Striper Poachers Fined Less Than Value of Fish

Rhode Island DEM reports fine of $1,506.75

The Rhode Island DEM has posted an update on a citation made last September for possessing 11 striped bass over the limit. A plea agreement was entered on July 11th, with the owner of the vessel being fined $1,506.75.  The estimated value of the fish, had they been sold, is around $2,000.

In September of 2018, an Environmental Police Officer (EPO) from DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) boarded a vessel associated with repeated hunting and fishing violations during a routine patrol in Point Judith. The front of the vessel appeared to be dipping low, as if there were considerable weight in the bow. In the original post, the vessel was reported as belonging to Michael A. Saviano of Warren, Rhode Island.
The occupants of the vessel had stored their illegal catch in a hidden storage compartment in the bow. Once discovered, the EPOs seized 13 striped bass – 11 over the daily limit allowed with two persons aboard a vessel.

According to the RIDEM, a common illegal practice is for Massachusetts commercial fishermen to fish the area around Block Island for striped bass under the guise that they are fishing recreationally and then transport them back to Massachusetts where they are sold. In an effort to curb this, a new regulation was adopted in 2015 that requires striped bass larger than 34 inches (the minimum commercial size) that are caught recreationally to have their right pectoral fin removed immediately. It is then illegal to sell or purchase a striped bass with a cut pectoral fin in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

In a press release after the incident was reported in September 2018, Steve Medeiros, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Anglers Association, said, “It’s a shame that a few people are greedy and have no respect for our fisheries. We need stricter penalties along with judges who are willing to treat fisheries violations with the severity they deserve.”

63 on “Striper Poachers Fined Less Than Value of Fish

  1. Joe

    No matter how repugnant this crime was, it is not responsible for OTW to post this boat owner’s home address.

    1. steve-o

      Why would that be irresponsible? It is public record in the court system. Murders, rapists, armed robbers, etc. names are published, why not scumbags? Are you afraid your name could be posted if you get caught?

      1. Jim

        Damn right Steve-o! They didn’t publish the offender’s address, just the hometown. IMHO they got off with a slap on the wrist. Seize the boat and tackle, the truck towing the boat, and make the fine something in excess of the value of the resource! I for one went without striper fishing for many years while the stock was rebuilt through proper resource management and tough violation enforcement. To the poachers out there, GET A JOB, DON’T STEAL FROM LAW ABIDING FISHERMEN!!

      2. TK

        Joe… are wrong. 100%. It’s public record and they SHOULD be published.
        Why everything else that is public record and not this? Ridiculous.
        I your world….do something illegal….but you can’t hurt their feelings or let people know where they live, so they can keep doing it in anonymity? How Massachusetts of you.

    2. Colin

      Public record. Scumbags like this deserve all they get. Maybe someone will pay him a visit.

      1. Unhookem

        Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time

    3. Jeffrey J Knowles

      Your kidding right? I think they should’ve gone one step further and put his picture and a picture of his boat. That way everyone knows what SOB he is everytime he goes by.

    4. Jack

      too bad
      guy needs old school treatment if he wants to fish old school
      i’m glad everyone knows who he is

      1. Strper King

        Frank…stripers are not republican or democrat… how did that get into the conversation. Maybe you should ask the next fish you catch its political affiliation…

      2. TK

        More likely a poacher who is probably getting a bit worried. When you call poachers out, like we have in our town, it’s amazing how small and pathetic they become.
        Joe has it written all over him.

    5. Truth be told

      Address, pictures and boat. Post it with pictures for all to see. Just like sex offenders, they should have level whatever for POS such as these. On the first offense they should lose everything they came with. Boat, vehicle and gear. End of story. Plus huge fines. Everyone who commits a crime know what they are doing so here should be no breaks. And I don’t want to hear the “ Oh I didn’t know” excuse. Because that’s no one’s fault but your own. You raped Mother Nature so you should be humiliated.

  2. Lenny

    He knowingly broke the law and tried to deceive the epo. His address is public record, no different than newspapers including addresses in the police beat. Imo he got off light.

  3. Barth McDonnigle

    This lousy stuff!
    The only victims here are the fish, and our future children who will face the empty, dead seas.
    This is the end result of the destruction of the middle class. When people are desperate, they take risks like poaching.
    We have no effective leadership in this country, federally or at the state level. Dem or Repub- all just sit on their hands while this country slowly destroys itself.

  4. Jeffrey Finney

    Should be $1000 for every illegal fish….
    I’ve taking many small fish out of peoples( I will not call the fisherman) buckets and they hide on sand…
    Im not running aroung with tape measure but when its crazy short I do intervene.

  5. LOU


    1. Gary

      Dude is wrong but u’d have to catch atleast 300 strippers to equal 2 grand idk if this story is reel (pun intended)

      1. Bill

        $5 per pound (New Bedford auction price a few days ago), would require 400 lbs. of meat. Those must have been some really meaty stripers to have 35 lbs. of meat each. My guess is they used the consumer retail price per lb.

  6. Kenny heyduk

    A criminal needs to be exposed for all to see and shamed and embarrassed as well.

  7. Kenny

    Should take their vessel too. It was used to commit the crime. Post the perp photo

      1. Mark

        Tell us Jack, what would be American? Let the criminal poacher continue to steal a public resource, destroy fish stocks for his own greed and hide in the shadows? Would that be more American?

  8. Evab

    That is ridiculous. Also the boat was known to have repeated fish and game violations. You should have posted the address and name of the judge so that we can write them complaints. What is the point of even having the patrol boats out there if repeat offenders get fined 1k and that’s it. Such a joke! This is what are fishing licenses are funding?

    1. Bill

      The fines are to pay for the fuel so the EPOs can spend a nice day on the water for free.

  9. John

    It’s not right to publicly post this mans adress by any means. Even if he is a scumbag.

  10. Bob

    Hunting and fishing are sports, and we people who enjoy these sports are sportsmen. Unfortunately to many people don’t know what a sportsman is… it’s a real shame.

  11. Apu

    So none of you have ever went over the speed limit or, didn’t stop all the way at a stop sign or, worse drive while on your phone. All of these risk human lives. So who is scum. These guy’s just took too many fish and you want them hung. I say peoples priorities are so far out of whack it’s unbelievable. With the proper license they probably can haul out tons of these fish. Just because they pay more money for a piece of paper makes it right though to leave those seas empty. MAN THAT’S A THINKER

  12. A. Knight

    I live in California. Where the striped bass fishery has been all but wiped out. In recent years it has tried to make a come back. The judges are strict about fishery enforcement. First time offenders lose the boat all their gear, the rig that towed the boat. A hefty fine per fish. And up to one year in jail. And their names are posted. And it’s not enough in my opinion.

  13. Merc Tillford

    No more bass
    No more cod
    No more tuna
    The bluefish are gone
    The herring
    Disease in oyster is spreading
    Our fisheries are broken
    Get ready for a future of tilapia and shrimp

    1. masswoods fishing

      and trout but it so sad all you hear about is how good fishing use to be

  14. Wayne

    This isn’t a crime of a desperate middle class individual. This was 2 people going way out of their way to steal many fish for a profit, not try to feed their families.
    And yes your right…. Our society is degrading, but that’s what you get when you allow our Courts to plea down any crime. Especially against nature!!!!

  15. scott

    Yes, I am just a lowly surfcaster. And yes, I only have two years worth of experience fishing striped bass. I can’t afford the nicest rod. Or the newest reel. My plug bag is small on a good day. I have plenty of other obligations that come before fishing, that’s just the truth of it. But none of that changes the fact that in these past two years, I’ve fallen in love. I spend every free moment trying to pay this passion the respect it deserves.
    And maybe it’s a silly perspective but I’m okay with feeling a little vulnerable; I look at that picture of that truck and think “… That would be a really great season.”
    Not week, not month, SEASON. I’d gladly take the experience of each one of those catches and commit them deep within my memory, likely only adding to this newfound addiction of mine.

    To think that these two did what they did and have surely done it many times before, well, I honestly just can’t think about it that much, I just get too goddamn upset. In a world where anonymity is far easy and far too abundant, I couldn’t be more glad to have seen a name and address attached to the post. Yes, the legal penalties are far too weak in my opinion but what allowed me to finally get to sleep last night was the hope that somewhere, somehow, along the way, enough shame builds up within these two to make them feel as gut-wrenchingly terrible as I do about all this.

  16. JP

    It’s all about the revenue! If a repeat offender can get away with a $1500 fine it shows you they can care less about the future of the fish. It’s all revenue generating! They know a repeat offender is going is likely to do it again and pay again.

  17. Tyrell Lovitt

    Exactly Fucking Greedy Ass Scumbag. They Should Have Locked His Ass Up, All Them Violations He Had

  18. John Scelfo

    Make the Striper a gamefish and remove the monetary value and poaching will plummet!

  19. Rateros

    I can only laugh at all of this circus. Commercial fisheries do much more damage than any single fisherman.. Regulations…. lol… biger fish to catch according to regulations equals less eggs for new up coming seasons….. where is logic… lmfao…

  20. Jeffrey Swayze

    it’s a mockery that the fine is less then the value of the fish. Also, why is there still a commercial season in ma, and since all fish have to be minimum of 34, those are all breeding fish. Pretty stupid management. Hopefully the upcoming changes in 2020 will reflect wiser management by banning commercial seasons and going back to a slot limit where recreational anglers can keep one fish 18-26 inches.

  21. Bob

    I’m a old retired commercial rod and dealer. In mass in the 1980s if you got caught with illegal bass in your boat or buggy they confiscated the boat or buggy, bring that law back

    1. Vince

      Taking fish over the limit isn’t a fine. It’s a violation. You can’t get locked up for a violation. Just like you can’t get lock up for parking tickets. A lot of you guys have hole in your brains.

      1. Vince

        It isn’t a crime*
        But rather a violation.
        And rather than holes in the brain, I meant to say worms! Bunch of Libtards!

  22. Dan

    Frank Cummings
    There are a lot more democrats here than you could imagine Dick!

    1. Striper King

      How does you political views relate to fishing… would it make a difference if the judge was a republican…You need to focus on the issue at hand and that issue is poachers….

  23. Andy

    This behavior will not stop as long as law enforcement continues weak and soft on these dirt bags. They need to make it hurt when they bust these guys, boat, tackle, truck all confiscated and some jail time. For god sakes can we finally declare stripe bass a game fish and prohibit the sale to take some of the temptation away!

  24. Bob Farrell

    Pull his license, confiscate his boat for 90 days, increase fines to 10x commercial value

  25. Phil lee

    Take away his license if he has one, don’t allow him or his family to get one in the future,…… ever!!!!

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