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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading quite a few reports about trollers hooking into unmarked gill nets and got to thinking about it.

This year, the rec. season was extended for two weeks. Do you think these nets are usually out there but noone has noticed because most fishermen quit fishing in Maryland after the 15th of December, but because of the extension they are still fishing.

Ele
 

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Yes, the extended season's probably a factor in a lot more nets being discoverd.

It's immaterial whether they are there in other years or not.....an unmarked, untended, submerged or anchored gill net is illegal. Period.

The extended season and more fishermen out probably did help DNR either find more illegal nets, or realise that they have a bigger enforcement problem on their hands than previously thought.
Most likely both.
 

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I am certain it's a mix of both. I saw one today that had really dull colored bouys. I saw the guy running it but it was still a little hard to see. I agree it's still illegal that they are un-attended and abandoned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, a net in the water would be submerged, but they are supposed to have floats on them, visible to the average person.

Also, they are not supposed to be anchored, but the amount of weight that is allowed for an unanchored gill net would not let it float freely during a hurricane.

And, yes, they are supposed to be attended.

Maybe this extended recreational season may open a few eyes.

Ele
 

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Yes, a net in the water would be submerged, but they are supposed to have floats on them, visible to the average person.

Also, they are not supposed to be anchored, but the amount of weight that is allowed for an unanchored gill net would not let it float freely during a hurricane.

And, yes, they are supposed to be attended.

Maybe this extended recreational season may open a few eyes.

Ele
They don't need floats only flag buoys marking each end.

Weight....enough to make them buoyant to the depth set and up to 20lbs on each end to keep from drifting to fast..

Attended.... max 2 miles from the set.

All this info is available on line at the Maryland Comar site.
 

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Too cold for DNR to check out something like these nets. The Dnr more than likely would prefer to stay off the water at this time of the year , save the boats, gas, and their health. These nets mean additional money to waterman for the holidays, probably happens every year.
 

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Ele - I fished all year the last two years, just as hard C&R as during open season. I can tell you for sure the nets have been there. I don't troll, so I'm unlikely to find unmarked open water nets, but I see the ones close to the jigging spots. I watch the boats work them sometimes, and I watch them chug off and leave them - unattended & unmarked. I haven't seen a DNR boat on the water this fall. It seems to me to be a huge enforcement lapse.
 

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Last year there was one for over a month in the Potomac near PLO.Many boats reported the GPS #'s and some even brought a section of it in- to retreive their lures.They reported dead Rock in it plus plenty of live ones.

I'm sure the milder weather (until today) and the fact big Rock are in the middle bay plus the extended season is why more nets are being reported.Times are tough and poachers know there is little chance DNR will find their net.

The law abiding watermen should be pissed - poached fish will lower the market price for legal caught ones.
 

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When those who want to shut down commercial Striper fishing have posted in the past, I've often noted that we recs take a far greater percentage of fish and that we first need to examine or own take (particularly seaside) before going after commercials.

But then I read about this **** and I'm forced to rethink my position, at least as it concerns comms. A rec...even a Buddy Harrison type who may keep dozens of undersized fish...probably can't do near the damage in a season as one lone commercial netter can in a week. And if those nets are lost, who knows how long it continues to ghost fish. If we were talking about a rare incident here or there, I wouldn't be as bothered, but the extent of this seems so far reaching that one wonders whether the illegal nets outnumber the legal ones. One also wonders how others in the commercial industry cannot know about this, and how many of them have reported to DNR the illegal activities of other comms.

I say that if the illegal activity is widespread and the industry is making little effort to police itself, then shut them down now....for good. It will be much easier to enforce a law that prohibits commercial netting in its entirety than to try to enforce it in a manner that requires the authorities to sort through who is legal and illegal.
 

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I happened upon one last year trolling on the last day of the season. Unmarked and archored. How do I know this. I had 4 lines hung in it and was able to pull them up and retreive them. Worst part was seeing dead rockfish that looked to be dead a few days. Brand new net,weights & anchors though. I took GPS numbers and called DNR who did follow up with me. Take coordinates and call DNR
 
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