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I cannot remember being approached by a Game Warden in Connecticut or any other state i have ever fished in.

I would like to see them from time to time. I fish legally and it wouldnt be bothersome

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I agree, I see them a couple times a year out on the river but they only pull up and chat about the fishing. Never been boarded, never asked to see my PFD’s and never looked in the cooler. Where I fish you have the PA and NJ fish and game Departments, the NJ state police marine unit and the coast guard. I think the jet skis, tubers and the drunks give them all they can handle. Haven’t seen a fish commission officer while wading in decades. 

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Game Wardens aren't responsible for boating safety issues or drinking in public parks, etc.  That duty falls to the Sheriff's dept. and other LEOs.

I've seen Game Wardens in several of the States I've fished in.  Had my licenses checked a few times.  Here in Florida, they're mostly concerned with the salt water anglers, so we rarely see them on fresh.  But I have been checked two ... maybe three ... times since I got here in '92.  I've been checked almost every year by the Sheriff, for boat registration and safety items.

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1 hour ago, mikechell said:

Game Wardens aren't responsible for boating safety issues or drinking in public parks, etc.  That duty falls to the Sheriff's dept. and other LEOs.

I don't know about Florida, but in most states, that's exactly what they do much of the  

Watch North Woods Law or Lonestar Law sometime.  They're both "ride along" show with members of the Maine and New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the Texas Game Wardens.  They do catch some poachers, but just as often they're dealing with boating safety,  off road vehicle safety, and drinking in public parks.

I heard before that the increasing non fish and game related law enforcement role is making it hard to recruit new conservation officers in many places.

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Back in California I used to get checked all the time, for license and for barbless. A few times they even checked my fly boxes for materials. Wasn't a problem. 

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I got checked just after getting my life-time license.  Now when he sees me we fish together for a while.

 

Rick 

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My grandson got checked twice in one week in two different places. Tennessee wildlife officers have the same training and arrest powers as any other officer. They are the only group of Tennessee LEOs authorized to enforce federal game laws.They can enforce boating laws and cite a person for Boating Under the Influence. TWRA officers are often called in to assist other LEOs with investigations, arrest, S&R, etc.

I have an officer do a Power Point on the agency for my hunter education classes. I always ask this question to emphasize their duties: "Can you stop me for speeding?" "Yes. I will stop you and turn you over to the proper city or county officer."

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I've only ever been checked twice, first time was about 6 years ago in Vermont, and last year in Western Mass.  

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In Mass they are Environmental Police (EPO's) and they are a division of our state police. I have run into them twice and been checked once.  Not too surprising to me because I'm usually on small streams and I would guess the EPOs are going to spend their time at the more popular locations.  The check happened during the local landlocked spawn which is fairly popular.   It was the end of the day and there were about 7-9 anglers including myself packing up in the parking area when an EPO pulled in.  He told us there's a guy they've been trying to catch that has been killing females for their eggs which he then sells on the internet.  Anyway the  EPO asked to check licenses and fish in possession and It was nice to learn that all present were legal and doing it right.  He did say his main point in stopping was to make the fishing public aware of the poacher and they were asking for a phone call from the river if we happened to see someone "cleaning out the eggs then throwing the carcass in away".  I don't know if they ever got the person.  

One other time while I was putting my gear back in the Jeep I noticed one checking dirt bike riders up the road.  On his way past me he stopped and asked how the fishing was.  After a brief conversation he drove off, never asked to see my license.

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Problem here in Michigan is they only have a small number of CO's for each county. So you don't see them that often here because one CO has to cover and entire county which is quite large. I wish they did have more of them because I would like to see them out there protecting our fisheries more than they are.

Here in Michigan (not sure about other states) but here a CO has the same powers as a regular police officer.

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Since I"m a commercial operator - I've been checked by three or four different agencies from time to time... Park rangers in Everglades National Park.  FWC officers in various places,  and the Coast Guard at times.  Find myself saying Sir to the young'uns with the CG.... Most don't care if I catch a single fish -but they really care that I'm operating safely, carrying passengers for hire these past 26 years...

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On 3/20/2022 at 10:34 AM, mikechell said:

Game Wardens aren't responsible for boating safety issues or drinking in public parks, etc. 

I didn't say, nor did I mean that they CAN'T enforce laws.  It's just that they don't usually do it.  Just to iterate,  when you have State Police, County Sheriff, City Police, Game Wardens, etc. all in the same area, each agency takes a certain portion of responsibility. 

As I stated, I've been stopped by Sheriff deputies MUCH more often than Game Wardens.  I just don't think the Florida Game Wardens are looking for speeders and drinkers, when poachers and cheaters are more in their purview.

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On 3/21/2022 at 11:41 AM, Steeldrifter said:

Problem here in Michigan is they only have a small number of CO's for each county. So you don't see them that often here because one CO has to cover and entire county which is quite large. I wish they did have more of them because I would like to see them out there protecting our fisheries more than they are.

 

Couldn't agree more Steve -- I've been fishing in Michigan for 25 years and in that time I have encountered COs only twice while out fishing. Once on the Pere Marquette during the height of spring Steelhead insanity, and he was checking everyone's license and creels (this was when you could still keep fish on the flies-only water). The other one was just last summer; a CO drove by as I was packing up to leave the river. He wanted to know where I had floated down from, and how many other boats I'd seen on the way. Apparently they were looking for someone and thought they might be in a canoe on the section I had just floated. 

I'd really like to see a lot more funding go to the DNR for additional COs. Unfortunately--in my opinion--there are way too many hunters and anglers here who view our woods and rivers not as "our resources" but as "my personal free meat supply." I have nothing against the legal harvesting of fish and game--I do it myself--but there are a LOT of guys out there who seem to feel that there should be no limits on anything they do. Again, just my opinion, but based on many years of observation. 

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21 minutes ago, Bryon Anderson said:

I'd really like to see a lot more funding go to the DNR for additional COs. Unfortunately--in my opinion--there are way too many hunters and anglers here who view our woods and rivers not as "our resources" but as "my personal free meat supply." I have nothing against the legal harvesting of fish and game--I do it myself--but there are a LOT of guys out there who seem to feel that there should be no limits on anything they do. 

That's true everywhere. I'd not only like to see more funding for CO's (we call them NRP's -- Natural Resources Police -- here in Maryland) but also to increase penalties for violations.  A few years back, there was a story in paper about a guy who was fishing without a license and had in his possession 20+ trout taken from a C&R stream.  He was fined $25 and not allowed to buy a fishing license for a year.  What kind of deterrent is that?  Especially since he was already fishing without a license.

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"A few years back, there was a story in paper about a guy who was fishing without a license and had in his possession 20+ trout taken from a C&R stream.  He was fined $25 and not allowed to buy a fishing license for a year.  What kind of deterrent is that?  Especially since he was already fishing without a license."

 

That is ridiculous -- especially that part of the "punishment" was not being allowed to buy a license for a year. Like he was going to anyway??? Give me a break. So basically his "fine" was less than $1 per illegally harvested fish. Not a bad deal, financially speaking...for the poacher. I wonder if the state considered how much each of those dead trout would have brought in revenue for the state if they had been safely released? How many angers would come to fish for them, and how much would they spend on licenses, gasoline, motels, groceries, tackle, etc., etc.? A heck of a lot more than $25, that's for sure. If I was in charge, I would have figured that cost to the penny and made that his fine. 

I don't actually know what the penalties are for poaching in Michigan. I will have to look into that. 

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