ROSCOMMON COUNTY, MI - A Michigan man's effort to save some money on a family reunion feast recently got him in some hot water with the Department of Natural Resources.
According to an official report, the incident occurred in mid-to-late June when Steve Lockwood and Sgt. Jon Wood of DNR District 5, decided to make a late-evening patrol on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County.
While observing two boats that were anchored close to each other, the COs noticed a lone angler in one of the boats. According to the report, the angler appeared to make a lot of "nervous movements" in the boat upon seeing the officers.
Upon getting consent to search the boat, Wood began counting fish in the live well while Lockwood located a concealed ice cream pail filled with several more pan fish. In total, the angler was in possession of 40 pan fish and one largemouth bass, according to the report.
He quickly told the officers that the "extra" fish belonged to his buddies in the next boat, but those accusations were quickly denied by the anglers in the other boat.
Further interviews led to the lone angler admitting to addition pan fish being caught earlier in the day. Those fish were being kept in the back of his vehicle, the report said. A search of the vehicle revealed a cooler with a large block of ice in it laying on top of an additional 71 pan fish, for a total of 111.
The angler admitted he had caught the 71 fish that morning and returned to his "hot spot" in the evening. The frustrated angler also admitted that he planned on serving the fish at his next family reunion, according to the report.
Enforcement action was taken at the scene which included a citation and seizure of 86 pan fish.
Though the service treats all search and rescue situations equally, most on-scene commanders will privately admit that a majority of the time “it was just some dumb bastard with no concern for personal safety,” according to the study’s authors.
“These statistics are unthinkable,” said Coast Guard spokesperson Lt. Carla Willmington. “Our service prides itself on response time, SAR organization, and comprehensive rescue pattern analysis. But it’s tough to stay on task when the bulk of these cases involve people paralyzed from the neck up. ”
The U. S. Coast Guard Office of Search and Rescue report examined nearly all cases handled on inland and offshore waters from 1960 through 2014. Following the Federal Boating Act of 1971, increases in cases by “fucking idiots” and “goddamn morons” have been staggering, and very challenging to the service as it struggles to operate under a minimal budget.
Between 2010 and 2014, the most recent years studied, incidents involving “total assholery” increased from 10,687 to 38,335.
“I joined the Coast Guard because it seemed like we were the only military service operating even when we weren’t fighting in some war,” said Operations Spc. Bill Horvath, of Sector Humboldt Bay. “But then you realize we are at war, against an army of dipshits with boats.”
“I’ve seen some pretty stupid shit in my time,” said Willmington. “Why would a boater decide it’s a good idea to sail balls-first into a hurricane with zero lifejackets, zero flares, and apparently zero fucks? Why even make an effort for these people? I’m all for a Darwinian Search and Rescue Plan, if you follow me.”
“I know there are boaters out there who own and operate vessels responsibly,” Horvath said. “But, statistically speaking, people need to just stay off the water. We’re already running on a low budget and stretched thin with unreliable assets. The last thing we need is a bunch of soup sandwiches sailing around aimlessly wasting our goddamn time, putting our lives at risk, too.”
Slightly north but fishing same canyons as us ...