May 15, 2014
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.