Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged four men on Saturday with overfishing and with catching 131 undersized striped bass in Dorchester County.
An officer stopped a pick-up truck pulling a boat at about 4:15 a.m. after it crossed the center line on Route 335 on Hooper Island. During an inspection of the coolers in the boat, the officer found 138 striped bass, all but seven of them below the 18-inch minimum size.
All four men were charged with possession of more than 10 striped bass over the limit and possession of more than 10 striped bass under 18 inches: Jose Adelso Hernandez Orellana, 43, of Manassas, Va., Jose Luis Reyes, 40, of New Carrollton, Ruben Lopez Valle, 45, of Germantown, and Rene Obdulio Pacheco Rivera, 31, of Oxon Hill.
The citations require a court appearance. A trial date has been set for February 19 in Dorchester District Court.
In addition, Orellana, the truck driver, was issued a motor vehicle warning.
Rivera was found guilty last year in Dorchester District Court of possessing undersized striped bass. Orellana was found guilty in Charles County District Court of crabbing violations in 2009, court records show.
NRP urges citizens who see conservation violations, maritime emergencies and other law enforcement issues to call its communication hotline at 800-628-9944.