Surprising Poacher report

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Tony, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. A friend and I fished an eastside lake on Tues. the water temps are still very low, under 70 and the fish were in great shape and very willing so we had a great time but this isn't about the fishing really, its about poachers. We were fishing the east end of the lake where a small creek enters when 3 guys of Hispanic decent came walking over the hill and waded over to the creek mouth and started fishing, no rods just a spool of line, a large sinker and bait, at first it looked like they were using lures but this was not the case. My friend wanted to call F&W but we really hadn't seen any wrong doing for sure so we held off but after awhile, it became evident that yes they were poachers no doubt, these guys were hauling the fish in one after another laughing and having the best time as they threw the fish onto the bank cleaned them and then continued to fish, after seeing this happen about eight times I would guess I kicked over behind an island and dialed 911, I let the operator know it was a non emergency relating to poaching, she transferred me over to the State Patrol who took my information including my name and number and told me the report would be passed on to F&W OK great I thought thats the end of that, another report and nothing will happen. I continued to fish when my phone rang, it was a F&W Officer, man was I surprised, I got a response but this wasn't the end of it the surprises were to continue. After taking my report the Officer told me they were on their way and would arrive within a half hour, wow response and action I almost fell out of my tube, meanwhile the 3 guys were still fishing away, I received another call this time from a different F&W Officer requesting more details, which I gave and was informed the responding Officers were soon to arrive, the poachers were still poaching away, yet another call from F&W, asking me to call them if the poachers started leaving or if there were any changes, meanwhile yep you guessed it, the poaching continued. I'm looking down the lake and I see a group of guys arrive I think well here we go F&W time but no it was the second shift of poachers clocking in, 3 different guys were taking the place of the 3 original guys, just then my phone rings again yes its F&W they have arrived and were unlocking the gate to drive down to the lake, I let them know that the first poachers were on their way out and that 3 others had taken over where the others had left off, well my phone lost reception at this point so I missed the next call but later I received a v-mail that said they had caught the first group of poachers written tickets and were on their way down to the second group. We weren't aware of any of this but by this time had decided it would probably be a good idea to leave so as we headed for the put in I saw the second group of guys leaving, as they started up the hill I saw them stop and then rapidly change direction heading off into scrub, we got out and just as we crest the little hill there, I look over and here come 2 quite large F&W Officers and the other 3 guys, can you say busted, we never got a chance to talk the Officers they were busy and we were leaving but for sure tickets were written and at least 6 guys hopefully will stay away from this lake at least, kudos to F&W and a lesson learned for me and hopefully for anyone reading this, if you see it report it, something will happen maybe your experience won't be quite like ours but I think something will happen.
  2. Tony, this is fantastic. I'm sure others will agree and a few will say that it is too little too late, but I for one applaud your efforts and the job well done by the enforcement officers. Tony's taking down poachers a half dozen at a time. Too bad they only had spools to confiscate, that could have been a nice gear haul if they would have lost rods and rigs.
  3. I still think that they have to make poaching hurt. HEAVY fines for poaching and penalties for each fish.

    Ya done good Tony.

  4. Kudos to you and the WDFW officers, Tony.:thumb: This report makes my day. I'll be grinning ear to ear:D all day just thinking about how bummed out those poachers are now. I hope they get the message. The water has eyes.
  5. Perfect example of the part "you and I" play in this. Well done. And thanks for the first interesting thread in SW in quite a while (bummer it had to be about poaching). :beer2:
  6. Most excellent job by you and F&W.
  7. Great job!

    Yesterday my wife and I were fishing the lower section of a local creek that is C&R only. as we were lining up our rods I noticed some bait fishermen across the way keeping a fish. Just then my wife hooked up on a 12" or so blackmouth, and a moment later another one. I called Fish and Game and was assured they were sending someone out. The person on the phone was professional and confirmed that the creek was indeed C&R, but really became interested when I told her they were retaining juvenile blackmouth.

    As we didn't want to hassle the blackmouth we left then and on the way out informed some of the bait chuckers that they were not catching trout but juvenile salmon and that it was catch and release. They became mute but kept fishing. Talk about ruining a morning for me. I hope the bastards hang.

    We then drove higher up the creek where we knew there were cutties only to see that the stream was fouled by e-coli and fecal coloform. So much for urban fishing...

    Kudus to you Tony. And for providing us a play by play "how to" for what to do in this situation.

    It's almost uplifting that actual law enforcement occurred in this case ... as I was reading I was entirely expecting the punchline to be that the law never showed up. So, yes, this is a surprising report. thanks again.
  9. Excellent! Great job to you and WDFW... Wish more people would get caught in the act while poaching.

    I also agree that fines need to be way heavier, for poaching. It won't stop if all poachers get is a slap on the wrist.

  10. Tony,
    Thanks for calling the law and for posting on the forum. Your example will help encourage us all to call in the tweekers when we witness lawlessness. The fish poachers steal are our fish, bought and paid for. If we'll realize that, we'll call in too.
  11. Well done mate.

    After calling in numerous violations myself, I know the feeling of a job well done.

    Keep at it, they'll be back (perhaps the 3rd or 4th shift -- yes, they're relentless,
    as you well know RFSG :)
  12. Good job! I wonder if these guys will actually pay their fines. If they are illegals no one is really sure of their identities.
  13. nice job catching them.

    I think in addition to the fine, some other punishment should be added...
    something like public flogging at a boat launch with a 15' spey rod.:D
  14. Great Job Tony!
    With all of the not so positive stuff happening with our "systems" these days, it is really nice to hear a success story!!

    Keep up the good work! Be Safe!

  15. I can't wait until those poachers tell there friends..... :beer1:
  16. Hi all. Long time lurker here, who just signed up to say: right on, Tony! Justice done! I'm a stickler for the rules because I've seen what can happen when enforcement is lax. Long story, but let's just say that some third-world countries have Jungles, but NO animals.

    The WDFW incident report hotline is : (800) 477-6224. So you don't have to call 911. I actually keep the number in my phone. For reporting of incidents that are not time-sensitive, like derelict poacher nets, etc., you can fill out the online form, at

    Thanks for all the fishing wisdom and keep protecting our resources!
  17. It is actually better to call 911 because the WDFW incident number is only manned Mon-Fri 8-5 and excluding holidays. When you call 911 just state exactly what he said, "non-emergency fish/wildlife poaching" the 911 operator will transfer you to the Washington State Patrol dispatch for the area. You then talk to the State Patrol dispatchers and give them all the info, WDFW Officers are dispatched by the state patrol so that is why you call them. I have had many WDFW Officers tell me that they'd rather have people call 911 or State Patrol then the WDFW number because 911/State Patrol is 24/7 365 days a year and WDFW is only during normal business hours.
  18. +1 on bigman's assertion.

    in addition, if you have direct cell numbers, they'd prefer that over 911. if not that, then of course, NE-911.
  19. I bow to the bigman wisdom. From the WDFW website:

    "Weekends, holidays, and after hours
    To report in-process violations on weekends, holidays, and after hours, call your local State Patrol office. Reports are confidential and are forwarded to a Fish and Wildlife Officer for investigation."
  20. Great job Tony! You and your white haired buddy made a lot of us happy. And I hope the word gets around to the other poachers that if they continue...they're next!! :mad:

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