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updated: 3/13/2013 2:22 PM

They're called conservation officers for a reason

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Many people refuse to accept that conservation officers and game wardens are much like state police officers and, in many areas, have similar enforcement powers.

Consider this item, from the Outdoor Press Room:

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An Arkansas man will serve two years in federal prison for making threats against Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers following his arrest for boating under the influence in 2010.

Conner Eldridge, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, said James Mitchell Hicks, 33, of Fort Smith, Ark., was sentenced Monday to 24 months in prison and one year of supervised release.

Rules & regulations:

A Maryland state senator has crafted a bill to curb the zeal of public school officials who may seek to suspend students as young as kindergarten for having things -- or talking about things, or eating things -- that represent guns, but aren't actually real guns.

Sen. J.B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore Harford Counties, introduced "The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013 on Thursday, reports The Star Democrat.

"We really need to re-evaluate how kids are punished," Jennings said.

Fishing report:

It's finally time to focus on soft-water angling and what's in store for those of us who are champing at the bit.

• LaSalle Lake opens Friday and the eager beavers can start the annual rush to catch fish at 6 a.m.

• The Fox Chain is one of the tougher, hangers-on lakes that doesn't give up easily for ice-out. It may be that ice anglers can still crawl their way to some good panfish spots on Petite and Fox Lakes.

• Lake Michigan perch are starting to appear again in open-water harbors.

•Contact Mike Jackson at angler88@comcast.net, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.

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