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I was speaking with a game warden one time and he said that if he sees you fishing on a private pond on your land, he can come o

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  • I was speaking with a game warden one time and he said that if he sees you fishing on a private pond on your land, he can come o

    I was speaking with a game warden one time and he said that if he sees you fishing on a private pond on your land, he can come onto your property to check your license and your catch. Do you think this is right? Public waters, no question. But if i build a pond on my land, pay to have it stocked with fish, I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Its mine!

  • #2
    This question really addresses another question that I see every now and then: Are animals that you pay to maintain on your land, your property? Personally I say they are and that you should be able to fish when you want, what you want if you paid for them and are keeping them on private property. For the game commission to monitor what you do with fish you have personally bought, would be like having the furniture store making sure that you are sitting on your couch properly.

    Now I do believe that they should have the right to come in and make sure that you are taking care of the fish and that they are healthy. After all, if they are healthy you'll probably get more out of them in the long run. And with that being said, if it turns out that the fish, or any game, is not being properly treated, they should have the right to seize that game.

    I appreciate wardens and what they do for our environment and our game resources, but that attitude might change if they said I wasn't allowed to fish in MY private pond, with MY fish.

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    • #3
      Game wardens would be promptly escorted off my pond. No public resources there to be monitored. If I were shooting ducks, that would be another matter.

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      • #4
        As far as I know, at least here, they can't do that. If they have received calls about you poaching or something like that, then they have probable cause to come investigate(wildlife is a public resource), but they are bound to the same restrictions as a police officer. They can't just come onto private property uninvited without probable cause (witnessing you doing something, neighbors calling in, etc) or a warrant. As far as fishing goes, I have never heard of a warden monitoring private ponds/lakes, but they can monitor the rivers, even where they pass through private land, because it's not self contained. What happens on that private property effects what happens downstream. Sounds like maybe the warden you talked to might have a bit of an over-inflated sense of how much power he actually has when it comes to checking your paperwork on a private pond.

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        • #5
          Sarge may correct me on this but from what I understand, at least in WV, DNR authority meets or exceeds that of the state police so they can go where they deem necessary, IF I understand it right.

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          • #6
            I believe it is that way in WA State as well. They do not need a warrant of permission to enter private property nor need a search warrant if they have reason to believe a game violation has been committed. Anything else they might find would be scrutinized by the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine in the rules of evidence.

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            • #7
              The only reason that we checked private ponds was to make sure that the landowner and his children were the only ones fishing, or someone else, and not someone from out of state which is illegal in our state whether you put fish in the pond or not. Any non-resident fishing in our state needs a license to fish unless they are in a commercially licensed lake.
              007, That is a "old wives tale" Natural Resources Police still have to abide by the laws of arrest search and seizure. That tactic worked for alot of years and when I started working almost 50 years I just never told anyone any different. According to alot of old timers we could do anything that we wanted to do. Bad officers took advantage of the situation and got a bad name for us in some situations. Those days are over, thank goodness.

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              • #8
                I agree mate, they shouldn't be able to do that unless they have probable cause that you are doing something illegal.

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                • #9
                  DEER30

                  In which state do you reside?

                  My state? No license required on a private pond on YOUR property.
                  Private pond or not, if you're NOT the owner, a "license" IS required.
                  I suppose ticketing a "guest" on a private pond would be up to the discretion of the officer.

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                  • #10
                    Game Wardens have a tough job. I'm all for any advantage they need to catch the bad guys. I have had nothing but pleasant conversation with every Warden I have ever met. Of course, I am always legal.

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                    • #11
                      In Colorado, any law enforcement officer can enter private lands without permission to check a hunting or fishing license. However, if it's your pond that you stocked, no license is required, and they can't come on the check you. When I was working as a ranger, we would not generally cross your property unless you requested it or we had some other cause (like we knew you, and knew the person fishing wasn't you).

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                      • #12
                        Please do not mistake my disbelief of this law as a dislike for game wardens or the DNR. I have only spoken with game wardens on three occasions and they have all been pleasant. This particular one was as well and we were just shooting the breeze while he was checking my license on a Virginia trout stream.

                        I know the wardens have a tough job and are usually spread thin over large areas and they have my respect.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Sarge. I wasn't sure. Got the lights back on? Friends in Charleston had to abandon ship and seek refuge at a motel in Clarksburg, still no power.

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                          • #14
                            Wading birds pick up fish eggs on their feet and transfer them to other bodies of water as they travel. That is Mother Nature's way of stocking ponds.
                            So, even if the owner does not stock his pond, it would soon have fish living in it. Just sayin.'

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                            • #15
                              I call BS on the warden. but maybe its different in your state.

                              Comment

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