|Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN May 13, 2019 - The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Something Very Fishy Here
On April 7, a Delta County game warden received a phone call stating five men were using two cast nets to catch game fish at the Cooper Lake Spillway. The suspects’ vehicle was located by a State Parks peace officer at a gas station in Cooper. Upon arrival, the game warden found the suspects to be in possession of 197 game fish. Species included hybrid striped bass, white bass, crappie, and catfish; 29 fish were undersized and only one of the five men had a valid fishing license. The suspects were in possession of two cast nets and three fishing poles but no hooks or tackle. Charges pending.
An Illegal Net-work
Dallas County game wardens were on patrol when they received a phone call about several individuals netting at Rowlett Creek and keeping game fish. The wardens arrived at the location and observed from a distance six individuals scaling and catching fish illegally with a cast net. The subjects were confronted and admitted to catching all the fish with the net. The violators had 48 fish in their possession, and of those 10 were undersized catfish and 8 undersized white bass. As wardens were citing these violators, two more individuals were observed walking out of the woods carrying a bucket containing a net. After questioning, they admitted to catching fish using the net and led the wardens to the location where fish were hidden in another bucket in the brush. The bucket contained 55 fish including 34 undersized white bass and 1 undersized crappie. All subjects were cited and released.
Wardens observed an individual fishing on Richland Chambers Reservoir after dark with no lights on his boat and made contact. The subject was found to have several water safety, fishing, and narcotics violations, including no lights and no boat registration, no fishing license, using game fish for bait, leaving game fish to die, undersized crappie, and possession of methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. The subject was arrested and taken to the Navarro County Jail. A few days later, one of the wardens got a call from the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office informing them the subject’s wife was just arrested for trying to bond her husband out using $900 in counterfeit bills!
On April 19, a Brazoria County game warden received a phone call from a local landowner stating three of his blackbuck antelope had been shot. Two antelope were found dead and another one was wounded. The landowner stated a neighbor saw two men with a .22 rifle along his high fence knew where the suspects lived. The suspects turned out to be a teenage boy and his father. After separating the pair, the teenage boy stated his dad had shot all three antelope. The boy also retrieved the .22 rifle that was used, and explained they planned on eating the antelope, but the fence was too high for him to cross over and retrieve the carcasses. With the overwhelming evidence building up against the father, he decided to confess. Hunt without landowner consent, no hunting license, and discharging a firearm across property lines were filed. Cases pending.
Cleanup on Aisle 4
On April 15, a Hardin County game warden received a call from the manager of the Office Depot store in Beaumont. The manager indicated there was a small hawk flying around inside the store and they couldn’t get it to leave, even though they had the front and back roll-up doors open. The warden enlisted the help of a licensed falconer experienced in handling and trapping birds of prey. After arriving on scene with a hawk trap and some live bait they soon discovered that although the bird resembled a hawk, it was in fact a large nightjar or “nighthawk,” which feeds on insects, rendering the trap idea useless. Undeterred, the warden and his falconer friend resorted to using a ladder and a dip net. After what resembled a scene from America’s Funniest Home Videos, they were able to finally corral the bird in a back hallway and catch it in the dip net. It was released outside where it flew off unharmed. The store manager was very grateful the bird was removed and would not be setting off the alarm system after closing.
Four Time Loser
Game wardens patrolling Lake Amistad made contact with a boat operator exhibiting signs of possible intoxication and after failing seated field sobriety tests the man was arrested for Boating While Intoxicated. The subject was found to have 3 previous DWI convictions. Felony BWI was filed and the subject was taken to the county jail.