Striper Poachers Busted In Rhode Island

Environmental Police Officers from DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) take poaching seriously and are monitoring Rhode Island’s coastline and waters for compliance with fishing regulations. Here in the Ocean State, striped bass are a favorite of recreational and commercial anglers alike. Adhering to the rules is not only good for the health of our fisheries; it’s the law.

RI poachers

This past Monday (9/26), Rhode Island Environmental Police received a report from an anonymous caller who observed suspected poachers taking undersized and over-the-limit striped bass along the Seekonk River in East Providence. An Officer responded and contacted four poachers in a pickup truck as it was preparing to leave the area. The Officer observed eight striped bass, three of which were less than the minimum of 28 inches, in the truck’s bed. The driver was issued a criminal summons for possession of undersize and over-limit striped bass.
RI poachers

A second Officer arrived, and both Officers observed a different group of subjects cleaning what appeared to be undersized striped bass. These poachers were in possession eight undersize and two legal striped bass. Two subjects were issued criminal summons for possession of undersize and over-limit striped bass. One was also issued a citation for saltwater fishing without a license. A total of 16 striped bass were seized during this patrol. The fish were not suitable for human consumption due to improper storage. They were donated to the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island (Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island) to feed a Bald Eagle in their care. DLE would like to thank the anonymous caller for reporting the poaching activity while it was occurring to DLE’s 24-hour dispatch center.

RI poached striped bass

This Tuesday (9/27), an Officer on patrol of the Narrow River in Narragansett located two Massachusetts residents, one of whom was actively fishing. The Officer located four undersized striped bass in their possession. A check of their vehicle found seven additional undersize striped bass. The poacher who was fishing admitted to catching all of the fish and was issued a criminal summons for possession of undersize striped bass and exceeding the possession limit of striped bass. The fish were seized, determined to be unfit for human consumption, and donated to the Wildlife Clinic.

Help us protect what is yours and protect Rhode Island’s precious natural resources by reporting suspected poaching activity to DLE at 401-222-3070 (24/7). Calling our dispatch unit while suspected violations are occurring allows Officers the most immediate response possible to stop active poaching. Please be prepared to provide accurate location information, details of the alleged illegal activity, clothing descriptions, and vehicle/vessel descriptions.

Help maintain a sustainable fishery for generations to come. Find possession and size limits for commercial and recreational fishing at

19 on “Striper Poachers Busted In Rhode Island

  1. Patty

    We need to save our stripers . Love our stripers . Thank you DEM . Take all their stuff and punish them .

  2. DeeAnn Seigars

    Good to have our lawful citizens willing to protect our precious wildlife resources for all of us.

  3. paul

    Wish we had more funding for better education and more patrolling. Love when these guys get caught

  4. Tim Donnelly

    Nice work DEM DLM! Hats off for their diligence and a hex on all poachers, caught or otherwise.

    Buy your license and follow the rules. Respect the fish and they’ll be there for our children’s children to enjoy!

  5. Flyman II

    Make it hurt, make an example out of them and take all their gear. A slap on the wrist encourages more bad behavior.

    1. Joe

      First offense criminal summons. Second offense sieze your gear. Third take your boat, take your truck, straight to jail

  6. Sean Hicks

    I don’t normally applaud these AKA squirrel chasers but enough is enough with these people and again they made an example out of a commercial fisherman from Maryland I believe had over 1200 pounds of undersized stripers and rock bass and they made an example they gave him 18 months to serve and three years probation and in-house so if they don’t make an example of these people from East Providence then those people are just going to keep doing it and thinking they’re going to get a slap on the wrist and again it’s one thing if you have one or two to feed your family the DM usually looks the other way but when you have 27 and you’re filleting them right there so heaven knows how many more because they got a five gallon bucket full of fillets and it’s not rocket science so they had about 52 filets which were all under the legal limit so and again it’s there nothing more than poachers that’s what they are those are the people that give real fishermen a bad name they agreed is just I hate to say it but maybe if they just got a real job and went to work and paid the bills they wouldn’t have to subsidize their lifestyle with illegal poaching ring that’s what they’re calling it cuz if it’s more than three people they catch they call it a ring wow and they can be prosecuted under the RICO act of an organized poaching ring

  7. Chris

    All the post about real hard work driving around in trucks. How else are they supposed to cover ground looking for scum bags doing illegal -. Good work EP wish there were more of you out there

  8. peter okeefe

    enough is enough !! we need to institute capitol punishment for fishing without permission. Zero tolerance and pay with your life!! By the way how many foreign net trawlers were stopped this week?? oh wait…they by “special” licenses that allow them to kill thousands of stripers at a time…thats okay? Whatever happened to “common law”?

  9. Jess

    The people who say that the EPOs drive around and do nothing, shame on you! You go do what they do, yeah I know you can’t! You’re probably poachers yourselves for saying that. Can you do it on the water or on land they are doing a great job wish we had more officers out there protecting our environment or wildlife!

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