Magnet fishers cited for find at Fort Stewart

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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FORT STEWART, Ga. (WTOC) - A recent magnet fishing trip at Fort Stewart has left one man and his team in hot water.

The group is now collectively facing thousands of dollars in fines after Fort Stewarts officials say they violated federal law by magnet fishing on the army installation’s property.

Magnet fisherman Bryce Nachtwey says he thought he was allowed to be there.

Nachtwey says it’s not uncommon for him and his team to find firearms and other weapons in area waters, but it was the reaction of law enforcement during a recent trip to Fort Stewart that really caught him by surprise.

During a recent trip to Fort Stewart, Nachtwey says his magnets pulled in ammo belts, rockets, tracer rounds, “and then we ended up finding a Delta airlines duffle bag stuffed full of those rockets,” he said.

WTOC first introduced you to Nachtwey back in June. That’s around the same time he took the trip to Fort Stewart and discovered the rockets and reported the findings to law enforcement.

“At first it was alright but then it took a turn for the worse a little later on when the game warden came out,” Nachtwey said.

Fort Stewart law enforcement cited the team for recreating without a permit, entering a restricted area, and unauthorized magnet detecting.

“We called the DNR before we went out to make sure we were all good to do it. And they’re like, ‘as long as you’re in a green zone, you’re all good.’ We looked on the map and we were in a green zone,” Nachtwey said.

In response, Fort Stewart officials say magnet detecting is not allowed on their property. The statement continues to say that because Fort Stewart is an active installation, there is always a potential for unexploded ordnance to end up in the nearby river.

Nacthwey says that’s news to him because, up until now, he’s magnet fished just about anywhere.

“Anywhere without a no trespassing sign, pretty much, but don’t do it on Fort Stewart,” Nacthwey said.

Nacthwey and his team say they have court dates set in September which they do plan on attending to dispute those citations.

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