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  •  » Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

#1 May-28-09 5:19AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

On May 23, 2009, Virginia Conservation Police Officer K.G. Bilwin received a report from Richmond dispatch about a group using a spear gun to catch fish and keeping over their limit. The caller stated he observed this group keep everything, including undersized fish and exceed their limit. The complainant stated that this activity happens every weekend, but more so during holiday weekends. Officer Bilwin, Officer Billhimer and Master Officer Martin decided to work the complaint undercover. Officer Martin launched a canoe from a nearby boat ramp and floated down to the other officer's position. Together, officers observed as nearly 25 subjects were fishing from the banks of the river using hand lines. While taking notes of the descriptions of the subjects fishing, Bilwin and Billhimer noticed two males out in the middle of the river acting suspiciously. One of the males had underwater goggles and a snorkel and rarely came above the water and when he did, he did not bring his hands above the water. The other male was acting like a "lookout"; he was not fishing but just kept looking all around while the other male stayed under water. Officer Bilwin then boarded the canoe Officer Martin was utilizing. Billhimer joined them in a kayak and began to develop a plan of action.

Officer Billhimer drifted close to the two males in the middle of the river and notified Bilwin and Martin that he saw a string tied to the ankle of the male that was spending most of the time underwater. Officers Bilwin and Martin approached the two males and identified themselves. The males dropped everything they had and stated they were not fishing, but were looking for crawfish. CPOs Bilwin, Martin and Billhimer rounded up all the people they could identify as the ones that were fishing. None of the people that were seen fishing had fishing licenses. Officers Bilwin, Billhimer and Martin began issuing summons for the fishing license violations and confronted the two males suspected of using a spear gun. The two males denied fishing or using a spear gun. Officer Bilwin and Billhimer then swam out to the area where the two males were last seen and tried to locate a spear gun. Underwater goggles were utilized and within 30 minutes a stringer full of fish was located at the bottom of the river. The stringer had one catfish, eight bass and eight bluegill. Four of the bass were within the illegal slot limit. Shortly after locating the stringer a spear gun was found at the bottom of the river. Officer Bilwin then confronted the subjects about the spear gun and fish. One of the males admitted to using the spear gun to shoot the fish. The spear gun, along with the fish, were seized. Overall there were 11 summons and one written warning issued from this undercover operation. For more information contact Captain Kevin Clarke (540) 248-9360.

For the rest of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Outdoor Report, go to:

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-re … index.html


Time to go fishin' again!

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#2 May-28-09 6:14AM

mudkart
Northern Snakehead
Registered: Mar-13-09
Posts: 201

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

Thanks for the post.  It was good to hear of some enforcement regarding these issues.  Maybe reporting these offences does work over time.

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#3 Mar-28-10 5:26AM

jumping jasper
Patagonian Toothfish
Registered: Apr-03-07
Posts: 844

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

I could not find the post I made about the spear fisherman in goose creek, but they called me yesterday to inform me that my call resulted in two convictions on four counts and I was offerd a $50 award, which I declined to accept. They are going to send me a letter of appreciation.


smile

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#4 Mar-28-10 5:45AM

Dominion Dan
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Falls Church, VA
Registered: May-24-08
Posts: 1055

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

awesome!

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#5 Mar-29-10 4:53AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

Good work Jeff!


Time to go fishin' again!

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#6 Apr-29-16 2:25PM

Curly
Patagonian Toothfish
Registered: Mar-15-10
Posts: 4774

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

Today, I met one of the Game Warden's that popped those poachers.  He was the surveillance guy and not mentioned in the article. Very cool story of stalk and capture.


Hell or High Water...........I'm Fishin!!   big_smile

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#7 Apr-29-16 3:53PM

drxfish
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Sterling
Registered: Jan-04-14
Posts: 1146

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

So glad they were caught.


Always wishin' I was fishin'

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#8 May-02-16 6:04AM

AndrewDo124
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Alexandria
Registered: May-27-08
Posts: 963

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

Need some of this effort at chain bridge. I swear i leave that place angry every time i'm there.

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#9 May-02-16 6:10AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

AndrewDo124 wrote:

Need some of this effort at chain bridge. I swear i leave that place angry every time i'm there.

DC increased their presence a few years ago and I'm not sure it made a dent. VA doesn't even get in the game there nor does MD since most of the activity is on DC soil or Park land.


Time to go fishin' again!

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#10 May-02-16 6:15AM

AndrewDo124
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Alexandria
Registered: May-27-08
Posts: 963

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

I've seen A LOT of activity on the VA side lately but I guess they're kind of in those hard to reach areas. too dangerous to pursue. Lately, it's been all my cousins and not yours, Ernie. The trash upsets me even more. chicken liver containers, bags, cans, bottles, etc. I digress.

Glad to hear about the effort from those officers!

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#11 May-02-16 6:19AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

My last 2 trips up to Fletcher's had me scratching my head with all of the trash I saw on the water and on shore. There were many trash bags hanging on tree limbs. Maybe there is a service that picks that stuff up.


Time to go fishin' again!

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#12 May-02-16 6:26AM

AndrewDo124
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Alexandria
Registered: May-27-08
Posts: 963

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

It's terrible. I want to ask the next person I see leave trash, "where do you think this trash goes? Do you think someone is going to come clean this up for you? is it that hard to take your trash with you?" but I doubt it'll have any affect on them or change their ways.

just like the guys that ask to keep the shad I catch for bait because they are fishing for rockfish and use it for bait. The rockfish that they also intend on keeping illegally.

definitely got the case of the monday's.

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#13 May-02-16 6:34AM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12453

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

AndrewDo124 wrote:

definitely got the case of the monday's.

How's the wrist?


Time to go fishin' again!

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#14 May-02-16 6:43AM

AndrewDo124
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Alexandria
Registered: May-27-08
Posts: 963

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

Ernie wrote:

AndrewDo124 wrote:

definitely got the case of the monday's.

How's the wrist?

pretty weak. switching to south paw fishing till it gets better

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#15 May-02-16 7:01AM

Curly
Patagonian Toothfish
Registered: Mar-15-10
Posts: 4774

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

I know that VA-DGIF did a big operation on there on Sunday (VA side of Great Falls) with MD-DGIF on the MD side big_smile .  Wonder how they did with all the rain?


Hell or High Water...........I'm Fishin!!   big_smile

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#16 May-02-16 7:09AM

AndrewDo124
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Alexandria
Registered: May-27-08
Posts: 963

Re: Officers swim the extra mile to make arrests on spear fishermen

Curly wrote:

I know that VA-DGIF did a big operation on there on Sunday (VA side of Great Falls) with MD-DGIF on the MD side big_smile .  Wonder how they did with all the rain?

I was there around noon sunday when it started to get really packed. As soon as the rain stopped, the bucket brigade came through in full force. only stayed for an hour or so.

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