On four separate occasions EnCon Police paired up with the USCG to conduct boating and fishing compliance checks on Long Island Sound. During this patrol effort, seventeen infractions and written warnings were issued for the following violations: Possession of undersized sea bass, Over the creel limit of sea bass (both on recreational vessels and charter vessels), Possession of undersized tautog, Over the creel limit of tautog, Fishing without a license, Operation of an unregistered vessel, and a referral to NOAA Federal law Enforcement for two individuals who admitted to catching Tuna, Sharks and Swordfish without a fishing license and a required Federal Highly Migratory Species Permit.
On Oct. 4, 2020 EnCon Police conducted a vessel safety inspection and a fishing compliance check of several individuals based on a complaint of these individuals fishing for tautog in the closed season in Long Island Sound in the vicinity of Southwest Reef. Tautog season opens on Oct. 10, 2020. Upon inspection of the catch, one individual was issued an infraction for possession of tautaug during the closed season, Over the creel limit of Scup and Possession of undersized Black Sea Bass. A second individual was issued an infraction for Possession of undersized Black Sea Bass and Possession of Scup over the daily creel limit.
On Oct. 17, 2020 EnCon Police observed two individuals actively fishing the shoreline of Long Island Sound in Milford. The individuals were observed putting several fish into to a metal cage and began walking towards the road to their vehicle. Upon walking back to their vehicle, the two individuals spotted the EnCon Officer and immediately dropped the metal cage. The cage was seized and determined to contain 17 undersized tautog ranging from 8 inches to 15 inches. The legal size limit for tautog is 16 inches and the daily creel limit is 3. One individual did not have a valid fishing license either. Each were issued infractions for the violations.
On Oct. 19, 2020 EnCon Police were conducting a fishing compliance check on the Patchogue River in Westbrook with two individuals on a vessel. Upon inspection, one individual tried to hide several undersized tautog in a cooler to avoid inspection. During the inspection the vessel operator/fisherman would take one tautog out of the cooler at a time for the Officer to measure, but kept taking the same fish out each time as to be deceptive and not present the three other tautog in the cooler that were undersized. The EnCon Officer repeatedly told the individual to move away from the cooler to the opposite end of the vessel of which he finally complied. Both individuals were issued infractions for Possession of undersized tautog.
On Oct. 23, 2020 EnCon Police were conducting a fishing compliance check of three individuals including a father and son on a vessel on Long Island Sound near Duck Island in Westbrook. During the inspection two tautog were observed on board and were measured to be 15 inches. The legal length limit of tautog is 16 inches. The individual was issued an infraction for Possession of undersized tautog. The individual told the EnCon Officer he blamed his son for not measuring correctly.
During the month of October EnCon Police received information that a permitted fishing tournament was taking place in Westbrook of which fish were being donated to local restaurants from fishermen within the tournament. On one occasion, an individual in the tournament who donated fish was issued an infraction for fishing without a license. The responsible person in charge of the tournament was advised and said individual was removed from said tournament.
On Oct. 15, 2020 EnCon Police observed an individual actively taking oysters and clams at Cove Island, Long Island Sound in Stamford. The area is closed to recreational shell fishing. The individual had a 5 gallon bucket a quarter full of shellfish. The individual was advised of the closure and issued a written warning for the violation. The shellfish were returned to the water.
On Oct. 4, 2020 EnCon Police were conducting boating enforcement on the Menunketesuck River in Westbrook and observed a 22’ vessel with two persons on board. A boating safety inspection was conducted along with standardized field sobriety tests on the operator who was showing significant signs of impairment and in plain view were two empty Bud Light beer cans. The vessel operator passed the field sobriety tests but failed to have adequate Personal Floatation Devices on board, no throwable PFD (type 4), expired fire extinguisher, expired flares and no signaling device. The individual was issued an infraction for failure to have appropriate PFD’s and given warnings for the remaining violations.
Also on Oct. 4, 2020 EnCon Police along with Stonington Police, Westerly Police and Fire Departments and Rhode Island Environmental Police responded to a boating accident on the Pawcatuck River at approximately 8:00 PM involving two sailboats that collided with two vessels docked at Northwest Marine. Two individuals from Texas allegedly sold their truck and dog to an individual in Rhode Island for two sailboats, a 27’ Catalina and a 25’ Catalina. They were going to sail back to Texas. The individuals tied both vessels together utilizing the power of the 27’ vessel and the steering capabilities of the 25’ vessel. The 25’ vessel lost its steering capabilities and both vessels drifted off course colliding with the two vessels on the dock. The individuals cut the lines from their vessels causing both vessels to be underway separately. One vessel drifted into Rhode Island waters, the other stayed in Stonington. A vessel safety check was conducted on both vessels. Both operators failed to have the required PFD’s on board, expired fire extinguishers, no sound producing devices or flares and both vessels were unregistered. Both were issued infractions for the violations as well as maintaining a proper lookout.
On Oct. 10, 2020 EnCon Officers along with the USFW Service acting on a tip of waterfowl baiting in Westbrook observed three individuals hunting from a blind adjacent to the Stewart B. McKinney and Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuges on the Menunketesuck River. A hunting compliance check was conducted with the three individuals as they were leaving the blind. Upon conducting the inspection, it was determined that none of the individuals possessed the required Federal Duck Stamp and that they were hunting waterfowl over bait. It was also determined that one individual was a repeat offender for the same violation in the same area. Numerous Federal and State charges are pending for the hunting violations as well as violations of State Boating Regulations.
Western District November 2020 Highlights
Enforce Park & Forest / Public Safety/ Criminal Investigations
On October 9th, 2020 Western District officers responded to Mattituck State Forest for a complaint of a possible suicidal male who had entered the property from his residence in Thomaston. Waterbury K9 and Thomaston PD officers had conducted an initial search of the area with negative results. EnCon officers and K9 Ruger were able to locate the missing party alive and well and assisted Thomaston PD in determining that the man was not a danger to himself but miscommunication with a family member. Hunting Enforcement On October 22, 2020 a Southwest officer was conducting small game enforcement in Naugatuck State Forest (Hunters Mt. Road) where he encountered two males hunting pheasant. Both parties stated they possessed hunting licenses however, did not have them on their person. A check revealed the accused did not possess a valid 2020 firearms hunting license or resident game bird stamp. Furthermore, the accused was the subject of a File 20 (Protective Order) with the conditions of “The subject is prohibited from possessing and/or purchasing a firearm or other weapons as identified in the miscellaneous field”. The accused was placed under arrest and processed at Troop (A) Southbury for the following violations; Violation of a protective order, Criminal Possession of a firearm, and Negligent hunting 4th degree. The accused was released on a $25,000 surety bond with a court date of 10/23/2020 at GA4 Waterbury. NUISANCE BEAR: Western District officers responded to eleven (11) nuisance bear complaints. NUISANCE WILDLIFE: Western District officers responded to twenty-three (23) nuisance wildlife calls, to include but limited to raccoon, deer, hawk, Bald Eagle, beaver, opossum, skunk, bear and coyote.
Eastern District November 2020 Highlights
Parks & Forest On October 4th, 2020 officers from the Eastern District worked in collaboration to address the misuse of the trail system in Pachaug State Forest by ATV operators. On this day, this effort made several contacts with street legal enduro operators. They also located 6 individuals who were operating ATVs illegally. These individuals were cited for various violations. On October 10th, 2020 an officer from the Eastern District responded to a complaint from a property owner regarding duck hunting happening illegally on their land. Once on scene, the officer identified two individuals whom were accused of trespassing. After completing their investigation, it was determined that these individuals were in fact trespassing on private property; however, their conduct was not indicative that this happened intentionally. As a result, the officer worked with the property owner and the hunters in establishing clearly marked boundaries to ensure this would not happen again. Each suspect was issued a written warning for Simple Trespass for this violation. On October 11th, 2020 officers were dispatched to Bigelow Hollow on a report of a forest fire. Upon their arrival, they discovered that a portion of the forest was being illegally harvested by an unknown group of individuals. They had cut down several trees during this operation, and as a result of careless behavior, they ignited this fire. The officers investigated this; however, have been unable to identify who committed this act. On October 24th, 2020 Officers from the Eastern District assisted an independent vendor who was conducting an annual marathon road race in Pachaug State Park. This race coordinator hosted a 5K, half marathon, and marathon during this day, and went off without any issues. During the month of October, our staff has made several positive contacts with legal hunters who were pursuing waterfowl, upland birds, and deer. Criminal Violations On October 14th, 2020 an officer from the Eastern District was on patrol in Chaplain, CT. During this time, they observed a vehicle all over the roadway. Subsequent investigation discovered that the operator was intoxicated and was later to be found in possession of illegal narcotics. This individual was arrested for Operating a motor vehicle under the influence along with possessing the illegal contraband. Nuisance Bear On October 8th, 2020 an officer from the eastern district was dispatched to a private residence in Ashford, Ct on a report of a bear who attacked livestock. Upon their arrival, they identified that a farm goat had been attacked and killed by a Black Bear. The property owner fired several rounds to scare the bear off, which eventually worked. The incident is being followed up by the Wildlife Division.
Loc: CLINTON & West Hartford, CT
This is so odd.....2 guys from Texas sold their truck and dog to a Rhode Island guy for 2 sailboats. The Texas guys were going to sail the 2 boats back to Texas, but the boats were so poorly equipped and in such poor working condition they hit 2 boats docked in the marina. Wow! They didn’t get far sailing to Texas in October!
On the bright side the dog is probably better off.
“Also on Oct. 4, 2020 EnCon Police along with Stonington Police, Westerly Police and Fire Departments and Rhode Island Environmental Police responded to a boating accident on the Pawcatuck River at approximately 8:00 PM involving two sailboats that collided with two vessels docked at Northwest Marine. Two individuals from Texas allegedly sold their truck and dog to an individual in Rhode Island for two sailboats, a 27’ Catalina and a 25’ Catalina. They were going to sail back to Texas. The individuals tied both vessels together utilizing the power of the 27’ vessel and the steering capabilities of the 25’ vessel. The 25’ vessel lost its steering capabilities and both vessels drifted off course colliding with the two vessels on the dock. The individuals cut the lines from their vessels causing both vessels to be underway separately. One vessel drifted into Rhode Island waters, the other stayed in Stonington. A vessel safety check was conducted on both vessels. Both operators failed to have the required PFD’s on board, expired fire extinguishers, no sound producing devices or flares and both vessels were unregistered. Both were issued infractions for the violations as well as maintaining a proper lookout.”