Game Wardens Issue Warning After Couple Cited For Illegally Shock Fishing On Skiatook Lake

Tuesday, October 12th 2021, 9:16 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A couple was issued tickets for illegally shock fishing on Skiatook Lake. Game wardens said the practice is extremely dangerous and bad for wildlife.

Osage County game warden Jeremy Bersche said he had to hide for hours at a boat ramp to wait for the couple to come back from the water but said he's glad they stopped them for now.

"Takes the fair chase aspect away," said Bersche.

Bersche said he and Lt. Paul Welch got a tip about a husband and wife who were shock fishing on Skiatook Lake. Bersche said he searched boat ramps for several weeks and finally spotted their vehicle on Friday at the Hominy Landing boat ramp, so he waited.

"Shocking, there are certain aspects that go with that, batteries to the water and characteristics of what they're doing with the boat," he said.

Bersche said he spotted the couple shocking fish on the water and when they got back several hours later, their boat was equipped with a shocking device with a flip switch.

"Took all their stuff, shocking devices and their boat," Bersche said.

Bersche said he's been a game warden for 11 years and this is only the second time he's had a shock fishing case.

He said it depletes resources and is very dangerous to have electricity near the water.

"It stuns the fish and makes them come to the surface and makes them immobile for a little bit and allows people to get as many as they want,” Bersche said.

He said it's important to make sure everyone is able to enjoy fishing legally.

"Who knows how many times he's shocked out here and hurt the resources," he said. "It makes the job worthwhile and makes you feel good."

Bersche issued two tickets, one for $1,000 and one for a little more than $700. He said they had shocked a few fish but threw them back.