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Thread: Another interesting scenario

  1. #1
    Member stewjacobson's Avatar
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    Default Another interesting scenario

    While fishing the Kenai this year, my cousin and I discussed foul vs clean hooked fish. AK game rangers were at Bings citing foul hookers. Several folks were ticketed with $135 a pop. So here is the scenario. You clean hook a beautiful chromer and decide to take it home. Unfortunately this beauty has one or two hook marks, one behind the gill plate and one under the throat, which you notice, but since you are legal you decide to keep it. A ranger comes up to you and notices the foul hook marks and cites you for foul hooking. You protest that it was clean, as the ranger did not actually see the landing and hook removal, but she says she can tell it was foul hooked, and the citation sticks. This actually happened at Bings! Later that day I ran into an AK ranger who was peering at the fisherfolks with binos. I proposed the question to him as to how can I protect myself in this situation. He replied that if he did not actually see the hooking he will not write the citation. I told him that one lady ranger did that in the afternoon, he shrugged. He said that AKGF are not the bad guys, they want to be more research and that the Highway Patrol are the enforcers. NOW HERE'S THE KICKER. While approaching Bings at the top of the trail bu the orange fence I noticed a man standing in rain gear, hiking boots, not waders, just standing there, very full around the chest, he did have a rain coat on. I asked him if he was a ranger, he replied that he was not. I started to fish and told my cousin that I think that guy is a ranger. My cousin asked the guy next to him if the man standing on top of the hill is the one who cited him the other day and he said YES, that they will lie. So how do you protect yourself in that situation? I wanted to take a photo of the ranger on top of the hill but he was always behind a tree.

  2. #2
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default How do you prtoect yourself?

    Easy... just follow the law.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
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  3. #3
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs down This is BS in my opinion

    Good god if i got cited for every salmon i have landed legal that also had other hook marks I would be broke. I would have fought the ticket all the way. Even if you did lose you could have stated your case. The only thing i can think of to "cover your butt" in this case is take a digital picture of the fish as you land it with the hook in its mouth. Then when mister ranger goes to cite you break out the camera. I have never been talked to or cited ever but if they were enforcing this I would have a ton of tickets. Heck, most of the reds caught on the upper have been raped and pillaged al the way up the stream and have hook marks and flys all over them
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    most of the reds caught on the upper have been raped and pillaged al the way up the stream and have hook marks and flys all over them
    If they look anything like Great Lakes kings after they enter the river (think Christmas tree) everyone would be busted.

  5. #5
    Member monello's Avatar
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    Default Snaggers

    I watched dozens of people on the Kenai this summer who would rip their hook at the end of the drift while fishing for reds. They had better than average hook ups when compared to the rest of the people fishing. And yes most of their fish were hooked in places other than the mouth.

    Don't get me started on the number of those fish that got bonked in the head just the same.

    I also find that the further up the river the fish are the more battle scars they have, so to avoid fines fish the lower river.

  6. #6
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    Cut the line and leave your hook in the fish or video tape it like stated above.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  7. #7

    Default Innocent until proven guilty

    Quote Originally Posted by stewjacobson View Post
    While fishing the Kenai this year, my cousin and I discussed foul vs clean hooked fish. AK game rangers were at Bings citing foul hookers. Several folks were ticketed with $135 a pop. So here is the scenario. You clean hook a beautiful chromer and decide to take it home. Unfortunately this beauty has one or two hook marks, one behind the gill plate and one under the throat, which you notice, but since you are legal you decide to keep it. A ranger comes up to you and notices the foul hook marks and cites you for foul hooking. You protest that it was clean, as the ranger did not actually see the landing and hook removal, but she says she can tell it was foul hooked, and the citation sticks.
    I would have argued my case. You are presumed innocent. The burden of proof lies in the evidence of the citing officer. In this case, there is no direct evidence that you foul hooked the fish unless the hook mark was absent from the mouth.


    Quote Originally Posted by stewjacobson View Post
    I asked him if he was a ranger, he replied that he was not. I started to fish and told my cousin that I think that guy is a ranger. My cousin asked the guy next to him if the man standing on top of the hill is the one who cited him the other day and he said YES, that they will lie.
    Again, presumptive innocence. This man was likely a Alaska State Trooper, Fish and Wildlife Protection officer and not a park ranger, thus he did not lie.

  8. #8
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default ???

    Hmm,
    It sounds like you got a bogus ticket. Like was stated if they didn't see you hook it, the ticket shouldn't stand up. That is unfortunate.
    However, when you talked to the guy in the binos, I'm not sure what he could really say.
    If he wasn't there & he can't over ride what some else did or even suggest they were wrong in citing you without knowing more. Like in any profession, there are good & bad & sometimes you get the bad. I know its not what you wanted to hear but thats pretty much it.
    As far as the undercover guy goes, that shouldn't bother you at all. He was doing his job & theydon't have to tell you if they are undercover. I know you think he lied but he should only have to identify himself if he was checking someone or citing them. Otherwise they would never catch any poachers.

  9. #9
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default challenge it!

    Yes, the ticket should be challenged (my opinion, and I'm not a lawyer). Enforcement officers have some discretion about when to cite somebody, but the charge would probably be dropped later in this situation, if it's challenged.

  10. #10
    Member fishnngrinn's Avatar
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    Default

    Protect yourself by not keeping fish with foul hook marks on them, even if you did hook them fairly. I still think that the law should be changed to "if you foul hook a fish you must keep it and when you reach the limit you must stop fishing. This would greatly reduce the number of foul hooked fish. Intentional foul hooking should, of course remain illegal.
    A State biologist told me that fish hooked in the side so water enters the body cavity renders eggs infertile. What good is served to release such a fish???
    NRA Lifetime Member

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    I would have pushed it. i bet it would have been dismissed before it went to court. We have to keep them honest as well.

  12. #12
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fishnngrinn View Post
    Protect yourself by not keeping fish with foul hook marks on them, even if you did hook them fairly. I still think that the law should be changed to "if you foul hook a fish you must keep it and when you reach the limit you must stop fishing. This would greatly reduce the number of foul hooked fish. Intentional foul hooking should, of course remain illegal.
    A State biologist told me that fish hooked in the side so water enters the body cavity renders eggs infertile. What good is served to release such a fish???

    It is not that easy. When the reds make it to the upper kenai/russian area in late july Im guessing 7 out of 10 have been hooked somewhere. If i hook my fish and it is legal there is no reason I should have to let it go because of some yayhoo gripping and ripping below me. In the clear water of the russian half the fish i catch i see because of flies in them. I hook them in the mouth but still. If they have snag marks I have done nothing wrong. Sheesh, Fish and game could have a field day on snaggers just sitting around the russian/kenai or even floating the upper river. Why pick on a guy with a legal fish with snag marks. You get some enforcement that gets a little out of hand sometime. I would have fought this ticket all the way to my grave.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  13. #13
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    Default another cheechako remark

    This runs well into September, followed by trout fishing somewhere in October. There are various methods of fishing for salmon, but the most popular freshwater method is snagging. Salmon which swim upstream to spawn are typically in "fasting" mode and do not "strike" at bait. It is more a matter of "flossing their teeth" with a hook as they swim up the stream. It makes all the difference to have a good guide to show you how!

    Above quote taken from the website of an Alaskan Lodge. Being a fly fisherman I had now idea what I was doing with my Ugly Stik and Abu-Garcia reel. My bro-in-law said just watch all the other guys on the river (in Soldotna) EVERYONE I saw would flip, drift, and jerk...a local told me, "yer just flossin' teeth, hope that like goes through their mouth and at the end, hope you snag em in the lip." My point? No clue. But as a newbie, what's a guy to do when he sees his fishing comrades (many of which are residents) and reads stuff like the quote above?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Easy... just follow the law.
    No, that's the point. They were following the law and still got cited because of the marks from being foul hooked and released from other fishermen before.

    I don't think you can unless you let it go to protect yourself. You could take a picture of the catch with your hook in it I guess, that's a lot of images though for some people. Then you have to go to court to fight it.

    Incidentally, is it legal for an officer to lie and say they are not a ranger, or can they lie? It shouldn't matter if you are following the law though.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  15. #15

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    Fight the ticket. It is all about burden of proof.

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    On another AK fishing site the moderator encouraged fisherman to report poachers and other law breakers. He also encouraged all to write the guv'nah to beg for more wildlife officers to patrol more to discourage snagging, going over limits, etc. Now, I'm no Alaskan native. But I tell you I cannot get in outta' my head since my last trip to the Kenai and have already planned my 09 trip in addition to finding a travel nurse assignment. So I wrote the guv and here was my reply:


    Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts on wildlife enforcement in Alaska. Since your letter indicates you are new to Alaska or hope to move here some day let me give you a little background information. Since Governor Palin was elected there have been six new Wildlife Trooper positions created and funded. There are currently more wildlife troopers in the field than there have been in many years.

    With that being said, it obviously isnít possible for wildlife troopers to cover every fishery or hunting area all the time. The Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) with the help of the resource managers, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, has to prioritize their daily patrols and extended enforcement programs based on a wide variety of factors including personnel availability, potential resource impact, amount of resource use, time and travel involved and many others. AWT strives to be the most efficient and productive possible while balancing all of these factors.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that often times troopers dress in plain clothes and interact with the resource users. When violations are detected the violator is then contacted when they are leaving the area without the other resource users knowledge. So, in short, enforcement may have been there and you didnít know it.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and opinions. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any other thoughts or questions. Good fishing and I hope to see you on the river.

    Burke Waldron
    Captain, Operations Commander
    Alaska Wildlife Troopers
    (907) 269-5955

    Looks like a step in the right direction. I live in Utah but for the past couple years have had Montana and Alaska licenses before my home state, fish MT every other month. I have seen one fish cop in the past 8 or 10 years in all three states. Looks like everyone could use more.

  17. #17
    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    Red face

    [quote=fishnngrinn;324457]Protect yourself by not keeping fish with foul hook marks on them, even if you did hook them fairly. I still think that the law should be changed to "if you foul hook a fish you must keep it and when you reach the limit you must stop fishing. quote]

    Agree with this 100%!

    So is it revenue or caring for the resource????????????


    TL

  18. #18

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    The regs say you can't snag and then keep a fish. Doesn't say you can't keep a fish that you legally caught but that someone before you had snagged.

    Send an e-mail to F&G asking your question. When you get a response (assuming it's the one you're looking for), print the e-mail and keep it in your tackle box, etc. You shouldn't have to do that and you definately shouldn't have to video and/or photograph every fish that you catch just in case it had previous snag marks on it and you're afraid you might get ticketed.

    And if you had a photo or video of a legally-hooked fish, you can't prove that you didn't snag it and then place the hook in the mouth and then do the video or photo.

    If I got a ticket for legally catching a fish you can bet I would contest it.

  19. #19
    Member zekeski's Avatar
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    Default Sounds "fishy"...

    "A State biologist told me that fish hooked in the side so water enters the body cavity renders eggs infertile. What good is served to release such a fish???"
    __________________

    Maybe I'm ignorant, but salmon eggs are not fertile until after they are released into fresh water and inseminated by the male(s). Or maybe this biologist needs to reenroll in Biology 101. Anyhow, I agree 100% with keep your limit (no matter where they were hooked) and be done for the day.

  20. #20
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    Slightly off the subject but what about this. I remember there were 3 locals fishing next to us in Soldotna. The fishing was ridiculously fast. I was talking to them and, bam, "fish on..." then he says, "nah, foul hooked," and straightens his rod and lets the fish snap off rather than bring it in, unhook and release. Is this acceptable? The three of them did it at least a dozen times apiece...fight the fish to near exhaustion or cut (snap) the line without a fight once you know its foul hooked?

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