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Da Beak

Just a couple extra, no big deal..

32 posts in this topic

Grrrrr.... mad

Bragging nets DNR a poacher with plenty of walleye (October 14, 2008)

A Baudette, Minn., man pleaded guilty in late September to a gross misdemeanor charge for taking 44 walleye over the limit, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He was fined $3,500.

DNR conservation officers ticketed Robert Allen Hansen, 67, on June 20. Officers said Hansen caught the fish on Lake of the Woods and stored them in a refrigerator-freezer at his home.

DNR conservation officers Robert Gorecki and Jeremy Woinarowicz said they acted on an anonymous Turn In Poachers (TIP) phone call that indicated Hansen had been fishing for several days and keeping a limit each day.

“I was notified he had been bragging to individuals about how many fish he had caught, and stated he was on his way to fish again while leaving the Zippel Bay State Park water access,” Gorecki said.

The conservation officers caught up with Hansen later that day with several walleye in his possession. Gorecki said Hansen gave the officers permission to search his residence for any fish.

The officers discovered Hansen’s refrigerator freezer had 22 packages of frozen fish containing 77 walleye. Woinarowicz said Hansen lived at the residence with his wife and two children, so the family could only legally possess 32 walleye. The officers cited Hansen for having 44 fish over the limit.

The legal walleye/sauger limit on Lake of the Woods is eight. No more than four of these fish can be walleye and only one walleye more than 28 inches can be kept. Walleye 19.5 inches through 28 inches must be immediately released.

Hansen plead guilty in Lake of the Woods County District Court. He was sentenced to one year in jail - stayed if no same or similar incidents - one-year probation, fined $3,000 plus court fees, and ordered to pay $495 dollars in restitution. The plea agreement allowed Hansen to keep his fishing privileges if he paid the fines and restitution in full.

Conservation officers say more people are coming forward to report illegal activities they see out in the field, and they encourage eyewitnesses to continue helping them combat code violations.

“A conservation officer has only one set of eyes. I cover 650 square miles,” Gorecki said. “Everyone who is concerned about natural resources is another set of eyes that can help catch those violating the law.”

Anyone witnessing a fish or wildlife violation should contact the nearest conservation officer or law enforcement agency, or call the toll free TIP hotline at 800-652-9093.

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I just heard a blurb of this on KQ this morning and was waiting for the whole story. Pretty sick that you think you need that many fish in your freezer. I think he got by pretty light. He should have lost fishing privileges for at least a couple of years IMO. Fines were a little light as well. But then if he's a first time offender, maybe he will learn now and never do something like this again.

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I think the stocking of freezers is far more common then we realize. Most will abide by the daily limit but there are plenty of people that either ignore or are ignorant of the possession limit.

It sure is frustrating but its very hard to fight since you can't just go around searching everyones freezer without cause. It takes a moron to go out and brag out it before we can catch them.

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This is 1 I sometimes have a problem with. According to the story he only caught his limit everyday. I know what the law says, but what would be the differemce if they ate there limit every night or put them in the freezer like they did? Still the same amount of fish taken. Sometimes it would be nice to save up some fish to have a good fish fry with friends and family. He never went over his daily limit. This ia 1 law I would like to see changed IMO. As long as you follow your daily limit, you should have the choice to eat them or freeze them for later dates.

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How do you stop the guy who catches his limit multiple times out in the same day? Keep what you can eat or invite your friends/family out with you to catch them. If they can't get out because of disability I guees you just can't eat your whole limit that day. Sheeesh.

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I don't disagree with you jerkbait, but then he still broke the law. Also, how is 32 fish (His legal posesion limit) not enough for a fish fry?

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That’s a tough one indeed. I see your point for sure.

Here’s the problem then. If you say it’s ok to “store” these fish up to say 50 fish. Well then you are also saying that the guy that only gets out a couple times a year should be allowed to catch 50 in one day. Not much different since they are both taking 50 fish.

I think it’s still legal to gift fish to other people and I bet that happens a lot too.

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Without the possession limit we would have every guy in MN with a deep freeze full of fish fillets. What would stop a guy from going out every day and bringing home a limit?

By the end of the season he could have 1500-1600 walleye and it would be perfectly legal. Maybe expecting a limit every day is ambitious but even 500-1000 walleye is completely unneccessary unless you are having a party for you and your 1000 closest friends.

If you really want a fish fry with your friends take 1 or 2 fishing with you, thats 18 fish. 18 fish should feed 10-18 people depending on size of the fish and size of the people. If thats not enough go catch some panfish to supplement.

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I'm aghast that they didn't pull the guy's fishing license.

That's the first thing that should happen to those violating fish & game laws to this extent: pull their license. The more serious the crime, the longer they should have to go without.

And I agree, 32 walleye is plenty for a fish fry. Heck, I don't catch that many in an entire season here in the Cities.

I know it's in vain, but I wish there were more DNR Officers out there enforcing the laws on the books.

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How do you stop the guy who catches his limit multiple times out in the same day? Keep what you can eat or invite your friends/family out with you to catch them. If they can't get out because of disability I guees you just can't eat your whole limit that day. Sheeesh.

You stop him the way way this guy was stopped. My point is I disagree with the law, but the law is the law and he broke it. And yes the way around it now is to just gift the fish to your friends and family that don't make it out that often or at all. I have plenty of friends that love to eat fish but don't know how to pepare it and love to have a fish fry when I come over. On another note I could eat my limit everyday, 4 fish is a good meal.

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4 fish is a good meal? Wow! My friend & I usually share a small bass & small northern when we're up north. Can't imagine eating that much, even though it's great!

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Yeah 4 fish seems a litte much unless you are keeping 6 inch walleye.

If you usually eat 4 16 inch walleye in a single sitting then you have me beat by a long shot. Usually 2 16 inch fish with potatos and baked beans is plenty for my friend and I after a full 10 hour day on the water. But I guess some guys can eat 4 times that amount.

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Originally Posted By: Big Tom
How do you stop the guy who catches his limit multiple times out in the same day? Keep what you can eat or invite your friends/family out with you to catch them. If they can't get out because of disability I guees you just can't eat your whole limit that day. Sheeesh.

You stop him the way way this guy was stopped.

I'd say you're making a huge leap of faith that enforcement would be much higher than 5%. This guy was caught cause he talks too [PoorWordUsage] much, not because a CO tripped over his bulging freezer.

I would suggest that once you are more than one illegal fish over, either count, measurement or closed season, ('honest' mistake waiver), you should forfeit your priviledges for 1 year and have to have a boat/ATV sticker in Neon Green for 5 years that identifies you as a poacher/violater just like Whiskey plates for drunk drivers. Just the frequent visits by CO's and dirty looks from fellow fisherpeople would serve as a pretty good deterrent. $400 for 44 Walleye, how is that adequate restitution?

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Originally Posted By: jerkbait
Originally Posted By: Big Tom
How do you stop the guy who catches his limit multiple times out in the same day? Keep what you can eat or invite your friends/family out with you to catch them. If they can't get out because of disability I guees you just can't eat your whole limit that day. Sheeesh.

You stop him the way way this guy was stopped.

I'd say you're making a huge leap of faith that enforcement would be much higher than 5%. This guy was caught cause he talks too [PoorWordUsage] much, not because a CO tripped over his bulging freezer.

I would suggest that once you are more than one illegal fish over, either count, measurement or closed season, ('honest' mistake waiver), you should forfeit your priviledges for 1 year and have to have a boat/ATV sticker in Neon Green for 5 years that identifies you as a poacher/violater just like Whiskey plates for drunk drivers. Just the frequent visits by CO's and dirty looks from fellow fisherpeople would serve as a pretty good deterrent. $400 for 44 Walleye, how is that adequate restitution?

That would be my point, would not be any different than it is now. TIP is our friend, that would still be the only way to enforce it.

The $400 was just the restitution on top of the $3000 fine plus court cost.

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So what happens to the fish. Is it given away to the food shelves or Senior Citizens home.

G.C.

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Glad you guys are all done bickering over how many walleye fillets one person should eat for a meal. That was really important stuff right there. gringringrin

The picture worries me a bit. If they were almost all frozen in packets, they would have to be thawed at least partially to separate them enough to take this picture.

I understand they needed to get a count on how many over his limit he was, but what did the DNR do with all that thawed walleye?

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Quote:
Daily and possession limits are the same unless otherwise noted. Fishare in an angler’s possession whether on hand, in cold storage, in transport, or elsewhere.

Straight out of the DNR regulations. You can have your daily limit and thats it. If you gift fish they are still part of your possession until they are consumed. Are they going to catch you if you gift some fillets to "Uncle Herb", probably not. I guess it comes down to if you believe in breaking laws or obeying them. I personally take only what I am allowed.

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A big thank you to someone out there that called the TIP line instead of just complaining about lawbreaking that they saw on an internet forum. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

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what did the DNR do with all that thawed walleye?

I just hope they aren't for the next North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association conference or a perk for Outdoor Heritage Fund participants. smile

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That was a low blow, but kinda funny.

Do they have to re-freeze them and save for evidence, or does the piture itself serve as the evidence? If they are thawed, I hope they went to a food shelf or at least a fish fry of sorts. I would hate to see all those nice fillets go to waste.

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