According to a press release issued by DEC, on August 17th, NYS Environmental Conservation Officers Dickson and Pabes responded to the Captree Fishing Pier at Captree State Park in Suffolk County on Long Island after receiving reports of anglers using nets to catch undersized crabs and other species.
The officers reported that as they entered the parking lot, they observed a group of people placing a net and buckets into the back of a SUV. The ECOs approached and interviewed the anglers who they say admitted to fishing off the beach with a net. In the catch of nearly 700 fish and crabs, the Officers measured 21 blue claw crabs under the legal limit of 4.5 inches and counted more than 650 menhaden, which was over the catch limit for that species.
The Officers issued tickets to the group for those violations and additional citations for undersized summer flounder (fluke) and fishing without a valid marine registry. The ECOs also say that they informed the group that a nighttime fishing access permit is required by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to fish in the park after hours.
Shortly after this incident, ECOs Dickson and Pabes say they encountered a second group a short distance away actively crabbing off a dock. After inspecting the group’s catch, the Officers found reported that 20 out of the 30 crabs caught were under the legal size limit. The second group received a ticket for possession of undersized crabs.
On August 20th, while patrolling the Delaware River in the town of Cochecton, in Sullivan County, ECO Parker said they utilized night vision equipment to spot six individuals unlawfully using cast nets.
With assistance from ECO Lovgren, the Officers approached the individuals under the cover of darkness and observed them using three cast nets to catch fish. Officer Lovgren reported that they located and seized a bag filled with 17 freshwater fish, including sunfish, rock bass, and smallmouth bass.
ECOs issued a total of 12 tickets for fishing without a freshwater license and taking fish by means other than angling.
Photos, from above: over-the-limit menhaden, short fluke, and undersized crab hauls; and night vison of anglers illegally netting provided by DEC.