Delaware County game wardens have witnessed an increase in illegal fishing this summer.

"We were in one of our hidey holes as we call them and observed the two men catching fish with a seining net in the tailwaters of Pensacola Dam," said Delaware County Game Warden Marni Loftis. "Among those were several species of of game fish."

When Loftis and fellow Delaware County Game Warden Cody Morris approached the two men, the pair had 36 game fish in their possession including 16 crappie, 14 sand bass and six catfish.

The men were given citations by Loftis and Morris for catching game fish with a net. 

Loftis said the illegal taking of fish or wildlife has become an increasing problem for game wardens.

"I write about 125 citations a year," Loftis said. "I get all kind of excuses when we catch them. Like I didn't know the regulations or the people trying to hide the evidence and say they were doing anything wrong.

"Most of of the time I have sat and observed them before approaching them. It is pretty simple read the fishing regulations and know what is legal. The two in this incident told me they didn't know the regulation. It is their job to read them before going out."

Loftis said the avenues of fishing is the biggest problem.

"You will always have those that are fishing without license. The biggest problems are those that are using methods of fishing other than rod and reel," Loftis said, adding that the use of nets, bows and arrows, gigging, noodling and snagging - without knowing the regulations - lead to the violations. 

"They just need to read the regulations for the type of fishing they are doing or the types that are not legal," Loftis said.

Morris, who became a warden in Delaware County in January, said the issues surrounding illegal fishing is new for him.

"I never dealt with the type of violations in Kansas that I deal with since I have been here," said Morris. "I was kind of surprised when I went to work here."

Morris also has seen an increase in his short time in Delaware County.

"I have had some people fishing without a license but my biggest problem on the south end of Delaware County is people using casting nets in the Flint Creek area," Morris said. "You can't use those in that area either."