Follow-Up: 160 Times Trout Limit Nets $8,110 Fine!

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In a story we first brought readers in 2014, a New Mexico man who was found with more than 160 times his limit of trout has been fined after reaching a plea agreement. This week you’ll also read about a Nevada bill that address often-ridiculous school zero-tolerance policies, and much more!

Angler Exceeds Limit — By 1,600 Fish!
It’s a fishing over-limit case that far exceeded anything we’ve ever reported here at The Outdoor News Hound.

A Clovis, N.M., man convicted of illegally possessing more than 1,600 trout – more than 160 times the limit — has agreed to pay $8,110 in civil penalties after accepting a plea agreement.

New Mexico Game and Fish officers seized more than 1,600 trout!
New Mexico Game and Fish officers seized more than 1,600 trout!

Bounchanh Bounsombath, 63, was arrested in May 2014 after Department of Game and Fish conservation officers seized the trout during a search warrant at Bounsombath’s home. Bounsombath admitted to catching all of the fish at Green Acres Lake and Denis Chaves Pond in Clovis. Most of the trout were in one-gallon zippered-plastic bags containing two to four trout per bag. All of the trout had been salted and dried before being frozen.

Under the plea agreement reached last month in Clovis Magistrate Court, Bounsombath pleaded guilty to 10 charges of exceeding the bag limit and one count of unlawful possession of rainbow trout. He also was placed on five years of supervised probation.

All the trout were caught from two municipal lakes where they’re annually stocked for citizens to enjoy catching during the winter months.

“Never in my whole career have I encountered this before,” NMGF Col. Robert Griego said. “The extreme excess of this case is aggravating. The department stocks these fish for all sportsmen and women, young and old, with the desire that everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the fish.”

Nevada Bill Addresses ‘Zero-Tolerance’ Overreach
A measure that injects some welcomed common sense into the ridiculous extremes taken by some school districts and law enforcement agencies regarding firearms zero tolerance policies is headed to the Governor of Nevada, where it is expected to be signed into law.

In a 15-6 vote on May 22, the Nevada Senate approved AB 121, which permits students in kindergarten through the eighth grade to bring a small toy gun to school, draw pictures of guns, point their finger like a gun or even brandish “a partially consumed pastry or other food item to simulate a firearm” without fear of discipline of reprisal from authorities. The Nevada Assembly approved the measure in a 24-17 vote.

The so-called “Pop Tart Bill” awaits the signature of Gov. Brian Sandoval (R).

The measure’s moniker is derived from the well-publicized 2013 incident occurring in Baltimore, Md., in which a 7-year-old boy was suspended from school after he chewed his breakfast food into a shape his teacher claimed resembled a gun, pointed it at a classmate and said, “bang! bang!” There were prior and subsequent episodes across the country in which students faced discipline and even expulsion for drawing pictures of guns, pointing fingers like a gun and using other firearm pantomime.

In 2014, Florida lawmakers passed the nation’s first bill directly addressing the Maryland Pop Tart incident.

Nevada’s AB 121 specifically lists gun-related actions that will be protected by the new law, including:

  • Doodling a gun or dangerous weapon on a sheet of paper.
  • Twirling a pencil like a cowboy handling his revolver.
  • Simulating a gun with building blocks.
  • Wearing clothes depicting firearms or expressing an opinion regarding the constitutional right to bear arms.

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Jim Wheeler (R-Minden) said the measure was necessary in today’s environment of “political correctness taken too far.”

Michigan Confirms First Case of CWD in Free-Ranging Deer
The Michigan departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) have confirmed that a deer in Meridian Township (Ingham County) has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), marking the first time the disease has been found in Michigan’s free-ranging whitetail population.

In 2008, a deer from a privately owned cervid (POC) facility in Kent County tested positive for CWD.

“This is the first case of chronic wasting disease to be confirmed in a free-ranging Michigan white-tailed deer,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “While it is a disappointing day for Michigan, the good news is that we are armed with a thoughtfully crafted response plan. We are working with other wildlife experts at the local, regional, state, and federal level, using every available resource, to determine the extent of this disease, respond appropriately to limit further transmission, and ultimately eradicate the disease in Michigan if possible.”

The confirmed positive finding triggers several actions in the state’s surveillance and response plan for chronic wasting disease. The plan was developed in 2002 through cooperation between the DNR and MDARD, and was updated in 2012.

Actions the DNR will take include:

  • Completing a population survey in the area where the CWD-positive deer was found.
  • Establishing a Core CWD Area consisting of Alaiedon, Delhi, Lansing, Meridian, Wheatfield, and Williamstown townships in Ingham County; Bath and DeWitt townships in Clinton County; and Woodhull Township in Shiawassee County. Unlimited antlerless deer hunting licenses will be available. Mandatory checking of deer will be required in this area during hunting seasons and restrictions will apply to the movement of carcasses and parts of deer taken in this area.
  • Creating a CWD Management Zone, which will include Clinton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties.
  • Implementing a deer and elk feeding and baiting ban, which will include the Core CWD Area and the larger three-county CWD Management Zone.
  • Prohibiting the possession or salvage of deer killed by collision with a motor vehicle within the Core CWD Area. Also, residents are asked to call in the locations of road-killed deer within this area so DNR staff can pick up for testing. Research shows CWD-infected deer are more likely to be hit by vehicles because of their illness.

Quote of the Week
“The lordly channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, that trim, sagacious, freckle-flanked, clean-lined, fork-tailed, bighearted wonder of a fish — one of the best of all reasons for being a corn-country boy in early summer, or for going down the river in any summer of one’s life.”
— John Madson,
Up on the River,
1985

J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at jrabsher@me.com.

 

Guide Outdoors Readers: Do you think the punishment was severe enough for the New Mexico man who broke the state’s fishing law? Please comment below.

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