paddlefish season set a record..for violations in 2013

North Dakota game wardens issued a record number of citations during the recent paddlefish snagging season.
From opening day May 1until the season closed May 19, wardens cited more than 170 individuals as part of an annual saturation effort in Williams and McKenzie counties. Last year the citation total for a similar timeframe was 82.
Robert Timian, enforcement chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the agency has for many years brought in wardens from other areas of the state to help during the paddlefish snagging season. “Our main priority is to protect the paddlefish resource from illegal harvest,” Timian said. “However, paddlefish snagging is not the only outdoor activity during this time.”
For instance, only 11 of the 177 total violations were directly related to paddlefishing. The most prevalent violation was fishing without a license, involving 41 nonresidents and 12 residents. Littering was another common infraction, with 19 citations issued.
The wardens also patrol several thousand acres of state wildlife management areas in the two counties and issued 21 citations for possession of glass beverage containers and 14 citations for prohibited use of a motor vehicle.
In addition, wardens also cited numerous individuals with open containers containing alcohol in motor vehicles, and minors in possession of alcohol, and made three arrests on felony warrants and turned four drug-related incidents over to county sheriffs.
“On our management areas,” Timian emphasized, “we’re full service law enforcement.”
Enforcement saturation efforts are conducted statewide depending on the need, Timian said. “This isn’t only done in the northwest during the paddlefish season,” he added. “We bring in wardens for additional support for short-term, specific operations in other areas of the state as well.”

Paddlefish/WMA operation at Williston, ND May 1-19, 2013
Summary of violations

Wildlife Management Areas -- 37 Citations
21 – Possession of glass beverage containers on a WMA
14 – Prohibited use of a motor vehicle on WMA
1 – Failure to Obey Posted WMA regulations-Camping when restricted
1 – Unlawful use of firearms in a reckless or indiscriminate manner on WMA

Paddlefishing -- 11 Citations
7 – Depositing fish/fish parts on shore (paddlefish)
3 – Paddlefishing before or after legal hours
1 – Cast or attempt to hook paddlefish for another

Fishing – Other than Paddlefish -- 77 Citations
41 – Nonresident fishing without a license
16 – Failure to carry fishing license on person
12 – Resident fishing without a license
3 – Fishing with an excessive number of lines
3 – Failure to attend fishing equipment
1 – Returning fish to water after being contained or confined to live well or stinger
1 – Depositing fish/fish parts on shore

Boating -- 12 Citations and 1 Warning
7 – Boating with inadequate number of personal flotation devices
2 – Operating a motorboat without current registration
1 – Operate motorboat without lights when required
1 – Towing without an observer
1 – Operate a motorboat at greater than idle speed in restricted area
1 – Warning for operating without lights when required

Miscellaneous -- 40 Citations and 1 Warning
19 – Littering
9 – Open receptacle containing alcohol in or on a motor vehicle
9 – Minor in possession of alcohol
4 – Drug-related incidents turned over to sheriff’s department
3 – Arrests made on felony warrants
1 – MIP warning
1 – Impersonating a game warden - 5 counts

2013 – Total Citations Issued: 177 and 2 warnings
2012 – Total Citations Issued: 82 and 7 warnings