Six people have been charged since the start of this month with illegally catching striped bass in federal waters more than three miles off the coast of Ocean City, according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police.
Police said the recreational fishers had caught the fish, all more than 28 inches in length, in what is known as the Exclusive Economic Zone — a designated area of waters between 3 and 200 miles off the United States coastline where the federal government holds jurisdiction.
This year in Maryland, the season for catching striped bass longer than 28 inches was from April 21 to May 15, and limited to parts of the Chesapeake Bay and the Tangier and Pocomoke sounds. Fishing for striped bass in the EEZ this fishing year is prohibited.
On Dec. 1, Stephen Howard Pfeiffer was cited for possessing and transporting bass from the EEZ into Maryland waters, police said.
On Dec. 4, Kirby Edward Short was cited for catching and possessing bass in the EEZ, police said.
On Dec. 8, Edward McCabe Tingle, Asher Lee Rogers, Robert Fisher Jr. and Travis James Timmons were cited for catching, possessing and transporting bass from the EEZ to Maryland waters, police said.
They are all subject to a $100 federal fine and a $250 state fine per fish, said Sgt. Brian Albert, a police spokesman.
Officers with the Maryland Natural Resources Police are deputized under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to enforce federal regulations, Albert said.
A total of 15 striped bass confiscated in the three incidents were donated to a local family shelter, Albert said.
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