|Any time we apprehend an
individual for a violation such as illegal taking of a fish, the fish is confiscated. Once the
case is closed - citations issued, any hearings held, fines paid, etc. - the fish is then no
longer needed and is disposed of. Believe it or not, we have had hearings where the verdict has
been determined largely by our ability to produce the actual fish taken in violation of the Fish
and Boat Code.
In some instances where we've caught individuals with coolers full of illegally taken catch,
the Commission has donated the fish to food banks and once even to a local zoo to feed the
The real "crime" in poaching is that even when officers apprehend an individual who has
exploited our collective resources, the damage is already done. The one solace we as anglers
have is that at least a perpetrator who is caught is then deprived of the reward of keeping the
ill-gotten gains. It's a small consolation, however, when your realize that if it were not for
the actions of a few, those fish could still be out there for law-abiding anglers to pursue.