MACHIAS, Maine — Posting a photo on Facebook of the big one that didn’t get away is apparently not always a good idea.
Jordan Wright, 26, of Lubec has a date in Machias District Court in May to explain how he came into possession of a 29-inch, 8-pound North Atlantic salmon while ice fishing last month in restricted waters of rural Washington County, a violation of both state and federal law.
Wright was charged March 3 with unlawfully possessing Atlantic salmon, a Class E state violation. That summons was issued after an investigation by both the Maine Warden Service and special agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that determined that Wright took the fish in early February from Second Hadley Lake in Township 18-ED.
The fish was seized during the investigation.
Under state and federal restrictions, North Atlantic salmon that measure more than 25 inches in length cannot be taken from the chain of lakes and streams that empty into the East Machias River watershed, said Maine Warden Service Lt. Dan Scott.
Scott said Wright was identified through a tip from what Scott termed “a concerned sportsman.” Scott wouldn’t confirm that a Facebook post helped incriminate the suspect, which is what an independent source told the Bangor Daily News. Another source said Wright did not post the Facebook photo to boast of his catch but because he wasn’t sure what species of fish he had landed.
The specifics of what Scott termed on Monday an “open and pending case” investigation will be laid out at Wright’s scheduled May 2 arraignment.
“It’s not uncommon for law enforcement to use cellphone records, Facebook posts and Twitter postings in conducting investigations, as that’s how people communicate now,” Scott said.
A Class E violation, Scott said, is punishable by a fine as high as $1,000 and as many as six months in jail. The minimum penalty, he said is $500.