LANCASTER CO - One of the most important parts of fishing is following local and state regulations, but the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has already had a few poaching busts this season.

Some poaching incidents are just an honest mistake, while others come from people simply not following the rules. Bottom line, they affect the fish ecosystems and fishing Nebraska.

“It can potentially have an impact on any of our waters,” Darryl Bauer of the Nebraska Game and Parks fisheries said. “That’s why it’s important to follow the regulations because just a few people taking advantage of that can ruin the fishing for everybody.”

Bauer says Game and Parks puts a lot of time and effort into researching and managing fish populations so the activity can remain open to everyone.

“The oceans can be overfished, there’s not a body of water in Nebraska that can’t be overfished,” Bauer said. “We need to be responsible for those resources, we manage those resources to provide quality recreational fishing for all of our citizens and visitors. That’s why we set those regulations is to set the harvest limits so populations can sustain and still produce quality fishing.”

A few weeks ago, Nebraska Game and Parks conservation officers cited fisherman for panfish violations in two separate incidents. The daily bag limit in Nebraska is 15 per person. One person had 104, the other 106. However, not all issues are this is extreme. Some are just being a few fish over the limit or keeping a fish you’re not supposed to. To avoid these issues, Bauer suggests doing your homework before heading out on the water.

“There’s some innocent mistakes that are made especially when we have different regulations for different bodies of water,” Bauer said. “The best way to know that is to get a copy of the fishing guide. There may be a few changes year-to-year, so just take a few minutes, sit down, review it, and make sure you’re up-to-date on your regulations.”

As we move into summer, Bauer says the fishing in Nebraska is starting to heat up.

“I’m getting great fishing reports, and that’s typical, we get through the end of May, the weather finally straightens out a bit, fish are hungry and feeding, the waters still relatively cool, so they’re more likely to be shallow.”