It easily could be considered the most important poaching trial in modern fisheries management in Virginia.

On Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Chesapeake General District Court, Bi Chao Chen of Norfolk faces a judge in the case every Virginia speckled trout angler remembers all too well.

In February, Chen and Yuanjie Lin of Chesapeake were caught in a Virginia Marine Resources Commission Marine Police sting aided by the Chesapeake Police Department and Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Conservation Officers.

Chen is answering to charges of running gill nets exceeding distance in the Elizabeth River and Deep Creek area known as The Cove. The two were arrested just prior to the area’s worst cold water fish kill.

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