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Re: DP Collecting On Federal Land Alert

Sorry about your bad experience, which demonstrates that we need to be 
extra careful about our collecting activities.  I have been concerned 
for some time that, depending on which side of the bed a local game 
warden got up on, he/she might conclude that one cannot collect baitfish 
unless one plans to impale them on a hook afterwards, as capture of 
natives for aquarium keeping/breeding is not allowed under the authority 
of a fishing license  (the folks in VT recently came out with this 
bizarre interpretation).  Some states allow collecting of baitfish for 
personal use only (which generally prohibits sale, barter or trade), 
others have a daily limit on baitfish capture, others don't care.  
Check: don't assume that it is OK to collect nongame fish under a 
fishing license unless you can get a legal determination that it is.  
Local game wardens or DNR staff should be consulted on this; try to get 
a  reply in writing.

Incidents of this nature are why we are in the process of getting 
numerous Scientific Collection Permits, which tend to be quite 
inexpensive.  In addition, they clear up any legal issues which could 
potentially cause native fish collectors a lot of grief.  All of us 
should pay attention to the differences between state law and Federal 
law and how things are administered.  It is always better to ask up 
front than to get a rude surprise later, especially if getting a SCP or 
Federal permit would have allowed collecting activities.  A bit more 
work up front, but the time and effort is a good investment.

BTW, as far as your ticket is concerned, you might want to spend some 
time in a local law library.  There you should be able to find Federal 
laws concerning notification/signage requirements and any cases that set 
precedent in these matters.  Also, you might find it  
useful to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal 
land manager for the area and ask for copies of all policies, memos, 
etc., that relate to the authority to prohibit fishing in the area where 
you were, authority and standards for posting/closing areas to access, 
if any other persons were ticketed, what the resolution of their cases 
was, and anything else that you can think of that would be helpful.  I 
do know that FOIA requests usually get people's attention in 
governmental offices.  In addition, internal documents may be more 
helpful than anything in case law, as the internal documents are not 
only more specific to the situation at hand, but they can also give you 
good leads to follow up on, such as references to various rules, 
regulations and legal decisions, etc. After fulfilling your request, 
they might be more willing to discuss the matter and reach a mutually 
acceptable conclusion. 

>From owner-nfc at actwin_com Thu Oct  1 19:44:03 1998
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>Subject: DP Collecting On Federal Land Alert
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>Earlier today I stopped by Muscatatuck National Refuge in southern 
>a to
>throw in some minnow traps and fish at a site I had been many times 
>Unknown to me, fishing was prohibited in all but a few spots in an area
>covered with streams, wetlands and ponds.  The ticket will probably be 
>$125.  They mail them. The female enforcement officer was very nice but 
>that the property manager's policy was no exceptions. I was my normal 
>courteous self.  When she walked up, I figured for the third time in my 
>an enforcement officer just wanted to check my license. BTW, I was in 
>view of a road traveled every several minutes by uniformed site 
> in
>marked vehicle.  I was clearly not hiding my activity.
>The only signs in an area of 100s of acres was a relatively small one 
at =
>of the two entrances.  No other signs were posted that I observed.  I 
>looking for them after being ticketed.  There were also brochures 
>le if
>you stopped at the nature center.  I went and spoke to the assistant 
>manager and she stated that the signs they have are adequate.=20
>My first reason for bringing this up is that others besides myself may 
>t be
>aware that once on federal land, apparently all the rules change.  
There =
>few federal sites in my state, so I was unfamiliar with the new set.  
>you may not bring firearms on to the site even if they are unloaded, 
>down and cased in the trunk of your car - in spite of the fact you may 
>licensed by the state to carry a concealed weapon.)=20
>My second reason is that I need a little help.  I must respectfully 
>with the person who stated that there was adequate signs.  I am usually 
>observant of what is around me and have been to the site a few dozen 
>s.  I
>had never noticed the signs nor have any of the people who were with 
>Hiking is allowed in most places at that site, but areas that are "off 
>are very well marked.  Everywhere else I go in Indiana that the State 
>prohibits activities, it is clearly marked by signs.  (I understand 
> are
>two different agencies: state and federal.)   =20
>For those of you that have more experience visiting federal areas, do 
>normally have what a normal person would consider adequate signs?
>Any thoughts, comments, or help appreciated. =20
>Chuck Church
>CEFChurch at aol_com
>Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-2067
>.=B7=B4=AF`=B7.. ><((((=BA>`=B7.=B8=B8.=B7=B4=AF`=B7...=B8><((((=BA> 
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