Two Tilghman Island fishermen have pleaded guilty to illegally harvesting and selling more than 185,000 pounds of striped bass.
Forty-one-year-old Michael D. Hayden and 42-year-old William Lednum entered the pleas Friday in federal court in Baltimore. They face a maximum sentence of five years in prison at sentencing in November. They have also agreed to pay restitution to the state of Maryland.
According to their plea agreements, from 2007 to 2011, Hayden and Lednum used illegally weighted or anchored gill nets and exceeded their maximum daily vessel limit of striped bass.
Prosecutors say the fishermen falsified the permit allocation cards and daily catch records, and shipped and sold striped bass to wholesalers for nearly $500,000.