I live on the coast of Massachusetts and I often swing by the water prior to heading home to decompress from my work day, make one last call to the office to check in rather than disturb the house and the wife. While I was in the parking lot, I noticed that there was a group (6 folks) fishing on the dock for blue crab. They were doing rather well and there was one guy going crazy with the net...............he was the net guy and they all seemed to be doing very well. It was then that I realized that something was wrong. The crabs were too small! I was angry but decided to approach them with a positive and constructive attitude. I pointed out to them that the signs(colored and laminated) clearly explains the legal limit and size and that they may have "made some mistakes" It was at that point that they (as a group) no longer spoke english.
What would you have done?
I made a phone call to the state fish and game for the first time in my life, and I don't have any regrets. I didn't even know what number to call (too funny)! I called the # that was included in my hunting/fishing abstracts only to find out that they couldn't help me..........I had to call the Environmental Police for the great state of Massachusetts.....HMMMMMMM, want to guess how long it took for my cell phone to ring after leaving the details with the 800#?, about 25 minutes! That guy (Matt) was all over them. He called me from the location and fined the group of them. Matt also called me to confirm my story, time line, description of folks, area of offense and a couple other things. Matt was a pain the a$$ to tell you the truth (LOL)
Nice work! Sad to think how often that kind of thing goes unnoticed, unreported, or unenforced. Those of us who fish legally are on the same side as the DNR folks and it's great when we can work together.
I would have done the same thing, definitely no reason to have regrets.
Unfortunately I have had to call in people all to often and I usually get half the response you got! 25 minutes is not all that bad
Keep that number close by, your bound to run into more of that before long.
I hate poachers of any kind. "Hi guys..catching anything?" Yep, lots. "Are you aware that you can't use bait in this river?" Huh? "It's illegal to fish with bait in this river." No habla. "Do you habla Park Ranger?" No. "Okay, I'll get one for you." And I did. Bilingual signs aplenty.
Another day, same river, came upon a group of young guys fishing with salmon eggs... "Hi, how are you guys doing?" Ehh..sneering.. "are you guys aware that it's illegal to use bait in this stream?" Ehh, no habla. " Ok, guys, just trying to help. There's a ranger about 50 yards behind me, coming this way. He'll give you tickets and confiscate all your gear." Gee, thanks, mister! And they all took off running. No, there was no ranger.
I would have done the same thing as well. Sadly in my neck of woods, even if many of anglers have reported ongoing poachings, seldom we have heard that a fine has been issued to poachers. I have seen myself many people having a string of trout at a place designated for catch and release. Sometimes a whole family members were sitting at the trout stream with a bucket full of dead trout, and when I told them that it is for C and R, they usually blamed the lack of clear sign for their actions. Perhaps they were telling me the truth, but given that so many signs were added recently and still so many people are keeping fish, I am leaning toward the judgment that they may ignore the sign.
Many local fly angers now are so frustrated at the fact that few prompt action has been taken by whoever responsible for keeping the environment. And some of us are willing to drive 600 miles to San Juan river to catch fish.
When I was at the casino, I supervised a large crew including many Chinese guys. One fellow in particular was a very enthusiastic fisherman (you know the type ). He was always talking about the two of us going out fishing together.
As much as I liked this guy, I never considered it.
It's in their culture to keep everything they catch. C&R is an alien concept.
These were the nicest people in the world, but I knew that we wouldn't be able to come to an understanding about this.