I saw something in the Omaha World-Herald this week that bothered me. Some angler found a discarded pipe bomb while fishing at Cunningham Reservoir on the north side of Omaha, http://www.omaha.com/article/20110518/NEWS01/705189827/1198#lake-catch-raises-eyebrows .
Initially my thought was that this might have been left by some stupid kids who had been fooling around building pipe bombs. But then I got to thinking, why was it in the water? Could there be some stinkin’ poachers that have been doing a little blast fishing? I have not heard any reports of blast fishing in Nebraska waters, but I suppose it is possible and I would not be surprised if we have some low-lifes that would try it. I would hate to think that someone might find more discarded pipe bombs on Nebraska waters, but to be on the safe side you might want to be aware of such things, keep your eyes and ears open, and by all means if you see something like that, report it to authorities, immediately!
I did some quick research on blast fishing. In some parts of the world this practice is a real threat to some fish populations and aquatic habitats. Fish killed by blast fishing often have no visible, external signs of being killed by an explosion. Most of the blast damage to a fish is found internally and especially includes ruptured swim bladders. In fact, fish killed by blast fishing often sink to the bottom because the swim bladder ruptures. If you are some genius thinking that you can throw a pipe bomb in the water and then pick up a bunch of dead fish that come floating to the surface, well, I hate to disappoint you–fish killed by explosions will most likely sink to the bottom.
Anyway, I doubt that blast fishing is any problem at all in Nebraska waters. But, when something like a pipe bomb shows up in the local fishing hole, it is good to be aware of it. Our fish and wildlife resources belong to all of us, they belong to you, they belong to me. It absolutely fries me to think that there are scumbags out there stealing our fish! If you see any illegal activity, you can find phone numbers for all of our conservation officers in the back of the 2011-2012 Fishing Guide, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/fishing/guides/fishguide/pdf/FishGuide.pdf . We also have the Wildlife Crimestoppers number, 800-742-7627. Keep calling. Our conservation officers are busy so sometimes you have to keep calling. You can also contact them through the local county sheriff’s office.
This also reminds me of a joke, one I am sure you have all heard. You remember, the one where the game warden was trying to catch a guy in the act of poaching. This poacher always had a limit of fish and the warden was suspicious of how he was “catching” them, but whatever he did he could not catch him in the act. One day the guy invited the warden to go fishing with him. Of course, the warden thought that was a great idea as he might be able to figure out what the guy was doing if he went fishing with him. The warden met the guy at the boat ramp, jumped in his boat with him and headed to the fishing spot. The warden thought it was strange that there was nothing but a cooler in the boat, no fishing poles, no tackle box, no bait, nothing. When they got to the fishing spot the poacher opens up the cooler, takes out a stick of dynamite, lights it and throws it in the water. BOOM! Dead fish. The warden starts spitting and sputtering and telling the guy he cannot do that. The poacher opens up the cooler, takes out another stick of dynamite, lights it and hands it to the warden. The warden is sitting there holding a stick of dynamite with the fuse burning and wondering what to do when the poacher looks at him and asks, “So what are you going to do? Are you going to talk or are you going to fish?”
Sorry. Have a nice weekend. Nebraska’s Free Fishing Day is tomorrow, find someone that has not been fishing in awhile and get them out there and get them hooked!