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Maryland Natural Resources Police Blotter
TALBOT COUNTY — On Thursday, April 9, 2009, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged two Talbot County men with multiple criminal and natural resource violations as a result of an investigation of theft of fish from commercial fishing nets in the Wye River.
The investigation started March 9, when NRP received an anonymous tip from a concerned citizen reporting possible illegal fishing activity in the area of Pickering Creek Drive near Wye Island. NRP had also received a report from a commercial waterman that several of his fyke nets located in the Wye River had been cut and emptied.
A fyke net is a net used for the commercial harvest of fish. It consists of cylindrical or cone-shaped netting bags mounted on rings or other rigid structures. It has wings or leaders which guide the fish towards the entrance of the bags. Fyke nets are fixed on the bottom by anchors, ballast or stakes.
Officers responding to the Pickering Creek Drive location observed William Christopher Bradley, 21, of St. Michaels and Daniel Wesley Andrews, 30, of Wittman walking around a pickup truck that was parked at the location. The truck’s bed was full of bushel baskets containing white perch. Officers observed an all-terrain utility vehicle parked in an open barn next to the truck as they approached the two men. The bed of that vehicle was also loaded with bushel baskets of white perch. Bradley and Andrews are not commercial watermen.
During the incident, NRP seized as evidence 8,421 white perch measuring on average of four inches in length; five bushels of white perch measuring over eight inches in length; 27 sunfish; six alewife, a species of herring; four striped bass; three channel catfish; and four boxes of drift gill nets.
Bradley and Andrews were each charged by NRP with the following violations:
A court date of May14,2009 has been scheduled for both men in Talbot County District Court.
- One count of possession of white perch measuring less than eight inches in length caught other than hook and line
- One count of possession of channel catfish measuring less than 10 inches in length
- One count of taking and or possessing striped bass during closed season
- One count of Failure to obtain a commercial tidal fishing license
- 5 counts removing fish from nets or gear of another
- 4 counts of failure to carry required equipment for commercial purposes as set fourth by the Federal Boat Act/Federal Boat Safety Act
- One count of setting or fishing drift gill net with the a stretched mesh size less than three and one eighth inches during the period of January 1 through March 15
- One count of failure to display a commercial tidal fishing license number on vessel or other equipment
- 5 counts of malicious destruction of property
- 5 counts of theft less than $500 in value
- One count of theft scheme less than $500 in value
April 10, 2009
Contact: Sgt. Art Windemuth
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 280 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov