Wanted: Striped Bass Poachers in the Chesapeake - Page 9 - SailNet Community
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post #81 of 86 Old 02-22-2011 Thread Starter
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great post Gary, thanks!

Cheers,
Shawn

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post #82 of 86 Old 02-22-2011
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Used to work digging clams in Great South Bay and the N. Shore of LI. I can tell you, there was hardly a morning when I didn't see poachers who had dug clams in polluted waters, coming IN from a very short night's work when the honest guys were going OUT for a long day's work. It would not have taken a very intelligent law enforcement effort to catch these guys but they seldom did. It all has to do with the WILL of those who are supposed to be in charge of enforcing the law.
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post #83 of 86 Old 02-22-2011
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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Used to work digging clams in Great South Bay and the N. Shore of LI. I can tell you, there was hardly a morning when I didn't see poachers who had dug clams in polluted waters, coming IN from a very short night's work when the honest guys were going OUT for a long day's work. It would not have taken a very intelligent law enforcement effort to catch these guys but they seldom did. It all has to do with the WILL of those who are supposed to be in charge of enforcing the law.
smurphny,

That is very disturbing. Even more disturbing when you see how they stop the law abiding people/boats during daylight hours. Can you say more about what's going on?

Regards,
Brad

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Last edited by Bene505; 02-22-2011 at 03:59 PM.
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post #84 of 86 Old 02-22-2011
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Hey Brad, that was many years ago, back in the mid 80s. I've heard the clamming business has pretty much collapsed on LI since then. The point I was trying to make was that law enforcement is capable of catching poachers. Whether they have their hands tied by the court system, lack of adequate numbers, or politics are the questions to be asked. They sure seem to have plenty of money for "environmental police" to roam around in expensive, heavily armed boats harassing folks. It would seem that setting up surveillance in known illegal gillnet areas wouldn't be too difficult. It's pretty hard to hide the fact that you're setting that much gear without somebody noticing. The Chesapeake is the main hatchery for bass (along with the Hudson).
Then again, with a good year-class, there will be an explosion of fish like there was a few years ago. There were so many bass in harbors on the East Coast they would keep you awake at night bumping into the boat. No kidding.
Scientists/environmentalists like to think they know about fish populations, gleaned from their taxpayer financed data, but they are often completely wrong and in fact have proven they know very little about cycles of fish populations. The real problem in saving fish populations is limiting the size of offshore gear internationally but that seems to be politically impossible. Lots of hard working small fisherman in the US are being put out of work by ocean vacuuming factory ships. Swordfish and tuna are fast disappearing.
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post #85 of 86 Old 02-22-2011
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Gillnet?

Travelineasy, that looks to be the cod end of a trawl. Would like to know why the police let the gill net mentioned earlier sit for so long/kill so many fish. It should have been obvious no one was going to come haul it after just a few hours. The pirates are pretty smart. They should have just confiscated the net. One that long is no chum change for these guys. None of them is getting rich.
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post #86 of 86 Old 02-22-2011
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It does look, and essentially work like the cod end of a trawl, but there is a big difference in the two nets. First, fyke nets are anchored in place, either by stakes, or in some instances, concrete blocks. They're pretty much nothing more than a large-scale fish trap that gets jammed full of fish during tidal changes.



The gill nets, particularly those made of multiple strands of monofilament, are relatively inexpensive when compared to the older twisted nylon versions. And, when striped bass are hitting the market at more than $2 per pound on the round it doesn't take a lot of fish to cover the cost of a box or two of net. This time of year, many of the large, cow striped bass are lurking in the deep holes off Kent, Tilghman, Hooper and Smith islands, locations where pre-spawn females wait for water temperatures to climb toward 50 degrees, which in turn triggers the spring spawning run. Just 50 fish averaging 20-pounds each will bring in $2,000--not bad for a couple hours of illegal netting. And, some of the pre-spawn females will tip the scales at more than 40 pounds--fish that wholesalers really don't usually see, but instead they're filleted and back-doored through restaurants at $6 to $7 per pound. The fillets alone from a single, 40-pounder can be worth up to $150. Now, do this for about a month without getting caught and you can readily see why the practice of illegal netting has been going on since John Paul Jones joined the navy.

Cheers,

Gary

Last edited by travlineasy; 02-22-2011 at 07:10 PM.
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