What would you do in this situation?
I’m inside the Best Little Trailer writing a blog post. A man, two preteen girls, and a younger boy come into view. They’re playing in the creek. The man, whom I assume is their father, carries a big net, the aluminum-handled kind people use to scoop up a fish caught with a rod and reel.
I watch as the man repeatedly jabs the net underneath the overhanging sod where the fish like to hide. He’s quite vigorous at this, walking up and down in the creek, cramming the net into the shoreline as he goes. He also splashes the net down into the water as the fish he’s scared out of hiding swim for their lives.
The children squeal and laugh excitedly.
“I see one!” “Over here! Over here!” “Did ya’ get him?”
This activity prompts me to get up from my laptop, taking my camera to the doorway. As I snap a photo, one of the girls alerts her father.
“That woman up there is taking pictures.”
From the window I see all of them look up at the BLT, but soon they’re back at their fun. All four are in the creek now and the pursuit of fish gains intensity.
Meanwhile I’ve displayed the photo on my camera’s LCD screen and I see that in my haste I didn’t hold the camera steady. I go back to the doorway and take another shot.
“There she is, Dad! She’s taking pictures of us again!”
Just as the man turns to look at me, I take the photo.
“Hey! What are you taking pictures for?” he shouts angrily.
I go back to my laptop on my desk, insert the camera’s memory card, and take a good look at the photo. Good, got it. The man and his children move further downstream out of my line of sight. From their animated speech I can tell they’re still trying to trap fish with the net.
Before I pose a question to you, let me flesh out the situation.
Ivie Creek runs across our national forest land passing through the campground and the area where people camp for free further downstream, not far from either side of the creek’s banks. People fish the creek with rod and reel. I’ve seen several during the two weeks we’ve camped here. I watched a man teach his son how to fly fish at this creek.
I assume people fish for trout. I’ve never seen anyone catch one, but I have observed what looks like trout in the 5-6 inch range, darting about in the clear water.
So here’s my question to you . . .
You are the only person who witnesses this. What would you do?
Would you casually walk by his campsite and memorize his license plate number? Would you pull up the website of Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources and fill out a complaint on the email form provided for that purpose?
Or would you ignore the man’s behavior, writing it off as good, clean fun with his family?
Some might say the man is engaged in illegal behavior. He’s harassing wildlife and should be stopped. Every citizen has a duty to report.
Others might point out that government is too involved in every aspect of our lives. We should let people alone. Big deal. A man ought to be able to play in a creek with his kids, for crying out loud.
I’ll wait until you’ve expressed your opinion before revealing what I did or didn’t do.
S0 what do you think? Do nothing or take action?
Note: The crew and I are on the road today. Remember, whenever I move camps, I may move us to a location where I don’t have a strong enough signal to get online and post. I look forward to reading your comments in response to today’s post.