Tautog Poachers Busted in Rhode Island

illegal RI tautog

Over the holiday weekend, Environmental Police Officers from DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) conducted several recreational vessel boardings at various boat ramps throughout the state. During one boarding, Officers discovered a group of poachers in possession of 36 tautog, 33 of which were undersized and three black sea bass, two of which were undersized. The operator of the vessel was charged with exceeding the daily limit of tautog, possession of undersized tautog, and possession of undersized black sea bass. The penalties for these alleged violations will be determined by the presiding judge in court. The fish were seized and donated to the Center for Southeast Asians in Providence. Rhode Island Environmental Police take poaching seriously and will continue to monitor the Ocean State’s coastline and waters for compliance with fishing regulations.

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.
Adhering to the rules is not only good for the health of our fisheries; it’s the law – help maintain a sustainable fishery for generations to come. Find possession and size limits for commercial and recreational fishing at http://www.dem.ri.gov/marine.

23 on “Tautog Poachers Busted in Rhode Island

  1. BRIAN

    Keep up the good work donate their boat and gear none of People doing this take it seriously. Hit them where it hurts.

  2. john patterson

    THANK YOU Like in NYS there probaby is not enough law enforcement officers to do what is needed.

  3. Ripper

    Donate the fish. Fine. But fine the perps $1000 per fish and confiscate their tackle, boat, and vehicle!! This crap drives honest anglers nuts!

  4. Joe Puleo

    You guys are doing a fantastic job nailing these low lifes. Take all there fishing gear with a big fine time to get tough.

  5. DGM

    Makes you sick reading this first thing in the morning. Too bad the article doesn’t specify the vessel and the ones arrested. Were they eating and feeding families or selling the fish to a restaurant? Hell, Russia jails a basketball player for 9 years for having cannabis oil in her possession. Vessel and equipment confiscation, heavy fines, and deportation if applicable.

  6. Ryan Napolitano

    Start posting Names, confiscate gear on-site, and make it a true burden for them to get their stuff back.

  7. Dave

    Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside the RIDEM enforcement staff and the one major thing I noted was severely understaffed to handle the increasing violations. So whenever you witness something worthy of their attention please direct it to the number above. Tight lines!!

  8. Chris lewis

    Have dem impound the boat, fishing gear and truck and trailer if hauled.jail time 10 years.all impounded items money put into dem.

  9. Michael Johnson

    They should post names and pictures, for public shaming. Penalties are not stiff enough

  10. Mark

    Wanna be fishermen take their gear and fine the #!%& out them .Cut their lines

  11. Bob b

    Bottom line idont give a hell. If there hungry or not …the law is the law follow the rules or pay the mf price ….. I see to many mf come to this country and disregard the law.. no excuse ….. they make it bad for the rest of us that follow the rules hammer them to the highest fines .. thumbs up to the RI dem officers . They do a great job. Thumbs down to all you low life’s….

  12. Bob Benoit

    Thumbs up to the RI dem police . Great job.. they break the law they pay the price …… to many of come to this country don’t follow the laws…. nail them hard …. fines to the highest allowed by law . They make a bad name for us who follow the rules . I have no sympathy for them …. hungry or not get a mf job..

  13. Louise

    How come your not publishing their names? Usually printed for others when a crime is committed, or is their status a secret.

  14. J. Daniels

    Thank you DEN! WE’LL DONE! Please also consider ALL the illegal shellfishing goin on in Conimicit. Thank you sincerely

  15. frank

    hope they receive the most severe fine available/ Too many good fishermen out there to have morons like this soil the sport//

  16. Matt Scholz

    The only way to discourage poaching is to seize the vessel and gear. Auction off and donate proceeds. Our penalties are insufficient

  17. Roman

    Environmental Police Officers from DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement are doingbthrir job, but the justice system leaves much to be desired. There is a reason why nobody follows up on the outcome, because the judges let these people off with a slap on the hand.

  18. Joe

    Joe Black, It keeps on happening & the Police can’t be everywhere It’s up to the Judge’s to do there job. Fines, take there boat, tackle. Then put it on T V & show everyone what happens when you POACH! Thats when it will stop!!!

  19. Jim

    Nice job to bad they’ll just get a slap on the wrist and be sent on there way to do it again the next time they go out ✌️😎🎣🎣🎣

  20. JoeP

    If they claim they have no food, tell them to sell their boat. If they can afford a boat and fuel it then they can afford to buy food.

  21. Capt Matt

    Tog fished last weekend and caught at least that many shorts and kept 8 for our boat. Sensible bag limit and a healthy stock of juvies to keep the rods bent all day. When you get these pirates who have no regard for the fishery, it upsets the balance. Take their captain’s license, suspend their fishing license for 2 years and fine them 1000.00 per fish. They’ll have to find another activity to cheat on!

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