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Maryland Natural Resources Police Blotter
Kent County On May 7, 2009 in Kent County District Court, John Franklin Riggs of Rockhall, Maryland and Stephen Lawrence Tyer of Rockhall, Maryland were found guilty commercial fishing violations.
Riggs was found guilty of;
- Three counts of failing to attend a drift gill during the commercial fisheries fined $250/count total $750.
- Four counts of setting and fishing anchored gill net fined $250/count total $1000.
- Three counts of possession of fish that could not be determined, fined $250/ count - total $750.
Tyer was found guilty of;
- Four counts of setting an illegal anchored gill net, fine $250/ count total $1000.
- One count of failure to attend a drift gill net during the commercial fisheries, fined $250
These verdicts were the result of an investigation of illegal gill nets in the Swan Point area of the Chesapeake Bay during the commercial rockfish gill net season. The Maryland Natural Resources Police initiated the investigation when officers found illegal anchor nets in the bay during the first week of January 2009. In the early morning hours of January 12, 2009, Riggs and Tyer were observed approaching and fishing the nets. NRP Officers boarded the vessel and found 609 pounds of rockfish on board the vessel. Also, three of the striped bass had their tails cut so that the fish would appear to be under the 36 maximum size for commercially taken striped bass. The striped bass were seized and sold. The money from the sale of the fish was forfeited to the state as part of the guilty verdict.
Kent County On April 30, 2009 in Kent County District Court, Daniel Leroy Dierker of Rockhall, Maryland, was found guilty for violations of the Striped Bass gill net fisheries and fined a total $2360.
The specific fines are:
- Failure to check in Striped Bass prior to 9:00 pm., fined $500.
- Possession of striped bass whose size could not be determine, fined $500.
- Possession striped bass greater than 36 inches, fined $500.
- Possession of untagged striped bass, fined $500.
- Failure to have striped bass allocation card, fined $200.
- Failure to have tidal fish license available for inspection, fined $60.
- Failure to have tidal fish license transfer paperwork available for inspection, fined $100.
These verdicts were the results of a surveillance that observed Dierker fishing gill nets at the mouth of the Chester River on February 10, 2009. NRP Officers kept the vessel under surveillance and observed Dierker attempt to sell striped bass to J and J Seafood on February 11, 2009. NRP Officers stopped Dierker and inspected his catch. Dierker did not have the proper licenses in his possession and several of the striped bass had been over the size limit or the fishs size had been altered to appear to be under the maximum size of 36.
Drift gill nets are nets that remain in a vertical position in the water and have floats and sinkers attached to the net. The net captures fish by means of a mesh that is too small to permit the passage of the body of the fish. The fish swims into the net and the gill cover of the fish becomes caught in the net. When a licensed commercial fisherman is fishing this type of net, he must remain in a boat that is within two miles of the net in the Chesapeake Bay or within one mile of the net when it is in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays or tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
May 13, 2009
Contact: Sgt. Art Windemuth
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 280 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov