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Party Boat Captain, Crewmen and Patrons On the Hook for Undersized Summer Flounder Vi

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August 20, 2009

 

New Jersey conservation officers, posing as anglers out for a day of fishing aboard a Belmar party boat, caught the captain and his first mate deliberately killing undersized summer flounder and filleting them for bait to boost patrons' chances of landing more of them.

The captain and owner of the Big Mohawk, Christopher W. Hueth, 48, of Spring Lake; his first mate James R. Dugan Jr., 50, of Belmar; and another crewman, Michael A. Worrall, 32, of Hamilton, face thousands of dollars in penalties for a variety of marine fish violations witnessed by the undercover officers. Five patrons of the Big Mohawk also were hit with summonses.

Conservation officers with the Marine Law Enforcement Region of the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife launched the undercover operation after receiving tips about Big Mohawk's deliberate, illegal harvesting of undersized summer flounder, also known as fluke. During the deep-sea excursion, the conservation officers witnessed the first mate killing the undersized summer flounder by grabbing the tail and banging the fish's head into the deck of the boat. The fish then were filleted while crewmen repeatedly bragged that the Big Mohawk caught more fluke than other party vessels because it used summer flounder as bait.

Undercover conservation officers also saw patrons keep undersized summer flounder and throw the short fish onto the fillet table, where the crew chopped them up for bait. The lawmen counted at least 25 carcasses of flounder illegally caught and filleted.

In New Jersey, the recreational summer flounder size limit is a minimum of 18 inches, and anglers are allowed to keep six fish per day.

When the boat docked after the Aug. 15 trip, uniformed state conservation officers conducted a thorough inspection and, in addition to the captain and crew members, apprehended five party boat patrons.

Hueth, the Big Mohawk's owner and captain, received summonses for discarding parts of summer flounder before docking, and filleting fish under the minimum size limit -- a violation of the vessel's Special Fillet Permit. This permit, issued by the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, allows party fishing vessels to fillet legal-size fish while at sea, but requires the vessel to retain all carcasses for potential inspection by state conservation officers. Conviction for a first-time violation results in a 60-day suspension of the special permit.

Dugan, the first mate, was cited for discarding parts of summer flounder and filleting undersized fish. Conservation officers issued summonses to Worrall, the other crewman, after they saw him selling seven summer flounder to two patrons. According to state regulations, summer flounder can only be sold to an authorized summer flounder dealer.

If convicted, Big Mohawk's captain and his two mates face penalties of up to $3,000 for each of the summonses issued to them.

The identities of the five patrons, all from New Jersey, and the summonses lodged against them are as follows:

  • Jung K. Cha, 56, of Wayne; possession of three summer flounder measuring less than 18 inches.

  • Jong N. Kim, 56, of Palisades Park; Joseph V. Mercurio, 54, of Newton, and Stephen J. Thomas, 56, of Hillside, were each cited for taking five summer flounder over the daily bag limit.

  • Scott S. Rever, 40, of Basking Ridge, received a summons for taking one summer flounder over the daily bag limit.
The anglers face a penalty of $30 for each summer flounder possessed or taken illegally.

 

 

beatin.gifbeatin.gifbeatin.gifbeatin.gif

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We get 3 @ 19.5, and 6 @ 18 isn't lax enough for them? mad.gif

 

I don't know what bothers me more, the blatant poaching or the fact that the fine's only $30 per fish. shakehead.gif

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View PostDuring the deep-sea excursion, the conservation officers witnessed

 

While I consider Chris and Jimmy friends of mine, even though it's been done for decades by many folks, filleting short fluke for bait is a no-no...but I'm thinking they knew that already smile.gif

 

 

All I wanna know is, since when is fluke fishing in 30-50 ft of water considered a "deep sea excursion" cwm27.gif

 

 

TimS

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Hueth, the Big Mohawk's owner and captain, received summonses for discarding parts of summer flounder before docking, and filleting fish under the minimum size limit -- a violation of the vessel's Special Fillet Permit. This permit, issued by the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, allows party fishing vessels to fillet legal-size fish while at sea, but requires the vessel to retain all carcasses for potential inspection by state conservation officers. Conviction for a first-time violation results in a 60-day suspension of the special permit.

 

Dugan, the first mate, was cited for discarding parts of summer flounder and filleting undersized fish. Conservation officers issued summonses to Worrall, the other crewman, after they saw him selling seven summer flounder to two patrons. According to state regulations, summer flounder can only be sold to an authorized summer flounder dealer.

 

Wonder why the mate did not get a summons for being over the bag limit in addition to selling the fish.

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Before The Bust

 

525

 

 

After The Bust

 

525

 

 

Using shorts for bait, and folks wonder why there is a recruitment problem with Fluke. kooky.gif

 

 

Ya just can't make this stuff up.

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And I've fished on that boat before... wanton and reckless disregard for marine regulations doesn't begin to sum up what occurred. Shame on the captain, mates, and patrons.

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View PostAnd I've fished on that boat before... wanton and reckless disregard for marine regulations doesn't begin to sum up what occurred. Shame on the captain, mates, and patrons.

 

icon24.gificon24.gif

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View PostConfiscate the vessel and make a reef out of it, lose license for life.

 

 

This crap is inexcusable... mad.gif

 

 

Chris

 

That scow should be sunk. The skipper sure sets a P...s Poor example for conservation . ---

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A total disgrace!

 

everyones got to eat but to knowingly harm a national resource that must serve future generations just so you can "eat now" is a mistake that is not expected of such knowlegibe fisherman such as the catain and his mate....

 

I feel sorry for them because this is going to hurt their family income...

 

But you know I think that there are many people that could be caught and should be caught that do this as well...

 

I say thgeys hould be given a loan and some training to get into another line of work (no reason to pınish their families with poverty) and these gentlemen should be banned from fishing. They can pay their fines with their new jobs in a monthlu fashion that wont put them in the poor house.

 

This way they will be relocated and retrained ...

 

this is sad for everyonefrown.gif

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MAybe they should kidnap thier kids and cut off their fingers. THat'll teach them a lesson.

 

It's funny to see so many people over the top upset, when the reality is that it's just a fish and it's not a big deal. THat is why the fines and penelties are not that severe in cases like these.

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