OC Charter Captain Settles with Feds

OCEAN CITY- A veteran Ocean City charter fishing captain, who got into a scrap with Maryland Natural Resources Police last August over alleged illegal fish on board his boat reached a settlement agreement last week with federal fisheries officials resulting in a $20,000 fine as part of a compromise on the civil side of the case.

Last August 25, the NRP, working with the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers, were conducting a joint enforcement agreement patrol at the Talbot Street Pier in Ocean City in an effort to find and deter fisheries violations. The officers boarded the charter boat “Lisa,” captained by Stuart Lloyd Windsor, 65, of Ocean City to check the daily catch and discovered two wahoo that required a federal permit to possess.

When the officers asked Windsor for his permit, he became uncooperative, picked up the fish and walked off the vessel away from the officers. He refused to comply with the officers’ orders and had to be forcefully restrained. After a brief tussle, Windsor was charged with second-degree assault, failure to obey the lawful order of a police officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing and hindering.

In September, Windsor appeared in District Court for the criminal trial portion of his case and was found guilty of second-degree assault. As a result, he was placed on supervised probation for a year and fined $500.

However, Windsor still faced federal charges related to the incident for violating the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act as well as resisting arrest and other offenses. The NRP and Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers boarded the “Lisa” while conducting enforcement activities under an agreement with NOAA’s Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement in Ocean City.

When officers boarded the vessel, they found Windsor in possession of two wahoo without a proper permit to retain the fish. The Maryland DNR had previously warned Windsor about illegally possessing wahoo or dolphin without a proper permit.

Windsor also faced federal charges of violating the Magnuson-Stevens Act for interfering with the federally-deputized officers during the boarding. Last week, a NOAA General Counsel Senior Enforcement Attorney reached a settlement agreement with Windsor’s attorney, in which Windsor agreed to pay a $20,000 compromise civil penalty.