River enforcement seems heavy handed

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010

Storm Troopers on river: A recently observered take down on the Kenai didn't involve a fish. A young man dressed as a Fish and Game officer driving a small inflatable obviously does not like his job. He must really wish he was police officer. Tuesday evening while watching a group of boats just backdragging, no speed invovled, he decided to make his move. He pulled along side and informed two fishermen that he needed to check out their boat. For that he requested them to stand with their arms to the side to allow him to empty their pockets and micro inspect the boat for contraband or whatever.

As one fisherman had been enjoying a beer (one beer) he decided a breath test was needed. One hour later he was confused and called a Trooper to assist. The Trooper arrived and performed the test which blew nada -- actually said 0.0.

If this is how our Fish and Game dollars are going to be spent on the river I must protest. Without probable cause, random choice of a recreational boater for this type of harrassment is just that, harrassment. I know the officer was thinking he was just doing his job. Maybe somebody like his boss could talk to the officer, and inform him that to really do his job proper he needs the respect of every fisherman on the river. I think those numbers will take a nosedive if this behavior is continued. I think this is an ineffective use of my Fish and Game dollar, if the Fish and Game feel this policy will go unchallenge they are mistaken.

The fisherman though annoyed was as cooperative as most would be when someone decides to take a look up your you know what. But there are people on the river he should approach a little differently. This will probably cause some ordinarilly benign citizen to loose it. Then an assault or a real arrest and his bad policy could cost a fisherman a lot of time money and heartache.

I know it's a fine line to walk and a rough job to do. So show some respect when you see the Fish and Game inflatable coming your way, maybe stand and have your arms straight out ready for inspection.

Dennis Barnard


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