The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement enforces the 71 chapters of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.
In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.
In 2021, 282 Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators across the state responded to 26,207 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,562 tickets or arrests for violations ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
All Hooked Up – St. Lawrence County
On July 4, ECO Atwood responded to a call about a small goose with a fishing lure stuck in its foot in the town of Colton.
He responded with a fishing net and located the goose laying in the caller’s front yard. Officer Atwood captured the goose with the net and cut off the ends of the hooks that had punctured the goose’s foot. After ensuring he removed all hooks, ECO Atwood released the goose to join its flock nearby.
Too Tangled to Swim – Lewis County
On July 14, ECOs received reports of a loon on Lake Bonaparte that appeared to have fishing line and a possible lure tangled in its legs and body, restricting its ability to swim or dive. ECO Worden responded to the location and spotted the loon along the opposite shoreline.
The caller volunteered to take Officer Worden on his boat to the loon’s location and they discovered it bound with a crank bait and several feet of braided fishing line tangled. ECO Worden successfully removed the lure and line from the loon and released it back to the lake.