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Reward Offered for Information in Rockfish Poaching in Maryland

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally killing more than 20,000 pounds of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay.  The HSUS offer adds to an existing reward of $7,000 from the state of Maryland, along with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), the Maryland Watermen’s Association, the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association, and the Maryland Charter Boat Association.

The Case:

According to the Maryland Natural Resources Police, on Jan. 31, officers discovered an illegal anchored gill net near Bloody Point Light in the Chesapeake Bay.  Officers found more illegal fishing nets in the evening on Feb. 1 and in the morning on Feb. 2 off Kent Island. 

“A poaching case of this scale is truly appalling and we implore anyone with information to come forward,” said Elise Traub, deputy manager of the Wildlife Abuse Campaign for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Maryland Natural Resources Police for working tirelessly to find those responsible” 

Anchored gill nets have been prohibited in Maryland since 1992. These types of nets are difficult to detect and indiscriminately kill nontarget species.


  • Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that despite their tireless efforts, only a small percentage of poachers are ever caught by law enforcement.
  • Poachers injure or kill fish and wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
  • The HSUS and HSWLT work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this case or any other poaching activity in Maryland should contact the Natural Resources Police Catch-a-Poacher Hotline at 800-635-6124. Callers may remain anonymous.

The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information. 


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states, including 186 acres in Maryland, and eight  foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.


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