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Whats with all the illegal fish traps in the Long Island Sound????

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Whats with all the illegal fish traps in the Long Island Sound????

Old 11-02-2020, 11:47 AM
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Default Whats with all the illegal fish traps in the Long Island Sound????

Has anyone else noticed an abundance of fish traps in the sound? A few fellow fishing buddies have seen and snagged into these traps, including myself. Some if not most all are submerged, and I assume they use a grapple hook to snag and bring them up to the surface, with some type of mechanical device. Why doesn't anyone enforce this or get tips on who/where they are? I'm sure someone see's boats loaded with these traps on the way out. These traps catch all the larger fish, and at least thankfully the small fish can escape. Its a shitty thing to do, and needed to get this off my chest. Whoever you are and if your on this forum F**k you, and your unethical tactics.
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Old 11-02-2020, 12:18 PM
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A number of these a-holes are well known to DEC and have been operating for years, decimating mostly the blackfish population. A couple of years ago, I spotted one off of Larchmont, called the DEC hotline, got a recording, then called DEC headquarters directly in Albany to get a live person. I described exactly what was happening and urged them to send a crew out immediately. The fellow on the phone said he wasn’t a marine guy, didn’t know how to respond, and referred me to the Setauket LI office which had voicemail answer. I left a message and five hours later got a call back. I was asked “are they still out there?” I responding: “ Are you kidding me? I’m back in my office and they’re back at their slip in the Bronx with their illegal catch of blackfish more than likely sold to the Chinese live market in Flushing. Thanks for nothing.”

Another time my son was scuba diving the Larchmont breakwater. He saw maybe ten illegal traps each filled with large tog up to ten pounds. He opened up the traps, freed the tog, and destroyed the illegal traps. I spoke to a DEC officer at a fishing show and complained to him about the lack of enforcement, and told him what my son had found. His response - my son should not have touched the traps - his action was illegal. My response - are you out of your mind? These traps were unmarked and unbuoyed and therefore plainly illegal. They needed to be destroyed after the tog were freed.

I’ve been told that the DEC are afraid to pursue certain known offenders because the offenders’ lawyers have threatened legal action against the DEC. And you wonder why there’s a problem?

Last edited by jillybird; 11-02-2020 at 01:59 PM.
Old 11-02-2020, 12:44 PM
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ugh - terrible stuff
Old 11-02-2020, 03:40 PM
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Some of these guys that have those out there mix the fish traps in with the scongsil trap. I'm pretty sure they run under a lobster license and I think you're only allowed to take ten fish per day under that lobster license that's the way it used to be. You guys come upon on Mark traps open them let the fish out tieto your boat drag them half a mile all the way with open doors.
some of the guys who are diving also puts traps out unmarked totally elegally
There's there's been no presence in the last couple of months with the dec around the Bridgeport area
Old 11-02-2020, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jillybird View Post
A number of these a-holes are well known to DEC and have been operating for years, decimating mostly the blackfish population. A couple of years ago, I spotted one off of Larchmont, called the DEC hotline, got a recording, then called DEC headquarters directly in Albany to get a live person. I described exactly what was happening and urged them to send a crew out immediately. The fellow on the phone said he wasn’t a marine guy, didn’t know how to respond, and referred me to the Setauket LI office which had voicemail answer. I left a message and five hours later got a call back. I was asked “are they still out there?” I responding: “ Are you kidding me? I’m back in my office and they’re back at their slip in the Bronx with their illegal catch of blackfish more than likely sold to the Chinese live market in Flushing. Thanks for nothing.”

Another time my son was scuba diving the Larchmont breakwater. He saw maybe ten illegal traps each filled with large tog up to ten pounds. He opened up the traps, freed the tog, and destroyed the illegal traps. I spoke to a DEC officer at a fishing show and complained to him about the lack of enforcement, and told him what my son had found. His response - my son should not have touched the traps - his action was illegal. My response - are you out of your mind? These traps were unmarked and unbuoyed and therefore plainly illegal. They needed to be destroyed after the tog were freed.

I’ve been told that the DEC are afraid to pursue certain known offenders because the offenders’ lawyers have threatened legal action against the DEC. And you wonder why there’s a problem?
Good on your son for freeing the fix and destroying the traps
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Old 11-02-2020, 05:04 PM
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If a trap has no marker float , it is illegal, abandoned, or lost . It is fare game.
Old 11-02-2020, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fireisland1 View Post
If a trap has no marker float , it is illegal, abandoned, or lost . It is fare game.
Must the floats say who owns it, have an ID number, or any markings?
Old 11-02-2020, 05:11 PM
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No but typically colors are unique to the owner.
Old 11-02-2020, 05:12 PM
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NY rules:

https://govt.westlaw.com/nycrr/Docum...ta=(sc.Default)
Old 11-02-2020, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fireisland1 View Post
No but typically colors are unique to the owner.
Perhaps that should be a requirement - to mark every buoy with something that can identify the owner..
Old 11-02-2020, 09:42 PM
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I'm not sure what traps your talking about and what is illegal about them?
Old 11-03-2020, 04:25 AM
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I see a guy come out of Mamaroneck do 3 trips a day .
Old 11-03-2020, 08:39 AM
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Gregb5220 - there are a number of illegal fish potters who have been operating in the Western LI Sound for many years. They target blackfish and set their unmarked and unbuoyed pots in locations they mark with GPS. Then after the pots sit a while, they come back to the marked spots, and using grapple hooks, retrieve the pots with their illegal haul of live blackfish which they illegally sell, often to the Chinese live fish markets in Queens. Under NY law, it's illegal to set unmarked unbuoyed fish traps or cages. Moreover, there are severe restrictions on commercial fishermen taking and selling blackfish. When lobster still existed in the Western LI Sound, commercial fishermen were allowed a certain number of tog as a bycatch but were not allowed to target tog in their lobster pots. Since lobsters are largely extinct in the Western Sound, the potters have gone underground and no longer use marked pots. Several years ago, they largely wiped out the tog in the Western Sound, though the recreational fishermen certainly helped as well until limits were reduced and minimum sizes were increased. As I noted above, the bad guys are known to the DEC, but the DEC largely does nothing to stop the problem, and the DEC seems to be intimidated by the bad guys and their lawyers.
Old 11-03-2020, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jillybird View Post
Gregb5220 - there are a number of illegal fish potters who have been operating in the Western LI Sound for many years. They target blackfish and set their unmarked and unbuoyed pots in locations they mark with GPS. Then after the pots sit a while, they come back to the marked spots, and using grapple hooks, retrieve the pots with their illegal haul of live blackfish which they illegally sell, often to the Chinese live fish markets in Queens. Under NY law, it's illegal to set unmarked unbuoyed fish traps or cages. Moreover, there are severe restrictions on commercial fishermen taking and selling blackfish. When lobster still existed in the Western LI Sound, commercial fishermen were allowed a certain number of tog as a bycatch but were not allowed to target tog in their lobster pots. Since lobsters are largely extinct in the Western Sound, the potters have gone underground and no longer use marked pots. Several years ago, they largely wiped out the tog in the Western Sound, though the recreational fishermen certainly helped as well until limits were reduced and minimum sizes were increased. As I noted above, the bad guys are known to the DEC, but the DEC largely does nothing to stop the problem, and the DEC seems to be intimidated by the bad guys and their lawyers.
Someone should build an anonymous online database of these offenders. Pictures of boats, registration #s, boat names, pictures of individuals, possible locations, etc. Then those that are willing can go free the fish and destroy the traps.
Old 11-03-2020, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jillybird View Post
I spoke to a DEC officer at a fishing show and complained to him about the lack of enforcement, and told him what my son had found. His response - my son should not have touched the traps - his action was illegal.
The DEC guy was correct, even though you don't like it. Doing illegal things does not deprive you of property rights (mostly, see civil forfeiture), not before a conviction (mostly, see the same thing), anyway, and being a vigilante is being frowned upon.

Imagine the alternative, where any idiot who imagines you broke the law has a free shot at your stuff....
Old 11-03-2020, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
Someone should build an anonymous online database of these offenders. Pictures of boats, registration #s, boat names, pictures of individuals, possible locations, etc. Then those that are willing can go free the fish and destroy the traps.
Atleast they can't cry dongan patent.
Old 11-03-2020, 12:32 PM
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There is currently a project to locate and remove derelict/abandoned traps in the sound, hopefully some of the ones they marked are the illegal traps and they get removed. Maybe the could also focus on illegal traps? These guys also do some amazing wreck imaging if you ever wondered what the wrecks you were fishing looked like

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...09413857123876
Old 11-04-2020, 08:23 AM
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Drako, I respectfully disagree. Someone who is illegally using unmarked, unbuoyed fish pots to poach a tightly regulated, conserved fish species has no property right to be protected under the law. These pots should be destroyed after the illegally trapped fish are freed. The problem is only a scuba diver is going to stumble upon them.
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jillybird View Post
Drako, I respectfully disagree. Someone who is illegally using unmarked, unbuoyed fish pots to poach a tightly regulated, conserved fish species has no property right to be protected under the law.
Could you quote me some case law on that?

Does somebody who, say, keeps a fish out of season, have no property rights in his boat and fishing gear as well?

Last edited by Drako; 11-04-2020 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-04-2020, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Drako View Post
Could you quote me some case law on that?

Does somebody who, say, keeps a fish out of season, have no property rights in his boat and fishing gear as well?
My buddy bought a boat at auction that was confiscated from a fellow when he pulled into Lewis Bay several years ago that had hidden on board four out of season bft under the cover of darkness. You screw the pooch they can really come down on you.

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