View Full Version : Calif. Salmon-Poaching Operation Busted.
07-18-2001, 09:27 PM
Salmon-Poaching Operation Busted. Group Was Catching Fingerlings Out Of Sacramento River.
SACRAMENTO, 7:37 p.m. PDT July 16, 2001 -- A ring of poachers who California Department of Fish and Game officials said were endangering the salmon run on the Sacramento River have been caught.
Thirty-six men were poaching thousands of salmon fingerlings in Glenn County at night for bait to catch larger fish like sturgeon and striped bass.
"We found them almost every night," DFG game warden Steve Owens said. "Two or three groups. Two or three groups on every sandbar."
Game wardens, who crawled through bushes and brush during their three-week investigation and caught some of the poachers on video, said the operation was sophisticated.
The men used screens and blankets stitched together to catch the 3-inch juvenile salmon, game wardens said, and carried radios that they used to communicate with lookouts.
"One guy had a radio on his neck when we caught him," Owens said. "Three hours later, he had the radio on his neck and was still talking to Paul Revere, who had the other one. That's what really bothered the judge. They went to the extreme of using radios to evade getting caught."
Two of the men, who were arrested in May and convicted in July, are serving 30-day jail sentences. It's the first time statewide a poacher has been given a jail sentence.
The other men who were arrested were fined up to $2,700.
Game wardens said that the operation was a clear threat to the future health of the river's salmon population.
"They're doing a lot of damage to the resource," Owens said. "If these don't get to the ocean, we're not going to have them back in three years. Think of all the people who enjoy catching 30-pound salmon."
07-18-2001, 10:58 PM
Interesting and sad - I'm curious is the violation connected to seining or the fact that they took salmon fingerlings???
07-19-2001, 01:01 AM
Wow a hole 30 day for thouansds of salmon. ###The S.O.B's should be hung by thier balls. ###What your story don't say is these guys were goverment pets(viets) who could carealess about our resources as long as they can make some money. ###Yea there's pochers of all races but it sure seems like these viets are a bigger problem ###then anyone (goverment) wants to admit. ### Alright rip me now for saying the turth.
07-19-2001, 05:50 AM
You are right again grizz. The vietanmese have been a problem ever since they got to this country. They have no respect for our laws or our resouces. I have personally called fish and game several times because of seeing them openly poaching.
Several years ago, two friends and I had scouted out a good spot on Snow Mountain for the upcoming deer season. On opening day, we were sleeping in a parking lot. As we were about to head into the woods, two vans and a car pulled in. Out gets about 16 vietnamese. All in street clothes, dress shoes and carrying all kinds of weapons. Many of them had automatics.
My friends and I raced into the woods hoping that these jokers were going somewhere else. But no. After daylight, I am stalking a deer trail and here come these idiots, all in a line, tromping through the woods, shooting anything and everything that moved.
We got out of their and searched for a couple hours until we could find someone who could radio fish and game.
I have had a couple other experiences with them. I wish I knew a solution to this problem. If the courts started handing out more jail time, that might make a difference.
07-20-2001, 11:19 PM
Where I grew up in rural Missouri it was the good ole boys who did all the poaching, more like slaughtering with all the animals they would take. It still goes on today exceopt it's now for trophy heads for high dollar clients.
They too have been a problem since they were let into the country, just ask the Indians.
07-21-2001, 11:15 PM
### ### ###I really don't care what race they are, commercial pochers should be given hard time. ###30 days ain't S#!+. ###
### ### ###But I wouldn't be suprized if these pochers didn't get some slack because they're goverment pets. ###
07-23-2001, 03:02 PM
I know exactly what you mean griz! ###I've had spot after spot ruined by them. ###I've got a little honey hole dove spot that I've been hunting for 15 years. ###I hunt it about once or twice a week and have good shooting throughout the season. ###Well, for the last three years every friggen day of the season there's about 6 toyota cressida's with 4-6 hunters each hanging out. ###Guess what...no more doves. ###They just go and go and go until they deplete something and then move on to the next thing... ###Alot of people, like the media, would call my response racist and it really has nothing to do with ones race. ###It's a culture clash that nobody wants to address for fear of offending someone. ###It's ok to offend true americans(those that have accepted our culture), but heaven forbid should we offend recent immigrants(or those that refuse to accept american culture)...that's the problem! ###I'm fired up now so I'll just leave it at that...
Oh yeah, griz is right again, 30 days ain't S*^%! ###Poachers ought to be given some hard time(lifting weights and watching TV doesn't count as hard time by the way) in years, not days!
07-23-2001, 10:26 PM
Nice response, Jesse. ###
Seems like every time a new race comes to this country, they wreak havoc. ###The first folks to cross the land bridge exterminated danged near all the large mammals on the continent. ###
Then those European bastards showed up, and started exterminating the locals, as well as the wildlife. ###It was OK, though, because their religion taught them that man (particularly WHITE man) was dominant over all living things, and should subject the very earth to his dominion.
Now the Hmong, whose religion tells them to use all living things as food or sources of food have arrived, and they seem to be making short work of all that's left, in spite of existing laws that tell them it's a no-no. ###And on top of it, we pay law enforcement next to nothing to stop them. ###The judicial system isn't built to process the number of cases heaped on it, and the prison system is so full of gangsters and drug dealers that they can't take them in. ###
This shouldn't be about race. ###It should be about finding solutions. ###I know the handful of game wardens we still have in this state are out there trying to catch the perpetrators. ###There just aren't enough of them. ###But they are trying, and the justice system is doing what it can. ###
I think it's important to note that two of these "pets" just got the first jail sentences ever for statewide poachers. ###That doesn't sound like favoritism or racial over-sensitivity to me.
By the way, this isn't really an accusation calling any of you guys "racist" for your comments. ###The Hmong attitude toward natural resources and our laws is reprehensible, and must be countered. ###Consistent, harsh penalties would be a good start. ###But they need to be consistent and harsh for everyone.
07-24-2001, 01:11 AM
According to history books, don't think those immigrants that crossed the land bridge came anywhere near exterminating the large mammals. Seems they left that "honor" for us late comers.
Per the history books they were the first conservationist on this continent. They held all wildlife as being sent by the Gods to sustain their needs and held many in great reverence. They were very selective in taking only what was needed and leaving the rest to multiply for future needs.
Interesting to observe the values and customs of different cultures in todays world.
07-24-2001, 05:58 PM
To point at one ethnic or racial group and say "They are the problem" is ridiculous. I've witnessed some pretty sorry acts by all sorts of hunters and fisherman. Poaching cuts across all the ethnic ###and racial classes.
Most of the notorious poaching cases like Gene Lewis, Kirk Darner, Ryan Hatch, Noel Feather etc, are about as white, anglo-saxon, Protestant as you can get. Anyone remember the 4 politicians down at Yuma that got caught with several hundred doves in one shoot? Not one Hmong was found in the group.
Just last year I was in Missouri big buck country the day before rifle season opened up. We were on some big bucks and after a mid morning scouting trip we found one of the big bucks we were after laying 50 yards off the road with just his head cut off. I can guarantee you one thing, they ain't nothing but white farm boys in that part of the country, it's known as "Little Dixie" to the locals.
07-24-2001, 06:08 PM
Time for new history books, man. ###
Those early folk weren't as great at conservation as they were once given credit for. ###The only reason their passage left so little sign was because there were only a few million over the whole continent. ###The agricultural tribes would generally settle an area, farm it to dust, then pick up and move on. ###The early horse ancestor (eohippus), cave bears, and camels were virtually eliminated by hunting methods that included burning the entire plain, or chasing the herds over the cliffs. ###By the time the white man came, all that was left were the "modern" animals...which were promptly decimated by the newcomers. ###
The myth of the "noble savage" has been exposed over and over again. ###It's no more real than Chief Seattle's "speech" about how "we cannot own the earth." ###
07-24-2001, 07:57 PM
I have to apoligize if my earlier comments sounded racist. The particular incident we were taliking about involved Viets and I recalled incidents that I have had involving the same. However, I know from personal experience that it is not a race thing. I was also involved in getting some "white boys" busted for over limits on abalone and constantly hear about others decimating our resouces. It just PI#$#$ me off so much on each incident that I get carried away.
07-25-2001, 02:41 AM
Just repeating what the Calif. college system taught in their "Early American History" courses a few years ago. Didn't know the "thinking" had changed in such a short time.
I understand the hunting methods you describe but with only a few million souls scattered across the contintent, compared to the numbers of large mammals that were here when they arrived, it would take some doing to wipe them all out. I was taught climatic conditions, which altered the habitats, had much more of an effect than humans hunters and at one period almost resulted in the extinction of the first humans on this continent.
If historians have changed what I was taught, maybe I should go back and take the course over again. :ABG
As for the "noble savage", here again, guess it depends on which history books one reads.
Not saying all "noble savages" were model conservationist but I think most were much more reverent toward the earth and its wild creatures than any "immigrants" that have followed. Also believe the continuing teachings in the "modern" Indian nations, distant relatives of the first inhabitants, bears this out.
Kinda believe 'ol Chief Seattle thought we were merely placed on this planet by a higher power to serve as stewards of the land during the short period in history between birth and death.
07-25-2001, 12:46 PM
That wasn't a personal shot, by the way...hope you know that. ###Just that most history books, even today, are still repeating historical "truths" from fifty or a hundred years ago. ###Textbooks are notoriously slow to catch up with current science.
For all I know, you're an anthropology professor laughing in your sleeve at this "amateur" scholar. ###You wouldn't be the first. ###But I enjoy this kind of discussion, and I usually learn from it. ###
So take what I say from this perspective...this is an area of debate which has come up repeatedly in the environmental discussions and debates in which I've been involved for a fairly long time. ###The arguments I promote really aren't my own, but obviously I've been convinced of their validity.
The history of Native Americans has definitely been "rewritten" recently, especially concerning a lot of theory about human impact on indigenous species. ###And it's still changing, driven more from an anthropological perspective than historical. ###I think that's probably why the history texts haven't caught up. ###History doesn't deal as much in theory. ###A lot of this stuff was being taught in anthropology and sociology courses when I last took college courses 10 or 11 years ago.
It's entertaining, but confusing to listen to the scholars argue over their theories, but light is emerging. One of the things that has come out is that the early hunters were really far too effective. ###The species they preyed on were not adapted to a predator that killed en masse, and so took heavy losses...in many cases beyond the point of recovery. ###It is true that the climatic changes, such as the most recent ice age probably also weakened the populations and made them more vulnerable. ###(This is all still hotly debated, of course.)
For their part, the early Americans were much like the portrayal of the European despoilers... they saw the resources as unlimited ("Eat all you want, we'll make more.", and never had a thought that they could possibly kill everything. ###If hunting grew slow in one area, it was time to move on. ###That's part of what drove the migration across the continent. ###
But the hunter-gatherers weren't the "worst" of it. ###The agrarian tribes, such as the Anasazi (precursor to Navaho and Hopi), really did a number on the land. ###But fortunately, there weren't enough of them to really leave a big scar. ###
The traditional histories and mythologies of the ancient americans don't supply any real support for this idea of early conservationist ideals. ###Many of the tribes were animists, so they did ascribe a special soul to every living thing... and most taught a respect for those spirits. ###Some of them even illustrate a good comprehension of the "circle of life" and the interconnectedness of species...at least on a basic level. ###They understood that if you "angered" certain "spirits" through disrespectful actions, then game would be scarce. ###Conservation of resources was just not a topic...at least as far as can be determined from the record. ###
Bear in mind, of course, that this "record" consists primarily of oral histories passed down by generations, and by the interpretation of pictographs. ###The majority of it was collected by white men, and subject to their intepretations. ###There's definitely room for error and editorial license, and it's safe to say that some of the oral histories were heavily influenced by the arrival of the white folk and their own mythologies ###(e.g. missionaries). ###
This brings us back to Chief Seattle, and his "Letter to the People" http://www.barefootsworld.net/seattle.html
It's a great letter. ###But not Chief Seattle's words...or likely, not even his intent.
As it turns out, all evidence is contrary to Chief Seattle ever speaking these words, and certainly against his writing them since he was illiterate. ###One interpretation of the discourse mentions, among other things, white men shooting buffalo from the railroad (or Iron Horse), which Seattle would never have experienced or seen since the railroad did not enter his part of the country at the time of the supposed speech/letter (1854). ###
Even so, the speech/letter still appear in both History and Literature texts, and is still taught in school systems...attributed to Chief Seattle. ###Some teachers bother to explain it, and others don't. ###But it's a good example of the disconnect between current, scholastic dogma and fact. ###
Anyway, I've rambled enough. ###I'll step out from behind the podium, and let someone else have the pointing stick and chalk. ###
07-25-2001, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the history lesson and, no, I didn't assume your response was a personal shot. I never assume that unless the word "a**hole", or a close similarity, is included. :ABG
Looks like I'm gonna have to go back and take a refresher course and get up to date. I find history of that era fascinating.
I was once told by a History Professor that evidence may point to some one of the European persuasion writing the letter and crediting it to Chief Seattle.
I once had the opportunity to sit and talk for hours with a neighbors 97 year old great, great grandfather who was full blooded Plains Sioux. He told me the Indians broke as many treaties as the "white eyes" did. A lonely, slow talking, fascinating old man with a wealth of stories. Tears would come to his eyes as he recalled his past. He recalled the stories told to him of the Custer defeat and the celebrations that were held among the nations afterward.
07-26-2001, 09:32 AM
We can never stop learning, huh? ###I love this stuff too, obviously. ###
Your history professor was right. ###The speech/letter reflects a knowledge of classical literature (e.g., the "Web of life" is directly from Greek mythology) and the rhetoric and style is very Victorian. ###There are also several references to things (iron horse, talking wires, etc.) that Seattle could never have known about. ###
You were lucky to meet that old Sioux. ###Most of the full-bloods I've talked to (mainly Blackfeet and Cherokee in Oklahoma) knew less about their own history than I did. ###And now, of course, all many of them know or care about is when their next royalty check comes from the tribal casino. ###
There's a whole chunk of history that's about to go away forever.
07-26-2001, 10:56 AM
Nice post guys, but where's the conection to salmon poaching. ###Jesse, noone here ever said one race was the problem. ###What I said was''These people are a bigger problem than anyone (gov) wants to admit''
And I stand by that statement.
### Now back to salmon poaching. ###This kind of poaching could wipe out the fishery in a very short time. ###Dfg said they were endangering the run. ###I was under the impression some of the run is already endangered. ###So where's the feds? ###I bet at least a few of these fingerlings were winter run salmon. ###Aren't these on the endangered list right now? ###Is poaching an endangered species a fedral crime? ###
### 30 days wasn't s#!+.
07-26-2001, 04:31 PM
Sorry bout that, grizz.
Sometimes when you get more than one person in a crowd ya never know where the conversation will go. Hell, there's times when I'm in a crowd by myself and never know where the conversation's headed.:ABG
I agree with you concerning the "slap on the wrist" these guy received, especially since they were using the fingerlings for bait. A perfect opportunity to make an example of of these poachers.
One thing I don't understand - why did they let the guy with the radio on his neck continue to use it for 3 hours after he was apparently arrested. Shouldn't it have been removed when he was arrested.....
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