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Coldwater News

1,600 Trout Over the Limit

by Ross Purnell, Editor   |  May 15th, 2014 73
Over The Limit

More than 1,600 trout were seized at a Clovis, New Mexico, home on May 12, 2014. That’s 160 times the legal possession limit. Image courtesy of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

A poacher in New Mexico has taken illegal harvest to staggering new depths. After getting an anonymous tip, Department of Game and Fish Conservation Officers found more than 1,600 rainbow trout in the home of Bounchanh Bounsombath of Clovis, New Mexico. That’s more than 160 times the legal possession limit.

Bounsombath, 62, was arrested Monday, May 12, and admitted to catching all the fish at Green Acres Lake and Denis Chaves Pond in northwest Clovis.

“Never in my whole career have I encountered this before,” Col. Robert Griego said. “The extreme excess of this case is aggravating. The department stocks these fish for all sportsmen and women, young and old, with the desire that everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the fish.”

Department hatchery workers released approximately 10,000 rainbow trout into Green Acres and Denis Chaves between November 2013 and March 2014. Licensed anglers may catch and keep up to five rainbow trout per day and may possess up to 10 rainbow trout at their residence.

Bounsombath was booked into the Curry County Detention Center with a bond set at $2,500. The department will seek $8,000 in civil restitution for the state to recover the loss of the trout.

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  • Frank Alessio

    What Fly did He Use???

  • Chris

    The punishment is way to small. He should serve time in jail, permanently loss his rights to fish, and pay a much bigger fine.

    • Martin Kirby

      I definetly agree Chris!

    • Jon

      Hell yeah, he should be looking at 6 months in jail and something like a $10K fine, instead of the little slap on the wrist he’s getting ;(

      • Chris Pate

        6 months is way too light did you notice the trout were not even dressed to be frozen or eaten he needs about 5 years and at least $10 an inch for all the trout over the limit

    • Hawgz Wylde

      Absolutely. He was probably selling them to restaurants and markets. They never go further than busting the poacher. They need to follow up and take down the buyers. He should be charged with much more than simple poaching…

    • angry guest

      agreed. do we need to start a petition to increase the penalties for this kind of crime? Canada apparently has enormous fines.

    • Matt

      Permanent loss of rights? You hear yourself? Rights, as in not a privilege, as in something that cannot be taken away. Fuck off ya fascistic prick. A man does not need permission from some government bureaucrats to catch food for himself and his family.

      • Bob Shi

        except for the part where the government puts fish in the lake…. otherwise, the lake will probably run out of fish because of these jokers

        • Kelly Bliven

          aww yes the government money that was paid for by the people. Licence for this, licence for that, sticker for this sticker for that. Fine for this and fine for that. We hunt & fish for food. I can understand that this quantity is over and beyond. However what about us that actually use the food. I hardly doubt a 10 fish limit is going to feed us for long.

          • gobbly

            So lets use your 10 fish limit as a guide, and based on your criteria we will assume you eat them. First off 10 fish is easy to live off as a source of protein, even for a reasonably sized family, ignoring the fact that the limit scales with people and children are typically free or much cheaper to license. That’s ~3600 fish a year with a single limit. $35 seems above average for a resident permit, so at that rate you are paying about a dime a day, or a penny a fish (in license fees that is). Even running the numbers with a 5 fish per person per day limit, it’s fairly silly how inexpensive the whole thing is. And you do understand that if the state wasn’t farming fish for you to catch you wouldn’t even have the option to catch 10 fish a day? In that dystopian future your best bet for cheap animal protein would be walmart. Without the state to intervene and protect what are shared resources hunting and fishing would be rare indeed.
            In the end it comes down to the question of sustainability. Do you wish that your hunting be sustainable? If so then reasonable fees used to protect the resource makes sense, and the fees charged really are reasonable when think about what is provided, and understand how completely we destroy nature when left up to our own devices.

      • Elijah Russell

        1600 trout and he’s “feeding his family”? That’s called poaching and is HIGHLY unethical, even amongst hunters.

        Typical American dipshit thinking in such black and white terms.

        I say down with hatcheries and see how long these uneducated “fisherman” can feed their families. Let’s see Darwinism in action.

      • gobbly

        You fail to understand the system. Those fish are owned by the people of New Mexico. So lets say there are a million trout in the state, each New Mexonian (what do you call yourselves?) owns, say, a quarter of a trout if your state population was 4 million. Some people don’t want their trout, and some people want more than their quarter. In fact, enough want more than their quarter (as evidenced by this article) that if left up to our own devices we will remove all the fish. As the representative of their people the state steps in and ensures that those citizens who want more than their 1/4 fish gets them, and ensures that there is plenty of fish so that all citizens who want to partake of their share can. They also ensure that the fish population is stable so that those who chose not to withdraw their allotment of fish could in the future.
        True, a man doesn’t need permission to steal from his neighbor, but he should accept the consequences for his actions. Your assertion that this guy was “catching food for himself and his family” is simply flaunting ignorance.

    • Elijah Russell

      Couldn’t agree more. What a waste of existence. Send this turd out on rails!

  • PSAGuy

    Bounchanh Bounsombath ???…..Those Irish guys really know how to fish !!
    Make him EAT every one of those fish as well.

    • Michael Woolsey

      Sounds Laotioan or Cambodian…….In Clovis, NM? Wow……..

  • Mike

    It should be like a felon in possession of a firearm. No good will come of this guy picking up a rod again. Zero respect for the environment.

  • Jerry Brown

    I wonder what will be done with all of those that they confiscated. I hope someone gets to eat them

    • Hawgz Wylde

      They are usually donated to soup kitchens and homeless shelters…

      • Matt

        Of course, thats all the government can “donate” to anybody. Money and goods that they’ve stolen from peaceful citizens.

        • gobbly

          o_O Someone steals the fish that belong to the citizens of New Mexico, and you assert that the govt is to blame? Are these really the logic skill you want to profess to the world?

  • Bo

    calm down folks, this guy could have caught his limit every day for the last year and only eaten half of this limit; so technically the only thing he has done wrong is not eaten the fish he caught. what difference does it make if he wants to save them in his freezer, can them, dry them, smoke them, or eat them? There is no evidence that he is unethically catching farm raised fish. The fact that he freezes them should be enough evidence to assure everyone the he didn’t plan on wasting them.

    • Flyguy77

      New Mexico law says that you can only possess 10 at your residence at a time. This is to ensure there is no illegal selling and distribution of the trout.

      • John Orr

        bull shit

        • Hawgz Wylde

          “bull shit” what?

      • Hawgz Wylde

        Bingo! There is a huge Black market for these fish. It’s big money here in Cali…

    • Cade Laufenberg

      You’re an idiot… 1,600 fish over the limit, but its fine, he should keep catching his limit every day even though he hasn’t even eaten the ones he caught yesterday, or the day before that, or for the last entire year….They set possession limits for a reason… Unfortunately its a fisherman’s disease where people feel the need to keep something every time they go fishing.. Some sort of pride complex. Learn to practice catch and release, selective harvest, and only take as much as you need to feed yourself and your family. A guy can really learn to love the feeling of letting a trophy fish go to lay her eggs once more and spread her genetics, or so some other lucky angler can have the pleasure of catching her. It’s clear that you’re misguided in your thinking and out of touch with the outdoors and fish management.

      • guest123

        No, when you hit your limit. Just don’t go fishing. Why? Because catch and release can and do kill some fish.

        • Kremit da frog

          If you catch and release properly the fish lives… if your fish are dying you’re doing it wrong and should refrain from fishing all together. .. how do I know the fish live on? Cuz I caught the same fish twice in a day about 3 hrs apart. How do I onow it was the same fish? Same size/color the same scar tissues on its skin and a tiny hole on the lip from the hook before.

          • Kelly Bliven

            Some still die. To say they all live is not being honest. BTW you fish for the sport of it. In my opinion that is just sick to torment and harass a creature for your pleasure. Just sayin..

        • Hawgz Wylde

          I catch and release Bass nearly every day, lots of them. They survive just fine…

      • shake8074

        catch and release farm raised fish? your the idiot…i practice catch and release but if the fish are farm raised is there any reason to practice this? maybe, just maybe, he was saving the fish for a fish fry with his entire family, so they to can enjoy the taste of rainbow trout.. You sir need to think a little more about your misguided thoughts…have you heard of a camera? Many serious fisherman carry them just for this reason.. the one thing i can give you a high five for is the feeling of releasing that trophy fish for someone else to have a go..I do this several times every year, wonderful feeling..

        • Chris Pate

          1600 fish for a fish fry for his family? that would feed my entire family close to me for at least 2 months

      • Kelly Bliven

        10 fish possession limit won’t feed a family for very long JMHO. We hunt and fish to feed ourselves because we don’t want to be dependent on the system. My ancestors hunted and fished to survive. Clearly you only fish for the sport of it. That in itself is in my opinion worse then someone fishing to feed their family. Seriously sad when someone fishes only for the sport. “oh we catch and release!” How many fish die anyway. How much stress for the fish just for your pleasure. Give me a break!

        • Chris Pate

          10 trout possession limit only means you can not have more than 10 at a time in your possession at your house eat 5 then go get another limit it is that simple!!!!

    • Rob

      Your a Fuckin Retard Possession Limit Is 10 your probably a poacher too.

    • Jon

      Yeah sure because so many people do that, you have to live under a rock to actually think thats what he did. & even so if he did do that, there is no need to take that many fish because I don’t care who you are you aren’t going to be able to eat that many fish!! even giving some away thats wasteful & if he can catch them that easy then why not catch & eat them fresh? who would want frozen when they could have fresh, kinda bombs your theory but either way like I said 99% sure there a lot of fish going to waste

    • bruce

      How do you not walk out into traffic?

    • Steve K

      Yes, but you can only possess 10 in your house at any given time.

    • Frank

      Because there are two types limits, daily bag limit and possession limit. Daily bag limit (in this case, 5 trout), is how many fish you can catch in a day. Possession limit (in this case, 10 trout), is how many you can legally posses. That means even in his freezer, this guy was only legally allowed to have 10 fish.

    • Brandon’s

      Says your only allowed to keep 10 in total at your residence

    • JWF

      Calm down? You need to get a grip. He obviously is not intending on eating all of these fish. If he started eating them in the order they were caught, he would be eating freezer burned fish in about 3 months.
      I hope the Law breaks it off in him. Revoke his license for life, impound his vehicle, Tatoo “Im a Wildlife Thief” on his forehead.

    • gobbly

      Sounds like you aren’t familiar with fishing regs. Generally you will have one or more of location limit (limits for a particular body or stretch of water), species limit, daily limit, and possession limit. If you hit the daily limit without eating anything (or gifting or donating depending on the state law), you will run into a possession limit in a few days. The possession limit is the hard cap, you can never have more than that legally, no matter what. Most states also have laws preventing you from wasting wildlife, so generally the fish must be eaten.

  • Adan Martinez

    I disagree with those that say the punishment is not big enough. These are ponds that are stocked, I would agree if he was ruining a wild stock in a flowing body of water where the wild genetics occur naturally.

    • Jon

      Whats the difference. Its not like they came from a private pond. They stock it for a reason!! So one day it can be a place where they are natural after generations of fish. This really pisses me off & even if they came from a privately stocked pond there is NO REASON to harvest 1,600 fish point blank wasteful!!!

    • bruce

      You freaking moron we pay for the stocking of fish with taxes and fishing license fees.
      Please don’t breed. You are enough stupid in your family tree.

      • Hawgz Wylde

        Lol, totally agree…

      • Kelly Bliven

        The reason they stock ponds is because trout can not live in the area’s they stock because when it gets to hot the trout dies. Oh…but that is so much better….I say “when the temps start to climb it should be a free for all!”

  • Jon Ripley

    They fine you 10 bucks an inch in Michigan. So 1600 illegal 14 inch fish is about $224,000 fine in Michigan.

  • Ross Purnell

    He was convicted of poaching in 2013 as well. this is not his first offense.

    • Jon

      Total scum bag!! He should have all fishing/hunting licenses REVOKED PERMANENTLY!! He obviously didn’t learn his lesson!!

  • Jaybird

    Those ponds in Clovis cannot hold trout over the summer–too hot. So 1600 trout divided by the 5/day limit would mean he (supposedly) fished 320 days to catch that number. Seems pretty obvious this is not the case but rather many times the daily limit stocked piled per day. He should be banned from fishing for life!

    • Kelly Bliven

      So in other words any fish not caught would ultimately die. Oh and that i so much better!

      • gobbly

        To enlighten you. Every summer (and through the winter as well), many many thousands upon thousands of fisher-men and women descend upon the waters, a multitude of us. If left to our own devices, all fish would die rather quickly and none of us would be fishing at this point in history. So the state, the custodian of our natural resources, steps in. They charge those of us who want to partake of the resource a reasonable fee per year to manage the fish for us so that we all can enjoy them. So they take our money and they breed a bunch of fish and make sure that we have things to catch when we go out. So yeah, those fish would have died naturally if everyone just left them there, but that never would have happened. Instead one person took the share of resources that many others had paid for, basically ripping off the other citizens of New Mexico.

  • Michael Woolsey

    They should confiscate his house (stored the fish), confiscate his vehicle (transported the fish), and he should be banned from receiving a fishing license in the United States, forever.

    • Neal

      Confiscate his house?? lol you are insane.

  • David Squires

    He is getting off way to easy

  • proud patriot

    I sure hope those fish went to feed the homeless and not to spoil.

  • chris

    Kind of a weird law though,you can only have 10 at your house?totally understand having a daily catch limit!but I have caught 3 here and 2 thread have a fish fry and invite family and friends over to enjoy and have had more than ten in the freezer for it!!Don’t get me wrong apparently this guy had to be catching and keeping way more than 5 a day.. but weird home possession law!

  • Justin

    His name is southeast asian. Did they say that language was or wasn’t a factor? I realize that everyone should follow the rules no matter what. But I do think that permanent loss of license should be a good ruling!

  • angry guest

    I dont see any real punishment here – no wonder he was so brazen. Hard time and stiff fine – and he should have to pay the costs for his incarceration too. lock him up with all those fish for a few years, that might cure him.

  • somsai

    Justin from the name I’d guess he’s lowland Laotian. The Lao who live along the rivers. I’ve heard of Lao people just going directly to the truck that delivers the stockers and buying direct. They know it is wrong but are just interested in the meat. The fish are often fermented for a year.

    Loss of license and public service by giving anti fish poaching lectures at the temple during the new years celebration.

    The Lao community needs to know we take hunting and fishing regulations seriously.

  • Josh

    I hope all you haters get caught up for the felonies you commit.

    Ever sell anything on craigslist? TAX DODGER
    Ever watch anything online? COPYWRITE INFRINGER
    Ever drive home from a bar? DUI
    Ever hit your kids? DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

    Either you all deserve to be ass-raped in a cell beside him, or maybe you should shut the fuck up and go watch some tv or something.

    • Lawman75

      You sir are that special kind of stupid that we hear about from time to time. Just listen to yourself. Seriously. Have you always been a moron, or is this a new development?

      • Josh

        By the looks of your name, “lawman75,” you’re probably some piece of shit cop. The kind of piece of shit cop who will arrest people for feeding the homeless if you live in a region where that’s your job description. If the law was to stone gays or hang blacks, that’s exactly what you’d be doing, claiming “just doing my job” all along the way.

        The sooner you get yourself a flag draped coffin and a 21 gun salute, the better, you fucking parasite.

        • bruce

          Typical internet tough guy. Talks real big hiding behind a computer monitor. Probably hasn’t been able to get his fat ass off of his mommies couch in years.

    • davelsi2

      Really Josh???

      Things sold on Craigslist are usually sold at a loss
      Things watched online aren’t necessarily copywritten
      One beer does not make one a drunk driver
      Domestic violence? seariously???

      please josh, think before you write

      • Josh

        Sales tax is on sales, not profits, retard boy. How many times do people head out to a bar for one beer, idiot?

        You seriously should choke on a shotgun blast.

  • Stephen

    I’ve encountered fishermen with WAY too many fish in their drop freezer yet they continue to catch and keep. It doesn’t make sense to me that someone would take so much more then they need even if the law did permit it. As for punishment. Take away his privilege to fish in the state….but don’t throw him behind bars or completely ruin him financially. It does make me angry, but that doesn’t mean I should hate the guy and wish him more punishment then he deserves.

  • Stephen

    Making this story more well known will do ALOT more to curltail (pun intended) this kind of behavior then locking this guy up and throwing away the key

  • Silver Siren

    Wish they would take the time and investigate who he was selling the fish to. Most of these maggots come here because there is nothing left to pillage in their own country.

  • Elijah Russell

    lowland Laotian just happens to be my favorite food. I use every one I take. I ferment them for up to a year. What? I’m just feeding my family!

  • Native American citizen

    I’m a resident of NM and love fishing as a passion for years. I’m happy and glad that one person finally turned this guy in to the authorities. Let’s all do our part in reporting poacher’s!!! This is not his first time poaching so I wish that privilege ,right, or honor of fishing for you and family be taken away for life. He is not a law abiding citizen!!! Let’s also teach ourselves and family to respect the law, creation and our fellow American’s!!! This person has no respect our ethics!!! I hope he really learns his lesson this time around. I will pray for you Mr. Poacher. Judgement day will come to the rest of you disrespectable poacher’s.

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