Fishermen charged with having 16 times legal limit of red drum
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two fishermen are facing charges after they were found with more than 16 times the legal limit of red drum.
Marine Patrol officers stopped a truck towing a boat in the 7000 block of Market Street Monday. When inspecting the truck, officers say they found 113 red drum weighing 657 pounds, including 14 fish that were greater than the legal size limit and weighed 106 pounds. They say they also found 100 pounds of striped mullet, 101 pounds of spotted seatrout, six pounds of black drum and two pounds of flounder.
Officers say commercial fishermen Jason Scott Sadler, 38, Ian Andrew Stitt, 33, are facing charges including possession of more than the commercial limit of red drum; both were placed in the New Hanover County Jail under a $600 bond.
The officers seized the catch and sold the legal-sized red drum, the striped mullet, spotted seatrout, black drum and flounder to Atlantic Seafood for $1,479.75, which was the highest of three bids. The money will be held, pending a court decision in the case, according to the news release.
Officers say the 106 pounds of oversized red drum was donated to the First Fruits Ministries in Wilmington; officers also seized all the commercial fishing equipment, including the boat and trailer.
In North Carolina, commercial fishermen are not allowed to target red drum, but they are allowed to retain seven red drum caught incidentally when targeting other species as long as the weight of the striped mullet, bluefish or black drum on board exceeds the weight of the red drum. The minimum size limit is 18 inches and the maximum size limit is 27 inches.