While there are numerous federal laws related to protecting fish and wildlife, state laws mainly govern hunting and fishing within the state.The state is trustee of the peoples' fish and game, so fish and game belong to the state in its sovereign capacity as representative and for the benefit of all its people in common ownership with the owner of the land. Therefore, any right to fish or hunt that is granted by a property owner may be regulated by the state.
States enact laws to regulate hunting and fishing on a state-by-state basis. Such laws may require licensing and provide for fines and penalties for violations of the regulations. Certain species are provided special protection and there are regulations for prohibited hunting and fishing practices. Fish and game wardens are the law enforcement agents of the state and federal fish and wildlife agencies. They enforce laws and regulations designed to protect and conserve fish and wildlife. While patrolling assigned areas, wardens warn, cite and arrest individuals suspected of violations and may seize the fish, game, and equipment connected with the violation.
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