Salamanders For Springers, And Other OR Poaching Follies

What was the name of that old TV show, Poachers Do The Damndest Things?

Well, maybe not, but the latest episode of the Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division’s monthly newsletter might be called that.

While the headlines are ours, the write-ups are theirs. To wit:

GREAT CRABBING SKILLS, VERY VERY POOR RULES PAMPHLET READING SKILLS

Tpr. Peterson (Tillamook) worked crabbers in Tillamook Bay and contacted a boat with crab pots on board. The crabbers told Peterson crabbing was pretty good and they had retained 24 crab; however, when Peterson inspected the crab, he found 20 female Dungeness and four short male Dungeness crab. He seized all 24 crab and cited the boat operator for Unlawful Possession Female Dungeness Crab.

THE MOST UNUSUAL SALMON BAIT WE’VE EVER EVER HEARD OF

Tpr. Warwick (Astoria) contacted a salmon angler at Jones Beach in Columbia County and found the angler in possession of 49 “water dogs,” or tiger salamanders. The angler was visiting from New Mexico and told Warwick he was using the salamanders as salmon bait. As these salamanders are a prohibited species, Warwick cited the angler for Unlawful Possession of a Prohibited Species.

IS THAT A CLAM IN YOUR POCKET, OR ARE YOU JUST (NOT) HAPPY TO SEE ME?

While working razor clam diggers, Tpr. Warwick (Astoria) observed a man place two handfuls of clams into his coat pockets despite having a clam bag. After observing several violations in his group, Warwick contacted them at their vehicle. The diggers eventually admitted to the violations. Warwick issued two citations for Exceeding the Bag Limit and two for Failure to Retain the First 15 Razor Clams Dug and three warnings for Digging Part of Another’s Bag Limit.

HOLY F@$%@%NG F@$K, IT’S THE F@$%@%G WARDEN, I GOTTA GET THE F$%K OUT OF HERE!

As Sr. Tpr. Allison and Sr. Tpr. Thompson (Central Point) crossed the Applegate River at Applegate, they observed a subject angling upstream turn and race up the embankment to his van. The troopers made a u-turn and contacted the subject at his vehicle. The subject claimed he was ignorant of the angling closure on the river and just wanted to take his sons fishing. The troopers explained the river was closed due to the presence of smolts. The troopers cited the man for Angling Closed Season and warned him for Criminal Trespass and Counseling in a Wildlife Violation.

CRAP, THEY’RE ONTO ME, I’LL JUST DUMP OUT ALL MY CLAMS, HIDE MY STUFF AND WALK TO GARIBALDI, MAYBE I WON’T GET A TICKET

Sgt. Lea (Coos Bay) observed two clammers for about an hour. One clammer was digging clams and putting them into both buckets. After a time, one subject returned to a residence on the bay while the other continued to dig. Lea contacted the returning subject, determined he was 15 gaper clams over his limit, and cited him for Exceeding the Daily Limit of Gaper Clams. This subject then walked back out to the other subject to tell him he was being watched. The second clammer dumped his clams out, hid his bucket and shovel, and then started walking down the beach. Lea contacted the second subject on the beach and discovered he did not have a shellfish license and had dug three gaper clams over his limit. Lea cited the second subject for No Shellfish License and Exceeding the Daily Limit of Gaper Clams.

BACK TO REMEDIAL STICK SHIFT CLASS

Tpr. Warwick (Astoria) and Tpr. Vogel (St. Helens) received a call of a subject keeping live salmon at Dibblee Beach in Rainier. Warwick contacted some subjects in a vehicle leaving the area and gained consent to search the vehicle. He did not find any salmon in the vehicle; however, the subject did act nervous during the contact. As the subject began to leave, he popped the clutch too soon; and the vehicle lurched forward, causing an illegal salmon to come out of concealment between the bed and the tool box. Warwick cited the subject for Illegal Possession of Nonadipose Fin-Clipped Chinook Salmon.

POPPED THE CLUTCH ALL RIGHT, BUT STILL CAUGHT

As Tpr. Fromme (Portland) entered Dodge Park on the Sandy River; three anglers noticed him, stopped angling, and walked quickly to their vehicle. Contacts with other anglers confirmed these three were fishing. He saw a truck with the three anglers inside leave the park at a high rate of speed. He made it to his truck and pursued the fleeing subjects. He overtook the vehicle just outside the park and performed a stop. Two subjects presented their angling license and harvest cards, and the third only produced a license. Fromme’s interviews roadside eventually found the angler was trying to flee because he had not purchased a harvest card and knew he was in violation. Fromme cited the subject for No 2011 Oregon Resident Harvest Card—Misdemeanor.

THAT WASN’T ME WHO WAS FISHING NERVOUSLY JUST NOW WITHOUT A LICENSE, NO SIR

Sr. Tpr. Maher (Springfield) worked anglers below Dexter Dam on the Middle Fork Willamette River. Shortly after 6:00 a.m., he saw some subjects who he recognized from previous contacts. One subject told Maher the day before he was not fishing and appeared nervous. After seeing this subject again, Maher set up across the river. Eventually, this subject nervously walked down the riverbank, retrieved a spin rod from a concealed location in the brush, and took a position near the river’s edge in a secluded location. Holding the rod in his hands, he looked up and down stream then casted the steelhead rigged line. This process was repeated four times. Maher drove to the location and contacted the angler who was sitting in the passenger seat of a pickup. Maher asked if he had caught anything. The angler looked surprised and proclaimed he was not fishing. Maher explained his observations and cited the angler for No Angling License and No Combined Angling Tag.

NO, THIS IS NOT HOW YOU TEST OUT NEW GEAR

Tpr. Imholt (Springfield) followed up on a suspect who shot a mallard duck while out target shooting. The suspect stated he just got a new scope and wanted to try it out, so he shot a duck off a pond in the woods from the road. The suspect did not realize there was someone watching him who reported in detail what they saw. Imholt cited the suspect for Hunting Waterfowl Closed Season and seized his rifle.

STURGEON IN THE STABBIN’ CABIN

USCG ran a multi-agency saturation for salmon anglers dubbed Operation Spring Catch … Of the anglers contacted, the troopers gave out nine warnings for and issued four citations, one for No Nonresident Angling License, one for No Resident Angling License, and two to one subject with a false license who concealed his crime. This subject presented a 2011 Oregon resident angling license and harvest card along with Washington identification where he claimed to live. The subject also claimed not to have caught any sturgeon; however, a consent search found a sturgeon had recently been in the cooler. Further questioning resulted in the angler consenting to a search of a van located in the parking lot of the park where a live adult sturgeon was found stuffed under the middle seat of the van. The sturgeon was still alive and returned successfully to the river. The troopers issued the subject citations for Possession of a Falsely Applied for License and Tag and Unlawful Possession of Sturgeon.

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