Three Pennsylvania men were fined more than $2,000 each for fishing violations at the Jersey Shore, authorities say.
Acting on a tip, New Jersey conservation officers caught the men harvesting large numbers of undersized striped bass during the early morning hours of Aug. 25 along railroad tracks spanning the Manasquan River in Brielle, according to the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.
New Jersey recreational anglers are permitted to keep one striped bass at 28 inches to less than 43 inches and one at 43 inches or greater. With a bonus permit, anglers can keep one fish 24 inches to less than 28 inches until December 31, 2018.
But the men ran afoul of the law.
When two of the anglers packed up their gear and walked back to their vehicle, they were met by the officers for a catch inspection. That’s when they were found with 31 undersized striped bass, according to state officials.
The third angler, who remained along the railroad tracks, was caught with 15 undersized striped bass, officials said.
All were issued court mandatory summonses for possession of undersized and over-limit striped bass and appeared in Brielle Municipal Court on Sept. 25. According to authorities, the cases were adjudicated as follows:
- Domingo Rodriguez, 51, of Bethlehem, Pa. pled guilty to one charge of possession of 15 undersized striped bass and one charge of possession of 13 striped bass over the daily limit. A combined penalty of $2512 was assessed, plus court costs.
- Luis A. Rivera Feliciano, 37, of Allentown, Pa. pled guilty to one charge of possession of 14 undersized striped bass and one charge of possession of 12 striped bass over the daily limit. A combined penalty of $2012 was assessed, plus court costs.
- Victor M. Rivas, 52, of Bethlehem, Pa. pled guilty to one charge of possession of 17 undersized striped bass and one charge of possession of 16 striped bass over the daily limit. A combined penalty of $3012 was assessed, plus court costs.
Officials say Rivas had a prior conviction for striped bass violations and that his freshwater fishing license privileges are now suspended for two years in New Jersey. No license is required for saltwater fishing.
Striped bass, named for the black stripes that extend along their bodies, are “moderately fatty” with a “rich flavor and a large, firm flake,” according to Bon Appétit magazine.