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Thread: DNR rules on gifting striped bass/speckled trout/white perch

  1. #1
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    Default DNR rules on gifting striped bass/speckled trout/white perch

    I have reached my freezer limits early this year- normally it is late July before my wife asks me not to bring home any more fish...but I have had a really great year catching legal fish- my last trip- yesterday's 25 1/2 inch fish- is it for me for a while (unless it is a redfish) so I want to give my legal keepers to my fishing buddies- John Dillion cautioned me about being careful doing that in the launch parking lot because it could be considered an "over the limit" for my friends...so does anyone know- what are the rules?
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  2. #2
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    Ron,

    Well...I'm no legal scholar but the regulations for keeping stripers specifically discuss daily per person possession limits. It would seem to me if you bring back more than two fish to the parking lot on any trip, even if you intend to share them with your friends, you have violated the intent of the regulation. Clearly, they were in your possession. But I don't think this is what you meant.

    Similarly, if you distributed your catches to your friends while still on the water, a super-diligent DNR officer observing a third transfer might make a case that you have exceeded your personal daily limit because they were in your possession for the time it took to boat them.

    I believe your intention is to never exceed keeping two legal fish daily regardless of how many anglers you fish with. But you want to share your catches with the hapless crowd you fish with. (That was a joke, SMOG. ) It would be helpful on their behalf to not make the exchange in the parking lot. Otherwise, your friends may have to explain to a late-arriving DNR officer why they have your fish and theirs in their cooler.

    I have a better suggestion. Why not toss them back in the water tell them to swim north? My freezer has plenty of room.
    Mark

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  3. #3
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    I usually just practice C&R after July- but occasionally I am fishing with other folks who may want to take a fish home for dinner- I do not possess more than a legal limit- normally it is a single fish- and while I sometimes fish with many different Snaggedline kayakers, lately I have been fishing more with our SMOG crew...who are very experienced, seasoned veteran fishermen- it is just that from today until we eat down our supply of fish filets (my wife is not fond of eating fish) I want to know what the etiquette and legality is for sharing my legal catch- not that I am going to posses more than one legal limit-
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  4. #4
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    Ron, I believe if you gave away any legal fish away from the water & launch, ie, down the road or at your house or at your friend's home, it would be ok, since you & them are not fishing anymore but I know of some peeps who consider fish in their freezer as part of their limit.

  5. #5
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    It is really a grey area...to be safe I will simply catch and release...and since I plan on releasing my fish- I will go barbless on all my lures...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronaultmtd View Post
    It is really a grey area...to be safe I will simply catch and release...and since I plan on releasing my fish- I will go barbless on all my lures...
    Ron,

    When I first read this thread I saw no ambiguity to the matter.

    MD regulations clearly specify a daily limit of fish per angler as long as the fish fall within stated sizes, are caught in a stated manner and in designated locations per the calendar.

    I figured that giving an appropriately sized fish that you legally caught to a friend for his or her consumption is no different than inviting that person to your house for dinner. The result is the same.

    Also, I realized that appearance is important and given that poachers are a fact of life, making that exchange with your friends on the parking lot of a launch is probably not a good idea. A cooler’s contents are prime evidence to a DNR officer. Your friends may have to do some fast talking to a DNR officer, especially if you have departed the scene.

    So, I did a web search. It turns out that in other jurisdictions (Ontario and Maine for two) a licensed angler cannot possess a gifted fish if that fish exceeds the stated daily limit for that location. In fact, in Maine, based on what I found on-line, a home freezer full of fish may be illegal if those fish exceed the daily limit.

    You raised an interesting question that’s a little deeper than first reading would suggest.

    I found nothing on-line to address MD laws about it.

    A direct question to the MD DNR would be the best way to find the answer.
    Mark

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  7. #7
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    I know this is a regulation in VA. Fish & Wildlife Service LE has been known to enforce it along the beaches at Assateague VA during the spring striper run. I didn't see where it applies to other species though?

    4 VAC 20-252-50. Concerning recreational fishing: general.
    G. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to transfer any striped bass to another person, while on the water or while fishing from a pier or shore.

    Out of curiosity, I searched for the MD regulations but had trouble finding anything other then the general regulations printed in the Fishing Guide.

  8. #8
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    Ron,

    I have the answer to your dilemma!

    Fillet the stripers before you freeze them! Uses much less freezer space / capacity.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slobber Bob View Post
    I know this is a regulation in VA. Fish & Wildlife Service LE has been known to enforce it along the beaches at Assateague VA during the spring striper run. I didn't see where it applies to other species though?

    4 VAC 20-252-50. Concerning recreational fishing: general.
    G. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to transfer any striped bass to another person, while on the water or while fishing from a pier or shore.

    Out of curiosity, I searched for the MD regulations but had trouble finding anything other then the general regulations printed in the Fishing Guide.
    I'm pretty sure this is the rule in MD (and most other states, as well), too. Even if you caught three keeper sized fish and your buddy didn't catch any, you cannot give that third fish over to him. I'm sure this happens regularly, though, especially on boats with multiple people fishing. I'm not sure the rule on the freezer full of fish, but I doubt it would be enforced if it is illegal to have more than 2 keeper at a time, unless there was other evidence of illegal fishing activity to go along with it.
    Kevin

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  10. #10
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    I would not exceed my limit- I am talking about giving my fish away...not keeping any...but with all the ambiguity, C&R is the way I will go...and I always only freeze skinless, boneless filets- never whole fish...
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