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Tag Archives: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

NRP Aggressively Enforces Striped Bass Conservation Measures along the Atlantic

To support ASMFC’s conservation efforts, NRP officers continued stepped up enforcement in January even though the number of fish and temperatures plummeted. During the first three weeks, officers checked more than 56 recreational anglers (vs. 34 in all of January 2014), 16 watermen (vs. 25) and 59 charter fishermen (vs. 0). They also conducted inspections of eight seafood markets and distributors. Officers logged more than 70 vessel and 100 dockside foot patrol hours.

Pirate Poacher Update: Tilghman Island Waterman William J. Lednum Sent to Prison in Massive Rockfish Heist

The investigation in this case started in February 2011 when the Maryland Department of Natural Resources found tens of thousands of pounds of striped bass snagged in illegal, anchored nets before the season officially reopened.

The conspirators were seen on the water in the vicinity of the illegal nets. The subsequent investigation unveiled a wider criminal enterprise to which Hayden and Lednum pleaded guilty on Aug. 1, 2014. Co-defendant Kent Conley Sadler, 31, also of Tilghman Island, previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 21, 2014. Hayden and Lednum face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The defendants have agreed to pay restitution to the state of Maryland of between $498,293 and $929,625. The defendants have further agreed to forfeit the monetary equivalent of 80 percent of the value of the vessel primarily used during the conspiracy.