This hook came out of the mouth of a trout recently caught by one of my clients. The reg is clear: single barbless hooks only within the TMA. (Of course, you’re fishing barbless everywhere, right?) Later that day I witnessed an angler (fishing with bait or eggs) who was landing and releasing trout by grabbing the hook with pliers and roughly shaking the fish loose, no doubt made more difficult by his barbed hooks.
What to do: don’t confront people. Call the TIP (Turn In Poachers) line and let EnCon handle it. Program this number into your cell phone: 800-842-4357. Your call works two ways: an officer shows up — and if one doesn’t, the calls have a cumulative effect. We’re all in this together. Thank you!
Unfortunately last week I witnessed two incidences of attempted poaching within the Farmington River Permanent TMA.
Use the TIP (Turn In Poachers) line if you witness poaching. Other than the actual creeling of fish, warning signs include: those toting large plastic buckets (and not for storing gear); dragging trout up on the bank and taking a lackadaisical approach to hook removal (all trout are to be returned to the river without avoidable harm); building stone weirs to keep the fish alive and penned in until they make their move. You betcha, I saw all of this behavior, as well as the attempt to walk off with trout.
TIP Line: 1-800-842-HELP (4357). Program it into your phone. Don’t be bashful about using it.
A poacher’s MO from a few years ago. I recovered this after he broke it off on the bottom. Barbless hooks only in the permanent TMA!