News from the DNR Office of Communications

Waterman Charged With 35 Counts Of Striped Bass Violations

Annapolis, Maryland (November 26, 2010) - On November 24, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged Jerome William Janda Jr., age 55 from Tilghman, Md with multiply striped bass (rockfish) violations after an investigation relating to illegal fishing activities in the Tilghman area.

On November 10, at approximately 2:35 am, NRP Officers observed Janda Jr. and his fishing vessel exit Knapp’s Narrows without using his navigational lights and proceed to a pound net located on the south side of Poplar Island, Talbot County. The Officers observed the occupants of the vessel fish the pound net and then dock at Lowes Wharf. At approximately 4:00 am, the Officers confronted Janda Jr and the two other occupants on the vessel, Jerome William Janda 3rd, age 28 from Tilghman and Burton Robert Curtis, age 25, unknown address. The Officers found the individuals loading untagged striped bass onto a truck. The Officers seized the 2,731 pounds of untagged rockfish. Initially, the Officers thought Janda Jr. was 1,784 pounds over his seasonal allocation limit according to the information was on his allocation card. Subsequent investigation into the seafood dealer’s records indicated that Janda Jr. was illegally checking striped bass caught from a pound net as fish caught by a commercial hook and line fisherman. This record information indicated that Janda Jr exceeded his quota by 7,568 pounds (2,273 fish), Janda Jr. would have obtained his limit on October 6 had the catch been check-in properly.

Commercial fisherman are allowed to catch striped bass by using three gear types; hook and line, drift gill nets and pound nets. Each gear type has specific poundage of fish that can be caught by each gear during specific periods of the year. A striped bass pound net and striped bass drift gill net license can not be held by the same licensee at the same time. All commercially taken striped bass must be tagged and checked into a designated check-in station. Janda Jr had a pound net license that had 3,760 pound quota. The 2010 pound net and hook and line season runs from June 1, to November 30. The last segment of drift gill net season starts on December 1 until December 31.

Jerome Janda Jr was charged with 21 counts of using striped bass allocation permit assigned to another, 19 counts of using striped bass tags assigned to another, 14 counts of exceeding seasonal allocation limit of striped bass, one count of possessing striped bass greater than 36” commercial size, one count of possession of undersize flounder, one count of possession of untagged striped bass, one count of operating a vessel at night without proper navigational lights.

Jerome Janda 3rd, age 28 of Tilghman, was charged with one count of aiding and abetting exceeding seasonal allocation limit of striped bass and one count of possession of untagged striped bass.

A court date has been set for February 17, 2011 in the District Court of Maryland in Talbot County. The maximum penalty for each count is $1000 plus $1500 per each striped bass. The investigation is on-going and additional charges may follow.


  November 26, 2010

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8850 office | 410-713-8449 cell
awindemuth@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 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 11 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