Lone Star Law takes Texas steel to gill nets on the Rio Grande

Lone Star Law
Wardens Luis Sosa and Carmen Rickel patrol the Rio Grande in Lone Star Law

Tonight on Lone Star Law the Texas Game Wardens investigate someone selling live coyotes and patrol the southern border.

The team investigate a trapper who they suspect might be trading in live coyotes, they also launch an undercover op to look into who is harassing some deer hunters.

Down south they patrol the Rio Grande, as they look out for illegal fishing.

There is no fence or wall down on the river as warden Luis Sosa explains: “This half of the river is Mexico, this half is the U.S.”

Lone Star Law gill net
This gill net has been hung right across the river

Their job on these border waters is to look out for smugglers but also anyone breaking Texas game law.

They soon come across gill net, a tightly meshed structure that captures and kills everything from small fish to turtles and sharks.

Lone Star Law
This fish caught by the gills in the net show how it gets its name

Warden Carmen Rickel explains:’ It’s not unusual to show up over here and see a new stretched from the Mexico side to the U.S. side.”

Sometimes called the ‘wall of death’ these gill nets are illegal in Texas and you can receive both a fine and jail time for using them.

Luis hands over his knife to help cut the net
Luis hands over his “good Texas knife”  to cut the net

Luis hands Carmen the knife she gave him for Christmas to cut the net as the pair gradually follow it as far as the mid point in the river, beyond that is Mexico’s jurisdiction.

The pair also relate how these ‘gill wars’ have been going on for decades, this lazy and indiscriminate fishing method having been a problem for many years.

Catch Lone Star Law Thursdays at 10/9c on Animal Planet.

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