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2 men banned from fishing for striped bass for life

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. —The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has banned two men from fishing for striped bass for life after they were convicted in a poaching scheme.

The department said in a news release Monday that Michael Hayden Jr. and William Lednum have also been suspended from all commercial fishing activity for the next year. The suspension will be followed by a four-year probationary period.

The two men pleaded guilty to running an operation between 2007 and 2011 that caught striped bass in illegal anchored nets before the season had opened.

Mark Belton, the secretary for Maryland natural resources, said the ban was rare, but said it sends a strong signal to poachers that the state is serious about protecting fishery.

Hayden and Lednum remain responsible for $498,000 in court-ordered restitution to the state of Maryland.

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