Maryland authorities discovered 10 tons of rockfish caught in illegal sunken nets in Chesapeake Bay. The legal commercial catch limit for rockfish is 300 pounds a day. Posses are searching for the rockfish rustlers, and the Maryland State Government is offering a $7,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the piscatorial poachers. The search for more illegal gill nets also continues.
Convicted rockfish rustlers can get up to five years in the calaboose and fines of up to $250,000 or twice the value of the catch. Corporate co-conspiritors may be fined up to $500,000 or twice the value of the catch.
The Rockfish (Striped Bass, Morone saxatilis), the State Fish of Maryland, recently recovered from overfishing in the Chesapeake, and its harvest is regulated. The whopping illegal haul will tighten this season’s quota for law-abiding fishermen.
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