Coosa River Anglers Caught Way Over The Limit

Conservation Law Enforcement Corner - January 2024

GON Staff | December 31, 2023

The white bass were sure biting on Dec. 10 on the lower Coosa River—apparently too good for a pair of anglers who kept 88 fish over the limit.

The Conservation LE Corner is designed to highlight the efforts of Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division (LED) officers who, among their many duties, protect Georgia’s wildlife, sportsmen and natural resources from game-law violators. The following account is provided from DNR LED.

Floyd County: There’s over the limit, and there’s OVER the limit… Game Warden Isaac Roberson was on routine patrol in his DNR Law Enforcement Division (LED) truck the afternoon of Dec. 10 when he pulled into the parking lot at the Old River Road boat ramp on the Coosa River. The public boat launch is located on the Coosa between the Lock & Dam and Brushy Branch, just upriver from the Alabama state line and Lake Weiss.

They say timing is everything—in this case it was good timing for an officer wearing a badge and protecting our natural resources, and it was bad timing for a pair of anglers loading their boat on a trailer at the ramp.

“I was on routine patrol checking boat ramps, and when I pulled in they had just loaded the boat on the trailer,” Game Warden Roberson said. “I conducted a license check and vessel inspection to check for the required safety equipment. They cooperated just fine as I checked for life jackets. Both had valid fishing licenses.

“I asked if they had any fish in the livewell, and he said, ‘Yeah.’

“When I saw all the white bass and striped bass in the livewell, I said, ‘Do you know the limit?’ They said no.

“They were still on the ramp, so I had them pull out of the way so the ramp wasn’t being blocked. We got to counting… and then I stopped counting and called my Corporal to assist.”

It was a large quantity of fish, by far the biggest over-the-limit case Game Warden Roberson has worked so far in his young career. He’s been with DNR for right at a year, having graduated from Game Warden Academy on April 21.

“I’m from Bartow County. I grew up hunting and fishing,” Roberson said.

When the counting was done, the tally was 118 fish, mostly white bass but also some stripers. White bass, stripers and hybrids (a hatchery cross between white bass and stripers) are closely related. Linesides can be difficult to identify for some anglers, so the state regulates the three species together.  The Georgia lineside limit is 15 fish per day per angler, and only two can be 22 inches or greater in length.

The two Coosa River anglers at the Old River Road boat ramp had 118 fish, a whopping 88 over the legal limit.

In recent years, game wardens from Georgia and Alabama have made numerous cases against anglers using gill nets and other illegal methods to catch gamefish that are being sold or used in the restaurant business, particularly in Atlanta. That did not appear to be the case here.

“They looked like two average Joe fishermen, but they were not local, they were not from the Floyd County area,” Game Warden Roberson said.

We’re GON, so we had to ask… what were they fishing with?

“It looked like normal crappie jigs, tiny swim baits, some double rigged,” Roberson said.

The fish were confiscated and donated to a family in need from the area.


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