Anyone familiar with Jamaica Bay should not be surprised by the story about poachers (RT 6/10 issue). When it comes to fishing, Jamaica Bay is known as the poaching capital of the Northeast. Fish that are shorter than the regulations allow, known as “shorts” or fish that are out of season, are routinely kept by fishermen in the Bay, including those who fish from shore.
The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has a list of fishing regulations on their website, and bait and tackle shops have printed lists available. Regulations include size limits, number of fish allowed to be kept, and length and dates of the seasons when each species may be legally kept. The DEC police patrol both the waters and the shore. Those who are caught with shorts or fish out of season may end up having their boat confiscated or being handed a huge fine. Keeping shorts and fish out of season is a sure fire way to cause the elimination of that species, plus it’s not worth the risk. I suppose that’s true of horseshoe crabs as well.
Peter Galvin, MD