Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

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Marc Martyn
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Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Marc Martyn » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:52 pm

I knew that poaching was going on at Lenore, but honestly, not to this magnitude.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/a ... -poachers/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I sent the following email to the WDFW Enforcement in Olympia and the Region 2 office in Ephrata. I urge everyone to contact their local news media and request that more news coverage of these violations be reported. The more that these criminals are highlighted, the more the public will be aware and they will know that they are being watched by all, not just sportsman. These criminal organizations must be stopped because they are destroying our natural resources.

Greetings,

First, I would like to congratulate you and commend you for the poaching arrests that you made at Lake Lenore and Banks Lake recently.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/a ... -poachers/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As a life long Washington resident and avid fisherman for 45 years, I was very disturbed to read about the magnitude of poaching that has been going on in the last several years. I have seen this "poaching community" violating our fishing regulations and laws on many occasions. When the opportunity was there I reported violators when I could. I must admit, I was not aware that operations like the recent ones you intervened in were of this size. This is clearly on the scale of an organization. Shocking. It indeed elevates the word "Poacher" to a different level.

Thinking about this incident today, I was upset and wondered what the average licensed and law abiding sportsman can do about these gross violations. Other than being vigilant and reporting any violations to the authorities, there really isn't anything else one can do. However, I do feel that the WDFW could make these violations, large and small, more visible to the general public. Even people that do not hunt or fish realize that it is the tax payers dollars that are invested into our natural resources and they must be protected.

I would like the WDFW to make a joint effort in publicizing these violations more often and in more detail. More media coverage of this would help in educating the public that these incidents are going on. I watched two local news broadcasts on TV in Spokane and this Lenore incident was not mentioned. Followup publications, including fines and convictions should also be made public. Just stating that arrests were made and equipment was seized really doesn't tell the public much. Did the offenders get prison time? How big of an organization is this? Where are they concentrating their efforts? Are they considered dangerous? These are questions and many more that the public want to know.

I understand that the WDFW enforcement officers are doing the best job that they can with the resources that they have. I and other sportsmen appreciate that. We are the extra eyes and ears for your department. With more public exposure, these criminal organizations have to know that the public is watching them. Not only licensed sportsman, but the public also. Use the media to spotlight them.

I have been fly fishing the lakes around Spokane for decades. I practice catch and release with barbless hooks. Within recent years, I have seen my catch records decline quite a bit. I have thought this through quite a bit and have come to the conclusion that poaching is playing a big part of it. Just in Amber and Medical Lakes, it seems that there are far fewer fish. I came to these results both by fish finder soundings and by the actual catching of fish. Many other fly fisherman agree with my finding also.

It is not solely the responsibility of the Fish and Wildlife Departments around this nation to protect our natural resources. The citizens must also be informed and participate.

Sincerely,

Marc Martyn
Spokane, WA

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natetreat
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by natetreat » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:04 pm

What are they doing with all these fish? Selling them?

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Marc Martyn
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Marc Martyn » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:18 pm

Nate, that is one of the questions that most people ask. They must be. That is why I would like to see more media coverage of this. It has to be a criminal organization making big money because they wouldn't be doing it just for fun.
Think stolen cars>>>chop shop>>>MONEY
Spokane is ranked at #4 in the nation for stolen cars.......

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by RiverRock » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:13 pm

That's a huge fish loss... If those Russian poachers knew how bad those alkaline cutts tasted they wouldn't of done it! They should be made to eat every one of the fish killed as their jail food!!!!

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Amx » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:29 am

Great that they got caught, finally, now to be sure they get prosecuted. That goes on at Banks in the Punch Bowl and lots of Largemouth get taken. Also in Potholes, and years ago the wildlife 'agent' didn't care because he hated bass.
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by AJ's Dad » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:54 am

Maybe these jokers are friends with the guys that were seen spear fishing at Tapps for tiger miskies. Those guys got reported and if I remember right, the wdfw didn't try to find them the last I recall. Even when the boat reg numbers were reported. Good to see they got these проигравшие !
That's Russian for LOSERS. I love google translate.

Spoken in teh voice of Boris from the Dudley Doright cartoon:
I tink maybe deez gise need bash on head and go to jail, then maybe they fish by rools!

[biggrin]

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natetreat
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by natetreat » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:06 am

And the guys that are selling these on the black market during the upcoming humpy season

Image

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by mallard83 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:37 am

natetreat wrote:And the guys that are selling these on the black market during the upcoming humpy season

Image
The most pathetic part about the guys that snag during humpy season is that they are to stupid to realize or care that they are easier to catch LEGALLY than stocker trout. The gamies should focus some efforts this coming season on the banks at 522 and around Thomas eddy/crab bar. Snagger galore around those spots. Tip to the gamies take some pontoons and put in at the Wallace hatchery and take out at sultan during the fall, you'll write more than a few tickets.

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by MarkFromSea » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:01 pm

AJ's Dad wrote:Maybe these jokers are friends with the guys that were seen spear fishing at Tapps for tiger miskies. Those guys got reported and if I remember right, the wdfw didn't try to find them the last I recall. Even when the boat reg numbers were reported. Good to see they got these проигравшие !
That's Russian for LOSERS. I love google translate.

Spoken in teh voice of Boris from the Dudley Doright cartoon:
I tink maybe deez gise need bash on head and go to jail, then maybe they fish by rools!

[biggrin]
I love the humor and message of this posting..... It's a tragic thing that so few ruin it for so many and if it wasn't for some humor, I'd have to cry....

Public flogging ought to be re-instituted just for these types of crimes.... I've often felt the penalties assessed by judges are far too low, rarely hitting the maximum allowed under state and federal game laws.....

Throw them to the lions in the arena and :thumbdown
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by G-Man » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:54 pm

It makes me ill to read about poaching of this magnitude. I try not to think about what goes on at night in my home waters. It's actions like this that wiped out the true cod fishery in Puget Sound.

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MarkFromSea
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by MarkFromSea » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:11 pm

G-Man wrote:It makes me ill to read about poaching of this magnitude. I try not to think about what goes on at night in my home waters. It's actions like this that wiped out the true cod fishery in Puget Sound.
North end of Bainbridge Island...... I heard stories it used to be real good!
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by G-Man » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:28 pm

MarkFromSea wrote:
G-Man wrote:It makes me ill to read about poaching of this magnitude. I try not to think about what goes on at night in my home waters. It's actions like this that wiped out the true cod fishery in Puget Sound.
North end of Bainbridge Island...... I heard stories it used to be real good!
Agate Pass/Port Madison area was the place we picked them up along with tom cod and pollock. Boy I miss that fishery!

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Bodofish » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:07 pm

Yeah, that was Geoduck poachers ruining the spawning beds outside of Agate. They sent a couple mill worth of the clams to Japan before they were caught. Just went out and raped the sea floor with pneumatic shovels wiped out the clams along with everything else that lived there. Broad daylight in front of god and everybody, hundreds of people watched and no one called it in. Now no more Cod in PS......
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Bustinbeats » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:07 am

I've seen guys poaching at Lenore before , called them in , and had the sheriff show up and give them a warning , in Spanish. They looked like "confused" meat fishermen who didn't "comprende" the closed area and tackle restrictions ...and couldn't read all the big signs saying "CLOSED AREA NO FISHING" . They were having a blast chucking nightcrawlers into those fish-filled ditches on the south end and gleefully yarding out big trout every few seconds , until Johnny Law rolled up . I'm not sure how they avoided tickets, but the LEO merely shooed them away , without even checking licenses or anything. It was a bit of a head-shaker for me .

I can remember being camped there years ago with a couple of buddies and one of our party just HAD to keep a big Cutt and BBQ it for dinner. We tried to talk him out of it, but no go. Even properly cleaned, nicely seasoned, and cooked to perfection, that fish tasted like pure DIRT. We had fun watching our buddy try to eat a chunk of it, and he gave it a valiant effort, being a sportsman and all. Call it a learning experience for a transplanted southern boy who grew up eatin' just about everything that came to net !

Unless something has dramatically changed, those Lenore fish are much better for sport than for food. Maybe those Russian guys had some pickled fish recipe that the figured would overpower the mud flavor ....but I suspect they were just ignorant , in addition to being dishonest.
Take what fish you can use, but use what fish you take !

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Marc Martyn » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:39 pm

I just received a reply from Chris Anderson at WDFW. It is clear that the penalties and fines have to be revised.

First, I would like to thank you for taking the time and making the effort to let us know your thoughts. We appreciate it. Your assumption that we all need to work together to address incidents like these is correct. We alone simply don’t have the staffing to be everywhere at once at all times of the day and night. Citizens reporting offenses and suspicious circumstances to us helps us to prioritize where we deploy our limited resources. As far as publicizing, we did that with eastside newspapers. As far as television, they need something more visual than a still photograph before they are interested in covering something like this. As far as penalties these individuals are likely to suffer, it definitely won’t include any prison time. Two of the crimes are classified as misdemeanors and the other two gross misdemeanors. Fishing closed waters and fishing without a license are classified as misdemeanors. These carry a maximum penalty of up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. The other crimes, such as possessing or retaining two times or more than the bag limit or possession limit of fish allowed and illegally using nets are classified as gross misdemeanors. They carry a maximum penalty of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
As you may or may not know, misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors crimes are handled in local county district courts. Judges have discretion about what kind of fine, if any, and how many days of jail, if any, to impose for a crime. Judges do not have a minimum/maximum table for misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors crimes, except in cases of DUI. Instead, judges normally impose what they think is fair. Every judge is different, and they often impose different sentences for the same crime, depending on the defendant’s criminal history and the judge’s familiarity with the case.

This is certainly not the first time we have caught individuals taking fish from this trap. It occurs every year in March and April. We try to prioritize working the trap with focused, directed patrols. In this case, 242 fish is a lot of fish. Were these fish destined for some commercial market? Most likely, but we don’t know for sure.

Again I appreciate you taking the time to provide me with your thoughts and we look forward to your continued support.


Captain Chris Anderson
WA Department of Fish and Wildlife
Law Enforcement Program
( 509-754-4624 Ext 218
Cell: 509-750-9771
*Chris.Anderson@dfw.wa.gov

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Marc Martyn
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Marc Martyn » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:12 pm

I just contacted the WSP and asked about reporting poaching. If you witness poaching in progress, you can call 911. They will report it to the closest law enforcement office, WSP, Sheriff, Police, etc.. All law enforcement agencies will respond and remain there until WDFW arrives.
For other poaching circumstances, you can call 1-877-933-9847

Poaching today is not what it was in our grandparents day, where Grandpa caught 1-2 fish over his limit. Nation-wide it has become a big money black market operation. I think this is evident with the latest Lenore bust.

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by G-Man » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:50 pm

They are keeping the truck and all the gear inside it though?
As for the taste of the fish out of Lenore. I've never kept one so I can't say for sure but typically the trout found in shallow lakes lose their mud flavor once the waters stay cold for an extended period of time. Might be why the officer mentioned that this has happened before in March and April. And if you call 911 to report a violation in progress be prepared to be blown off. I called to report out of season crabbing and was told that since there was no boat in the area, that they weren't able to respond or investigate, even though I was providing them with plenty of data.

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by Bodofish » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:05 pm

Lenore is an alkali lake. Although they are not natives the Laotian Cutts are the only Trout that can live in the environment. The plants came from a similar lake somewhere in the state, can't remember off the top. On the next time by look at the white deposits left when the water recedes.
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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by zen leecher » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:16 pm

The trout are Pyramid Lake stock.

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Re: Officers seize 242 trout, arrest suspected poachers

Post by hewesfisher » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:15 am

I believe they are Lahontan cutts, not Laotion. [wink]
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