New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 15, 2022
From June 2 to 5, members of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement drone team, along with New York State Police and the Town of Colonie Police Department, presented at the 2022 New York State Technical Rescue Conference at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. ECOs presented on the critical role of drones during investigations. ECOs demonstrated scenario-based and hands-on drone training, ranging from hazmat responses and emergency operations, to structural collapse situations and flooded environments. This is the first time drones were a topic of discussion at the conference.
Illegal Charter Boat
On June 5, ECOs Currey and Michalet followed up on complaints about an unlicensed party boat operating out of the Bronx and observed the suspected vessel captain operating an illegal fishing trip with three fares on board. DEC contacted the U.S. Coast Guard at Kings Point to assist with the response. A search of the boat resulted in the captain admitting he unlawfully received payments for fishing trips. The Officers ticketed the subject for operation of an unlicensed party/charter boat, returnable to Bronx Criminal Court; the U.S. Coast Guard also issued a citation. Unlicensed charters often lack the proper license exams and inspections that ensure passengers and crew members are safe.
On June 8, ECO Pasciak responded to a radio call for a vessel in distress on the Great Sacandaga Lake. The vessel, occupied by a mother and her two children, began taking on water for unknown reasons. ECO Pasciak rushed to his patrol vessel and joined the response with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Broadalbin Fire Department, Edinburg Fire Department, and Fulton County Office of Emergency Management. As ECO Pasciak arrived on scene, a good samaritan came to aid the sinking vessel and started towing it back to shore. Officer Pasciak and his patrol vessel took over and brought the passengers safely back to shore.
Raccoon Goes to a Pet Store
(Erie and Wyoming Counties)
On June 2, ECO Damrath received an urgent call from the Erie County Department of Health requesting assistance locating a potentially rabid raccoon. Raccoons are a rabies vector species and therefore considered a dangerous wild animal in New York State. According to the county, a man and his girlfriend took the animal to a pet store to get food and supplies, and one of the store’s employees contacted authorities. Using store surveillance cameras, a store-issued rewards card, and license plate information, ECO Damrath tracked down the raccoon’s owner to Attica in Wyoming County and convinced the subject to turn over the raccoon. ECO Damrath transported the animal to a veterinary hospital for testing. Damrath charged two individuals for unlawfully possessing the raccoon and the owners each face a $500 fine. Rabies test results for the raccoon were negative. DEC urges the public to leave wild animals alone.
Rescued Gosling in Argyle Lake
On June 16, Region 1 Dispatch notified ECO Dickson of a bird in Argyle Lake with a fishing lure stuck in its beak. Officer Dickson responded and located an injured gosling swimming near the shore by a bridge. ECO Dickson contacted Wildlife Rehabilitator Bobby Horvath to assist with the rescue. Together, Officer Dickson and the Wildlife Rehabilitator caught the baby goose, clipped the hook, and released the gosling back into Argyle Lake.
Outdoors Day at North-South Lake Campground (Greene County)
On June 11, Lt. Glorioso and ECOs Palmateer and Doig attended and assisted DEC’s bureaus of Wildlife and Fisheries at the “Get Outdoors and Get Together Day” at North-South Lake Campground and Day Use Area in the town of Hunter. The family-friendly event encouraged people to get outside and enjoy outdoor recreational activities, including fishing, archery, and hiking. The Officers assisted attendees with fishing techniques, provided archery range safety, and answered questions.
That’s a Short Charter
On June 17, ECOs Dickson, Kochanowski, and Cacciola conducted a marine fishing enforcement on the waters of Hempstead Bay in Nassau County. During their patrol, the Officers checked vessels for required safety gear and inspected fish on board to ensure all anglers were following State fishing guidelines. The ECOs discovered 10 undersized fluke on two different boats and issued tickets for possessing fluke under the legal limit of 18.5 inches, as well as a summons for failure to have a valid distress signal. All violations are returnable to Nassau County District Court.
Nothing But Net
During that same patrol on the Hudson River in Greene and Columbia counties, Lieutenant Glorioso and ECOs Smith and Palmateer observed a small boat operated by two subjects in a popular fishing location, while two other individuals fished from the shore. The Officers noticed the pair on the boat tending a gill net, which is a violation. Lt. Glorioso operated the boat while ECOs Smith and Palmateer went ashore. The Officers located multiple buckets and stringers holding several different species of fish including carp, catfish, pumpkinseed, Atlantic menhaden, herring, gizzard shad, and smallmouth bass. The Officers issued seven tickets to the subjects for the illegal use of a gill net, fishing without freshwater fishing licenses, fishing without marine registries, possession of undersized smallmouth bass, and insufficient Personal Floating Devices aboard the vessel.
(New York County)
The owners of a New York City store, accused of making and selling fur from a threatened and endangered species, paid fines recently following an undercover investigation. In September 2021, Investigator Harvey received a complaint that a store in Manhattan was selling fur coats made from Canada lynx. The Investigator set up a private meeting with store employees and even went through a series of fittings and consultations with the assistance of ECO Brussel before all parties agreed on a custom fur coat and price of $2,600. Once the Officer received an invoice for the coat, they identified themselves and seized 11 Canada lynx pelts. The owners of the store agreed to sign a consent order and paid $5,500 in fines.