By Tim Faulkner
Two of the four alleged poachers of the pricey American eel had their day in court Friday. George H. Anestis, 41, of Boxborough, Mass., and his father, George J. Anestis, 65, of Phippsburg, Maine, agreed to pay $2,000 fines each and have their nets and traps confiscated for poaching juvenile elver eels from Rhode Island.
State environmental police apprehended the men April 7 as they pulled their catch from eel traps in the Seekonk River in Pawtucket. One of the men carried a bucket containing about 2.5 pounds of elvers as police approached him behind the Apex building. Police also confiscated a large cooler containing elvers in the back of their SUV.
The men were staying at a nearby hotel and told police they had been in the area numerous times to poach the 2- to 4-inch elvers. They admitted seeing other elver poachers in the area. They said they sold their fish for about $1,000 a pound. They wouldn't divulge their buyers' names.
Both were charged with misdemeanor offenses of exceeding the daily catch limit, possession of undersize American eel, fishing without a commercial license and obstruction of migratory fish passage.
Alan L. Beaucage, 37, of Alna, Maine, and Jeremy J. Geroux, 35, of Newcastle, Maine, also were arrested and charged with the same offenses as the Anestises, following an April 14 incident in Pawtucket. Arrest warrants were issued for the arrest of Beaucauge and Geroux for their failure to appear May 10 in Superior Court. More....