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What do you do when you see someone breaking the rules-keeping too many fish, keeping undersized fish, etc. Do you confront them, just give them a dirty look, or decide its not your problem? I tell them (in a calm, friendly way) the rule they are breaking, then ask them to release the undersized or over the limit fish. I have done this at the Ft. Carson ponds, Brush Hollow, Pueblo and other places.

In almost every instance they claim ignorance of the rules but I'm guessing its just a game they are playing. I'll stay around until they release the fish. Reason why I bring this up-there is a report on Mike Kennedys website that fishermen are keeping more than their limit of trout.

In most cases you need to do something or not-you can't report them and expect the DOW to race out and give them a ticket. Don't want anybody to get in a fight over this kind of thing but I sure wish more fishermen would help enforce the rules. Its our resource and I think its largely up to us to protect it. Ed
 

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If im at a state/city park that has rangers there all the time ill call the ranger station. Ive done this many times at Quincy. While im not perfect and never break the law I look at it as protecting something I love; That being the fisherie im at. I see people keep undersize bass all the time and I tell them '2 things, 1 thing is that fish is to small and the ticket will cost you over $100 and 2 IMO Bass taste like [email protected]!!'

IMO

-Jay
 

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I will tell them nicely and if that does not work I will tell them not so nicely. I threated to hog tie a guy and hold for the authorities if if did not release the fish he poaching. He was not happy about it but the fish were released. The authorities were notified and a boat number was given, what happen after that I do not know. I will do the same to people littering. I always have a cell phone and will not let anyone harm what I love!
 

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It's sad. I think that a part of our liscence price being jacked up is because of all the rule breakers. If everyone who fished bought a liscence, and kept only allowed fish, things would be alot differant. I live in a tourist town (Estes), and I see all sorts of stuff. When I 1st moved here (I didn't fish). I worked in a cabin/hotel/resort right on the big thompson. It's catch & release, flies & lures only. People would ask if anyone checked 4 liscences, and when told "no" would procede right down to the river, where they would use power-bait, salmon eggs, and worms. If all the tourists bought liscences, that would really add up.  $ :-\$  Also, I fish at Lake Estes all the time (at least 3 days a week every month last year). I have never been checked (4 liscence). As a matter of fact, last year, I was only checked 3 times. {Boulder Resevoir, Pinewood, & Brainard}  When checked at Brainard, probably every 5th group packed up & left as ranger walked around. I'm sure they didn't have liscences. I'm sure they know, that as long as they're in the middle (ranger just walked circle around lake) they have nothing to worry about. Plus, the guy next to me had 2 styrafoam worm containers out, when she checked his (Brainard's flies and lures only). She didn't even say anything. I've seen a guy at Estes fishing a few times w/ 3 rods in the water. He was an older guy, and at the time, I thought maybe it was ok for senoirs. I see people leave w/ full stringers. They know when it's been stocked, because it's always extra crowded after. I'm going on here,   ::) but I just think things should be more inforced. Rather than having my liscence price raised. I would voulenteer to walk my local lake once every other week or so. If there were two people, walking the lake, the people in the middle would be trapped.  8)  Anyway this is just my oppinion. I have said stuff to people, but it's never had a positive outcome. There's over 100 of us on this site, maybe if we all brought paintball guns when fishing... JK  ;)
 

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I usually say something along the lines of, "Where you aware..." or "Did you know.." I'm sure most people know they are breaking a rule but when confronted in this manor it gives them an escape, able to claim ignorance. They usually will release or remedy their error and apologies and say thanks for bringing it to their attention.
If you fish waters that have ranger stations like Jay said its always good to know the number so you can call them. If the lake doesnt have a station contact the DOW and say hey I've been fishing alot at so and so lake/river and been noticing alot of people keeping under sized fish and more then their limit, could you possibly have a warden come by the lake a couple times this week to help out with the situation. Thanks. I'm sure they would be more then happy to send someone threw there a couple times to scare a few off.
 

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I first tell them they are breaking the rule, and nicely ask them to stop. Last sunday I saw a guy trying to snag the hundreds of monstrous spawning rainbows from the colorado river in the canyon creek hole. I always just go to watch the fish for a bit, and to see how big of fish there are. I almost always see people fishing there trying to get the spawning bows (and you can be seen from I-70, so you'd think a game warden would stop them), and (not trying to be racial here in any way) they are almost always hispanic people. Funny thing is there is a sign there in spanish. They always say (in either english or spanish, I understand both), "Oh, I did not know." My a$$. It's right next to them. Literally. Lots of times, they go back up to their car but as soon as I pretend to leave they go right back down. I then proceed to call operation game thief or the Glenwood Springs Division of wildlife, which is at most 5 miles away from the spot. They haven't come yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got discouraged a few years back at all the violations taking place at Brush Hollow so I called the DOW in Colo. Springs. They told me the Salida office handles that lake so I called them. Finally got thru to a DOW officer and when I told him about it he told me he was surprised to hear it-that they hadn't had any complaints about people breaking the rules. I had to laugh- a DOW guy could have written a couple dozen violations in a few hours there. That was about 3 years ago. I'm glad to report that they must have got the message because now the DOW has a guy out there about once a week-checking liscenses, etc. It ain't perfect but they're doing a much better job. Still, I think its mostly up to us-they just don't have the manpower to police everywhere. Ed
 

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Like Troutfishingbear I also live on the Western Slope and I do not remember the last time my fishing or hunting  license was checked. The lawbreakers know that the D.O.W. is spread thin and do not worry about being caught. I have seriously considered starting a volunteer program to help monitor remote areas of Western Colorado against poaching. The problem is seriously getting to be epidemic in proportion and in my opinion is only going to get worse unless something is done!
 

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OURAY said:
Like Troutfishingbear I also live on the Western Slope and I do not remember the last time my fishing or hunting license was checked. The lawbreakers know that the D.O.W. is spread thin and do not worry about being caught. I have seriously considered starting a volunteer program to help monitor remote areas of Western Colorado against poaching. The problem is seriously getting to be epidemic in proportion and in my opinion is only going to get worse unless something is done!
I wouldn't mind joining your program. In 2002 and 2003, the boom years of juniata for huge rainbows (along with the great walleye, great small mouth, and occasional big largemouth) you could go and easily get 10-20 rainbows in the day that averaged 18" and many were around 24". Then in the evening you could catch your limit of nice walleyes. Well, juniata is a walk in lake and during this time you would see people going out with 10 rainbows on their stringer each. It really pi$$ed me off, especially since juniata is stocked with maybe 1000 fish every two years. Next year, 2006, should be another boom year based on its cycles. At least after I called operation game thief, it took two years for me to see my first game warden there.
I have been checked twice in the past 3 years, and only once ever icefishing, my very first time when I was 9 at vega. 7 years later I still haven't been checked ice fishing.
 

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I still don't understand why people need to take so many fish. To me, the only way to eat fish is when it's fresh. It used to kill me to see some of the fish that people were taking out of Antero (back in the day). For a family of 4 to walk out with 16 of those fish, absolutly amazed me. These were probably 3-6lb. fish, and average for this lake. Of course this was "legal" but seemed like a waste to me. Now, for people taking more than their limit, that's a crime. Most of us are outdoorsmen "people" not law enforcement, so the only thing we really should do is report it.
 

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I think the biggest violation spot I see is Chatfield...guys putting Walleyes in their livewells that are not 18 inches...I have yet to see a warden out there...it is really sad...
 
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