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Wyoming Trout Poacher Busted Twice in One Week


Cody, WY - Ice fishing on Buffalo Bill Reservoir can be very good at times, so good that some people find it difficult to resist taking more than the law allows.

On Jan. 1, 2008, a new set of fishing regulations went into effect that included many changes in creel and possession limits. In an effort to conserve trout in Buffalo Bill Reservoir the creel limit on trout was reduced from four to three, allowing no more than two of the three to be cutthroat trout. A separate creel and possession limit was established for the reservoir's lake trout.

"When the ice forms on Buffalo Bill Reservoir quite a crowd of anglers gather," said Travis Crane, game warden trainee for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "And, when the fishing is good it is tempting to keep more than the legal limit."

On Jan. 4, 2008, warden Crane observed Cory R. Snell of Lovell, Wyoming did just that. Snell was cited for taking and possessing eight trout while ice fishing on Buffalo Bill Reservoir none of the trout were lake trout. Only five days later, Snell was again observed fishing on Buffalo Bill Reservoir and when checked by Cody game warden Craig Sax, was found to be over his trout limit by four.

"I was surprised when I discovered that Mr. Snell had committed this same violation only a few days prior to my field check. In most cases, citations serve as a deterrent to future violations, but it seems Snell didn't learn a lesson after being caught with an over limit the first time." Sax said.

On Jan. 14, 2008, Snell appeared before Park County Circuit Court Judge Bruce B. Waters, where he pleaded guilty to both over limit violations. Judge Waters levied a fine of $210.00 for Snell's first violation. Judge Waters fined Snell $400.00 for the second violation and revoked his fishing privileges for two years from the date of the sentencing.

The loss of fishing privileges extends beyond the borders of Wyoming. The states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Under the Compact, when a person has their hunting, fishing, or trapping privileges legally suspended in the Compact state where the violation occurred, the suspension is recognized by all of the member states of the Compact.

"I think this case demonstrates that the cost associated with wildlife violations may not always serve as a deterrent to future violations, however, losing your privileges in 24 states including Wyoming should be a deterrent to anyone who values hunting and fishing," Sax said.



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