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'Ignorance is no excuse'

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I've heard that a lot when it comes to enforcing fishing regs...There's no doubt that most of us on SOL should know better. But I'm thinking more so in terms of that fair weather fisherman who just wants to spend quality time with his son, or the group of college kids who want to 'hit the beach' and might want to went a line in the process. I propose that there's not enough info readily available to claim that ignorance is no excuse

 

People at work ask me about fishing and I often volunteer some info regarding regulations as well - and they give me a blank stare as if to say 'you gotta be kidding me', or that they had no idea fishing had 'rules'cwm13.gif

 

We fishermen know where to find regulations on line and a few tackle shops (but way less than half of them) usually have some booklet of regulations available for patrons to grab at their leasure. It's not really as 'readily available' as some of us claim (although I've visited some states - Florida for example - where they do put forth a good effort to inform the novice of the local regs)...Here in MA, I can see how a novice would go out to the shoreline and unknowingly break the rules. There should be more 'in your face' info in tackle shops, at some of the more popular fishing location and maybe even either in mailed out form letters or as articles in news papers. I know the difference between someone playing ingorance and that blank look of 'oh sh**' from someone who didn't know and now feels in trouble because I pointed something out to them...

 

Of course, those of us who know better should also help spread the word as well - without automatically hitting the auto dial to the environmental police. Try to get a sense of whether the guy is pulling your leg or legitimately clueless.

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I admit that I've broke the rules few years back. But after getting on board SOL, I begin to learn more from everyone here.

 

Now I don't even think twice tossing a fish back.

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when you have to start buying your saltwater license, you will get a nice little booklet with all of the rules and regulations just like they do in freshwater. then there will really be no excuses.

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Most citations given around here (freshwater only) are for the following reasons:

 

1. No license-no excuses, every lake I've fished has posted signs stating anyone age 12 and up is required a license. And its the adults that are guilty. Most people hope they will not be caught so break the law knowningly. What is interesting is that the majority of the citations I've seen issued went to minorities.

 

2. Over limit-again no excuse. Its posted near the lake entrance. * Now I have to admit when I was a newbie, I over fished my limit because I fished for 3 days and thought it was a daily limit, not a posssession limit. I dodged that bullet and only did it once after I was told the difference by a friend when I came home with 15 fish for a 5 limit lake.

 

3. Fishing with too many rods in the water. Most people I see do this are new in the state and did not read the regs regarding " one angler, one rod" rule. The exception is purchasing a two rod stamp (which I have). A variation of this is fishing without a trout stamp in an uban pond stocked with trout.

 

BTW: Everywhere I've been that sell state fishing/hunting licenses have printed regulations readily available at the counter. So ignorance of the law really is no excuse.

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View PostMost citations given around here (freshwater only) are for the following reasons:

 

1. No license-no excuses, every lake I've fished has posted signs stating anyone age 12 and up is required a license. And its the adults that are guilty. Most people hope they will not be caught so break the law knowningly. What is interesting is that the majority of the citations I've seen issued went to minorities.

 

2. Over limit-again no excuse. Its posted near the lake entrance. * Now I have to admit when I was a newbie, I over fished my limit because I fished for 3 days and thought it was a daily limit, not a posssession limit. I dodged that bullet and only did it once after I was told the difference by a friend when I came home with 15 fish for a 5 limit lake.

 

3. Fishing with too many rods in the water. Most people I see do this are new in the state and did not read the regs regarding " one angler, one rod" rule. The exception is purchasing a two rod stamp (which I have).

 

 

More understandable in areas where rules are clearly posted. They should drop the hammer on people who ignore obvious signs. However, in my neck of the woods (especially in the ocean), there's nothing and many tackle shops will not go out of the way to educate these people.

 

So my question is, should people view fishing as they would driving - in the sense that even if they don't know the rules, they should assume there are some rules in place and they need to hunt them down on the internet?

 

This is not an argument against the real cheaters out there. It stems from an experience I had this past weekend down in Plymouth, MA where I saw a father and son fishing and catch a well under legal sized striper. They were going to keep it until I let them know that they could be fined. They were stunned, but let the fish go and in my estimation, they were not out to intentionally break any laws. They had lesser expensive gear that they later told me was purchased at Dick's (not sure where they bought their bait - which was clams)...But while I presume they were fishing on a whim - from their house to Dick's to whatever tackle shop they stopped at, they did not get whatever information they needed about the law (they also didn't have the federal registry card either)...Should these non fishing minded folks know that they should probably search out the internet or call people regarding fishing laws? I don't know - it's hard for someone like me - who's very 'fishing minded' and knows most of the laws - to answer for someone who doesn't fish a lot and just wanted to spend a day on the water with his kid (critical thinking lesson of the dayredface.gifcwm27.gif )

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Now there is something I've been wondering. A lot of people goes into bait and tackle shop to get bait before fishing. If they post a poster with the daily limit and size of each fish, it will be easier for people to recongnize that there is the rule in each state.

 

There is pretty much no excuse that they won't see the poster or sign if it's posted.

 

For example, the sign at the east end of the canal is good example of how they can educated other fishermen.

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View PostNow there is something I've been wondering. A lot of people goes into bait and tackle shop to get bait before fishing. If they post a poster with the daily limit and size of each fish, it will be easier for people to recongnize that there is the rule in each state.

 

 

There is pretty much no excuse that they won't see the poster or sign if it's posted.

 

 

For example, the sign at the east end of the canal is good example of how they can educated other fishermen.

 

Nice thought, I don't think the b&t's would cooperate, probably not in their best interest.

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Coming from a beginner postion not too long ago (about 2 years ago I got serious into fishing) I would say that the majority of casual anglers don't read the regs, mostly out of laziness. They act on common sense (atleast their common sense) or limited knowledge and hope for the best.

 

Up until I got serious into fish, going once or twice a year prior, I didn't read anything until I was told about the difference between a daily limit and a possession limit. Then I sat down and actually read the reg book. In fact, I will still review the regs as a refresher or to look at specific regs regarding slot limits or bait restrictions. I keep a copy of the reg book in my car and have a copy at home to peruse. And I also use the internet to search for a specific law or topic in the regs.

 

It is up to those of us that are well versed in the regs to help educate the casual angler. I've interjected or explained a violation to many sometimes-anglers and most were receptive, appreciating the heads up. It prevented them from being fined later. I try to be helpful and try not to come off as a know it all. But if I see what looks like a blatant disregard for the regs, I call the game warden and let him/her deal with it (this was addressed in another thread).

 

Most people know they are required a fishing license and that there are daily limits. Beyond that, they don't generally familarize themselves with the regs and laws regarding fishing. I do think that the b&t shops should atleast post some general information as a courtesy to is customers. But its up to the individual to familarize themselves with the fishing laws.

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