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Valascus

SO tired of this...why can't people follow rules?!

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Warning...this is a kinda long post.

Last Saturday I went to a small local pond to take my new rig for a spin to kinda get a feel for it. This is just a little city municipal pond that is "governed" by the conservation dept. in conjunction with the city. At the entrance to the pond their are detailed fishing rules and regulations on what types of baits are allowed, how many poles can be used, how many of each species of fish (largemouth, channel cats, bluegill, and stocked rainbow trout) can be kept and during what time of year their harvest is allowed. It's pretty plain and simple.

Let's rewind a few months. One day down there fishing for bass again, I noticed an elderly man fishing for rainbows. I really paid no mind to him and continued my fishing. After a while of being in the same area as him, I notice he is keeping every trout he catches. The rules on the at the entrance of the lake clearly state "No trout shall be kept between Nov. 1st thru Jan. 31st." Not only is he keeping every trout, he is keeping them in a plain old Wal-Mart plastic bag! After noticing this I kindly approached this man and tried to give him a friendly reminder that he couldn't keep those fish and that they needed to be returned to the water. The man looked at me perplexed. He then began speaking to me in what sounded like an Eastern European dialect that I couldn't pinpoint. I then tried to explain to the gentleman through body language and example that he couldn't keep the fish. After trying to convey the message to him any way I could think of for about 30 mins I gave up, feeling very frustrated. I went back to my fishing and helplessly watched the gentleman continue to pull trout after trout, not really knowing what to do since the man didn't appear to speak any English at all. 15 mins later, I notice a police officer moving towards the area on foot. He asks me if I have seen an old man fishing. I pointed further down the bank and the police officer walks away muttering how he is not in the mood to deal with this man again. AGAIN?! After the officer released the fish that were still alive for the gentleman, confiscated the dead fish, and escorted the man off he property, he left. No more than 10 mins later the old man returned and began his fishing and keeping again.

Now I bring you to last Saturday. When I arrived at the pond and moved to my favorite area I immediately noticed the same old man, using the same bait, same rod, and keeping the fish in the same plastic bag. He has been warned against this before as I am now aware and I quickly pull out the trusty old cell phone and try to place a call to the Conservation dept. I didn't reach anyone there, but did leave a very detailed message concerning the activity and the description of the man. After making the call, I again approach the man and try to explain that what he s doing is wrong to the best of my ability, again with no avail at all. This time while I was talking to him, I notice a different police officer approaching out of the corner of my eye. The officer was flat out angry. He demanded that the old man leave and release his living catch while again confiscating the dead ones. Through as much angry body language as the officer could muster, he escorted the man off the property yelling that he would have the man arrested if he had to return again. After that he returned to talk to me. He asked me how long the man had been there and thanked me for trying to resolve the issue peacefully. He then went on to tell me this was the THIRD time that the man has been dealt with by authorities on the same issue. I asked him if the conservation dept. has ever dealt with him, and he said that they almost never get game wardens out there and that the police were essentially the only governing body on the water. I informed the officer that he should stay a while because the man would likely return. The officer stayed for about 10-15 minutes walking the area keeping an eye out for the man. He couldn't stay any longer than that and soon left. NO more than 5 minutes after, the old man returned, although this time it was without his fishing pole. He simply sat on a park bench and intently watch other fisherman for a while. A few minutes of this went by and I moved further away from him. After moving the man then went to sit on the dock and was suddenly accompanied by a younger man probably in his late 30's or early 40's. This dude was big...and I don't mean obese...I mean big as in strong. I kept my watch from a distance and watched the two men talk, though I couldn't tell in what language. To my surprise the younger man then pulled out a fishing rod, rigged exactly the same way the old man had his rigged and started fishing for trout off the dock. He soon began to catch trout after trout. I watched intently and didn't notice the men release a single trout. I also noticed them watching me very closely. I started to feel a little uncomfortable and since it was close to the time I needed to leave anyway decided to leave. As I left I walked past them and said hello as I went, only to receive no response from either mna and a plethora of dirty looks from the younger man. This time, before I left I called the police and informed them of the new situation that had occurred. Not sure what happened after that since I hastily left, not wanting to be around when the police arrived and becoming involved in what was probably going to be a nasty situation.

I left feeling very angry and disappointed that it had to come to what I assumed would be the arrest of the old man and his partner. It's people like that who ruin small fisheries like the our little municipal pond as well as the fun and joy of fishing for everyone else, all just because they cannot follow a few simple rules. I hope the old man got what he deserved. He has been given more than plenty of chances to understand the situation. He may not speak English, but the fact remains that rules are rules...no matter what language you speak. >:( >:( >:(

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It happens all the time. The old man probably dose speak english just dosen't. That way he can get away with more stuff. The police should arrest him and his partner that way thet will get the hint.

     

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Great post!

If that pond was one of "my" ponds, I would see to it that the man is arrested and banned from the pond indefinately.

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You did everything in your power that you could do. Good job for that, sorry the DCNR doesnt really seem to care that much.

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Yes, Valascus

That is very frustrating. . . and again I would like to commend you on trying to resolve this issue in a friendly and honarable way.  I encountered the same problem years ago at a local city lake.  I used to witness people keeping dink bass one after another to the point of having a bucketful.  Perhaps taking the dinks wasn't harmful to the pond, but it was against the law.  I didn't take it as far as you did, but was very frustrated to see that it wasn't enforced.  In Texas, we have a program called "Operation Game Thief" which has an 800 number to call in case of any poaching.  The program is more geared towards animals, but I guess it would apply to fish as well.  If you turn someone in and they are convicted, you can receive a reward for it.  Is there any way you can contact a game warden locally?  Maybe a local or regional DNR/Fish and Wildlife office nearby?  Who stocks the local pond?

-Fisher

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I did not see this, but heard about it from several people -- Last Memorial Day a local lake was ringed with people fishing from the bank - in fact it was so crowded that there were only four boats out on the lake and they were not able to get anywhere near the bank.  One of the DNR (game warden) guys showed up and started checking licenses and fish, he spent most of the day writing tickets -- one guy had no license and whole bucket of illegal fish -- his fine was $1700 and he got angry when he wasn't allowed to keep the fish ::)

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Yes, Valascus

That is very frustrating. . . and again I would like to commend you on trying to resolve this issue in a friendly and honarable way. I encountered the same problem years ago at a local city lake. I used to witness people keeping dink bass one after another to the point of having a bucketful. Perhaps taking the dinks wasn't harmful to the pond, but it was against the law. I didn't take it as far as you did, but was very frustrated to see that it wasn't enforced. In Texas, we have a program called "Operation Game Thief" which has an 800 number to call in case of any poaching. The program is more geared towards animals, but I guess it would apply to fish as well. If you turn someone in and they are convicted, you can receive a reward for it. Is there any way you can contact a game warden locally? Maybe a local or regional DNR/Fish and Wildlife office nearby? Who stocks the local pond?

-Fisher

I tried to contact a the Missouri Dept. Of Conservations Saint Louis branch office only to get a recording saying to leave a message. I didn't even know if it was the right place to call. I simply called information and asked them for the number to the closest Conservation office. I left them a pretty lengthy recording giving them the man's description, what type of rig he was using, and a ballparked number of fish he was illegally keeping and requested that they send a Game Warden out with a little more regularity. I figured if the message was left at the wrong place hopefully they could forward it to the right place.

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you should try to take pictures next time--that is, if he doesn't bring the big guy of course

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Back when I was in college at OSU in Stillwater, Ok, I fished a small munic. lake "McMurtry" and I had been told by some folks that had been to school up there 5-10 yrs before that it was a real hotspot for big crappie and saugers/ walleye, and a real decent bass fishing spot. After about 10 trips, and only a very few keeper size crappie and maybe 1 or two decent bass, I began to notice the ethnicity and practices of the the folks lining the bank. They were for the most part non-english speaking asian, and they kept everthing, and I mean everything they caught. When I found water that was inaccessable by foot, I would find better fishing. I let the park ranger and local game warden know what was going on, and they just indifferently let me know that they already knew and didnt really care....what can ya do!!!!

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Be very careful Valascus, a asian hunter in Wisconsin murdered 6 hunters because in his home country there is no such thing as private property or a limit to the game you take.  A language barrier is not the only thing causing his law breaking.

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here in iowa we have a problem something like that

they like to use a little bit of string tyed to a soda bottle

that way if the dnr show up there not fishing

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Unfortinitly some people don't care about the rules or how they are ruining it for others.   Look at all the private places to fish and hunt that have been cut off due to someones else's disrespect by throwing down trash and other acts of stupidity.   And I wish all states could afford to put more game wardens in the feild to catch some idiots like the ones that have been described in the other posts.  But what can you do but just call and hope they get caught.   Maybe in the instance of this old man since he seems to be a regular moron you can take a video camera with you and film him breaking the rules or laws.  I don't know who you could give it to but if the police or game warden aren't interested the local news might be then maybe the problem would get its due atten.   I don't understand why they didn't confascate his equip and issue tickets or just throw him in jail.

I remember back about 15 years ago my dad took me and my brother fishing at a state owned approx 2 acre lake.   The property was part of a game reserve and the game wardens offices were upon the property and one actually lived on the property.  Anyways the game warden where in and out all the time,  well we were sitting there fishing away when 3 guys come walking down to the lake carrying a couple of coolers and a whole bunch of rod and reels.   Well in one cooler they had beer which the sign at the parking lot say's no achohol.  And in the other the idiots had undersized bass and yellow belly catfish which were dead and they threw them into the water. Which is a big no no in a state run lake.  They started fishing and about five min after they threw there line out guess who shows up.  If you haven't guessed it was the game warden two of them.  Well the game warden made there way around to the idiots  Needless to say they didn't have a license between the three of them.   The game wardens were like drill sargents and just hammered them on every charge they could get them for.  Made them fish out one of the yellow belly catfish they threw in the lake, I guess for evidence.   Confascated all there equip.   The game warden walked over to us and checked my dads license and appologized for the incident that was happening.  My dad thanked them for doing a good job and trying to keep the lake a decent place to fish   We left shortly after that but the game wardens where still putting the hammer on them.  I'm sure they went to jail  or I hope they did  

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i used to fish at a place & every day there were about 15 chinese guys catching & keeping everything...we called them the bucket brigade....the problem is ,unless a game warden is there every day theyre gonna get away with it most of the time

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This problem is everywhere!  Maryland has stepped up big time in the past couple of years. They do stings where a Game Warden goes undercover dressed like a fisherman then watches all the idiots keeping illegal fish. I know most of the Game Wardens by face so I talk with them about the busts. Last year they caught a guy stuffing trout into his waders, two guys with 60+ trout in a cooler, and so many fishing without a license violations that one said he ran out of tickets. I have watched them seize fishing equipment and fine the "no speaking the english" fishermen many times. The only time I disagreed with them was when the were going to fine  an older gentlemen that had 6 catfish. Maryland changed their daily limit of catfish to five about 3 years ago. This guy was 78 years old so he hasn't bought a license in 18 years and was unaware of the change. They gave him a warning but scolded him about having 6 fish :-?

Allen

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Guest avid

You should feel very proud of yourself.

Conservation officers cannot possibly adequately patrol all of the waters people fish in

It is up to us, the responsible angler/convervationists to assist the authorities without becoming the "fish nazi's"

You seem to have done exactly that.  It appears that the officers and magistrates have been very fair and patient with this man.  I cannot believe for a moment that no one who speaks his language was never present at any time to explain what the rules were and why he was being tickedted, evicted, or whatever.

My guess is that where he comes from it is unheard of to throw fish back.  But he is here now, and he shuold have clearly gotten the message by now.

I only hope that he refrains from continuing to do this.  If you check the regs, repeated violators can get serious fines and jail time.

I hope it never comes to that as I'm sure you are too,

but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

avid

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here in iowa we have a problem something like that

they like to use a little bit of string tyed to a soda bottle

that way if the dnr show up there not fishing

Here in Texas, they use an old beer can with mono wrapped around it. I used to teach some kids who called it a "_____________(insert racial slur) 5,000." I cannot agree more that more needs to be done about it. In my lifetime, I've only been checked for a fishing liscense twice. I used to see it as a hassle, but like taxes. . . if you're going to make me pay, by George, you better make the rest of them pay, too.

P. S. Who was George and why do we have to do things by him? The same goes with the Dickens' family. . . man they must have been some fast runners!!   :D

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"the Dickens" is a euphemism for the Devil.  "like the devil" "what the devil"  "the devil you are!"...that sorta thing

many think that "By George" is a derivative of an old English war cry or that its just a short for saying "By God" without being "foul".

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We used to have the same type of problem on the Columbia River, over Sturgeon.  The Asians and Russians did not buy licenses, did not abide by slot limits, or any limits for that matter.  I watched one Fish and Game officer write $4,000.00 in tickets to one family.  He confiscated thier gear, fish everything.  They were back the next week, new gear, same attittude about the limits, size restrictions, etc......  They did not speak english, and did not care about the tickets...  After about 20 arrests were made over a month long period, they finally started to get the idea something they were doing was illegal, and stayed away for a long time(or found a new fishing spot).  

I am of the opinion that if you can not read and understand the basic hunting and fishing laws, and are willing to abide by them, you should be arrested every time you commit a violation.,,, jmo.

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On a positive note, I was fishing last summer and saw a group of hispanic dudes fishing across the lake from me.  The warden was making her rounds and approached these guys, and they all had licenses.

On a simialr note, I had some friends from Cali visit me (in Jersey) and were utterly shocked and in disbelief that you have to buy a beach badge to set foot on most beaches here.  They ticket too.  Different cultures, you know.

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"the Dickens" is a euphemism for the Devil. "like the devil" "what the devil" "the devil you are!"...that sorta thing

many think that "By George" is a derivative of an old English war cry or that its just a short for saying "By God" without being "foul".

The little things you learn on the net

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We used to have the same type of problem on the Columbia River, over Sturgeon. The Asians and Russians did not buy licenses, did not abide by slot limits, or any limits for that matter. I watched one Fish and Game officer write $4,000.00 in tickets to one family. He confiscated thier gear, fish everything. They were back the next week, new gear, same attittude about the limits, size restrictions, etc...... They did not speak english, and did not care about the tickets... After about 20 arrests were made over a month long period, they finally started to get the idea something they were doing was illegal, and stayed away for a long time(or found a new fishing spot).

I am of the opinion that if you can not read and understand the basic hunting and fishing laws, and are willing to abide by them, you should be arrested every time you commit a violation.,,, jmo.

  If you can't read the rules you should not be alowed to fish................ just my $.02

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When I was a young kid of about 12, we were fishing with live bait in an artificial only lake, the conservation officer pulled in his car, got out, picked up all of our equipment and without saying a word drove away. I learned my lesson.

I haven't been checked for a license or anything in 20 years. I have fished in about 20 states as well.

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I think Game Wardens can be pretty bad about checking licenses.  Either they don't care or they figure if some of the people in a group have them, then all must have them.

I remember fishing on Laurel Lake here in KY a year or two ago.  There was probably 6 of us fishing(5 doing the catfish thing in a cove...good luck!) and me hunting through some flooded timber for bass.  The Warden jetted over in his boat as soon as he saw us putting poles in the water..checked two people for a license..and then said everything was good to go.  I didn't have mine on me(forgot it in my wallet at the campsite..since we were swimming I didn't wear my regular shorts, just trunks)....but never even got asked if I had one.  Thats the only time I've been involved with a Warden in over 10 total  years of fishing in my life so far.

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In my experinces the DNR varies vastly from state to state. In certian states the DNR's financial resources are greater and officers are more abundant.  Most states dont have large budgets fo thier DNR and this makes it hard for these officers to effectivly patrol. Most of your resources are focused on major areas also.  In your case V Missouri DNR probably is pretty focused on the SW part of the state and the Missouri & Mississippi waterways. Getting a DNR agent to bust someone on a local pond is going to be pretty much a lost cause.  While its upsetting all you can really do is make sure your conservation minded yourself. Follow your state laws and be a cosiderate outdoorsman.  Most people that break these rules know thier doing it and dont care. Your not going to change them and alot of times getting directly involved leads to unwanted cofrontation.  Just do your part and let the these ingorant people do what they do. Also make sure you get you licence every year, since this is a huge part of most DNR's revenue.

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