Horrendous behavior or just a guy having fun with his kids?

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 . .  .


Here’s the man standing in the creek with his net. I blotted his face to conceal his identity.

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.

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181 Responses to Horrendous behavior or just a guy having fun with his kids?

  1. Karen says:

    I agree!!! turn him in.

  2. Rita says:

    I definitely would take photos for evidence, walk by his camp casually and take a license plate number to report to the proper authorities. This man is not only endangering wildlife (reducing their numbers quickly) but also teaching his children bad behavior. Too many of us ignore what should have been reported. Our job is to conserve what we have left. There are rules put in place for this reason i.e. fishing and having a license to do so. I hope you turned the man in to the Fish and Game Dept. of Utah. I certainly would have. I am sure the man will ignore what the authorities tell him…he will do this again and again. It’s sad.

  3. Ron says:

    I am a hunter and a fisherman.
    Send your email and let the game department handle it.

  4. Eddie says:

    I dont like it either but is it illegal to catch fish with a dip net? What is his crime other than being stupid? One could make the argument that wading in the creek disturbs the fish.


  5. Michael says:

    How about minding your own business?

    • AZ Jim says:

      I would submit that protecting our laws from poachers and other fish and game law breakers IS all OUR business. That is an illegal technique and it should be reported immediately. “Minding our own business” when a crime is in progress is a sign of crappy citizenship.

      • Clarence Thompson says:

        There are bigger fish to catch out there. (no pun intended) It may be illegal but c’mon, reporting it isn’t going to do anything except take away valuable resources the park rangers provide to make sure everybody’s safe. Seems like a waste and time to report it and dangerous that RVSue is taking pictures of this guy. Stranger Danger he looks like somebody you want to avoid. Sometimes we have to politely mind our own business to these types of things. Lets worry about forrest fires, criminal activity, deforestation, littering, and perhaps abusive fathers.

    • Judie says:

      It is her business and yours and mine! Only someone who is guilty of something would answer as you did.

  6. old fat man says:

    I was unable to figure out what your complaint was from your blog entry. It is definitely not any worse than having a campers dogs harass wildlife at a campsite.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I didn’t make a complaint in my post about what the man was doing. I saw a possible ethical dilemma unfolding in front of me and thought it would make for good discussion. I presented opposing views and then asked readers to think about it and share their opinions.

  7. pam perry says:

    Hmmm——– What would I do if I saw what you saw? Sometimes what i assume is entirely wrong. Man is acting stupidly and teaching his kids the same thing. one child is alarmed enough about being photographed to raise an alarm. Does the child feel a bit of guilt? Why would she tell Dad what you’re doing? However, your own safety is at stake too. What to do?

    In the end, I’d attempt to get the license plate and notify Wildlife after they’ve gone. They might not be caught, but your safety is at stake too. What might Dad do? Slash your tires? Do other vandalism?

    Sometimes humans can act in very heroic ways, sometimes very stupid ways.

  8. Suerte says:

    Turn him into the fish cops.

  9. texastom says:

    Your business is being a good steward of the land that belongs to all of us. Call Fish and Game and tell them what you saw and let them take it from there.

  10. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Any man who wears red/purple dum dee dums…………………

    No expectation of privacy in regards to taking a photo in open land.

    I wouldn’t bother getting his license plate etc….as it will probably cause him to get his dum dee dums in a knot. His actions/behavior with the net…might be fun to him and his kids. Doesn’t sound like he’s being successful in trapping anything. Whatever floats his boat. OHV’ers think they are having fun. Others see it as being disrespectful to the land that they tear up.

    I wouldn’t report anything………Fish and Game will come across him eventually and if he is committing a violation of any of their laws…..they can address it.

    meh? I would ignore them. Smile (fake of course) and carry on!

    • patsy says:

      to many people these days turn their heads and smile and walk away.. Society is at a lost for doing the “right” thing maybe because we are so used to seeing the “wrong” thing done all the time.. Sue I haven’t read what you did yet, but I hope that you did the right thing and report him. Maybe if all started doing the right thing society would have a chance to repair the environment, our behaviors, and making a better world

    • Judie says:

      How much harm does he have to do before someone turns him in??? In my humble opinion if we don’t do what we are supposed to do and help the fish, then we are just as guilty as the man was. He obviously knew that what he was doing was wrong-otherwise he wouldn’t have yelled out like he did and moved out of her vision. This is a smaller scale of course but that is exactly how child molesters have been able to carry on business as usual…..people afraid to take correct action.

  11. Varmint says:

    I’m of the mind to ignore it, unless YOU have a fishing license and a copy of the local fish/game laws for the state/area you’re camping in. You can look up those laws online, but remember that the accused is entitled to face his/her accuser, which is you. People fish by hand in many states, and many states allow dip nets under 10′, some under 4′ in size. I personally don’t use dip nets, as I’m very inefficient with such things, preferring drop lines instead. Both seem useless in that creek, and there are no fish worth catching….just more “bait”.

    You must realize also that anyone who responds angrily to having their pic taken may also retaliate with violence later after the law shows up, and you may find yourself the victim of vandalism for your reward, or worse, depending on this guy’s personality quirks. In any case, he’ll know who to look for if he gets a visit from the game wardens. Nobody likes a “tattle-tale”.

    A video may have been better, by the way, as that would capture actual behavior better than a picture. Do be careful, girl!

  12. Ladybug says:

    Well, first, what day did this happen? Because June 8 was Free Fishing day in Utah. Also, the rules appear to allow a dipnet to be used for non-game fish (have no idea if trout is game or non-game). Honestly, I don’t think there’s enough info here to be able to determine if he was legal or illegal.

    Second, after scanning over Utah’s fishing guide, I’ve been convinced that trying to fish is too confusing. Too many rules!!!

  13. Lee says:

    I’d probably report the activity. I know this isn’t the same on many levels, but wouldn’t we feel obligated to report an incidence of an idiot throwing rocks at a bear or other wildlife. It might be too late for this dolt to learn respect for the environment we have designated for protection but maybe one of his offspring might learn something.

  14. Dave says:

    I don’t believe you are considering all the facts in this situation.

    Netting is prohibited in most but not all cases in Utah. For example if one is a Native American you can fish with a net and no license is required. Also, non Native Americans can net crawfish as long as you have a valid Utah fishing license. You said you didn’t know what he was fishing for…

    Twice you were seen taking pictures of minor children in their Father’s presence. Reading your blog, we know that the picture taking was not directed at the children but as a Father… this would certainly escalate things in my mind.

    Regulations are written for a reason and violating them is wrong. Netting fish may endanger species or make it harder on law abiding fishermen. But overstaying the 14-day limit on camping is also a violation. Hello pot… I’d like to introduce you to kettle.

    If it were me, I would have addressed the man in a friendly way and said that I saw the Fish and Game Warden earlier and that I thought they should know. I might get a reaction of; “thank you I didn’t know” or “we’re just catching crawfish” or “mind your own business”. Based on his reaction, I could then decide to to take further action or not.

  15. Bndr4bxrz says:

    I agree whole heartedly report him.


  16. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Only about 32% of people in this country will stand up for what is right. Good manners is something of the past. Probably because men carried whips and wern’t affraid to use them if need be back in those days [before Political Correctness]. People need to be corrected for rude behavior like this. If there is no accountability where are we then? I say, ” when in doubt…rat him out “, then move on quick before he slashes your tires.

  17. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Ummm….apparently there are also sharks in the water!

    No reason to be snarky……..an opinion is like your arse…everyone is entitled to their own and everyone has one. No right no wrong answer….just opinions. The question is what would you do? Simple as that!

    Would you give the person in the desert water or not? Would you notify the authorities or not?


  18. rvsueandcrew says:

    I’m in a grocery store parking lot so I thought I’d see how this discussion is going. Let me make a few points.

    1) I did not take photos of the children. If you look over my blog from the beginning, I never post faces of children.
    2) I get the feeling a few readers feel my post says I am on the side of reporting the man. If you read carefully, you will see I present both sides of the issue.
    3) My staying 2 days past the limit has very little impact on anything. If a ranger came by and I told him/her I’m trying to avoid driving and looking for a campsite on a holiday weekend, he/she would probably say okay.
    4) I took the photo so I could raise this question on the blog. I think I’ve given the impression that I took the photo because I had made the decision to report the man. I hadn’t made any decision. BTW, I concealed his identity.
    5) I’ve spent a lot of time looking at this creek. I’m almost positive it’s a trout stream and I didn’t see any crawfish. I present this information for the purpose of enlightened discussion, not to contribute toward one side of the issue.

    I won’t be monitoring the blog while I search for a new campsite. I assume I have the caliber of reader that I don’t have to worry about personal attacks appearing here.

    Thanks for commenting! I enjoying reading all the different perspectives. If you’re lurking, I hope you will take the time to join in the discussion.

    • Ed says:

      Your #3, you would lie to Ranger? Or would you tell him that you know that you are past the 14 day limit but trying to avoid driving and looking for a campsite on a holiday weekend? If the second scenario applies then Good on Ya but I would be VERY disappointed in you if it were the first.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Ed! Of course I wouldn’t lie to the ranger! I’d tell him my reason for not moving at the 14-day limit and then I’d say I was planning to move Monday morning. I think the ranger would understand. If he didn’t, I’d pay the fine without argument.

        Also I might not move because of strong winds or if I were sick with the flu . . .

  19. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know enough about fishing to know if what he was doing was wrong/illegal or not, but it sounds like from some of the comments it was. At best his behavior was obnoxious. My husband, who does fish, says he would definitely report him.

  20. Ed says:

    I’m going to try and put myself in your position.
    However, I don’t know when this happened. My first reaction would be to report him but I don’t truly know that what he is doing is illegal. Is harassing fish a crime in Utah? What do I report? There is a man with a dip net chasing the fish in a creek that I am camped beside. Question: Has he caught anything? Answer: No, but he is trying to. If I had been at my campsite past the 14 day limit I would be VERY hesitant to drop the dime on him.
    All-in-all I would probably shake my head at his behavior, certainly stupid but probably not horrendous, and let it pass. Somewhat like seeing someone throwing litter out their window as they drive down the road although I know that is a crime.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know how my 14-day limit has anything to do with this discussion. I think that’s a separate issue, other than the man could report me just as I could report him.

      • Judie says:

        Exactly. Sounds as tho someone has a bone to pick and is trying to interject it into this conversation.

    • DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

      If there is a law against fishing with two fishing poles, if some has not cough a fish yet is still has broken the no fishing with two poles rules.

      Therefore, No use of Dip Nets Rule would mean no using a dip net to Try to catch a fish as well.

      Now, would I report or not report. If a Fish & Wildlife Warden happen to come by, Yes, I’d mention what I had observed.

      Would I call Fish & Wildlife……might, might not….Should I call, more than likely a Yes.

      Playing it Safe, Being a person alone or even a couple alone in lonely areas of a far from home state in which I plan on staying a while longer, just might make me to leave it alone.

      But I’ve never had a Super Strict Hall Monitor Personality. A Rather Save My Fights for More Important Issues type of personality.

  21. No question. I would get his license number and report him. If everyone did what he did, then very quickly no one at all would be able to enjoy fishing legally as there’d be no fish to catch.

    Humans are idiots when it comes to leaving a small footprint. I have no problem reminding them we’re all sharing the same world.

  22. Donna in CT says:

    I live near rivers and lakes. Just yesterday I was at a local small lake and a family came nearby to fish. I was already aggravated at how they were talking to their small son. They weren’t abusive but he was about 8 yo and they just constantly were giving him directives rather than trying to include him and make it fun. So, it didn’t surprise me when their attitude toward a fish they caught was “lacking” also. They kept holding the poor thing out of the water while they talked about catching it, what it was, etc. It obviously was not one they should/could keep. By the time they got it off the hook and released it, it had to be half dead. It was difficult to not say anything to them, but you never know how people will react to others even for things said in a respectful way.

    Would I report “your” man for what they were doing? Even though, I don’t feel it was good, clean fun with the family, I wouldn’t report him, unless I knew ALL the fishing laws of the area. At the very least, they showed that they have little respect for other living things.

    On the other hand, I would have been very upset if a stranger were taking photos of me and especially if I thought they were taking photos of my children. (He is probably relating stories to his friends about a crazy lady taking photos of them while they were “fishing” and asking if he should have confronted her.)

    What also occurs to me is to wonder, if the man was better looking, less raucous, and better dressed, would people still consider reporting him?

    • June says:

      My thoughts exactly!

    • Judie says:

      She wasn’t taking pics of the children. His response leads me to believe he knows he was doing something illegal. Most of us know the fishing laws of the state we live in.

  23. June says:

    I would hope you would mind your own business. While I agree that we have people who do illegal stuff and in the process teach their children to do the same things, you are not at all sure what he was doing was illegal and have no way to prove it with a photo. As for the photos, you might know that you are not taking pictures of his children but the father did not know that. I would get quite upset if I thought someone I didn’t know was photographing my children or in my case, my grandchildren. We cannot police the whole world and unless someone was doing something blatantly illegal that was harming someone or something, I would leave it alone. I also agree that there could be some retaliation that you might not like.

  24. Cherie from OH says:

    I’d probably call somebody, not sure who though, just to ASK what one should do when witnessing that kind of activity because I really don’t know what the laws are. At most, I’d mention where such activity occurred and when, and then I would get the heck out of there! I doubt I would provide my name and I would definitely avoid giving them any photographic evidence or any other identifying information that I may later have to testify about. I wouldn’t my life put on hold because of a pending court case. And I wouldn’t want to be looking over my shoulder all the time wondering if someone or their family is out for revenge. Remember, he may have gotten your license plate number too! If that makes me a coward that shirks her civic duty, so be it. Glad you are out of there now, Sue. It is a nice campsite though. I’m sure you’ll want to revisit it someday.

  25. Marsha says:

    I would have taken my two cute little dogs for a walk and wandered past his vehicle just to take a peek at his license #. Then I would wander over to where the “sportsman” and family was and just engage in a little conversation; “catching anything?” “Would I need to have a license to fish here” – questions of that nature. I guess I’d attempt to ascertain what he really was doing there. Depending on his answers, I would either leave him be or report him. Sometimes things are not as they appear.

  26. Micky says:

    I don’t know if the mans actions were legal or not. It’s clearly abusive behavior though. So much animal abuse is perfectly within the law of our land, sadly, including puppy mills, ‘factory farming’ and slaughterhouse procedures, and the ‘ag gag’ laws so many states are trying to pass, protect the abusers, and prosecute the citizen taking the pictures. Abuse of fish is desecrating our oceans, lakes and rivers….and your little creek too, thanks to this man. I’m so proud of you Sue, for taking his picture, not once but twice. It might make him think. Apparently it DID make him think. He knew what he was doing was ethically wrong, and even his kids knew it, but if dad does it, then it’s ok, right? Might makes right. So Sad. Why not teach respect of nature and animals, instead of destruction of our beautiful earth and fellow earthlings. I don’t know if you reported it or not, but the action of you with your camera spoke louder than words. Yay! Sue.

  27. Sheri says:

    Interesting discussion…my backyard borders a creek in my town and on the other side is a community park…many times I have been in my back yard and people from the park side have been doing things in the creek that some people would probably call the police about…examples are kids breaking branches from the trees, kids throwing rocks around the area, tons of soccer players using the creek to relieve themselves instead of using the porta-potty set up for that purpose, kids smoking pot, homeless people camping overnight, dogs running around the creek and definitely scaring the fish (LOL), homeless people gathering wood to cook with, and the list goes on…I have chosen to only call the authorities when someone is in danger and that has been two times..once when a drunk man fell into the creek and I called 911 and helped to revive him, and another time when a couple having a fight and it escalated to physical violence…other than that I choose to not judge people too harshly…so just food for discussion! Basically, my feeling is that we all have our own comfort level but to co-exist as peacefully as possible sometimes we need to ignore our comfort level and recognize that others have a different one…btw i have lived here for 12 years and have never had any real problems.

  28. Nancy says:

    Sue, I don’t know what I would do; probably should turn him in, but I am pretty non-confrontational, so I doubt if I would. No way to prove anything, even with the picture. Only you, being on the spot and using gut instinct can decide for you. But……sure hope you have internet when you land next—we all want to know what you did do!

  29. Geri says:

    I truly believe I would have also taken a picture of his car tags, as well as the one of him, and turned them both over to the forest service when you stopped to get maps and information about camping. They would have to decide whether this guy was being abusive and unlawful because they would know what all the Utah fishing laws were. Regardless, he is teaching his children bad behavior when he could be teaching about the wonders of wildlife! That is the sad part of this story!

  30. I would agree with Charlie from OH. Call the Dept of Fish & Wildlife and tell them what you saw, but don’t give your name (they will already have your phone #). I would definitely not try to locate this guy’s campsite or his license plate. Just report what you witnessed and let it go at that.

  31. Ruth says:

    Wow, did you ever “incite a lively discussion” among your followers, most of whom seem to have a high regard for life, wildlife and our mutual environment.

    There are no laws against thoughtless bad behavior, but hopefully somewhere down the road there are consequences. Unfortunately he is educating a new generation who did seem aware that they were somehow doing something wrong.

    I applaude your caring enough to do whatever you finally did and blogging about it. I probably would have done nothing other than, taking the pics, tag included, for future reference. I tend to avoid conflict unless someones well being is endangered or a child is at risk. A flaw I confess to. Waiting to find out what you did, I know it was the right thing.

  32. massachusettsmark says:

    First of all this is just a “Jeff Foxworthy joke“so smile——–Quote “If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.“,,,,,,,,,ha

    • DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

      A lot of truth in his joke……maybe too much. Ha!

      Kind of like, “Nothing Is Illegal Until You Get Caught”. 🙂

      Many seem to Regret or Feel Sorry, Not for What One has Done, but For Only Getting Caught. IMHO

      • DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

        Or……It is Better to Ask for Forgiveness Than for Permission. Ha!

  33. Ruth says:

    While Jeff Foxworthy definitely has a point, so does this comment from Ben Stein regarding the definition of insanity: “Fathom the hipocracy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured…but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.” “and now, any of those who refuse, or unable to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.” Insurance aside, the governing entities do seem casual regarding citizenship and who is allowed and its benefits and privilages.

    I am putting my “soapbox” away now.

  34. dawn says:

    Geez, I’d report that guy just cuz of his scuzzy looks….even with his face partially concealed his “lovely” goatee says everything…..gives a person chills just to look at him….lol

    • Ed says:

      WOW, if his ‘lovely’ goatee says everything and gives a person chills I can just imagine what my full beard does. I going to venture a wild guess here and say that you don’t care for facial hair on men and have a very low opinion of those that allow it to grow.

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        Kind of proved my point that I stated above. ” What also occurs to me is to wonder, if the man was better looking, less raucous, and better dressed, would people still consider reporting him?”

        Although I will assume that this comment was a joke.

  35. Paula says:

    Get his license number if possible and send it and the photos to Fish & Game. His poor behavior may not be illegal — but who knows, maybe it is! Let Fish & Game figure that out. We can only hope and pray that somewhere alone the line his children learn that his behavior was inappropriate in this instance. Regarding a previous comment about people throwing trash out the window — I’ve actually called an employer (name and phone on the side of the truck of the guilty party) to report an employee tossing trash out alone the road. Yesterday, I reported some nut job for leaving his/her dog in a hot car with all the windows rolled up. What’s wrong with people?

    • June says:

      You mean like the guy who was driving a company truck doing about 60 mph and passed my school bus on a double yellow line? He lost his job.

  36. If they were splashing around in the water having fun, I’d ignore it. But, since the child has obviously been made aware that what they’re doing is illegal, I think that becomes another matter.

    But, are they poaching for their family’s supper? Have they eaten through their supply of commodity cheese and canned particle-ham? Or, is he just teaching the kids how to harass wildlife and diminish breeding populations for cheap fun?

    What I would do, if I felt personally safe enough to do so: take down the license in case there is a later kerfuffle. Depending on your feeling about the above questions, report him or don’t.

  37. Rob says:

    I haven’t read any of the comments…

    What ever happened to live and let live? Why does anyone feel it’s important for them to bother this family at all? Why can’t people live their life the way they want to and let others do the same?

    • Judie says:

      They certainly can do that as long as it doesn’t harm some one or some thing else. Your version of living is there are no rules….just do whatever you want to regardless of the outcome. Sad commentary.

  38. Squawking Goose says:

    “Live and let Live”

    No evidence presented that he was homeless and starving (oviously not with that beer belly), but millions of Americans are in trouble… almost 45 million on food stamps,
    and many, many thousands of homeless families. Such are the rewards of socialism, and the depression like conditions we are in. We should judge him?

    Hope you didn’t do anything… let him ‘catch’ what he wants …so he can maybe feed his kids. ‘Political Correctness’ and the ‘lousy gubment’ be dammed….

    Have a great day…..

  39. Bev says:

    Hmmm…did he catch any fish? I would first and foremost be familiar with the regulations. When we lived in our mountain home, our neighbor shot a bull elk (during hunting season) in his yard that unfortunately chose his yard to run through while being pursued by dogs. Elk are one of my favorite animals and I was terribly upset because the incident was not “fair chase”–a term used by hunters. I contacted the Game Warden and he said the action was not illegal but unethical. The same could apply in this instance.

  40. Michael says:

    Interesting to read that so many people would rush to rat someone out, and are most likely appalled that the NSA is collecting data on their phone calls. Just because you don’t like something (and I certainly am not condoning that guy’s actions) doesn’t mean you have to go and poke him in the side. Like others have said, he could come back at you. Live and let live. At 72, I’m glad I’m the age I am. It’s not a nice place to be anymore. Big Brother is seeing to that!

    • Judie says:

      I wouldn’t exactly call it rushing to rat someone out-more likely being responsible enough to call someone in authority who could decide if what he was doing was illegal. As for NSA collecting data, that is entirely another can of worms as you well know. Not really a good comparison.

  41. Ladybug says:

    I can’t help wonder (as I get ready to fight rush-hour traffic to go home) if I should call in a report on every person who speeds, who tailgates, who shows any sign of road rage, especially if they have a child with them? I mean, what are they teaching their kid?

    I realized that I didn’t actually say what I would do in my previous reply, but now I know….unless he was doing something that I knew to be illegal, I wouldn’t report him.

  42. Pat says:

    I would find his actions disgusting, but it would just be further evidence of the country going to Hell in a handbasket. He could have tickled the trout and actually taught the children something. Instead he acted like a vandal, teaching the children it was okay to disturb wildlife. But I would probably limit my action to vigorous head shaking. I am not familiar with any fishing regulations. I’m probably just a disapproving old fogie.

  43. bob says:

    I would ignore it and move on. This was not a major crime. Clearly not enough info to know what was going on and there would be no conviction based on the evidence. I think you report bd things that are happening but discretion is important. My question to those who have commented on the “citizen duty” I wonder if you report every speeder, jay walker etc. I doubt it. If a gun was involved then that changes things. Based on the info nothing more was warranted. I would be more concerned if there was evidence he was not being good to his kids. Abuse of children? You bet your butt and I know from reading your blog that would be a no brainer.

  44. Linda Sand says:

    I don’t like what he did but I would let it go trusting that if he really is a bad guy he will get caught by someone in authority doing something sometime. But, I’m a generally passive person, anyway.

    • Judie says:

      How will he ever get caught if everyone thinks as you do? And how long does he get away with that behavior before it is confronted? Just saying…… I’m not generally a confrontational person either but I’ve lived long enough to know that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything to quote an older friend of mine.

  45. I feel your pain as I sit in a beautiful CG in Idaho. 40ft motorhomes coming thru with their toads rudding up the grass to park as I write. We all have to do better. The camphost here has to be annal. He was working the grounds as we pulled in..outstanding State Park..said he took pride in its appearance. How does he watch this..guess camphosting is not in my future. I feel the picture taking got a point across. Maybe someday he will know why.

    • Joy A. - No. Ca says:

      Before taking a picture I would have wandered down there and asked what they were catching. Just some simple conversation to find out if it was fish. Nothing confrontational.

      My first thought was crawfish or crawdad’s as we call them. They’d never catch fish with the children thrashing around in the water. More likely getting the crawfish to move to the bank where Dad could snatch them up.

      Depending on what they said then I’d go back and take the picture if it was fish.

  46. Mick says:

    Possibly the Father wanted to show his Daughters what a Trout looked like up close and chose to use a net as a more humane method of capture and would have released the fish unharmed. This as opposed to the catch and release method using a hook, which tears a hole in the fishes mouth and exposes the fish to infection and a slow death.

  47. Michelle SLC,UT says:

    Rules & Ethics. Call 1-800-662-3337 to report those who violate the law.
    Fishing helps to bring families closer together. As someone who just loves fishing and catching the very tastie native brown trout. I would have reported him.

  48. Ron Sears says:

    Can’t fix stupid…. I would say that there would be very little the G&F could do without seeing the act…They knew they were wrong in what they were doing or they would not have moved off…besafe..

  49. Sylvia says:

    Personally I would have yelled out, “Hey, if you get a big one, come back by and I’ll take a picture for you.”

    Considering what other four and two legged beings have done in that water, I don’t think it would have bothered me. LOL

  50. Brian says:

    I don’t think it’s for any of us to decide this individual’s innocence or guilt. But I would inform a Ranger of the facts and let him/her decide what actions to take.

    If I see something I say something. If it turns out no law was broken then no problem. If on the other hand he not only broke the law fishing this way perhaps he has done other illegal acts or worse yet will commit new ones if not stopped.

    Thanks for the lively discussion Sue.

  51. Mindy Reed says:

    I guess I’d report it. My concern is not only harrassing the fish but damaging the banks of the creek.

  52. Dave says:

    Whether what he did was OK or wrong. You could always report it and let the authorities them deal with it as they will.

  53. Rita says:

    Copied from State of Utah fishing rule book:
    Utah Admin. Rule R657-13-10
    You can use a handheld dipnet to land game
    fish that you’ve legally taken by angling. However,
    you may not use a handheld dipnet as a primary
    method of taking game fish unless you are at
    Bear Lake, where you may use a dipnet to take
    Bonneville cisco.
    When fishing for Bonneville cisco at Bear
    Lake, the opening of your dipnet may not exceed
    18 inches. If you’re dipnetting through the ice at
    Bear Lake, there is no restriction on the size of the
    hole you can drill in the ice. Please see Rules for
    specific waters, Bear Lake on page 20 for more
    You may also use a handheld dipnet to take
    crayfish and nongame fish, except prohibited fish.
    For a list of fish you are prohibited to possess,
    please see page 14 of this guide.

  54. Doug says:

    Not worth reporting. Sounded like a guy just having fun with his kids to me.

    • June says:

      I was just thinking, when reading all these replies, that everyone jumped immediately to the conclusion that this is a baaaad father by doing something that may or may not be illegal and some think he has to be a bad guy because of a beer belly and beard. No one has said a word about the fact that he IS with his kids in the mountains and spending time with them instead of parking them in front of the TV at home and paying no attention to them at all. I just can’t believe the folks here who judge him by his appearance. Everyone is not beautiful. I am not defending his actions if they are illegal.

  55. DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

    Off Subject, but saw this on FaceBook, I assume it might be true, but who know on FaceBook. Interesting if true, but might just be true in Texas:

    My fellow friends and family,

    We have killed 57 rattlesnakes on two separate ranches this year. 24 @South bend & 33 @ Murray , since mid-May. Not one has buzzed! We provoked one fair sized boy with a stick and he coiled & struck at the stick a couple of times before he buzzed up and rattled. The purpose of this explanation is that I have been hearing the same from fellow ranchers and hunters in regards to the lack of warning with rattlesnakes. I had lunch with a friend today and he offered a theory about the fact that these bugs aren’t rattling anymore. He raised pigs for years and reported that when he would hear a rattlesnake buzzing in the sow pen, the sows would bee line to it and fight over the snake. For the uninformed, pigs love to eat rattlesnakes. Therefore, the theory is they are ceasing to rattle to avoid detection, since there are plenty of pigs roaming the countryside. I have a neighbor ranching lady who was bitten 3 weeks ago, 2 times by the same snake without any warning….she spent 5 days in ICU, after 22 vials of anti-venom she is back at the ranch and still may lose her foot or worse yet her lower leg. The days of perceived warning are over. Keep your boots on and use a light when out and about. As you all know, one can pop up just about anywhere! You may wish to forward this to anyone that would be interested.

  56. Sierra Foothill Mama says:

    #1 – Stay Safe
    #2 – Do not tease snakes, 2 legged included
    #3 – There is no cure for stupid
    #4 – If you suspect illegal activities, report it
    #5 – You do not need to know the law, it is okay to report what you saw
    #6 – You are not the cop, let them do their job (see #1)
    #7 – Focus on the positive, do not let idiots ruin you day

    • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

      I like this opinion the best of all! It smacks of common sense!! 🙂

      I noticed a lot of assuming in the answering of this question (and I’m including myself in that statement.) We don’t know all the facts and it’s easy to assume certain things based on our perceptions. But, as I’m sure ALL of us have had wrong assumptions made about ourselves by other people, we should strive to not do that to others. Sierra Foothill Mama seems to have the right approach.

  57. mockturtle says:

    Sigh! I tried to read all of the other replies but gave up. First: I would probably report his behavior to the fish & game authorities [or at least ask them if what he was doing was illegal]. I would wait until I was long departed from that camp site, however.

    Second: I would report him to the fashion police because anyone with his body should NOT be in public with no shirt and low-slung pants. UGH! A blight, at least, on the aesthetics of the landscape. 😀

  58. Eddie says:

    Even if you report it, how soon do you think they would respond to one moron with a dip net?

    Take a deep breathe and get on with it.

  59. Gaelyn says:

    Seems like another of the populations idiots. And by his shouting at you I think he knew he was doing something wrong. What can you do? Don’t know.

  60. Sherry in Oregon says:

    Any game wardens/fish cops out there reading RV Sue’s blog? What should/could she have done?
    I am not a fan of “dumb ass” behavior, especially the guy’s reaction at someone photographing nature which he happened to be blocking at the time …. I’m just glad the jerky guy didn’t “engage” other than shouting.

  61. Tawnya says:

    Aunt Susan I wouldn’t report it. I agree with what mick said, catching with a net and releasing seems better that catching with a hook and release. The first thing that popped into my head was, the man was having a good time with his children, let them have this as a great memory not a memory of their dad getting into trouble. So maybe he was being dumb, no one got hurt snd his kids enjoyed their day with their dad. Maybe not politically correct or being green, but I’m neither of those so…..

  62. Tawnya says:

    Let me add one more thing, I love you and whatever you decided to do is fine with me! You are not a mean person and you did whatever your heart led you to do.

  63. Elizabeth says:

    I am not sure how things work in the lower 48 but our friend who lives in Alaska, and is half Choctaw can fish with a net if he chooses to do so (and not sure but what that is any time at all). It is risky taking photos of people that way…hopefully you were in the process of moving camp so it will be harder for that man to come and get revenge if he so chooses…do be careful…we live in a time when many people are not quite all together mentally and are loose out there plus the other nuts who do not have any sense of humor at all, etc etc!!

    If the man was truly trying to catch fish that were big enough to eat….in these days, I would wonder if they needed to fish to eat or not…

    Today do not assume that if you turn someone in for doing something wrong, that you have any kind of cover from authorities….tis not always the case.

  64. Kevin says:

    I would call the Utah division of Wildlife at 801-538-4700 and report him and send them the picture with an e-mail. if you could get a license # that would be great or else a description of the fellows vehicle. Remember a poacher is a poacher.

  65. Renee (from Datil) says:

    I would be VERY hesitant about “nonchalantly” trying to get a license plate number, especially for such a small (possible — no one seems to know for sure) infraction. There are lots of crazy folks out there, and you’re out there by yourself. If there was something more serious going on (beating children/dogs; drug activity), it might be worth the risk.

    To me, the slippery slope is that all the information isn’t there to know if what he’s doing is illegal. I see things virtually every time we stay in a campground or RV park that I don’t like, or don’t agree with, but that’s not sufficient to report the offender. The one time I did report someone was when they left their camp for a number of days, leaving a dog tied up to a tree with no food/water. THAT called for action.

    Also, my guess is that nothing could be done unless the authorities were actually the ones who witnessed the behavior. That’s what I’ve been told in the past. Any photos I take aren’t of any use.

  66. JEBrice says:

    Wow why am I not surprised that your so quick to condemn a man spending a wonderful day in nature with is children. I am appalled by all the comments to turn him in. Seems to me it was not long ago, everyone had so much compassion for the illegal immigrant that a couple gave water to and then called the border patrol.
    In the scene that Sue described, I saw a man who wanted to take his children fishing on a beautiful day. However he had lost his job (to an illegal immigrant?) and could not afford a pole for his children or license. So he decided to take his children to a park that has been set aside to preserve it for our future children to enjoy. And the lesson I see him teaching his children is you don’t need a lot of money or a video game to have a good time. He was building memories with his children. After losing my father this weekend and preparing for his funeral today, my memories of my father are abundant. The ones that are most vivid are the ones we spent exploring nature. Sometimes we may have stepped out of line a little, but the love and respect we learned for nature and our father will always be with us.
    I guess what I’m trying to get at is an American citizen creating a little mischievious fun and memories with his children is condemned, yet an illegal alien who breaks the laws as soon as he crosses the border should get a free pass is a fine example of how screwed up our country has become. In honor of our father we ask that you fly your flags today and be a proud American and take a child out to explore some of Gods greatest gifts. Love and nature.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      JEBrice . . . My condolences on the loss of your father. May the good memories of time spent with him comfort you.

  67. Freida Cruz says:

    Wasn’t Bridget injured last year turning to chase wildlife? Do you not encourage Spike to chase free ranging cattle from “your front yard”? So exactly what is your concern about this gentleman?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Freida… You’re attacking me and the crew for what reason? Read the post carefully. I did not state my opinion. You do not know if I have any concern about this gentleman. Let’s not be quick to criticize. We’re just having a discussion.

      Disclaimer: No cows or chipmunks were injured in the making of this blog. 🙂

    • Judie says:

      OUCH! Have you really read any of Sue’s blogs??? Do you know anything about her???

  68. Barb says:

    Morning Sue!
    I am always impressed by your willingness to learn… and no, I don’t have ‘the answer’ as I do NOT know the local laws… however, I do see there is a need, when one is a member of a new community to learn the laws… not all, but at least the ones that effect you.
    As an old Girl Scout, we learned to ‘leave our camp better than we found it’. It seems to me, that is something you do each and every time you are in a camp. So, as far as the argument about the 14/day rule (?) I would say you are better to extend on a non-regular basis than be stuck in a difficult or dangerous (ie driving with the flu) situation. I see you as a POSITIVE for the landscape.
    NOW. There is a big ‘bru-haw-haw’ going on in the news regarding a young man who hopped a ride on the back of a whale shark… environmental groups are stating that ‘a naturally protective film’ can be worn off by someone holding on to the shark. I think the fish being ‘scared from their hiding places’ could easily have been injured (but again, I do NOT know the local laws). Again, leaving the camp in a better way than you found it should be the ultimate goal. Sometimes we learn from our surroundings.

    Was the guy a jerk? Yes. Was he somewhat valid in being concerned about someone photographing his kids? Sure… he didn’t know you were not taking the kids photos… But in his ‘obvious jerk behavior’ you don’t know if he might not be dangerous… I would ask the question when I did see a ranger if the use of a net without a pole is allowed, and go forward from there. I would not antagonize the guy… and I don’t think I would engage him in a conversation while passing by and taking the photos of his plates… You have to be safe first of all…

    What I find is very useful, is that you opened up a unique conversation, and even though some were a bit ‘smarmy’ about it, you had an honest concern and question–and THAT is important.

    Hugs and HAPPY CAMPING!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a delightful and refreshing comment, Barb! I appreciate you acknowledging that the purpose of this post was to “open up a unique conversation.”

      My blog is about living full-time on the road. I like to include the circumstances I encounter that require a decision. Not only do these questions provide for lively discussion, I believe they give us an opportunity to reflect upon our attitudes and to prepare for like situations as they may occur in our lives.

      Hugs to you, Barb. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  69. Rita from Phoenix says:

    LOL! Some of the comments are hilarious! They sound exactly like some of my relatives…instead of staying on the subject open for discussion, they go off into left field. According to Utah state fishing laws, you can dipnet fish at Bear Lake only for cisco fish (whatever they are) and for nongame and crayfish. The rules didn’t specify where you can dipnet fish for nongame and crayfish. I am assuming only at Bear Lake. So, the guy may or may not have been dipnet fishing illegally depending on where you can fish for nongame & crayfish. I still would have turned the guy in and let the authorities decide whether he was dipnet fishing illegally. Leave it to the government to leave a gray area in the rule book…..sigh.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Thank you for your sense of humor and your attempts to clarify the rules for us. Not an easy task!

      As I understand it, using a net to catch trout is not legal in Utah. The only dip-net fishing allowed, as you pointed out, is at Bear Lake where there are cisco.

      Cisco, as I have learned, are small fish (reminds me of menhadin in salt waters) that are caught to use for bait.

      I found one site that said a fishing license is required at Ivie Creek but it wasn’t the fish and game website so I don’t know if that’s true.

  70. Chris says:

    I agree with Varmit. If the guy was catching huge amounts of fish that’s one thing but it doesn’t look like he’s having any luck.
    This guy may not have done well in school but the only subject he got an “A” in is “holding a grudge”.
    You don’t want him to make you his special project. This persons mindset is different than yours and ours.
    Maybe he got your license number after he saw you take his picture.
    Let it be, its not serious enough a situation to jeopardized your safety and peace of mind.

  71. rhodium says:

    I guess one of the lessons here is anonymity can breed incivility. Also, when you run a good experiment you never really know the results in advance. Perhaps you need the internet equivalent of safety glasses. As Richard Feynmann asked, “What do you care what other people think?” The conversation raises so many interesting questions once again; why do different people make different assumptions, why does the same input produce so many different outputs, etc.

  72. Mimi551 says:

    Since when is it illegal or unethical to take someone’s picture in a public place?

    • Barb says:

      There are all sorts of privacy rules regarding children and photos… There are too many kids out there who are in custody issues and so forth… It is VERY dangerous to photograph kids and anyone without permission…

  73. Eileen P. says:

    Great exchange of ideas and opinions. Some logical and analytical — others full of passion and emotion. That being said, did anyone connect the dots back to Father’s Day? Unless there were some fairly horrific offense, I’d have trouble reporting a Dad out with his kids on Father’s Day.

  74. Wendy says:

    RVSue and crew, I don’t think to many people actually read your post word for word because you clearly state WHAT WOULD YOU DO, NOT WHAT I (SUE) SHOULD DO! Personally it sounded like the guy wasn’t just trying to catch a fish but cruelly harrass it. I do believe there is a fine line in catching and harrassing with a net. Really the person who witnessed the situation is the only one who could make the decision, but I understand you just wanted to open it up for a discusion because it was something you came across in your daily life and wanted to share with your readers and boy do you have some very oppionated followers! Some need to understand you a little better, they may read your blog but they sure don’t READ your blog if you get what I mean! I’m sorry to find out that as an adults we still attack, harrass, bully people when our opions do not mesh up with our own. I find it quite upsetting that so many would turn their backs or turn a blind eye on the little things people do to nature, wildlife, animals or other people & even things, if people would really think about it, the little things lead into the bigger ones most of the time. You can’t tell me they don’t I have witness it countless of times. I’m sorry you had to get attacked repeatedly by your followers, as I said turning our backs or a blind eye turn into much bigger acts. Thank you for sharing you daily life with us, I read you daily and enjoy all you post!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Wendy! Thank you for caring enough to point out I haven’t voiced my opinion yet.

  75. cinandjules (NY) says:

    First impressions normally dictates how the rest of an interaction ends up. Attitude as it was described probably set the tone. IMHO- Sue merely took a picture which isn’t an invasion of privacy out in the woods. Like she always does…remember the mother and her two kids taking a walk with the white shepard looking dog?

    The man’s actions/behavior was a topic for her blog…which contains the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly.

    Sue is respectful toward nature and it’s critters and certainly goes far above to make sure she leaves no “footprint”. She also picks up after those who less caring.

    Bridget’s injury happened when she changed direction….chippers like to taunt and make squeaking noises. I’m sure Spike doesn’t really “chase” the cows…it’s his guy “protecto dog” mode.

    It amazes me how some decide to “flame” Sue and her crew. This only happens when the topic is controversial……a WWYD situation. Fickle behavior

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Do you think the photo of the mother with kids and the white dog was too revealing?

      • cinandjules (NY) says:

        Absolutely not………………I was making an analogy that you can take pictures of whatever whomever…………

        She, the lady didn’t mind at all…………

  76. cinandjules (NY) says:

    whoops…..something happened and it posted before I was done.

    Continuing with my rant…………………we have yet to know what Sue did or didn’t do.

    I enjoy reading this blog daily. Sometimes I feel like I need to hold back with the contents of my comments. Not today!

    Enjoy life!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, cinandjules. . .

      Don’t hold back! 🙂

      You touched on something that was a challenge for me when writing this post (attitude). I wanted to present the situation in a balanced way. However, I found it difficult to describe HOW the man was using the net without sounding like I was criticizing him. Conversely, if I wrote he was fishing with a net and left out the description of his jamming the net into the stream, the situation wouldn’t have been clear or accurate. I think that’s what fired up some of my “fast readers.”

  77. BJ says:

    I will proudly promote your Amazon link – just purchased for my 1999 Casita (also solar powered w panels on the Roof) over $88 of stuff from your web-link after reading on the Casita Club blog about Happy Campers Organic RV holding tank treatment, so I got that, then I know I needed a new Camco 39625 RV Revolution swivel rv Sewer hose and I lost a bumper plug – so I got the Wirthco Locking Plug and I needed a replacement Brita on tap water filter, so I got that too (package of 2) …. oh and last week I bought 2 thunder shirts and a spice rack storage organizer from your link — I feel like I am putting Spike and Briget through doggie college – LOL

    – Love your blog —- and on the fish catcher I would chit chat with the local forest/park ranger about him (he and the kids obviously knew it was not right to do what they were doing).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi BJ . . .

      I love the line about putting Spike and Bridget through doggie college!

      So YOU’re the one who bought the thunder shirts. Gee, I hope they do a good job calming your crew. If you think of it in the future, share some feedback for us. I lost a bumper plug, too. I need to look for a replacement.

      Thank you for mentioning my Amazon links! I was spoiled by the high sales of the first few months, so recent shoppers are greatly appreciated. Thank you for shopping Amazon here!

      • BJ says:

        I will give you a follow up on the Thunder Shirts once they have been used a couple of times. I have a couple of rescue dogs (a lab mix and a Lasa Apso) that shake like crazy when a good thunder storm rolls in —- since I got the shirts – no storms — will let you know 🙂

        Am also waiting eagerly for your response of what you did/or did not do — are you waiting for 500 responses before you pull your response trigger 🙂

  78. gingerda says:

    You posed a great question about “what would you do?” I read everyone’s comments and some of them are really good. Some of them sounded like they were attacking you, even though you haven’t told us yet, what you did in this situation.
    I am on the fence with this question. I guess I needed to be there to decide how I would handle it. My main objective would be to stay safe whatever I decided to do.
    I hope it all worked out without a problem and that you are in another beautiful spot living the good life.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We’re still living the good life, Ginger . . .

      Believe me, being here doesn’t make the decision any easier!

  79. Pauline says:

    WOW, this has been quite a discussion. What would I have done? I’d probably would have packed up and left if that man had yelled at me. He looks scary and mean…HOWEVER that does not mean he is. I have had pictures taken of me and I look like a wicked witch of the west. I don’t know what the laws are so I can’t comment of the legality issue. Perhaps, when the child noticed me, I would have walked up closer and said something like… It was a good picture…a Dad and his daughters on Father’s Day….I write a blog about my life boondocking and the situations I come across…..then ask the questions posed in other comments. I hate to think that this Dad was teaching his girls how to break the law. I want to think that they were just having fun…without a fishing pole, hooks, bait and all that. Was he carrying a big container to take his bounty away in?
    My final answer: I wouldn’t have turned them in.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pauline…. No, he didn’t have a container. He definitely wasn’t fishing for supper. The aroma of grilled burgers wafted by our camp later that day! 🙂

      A conversation wouldn’t have seemed natural as I was quite a distance away when I took the photo.

      Nice to have family (you and Tawnya) tune in to this “dilemma.”

  80. Walt says:

    First, I’ll say I don’t know what I would do, although I’m not sure poking at fish with the handle end of a net constitutes enjoying a day in nature as some have put it. It seems that such behavior could have a negative impact on the fish population.

    As far as those who argue for live and let live (and, by extension, let them do what they want), I’ll agree to a point. However, many of the things an individual does has an impact on the world around him or her, especially when it comes to the environment. What one person does in Utah might eventually have an impact in another state. Unlike humans who often seem to think they know all the possible impacts of their actions (I’m now speaking of those who work to develop genetically modified foods and the like), the environment does not recognize state, national, or international boundaries. When it comes to the environment, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas. 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A well-written and persuasive comment, Walt. You put the situation in a larger context.

      No matter what one’s opinion may be on the topic we’re discussing, your message is thought-provoking. Your last line is priceless: “When it comes to the environment, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.”

      • Walt says:

        Thanks! To quote one of the characters from The Big Chill, “I’m just trying to keep the conversation lively.” It is a difficult situation, to be sure, and I’ll be interested to hear what you decided to do.

  81. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Wow, Sue, you really know how to incite your readers! I’m enjoying all the different perspectives of your scenario. As long time lurker here and avid follower of your blog who has never before left a comment, I feel compelled to make one now.

    I fully understand your disgust for the behavior you witnessed along Ivie Creek, even though I’m not sure that it was illegal activity. But, in light of the fact that you were not in compliance of regulations limiting camping to fourteen days on public land, I think I would have let the incident pass . Of these two, which is the greater infraction of rules? I honestly don’t know. However, I do believe that “He who is without sin should cast the first stone”.

    Keep up the great work, Sue! I look forward to your posts and love that you share your life with us. Give each of the crew a scratch behind the ears from me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So glad you’ve dumped your lurker status! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting here.

      If I were a better writer maybe you wouldn’t have read “disgust” in my description of the man’s activity as that was not my intent. I have not cast any stones that I know of. You may find out in my next post that I think it’s wonderful the man is spending some time with his children. And then, maybe not. 🙂

  82. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    I would go out for a walk and just happen to saunter by the dad & kids. Would say hello and strike up a friendly conversation, all while taking notice if they actually had fish. Little small talk regarding weather, camping, etc. . Would ask if they come here often and what kind of fish are in the creek and have they caught any. Then If Ithought harm was being done I would mention it to the ranger when I left camp.
    Think travelling alone you do need to be cautious. In fact my husband commented once, “He doesn’t think you should post your exact location where you camped.”

    • Donna in CT says:

      That thought your husband brought up occurred to me also. Wonder what Sue’s thoughts are on this?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I tried to be vague about our location in the past. I soon realized there wasn’t any point in trying to conceal where we are because the more I tried, the more a few readers took it as a fun game, gathering clues from my photos and text.

        I found it disconcerting to have readers announce that they “see” where I’m camped on Google Earth. It comes down to blog or not to blog. If someone wants to find me — for good or for evil — , they’ll find me and then I’ll deal with it.

        • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

          Don’t stop blogging….you could put the exact location of your camp…..after you leave….instead of “where we are”
          It would say “Where we were” 🙂

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I tried to do that, Val. It doesn’t work for me.

            I think my blog would lose it’s immediacy. Readers comment that they feel like they are traveling with me (I use the present tense most of the time). Not only would I lose the immediacy, I would lose my enthusiasm and some of the details. Nice of you to be concerned.

  83. Marcia GB in MA says:

    After reading these comments, I think what I’d do is present it to a warden/ranger as a hypothetical situation, just one that you’d like to know what the regulations have to say about it. Let him/her inform you as best they can, and then decide whether or not you will them about the incident. Whatever it comes down to, you’ll have more info to act (or not) in a similar situation next time.

    I enjoy reading about these ethical dilemmas; although I am sad that some folks feel they need to attack you personally or bring up unrelated issues.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s okay, Marcia. I appreciate your kind heart. Bloggers have to take the good and the bad once they give readers the opportunity to comment.

  84. Louise says:

    What interesting situations you present! This one is challenging.

    On the whole, I think I’d let it slide. I’m aware that traveling alone makes me more vulnerable to attack/retaliation, and the stakes have to be pretty high before I put myself in a potentially dangerous situation. (Yes, I have done that when I felt I had to.)

    Was his behavior illegal? Probably, though I’m not clear on the laws, and there seems to be a gray area. Could a ranger or fish-and-game agent prosecute? Probably not, unless they witnessed the behavior themselves and saw a clear violation. I like to feel pretty confident about a case before I report it.

    I do think the man’s behavior was wrong, and teaching the behavior to children makes it worse. I just don’t know what I could effectively and safely do about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Louise… It is a tough call which is why I presented it on my blog.

      For anyone interested, this link shows the complaint form.

      Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources

  85. polifrog says:

    I would have found no ethical dilemma as the man is doing nothing wrong.

    As much as we may dislike it, we must share our nation with others.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What about the prohibition against fishing a trout stream with a net?

      • Walt says:

        The opposite is also true: others must share this nation with us. Although I don’t agree with all of it’s teachings, the Catholic Church is right when it says that we are all called to be good stewards: of our resources, of our environment, of each other. Was this man being a good steward? Perhaps that is the criteria to apply in this instance.

        • polifrog says:

          Was this man being a good steward?

          I believe he was. A hand net is unlikely to harm the environment more than the use of a hand net, in this instance, enhances our community in which positive fatherhood is in decline.

          The opposite is also true.

          Not in this case. This man’s playing with fish infringes on no person while complaints of his doing so infringe directly on him.

          There is a new breed of “church lady” in town and her name is liberalism. (not directed toward Sue, of course.)

          • Walt says:

            Perhaps too late to reply to this, but what you say here is not necessarily true – IF what the man is doing adversely affects the abilities of the fish or other creatures in the stream to reproduce. If by “liberalism” you mean concern for the environment and how the actions of others affect the environment, then I’ll plead guilty and damned proud to do so.

      • polifrog says:

        There are hand nets, there are nets that one strings across rivers or creeks, there are deep water “drag nets” used in the ocean, etc.

        They are different tools.

        The fact is that while fishing with a net strung across a creek or even using the same to sweep the creek from one bank is likely illegal, the same can not be said of using a hand net.

        “Nets” are all the same only to those who have fished little.

        And speaking from childhood experience this man’s use of a hand net likely did more damage to his arm than to any fish.

        In the end, this man’s use of a hand net provided his children with far more real and witnessed joy for his children than it could have caused imagined suffering to any fish.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I agree with a lot you have written. However, isn’t the edge of a stream where fish, frogs and other water creatures lay their eggs? Something to consider. Also my research informs me that what he was doing is against the regulations of Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources which were put in place, I assume, to protect the environment.

          Church lady or responsible citizen…? That’s hard to determine. The former has a negative connotation that puts it in the category of name-calling.

          • polifrog says:

            I realize I am close to name calling. That is not my intent; my intent is more scatter-shot.

            One must admit that a new strain of temperance has arisen in the US. The intent by too many to nanny did not evaporate with the repeal of prohibition.

            There is indeed a new brand of “Church Lady”, her church being government, and her scripture found in the laws generated by autonomous federal bureaucracies.

            And just as prohibition was wrong, so are many of our bureaucratically generated laws.

            That you feel caught between enforcing legal scripture and recognizing the loss of social value at the hand of misguided scripture defines you as something decidedly not “Church Lady”.

  86. Carol in OK says:

    Were you appalled by his behavior in teaching his impressionable children disregard for nature? I was. Regrettably, low life begets low life.

  87. G says:

    You clearly expressed both sides of the situation without any bias towards one side or the other in order to generate discussion. Don’t know why people jumped to conclusions before you continue with what you did.

    All that being said, I probably would not have reported him, don’t think any laws were broken but I probably would have asked him why he was doing what he was doing.

    His behavior is no different than people letting their dogs and cats chase down birds and squirrels scaring them half to death.

    We have bigger problems than this…

  88. AZ Jim says:

    Ok Sue, you asked opinions and got ’em. Now, quit being coy and tell us what you did do! *Arms folded across chest, tapping right foot*…..waiting…

  89. Denise says:

    As a cynic I would figure that the F&G wardens have bigger fish to fry. I would not put myself or my canine charges in danger for this man.

    Waiting with bated breath to hear what Sue decided to do…

  90. Teri Lee says:

    Clicked on this blog post from another blog. You all need to get a life. I would not be taking pictures of other people. You were not down on the creek with him. I would fear him harassing me as you were harassing him. Your house has wheels, if you don’t like your neighbors move. For those saying we should not turn away and ignore others, I don’t see this activity as a big deal that is destroying our country. I don’t like to drive on holiday weekends or when I am ill, but you could have left well before the 14 days if you knew a holiday was coming up. Excuses for your own benefit, what was his excuse for his behavior. People that live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    • cinandjules (NY) says:

      I am so glad you decided to join us………………. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Teri… You are in our blog “house” when you comment. Please mind your manners.

      • Walt says:

        The opposite is also true. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. 😀 Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        There’s a saying I learned in my holistic classes, “If you spot it, you got it” which implies that if you are able to find something wrong (or right) in another person, you have that characteristic yourself or else you would not have recognize it in the first place. Those characteristics can be, among other things, arrogance, love, respect. or throwing stones.

    • Judie says:

      OUCH! Oh my, do you really feel she was harassing him? What makes taking a picture harassment? She was not harming anything so why should she have to move? Your last three sentences reek of arrogance and sarcasm which leads me to believe you have not read many of Sue’s posts.

  91. Coopers Mom says:

    I would try to forget what I saw a soon as possible, it was not pleasant by any means and move on to more beautiful pictures. It was clear that the children knew they were doing something that was not appropriate or they would not have been worried about their pictures being taken. The father should be teaching his children better, which is why we are “going to hell in a hand basket” because this type of behavior just keeps insinuating itself into our society…”not wrong if you don’t get caught” syndrome. But in the end, I am glad that you were safe and nothing eventful came out of it and he just let his picture be taken…file in the round file and move on…Stupid will hurt someday. Love your blog and you started a firestorm with this one…Good job.

  92. dahkota says:

    First I must say, as a long time lurker on your blog, that I greatly respect you. Contrary to the beliefs and ideas of many people, you live life the way you want; it is not something often found in this world. Kudos to you and, if I am lucky, I may get to meet you someday.

    On the fish issue: honestly, with the way the guy was treating the fish, I wouldn’t risk any kind of contact with him. It just isn’t worth it. I would, however, log a complaint with the handy-dandy web form if I had internet access. And, if I ran into a ranger, I would ask about the laws and their thoughts on the matter, what I should do in the future if I ever again see something similar.

    Just an FYI, photographing people in a public place, any people regardless of age, is not illegal. Only selling their image for profit without their permission is. So snap away. The subject may not like it and may give you grief but they don’t have to be out in public and it is a risk they take when they do.

    Best of luck in your continuing adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Dahkota. . .

      First off, I want to thank you for thinking highly of me. The great thing about blogging is you get to present your best side and hide the rest. 🙂 I do live life the way I want and realize I’m very fortunate to be able to do so.

      I admit I felt “funny” about taking a photo of the man with the net, and would have even if he hadn’t shouted at me. I avoid taking photos of people, especially people whom I don’t know. I said somewhere that I never show the faces of children… I think I slipped up once, but I do try to avoid that.

      Thank you for a thoughtful comment. I hope you will drop in often!

  93. Brian says:

    As a professional photographer let me reiterate what Dahkota said: it is not in any way illegal to take photos of people out in public.

    Now back to our regular scheduled programming. ; )

  94. Cari in Texas says:

    wow, 149 comments and counting…what an interesting discussion this has been. At least, I hope that’s how people have viewed this, and not as arguing or taking sides in a negative manner. I appreciate so much your willingness to open up your blog to questions with no real definite answer (and yes, I’m waiting patiently for you to reveal what you actually did LOL)

    As for what I would have done: I travel alone, as you do, albeit not in a trailer. I’ve come across situations where people either flagrantly violate laws/rules or tiptoe right up to that edge. Most of the time, unless they are affecting me personally, I just shake my head and let it go. However, in this case, wildlife (fishlife? Is there such a word?) is being affected, which is a big no-no in my book. As others have suggested, if it were possible, I might try and get his license number, then have a conversation with a ranger AFTER I left, or on the way out. I’d present it as seeking information, not necessarily being a snitch. Or, if there is an online form, report it that way. I would definitely NOT engage him in any conversation, that could prove dangerous.

    I believe in letting people live their own lives and minding my own business, for the most part. When it comes to people, animals, and the environment, I have a very low tolerance for abuse/misuse, however.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was relieved to see them leave the next morning. I share your concern for animals and their environment. If I’d seen dead fish lying in the grass or caught in the stream, I probably wouldn’t have been able to turn away without doing something.

  95. Fish person says:

    I work for fish and game in another state.
    To answer the question I would:
    Report to a fish and game # or web email. Give details, plate#, descriptions, activity,date, time etc. Let them decide if a regulation is in violation. May be, may not.
    Maybe this man has been violating the law for years. maybe they have been looking for him. Maybe he is a good and kind citizen.

    It is not illegal to take photos of people in public places….however it may really tick someone off. So I would try and get both a photo of him covertly plus plate number without being obvious. No reason to stir up trouble not knowing the regulations. If he is doing nothing wrong what harm is done? Nothing. Be safe. We have bumper stickers with a “hot line” # to call just for this incidences.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Fish Person, for giving us the perspective of someone who works in Fish & Game.

  96. Fish person says:

    My comment may have seem convoluted. So short answer always report a suspected violation. The crime will be determined by Fish and Game. Do not get personally involved :ie confront anyone.

  97. Ernest Smith says:

    Okay so after reading all the previous comments, I feel I must weigh in. From your description of how this man was acting and the fact that you had just been ill, plus your respect for the natural world out there, I can see that this incident very much disturbed you. For those facts I am sorry that you had to witness this person’s poor choice in providing entertainment for his children. I am sure that if he did not have a net he would have used a handy nearby branch to make those children laugh and be thrilled as the fish scurried away from the creature poking at them.
    Yes I have read that you did not report him… Neither would I have. From what I read in your post it seems that what we had there was a person who from his point of view was just having a fun time with his children. To me it seems that he was not aware that his view of fun might have an adverse impact on the fish, frogs etc. We are all unique individuals with limits on what we have learned so far in this life. Hopefully when he visits a state fishery with his children someday he will learn what a negative impact his behavior could have caused and will be a more responsible and informed dad. He does get a ton of points from me just due to the fact that he was out in nature with his children…. Too Many Deadbeat Dads is a BIG part of our country’s Problems.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry I did not see your comment sooner, Ernest. Excellent comment!

      I agree 100% with your last point. There are too many deadbeat dads in this county.

  98. Ilse says:

    Hmm, I would report him to the ugly police. He needs to wear a shirt, but that would probably not help much.

  99. marie says:

    In this day, with the way images find their way onto questionable websites… I would be concerned about some stranger, male or female, taking pictures of my children without asking permission. I might lean towards getting their vehicle plates and description. Some people would find an image of a child, playing in a stream, in wet clothes to be very arousing. Just like many men find a pretty woman getting all wet from wsshing a car to be sexy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Marie. That’s why I avoid posting photos of children. Perverts can make new photos to sell by putting the heads of children onto obscene photos. I don’t want to contribute to that practice!

  100. Nancy1340 says:

    I would just went out and said “Oh Wow, I thought it was against the law to dip fish”. 😉

  101. Judie says:

    All I can say is WOW Sue, your innocent question sure brought out the best and the worst in many of us. Some of the commenters appeared to be experiencing the green eyed monster and it prompted them to attack you instead of answering your question. What makes us humans behave in such a manner? I was truly appalled at the number of people who would “do nothing”. That tells me one of the reasons our country is in this mess we’re in. So many want to be “politically correct” instead of doing the right thing. Some of us find it so easy to attack the wrong person-seems in this day and time that the victim is repeatedly attacked while the perp walks around with a smile on their face. Yes, we are all glad he was with his children on Father’s day but is teaching them a complete and total disrespect for our earth and it’s creatures truly desirable????? Not to me and not to many others as we see posted on here. Thankful for those of you who would take the time to become involved to correct a wrong-I pray that number grows instead of diminishes. So happy for you Sue that you can live the good life and see fit to share it with us….so sad that you have to be attacked without good or proper reason.

  102. Jolene/Iowa says:

    I know this is about a year late but since I can respond on this post now, I am going to. As an avid fisherman and a flyfisher person also, I most likely would have reported what I saw and let the proper people determine if it was wrong. I would have sent the picture you got of him and the plate # and details about what you saw.

    Trout are sensitive fish. The trout habitat in the streams, rivers and lakes is paramount to their survival and their continued reproduction and growth.

    I am glad this father was spending time with his children but it is not a good thing if he is teaching them illegal practices. Above all else, always keep yourself safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree with you, Jolene. I didn’t state my opinion when I posted this entry because I knew some people wouldn’t be able to handle it maturely. As it turned out, I was the target of personal attacks.

      If the man and family hadn’t left the next morning, I would’ve taken action. You will read in a subsequent post that the Forest Service rangers told me the man was in the wrong and would’ve been cited.

  103. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Yes, I saw how you were attacked and I was really surprised people had that reaction. I appreciate how you post these thought provoking questions for discussion. It is also good to know that my thoughts on what to do would have been the correct thing in view of what was right and wrong from the Forest Service. Now going forward that should give you more confidence if you were conflicted what is the best thing to do.

    It is amazing how much we can still learn even as we get older and just how many times our gut instincts are right! Love your blog and slowly I am getting caught up to real time but in the mean time, I am enjoying the journey!!

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