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General Laws

Section 42. A person shall not put, throw, discharge or permit to be discharged or to escape into any inland waters of the commonwealth any waste or other material, in violation of section forty or of any provisions of the Massachusetts Clean Water Act, which may directly or indirectly injure or kill the fish or fish spawn therein, nor shall a person alter or manipulate or permit to be altered or manipulated the flows or water levels in any inland waters of the commonwealth to the extent that directly or indirectly injures or kills the fish or fish spawn therein, except as provided in section forty-eight.

This section shall not apply to agents or persons authorized by the director to use any method or means for the sampling, eradication or management of fish and fish habitat in the waters of the commonwealth. This section shall not prohibit the use of explosives for engineering, construction, fish sampling and public welfare purposes providing the appropriate permit therefor has been given by United States, state or municipal government authorities. This section shall not apply to the providing of water for public water supply purposes.

Whoever, contrary to any provision of this section, except as otherwise provided in this chapter by himself or by his agent does or allows to be done any act that directly or indirectly injures or kills or causes damage to the fish or fish spawn in the inland waters of the commonwealth shall be liable in tort, in twice the amount of the damage thereby done, to the commonwealth through its division of fisheries and wildlife. The director shall establish the value of injured, killed or damaged fish or fish spawn employing current commercial values of fish. In determining the remuneration to the commonwealth for injured, killed or damaged fish or fish spawn the director may negotiate for the commonwealth a settlement of the amount of such remuneration direct with the offender. If such settlement cannot be negotiated to the satisfaction of the director, the superior court shall upon petition of the director establish the value of injured, killed or damaged fish or fish spawn, and shall require the offender to make remuneration to the commonwealth through its division of fisheries and wildlife, as required herein.

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