A Pendleton man was sentenced to three years’ federal probation, a $1,000 fine, 40 hours of community service, and a three-year fishing ban after removing bull trout from the Metolius River illegally.
Tyler Glenn Chance Warren, 31, along with Culver man Thomas R. Campbell, 30, took several bull trout from the river and the Eyerly Property, which is only accessible to members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
Warren’s sentencing comes after Campbell received a sentence in November 2020 for five years’ federal probation, a $6,000 fine, and 300 hours of community service to be completed on habitat restoration and conservation projects.
Bull trout are considered a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and poaching has damaged the population, which is now around half of its historic numbers.
The men were caught after Campbell posted a photo with one of the bull trout on Instagram on December 4, 2017.
Warren was seen in another photo with another bull trout on the Metolius.
In other photos uncovered on Campbell’s phone, both men were shown appearing to cook the fish, and holding a dead trout with a beer can wedged in its mouth.
Another photo showed Ziploc bags filled with bull trout fillets.
The exact number of illegally harvested fish is unknown, but investigators believe Warren took at least four bull trout from the Metolius on December 3rd.
Warren is the fourth Oregonian to be convicted in federal court in an illegal bull trout harvesting case since the launch of Operation No Bull in 2017, an anti-poaching law enforcement operation.
As a result, 30 bull trout poachers in the state have received criminal charges, civil penalties, or citations.
In September 2019, Warren, Campbell and Albany man Joshua Alan Hanslovan, 29, were charged with violating the Lacey Act, which bans trafficking in illegal wildlife.
On June 16, 2021, Hanslovan was sentenced to three years’ federal probation, a three-year angling ban, and 125 hours of community service.
Another Culver man, Tyrone T. Wacker, 42, was also sentenced in a separate criminal case to five years’ probation, a three-year angling and hunting ban, a $1,000 fine, and 90 hours of community service.
The money from the fines went towards the Lacey Act Reward Account, which supplies awards for people who give information about wildlife crimes and to pay for the care of fish, wildlife, or plants used as evidence in ongoing investigations.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Branch of Natural Resources, and U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations.
It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon Will McLaren and Pam Paaso.