The Sultan of small fish faces the King of all fish fines

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Maryland NRP officers sort through illegally caught rockfish
Maryland NRP officers sort through illegally caught rockfish

NRP Charges Two with Fishing, Crabbing Crimes; Penalties Could Total $200,000

ANNAPOLIS, MD. Maryland Natural Resources Police report that officers charged two Anne Arundel County men in separate cases with illegal fishing and crabbing activities.

A Glen Burnie man faces fines of nearly $200,000 when he appears in Annapolis District Court Nov. 21 on charges he poached numerous undersized striped bass and white perch from the Patapsco River.

Sultan Mahamud Limon, 23, was charged on Aug. 31 by NRP officers on patrol at Fort Smallwood Park, which is owned by Anne Arundel County. The officers were checking recreational anglers and their catches when they saw Limon using a cast net to harvest fish.

When they checked his catch, officers counted 116 undersized white perch and 66 undersized striped bass. The minimum size for white perch is 8 inches for anglers using a cast net. An angler may possess two striped bass between 18-28 inches, or one fish between 18-28 inches and one fish over 28 inches, daily.

The officers seized the fish and returned them to the river.

The maximum fine for undersized striped bass or harvesting over the daily limit of two fish is $1,500 per fish. If found guilty, Limon could be fined as much as $99,000 for harvesting undersized striped bass, $96,000 for exceeding the daily limit of striped bass, and $685 for harvesting undersized white perch.

On Sept. 16, officers, using NRP’s radar network, arrested a Pasadena man and charged him with illegal crabbing near Bodkin Point after numerous complaints from watermen that their crab pots were being pilfered.

NRP issued John Allen Sherman, 37, citations for stealing crabs, possessing a female crab, failing to have a crabbing license and operating a vessel that lacked navigational lights.

Officers knew the crab pots were being emptied under the cover of darkness, so they focused the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network (MLEIN) radar units on the area to determine more precisely when the illegal activity was occurring.

At 8:30 p.m., two officers intercepted Sherman in a vessel without navigational lights. He claimed to be removing crabs from a pot that had become entangled in his boat’s propeller. However, the side of his boat was covered in mud and sediment consistent with pulling crab pots.

The crabs were seized and returned to the Chesapeake Bay.

Sherman is scheduled to appear in Annapolis District Court on Nov. 21. If convicted of all charges he could be fined as much as $3,500.


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