Spring Poachers Have Arrived

The fish—many species—have arrived in force, and sadly so have the poachers. Here are just a few recent “lowlights” from the Massachusetts Environmental Police.

On the evening of Saturday, May 23, 2020, Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers conducted a marked patrol along the Mystic River in Everett. Officers encountered numerous violations by individuals fishing from shore and by kayak, to include over the limit possession and minimum size violations. Additionally, an individual threw his catch into the water after an Officer approached and instructed him not to do so. The individual was given a criminal summons to appear in Malden District Court for failure to display catch, possession of river herring, and use of other than circle hook. All others were issued nearly $1,900 in citations. The fishing gear utilized in the violations and the catch was seized. The seized catch was properly stored overnight and donated to the Pine Street Inn, a homeless service shelter in Boston.

On the evening of Monday, May 25, 2020, a Massachusetts Environmental Police Officer underway on a marked patrol boat in Buzzards Bay observed four individuals fishing from a recreational vessel off of the Stony Point Dike. The Officer pulled alongside the vessel and inquired about their catch. A cursory inspection of multiple coolers and plastic bags indicated over the limit possession. Further inspection found the individuals to be in possession of 225 scup and 15 Black Sea Bass. Of the four onboard, only one possessed a valid fishing license. Recreational possession limits allow for up to 30 scup (9-inches in length or greater) and up to 5 black sea bass (15-inches in length or greater). Subsequently, 195 illegally possessed scup and 10 illegally possessed black sea bass were seized and all parties were issued citations for multiple violations. The seized catch was donated to the Wampanoag Tribal Food Pantry.

On the evening of Monday, May 18, 2020, Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers conducted a plain-clothed enforcement patrol along the Boston waterfront. Officers encountered several individuals engaged in fishing, ultimately observing numerous striped bass fishing violations, to include: possession limit violations, minimum size violations, and illegal possession of river herring violations. In total, the Officers issued nearly $2,500 in fines and seized 15 illegally caught striped bass. The seized catch was properly stored overnight and will be donated to the Pine Street Inn, a homeless service shelter in Boston.