PRESTON, Md.- Maryland Natural Resources Police have charged nine recreational anglers from Delaware and Texas for illegally fishing in a designated striped bass spawning area in the Choptank River. The charges come just days before the opening of trophy striped bass season on April 16.
On April 9, NRP officers set up surveillance in the Choptank River near Ganeys Wharf in Caroline County after receiving tips of people fishing illegally. This area is designated as a striped bass spawning river and reach, and catching or attempting to catch striped bass is illegal. Authorities say NRP officers caught and charged four anglers on April 9 and five more the following day.
Those charged were Terry Edward Andrus of Cypress, Texas; Timothy Wayne Barnett, 31, of Bridgeville, Del.; Paul Edward Daisey, 30, of Millville, Del.; William Darr Hall, 57, of Bridgetown, Del.; Kevin Glen Reese, 46, of Katy, Texas; Frederick Joseph Ruff, 49, of Milton, Del.; Kathy Ewing Ruff, 49, of Milton, Del.; Mark Bryan Stubbs of Katy, Texas, and Chad Edward Tingle, 35, of Selbyville, Del.
All those arrested face charges of catch and/or attempt to catch striped bass in a spawning area/river. The penalty includes a fine of up to $500 and $1,500 per fish for each individual and a possible license suspension for up to one year. A court date has been set for May 13 in Caroline County District Court. Charges, fines and court dates are the same for all nine people. An additional seven warnings were also issued.
Earlier this year, NRP recovered 25,000 pounds of illegally caught rockfish. DNR is offering a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.