Ballsy Poaching… Is It Cunning Or Just Plain Dumb?

From the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) 2020 News Release pages.

May 27, 2021

COQUILLE, Ore.— We have all heard stories of criminals poaching fish by fishing in sanctuaries, out of season, trespassing, and so on. We have also heard stories of people walking up rivers with net in hand and scooping up spawners at will. There are also those who take weaponry such as spears and stab & jab at vulnerable, easy-to-access fish.

Normally and in typical criminal fashion, the examples above are attempted in hard to access locations. After all, no one wants to get caught “doing the crime” now do they?

Well in this instance, these criminal masterminds did their poaching in an extremely “peculiar” location. They robbed a fish collection trap in the Woodward Creek/Coquille River area, in the state of Oregon. This is a trap set up by the local Fish & Game department (the equivalent to our Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry), to capture prespawn Steelhead and collect the eggs and sperm, allowing for a successful placement (stocking) of young fish.

Of course, these traps are the perfect “hotspot” for wanna’ be poachers.

By breaking whatever locking devices are on the trap, a door can be opened, and the fish can be netted, dropped into some sort of bag, thrown into a vehicle, and driven away. In the case here, the poachers took spawners from the traps and shot the surveillance cameras to hide their tracks… yes you read it right, they literally shot the cameras!

As per the news release, “multiple people had accessed the trap. One person, identified through surveillance footage, entered the trap to net fish, then shot one camera and stole another. Troopers caught up with Kaine M. Horner, 24, formerly of Myrtle Point, while he was fishing illegally in a closed section of the South Coquille River on Feb 22. They seized his rifle, net, and fishing gear. Charges include Criminal Mischief II, Unlawful Taking Steelhead, and Angling in a Prohibited Area.”

All we can say is “WHY???”

You can read the full story on the ODFW website and see more on their Facebook page.

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