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Game Warden Field Notes

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports compiled the following items.

Gone Hog Wild

A game warden was on his way home from work near Bay City when he noticed a pair of four-wheelers driving around a private ranch working spotlights. He called another officer for backup, and together they gathered up what turned out to be eight individuals and their hog dogs. Allegedly, a neighbor who knew the hunters told them that the ranch owner was out of town and wouldn’t be around. The warden contacted the rancher, who indicated that he would be getting with him to file charges on the group once he returned home.

Holy Mackerel, Not Again

A Matagorda County game warden was checking an offshore sports fisherman and found several frozen undersized Spanish mackerel. The fisherman stated that he had purchased the fish for offshore bait from a seafood dealer in Matagorda, who turned out to be the same business owner that received numerous citations for the same violation when wardens inspected his place of business a few weeks ago. The Warden contacted the business owner and questioned him about the possible possession of any more small mackerel. The dealer admitted to having more and led the warden to a freezer where he had 256 illegal undersized mackerel stored. Citation and approximately $1,700 in civil restitution are pending.

Something Smells Fishy

A Trinity County Game Warden received a call from a bass fisherman who found a gill net in a creek off the Trinity River. Wardens located three illegal nets the next day and also discovered a fishing camp not far from the net locations. At the camp, they found several holding baskets and stringers with fish inside. Some of the fish were dead and rotten. The wardens located a boat in the water at the camp but were unable to make contact with anyone. Two days later, wardens made contact with three individuals at the camp. Officers found a fish shocker in the boat. Officers identified the three fishermen and gave them 17 citations and warnings including no Texas fishing license, fishing by illegal means and methods, running illegal-trotlines/jug lines, and failure to keep fish in a safe condition.

Speeding While Intoxicated

Game wardens were patrolling the Sabine River when a call came in from a Gladewater fisherman regarding a boat repeatedly driving back and forth at high rates of speed near the city bridge. Wardens notified the Gladewater Police Department and officers were able to locate and shut down the boat until the Wardens arrived. The operator was identified and later acknowledged he consumed “three or four beers,” and then stated he was “too drunk to drive a boat.” The subject failed field sobriety tests and was arrested by the wardens for boating while intoxicated. The blood test lab results and case are pending.

Loaded to the Gills

Brazoria County Game Wardens seized a 300-foot gill net found set in Christmas Bay. Officers found approximately 150 fish caught in the net, as well as a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. The turtle was released alive.

Out of Control

Tyler County game wardens observed a personal watercraft motoring without any occupants near Rattlesnake Island on Sam Rayburn Lake. The wardens then saw an individual swimming from the watercraft. Wardens were able to stop the craft before it crashed into rocks on the island. Officers identified the operator and, after a short interview, became concerned the man was potentially intoxicated. The man admitted to drinking two beers and later added he also smoked marijuana. The subject was booked into Jasper County Jail on boating while intoxicated charges.

Bad Debt

While on enhanced patrol of Lake Amistad during Memorial Day weekend, a Val Verde County Game Warden arrested a fisherman on an outstanding warrant for criminal non-payment of child support. He owed $17,000. They booked the subject into the Val Verde County Jail.

Don’t Mess With Texas

A Val Verde County Game Warden stopped a vehicle leaving Lake Amistad that was losing trash from the bed of the truck and arrested the driver for multiple convictions of driving while license suspended.