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Dec 1, 2009 3:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk fishermen cited for violations

Dec 1, 2009 3:55 PM

A Montauk fisherman faces a potential felony charge and up to $10,000 in fines for possessing more than four times as many striped bass as he was allowed to have under state environmental laws. Capt. Dave Aripotch, owner of the commercial fishing boat Caitlin Mairead, was seen unloading striped bass at Gosman’s Fish Dock on November 5, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. An investigation revealed that Mr. Aripotch had 93 striped bass in his possession, even though state laws permitted him to have only 21 bass, the DEC said.

Because the 815 pounds of bass were valued at more than $2,000, the illegal catch could become a felony under the illegal commercial statute of the state Environmental Conservation Law.

The DEC also issued tickets to three fishermen returning to Montauk on November 10 who had caught a number of black sea bass, which are out of season, and several more blackfish than the state’s daily catch limits allow. Christopher Miller of Montauk, John R. Davis of New Hampton, and Jan Naftel of Rockville Centre were cited for catching 41 black sea bass out of season and possessing eight more blackfish than their four-per-man limit allowed them to keep. The charges carry a potential penalty of some $4,800.

The officers also charged Harvey Smith with possessing 14 more blackfish than he was permitted in underwater live-storage containers. He faces up to $1,400 in fines.

On November 18 two DEC agents, Officer Liza Bobsein and Lieutenant Frank Carbone, suspected a local fisherman of taking people fishing on his boat for a fee, even though he does not hold a state charter captain’s license. During their investigation the officers allegedly witnessed Matthew Miller and two other people return to Montauk from fishing and the couple hand Mr. Miller money once back on shore. The officers charged Mr. Miller with charter fishing without a permit.

Mr. Miller initially denied that the couple had chartered his boat and that they were just friends. But after interviewing the couple, who the DEC would not identify because they were not cited for any violations, the officers determined that they had paid Mr. Miller $450 for a half-day of fishing on his boat, Daisy Miller. The charge carries a potential fine of $500 and the loss of the privilege to obtain a license.

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The department of environmental control is totally OUT OF CONTROL !
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 1:07 PM
Lieutenant Frankie should be up in huntington looking after his fellow Carbones
and take his trainee with him.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 1:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
good to see the rules being enforced. How exactly is that out of control?
By fishy (92), East Hampton on Dec 1, 09 3:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Are you the brown shirt (when i first typed this i left out the r) kind of guy who would turn someone in for taking more than you, when you take over the limit.
Careful ----- they could be into your boxes next.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 4:14 PM
The me first, last and only attitude regarding our wild resources is what has our ocean fishery in such deep trouble. The cavalier thought process that I can do what I want and that have a "right" to flaunt and break the rules and laws has no rightful place in a civilized society.

Those that subscribe to this way of thinking will forever subscribe to catching over limits of fish and then wonder where all the fish have gone while at the same time placing the blame on those responsible ...more
By seafly (1), shrewsbury on Dec 1, 09 8:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Dear Seafly: YIKES!! Are you Joe Billotto?!
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Dec 1, 09 10:29 PM
It sounds like him -- for sure!
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 10:43 PM
The law is the law even if it is flawed. The problem here is the DEC. As INS states, NYS is unfair to its residents regarding fishing regs. If you have ever dealt with the DEC you will understand it is run by overzealous incompetents. The State budget can be saved by dumping this department.
By kpjc (161), east quogue on Dec 2, 09 8:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
The DEC at least needs a drastic restructuring, it is too interwoven & is not serving to public. The DEC works like a tangled fish net ---and they are towing it --- not catching --- so there must not be any fish -- so they make up some new regs to save the fish ----. Someone once said -- a guy that can"t catch goes to work at the DEC.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 2, 09 8:48 AM
SEE HOW THEY RUN...SEE HOW THEY RUN..! Just wait folks, you aint seen nuttin' yet!! Soon there will be a goverment paid "regulator" on all fishing vessels and when that does'nt seem to work anymore, there will only be goverment run boats fishing our waters! They have been aiming for this for a very long time....just think...no more arguments over regulations, seasons, commercials rights OR recreational rights...they will all be GONE!!!! when that happens we will all be very happy...right? ...more
By fishhunter718 (6), hampton bays on Dec 2, 09 9:09 AM
what would happen if there were no regs? maybe the regs now are not perfect but they do serve a purpose. you have to admit that, no? I say let them catch as many bass as they want. just don't drag with nets use a rod and a bucktail.
By fishy (92), East Hampton on Dec 2, 09 11:29 AM
re: fishy...HUH???.....The regs serve a purpose (although not perfect) but you also say .."let them catch as many bass as they want"?? SO they should be jigging for bass while the are dragging a net behind? Clearly you are on that proverbial fence ,teetering between fact and fiction!
By fishhunter718 (6), hampton bays on Dec 2, 09 8:01 PM
nah, if you read the post it say's "don't drag with nets use a rod and bucktail". it was a joke, dude. lighten up! i am a recreational fisherman and if you read my previous post i am for enforcement although admittedly the regs themselves probably are not perfect.
By fishy (92), East Hampton on Dec 3, 09 9:28 AM
First I want to say that I agree with laws that protect our fish. There is a problem with over fishing. That said, lets call a spade a spade! In defense of the fishermen who alledgedly caught 41 Sea Bass "out of season"- that is just slander.
Sea Bass can be caught legally in state waters recreationally. The only offense committed here is that these men, alledgedly, were fishing commercially for Blackfish at the same time. The D.E.C. does not allow any recreational fish to be taken while ...more
By fishermans wife (2), Montauk on Dec 3, 09 11:35 AM
2 members liked this comment
You guys complaining about the DEC doing their job? Are you serious? Are you really asking if any of us else would drop a dime on someone? You're dead right we would. Over and over and over. Go ahead, keep breaking the LAW and you WILL get caught. You are hurting the rest of us that go out there and fish and abide by the rules. We don't want you where we fish. Go away.
By lolwat (1), Bridgehampton on Dec 3, 09 4:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ok, first off, the DEC is enforcing laws based on bad science. Second, Dave Aripotch makes his living on the water. The government has strangled the commercial fisherman with laws that make no sense. I no longer fish. Couldnt make enough to feed my family any more. The price of fish is the same as it was when I started. To the boat. The price of fish in the market in insane. Sea Bass in the round (whole fish) is 12.00 a pound. The fisheman is lucky to see a dollar a pound. It was purchased from ...more
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Dec 5, 09 9:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
The DEC is an INCREDIBlly powerful law enforcement agency that answers to no one!! There are no elected positions that we, as taxpayers, can influence with our votes. Do you know that the DEC can search your car, boat or even your HOME without a warrant?? Talk about a potential abuse of power! Couple this power with overzealous fish cops trying to make their careers take off by writing as many tickets as possible and it adds up to an out of control agency infringing on our rights as Americans. True, ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 5, 09 8:16 AM
Stop your whining and just obey the rules!
By Walt (292), Southampton on Dec 11, 09 7:37 PM
These guysare scumbags thru and thru. A dragger that keeps more than the 21 is breaking the law and "stealing" just like anyone. Are you saying you guys know what the limits should be? Gimme a break. You are just a bunch of crybabies. He is a "stand up guy"??? Who are you kidding? The DEC dosent set the limits you fools, they are supposed to enforce them and don't 99% of the time and you guys cry about it? So it a dragger pulls up dead fish they should be able to keep them all? What is the impetus ...more
By Fish4reel (1), Montauk on Dec 25, 09 11:51 PM
Wow. Allow me to respond to this twisted, demented post.

Striped bass, Fluke etc are regulated by the state. NJ has different regs than NY. Therefore, the DEC does indeed set the limits. As for the Blackfish holding pots, can't help ya. We don't do that in Shinnecock.

I agree that some fishermen blow their money in gin mills. These men are only on deck because they can work their asses off. When I fished, I hired men based on ability to work. Drugs, alcohol etc were NOT permitted ...more
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Jan 17, 10 8:17 AM