Illegal Fishing Sting Nets 17 Violati...

Illegal Fishing Sting Nets 17 Violations on the Shenandoah in Berryville

Posted in the Berryville Forum

River Watcher

United States

#1 Aug 5, 2010
Four Virginia conservation enforcement officers converged on the Shenandoah River near Watermelon Park on July 17th for two days of targeted enforcement designed to stem a rash of illegal cast net and spear-gun fishing that has devastated wildlife populations in the area. The “sting” operation resulted in seventeen misdemeanor citations for ten illegal anglers and impoundment of six cast nets. The anglers were alleged to be in possession of over 300 fish and were charged with ten Class 2 misdemeanors and seven Class 3 misdemeanors.

In Virginia a Class 3 Misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of not more than $500 while a Class 2 Misdemeanor can carry a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months in jail.

Local Residents Alarmed by Irregular Fishing Practices

While local residents welcomed the enforcement activities, characterized as “widespread and persistent illegal poaching” by landowners living near the river and labeled a “very serious threat to the resource” by Bob Duncan, Executive Director of Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), questions remain about why the enforcement effort was not initiated until multiple complaints were filed by local residents as well as DGIF’s plans for preventing a recurrence of the activity in the future.

River Watcher

United States

#2 Aug 6, 2010
I would like to Know how many others have seen this activity besides me and the folks in this article?

Has anyone else called our local Game Warden, to be told that net casting was legal?

River Watcher

United States

#3 Aug 18, 2010
Citizen tips lead to crackdown on use of illegal cast nets... District 41 Conservation Police Officers, Sgt. Carl Martin and Officer Keith Crider, and District 42 Officers Beth Harold and Rob Ham conducted a special operation on the Shenandoah River at Watermelon Park in Clarke County. The operation targeted the taking of game fish by illegal methods, specifically cast nets. CPO's utilized kayaks, worked in plain clothes in order to observe the illegal activity. The operation took place over two days, 07/17/10 and 07/18/10. Several concerned citizens contacted VDGIF to express their concern about the fisheries resource in the Shenandoah River and the taking of this resource by cast nets. While CPO's have been working this area for some time, the use of cast nets has increased. Region 4 Officers were able to document the illegal catch and charged ten individuals under 29.1-531, take game fish by illegal method. A total of seventeen summonses were issued over the two-day operation. On July 17, 2010, CPO's seized 95 game fish of varying size from four individuals. On July 18, 2010, approximately 160 game fish were seized from six individuals. Species taken by illegal method included smallmouth bass, rock bass, and other sunfish. In addition, 41 channel catfish were caught by cast net. Continued harvest at these rates over several months could certainly have an effect on local fish populations. CPO's will continue to conduct patrols in this area. For more information contact Lt. Ronnie Warren
River Watcher

United States

#4 Aug 18, 2010
Illegal anglers caught by COPs using kayak... On Sunday, July 04, Sergeant Carl Martin and Officer Kevin Bilwin worked a special operation with Department of Conservation & Recreation Officers Tony Widmer, Andy Davis, and Brett Clawson at the Shenandoah River State Park in Warren County. Sergeant Martin, Officer Bilwin, and DCR Officer Davis worked the South Fork by kayak and in plain clothes. DCR Officers Widmer and Clawson provided a uniform presence (they also issued four summonses for drinking in public within the park). Officers Bilwin and Davis also charged an individual with taking fish by an illegal method; this subject used a spear gun to take two smallmouth bass within the slot limit, a 21" channel catfish, a 17 ¾" channel catfish, and a bullhead catfish. Another subject was charged with possessing illegally taken fish. In addition, six summonses were issued for fishing without a license along a 3-mile section of the South Fork bordering the park. For more information contact Lt. Ronnie Warren

Scroll way down to Region 4 - Mountain & Shenandoah Valley
River Watcher

United States

#5 Aug 19, 2010
This is hilarious!!

The river was beautiful. Mike was great. Staff was friendly. The tubing was AWESOME. The campsites were the biggest I've ever seen. Nice, wide, more than enough room. We arrived on a Thursday and left on Sunday and also had some tent people meeting us there. For us, the stay was nice. For the tent people not so great due to the bath houses being completely disgusting. You also have to bring quarters with you to use the showers which the website doesn't disclose. A certain nationality of people showed up Friday night, by the hundreds. Things went downhill from there. They were loud, dirty and I think the bath house situation was because of them. They played loud music, left their trash everywhere, sped through the campground. Border patrol was all over the place and cops frequented the campsite over the weekend. On Sunday, they all packed up and left. They left garbage EVERYWHERE. I felt so bad for the owners to have to clean up such a mess. This is such a beautiful place to camp. I hope the owners can figure out a way to deter the illegals (I'm assuming illegal with so much border patrol officers around). We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Help save America

United States

#6 Oct 13, 2010
This wont be allowed any longer the people of Berryville Will make it loud and clear!

August 26th the gang unit was sent to WMP for gang activity..
Help save America

United States

#7 Oct 19, 2010
June 2010

Don't trust these people, this used to be a great campground that our group stayed at for several years in a row. USED to be friendly and worked well with us. We always came with a group of 20-100 people. Then things started going downhill. A bad element of people started coming in, in spite of complaints by us for a couple of years in a row of campers from other sites/groups coming into our reserved areas disrupting our functions and items coming up missing nothing was done by management to curb it. Although management lives right across the road, once they are gone for the day that's it, you're on your own. The last straw was when we made our usual reservation at our usual group rate, something happened and the lady that used to handle our reservations was no longer there. ONE WEEK prior to our event we were told that neither the space we had reserved nor the rate we were promised would be honored. They doubled the price, we did get our space back, but not without a lot of hassle. This same thing happened to another sister group earlier. We won't be back. We camped here in a Tent.
Help save America

United States

#8 Oct 19, 2010
I found other reviews, all the same except one, it was described as a free for all, drunken good time and park security they laughed at. All say the same once it gets dark you're on your own.

If WMP isn't ashamed of what they allow here, I SURE AM more like EMBARRESSED!!
River Watcher

United States

#9 Oct 27, 2010
Region IV - Mountains & Shenandoah Valley
Cast nets illegal for taking game fish... On July 17h – 18, Sgt. Carl Martin and Conservation Police Officers Keith Crider, Beth Harold, and Rob Ham conducted a plain-clothes special operation on the Shenandoah River in Clarke County. This operation targeted the illegal use of cast nets for the taking of game fish near Watermelon Park. On September 2, 2010, eight of ten defendants (cases were continued for two) appeared in Clarke County General District Court and entered guilty pleas to violating 29.1-531, taking and/or possession of game fish by illegal methods. The court imposed fines ranging from $100 to $250. In addition, five cast nets and five mesh bags used to hold the fish were forfeited to VDGIF for educational and outreach efforts.
Dont drink the water

United States

#10 Nov 9, 2010
Anyone have anything to add? New info, something ANYTHING???
Ice in River

United States

#11 Jan 6, 2011

Everyone needs to do their part..

Please dont litter!

Pick that can up even if its not yours! Thank you

United States

#12 Feb 23, 2011
We will be watching what kind of people show up at WMP and making sure WMP applies their own rules.
This includes WMP ignoring underage drinking.

The hills here do have eyes...
Just watching

United States

#14 Jul 12, 2011
L D.
Ashburn, VA

Seriously. I am quite confident there are slums in Afghanistan that are nicer than this place. From the mariachi "band" banging on a cowbell all night, to the owner of the place, to the fact that you had to pay for the entire weekend even if you are just staying for one day (you do get refunded), to the things that pass as bathrooms (but that is being very generous), to the 4 (yes, 4) different times I saw police cruisers and ambulances in the middle of the night, to the latin lovers staring down the 14 year old girls in our party, to the lack of permission to build a fire, to the whole miserable, soul sucking experience, I would mildly suggest that you not patronize this place. Everything on the website is not true. They do not enforce anything on the website and you will have to enforce the rules yourself. You had better have a weapon, though. I slept with a machete. Really. A machete.

7/6/2011 Steve S. Alexandria VA

Hahaha, I read the reviews but I didn't believe it and I still went. The camping is a nightmare, just don't go, trust me.

The tubing went only 1 mile up the river too. If just want to go sit in a tube for a couple hours it's ok, but if you're planning any type of trip, don't go here.

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