"Very sorry" wasn't enough to keep this group from erasing their massive mistake.

Typically when an Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) get's a call about an unlawful fisherman, they're only breaking a few laws. It isn't all that common to have a crazy report pop up on their desk.

But that wasn't the case for this incident.


ECO Pabes was recently sent to Nassau County, responding to reports of multiple people freshwater fishing out of Seaman Pond at Twin Lakes Preserve in Wantagh. Though it's a popular spot among anglers, this group wasn't using any fishing poles.

Naughty Netters

Upon arrival, ECO Pabes saw an angler casting a net into the pond. He went over to meet with the group, who claimed to not have any fish or fishing licenses. It's one thing to lie to an officer, but what Pabes found got them in even deeper water.

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ECO Pabes happened to notice a shopping bag next to one of the anglers. After opening it, the officer found 218 Sunfish, 39 Yellow Perch, 3 Undersized Chain Pickerel, and 9 Black Bass. Not only is it illegal to take fish by netting, but there were other laws the group disobeyed as well...

  • Black Bass is catch-and-release only in Nassau County
  • Chain Pickerel must measure at-least 15-inches
  • The daily limit for Sunfish is 25
Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Though each of the anglers were extremely apologetic about what they did, it can't undo the fish they've taken. They were each issued five tickets total.

They included:

  • Fishing without a license
  • Taking fish by means other than angling
  • Taking fish out of season
  • Taking undersized fish
  • Taking in excess of the daily limit

Sometimes people have to learn the hard way. Not only should you be fishing with a license, but you need to be aware of every other regulation you might encounter. You don't have to know everything, but at least the laws surrounding what and how you're fishing in New York State.

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