Spouting Off!

A recent "encounter" while on our trip to Nootka Sound this year has once again led me to the keyboard!  This altercation took place on the dock at Critter Cove on our last evening there, and we (everyone in our group) were taken back by the uncouth manner in which this person approached us, and an American to boot!

With our quotas just about filled up, Greg and I took the option of an evening off and spent it at Critter with a big celebration supper and a couple of cold frosty's, nothing like it!  The ambiance of being out on the coast and being at such a Resort is second to none for angler appeal.  We could just sit at our picnic table and enjoy the serenity in our back yard or, walk around the place and chat it up with other anglers while they were cleaning their catch, its just great!

We had a fellow, who was obviously American from his accent, question us about some of the fish we caught, unbeknownst to us that he had just "interrogated" Bruce at the fish cleaning station.   He was doing more than  just asking about what and where, and brought out some charts he had printed off and which were also posted at the Critter office billboard, the charts indicating certain regs for fishing in certain areas.   He kept questioning us about it until I got a bit fed up with his persistence and questioned just who he was and why he was pursuing this "line of questioning".  He claimed he was a fisheries biologist with the Washington State government!  While we all totally appreciated his concern for OUR fish, I think his line of attack was more to try and embarrass us and for him show off to the 3 tables of his Washington friends that were all within ear shot of us, rather then to ensure any regs weren't broken!  What was strange was that in one breath he was condemning anyone that takes fish illegally, fair game in my books, but in his next statement stated that if you can get away with it and get home without being caught then good on ya!!  Needless to say we had alot of glares from his "friends" for the duration of our trip, perhaps he should have minded his own business??

If in fact you wish to talk to someone about their catch, then comment on fishing regulations and then accuse those anglers of something, how about a little couth and do it in private, it may be more accepted and appreciated doing it this way!  If you have a problem with what the anglers were doing and felt they were doing something illegal and that those anglers didn't care that they may be doing something wrong, then report them!  Also, while I appreciate you pointing out some of the regs, next time, do it a bit more "professionally", if in fact you are a Government employee, or mind your own business and look after your own fishing stocks that are hooped, not ours!  While I realize that the Americans are a big part of helping out the economy with their visits to our country, keep your opinions to yourself if you can't speak to someone with some class.  If your intent was to embarrass us, it failed miserably.  If it was to point out some regulations, we understood what you were saying the first time around, enough said.  We were there for a good time, not a lecture from someone from another country about our fishing and our fish stocks, we know all to well how they are being overfished by others!  On a more positive note, we did speak with a couple from Mt. Vernon, Washington.  Great folks, very nice to talk to, they book a week at Critter every year and try and get their limits, nice to have met you!

Spouting off is just that, a bunch of blah blah yadda yadda that is meaningless!  If in fact you want to do so then be prepared for whatever fallout may come afterwards as a result of your brain not thinking before you speak.  I too have had the "brain farts" during my career in the RCMP and spoke when others felt I should have stifled it but, I also accepted any consequences that arose after.  I believe its called "burning your bridges".  Hell, I was a Police Diver so I could always swim back if I had to!

This "gentleman" came across more as a CO or Police Officer than a bonifide Fisheries Biologist, with his line of questioning.  He even went so far as to make threats on behalf of Canadian DFO officers, stating that if we caught a Chinook in a legal area but then transported that fish to a illegal area and were checked by DFO, that we would be charged and fish seized!  Now, after he said that I became somewhat infuriated at the fact that he was trying to intimidate/scare some anglers with his spouting off what the authorities in another country would do!   With two retired RCMP Members listening to this, I could only assume that the laws changed sometime between when I retired and now, as far as being "innocent until proven guilty"!  I do believe that the onus is still on the Crown to prove their case against someone and, in the case of fish, it would certainly help if they had seen you catch those Chinook in the illegal area before they took them!  I would also think that your fishing partner on board at the time you caught them, giving evidence in court and swearing that you caught them legally, would go a long way!  The bottom line is this, keep your spouting to yourself, unless you are in fact 100% sure of your facts.  Why would you try to spoil someone's holidays with false statements and accusations, other than to satisfy your own personal feelings with respect to your manhood!  Its fine when someone with the profession like Greg or I had been in, know your just blowing smoke up our sphincters, but why screw around with other anglers who don't know the laws.  Go back to your own waters and spout off to those down there that MIGHT be doing something illegal, maybe they'll appreciate your opinion more. 

One last thing, and I'm giving this "gentleman" the benefit of the doubt here.  If, (big if!) you were in fact sincere about your spouting and really only wanted to try and help to preserve Canadian fish stocks, then thank you for your opinion.  But, perhaps in the future, you could go about it in a different manner that will not offend the residents in the country you are visiting.  That's my hookset on the matter!           Cappy