The New York Department of Environmental Conservation took down a pretty massive poaching scheme pretty recently, after cracking down on some poachers who were caught cast-netting fish from a popular creek in the area, and stuffing them in their bookbags.
And I’m not talking a couple of illegally caught fish…
I’m talking about 71 fish that were split between four poachers’ bookbags.
This wracked up to be a whopping 200 pounds of fish total, including 21 trophy-sized smallmouth bass and a brown trout, and dozens of suckers and carp.
The NYDEC said in a Facebook post:
“On June 8, four anglers reached agreements with the Perrysburg Town Justice to pay penalties related to fishing violations in Cattaraugus County at the end of May. It’s an update to a case we brought you in last week’s ‘ECOs on Patrol.’
On May 23, ECO Damrath received a call from a local business owner in the town of Perrysburg reporting four men using cast nets to take fish from Cattaraugus Creek, also known as “The Catt,” one of the most popular and productive freshwater fishing destinations in New York State.
Officer Damrath, about an hour away from the location, contacted ECO Mead for assistance. Both Officers searched the area and observed four men emerging from the Cattaraugus gorge, each struggling to carry large, waterproof, survival-style backpacks and cast nets.
ECOs Damrath and Mead counted a total of 71 unlawfully taken fish, including 21 trophy-sized smallmouth bass, a brown trout, suckers, and carp. Smallmouth bass are currently spawning in water bodies around the state. They issued 13 tickets for charges including taking fish by means other than angling, taking fish out of season, and unlawfully possessing protected fish.
The men reached agreements in court to pay $1,000 each for their violations of the Environmental Conservation Law.”
13 charges and a $1,000 fine a piece… I’d say that’s a pretty bad day right there.
You know what they say, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.