Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 27, 2018
Northwest Zone– Captain Laura Petreikis
In Winnebago County, CPO Alt inspected boats and fishermen on Pierce Lake in Rock Cut State Park. Violations documented included: unlawful operation of a motorboat without a fire extinguisher, unlawful operation of a motorboat without a sounding device, unlawful operation of a watercraft without a certificate of number in possession, and unlawful operation of a motorboat without lanyard when equipped for such use.
In Winnebago County, CPO Alt testified in court regarding a charge issued to a Winnebago County man for unlawful taking of furbearing mammal (raccoon) during the closed season by pit bulls. The judge ruled the defendant not guilty due to the fact she did not feel the defendant intentionally allowed his pit bulls to attack and maul the raccoon in question.
In Fulton County, CPOs Lazzell, Thompson, and Elliott worked a detail at Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area. CPO Lazzell located a bucket containing unlawfully taken protected bass in the bed of a truck at Bells Landing Access. The CPOs conducted surveillance and observed two subjects return to the truck. A sport fishing compliance check was conducted, and the two men were found to have unlawfully taken 11 largemouth bass (limit three). All the fish in their possession were in the protected slot limit, and all 11 bass were seized as a result. One of the men was in possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The CPOs also discovered that one of the men had falsified his identity because he provided a fishing license that was issued to his roommate. The CPOs conducted a consent search of the truck and located a wallet disclosing the man’s identity. The man said he lied about his name to elude a fishing license ticket. Citations were issued for unlawful take of protected largemouth bass, fishing without a valid fishing license, and unlawful possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The men received several written warnings for additional counts of unlawful take.
In Fulton County, CPO Thompson interviewed a Canton man suspected of deer permit violations. The man admitted to unlawful take of a white-tailed buck without a permit, failure to tag immediately upon kill, and failure to report harvest by 10 p.m. The man was issued three citations and several written warnings for the violations.
In Macoupin County, CPO Gushleff conducted a compliance check on a subject fishing at Beaver Dam State Park. When asked for his fishing license, he stated he had a license; but he did not have it on his person. A check of the POS system showed that he did have a fishing license; however, further investigation showed he also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The man was arrested and transported to the Macoupin County Jail. He was also issued a written warning for not having the fishing license in his possession.
In Rock Island County, A fatal boat accident occurred on the Rock River at the Steel Dam. An adult female and three children were in a canoe watching a water ski show above the Dam. The fast-moving current caught their canoe and carried them toward the Dam. The canoe and its occupants were swept over the Steel Dam and into the backwash. Two of the subjects were ejected from the Dam. The adult female and one juvenile became trapped in the backwash. While trapped in the backwash, the juvenile went missing. Due to the rescue efforts of several agencies, the adult female subject was rescued. Searches were conducted for the missing juvenile every day until she was recovered. The accident remains under investigation.
Northeast Zone – Capt. Brett Scroggins
In McHenry County, CPO Kelley and Sgt. Schreiber responded to a call regarding an individual trapping skunks. When asked why he left the skunk in the trap for more than one calendar day, the man allegedly told the animal control officer that “it just won’t die.” The man was cited for the trapping and given the name of the local wildlife biologist for more effective alternatives.
In Kankakee County, While off duty, CPO Farber observed several children having a great time blue gill fishing during the spawn. He also observed two adult males position themselves near the children and throw a cast net into the park pond several times. The men were observed netting blue gill off of the beds and unlawfully kept two buckets of fish. CPO Farber asked the men, “is netting bluegill legal?” The violators advised him, “don’t worry about what we are doing.” He contacted the St. Anne Police Department for assistance, and an officer arrived on scene and spoke with the violators. Both men were unable to produce a valid sport fishing license. Appropriate enforcement action is pending.
In Kankakee County, while checking fishermen at Kankakee River State Park, CPO Bergland came across three out-of-state individuals. Two individuals were fishing, and one was sitting in front of a broken cooler containing empty and full bottles of beer (alcohol is not allowed at the Park). A compliance check was conducted, and the two fishermen did not have fishing licenses. When advised they would be getting citations, one of the fishermen complained that when he has been caught without a fishing license for the first time in other states, he has received a warning. CPO Bergland informed him that if he had gotten a warning in other states, he should know that a fishing license is usually required when fishing; and he should have gotten a license.
In Cook County, CPO Ausmus conducted fish enforcement at Douglas Park Lagoon. A written warning was issued for fishing without a license. One angler presented a disabled ID card that he believed made him exempt from the license requirement, but the ID card did not have either a 2 or 2A type disability as required for the exemption. The angler was educated and provided with a 2018 Fishing Digest.
In Cook County, while checking anglers at a group of quarries, CPO Ausmus encountered two bass fishermen down on a rocky ledge; and he noticed drug paraphernalia in plain view. A compliance check was conducted, and he asked which angler owned the paraphernalia. One subject was issued a civil citation for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
South Zone – Capt. Jim Mayes
In Randolph County, CPO Sievers responded to a 911 call that was dispatched by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office regarding two men that were swimming at the Randolph County Recreation Area’s dam. One of the men went over and into the concrete overflow, falling over ten feet to the concrete bottom. The subject was recovered from the overflow by members of the Chester Fire Department, and he was taken to the Chester Hospital. The two men were issued citations for unlawfully swimming.
In Franklin County, While on patrol at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area, CPO Roper observed a boat coming into the boat launch no wake zone at a high rate of speed. He conducted a boat safety inspection and found three adults and four children onboard. One of the children in the boat was wearing a swim vest that was not Coast Guard approved, and an infant child was not wearing a required lifejacket. There were not enough lifejackets onboard the boat for the three adults, and he discovered several other safety equipment violations. The operator of the boat was issued citations for children under 13 not wearing a required lifejacket and for the insufficient number of adult lifejackets. Several written warnings were also issued for the no wake violation and safety equipment violations. The subject was given a mandatory court date in Franklin County court.
In Hardin County, CPO Schoenhoff received a TIP complaint regarding an untagged commercial fishing net that was left on private property in the backwaters of the Ohio River after the water had receded. The gill net contained several dead fish and a predatory bird. A witness provided a written statement describing the subject they saw putting the gill net in the backwaters. An interview of the subject lead to five citations being issued for the following violations: commercial fishing outside designated waters; commercial fishing on private property without permission; failure to check the gill net every 24 hours; unlawful take of a predatory bird; and failure to tag the gill net with name and address. A written warning was issued for no sport fishing license.
In Jefferson County, CPO Lay closed out an investigation from July 2017 regarding the improper use/endorsement of a boat title. The Jefferson County woman was found guilty for improper use of a title/registration. The boat’s prior owner was given six months conditional discharge and ordered to pay a fine of $565.
In Jefferson County, Sgt. Cariens and CPO Williams received information about two individuals camping in an illegal campsite at Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area. This information was obtained from a man who was in custody at the Jefferson County Jail because of an incident at that location the night prior. The campsite was located and dismantled. The man was cited for camping outside a designated area and for having a fire outside a designated area. The camping equipment was delivered to the man’s girlfriend, and she was also cited for the violations.
In Crawford County, While on patrol, CPO Roper observed two subjects fishing at the Hutsonville Boat Dock on the Wabash River. A compliance check was conducted, and neither subject had a fishing license. Each subject was issued a citation for fishing with no valid fishing license. In a separate incident, CPO Roper observed a vehicle pulled to the side of the road with its hazard lights activated. He activated his emergency lights and pulled behind the vehicle to see if the driver needed assistance. The driver of the vehicle had struck a deer, and the vehicle was not drivable. After checking the driver’s information, it was discovered the subject had two arrest warrants in separate counties for meth charges. The subject was arrested and taken to the Crawford County Jail.
In Jasper County, While conducting a taxidermy inspection, CPO Roper observed a ten-point white-tailed buck rack from the 2017 firearms deer season in the taxidermy shop. The permit used to record the harvest of the buck was a landowner tag of a local resident in Jasper County. The deer’s harvest information did not match the name on the landowner permit according to the taxidermist’s records. Additional information was collected, and he conducted an interview with the subject on the taxidermist’s records. After a brief conversation with the subject, it was determined he had harvested the deer during the 2017 firearm deer season and recorded the harvest on another person’s landowner permit. The subject did not possess any firearm deer permits for the 2017 firearm season. The subject was charged with unlawful take of white-tailed deer and hunting with no valid firearm permit. The ten-point rack was seized as evidence.
In Marion County, Sgt. Hyatt received a complaint about a reptile exhibitor. The subject in the complaint has been doing reptile shows in Illinois but is a Missouri resident. The complaint stated the subject had been bringing a live alligator to his shows but did not possess the required permits for the alligator. Along with the possession of the alligator, the subject was reported to have been letting children hold the alligator and large snakes of the Boidae family without maintaining physical control over the animals. CPO Roper attended the reptile program and found that the subject did possess a live American alligator. During the program, the exhibitor allowed several children and adults to hold the alligator. The alligator had no banding or tape around its mouth; and at times, the subject had no physical contact with the alligator when a child was holding it. The exhibitor also possessed an albino reticulated python that was approximately eight feet in length. While the possession of the snake is not unlawful, the exhibitor did allow children to hold the snake when he had no physical contact with it as required. CPO Tapley conducted a traffic stop of the reptile exhibitor’s vehicle after he left the venue. CPOs Tapley and Roper informed the subject why he was stopped, and they seized the alligator for evidence. He was charged with unlawful possession of an American alligator, failure to maintain physical control of an alligator during an exhibit (mouth banded), and failure to maintain physical control of a python during exhibit (not holding at least head while children held the snake).