After Curtis Thurman pleaded guilty to illegal fishing of landlocked sockeye salmon in Idaho, his fishing privileges were suspended in two dozen other states, reporst the Associated Press. The states belong to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, formed in 1991 to protect from poachers fish and wildlife that bring in millions of tourist dollars annually. Ten more states, including Alaska, may sign up.
States in the compact share information on people convicted of a crime that led to the revocation of their hunting or fishing privileges, and then other member states decide whether to also revoke that person’s privileges. “People are more mobile than they ever used to be,” said compact chairman Bob Timian, chief game warden for North Dakota. “The overall benefit is that people can’t just violate in one state and say, ‘Ah, I have all the rest of the states I can go hunt in illegally.'” States in the compact can issue citations to nonresidents, instead of taking them to jail. Nearly 17,000 poachers have lost their hunting, fishing or trapping privileges in compact states since 1998, including more than 2,800 so far this year.