New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 20, 2022
On the morning of April 15, Lieutenant Higgins and ECO Brassard patrolled a small trout pond in Queensbury and discovered several anglers catching freshly stocked trout without incident. However, some anglers also possessed out-of-season chain pickerel. In addition, two fishermen had failed to buy a fishing license, resulting in tickets to the offenders. Later that afternoon, ECO Lapoint patrolled stocked streams in Lake George and located two anglers, one of whom exceeded the limit of trout he could legally catch and the other who did not have a valid fishing license. ECO Lapoint issued tickets to both anglers and educated the pair about daily limits and how purchasing a fishing license supports fish stocking in New York State. Later that night, Lt. Higgins and ECO Lapoint teamed up to check on the spawning smelt in the tributaries of Lake George. It is illegal to fish for or possess smelt during the spawning period. While patrolling one of the tributaries in the town of Hague, the Officers located a truck parked next to the brook and noticed a flashlight shining on the water. The ECOs quickly apprehended the violators in possession of a net and a bucket of smelt and issued tickets for taking smelt during the closed season.
Hudson River Patrol
On April 17, ECOs Johnson and Walraven conducted a boat patrol of the Hudson River and its tributaries for the start of the striped bass fishing season. The DLE Zodiac vessel used on the Hudson River is able to easily maneuver the shallow tributaries and shorelines.
Hunting Related Shooting Incident (Franklin County)
A man who shot a firearm in Franklin County, sending a bullet into a house, recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges and paid a penalty. In November 2020, ECO Okonuk received reports from New York State Police that a house on Cold Springs Road in the town of Bombay had been struck by a bullet that passed through several walls before stopping in a closet. A witness reported seeing hunters in the area on the day of the shooting, but could not identify the individuals. Officer Okonuk patrolled the area and conducted multiple interviews before a suspect was identified. The ECO questioned the accused shooter who explained that he shot at a deer and unintentionally hit the house. The hunter was arrested a few months later. After his guilty plea, the subject paid more than $5,000 in restitution to the landowner for damages to the house. ECOs will also revoke his hunting license.
Striped Bass Detail
On April 16, ECOs Della Rocco, Pabes, Paschke, Perkins, Small, and DeRose, with K9 Cramer, conducted a night-time striped bass enforcement detail in Nassau County. Conditions for striped bass fishing were ideal that night with high tide scheduled for midnight, as well as a full moon. The ECOs split into teams starting at 11 p.m. and ending at 3 a.m., and set out to cover Roslyn, Manhasset Bay, and Centre Island. The Officers issued tickets in the three locations. In total, Officers seized 37 illegal striped bass amounting to 23 tickets issued for violations ranging from possession of undersized fish, over-the-limit fish, use of prohibited hooks, and failure to carry a marine registry. K9 Cramer also located two bags of illegal fish hidden by anglers. Seized fish that could not be returned to the water safely were donated to local animal rehabilitators.
Recovered and Released
On April 3, ECO Boyes received a call about an injured hawk along a roadway in the hamlet of Cutchogue. The broad-winged hawk appeared to have been struck by a car and was unable to fly or see due to its injuries. Officer Boyes took the animal to the Save the Animals Rescue (STAR) Foundation, a wildlife rehabilitator, where members nursed the hawk back to health. By April 12, the animal was ready to fly back into the wild. ECOs Boyes and McCabe took the hawk to a nearby field and released the bird without issue.
Undersized Striped Bass
On April 15, while patrolling Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve on the North Shore of Long Island, ECOs Dickson and Kauhferr observed several headlamps along the beach. The Officers waited in the area until one of the groups fishing off the far end of the beach returned to the parking lot. The ECOs approached two of the anglers and one tried to hide a bag underneath a car. The Officers inspected the bag and found two undersized striped bass inside. The ECOs ticketed the anglers for possession of over-the-limit striped bass and possessing undersized striped bass.
Bagged Black Bass
On April 13, ECOs received a report about anglers catching and keeping black bass at Hempstead Lake State Park on Long Island in violation of a State regulation allowing for the catch and release of the freshwater fish. ECO Pabes responded to the complaint and located two subjects. Neither of the anglers possessed a freshwater fishing license and both eventually admitted to catching and keeping three black bass, which Officer Pabes found in a shopping bag. The ECO issued tickets to the anglers for freshwater fishing without a license and possessing fish during the closed season, returnable to Nassau First District Court. ECO Pabes seized the three fish and donated them to a wildlife rehabilitator to feed birds of prey.