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Duty Is Our's; Consequences are God's!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Know how to report folks keeping illegal fish when inshore, but how does it work offshore? The reason I ask is we watched a boat this past weekend keep at least one undersized ling, and maybe two (second one would have been close). I doubt the GW would come offshore to check these folks and not knowing where they launched or when they were returning makes it tough. I know we could have taken the boat name and numbers but by the time the GW finds them most likely all the evidence would be gone. Wouldn't think you would call the Coast Guard for something like this, so please give me any information y'all might have.

Thanks
Derek
 

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Just one More
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Take the info like you already suggested and go ahead and call Operation Game Thief <http://www.ogttx.com/> at 1-800-792-GAME or local law enforcement. Again it would be hard for them to do anything not knowing where they accessed the water. but maybe they could let them know others are watching.

 

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I doubt one or two fish is worth the game warden's attention. Hopefully they're interested in the people loading up ice chests with undersize fish. I wouldn't do anything in that situation, it may have been a rookie with his first offshore catch.
 

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Duty Is Our's; Consequences are God's!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BEER4BAIT said:
If your phone works call OGT opperation game theaf, the # is on your fishing lic. Give # and discription of boat and possible port, jetties.
Got the numbers for OGT and the local TPWD office in my phone. It works sometimes out there and sometimes it doesn't. Guess I will have to start taking a pen a paper along to write the info down so when I get a signal I can report these guys.

Where we were there were a ton of small ling (25-30 inches) on Sat. We caught a few and know these folks were seeing and catching the same ones. The one they gaffed couldn't have been more than 25" and I know they put him on ice. We didn't get a good look at the other one, but it still looked way short. Hey we had a blast catching a couple of them on trout rods, and just they would have been great eating, but we never keep anything undersized. Only way we can ensure there will be fish for our kids and grandkids.
 

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Old ******
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Last time we were out at the rig near Tall Rock we witnessed a couple of folks keeping every snap they caught and all were undersized. To make matters worse they were fileting the fish in the boat, wrapping them in ziplocks and then into the cooler they went.

When we got back to BB the couple was there and we learned, once again, that OGT does not answer calls on weekends.
 

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Duty Is Our's; Consequences are God's!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Valkyrie said:
I doubt one or two fish is worth the game warden's attention. Hopefully they're interested in the people loading up ice chests with undersize fish. I wouldn't do anything in that situation, it may have been a rookie with his first offshore catch.
The two ling was all we saw, and if they kept them I would almost bet they would keep other illegal fish. Being a rookie doesn't give you the right to keep anything you catch.
 

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The Law is the Law. Black and White. No Gray areas in a slot. It is or is not in the slot legal length . We are a society of Law. If you don't like the Law Change it.
 

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There is no law that requires me to report people speeding on I-35, drug sales in downtown Austin, or checking on fellow boaters catch. I personally obey game laws but I'm not joining the enforcement business.
 

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enforcement

Valkyrie said:
There is no law that requires me to report people speeding on I-35, drug sales in downtown Austin, or checking on fellow boaters catch. I personally obey game laws but I'm not joining the enforcement business.
Valkyrie,
I agree that nobody should be putting themselves in harm's way to report illegal snapper fishing - absolutely not.

That being said, it doesn't require much of someone to make a discreet phone call to report illegal activity. There is some brazen illegal activity going on right now (July 18th), and our enforcement needs all the help they can get.

All the best,
Tom Hilton
 

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TPWD Response to OGT

jimsmarr,

I don't know where you are getting your information but the OGT hotline (800 792-GAME) is answered by a real person twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The information from the call is then immediately forwarded to the game warden in the county where the violation is occurring - if the warden in that county is unavailable (vacation, day off, etc.), the information is forwarded to the Captain for the area, who then assigns a warden to the investigation. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

L. D. Turner, Asst. Chief
Wildlife Enforcement
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
5200 Smith School Road
Austin, Texas 78744
OGT 800 792-GAME (4263)

From: jimsmarr [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:29 AM
To: Bill Robinson
Subject: Operation Game Thief does not answer on weekends????




Last time we were out at the rig near Tall Rock we witnessed a couple of folks keeping every snap they caught and all were undersized. To make matters worse they were fileting the fish in the boat, wrapping them in ziplocks and then into the cooler they went.

When we got back to BB the couple was there and we learned, once again, that OGT does not answer calls on weekends.


__________________
Seeking wisdom of Mother Ocean is futile. She will only teach you humility.


 

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The Law may be the Law , But the Law is only as good as the enforcement behind it. I Have been playing phone tag with TCEQ on surface water and wastewater violations. These laws are to protect the saftey and health of Texas citizens not some fish .The Process: You can call and leave a message with one of the above listed numbers , and they may call you back. The gill net bust thread ,, thats 1st class enforcement,,but third world getting the info to the right people, i dont think the Sherriff is going to hold someone with a couple of illegal fish . Maybe the Fed`s will have thier emergency 811 up and going soon, and maybe it will work for this kinda of enforcement.
 

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Hey Tom, Kings-X, I give. My only point is that I'm not too interested in reporting someone that has taken one undersize fish, I think it is a waste of Game Warden assets to fool with it. I would consider reporting someone taking ice chests full of illegal fish. We all have our own threshold for pain.
 

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Jim Smarr...I am sure the line is manned 24/7 but I can also assure you that on Sunday morning 7/16/06 I could not get through to them at that number. There was a recording that asked me to press 2 to report a violation and no matter what # I pressed the recording just kept telling me to press 2. I feel sure it was a technical glitch and it did not stop me from persuing the matter but it does not always work ( like most things in life :).

In 45 years of fishing around the world, Sunday was the first time I have felt the need to report someone. I have turned my head before but I don't want to see the great fishing we all enjoy today go back to the way it was in the early and middle eighties offshore when you had to scratch for decent snapper or in the 70's when the gill netters were wreaking havoc on the flounder and redfish in the bays. Thanks to Tom Hilton and all of the rest of you who are actively trying to preserve the awesome fishery we have at out doorstep. Just remember that if we don't stay active and police ourselves, how can we expect the excruciatingly small number of TPW enforcement officers to do it all. I was amazed to learn that there are only 4 officers in all of Brazoria Co. An overwhelming task to say the least!!!

Tim Allen
 

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Makaira1 I understand it happened to me

I experienced the same recording one day in Rockport when a Vietnamese
shrimper was off loading baskets of illegal redfish into a truck in Fulton Harbor.
I never got a response. I believe you as I have first hand experience. I just posted up the reply as I reported the problem to Major Robinson at TPWD.

I think we have a huge disconect between law enforcement and reality as far as Red Snapper fishing violations both at Federal Level and State Level. Feds ride the coat tails of TPWD in most cases.

Jim Smarr
rfatexas.org
361-463-1558
[email protected]
 

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Valkyrie said:
Hey Tom, Kings-X, I give. My only point is that I'm not too interested in reporting someone that has taken one undersize fish, I think it is a waste of Game Warden assets to fool with it. I would consider reporting someone taking ice chests full of illegal fish. We all have our own threshold for pain.
What he said. I don't like seeing people keep even one illegal fish, but with the myriad of species offshore, the differences in state limits and federal limits, the similarities of species in some cases I can sure see how honest mistakes are made, especially by the less experienced. Plenty of people out there keeping LOTS of illegal fish who KNOW what they are doing, out and out outlaws.

On the other hand anyone seen by me boating a turtle without a NOAA on the side o their boat had best eat it right there on the water because they will be followed (out of accurate gunshot range) to the dock if necessary, filmed, their truck followed home if possible until I get someone interested and official on the phone.
 

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Duty Is Our's; Consequences are God's!
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Valkyrie said:
Hey Tom, Kings-X, I give. My only point is that I'm not too interested in reporting someone that has taken one undersize fish, I think it is a waste of Game Warden assets to fool with it. I would consider reporting someone taking ice chests full of illegal fish. We all have our own threshold for pain.
Ok, so what you are saying is that it is alright in your opinion for everyone to keep one illegal fish?
 

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Old ******
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Jim, no disrespect intended, but if you think that OGT answers the phone or has a working message system, you are dead wrong. I have made multiple attempts on multiple occasions and never made contact with them. I've decided to just stop wasting my time because unless it's a deer being killed in a high-fenced area by a poacher...they aren't interested at TPWD.

Lack of field officers can be understood but when you hand them a violator on a silver platter it's tough to understand their lack of motivation. Maybe they need to get rid of some of those hundreds of "support people" in Austin and hire more wardens.
 
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