Environmental Conservation Police
One of the responsibilities of the EnCon Police Division is search and rescue operations, especially on the water. Each year, our officers along with the U.S. Coast Guard, local police and fire departments respond to numerous reports of a kayak or canoe found unoccupied either adrift or washed up on shore. Often there is no contact information on the vessel which results in a large search and rescue operation to determine if someone is actually missing. Often these vessels just float away from a dock or shore due to tide or wind. We recommend that owners of vessels that do not have registration number attach an “If Found” sticker, which has the owners name and contact information and is available free of charge from our boating division.
We also highly encourage the wearing of personal flotation devices when fishing from a vessel. It is mandatory to wear a PFD by anyone in a manually propelled vessel from October 1 through May 31 and for all children under 13 years old on a vessel that is under way. There are many options now that are comfortable and do not interfere with your fishing enjoyment so please put one on. It can save your life! It is a sobering statistic, but in Connecticut, 75 percent of boating fatalities are due to drowning and in 90% of those cases, the victim was not wearing a life jacket. It can save your life!
What To Do When Approached By an Environmental Conservation Police Officer
EnCon Police Officers are concerned with enforcement of Connecticut laws and regulations that are intended to keep people safe, protect personal property, and conserve the State’s natural resources. There are a few actions that you can take to ensure your experience with an EnCon Officer is positive for both you and the officer.
While Boating and Fishing:
EnCon Officers are concerned with boating safety and compliance with fishing regulations when checking anglers. When approached by an officer in a patrol boat you should:
- Maintain your current speed and direction unless signaled to do otherwise or if the patrol boat is displaying flashing blue lights or using a siren, which are signals for you to stop.
- Do not change direction or stop your vessel unless signaled to do so. This will help avoid contact between the vessels that could cause damage or injuries.
- Reel in all fishing lines on the side of the boat that is being approached by the officer. Use care to keep body parts and rod tips out of the space between the boats to prevent injury or damage to equipment.
We encourage the citizens of our State to assist us with our mission of protecting the State’s natural resources by taking an active role in reporting fish and game violations to our 24 hour toll free number at 1-800-842-4357.
Thank you and good luck!
Colonel Kyle Overturf
Director, State Environmental Conservation Police