Illegal gill nets continue to be hooked by Maryland Natural Resources Police, with two more on February 11 bringing the month total to eight thousand yards of illegal net and 25,000 pounds of illegally caught rockfish. The latest two 900-yard strings of illegal gill nets were anchored in Eastern Bay. Both were in the vicinity of Bloody Point Light, one about a mile south and other about two and a half miles northeast.
The poaching was bold and defiant, with the nets anchored and abandoned after Natural Resources Police had closed the commercial rockfish season — in areas that had been already been searched by patrol boats.
“I think it shows their brazen disregard for the law that amounts to stealing everybody’s resource,” Natural Resources Police Spokesman Sgt. Art Windemuth told Bay Weekly.
The latest nets held 3,879 pounds of rockfish, which will be sold to benefit natural resources enforcement.
Also growing — now at $22,500 —is the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of poachers involved in illegally catching the first 10 tons of rockfish. The Chesapeake Bay Savers has doubled the first $10,000. Maryland Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Association has also donated $2,500.