Possession of dip net caught fish while waiting to retrieve boat
I just got to thinking about what would the F&G think or do if I was checked while I'm sitting alone in my boat in the river waiting to load with 2 or 3 families worth of fish that were caught that day.
Just to set the scene, every year we go dip netting with multiple families that we go to church with and, since we filet our fish on the boat we try to have at least 5 and sometimes 6 people aboard to net and process fish. Whatever we catch that period, we split up between the group according to the captains (mine) opinion of what is fair and then all the fish are recorded before we leave the dip net area. Once we leave the dip net area and move to the dock, usually everyone but me will get off the boat, while somebody in the party gets the truck/trailer and gets in line. People get off the boat because they need a bathroom break, stretch their legs and generally warm up/dry out or whatever but everyone that has fish on the boat stays in the parking lot with the truck/trailer until the boat is loaded. Also, I keep the dip net cards with the recorded fish on the boat with me. If the wait is really long, I anchor up in the river and either finishing filleting fish or clean up or just hang out. I only leave the dock because there usually isn't room to tie up.
The issue of course is that now I'm sitting in a boat with fish that may not even be mine, because they were all recorded by someone else in the group. I have their dip net permit and I have the fish but that's it.
I've looked through all the regulations and I've looked at the transfer of possession form and I don't see anything pertaining to personal use fish. The transfer of possession form seems to say it is for sport-caught fish. Maybe I should have everybody fill out a form just in case? Or make them stay on the boat? Seems like a pain but it would be a bigger pain to get a huge fine.
Tried to call in to the F&G but they are closed. What do you all think?
The regs do not cover all the possible scenarios, even if each person had their own fish in their own cooler on your boat and wrote their name on the fish in permanent marker, before they went to shore to relieve themselves and you had all their permits. Nobody thought of that when the regs were written, or if they did, they didn't think it was important.
Ha! After the arguments, name calling, and general bad mojo over the discussion about the legal/illegal practice of "boat limit", you will have to use your best judgment.
Bottom line, whether legal or no: Troopers are going to use their own, personal discretion whether or not to jack you up for anything.
I agree. If everyone stays close and you are polite with the trooper I see no reason you would get fined. If you do, I personally think we have a major problem.
Originally Posted by gr8fl
One impression I've gotten about the troopers is that they don't play.
Of course that's all from this site.
As long as it wasn't a situation where they left the area (I wouldn't have them go to town for dinner or get a head start driving home while you are waiting to pull the boat out) and you didn't give the trooper a specific reason to nitpick things, I wouldn't expect you to have a problem at least as far as the number of fish. The one thing that you are more likely to have problems with is the "boat limit" method you explained above. Technically, each person must catch their own fish, not just split up the total catch between the various permits.