Fish and Wildlife set up checkpoint for fishing opener anglers


cdfwcheckpoint1Stop! In the Name of Fish & Wildlife!

By Charles James 28 April 2014

A lot of people do not like being stopped at checkpoints regardless of the reason, especially when they have not done anything wrong. But according to California Fish and Wildlife, the courts have determined that, while not a public safety issue, they can use checkpoints to protect the common interests of the public to protect its resources.

With only 4 game wardens and a lieutenant covering 14,000 square miles, checkpoints are an effective way to enforce regulations and educate the public. Bringing in other game wardens from other areas, a checkpoint was established at the truck weigh station just south of Bishop on Highway 395 Monday morning. Game Warden Chad Elliott from Northern Mono County said that they haven’t done a checkpoint in awhile and that they try to respect the public by being as unobtrusive as possible.

“There has been a lot of research on checkpoints and they are an effective way to catch those that break the rules,” says Elliott. He went oncdfwcheckpoint2 to say that most of the actual inspections without a violation only take two-three minutes and screening usually takes only seconds.

Today it was Elliott’s job to tally and time the actual inspections. The idea is to make the checkpoint as painless as possible for the public by being as efficient as possible. Fortunately for Elliott and the other wardens working the checkpoint, it was a beautiful sunny day with mild temperatures and little wind.

Not everyone was so fortunate. At least eight or more citations were issued by mid-day to some unlucky fishermen for either not having fishing licenses, being in possession of trout over the limit, or the double-whammy of both. The only thing that might have made it an even worse day for these unlucky anglers would be if they also got a speeding ticket on the way home. And as any experienced fisherman knows, that speeding ticket is likely to be a lot less expensive than a Fish and Wildlife fine!

So just how clueless or abusive of fish and wildlife regulations can some fishermen be? Elliott related a story about stopping three fishermen a couple of years ago. They had 119 trout in their possession! It is not clear whether these fishermen just did not know how to read…or count. It could have been both.

One thing is for certain: If charged with a Fish and Wildlife violation, don’t worry so much about not knowing how to read− just expect to be able to count in hundreds.


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50 Responses to Fish and Wildlife set up checkpoint for fishing opener anglers

  1. Jon doe May 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    I went thru the checkpoint. I had fish and a fishing license. They were very fast, professional and courteous. They took the time to explain the constitutionality of the checkpoint and how the courts have upheld it over the many years. They also explained that people who take over limits were taking money out of the local economy and that everyone that was checked happened to be happy they were there doing it. I am pleased to see the people catching too any fish were being caught. Hopefully the days where you can’t catch a fish are over on the east side.

  2. Ken Warner April 30, 2014 at 4:37 pm #


    Some people think the Afghanistan incursion was about oil. The Taliban backed out of a deal to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan to the Arabian Sea. Cheney hosted the Taliban leaders just months before 9/11. Lost of possible conspiracies. Interesting area of speculation.

    “The invasion of Afghanistan is certainly a campaign against terrorism,” wrote author George Monbiot in the Oct. 22, 2001, piece, “but it may also be a late colonial adventure.”

    He wrote that the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp. had been negotiating with the Taliban since 1995 to build “oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian sea.” He cited Ahmed Rashid’s authoritative book “Taliban, Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia” as a source for this information.

    “While Haq was not part of the Bush administration’s GOP (Grand Oil Plan) for South Asia, Karzai was a key player on the Bush Oil team. During the late 1990s, Karzai worked with an Afghani-American, Zalmay Khalilzad, on the CentGas project. Khalilzad is President Bush’s Special National Security Assistant and recently named presidential Special Envoy for Afghanistan. Interestingly, in the White House press release naming Khalilzad special envoy, no mention was made of his past work for UNOCAL. Khalilzad has worked on Afghan issues under National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, a former member of the board of Chevron, itself no innocent bystander in the future CentGas deal. Rice made an impression on her old colleagues at Chevron. The company has named one of their supertankers the SS Condoleezza Rice.”

  3. andy April 30, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Sounds wormy @ best.

  4. ferdinand lopez April 30, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    stop whining,unless you can think of a better way for dfg to make sure dummies aren’t taking too many fishies and have purchased a license,then shut up and enjoy your canned tuna

    • The Aggressive Progressive April 30, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      Sitting on HWY 395 isn’t protecting the resources (fish), considering the others that might be breaking the law are on the back roads cause their vehicle isn’t registered, LOL.

      Sitting on the HWY 395 waiting for the “prey” to come to you is the most lazy and predictable thing a authority figure can do…. especially when its like once or twice a month… whatever sustains next years budget I guess..

    • Ben Franklin April 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      How about they park their trucks and walk to where everyone is fishing and ckeck licenses and stringers? The could wear a windbreaker and carry a fishing pole and go undercover.

      Pretty simpe ferdinand.

    • RAM April 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      If I must give up my fourth Amendment rights to fish I will choose not fish.

  5. Mark1971 April 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    What if you have your fish fileted, bagged, and frozen as I always do traveling home? I put 5 fish per bag, 10 filets. Are they going to take my word for it or thaw them out and count them?

    • Rick O'Brien April 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      I’ve never known ANYONE that fileted trout…

  6. Roy April 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    I went thru the checkpoint yesterday morning… showed my license,, the two fish I was bringing home and was done in about 90 seconds…,. Some of you people complain about everything our government does…. Move to some other country in the world then you can complain about how the government treats people…

    I have no problem with the DFW checkpoint,,,, 90 seconds out of my life didn’t kill me or ruin my 4 hour drive home…

    • RAM April 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Ten bucks says you bragged about being a retired cop

      • Roy April 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

        I never said a word about being a retired police officer……..

      • Rick O'Brien April 1, 2021 at 9:54 pm #

        Bragging about being a former cop ? NO …that’s why they issue that handy retirement star that goes in the wallet right next to your DL. That might have worked back in the day , but Master-Badge isn’t as prevalent as it once was. It still good for maybe doing 10 or 15 over , but not for a misdemeanor .

        • Charles James April 1, 2021 at 11:18 pm #

          Rick, you reached back for this one! Almost seven years ago! And even better, at that time we still had Benett with us! I remember her calling to ask if I would mind driving over to the the DFW checkpoint. The game wardens were very polite and accommodating, and yes, very aware that, for many citizens, being stopped by authorities is not viewed favorably unless for a very good reason. Thanks for reminding me of this. Remembering Benett is always a pleasure in my mind. I think of her almost every day I go about my work as a journalist at Sierra Wave. It’s a high bar.

    • Wayne Deja April 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      Roy….I was checked for a fishing license on Lone Pine Creek by a DFW officer….maybe because of that I should plan a lawsuit claiming my rights were violated and say with him doing that to me it ruined my whole trip.

      • Two0nine April 30, 2014 at 10:56 am #

        Showing my fishing license when I’m actually fishing, or in a state in which fishing can be executed; walking along the bank with Rod in hand, I have no problem with that. Showing my fishing license because I am driving through an area known for fishing….not so much. By showing it and “cooperating” with it, you are relinquishing rights that many men have died for. Overreaction? Maybe, but what’s next?

      • Ben Franklin April 30, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

        Wayne, the DFG has every right to contact you when you are fishing. It is unconstitutional to force everyone into a checkpoint and check everyone.

        • Wayne Deja April 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

          Ben Franklin….Tell you what….if you feel it’s “unconstitutional”to do these check-points,what you should then do is refuse to let them check….better yet,when they try to pull you into one of them,just keep right on driving the highway….

          • Ben Franklin May 1, 2014 at 1:20 am #

            Wayne, if this was 1939 and your name was Dejastien, you would be at the head of the line at camp to go to the showers.

    • Ben Franklin April 29, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Roy you are very quick to give up your Fourth Amendment rights that many brave men have fought and died for you to have. Just because they make it easy for you don’t make it right.

      This is how the sheeple are conditioned to give up their consitutional rights. I am sure that you are OK with the NSA illegally recording your phone calls because of course you are not doing anything wrong.

      Excercise your rights or lose them. It is a slipperly slope to go down when you give up any of them.

      Molon Labe

  7. The Aggressive Progressive April 29, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    So I take it we will see Fish and Game with some new equipment from the Money siphoned from the general public, and some really think this “police state” of a nation is really keeping you any safer from the harsh realities of life?
    Geez America, the hard working people of this country pay enough to the Gov’t, I mean the fundamental purpose of a gov’t is to help with the inefficiencies of a economy, don’t you think we pay enough to a system that really only allows us to have the freedom to be a CONSUMER..

    Our gov’t is regulated by business (gov’t supposed to regulate business), and the business attitude is to keep the flow of money circulating by any means necessary, in the attempt to sustain the self preservation interests of the established entity.

  8. Trouble April 29, 2014 at 5:09 am #

    One thing is for sure, Fish and Game could care less about pissing off Inyo Counties visitors. Check points suck!

    • RAM April 29, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Check points suck but they are sure are fun for DFW & CHP, they just love playing Police State Checkpoint. But still not as fun as spying on snowmobiling fisherman at Virginia Lakes, following them to a condo in Mammoth, staking the condo out, following the snowmobilers to the Lakes Basin, stopping snowmobilers and counting fish before raiding their condo and writing citations for over limits all while being filmed on Wild Justice.

      • Wayne Deja April 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

        Ram……I saw that episode on Wild Justice……Along with the way-over the limit on fish,didn’t they ALSO find some deer carcasses and heads that were illegally taken….and wasn’t one of the guys doing that already facing charges of taking deer out of season on a previous charge ??

    • Wayne Deja April 29, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      Trouble….Kinda figured you’d come up with a statement like that…So should us living in Inyo County,and DFW give the visitors a mulligan as far as being able to fish with no license and going over the trout limit,hoping if we do,the tourists will keep coming ?…

      • Trouble May 10, 2014 at 7:48 am #

        Just now saw your reply to me Wayne. Once again you change my point. My point was very clearly “check points suck”. But once again you accuse me of something else. In this case of wanting to give all visitors the o.k. to fish without a license and going over the limit.

        Fish and Game can check these people while they fish and do . They don’t need to line up , pull over , question and search ever body and their mother to catch one fool.

  9. Rob April 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    Give me a break. This is ineffective, lazy and lame. Far more effective to go to where the fishermen are. So they use all the wardens for the area, and more from out of the area, to write eight citations? Meanwhile, all the people actually fishing fish away. ONE warden, calmly walking Convict Lake, the Mammoth area lakes, the June loop lakes, Lundy Lake, etc. has a far higher deterrent value and would likely net far more violations. If fishermen think the next footsteps they hear COULD be a warden, they’ll likely be playing by the rules. In 25 years fishing the Eastern Sierras, I have been approached by ONE warden, and that was five years ago at Convict. Get out of your vehicles and go see what people are doing. Pretty damn lame, DFG.

  10. Adolf April 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Your papers please!

  11. Desert Tortoise April 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    It is not “bad luck” if you break the law. You know better and chose to break the law. You get what is coming if you do. A nation has every right to protect it’s resources for future generations. Those who cannot abide by this are selfish and richly deserve to be punished. A society that cares about it’s future has a duty to do so.

    • Ben Franklin April 29, 2014 at 1:19 am #

      They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

      DT, I an sure you would have been a good little Tory!

      • Desert Tortoise April 29, 2014 at 8:56 am #

        The founders of this nation stressed the rule of law under an elected representative government. The writires of our Constitution also envisioned a powerful government able to keep the nation together, protect it’s sovereignty and maintain the rule of law. They saw the problems of a weak central government under then original Articles of Confederation.

        Liberty has never meant doing anything you please regardless of how it harms others or the nation as a whole. That is anarchy, what you have in Somalia and parts of Yemen. Being an adult means understanding something called called restraint. It also means exercising a degree of self discipline. Laws passed by an elected legislature are not tyranny and don’t try to kid yourself or others that you can have a peaceful and productive society if there are no laws or laws are not enforced. The absence of laws and law enforcement leads to the breakdown of your nation, the collapse of your economy, poverty and extreme violence, such as you find in Somalia, parts of Pakistan and other third world garden spots. It is laws and their adherence that makes this nation a civilized, productive and wealthy society.

        • Ben Franklin April 29, 2014 at 10:10 am #

          Elected officials from both sides thought that going to war in Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc. was a good idea. How did that work out for us?

          With your logic elected officials can do no wrong and we must go along with it. I am sure that you think slavery was a good idea since it was the law of the land and was upheld by the Supreme Court.

          DT, I have to say that you define the term “Sheeple”

          • Desert Tortoise April 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

            There is no US troop involvement in the Syrian civil war, largely due to public pressure to stay out of the conflict. Syria has not attacked the US so there is no reason to send US forces to fight them. That is not the case of Afghanistan, which provided safe haven, military protection and material support to AQ in their attack on us on 9-11. How soon some kinds of people choose to ignore that attack. A lot of us are only disappointed that GW Bush chose to waste time and resources in a useless war in Iraq rather than finish the job properly in Afghanistan. That war could have been over in a year with a five or six year occupation afterwards had the US committed the resources to it we ended up committing to Iraq. That was a grave strategic blunder, but the Afghans, even after we demande they hand over AQ suspects, refused to cooperate and continued to provide protection to our enemies. If anything they got off too light in my opinion. It should have been scorched earth there after what they did to us on 9-11. If you go to war, declare it, drive your enemy into a corner and kill them until there is not fight left in them, then demand they sign a surrender document and hold them accountable to that surrender document. Playing nice to your enemies gets you nowhere.

          • Ben Franklin April 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

            DT, it’s a proxy war where we fund people who are much worse than the guy we want to get rid of. Lots of money and weapons to some really bad people.

            Meet the new boss. Worse than the old boss.

        • Ken Warner April 29, 2014 at 11:10 am #

          One doesn’t have to go to Somalia to find a lawless society. Just go to SouthWest L.A. or SouthEast San Diego. Wear your body armor and have fun with all your freedom.

        • RAM April 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

          “The absence of laws and law enforcement leads to the breakdown of your nation,”

          illegal immigration is proof of this, we had laws but there was an absence of immigration enforcement. Now we are well on our way to being a 3rd World Country.

          and yes it’s the adherence of laws that makes a nation civilized, productive and wealthy. None of which we are anymore.

          • Benett Kessler April 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

            If you have ever traveled in a third world country (I went to China 25 years ago) and witnessed the living conditions and system of laws, you have to say that we are not on our way to becoming a third world country. Mexico’s failure to provide for its population has driven many people in search of a way just to survive. Congress has failed to deal with immigration reform. As a nation, we can deal with immigration if there is political will to do so. And we can accept that we are a nation of immigrants from all over the world. Benett Kessler

          • WHO VILLE ? April 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

            Who is employing and creating the demand for Illegal workers?

            A nation of hypocrites, that’s WHO !

    • RAM April 29, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      Protect a nations resources? ha ha it’s put and take, just one big U-Catch Em Pond.

      We pay them to raise them
      We pay them to plant them
      We pay them to catch them
      WE pay them to have checkpoints and search for them

      Have fun out there 😉

  12. wertyu April 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    The high prices of licenses, non-enforcement and non-area coverage for years and years, evil greedy people net users for the stupid sedated fish, motorhomes with stuffed refrigerators, some with fish stacked layered ice chests, what could one expect…really, this is not a new problem, nor one that has not been known about for a very, very long time. About time these underpaid wardens did their jobs. I know this does not sound nice, but the truth hurts many times.

  13. Richard April 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Thank you for visiting the Eastern Sierras!
    Now we will intimidate with our EXTREME police presence, educate you what a police state is & search your vehicle.
    Please Come again…
    Have a NICE day . 🙂

    • Russ April 29, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      Many people visit the eastern sierras every year. Yea there are the few that break the law and try to take more fish out of here then what is legal, that is the game wardens job to find them while breaking the law not to be a military check point. Next thing you know CHP will pull you over to check the car’s computer to see if you been speeding.we no longer live in a free country.the left wing liberals that keep getting elected in this country are destroying the U S A . This area relies on the tourists that come here.

      • The Aggressive Progressive April 30, 2014 at 11:00 am #

        Oh the left wing liberals huh Russ? everything else you said I agree with you, so the fact the Republican house or other ruling republicans in congress get away without responsibility for doing nothing in the last 6yrs? and the path they created in George W Bush’s first term? It’s the people who vote for those so-called “family values” individuals that keep giving us bad results as well..

        Seems to me in the past the radical “liberal” thinkers are what liberated Woman, Gays, Non-Whites, and other topics that are outside the cultural norm or popular public opinion at the time.

      • Wayne Deja April 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

        Russ….With your thinking,maybe all types of rules and law enforcement should just turn their back on any law-breaking that happens in Inyo and Mono Counties.especially for those that are from out of town and spending money up here….Come up to the High Sierras’….fish without a license,go over your limit…….speed and drive unsafe on the highways….as long as your spending money….and when you get back home to L.A., be sure to tell your friends and neighbors what you are able to get away with up here….AND I got a news flash for you…it’s much more than just “a few” that take well over the legal-limit of Trout..especially on opening weekend…..

  14. Richard April 28, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    The only education i receiced going through that check point, was the realazation we really DO live in a police state! What else were they educating us about?…

    • commonsense April 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Richard – we do not live in a police state and given what that really means, you need to study Russia, China, N. Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan to learn. African American and Hispanics have personal evidence of injustice by police still today, but America as a whole is still not a police state. If it was, everyone’s rights would be trampled on regardless of race or religion.

  15. RAM April 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    I thought I smelled a DFG check point 😉

  16. Two0nine April 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Soooo…… Consent is given to search these vehicles? Is having a fishing pole probable cause for rights violation?

    • Charles James April 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

      TwoOnline: That is a good question. Many of us that live up here in Inyo and Mono counties often keep fishing rods and tackle in the car at all times, whether or not we are fishing, just as some people keep rifles in their pickups and are not necessarily out hunting.

      You can find an answer to your question by calling William Dailey, CDFW Inyo/Mono County Patrol Lieutenant, at (760) 872-7360.

  17. Wayne Deja April 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Glad to see some citations issued for those coming up to Inyo and Mono Counties thinking they can do as they please by going over trout limits,fishing without a license,etc…but should have maybe done this check-point on Sunday afternoon instead of Monday,when many of the “fishermen” were already back home in L.A. county eating their catches……I once went to Tuff campground across from Tom’s Place and witnessed 3 fishermen catching and keeping at least 25 trout….turned them in over the phone,but when I got back to their “site” they were gone….hopefully caught up in one of these check-points on their drive back home….For those against these type of things done by a fishing license….don’t go over the limit,and you won’t have a problem..simple as that..


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