Striped Bass Anti Poaching Association. All proceeds go to the Bourne Parks and Recreations so we can clean up the canal of trash every year.

  31. Russ

    Take a look at a criminal docket at a Ma. District court on a Monday and you will learn that a fishing violation is a joke in Ma. We do not even punish criminals with illegal guns sufficiently. As far as the vehicle goes, no court in this state is going to allow the seizure of a vehicle for 3 fish or any amount of fish for that matter. In addition, most vehicles are financed. Do the good citizens of Ma. want to begin paying off loans to get titles to vehicles that in the end up in the hands of our hack politicians? That money could be better spent supporting the illegals stealing the fish out of our waters. Beating the drum on this subject in Ma. is like kicking a dead horse. Try getting caught poaching in Maine. Maine has mandatory jail sentences for certain game animals along with loss of licenses. These guys will get what will amount to a walk. Very Sad!

    1. Tucker Henderson

      I agree with you, Russ. We need to further enforce the consequences of poaching. I’ve seen people get put in custody and then let out of the cop car free to go with all his fishing tackle and rods, it seems as if the EP has better things to be doing. I sure hope this changes. And soon!

  32. christopher martin

    I cant believe how a sport like fishing can be wrecked because of ignorant people. The canal has been destroyed over the past few years. WE ALL KNOW WHY !! I am 54 years old and I am sickened by these people who have no regard for follwing rules ! Why ? Because everyone cries discrimination today ! Its funny , and sick , that officers cant do their jobs because some person , getting handouts there whole life , will get a scum bag lawyer , and then waste taxpayer going to court , and the best part , THE OFFICER GETS FIRED ! Wow , God Bless America !!!! Makes me sad for our kids , ya know the ones that have to pay their own way the rest of their lives, absolutely sickening

  33. Crfguy

    The most poaching that goes on in this state BY FAR is at the Lawrence dam…each and every day there’s at least fifty illegal catches both by size and method being taken from an area out ten feet wide…I will not specify exactly where but it’s a real bloodbath….such a shame. Another spot where poaching is a nightly occurrence is the Amelia Earhart dam in Boston…snagged herring is bait of choice in both spots

  34. Frank

    To Vince and his car running a red light analogy, if you have someone who habitually runs red lights then sooner or later they will seriously injure or kill someone and the more people that do this the odds become greater that something bad happens. If they keep doing it and only get a slap on the wrist they will continue to do it. Losing their car is excessive but taking their drivers license so that they have to walk or bum rides will sink in and when they get their license back they will get used to stopping for that red light. These poachers are the same way, they will keep doing what they do until the law takes away their tackle, everything they used for fishing when they got caught and tow their vehicle and make it extra expensive to get it back. Then fine them $250 for each fish violation, if they have a commercial license it should be gone for 5 years. They knew what they were going was wrong and were playing the odds that because of the number of people fishing, especially at night they could keep stealing fish and all these poachers steal tons of fish every year ,work in packs to watch out for Environmental Police and for the most part rarely get caught so when they get caught make a big example of them and the other poachers will scale back their illegal activity. Thanks to the person who took the time to call the DEP and tell them where to find these thieves. Too bad the court system will only slap them on the wrist no matter how many times they get caught and they will be back out there for the next tide change stealing more fish..

  35. Russ

    Did you not like my factually true comment. Apparently not, as you refused to print it.

  36. Carl Moberg

    So they prohibited commercial fishing on the canal to eliminate poaching. How’s that working? Not. Outlaws/poachers normally don’t play by the rules, all you accomplished is punishing those of us who do.

  37. fish hard

    So people taking short and over fish at Railroad during night time. They know they will take away.

  38. Roman Dudus

    Aren’t we getting tired of reading about this. It happens just about every week. When is someone really going to do something about this? Make the punishment fit the crime. Start making them think if it is really worth it.

  39. Russ

    Ma. Should decriminalize the the unlawful taking of fish and instead increase the fines. This will eliminate the free lawyers. If there is no possibility of incarceration, then there are no free lawyers. However, the illegals never show up in court because many of them have multiple identifications. For the rest of the population, hefty fines that are imposed will teach a good lesson. 500.00 per fish might do it.

  40. Carl

    Make Poaching a crime against the environment and stop with the judges having the ability to hand out punishment . If the adjudication is a crime against the environment then the law would also include the punishment where by the judge would hand out what the laws tells him to do.

  41. Aaron

    People are crazy. You want to seize a guy’s truck, his house and what else?? For having three fish. Big freaking deal. There’s so much worst stuff you could be doing than taking a extra fish smh. Come live a day in my neighborhood. Drugs and violence is what I grew up around. I can’t believe people can be so cold hearted when someone gets caught with 2 extra fish. So what. The commercial guys taking all the big females are the real problem. Go complain to your local government about the fact there allowed to take over 750,000 pounds

  42. canalrat

    I gave up. Everyone so smart and they don’t listen. Every year same shit show at Canal. Time to buy a boat.

  43. stop making excuses

    U.S.A. is great because of the laws that punish and a Constitution that protects us. The Puritans who settles here followed the rule of God which was in most instances in line with the rule of law. Until recently immigrants wanted to blend into our society and be part of what we as a Country offered–FREEDOM. Why did they leave their country and come here?? Why do we hold people to the fishing limits…So we do not deplete the resource. That is why we have the laws. Stop the me first mentality. President Kennedy stated” Ask not what your Country can do for you ; ask what you can do for your Country.”Follow the Law.

  44. laws rule

    If we do not protect our natural resources we will loose them… Even if a 1000 people took 1 extra fish and half were females we would loose over a Million hatch lings.. It adds up. The laws are for the benefit of all. Compare our fish populations to those of other countries that have not protected theirs…they don’t have a fishing industry anymore..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *