It was timely research that led to the downfall to the owner of this net. I had been rowing in my 18 foot dory. It was slow going but that’s what made it so deadly to this illegal netter. I had just come around a huge eddy when I saw about 15 illegal netters scouring waters that were not supposed to be fished. Their boats were big and powerful. Some of them had 90 horsepower twin engines on them and all of the captains ignored me and my tiny little boat; that is, until I took out my camera and started snapping off photographs. It was comical and sad at the same time. All of them started over their engines bolting out from there faster than cockroaches when lights are turned on. The owner of this huge net, 1800 feet of it, had so much net in the water that he felt compelled to abandon this huge section before authorities could get to him. I fixed that problem with a cell-phone call, boat descriptions, and many photos of the netting marauders.
Happily I turned over copies of my photos and gave great detail to a Game Warden, Sheriff, City Police, State Patrolmen, Department of the Interior, and the Coast Guard (who came of their own accord when they heard over the radio that there was a major poaching bust).
Technology being what it is we all have weapons to combat those who make it harder on all of us. We don’t have to take it, none of us should. Don’t you think life is hard enough without a few jerks making it difficult for honest anglers?
One of the ironic things about the net, and all others, is that legal nets have to be registered with the area it’s meant to fish. All the police had to do in this case was look at the serial numbers on the buoys and go to his house to wait. It was that simple.
Keep unscrupulous Commercial and Tribal netters on their
toes. Though there aren’t that many offenders, huge portions of
poaching fish totals can reach into many thousands, and millions, of
illegally caught salmon, trout, and steelhead per offense, which is
actually done by “some” Tribal and Commercial rogue netters.
In some cases, which I have personally seen, these illegal netters will
gut female fish and throw their dead bodies back into the water in an
effort to hide the carcasses. Illegally captured male Salmon, Steelhead,
and Trout are summarily killed and thrown them back into the water or
simply toss them onto the beach. They do this so they don’t catch
the same fish twice. It is a massive problem and a monumental waste
of natural resources.
Timothy Kusherets (Author/Outdoorsman Advocate)
© Timothy Kusherets, 2004/09
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