Tautog Poachers Busted in Rhode Island

illegally taken tautog

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, officers from Rhode Island DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) seized 33 tautog – 24 were under the minimum size allowed and over the legal amount allowed – from three recreational anglers fishing from the shore from Ocean Drive in Newport.

The legal possession limit for the recreational take of tautog is 3 fish per person, per day from April 15 to May 31 – the season is closed from June 1 through July 31 after which it reopens. The minimum size allowed is 16 inches. All three men were cited for the violations and the fish were seized and donated to Amos House, the Providence-based social services agency that runs the state’s largest soup kitchen.

For more information on fishing seasons and catch limits, visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/marine


19 on “Tautog Poachers Busted in Rhode Island

  1. Tom

    Hardly enough of a penalty for someone that destroys our fish stocks. Jail them!!!

  2. ArthurBishop

    Were their fishing licenses revoked ? Were they fined heavily with no reinstatement of fishing license possible until the fines are paid? Why aren’t more striped bass poachers being busted ???? DEM ? Care to make a public comment at all ??

  3. Gerry Ferdinand

    Makes me sick.
    The only ones celebrating this are the green crabs!

  4. Carl M Cave

    A shame!
    The humble tog!
    Look at the small ones!
    Kidnt a even grow bigger!
    Those aren’t even chowda’ hogs!

  5. AndyB

    If they are poachers, why bother even getting a license if they are not going to abide by the rules. If they had a license why would they care if it were revoked.

    Well Done DEM!!

  6. Max Cavallaro

    Shouldn’t the poachers names be posted? If the law can’t dissuade this behavior maybe public shaming could?

    1. RK


      The only way to stop this behavior is to shame them publicly. People who commit other crimes get their names published. This should be no different.

  7. Roman

    Here we are again. No names, no punishment, no nothing!! We do nothing to punish these people and to prevent others from doing the same. Something needs to change!!

  8. Jim from Pawcatuck

    Fish poaching should be treated more like big game poaching. Stiff fines based on the number of EACH fish not conforming to size or catch limits, mandatory jail time, revocation of a license for years plus seizure of their gear used to poach the fish then announcing their names using various forms of social media. This would be tough enough to dissuade poachers and make them know then adhere to season dates and catch limits.

  9. Kevin Raymond

    They are spawning in spring, spring should be 0 fish per day!

    1. Uncle BOB

      the goal is to prohibit all fishing and to feed people with farm-raised garbage

  10. Dave

    Why aren’t the names posted it is public information, previously the names were posted here!!

  11. fatguycaughtandreleased

    Makes one sick DEM. needs to do there job with today’s technologies they could do more, [drones, night vision, get off their ass]. Instead their answer for striper management, raise the limit take out all the egg bearing fish, maybe a serious fine might discourage them if they don’t pay it, suspend there drivers license. But no they do nothing but there is talk of shutting down recreational striper fishing, once again the one’s who play by the rules, and the fish pay the penalties. Shut down striper fishing raise size limit ten inches WOW glad we have them why not address the real problems. Why not put restrictions on dragging, commercial limits, target poaching big fines [$5001st time 5000$ second time.] don’t pay go directly to jail do not pass plum island do not collect your state benefits, that will stop the poachers. Just go to the merrimack river at the lawrence dam any night, everything is a keeper they don’t even try to hide it. They walk away put in their trunks come back for more i report all the time no one shows up there to check [i think they are scared ]. Instead go after the law abiding ones. When others like them see there are no severe punishments, no one checking they, just do the same [monkey see monkey do] why not. Then DEM get lucky once and make big headlines [look at me]. These 3 scabs will be back out trying to make up for the fish DEM stole from them poor guys good thing they have food stamps, or they can go to the soup kitchen for chowder, awesome job DEM. AWESOME JOB my money hard at work.

  12. Joey

    Why aren’t the names posted? What were the fines? Maybe illegal poachers from Mexico…….. BUILD THE WALL !!!

    1. Tommy

      holy crap, this my mans is a genius, damn Mexicans, BUILD THAT WALL BUILD THAT WALL BUILD THAT WALL, damn quesadillas, turning everyone into poachers .

    2. Russell

      I’ve been annoyed by this for a long time, they use to post the names of the poachers but no more and the penalties are a joke
      Funny thing tho is they ARRESTED 3 fisherman in narragansett for failing to fin clip their striped bass and posted their names they all had licenses and legal fish
      Plus fin clipping does not prevent the illegal sale of fish,the buyers are just as crooked as the poachers

  13. David Whalen

    Post the damn names public shame fish police can’t do their job let the public do it

  14. David Whalen

    Seem like we get a lot of scumbags from Rhode Island in Mass poaching stay in Rhode Island and poached your own state scum even better don’t poach at all

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