Recent actions from Adirondack-region Environmental Conservation Officers
Fishing Violations – Warren County
On the morning of April 15, Lieutenant Higgins and ECO Brassard patrolled a small trout pond in Queensbury and discovered several anglers catching freshly stocked trout without incident. However, some anglers also possessed out-of-season chain pickerel. In addition, two fishermen had failed to buy a fishing license, resulting in tickets to the offenders.
Later that afternoon, ECO Lapoint patrolled stocked streams in Lake George and located two anglers, one of whom exceeded the limit of trout he could legally catch and the other who did not have a valid fishing license. ECO Lapoint issued tickets to both anglers and educated the pair about daily limits and how purchasing a fishing license supports fish stocking in New York State.
Later that night, Lt. Higgins and ECO Lapoint teamed up to check on the spawning smelt in the tributaries of Lake George. It is illegal to fish for or possess smelt during the spawning period. While patrolling one of the tributaries in the town of Hague, the Officers located a truck parked next to the brook and noticed a flashlight shining on the water. The ECOs quickly apprehended the violators in possession of a net and a bucket of smelt and issued tickets for taking smelt during the closed season.
Earth Week Trash Cleanup – Franklin County
On April 22, in recognition of Earth Day, ECOs Okonuk and Riggs cleaned up a fishing access site on the Salmon River in the town of Constable. The Officers coordinated with town employees to remove multiple bags of garbage and waste tires. To celebrate Earth Week, ECOs participated in similar efforts statewide.
Disposition in Hunting Related Shooting Incident – Franklin County
A man who shot a firearm in Franklin County, sending a bullet into a house, recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges and paid a penalty. In November 2020, ECO Okonuk received reports from New York State Police that a house on Cold Springs Road in the town of Bombay had been struck by a bullet that passed through several walls before stopping in a closet. A witness reported seeing hunters in the area on the day of the shooting, but could not identify the individuals. Officer Okonuk patrolled the area and conducted multiple interviews before a suspect was identified. The ECO questioned the accused shooter who explained that he shot at a deer and unintentionally hit the house. The hunter was arrested a few months later. After his guilty plea, the subject paid more than $5,000 in restitution to the landowner for damages to the house. ECOs will also revoke his hunting license.