Poaching, or hunting game animals illegally, is a serious problem, with 621 arrests for night hunting in 1997 alone. Most hunters obey the law, but the few violators not only destroy wildlife but also endanger citizens and the N.C. Wildlife Commission officers who enforce the law.
Federal and State wildlife agents uncovered a significant illegal market for striped bass from both the Chesapeake Bay and inland waters of North Carolina. These illegal harvests have likely contributed to decline in the fish population.
Federal cases were made against individuals in North Carolina for the illegal transportation and sale of striped bass. They were charged under the Federal Lacey Act with various felonies and misdemeanors.