Magnet Fishers Rack up Fines after Pulling Rockets from Fort Stewart River

Fort Stewart, Georgia A group of treasure hunters magnet fishing in a river on Fort Stewart pulled in 86 rockets, a tank tracer round, and .50 caliber ammo belts and were rewarded with several fines from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The group, led by treasure hunter Bryce Nachtwey, called the bomb squad after discovering the cache in a Delta Airlines duffel bag. A Fort Stewart Military Police officer who responded to the scene said that he had never seen something like this, and needed to check in with his command to see what next steps to take. However, upon arrival, the Georgia DNR's local game warden ticketed them for magnet fishing off the Fort Stewart bridge.

One of the fishermen said, "I didn't see any signs." But the warden responded, "You're all gettin' tickets, you can come to court and talk to a judge, okay? The reason magnet fishing is not allowed is because of exactly what y'all got right there. You don't know what's going to blow up and not blow up."

According to Nachtwey, he and his team had called the DNR ahead of time, which purportedly said magnet fishing is legal as long as it's in a "green zone." The warden said that red (off-limit) and green (acceptable) zones don't apply in this scenario because the group was on Fort Stewart property. Since the base is owned by the Federal Government, the DNR has no authority to issue such permission, though it can ticket for offenses in the area.

The warden issued three tickets each to each of the men, two $130 tickets and one $80 ticket, for magnet fishing at Fort Stewart, entering a closed area and not having Fort Stewart permits. Fort Steward has a general 3R (Recognize, Retreat & Report) orientation and requires anyone that hunts or fishes on the installation to follow these DOD/DDESB guidelines. These "so called" fishermen were in violation of these installation conditions for hunting and fishing. A federal court date is set for September 9, 2022.


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