Texas Game Wardens and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agents
inspected some antique resale stores. These locations had alligator
skulls, black bear mounts, waterfowl mounts, raptor mounts and migratory
bird mounts for sale. During the inspection of one store, an individual
entered with a pet possum. In order to possess, sell, or purchase a
fur-bearer, a person must have a valid Fur-bearing Propagation Permit.
The possum was confiscated and relocated to a licensed rehabber.
Citations were issued and cases are pending.
Dude, Where’s My Car?
A Bexar County game warden was patrolling Calaveras
Creek by boat because the banks are closed to the public when they saw a
person trespassing then hide in the mesquite brush. The warden called
for backup and two additional wardens and a K-9 officer arrived to
assist. After an exhaustive search, they were still trying to locate the
subject. One of the wardens continued navigating their vessel father
north into the creek when they spotted someone walking on the other
side. The subject was stopped and told he was trespassing. He said he
didn’t have any fish or fishing gear and was walking back to the roadway
where his van was parked.
The subject said his friend brought him to the
property but had already left and was waiting at the van. The warden
exited the vessel and walked along the subject’s path where they found
an ice chest with six tilapia, one black bass and a cast net. The man
said he left the ice chest on the trail because he got scared. The K-9
handler radioed the warden to let them know the other suspect and van
were gone. The man said, “How am I supposed to get home?” He told the
warden his phone, wallet and money were in the van and his friend was
supposed to wait for him and take him home. The warden arrested the man
for criminal trespass, had him board the vessel and transported him to
the Bexar County Jail. Case pending with the District Attorney’s office.
A Uvalde County game warden found an unaccompanied
vehicle at a Nueces River crossing. Believing the occupants got into
another vehicle and drove down the river, the warden drove to a hill
overlooking the river a couple of miles away. There they saw four
individuals walking down the river, three with gigs and spears and one
with a fishing pole. The warden saw two of the individuals with
snorkeling gear dive into the river with the gigs.
Another person in the group waved to the divers, who
proceeded to dive and emerged with a catfish at the end of a gig. The
warden drove down to the group and discovered a fishing pole but no
other fishing, gigging or snorkeling equipment. After searching the
area, the warden found the gigs and spears, which had been thrown in the
water and concealed. The gigged catfish were nowhere to be seen. The
warden interviewed the four individually and found none of them had a
fishing license. After talking with each subject, one finally admitted
to gigging a catfish and leaving it at their last fishing spot some
distance away. The catfish was retrieved and seized along with three
gigs and spears. Multiple citations were issued with civil restitution.
And That’s the Boat-tom Line
Three Bell County game wardens were patrolling Lake
Belton checking crappie, white bass and tournament fishermen when they
came across a vessel hull identification number that did not conform to
the U.S. Coast Guard standards. The wardens ran the TX number and the
vessel was flagged for a mandatory boat inspection. The man operating
the vessel had purchased the boat several days ago from another person
who didn’t put the vessel in their name and failed to provide a title to
the boat. The wardens contacted the current registered owner who said
the boat had been stolen from Belton in 2009. A police report was never
made. The vessel was seized and citations were issued to the subject who
sold the vessel.
His Name is Mudd (Bugs)
A Jefferson County game warden followed up on
information from a social media post where a subject was selling live
crawfish. When the warden contacted the seller, he claimed to own a
catering company that sold live crawfish to local restaurants and
individuals. The sale of live crawfish for commercial and personal use
would require a Texas Wholesale Fish Dealer License. The man claimed
over the phone that he was properly licensed in Texas and Louisiana.
After requesting an in-person meeting with the subject, the warden
discovered that the subject did not possess any type of commercial
license and his vehicle was not properly marked to transport aquatic
Don’t be Shellfish
Two Jefferson County game wardens were patrolling the
ship channel near Port Arthur when they saw a commercial truck about to
be loaded with a pallet of shrimp at one of the local wholesale shrimp
processing facilities. They stopped to inspect the vehicle and
discovered it already had a cargo of 15 crates of fresh blue crab on
board. The driver was acting very suspicious and claimed to have bought
the crabs legally in Louisiana and transported them into Texas, which
requires a Texas Wholesale Fish Dealer License. The driver could not
produce a wholesale license or an aquatic product transportation
invoice, or other documentation for where the crabs had originated.
Wardens for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were
contacted to assist with the investigation. They interviewed the dealer
in Louisiana where the driver claimed the crabs had originated and
discovered that the driver was being deceptive. Texas game wardens
seized all 15 crates of crabs and sold them to the highest bidder as
required by law. The driver was issued citations and given warnings.
Oh-Fish-ially in Trouble
Galveston County game wardens received a call about
two individuals who were catching sheepshead fish with a net and keeping
over their bag limit. The wardens saw two over-flowing coolers with
fish. When the wardens asked how they caught all the fish, they said,
"with the net." When inspecting the coolers, the wardens found two
hidden bags also containing fish. The two individuals were in possession
of 47 sheepshead (27 undersized), three speckled sea trout and one 28”
red drum. Multiple citations were issued to each individual. Cases are