View Full Version : DFG in the News Again..

02-06-2007, 07:19 AM
Interesting read for those of you who fish the salt.. I haven't had an encounter like this out of Bodega, let's hope this is an isolated incident.. DFG In Court (http://www.usafishing.com/news.html)

02-06-2007, 08:29 AM
Wow. I would be amazed, but that is exactly how I was treated by a couple of wardens at Rollins lake a few year back. I think that this just goes to show that local governments want charter and commercial fishing in California to end. They cannot get the legislation passed to accomplish this so they resort to making convoluted and ambiguous regulations. They then enforce them commando style. The end result is to cause confusion and fear, thus intimidating legitimate fisherman, while the poachers run amuck. Where is the justice? I really do hope these guys are punished. *

02-06-2007, 08:57 AM
I really believe what happened is true! Commando Style is correct!

It's a real pitty that we spend 50.00 or more to fish and get treated like eco-terrorist! :-/

I had my visit on 01/02/07 by the Rockwall in Alameda and treated like a thief and I did not even have a fish! Although I was in compliance, I was still a suspicious individual! :-[

Oh yeah, the boat skid marks are still there, no consideration! I guess, that part of fishing? :-/

02-06-2007, 10:16 AM
That story really makes me :'( ! I cant say I would of done the same after I just paid 65 or 75 $$ and the cost of gas to get there and the cost of fishing baits, bars, and cleaning, I would of been one very pissed fisherman if they dumped my catch on the dock.... I think I would want to be re emburst for the trip at least.. And yeah I probably would be behind bars after I knocked the wardens a?? in the water... ;)

02-06-2007, 10:50 AM
I remember a time back in 2000, i was filling in as a deck hand on one of the smaller party boats in bodega bay. It was winter time and as some of you might know, rock fishing can be tough due to the river runs, and large swells. Anyways we finished the day with half limits of mostly blues and a few juvinile olives. As some may knowjuvinile olives are very similar to yellow tail(so similar that local biologists couldnt even determine) an at the time yellow tail and other shelf rock fish were closed. The wardens at the time, the all mighty Bob Aldridge, who is now enjoying the after math of his Rick Powers investigation in hawaii, and the young and dangerous, his right hand man, burr head himself, Rich Mead.
Well similar to james smiths ordeal, we were immediatly boarded, every fillet checked, all 15 of our olives were confiscated as illegal catch. Each customer was cited, the captain an i were cited for catching 15 illegal fish. The worst part of the day it was all based on "i think" those are yellow tail, little did the wardens know, they were writting citations based on there attitude that we are all criminals untill proven innocent! We had 3 local biologist for this case, 2 of them could not identify the fish, the other was certain they were all olives, Ater long hours of research, many dollars for attorney fees, and a trip to the court house, the case was determined unconclusive and dropped!
Unfortunatly there are a handful of wardens who will inform you of the law and give you a warning, but most of them are out to prove something to there leader and are trigger happy to make you a criminal!
Unfortunatly its gonna get a lot worse before it gets any better,
be ready fisherman, because they are looking for YOU!

02-06-2007, 02:07 PM
Those are the same guys you run into every where in are waters.
Yes even at Bodaga bay.
Look out for the red head dude, he has boated my boat atleast once a year if not more.
Just make sure you are leget and yes sir no sir and they can't touch you.
If they do just have your day in court and nine times out of ten it will be dismisseed.
If captian Smith needs some money for court fees i would gladly make a donation as I'm sure allot of us Sniffers would.

02-06-2007, 02:23 PM
It seems that there is a Jekyll and Hyde personna going on here.. Sac striper bust, Bay sturgeon bust, abalone bust.. kudos, ^5's, atta-boys.. just when we start feeling good about what DFG is doing in the field we read something like this. Remember the BATF in the Regan days? Stormtroopers as I liked to call em. That is what this article reminds me of.

The DFG wardens in Bodega that I've been boarded by have been polite and courteous. Always the same skipper, he gets to know you once he's been on your boat a few times. The DFG personnel that I know are into the outdoors and would NEVER treat a fisherman's catch the way I read about in the article.. and to refuse clients permission to reboard and retrieve their fish?

I know there are 2 sides to each coin, and for the sake of respect to each and every warden in the field I hope there is more to this.. like one of my coaches used to say, "Ten good deeds can be erased by one OH-SH!T"..

02-06-2007, 08:30 PM
I'm not even going to go into my incident with DFG. I will say that after that incident, I now have no respect for them and I curse them everytime I see one. I'd rather deal with a city cop.

02-07-2007, 02:56 PM
The first thought that came to my mind is, I wonder if you could make a citizens arrest and nail a warden for wasting game fish!

02-07-2007, 04:26 PM
LOL !!! that would probably be recieved as warmly as pulling over a CHP officer for speeding in his patrol car

02-07-2007, 07:56 PM
very interesting... is good to know what is going on out there....i always respect this guys because the badges they wear. but they are no diferent. hope i never run into one of this guys......


02-08-2007, 07:35 AM
We had a warden in ukiah a few years ago that would write tickets "on belief" that you did something wrong. He had a handful of mean *****y oldtimers that would call him and say they say they saw you do something wrong. This warder would come out a write a ticket as long as he didnt have to get out of his truck.
The courts forced him to retire. We have good wardens up here now and on the coast. They are fair and do a good as job as possible.

02-08-2007, 08:06 PM
Ocean 311, You have just JINX you self and everyone on the north coast. *The CHP has probbaly hired them,by now! *The only way to be kind of safe is to study the rules. Know what every PROHIBITIDED fish is. *Including Silver salmon. and throw back everything that might be in question. And if is only 1/4 of a inch over the size limit. be prepaired for that red headed son of a BI+#% to waste a lot of your time.

02-08-2007, 08:17 PM
I watched part of the online commission meeting the other day and here are a few items I noticed...

It was reported to the commission that there are currently 204 wardens in the field (Probably includes management in the head count) with 14 more in the academy soon to graduate.

Also reported that out of 400 recent applicants only 200 showed up for the test, low wages suspected to be the root cause. (I wonder what the acceptance and graduation rate per hundred is)

The issue of transfers to CHP and other law enforcement was touched on and the figures of $20k to $40k in pay difference were brought up, no wonder they cannot retain people.

The issue of a projected 40% loss of wardens over the next 3 years due to retirements was also discussed

That is a big loss of trained personnel gang. Couple that with the loss to transfers and you can see the problem here for the department.

So if you think its bad now just wait a while.

fishing brian
02-08-2007, 10:25 PM
That makes me sick. James is an awesome captain and in about 10 trips with him I have never seen him violate any rules. The Wardens who boarded his boat without being tied off should be fired! The ones who dumped the fish on the dock should be suspended without pay and sited for blatantly ruining those peoples catch. The ones who were being aggressive should get their a$$e$ kicked real good by all the fisherman who just had a long day on the ocean and just want to get home to their families. I guarantee I would be behind bars if I were a hard working Party boat captain down on the coast because the Dfg wardens are way out of line down there. There are real criminals out there harming people and our tax dollars are wasted on 1/4 inch to small fillets and skinless rock cod. Give me a break. Those wardens need to get a life and quit picking on people who work 10 times harder than them to earn a living.

I had an experience with the wardens in bodega once and couldn't believe the extreme over exaggeration of how they should do their job. They were acting like they were on a drug bust. The fact of the matter is, on or two fish under size or over the limit is not going to cause a great deal or no harm to the tax paying people. let us enjoy one of the only healthy sports left without making us feel as if we are going to get interigated at the dock. life is stressful enough without having fish cops harassing us all the time to. Most fisherman are honest people. More bad guy catching cops and less fish cops would be good.

02-09-2007, 08:56 AM
Trigger. Not at all this guy was a retired CHP officer who became a game warden. And he area was inland covering the Ukiah area. What he would do is wait for people to come in at the launching ramp at Lake Mendocino and write up tickets based on belief that one of his gestapo said you did something wrong. It didnt matter if you had nothing illigal in you boat no evidence was needed. The tickets read you did this wrong on belief of...
For many people they paid because it was cheeper to pay then go to court.

02-09-2007, 11:23 AM
The fact of the matter is, on or two fish under size or over the limit is not going to cause a great deal or no harm to the tax paying people. let us enjoy one of the only healthy sports left without making us feel as if we are going to get interigated at the dock. life is stressful enough without having fish cops harassing us all the time to. Most fisherman are honest people. More bad guy catching cops and less fish cops would be good.

I hope I quoted this correctly from Lunker Hunter.

I am amazed by the above quote and yet no one has said a thing about it. The true fact of the matter is anyone who knowingly has an undersized fish or over the limit is abusing the only healthy sport we have left. IMO since there are not enough F&G wardens out there people feel like they won't get caught.

I know many F&G wardens personally and it sickens me to read so many people jump on the "band wagon" like this thread to bash wardens. Just like in all career fields there are a few bad apples. There is nothing wrong with anyone sharing a bad experience with a bad officer. However, when people then view all wardens as bad officers because of one bad experience I feel it just makes that individual look ignorant.

I also feel there are 2 sides to every story and usually in the middle lies the truth. I am sure many of peoples bad encounters are brought on themselves. Back to my point, you hear a story of one individuals perceived experience and now you dislike all officers. Your next encounter with one, more then likely your attitude will show causing the officer to repond appropriately. Thus you have created your own bad experience.

I feel strongly that the overwhelming majority of wardens do a fantastic job. They work an incredible amount of hours due to poor staffing levels. All of the wardens I know are some of the biggest sportman. They believe so strongly about their "healthy sport" that they have devoted their lifes work to protect it.

Trying to down play violating F&G laws by saying "it causes no harm to tax paying people" is like a drug addict saying my habit only effects me and I am not a criminal for it. Drug addicts steal, leech off of society by collecting aid and crash their vehicles into others due to their impairment. It's similiar for violating F&G laws. It does ultimately effect other sportsman down the road that is why we have size/bag limits.

Law enforcement is a dangerous job and they never know who they may be contacting. So when I get contacted by an officer and he is using tactics,ie (commando raids) to ensure his safety or prevent possible destruction of evidence I don't give it a second thought. I could easily go on but I will stop here.

That's just my .02cents worth

fishing brian
02-09-2007, 05:12 PM
Hey Joe fisher. I think you are entitled to think what you want about this subject just as I am but What you may not realize is that you dont hear very many good experiences when it comes to the wardens in certain areas. It seems to only be the guys at the coast. I have only had one experience with these guys and it was a bad one. The rest of the areas I fish have respectful officers who are very helpful and dont try to be super pushy with their athority. I do respect the guys and gals that do their job well and respectfully and comend them for putting themselves in danger every day to keep our resource plentiful. I disagree about your thoughts of how a person who has a fillet that is 1/4 inch to short is really hurting us when there are real criminals out there ruining peoples lives every day. They need to get the poachers and criminals and leave the respected party boat captains who obviously follow the rules alone. They would not knowingly sacrafice their business over some fish. MY 2 CENTS

fishing brian
02-09-2007, 05:24 PM
joe fisher- You are personal friends with many wardens and Im sure they are good officers. You have been fortunate not to have seen these other guys acting the way they have to Jim and James, Rick from bodega and all the other hard working guys who work hard for our entertainment. If there were a shortage or rock cod Id be a little more understanging. Enoiugh time spent coming back in from a long day in the salt and you to will have the pleasure of witnessing this behavior if nothing is done about it.

02-10-2007, 08:06 AM
In Ukiah we have 1 ahole city cop and one bad jerk in the sheriffs department. Everyone including the other cops and sheriffs despises these guys because they give them all a bad rep.
Warderns have the same problem, we have good wardens around here now but man did we have 1 bad one for a while, made it a lot harder for the good ones.
Now if we could only get the long lining of the steelhead in the Russian outlawed. But that is another thread.

02-10-2007, 09:01 AM
I have never been arrested or had a bad experiance with a cop. I always treated them with respect and they in turn treated me with respect.
NOT SO with the DFG. I've had two run ins with them over the years and both times I was treated like a common criminal. searched, talk to like I was a piece of sh!t, etc. and yet I've NEVER got a ticket from them.
I don't like them and never will until maybe, just maybe I meet one that doesn't think hes god almighty himself.