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If one has their limit, and gives the fish away to others, is the fisherman in violation of the possession law??

I was just about cited, several years ago at Sandy Point by DNR, who stated, "I had possession, before I gave it away to someone else".

I argued politely, and won, but that really made me think about some things. I really would appreciate some comment from the astute P and S members.. Thanks--Steve
 

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you lucked out Bro... as they argued you had your limit, and continued to catch and give to someone else... they don't know if you'll get them back later from that person or not... have had this discussion with several fish cops over the years always on a friendly, non violator basis and the answer always was "you'd be in violation for giving away fish after you had your limit"...
 

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Interesting post.............. Let me give you some background. While duck hunting with some college buddies of mine, we were all within the limits on ducks except 1 guy. He killed 1 more than he was supposed to. But, another guy was below his limit. Some of them had to get to class, so they left early in order to get there on time. I left about 30 minutes after them only to walk out on the road to see them getting checked by a Game Warden. Now, collectively, as a group, they were within the legal limit on ducks. He asked the guys how many ducks each one of them killed. There were 3 of them and he asks the first guy, he was legal from the start, how many ducks he killed. Guy #1, "I killed 2 ducks." Guy #2, he actually killed 3, while looking at the guy with 1 duck, "I killed 2 ducks." Guy #3, "I killed 1 duck." He went down the line again and each one of them gave the same answer. Guy #3 wasn't the smartest one in the bunch. Finally, the game warden, says "Look guys, I don't care if 3 of you go hunting and 1 of you kills 6 ducks. When you come out of that swamp and I'm waiting here on you, each of you better be carrying 2 ducks."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Been out on many headboats, out of Point Lookout, chumming for Rockfish. Professional Captain and Mates. Some people on board, were not as lucky as others, in getting their 2 fish limit, and time was getting close to going home.

The people who already had their limits, and were still catching fish, were told, my the mate and Captain, to give fish to the others, who did not have their limit. And this was done. This occurred many times over the years.

Is anyone at fault?? Is anyone legally in violation of the law??

Once again, Im getting back to the possession definition BY LAW, not by what a fisherman thinks is right or wrong..

DO WE HAVE ANY LAWYERS OUT THERE WHO CAN ADDRESS THIS? I find this a very interesting discussion.

Therefore, should we stop giving fish to others at Matapeake, Point Lookout, Solomons Island Piers, if we have reached our POSSESSION LIMIT?????
 

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so are you in violation if you have your limit, hook another fish, reel it mostly in, and then hand the rod to the person who does not yet have the limit?

Is possession something defined by the fish being out of the wash?
 

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I've given fish away before to people I knew were going to eat them and I can't find any laws on the books that prohibit it, except with stripers. Many states have a "no culling" law that doesn't permit you to keeping handing away your smallest fish in your cooler to replace it with a bigger one.

Even if it was legal, I wouldn't do it with slot drum or stripers. Other species? Probably, if I was slaying the fish and the guy next to me couldn't catch any. Then again, I rarely have to worry about bag limits because I never want to keep as many as the law allows. (Okay, I'll be honest: I never catch that many.)
 

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In Minnesota if you take your limit you are done for the day no matter what you do with them. You cannot take a limit of walleyes in the morning and give them away or even eat them and go back out. That is fact!
 

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I'm not 100% positive about this, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal. I know some species, (swordfish for example) you "technically" can't even give the meat out of your own limit away. With the exception of a maybe a few fish a year (usually tuna and dolphin) I don't even keep fish, so I'm really not sure. It's a good question.
 

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I'm sure the law varies from one state to another, but in Florida, your "limit" is your limit. No giving away, although it is done all the time. It's a plain case of "The Law Vs. Reality". They even treat "boats" differently here, including "headboats", with a "per person" AND a "per boat" limit.
 

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I'm sure the law varies from one state to another, but in Florida, your "limit" is your limit. No giving away, although it is done all the time. It's a plain case of "The Law Vs. Reality". They even treat "boats" differently here, including "headboats", with a "per person" AND a "per boat" limit.
I agree with you both on FL law and on principle. The question, however, was what does "possession" mean.

If I catch six fish and have six in my cooler, I am in possession of six fish. If I catch ten and give away four, I still possess six fish. If I take four home and keep fishing, I possess ten fish.

I am not a lawyer but I think I could make a pretty good case that possession means whatever is in my physical possession or custody at the time.

Ergo, if I shoot a duck or dove and can not, or have not yet, retrieved it, I am not in posession of the bird. Personally, if I know I killed a dove but cannot retrieve it, I do count it as part of my bag, but no game warden could say I "possessed" it.
 

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As soon as you land it, you have 7 fish and are breaking the rules regardless of weather or not you are giving the fish away. It needs to be released. I like the Minn. rules.
 

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Isn't there a deal in some states (Florida comes to mind) that by simply landing a fish and removing it from the water then you are "in possesion". & that's how they are busitn peeps for removing "no possesion" species (like goliath grouper) from the water even for a pic. If you follow that logic & have kept a limit, then all the rest of the fish you catch should be released before removing them from the water...
 

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Isn't there a deal in some states (Florida comes to mind) that by simply landing a fish and removing it from the water then you are "in possesion". & that's how they are busitn peeps for removing "no possesion" species (like goliath grouper) from the water even for a pic. If you follow that logic & have kept a limit, then all the rest of the fish you catch should be released before removing them from the water...
This is true, and it points to the difficulty in enforcing these laws. If I remove a Goliath from the water I am in possession under the law.

Now, what about my removing an out-of-slot redfish or snook from the water to measure it, or take a pic. Could an officer make the case that I am "possessing" it, and am in violation? How long do I have to have the fish before I am in "possession"? When it's dead? How "immediately" is immediately?

http://myfwc.com/marine/how_to_handle_fish.htm

That's why I am generally against all these laws that are passed because someone thinks the Gov't needs to "do something". I understand the need for conservation and proper law enforcement due to the unethical or just plain dumb people out there, but the more you regulate something the harder it is to understand it, and to enforce the laws fairly.
 

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Well it seems logical to me that if you give a fish to someone, they now have possesion of that fish, and it is now a part of their limit. So how can one fish be part of two people's limits?

I've also always wondered about using caught fish as bait, suppose I catch a blue and want to cut it up for bait, how does DNR know it was with in limit size if i've cut it all up. From what i've heard you need to have the carcass intact, but does that mean I cannot use the head if I wanted to?
 

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The only way to be sure you are wiithin the law is to start releasing fish back into the water when you are at least one fish short of a creel limit.

The intent of the law is obvious, no angler should remove more fish from the water than the daily creel limit allows- if you want to give part of your legal catch away fine, but doing so to imply you have should be allowed to keep additional fish because you have not removed more than "your" creel limit from the water is a bogus argument.


The word "posession" is used because by any standard it is the easiest method of detecting when you Have broken the law- if you have more than your limit in the cooler, it is obvious that you have broken the law. Not having more than your limit in the cooler is no guarantee that you haven't broken the law.
 

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When you bring that third rockfish up on the pier, does one possess it??
Technically yes, if you have control of it. This is why I stated the only way to be legal and keep fishing is to have one less than the limit in the cooler.

No expert for sure, but if you want to keep fishing purely on a catch and release basis you may be able to do so, but handing a rockfish off to another person is definitely a no-no in VA.
 

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When you bring that third rockfish up on the pier, does one possess it??
I would say you would be in possession until you release it.

Florida regs distinguish between "taking" and "possessing".

Taking is killing or harvesting, possessing is possessing, dead or alive.

Florida has daily bag limits, and also specifies that you cannot transfer your "bag" to someone else. The daily bag on flounder is 10, I cannot catch 20 and give 10 to my non-harvesting child or friend. But I can catch 20 and give 10 to my friend who has caught none, as long as he is "fishing". Make sure he has his own rod, eh?

Florida hunting regs, doves for example, specifically state that I cannot transfer custody of my birds or leave them in some other place without tagging them with my name and license information. This applies even if I am giving them to someone for their own use, not just to hold for me.

I guess this is the kind of thing you can debate forever, and it really comes down to what State you are in and the attitude of both the officer and the sportsman at the time.
 

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I think the florida posession rule on pompano is 12. You can only catch 6 per day. The catch is, if you have pompno in your freezer or anywhere else, they count toward your posesssion total.
 

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I think the florida posession rule on pompano is 12. You can only catch 6 per day. The catch is, if you have pompno in your freezer or anywhere else, they count toward your posesssion total.
That was once true, but no longer.

The 2008 regs refer to "Daily Bag Limits" of 6 per day. However, you may only possess one over 20", whether in your freezer or on the sand.
 
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