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The Warden's Words

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Just like the rest of you I have been catching up with my “honey do” list. With the weather being as unpredictable as normal for this time of the year I have been able to cross off a lot of items. Hopefully this will earn me a few brownie points for future fishing expeditions. With the run-off happening now the fishing has been slow, as one would expect. The only places people are able to fish with any consistency are our lowland lakes. Antelope Lake was planted for the Memorial Day weekend and folks have been able to catch enough for supper. Round Lake has also been producing limits of RB’s. Officer Larry Miller recently checked an angler fishing Cocolalla Lake with a couple of 25-inch Channel Cats on the stringer. Stream anglers will have to wait a little while longer for the water to drop and some of the roads to become snow free.

I have mentioned, several times, about the littering problem that seems to be taking place on our stomping grounds. Every time I check a fishing hole I can generally pick up a few items. For some reason people think it's too much bother to pack out whatever they brought in to the area. There are some very conscientious sportsmen that are as offended as I am and take the time to pick up trash left behind by others. Some idiots have trashed our private fishing areas and caused all of us to lose access and privileges; for example, Sheepherder Point. Some idiots feel it is okay to trash our local sportsmen access areas and campsites because it will be too much of a problem to take the trash with them.

Folks, I am disgusted and angry. I am a sportsman and I do not want to see my money being wasted having to pay someone to pick up trash on land that my license dollar helped to buy. We are talking a major whine coming on here. This past Monday I stopped by the sportsmen access on Lake Cocolalla. There were several families camped in the little area and one non-resident transient. As I checked the last little camp spot I came unglued. There before me was a blizzard of white. All over the ground and in the bushes were paper plates, cans, cat food cans, car parts, cardboard boxes and soiled baby diapers. As nasty as that stuff was I went through it with a fine toothed comb hoping to find some clue as to owners of the trash. Two 30 gallon black trash bags were filled and hauled away. Some time ago I mentioned that folks that would do this sort of thing generally have a single- branch family tree. I stand corrected. The folks that left the mess behind at Cocolalla obviously lack even a single branch and with luck have an extremely shallow root system on the tree. People, this is your yard these slobs are trashing out and you do not have to stand for it. Be willing to do something about littering. Take down the information you can and call it in. Hell, call me-my number is 266-1501.

Well, now that bear season is over up here the bears have come down out of the trees and are hungry. Complaints are starting to come in, but most of them are for tearing up garbage or bird feeders. Come on folks, if you set the table they will come. Also, in spite of where you originally come from, we wardens do not set traps and remove bears just because they are seen with the aid of 10x50 binocs. Remember, we are living in their house. Raccoon complaints are starting to rise also. Remember if you are being visited on a regular basis it is because you have provided an incentive - maybe feeding your pets outside. Or, maybe your neighbor thinks they are cute and is feeding them every day. Please remember that they may be cute, but they are a wild animal. Treat them as such.

I should close for now because as usual this is going to be late getting to the head honcho at the paper. So, enjoy what we have, enjoy it with the family and please leave it better than when you found it. JJ SCOTT

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Author info

JJ Scott JJ Scott was a Fish & Game warden for the state of Idaho, now retired

Tagged as:

outdoors, wildlife, bears, littering, raccoons

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