RI poaching problem
I have had it with the lack of enforcement we currently have in Rhode Island. This past weekend along with many other weekends the past month there has been a pretty good striper bite at Beavertail for shore bound anglers. The problem is that most of the fish being landed and kept are sublegal fish. I was down at Beavertail last evening and as I walked up over the bluff I saw a mid 20's asian gentleman landing a small bass. I have witnessed this person keeping illegal fish several times in the last few weeks along with his friends. I walked up and struck up a conversation with him as he was putting a rope through the fishes gills to keep the fish. I made the comment that the fish was a short fish and needed to be let go. He said to me his tape measure was broken and that the fish was legal. I loved the my tape measure was broken comment as he is standing there holding a sewing tape measure, the kind that rolls up in your hand, no working parts just numbers. I took out my tape and measured the fish for him 25". He then went down to the water and let the half dead bass go. This guy was walking around with a $500 Vanstaal reel, $300 surf rod and $250 Aquaskinz Jacket it is obvious he has more money than he has brains. The other problem Im seeing on a daily basis is people leave in the morning with a limit of fish only to return in the afternoon to take another limit. The problem is so bad down at Beavertail if the DEM had just one officer to work the park they could write several tickets a day for this location if not more. What gets me is that there is a new DEM facility in Jamestown and in the 4 years of me living there I have never seen a officer even drive through the park. Not wanting to just gripe about our problems I want to offer a solution. The state should start a deputy DEM program. Individuals interested in furthering the conservation efforts and protection of our fish and game could get deputized and have ticket writing powers only. Other states have tried this and been successful as a volunteer staff suplements the work our DEM officers do on a daily basis and gives the DEM more coverage. Until we can do this the only other solution is to expose these violators by calling the DEM and reporting them as well as using the internet forums to offer descriptions of them and confronting them when it makes sense to. What does everyone else think?