The ODWC position on trapping perch

Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by catfishcentral, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Well.... after several different threads on the legality of trapping perch I have a clear answer for those in search on whether trapping of perch is legal.:tounge_out: I never really gave it much thought myself and always understood perch as a non gamefish and legal to take by pretty much any legal means. I sent a email to the ODWC so I could have a answer that could be printed for my own records and everyone here. Anyway here a copy and paste of a few emails I sent to the "ask a warden". I think half of us put more thought into what's legal and not legal some some of the people that do this for a living.

    My first email clearly asks the question.


    Dear ODWC,


    I have a question concerning the trapping of non game fish specifically perch/bluegill. I have always been told and felt that using perch traps to catch perch/bluegill a non game fish was legal in Oklahoma. The past several weeks I've heard other stories that they are not legal. I've heard different answers pertaining to this question from bluegill are a gamefish and are illegal to trap, to it's legal to use a cast net,trawl or dip net but not a trap. I also heard mesh size made the difference in weather this was legal or not. I'm writing you today to get the straight answer so I can keep a copy with me in case this law is interepted another way by some other game warden. It seems that some laws are a little fuzzy or have a gray area on what's exactly legal and not legal. I understand that minnow traps are legal but a perch trap is illegal? How could a non game fish like a minnow be legal to trap and a perch a non game fish also be illegal to trap? I do not see anything in the regs that have perch or bluegill with any special regulations.

    Thank you for your time.

    Chris Glass




    Now hears the clear as mud response from them.




    Bluegill are not game fish. It is lawful to trap minnows.
    Capt. David Deckard
    Law Enforcement Division
    Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation



    I didn't really know why they didn't answer my question....was I not clear enough in my question? So I sent this quick response back to them.



    Is it lawful to trap perch?

    Thanks Chris Glass



    The ODWC response to this direct question is.......

    Our rules does not mention trapping perch or bluegills only minnows. The definition of minnows is: small non-game fish commonly used as bait and include blunt nosed, bullhead minnows,chubs, dace,fatheads, killifish, small carp, small goldfish, shiners, and stonerollers. The definition is vague and leaves room for different interpretations.



    So there you have it, they can't answer questions in their own regs so how can the average Joe get in trouble for this? I'm all for following rules but the law is as clear as mud and I'm not going to stop trapping perch if I feel the need. I personally don't know of anybody every getting in trouble for this and I doubt anyone every would unless you were violating some "other" law and that's a big maybe. I don't think you'll ever get a straight answer until the ODWC changes the wording in the regs. If anybody would like me to forward the actually emails to them for reference just PM me with your e-mail addy. My opinion if your worried keep written copy of the interpertation of the law. Since they really don't have any ground on this subject matter I see no way they could give a ticket.
     
  2. dobbie

    dobbie Member

    Chris thanks for the information.That response is about as clear as using PVC pipe for limblines.I only trap perch in private ponds,so I will keep on doing it.
     

  3. CoonX

    CoonX Member

    Messages:
    737
    State:
    Oklahoma City O
    Thanks Chris. Only thing is, the answer is still a bit obfusicated. :crazy:
    At the ODWC meeting, Lawrence and I talked to some of the higher ups, and they said the law itself was too unclear to make anything defintive about it.
    I've been thinking about trying to work up a proposal for a wording to clear things up.
    Will
     
  4. fishnfool68

    fishnfool68 New Member

    Messages:
    379
    State:
    Near Tulsa Oklahoma
    One question,was the guy you were talking to runninng for a public office?If not he sould consider a political career with a answer like that:big_smile:
     
  5. skeetermagnet

    skeetermagnet New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Edmond, Oklahoma
    That has to be the dumbest answer I've heard in a long time! It is that kind of law interpretation and vague answers which will get this person promoted. Long live the Dilbert Principle! :tounge_out:
     
  6. oldprowler

    oldprowler New Member

    Messages:
    321
    State:
    Mannford, Oklahoma
    Thank you Chris, that is the kind of answer we have been getting from the Game Warden here too. However, he did warn us that (1) we had to have our names and information on traps and (2) we had to run the traps frequently (every 8 hours or less) and (3) he would certainly write a ticket if we did not release "game fish" or if there were a bunch of dead fish in the trap (evidence to him they were not being run often enough)
     
  7. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    "The definition is vague and leaves room for different interpretations."

    Lol. That's about all there is to say about that.
     
  8. Mark R.

    Mark R. New Member

    Messages:
    186
    State:
    Rush Springs, OK
    #1-It is lawful to trap minnows.
    #2-The definition of minnows is: small non-game fish
    #3-Bluegill are not game fish.


    I would follow oldprowler's post carefully
    (1) we had to have our names and information on traps and (2) we had to run the traps frequently (every 8 hours or less) and (3) he would certainly write a ticket if we did not release "game fish" or if there were a bunch of dead fish in the trap (evidence to him they were not being run often enough)
     
  9. fishnfool68

    fishnfool68 New Member

    Messages:
    379
    State:
    Near Tulsa Oklahoma
    To me thats saying bluegill are minnows,by the odwc definition.
     
  10. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Sorry, but you need to read the regs again. Minnows are minnows and bluegill are bluegill. It list them as separate species and states you can seine minnows (but not blue gills, red ears, etc) and that you can do anything but trap non-game fish. The regulations need to be re-written.
     
  11. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    AWSHUCKS- Jusr returned from New Mexico elk hunt. We limited 3 for 3. I read page 38 of the ODWC regs as requested. I have also reviewed posts and am in agreement with you on vague wording. I will discuss the problem with Greg Duffy within a week and let everyone know the results of the meeting. BTW are you available for a phone call? Please advise.
    catman george
     
  12. catter5000

    catter5000 New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    TULSA,OK
    Lawrence, read page 5 bottom right. THIS IS NOT A LEGAL DOCUMENT.
    It is an interpretive "summary" of title 29 and 800.
    For a (complete) listing of official regulations,you can obtain copies of current Statutes from your local library.
    P. S. We'll get this settled one way or another.
     
  13. slimepig

    slimepig New Member

    Messages:
    666
    State:
    Kerrville Texas
    bout the same clear as mud regs here in texas. after building my perch trap(plans in library here), I took it to the parks n wildlife office and had a warden check it out to be sure it was legal. He said it looks fine; he said the main thing they look at is the size of the trap and the openings. The texas regs say perch traps(salt water only). I asked the warden about that and he couldnt really give me any definitive answer except dont call it a perch trap, call it a minnow trap. So im still and always will be trapping perch in public waters, ummm in my minnow trap.
     
  14. PeZ

    PeZ New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Oklahoma
    The way i feel about is we dont need any new laws and im not for pushing the subject i will simple call my perch trap a minnow trap and release any game fish and leave it at that keep pushin the issue and i feel some wont like the out come i talked to my lawyer and she read the regs and these post and said if by chance i get fined she could get it thrown out and most likely this will never happen the wildlife dept makes alot of money other things they focus on and this is not one of them.





    PS guys if it aint broke please dont try to fix it for me.
     
  15. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    guys,
    as a law officer i have to deal with laws written in this kind of format. if it is not stated to be illegal then u cannot be prosecuted for it. But if there are regs on the size of trap (Like minnow traps here in texas) then follow those guide lines.
     
  16. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    There are some changes coming to the ODWC and there will be some discussion about clarifying the issue of perch traps for non game fish. Be patient because it may take a couple of years to get done, if indeed it gets accomplished. I expect there will be some public opinion requested.

    AWSHUCKS will you private message me, I have misplaced your numbers.

    catman george
     
  17. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I reviewed the 2007 fishing regs and found no mention of it being illegal to trap perch for bait. I found nothing related to trapping, specifically,of perch. I talked to Greg Duffy, a game ranger, and an information officer, all three together, this evening at the OKC Tackle Show and I addressed this issue of trapping perch.I reviewed the new regs 3 times along with the ranger and info officer and none of us found anything about trapping perch. Game fish were identified and non game fish were anything else that is not a game fish.
    I may be blind in one eye and cannot see out of the other, but I think we are in the clear on trapping perch for personal bait use. We may have to watch out that we do not have over 150 perch in our possession when trotlining. Other than this concern I think we are good to go.

    catman george
     
  18. catter5000

    catter5000 New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    TULSA,OK
    I actually took my own advice and went to the local library and read the Ok. statutes(Title 29.)I then made copies of everything concerning trapping anything and all other fishing laws and put in my boat. Any one who has questions should read the actual written laws from the Ok statutes.Like I stated before the reg books you get at your local bait shop etc. are mainly guidelines.It says that (this book is not a legal document.)page 5 bottom right.
    All of our game rangers I have meet are (Good Guys) and will,in most cases give you the benefit of the doubt. JMO Allen
     
  19. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Messages:
    440
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I can agree with that, most of the fellas are fine people and just doing their job.
     
  20. KingCatBrad

    KingCatBrad New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    Duncan, Oklaho
    As far as my local Game Warden told me when I asked him this, he said that he would not give me a ticket for it. He also said that if we pushed to hard to get it cleared up, then the people that like to fish and eat bluegill might fight to get them changed from a Non-Game Fish to a Game Fish. That would then meen that we could not even use them for bait at all..............