Recent NYS Environmental Conservation Officer actions:
Walleye Challenge – Great Sacandaga Lake, Fulton/Saratoga/Franklin/Essex Counties
On Feb. 18, ECOs and Sheriff’s Deputies in Fulton and Montgomery counties conducted patrols on Great Sacandaga Lake the evening before the annual Walleye Challenge ice fishing contest. Officers checked ice ridges on the lake and alerted event organizers about safety hazards and open water. On the morning of Feb. 19, ECOs were joined by local law enforcement from the New York State Police, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to monitor the challenge, which drew 2,000 participants. Using snowmobiles, ATVs, and UTVs, the Officers focused on public safety. Throughout the day, the ECOs responded to four calls for machines and individuals through the ice and into the water; all who fell through made it out safely. A half-submerged snowmobile was recovered, as well.
The Walleye Challenge on the Great Sacandaga Lake was part of a series of weekend-long ice fishing contests throughout New York State, including contests on Lake Colby in Franklin County and Schroon Lake in Essex County. In addition to the ice rescues, ECOs conducted patrols to ensure anglers followed the Environmental Conservation Law. While most anglers complied with all requirements, Officers issued 13 tickets over the weekend of March 5 for violations including fishing without a license, failure to wear a helmet, and operating an unregistered snowmobile. A total of 31 law enforcement members participated.
For more information on ice safety visit the Learn How To Ice Fish webpage.
Apprehension of Bank Robbery Suspects – Fulton County
On March 26, ECOs assisted with the apprehension of a bank robbery suspect off South Line Road in Saratoga County. Two men entered the NBT bank in Northville, Fulton County, and robbed the bank implying they had a handgun. New York State Police pursued the subject’s vehicle into Saratoga County when the pair took off into the woods off South Line Road. One suspect was captured quickly and ECOs and Sheriff’s Deputies participated with the Troopers in the search for the second suspect, who was caught a short time later.
Photo at top: ECOs help retrieve a UTV that went through the ice in Great Sacandaga Lake. DEC photo