Game Warden Cites Fishers For Using Speargun, Cast Net In Creek

Four men were caught using spearguns and an illegal net to capture dozens of fish on a creek near Proctor, Oklahoma. Game wardens said this case was all about being proactive. They hope it comes as a warning to anyone thinking of fishing illegally.

Monday, June 10th 2024, 5:10 pm



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Four men were caught using spearguns and an illegal net to capture dozens of fish on a creek near Proctor, Oklahoma.

That's close to the Arkansas state line. 

The game warden who saw them said fishing needs to be done the right way.

Game wardens said this case was all about being proactive. They hope it comes as a warning to anyone thinking of fishing illegally.

“I went down the drive. I typically don't go down, saw a vehicle, and it kind of piqued my interest.”

Adair County Game Warden David Garrett usually patrols creeks and rivers on the weekends.

He was near the Barren Fork Creek East of Tahlequah Friday night and noticed some anglers he said were up to no good.

“He had a cast net over his shoulder," said Garrett. "I was like, okay, it's illegal to use a cast net at Barren Fork or any scenic stream in Oklahoma.”

He then saw another man walking with a speargun.

“Another came with a speargun, a third came with a speargun, they spear gunned all the way to me and threw a cast net all the way to me," he said. "It was right place, right time type of deal.”

With the help of two other game wardens, they were able to find all the fish the men had captured, and it was a lot.

“It was 75 fish in total," said Garrett. "That included perch, catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sucker and drum.”

He said using spearguns is unfair for fish and dangerous.

He said wide cast nets are also illegal because they deplete the fish population, especially from smaller ponds and creeks.

And although he and other game wardens love it when people hunt and fish, he said it has to be done ethically and legally. 

"They thought they were hidden to the public," said Garrett. "We’re out there; you might not see us. We’re going to be out there to find you, and luckily, we found these guys."

Garrett said all four men were cited for illegal use of spearguns and the cast net.

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