Judge lays down hefty fines on DC area recreational fishermen; fines deferred for waterman convicted of poaching

 

Two NRP officers check a waterman's catch.

Two NRP officers check a waterman’s catch.

 

Cambridge, Md. —08/15/2014─ Five men were found guilty in July in Dorchester District Court of poaching 191 striped bass from the Fishing Creek Bridge, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

NRP officers conducting overnight surveillance on May 30, 2014 caught the men exceeding the daily catch limit, keeping undersized striped bass, catching striped bass in a restricted area, and possession of striped bass while fishing between midnight and 5 a.m.

All five men pleaded guilty to exceeding the daily catch limit.

Ricardo Alvarado, 41, of Washington D.C. received a one-year suspension of fishing privileges and a $1,200 fine, plus court costs. Alvarado was already serving a six-month suspension for striped bass violations, set to expire on July 30.

The four other men were fined $600 each, plus court costs: Oscar Salmeron Reyes, 29, of Silver Spring; Eliseo Pineda, 52, of Silver Spring; Jose Velasquez Ventura, 48, of Washington; and Ramiro Garibay, 32, of Washington.

Oyster Poacher Hit with Fine of $3,422

Cambridge, Md. ─ Roy W. Meredith Jr. 45, of Toddville, was found guilty in Dorchester County District Court in July on five oyster poaching charges stemming from an incident on March 14.

NRP Officer E. Tyler who was conducting surveillance on Fishing Bay caught Meredith power dredging in a hand tonging area, power dredging outside the power-dredging zone and two charges of possession of undersized oysters.

A district judge found Meredith guilty on all counts and assessed fines and court costs totaling $3,422, a figure that the Department of Natural Resources heralded in a press release without mentioning that the fine had been “deferred”.

The fines were all allowed to be deferred, according to court records, making the actual payment of the fines to be problematic, given the poor year watermen are having, along with huge increases in licenses and the cost of fuel.

Multiple charges of possession of undersize oysters were merged into one for a citation issued on March 20, 1998 and Meredith was fined $480 in Dorchester County District Court on June 15, 1998.

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