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67 Rainy Lake walleye taken from Illinois men



COs seize 67 Rainy Lake walleye as result of tip
By Laurel Beager
Falls Daily Journal
Monday, June 14, 2004

Sixty-seven Rainy Lake walleye were seized Friday from two Illinois men as a result of a called-in tip from concerned anglers.

Todd A. Gross, 38, Springfield, Ill., and Robert C. Rogers, Carlinville, Ill., 35, were charged with possession of an overlimit of walleye and possession of walleye over the slot limit.

The actions resulted in seizure of the fish, a $3,950 penalty, revocation of the men's fishing licenses and seizure of a boat, motor and trailer.

About 30 of the confiscated fish were within Rainy Lake's protected slot limit, according to local conservation officers.

The case stemmed from a telephone call made by concerned anglers to the local Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Office, where Minnesota Conservation Officer Lloyd Steen happened to be visiting.

The cell phone caller told Steen that she and her friend had watched from a boat as two anglers cleaned fish on Deer Island for 45 minutes. The caller said the men were loading back into the boat at the time of the call.

Steen asked the caller to follow the boat and report back. In the meantime, Steen contacted Conservation Officer Dave Rorem and the two met at Tilson Bay public access where the anglers were unloading their boat.

The conservation officers interviewed the men and searched their equipment.

The men had 19 walleye over their limit, with 10 walleye over the allowed slot size for Rainy Lake, reported Rorem.

One of the men admitted that they had more fish at the motel in International Falls they had been staying at for one week.

At the motel, Rorem and Steen found 40 additional walleye, with 20 of those fish over the slot size.

Seizure of the men's fishing equipment is the first local use of the state's gross overlimit law, which was approved by the Legislature a few years ago, said Steen.

Kevin Peterson, DNR area fisheries supervisor, said recent overlimit charges against several anglers is shocking.

"It's hard for me to understand people that greedy," said Peterson, whose job involves managing the fisheries.

Peterson pointed to the tip call as an example of how law abiding anglers can help ensure a healthy fishery.

"This is a good example of how private citizens who make a phone call can help," he said. "Without that call, these men would have been back in Illinois with a freezer full of walleye."

Rainy Lake's length regulations are designed to protect fish for the future, he added.

"It doesn't take much non-compliance to offset the benefits of the regulations," Peterson said.

Also this weekend, Rorem reported that he was called to the International Bridge Saturday to investigate suspected overlimit violation.

Rorem said two Polish immigrants from California were found with 12-14 northern pike over their limit and frozen walleye stashed in their luggage.

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Great, I hope their boat was an expensive one!!!! It's too bad they didn't take their truck/car away too, then they could have had a real nice long bus ride back to IL to think about how foolish they were!!!

Good job on whoever called the TIPS line and also to the CO that busted them!!!


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Either the CO's are doing great catching these cases, TIP's is working, or there is one heck of a lot of poaching going on. Every day I see a new major violation reported through the grapevine. Way too many!!!

Maybe the DNR should set up a Poachers Hall of Shame on their HSOforum. Photo's, Name, Town.

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