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moguy1973

Poachers Really tick Me Off!

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So I'm on our local fishing forums today and a guy posts up some pictures he found on a random guy's Facebook site.   He's got a sling spear with a 15"+ smallie dangling from the end of it, and then another picture of a dozen or so fish total that all have spear holes in the side of them.  In Missouri it's only legal to spear fish in impounded waters and only for rough, non-game fish.  He had at least 8 black bass on the table (which is also illegal if he was the only one "fishing" it since the black bass limit is 6 in Missouri).  The stream is was poaching on is an awesomely clear Ozark stream that is one of the better smallmouth streams in Missouri because it's too small for jet boats, but large enough to float canoes and kayaks on (also a big party stream unfortunately)

 

It really steams me to see illegal fishing activity like this.  People on the local forum are going to report him to conservation and hopefully he's fined/jailed/loses license forever/etc. 

 

Here are the pictures (someone blurred his face to keep his anonymity)

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post-39001-0-84588300-1372883400_thumb.j

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I hate to say it but report him to the authorities. I don't have any tolerance for this kind of thing and you have pictures for proof.

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Send the Facebook link to the authorities. They'll look into it I'm sure.  Sucks to see that stuff.

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The above two beat me to it; the DNR would likely be interested.

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He took down the one of him with the fish on the spear shortly after he posted it so I guess he knows it was something he shouldn't be doing.

 

A guy from the forum called MO Dept of Conservation and they said there just isn't enough evidence to do anything about it.  I think there is.  For one, we have the guy's name and even an address and phone number that he posted on one of his facebook posts (I know, not a real smart guy).  I'm sure this isn't the first time he's done this and probably has some holy fish in his freezer.  Secondly, that smallie he stuck has a conservation tag on it.  When someone catches one of the tagged fish it has a reward amount of either $25 or $75 on it.  You are supposed to remove the tag, release the fish, and send the tag in with where and when you caught it (it's a smallmouth preservation project that has been ongoing to track the movements of smallmouth in selected MO streams)  So this guy, if he was smart enough to know what the tag was, got some money out of this poaching too.  The thing is he has to send this tag in to get his money, and hopefully his name is on the MDC's radar now and will go after him.  I doubt it though.

 

Facebook really opens some eyes though.  I found out looking at this guy's friends list that a bunch of underclassmen that I went to high school with are friends with him, and even my wife is a mutual friend with two of his friends. Weird eh?

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They never do. Yet hook one Lake Sturgeon in Lay Lake in Alabama and they send two car loads of biologist to determine if the fish that got away was really a sturgeon. Also interview you and your fishing partner to determine what was used to catch said fish. Around how big was said fish. Also you are told to make dang certain you do NOT take it out of the water for more than a quick picture, or you WILL go to jail. Sheesh.

That is crappy what he was doing. However it will come back and bite him before its all said and done.

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That's messed up and that bass looks HUGE

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That's messed up and that bass looks HUGE

It's probably a 15-16" fish at least.  And the sad thing is, stream smallies take about 6-7 years to grow to that size.  Then this dingle head takes him illegally...

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So I'm on our local fishing forums today and a guy posts up some pictures he found on a random guy's Facebook site.   He's got a sling spear with a 15"+ smallie dangling from the end of it, and then another picture of a dozen or so fish total that all have spear holes in the side of them.  In Missouri it's only legal to spear fish in impounded waters and only for rough, non-game fish.  He had at least 8 black bass on the table (which is also illegal if he was the only one "fishing" it since the black bass limit is 6 in Missouri).  The stream is was poaching on is an awesomely clear Ozark stream that is one of the better smallmouth streams in Missouri because it's too small for jet boats, but large enough to float canoes and kayaks on (also a big party stream unfortunately)

 

It really steams me to see illegal fishing activity like this.  People on the local forum are going to report him to conservation and hopefully he's fined/jailed/loses license forever/etc. 

 

Here are the pictures (someone blurred his face to keep his anonymity)

What are those two fish in the top of the picture? Never seen those before.

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The person you spoke with at the conservation level is not wanting to get involved.

 

You and the they guys have to contact the department director with all of the information you have and get his help to start an investigation.

 

If you still run into obstacles then go to the next board meeting and speak up.

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What are those two fish in the top of the picture? Never seen those before.

Hogsuckers. 

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The person you spoke with at the conservation level is not wanting to get involved.

 

You and the they guys have to contact the department director with all of the information you have and get his help to start an investigation.

 

If you still run into obstacles then go to the next board meeting and speak up.

 

 

Bingo! Send the info to the next higher up. Call and talk to them in person after sending the email. The more people that call the more pressure it puts on them to open an investigation, or at least go talk to the guy. If the officer hands the guy the picture showing him with a speared smallie then he will probably cop out. 

 

Seems like plenty to go on, you have his picture with a d**n speared smallie! 

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It's probably a 15-16" fish at least. And the sad thing is, stream smallies take about 6-7 years to grow to that size. Then this dingle head takes him illegally...

Looks a hell of a lot bigger then that on my phone maybe it's cuz ea doing a Roland Martin? Lol

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It's probably hard to determine where he is fishing and when the fish were harvested hence the reason for lack of involvement.

It is pretty crappy though and I am surprised he was able to get that many bass.....they seem to spook in clear water pretty quickly.

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here in florida you can report poachers and if they get convicted the FWC will you give you a money reward....did it a few times and got a couple hundred bucks lol...a friends sister works for the FWC and hes reported many poachers and gotten around $1200...mostly we report for poaching snook

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It's probably hard to determine where he is fishing and when the fish were harvested hence the reason for lack of involvement.

It is pretty crappy though and I am surprised he was able to get that many bass.....they seem to spook in clear water pretty quickly.

 

The guy had where he was camping at in an album on his Facebook page with the name of the stream.  There's a rope swing behind him in the picture, so it would be pretty easy to find exactly where he was at on this particular stream.

 

As for being able to spear them so easily without spooking them, these streams are floated heavily by the party crowd, so the fish are fairly used to having hundreds of canoes, kayaks, and rafts floating over their heads.  Another thing is those sling spears like he was using allow you to not have to be very close to use them with accuracy.

 

Good news though.  The guy that made the call to the MDC got three call backs today.  Seems they aren't real happy seeing one of their tagged smallmouths on the end of a spear.

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He has one monster bass on the end of that spear!!! I remember I once found a string of bass on the side of the lake. There were 9 of them all over 15" and the biggest being 20" just tossed on shore. :/

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The guy had where he was camping at in an album on his Facebook page with the name of the stream.  There's a rope swing behind him in the picture, so it would be pretty easy to find exactly where he was at on this particular stream.

 

As for being able to spear them so easily without spooking them, these streams are floated heavily by the party crowd, so the fish are fairly used to having hundreds of canoes, kayaks, and rafts floating over their heads.  Another thing is those sling spears like he was using allow you to not have to be very close to use them with accuracy.

 

Good news though.  The guy that made the call to the MDC got three call backs today.  Seems they aren't real happy seeing one of their tagged smallmouths on the end of a spear.

To play devil's advocate here....all it would take is someone to find another river with a rope swing that looks somewhat similar and produce some reasonable doubt.  Now the tag, if legible from the pic, would be able to determine potentially where the fish was speared.  

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Where's the proof? You can't definitively prove it based in what people say and what you seen a photo. Even most digital photos aren't admissible in court cause you can photoshop them.

I'm sure everyone has heard at least one story about a guy catching a bigger fish in an area where he actually caught it somewhere else, it goes with boasting.

You've reported it, the least they can do is go out and babysit the area and keep and eye out for him, it's usually the case.

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All they have to do is show him the pict and ask what he was doing there. Id bet he would confess everything.

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The guy has been given a ticket for the violation.  Pretty much a slap on the wrist and a fine.

 

Good thing is, the canoe outfitters/campground owners that are on the two streams he posted pictures on have been notified and are keeping an eye out for this guy and won't allow him to use their facilities anymore

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The guy has been given a ticket for the violation.  Pretty much a slap on the wrist and a fine.

 

Good thing is, the canoe outfitters/campground owners that are on the two streams he posted pictures on have been notified and are keeping an eye out for this guy and won't allow him to use their facilities anymore

I'm glad they got him but they should have revoked his fishing license for 10 years minimum.
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