After fishing on the rocks for two keeper stripers a night, we would lean on one tailgate, take two cold cans of beer from any icy remains in a soft cooler then walk to one long, sagging, stubborn stone wall. Through a sweet harmony of crickets and cicadas, we faced a farmer's field of tall grasses and stray sunflowers, thick and healthy. We leaned on stones wet, slick from an evening’s dew, taking in long breaths of damp earth, breathing out pure salt air. With wrinkled palms, innocently we wiped our hands along green moss, unconsciously drawing patterns on slow-growing velvet beards on glacial fieldstones.
How long will greed, disrespect for our environment, and blatant, planned ignorance of not just our laws but of the respect they require, meet with just a small fine and two-line notice in a small town paper?
This most recent arrest is a daily news reminder that our system isn’t operating to its potential. So here are my suggested solutions for what to do with poachers in Rhode Island.
In the Fifties and Sixties, access to the beach for fishing and relaxing was far easier compared to these modern times. Many fishermen who wanted to cast through long stretches of shoreline for bass would drive there and spend a few days hunting for bass and blues, living out of their vehicles. They needed to be resourceful, and boy were they.