July 5, 2005
Five men from Indiana face fines totaling $4,275 for being in excess of their
legal limit of walleyes. A sixth Indiana man was charged in the investigation,
but has not yet made a court appearance.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officers ticketed
Harry W. Wilson, 62, Riley, Ind., Stephen E. Johnson, 57, Clinton, Ind., and
John T. Donnenhoffer, 70, Ronald J.
Knopp, 55, and Billy Joe Fulk, 44, all of Terra Haute, Ind., on June 16.
Officers said the men caught the fish in Lake Winnibigoshish in northeastern
Minnesota and stored them in a cabin on the lake.
Officers Tony Arhart and Adam Block were checking angling and boating activity
on the lake when they conducted a license check of three men on a boat
displaying Indiana registration.
"While talking with them, they commented they had a limit of walleyes back at
their cabin and they were trying to catch more before heading home," Block said.
"The anglers stated they were staying at the resort with three other people from
Indiana who were also on Lake Winnibigoshish angling."
A check of the cabin found the group with 128 walleyes, or 92 over the legal
limit for six anglers. The walleye daily and possession limit is six per angler.
The group was also in possession of an illegal snapping turtle and illegally
stored (uncountable/frozen) northern pike and crappie fillets. All of the fish
and turtle were seized by the state.
The officers heard one angler say each spends about $1,000 when fishing in
Minnesota, and they came a long way for only six walleyes.
In April, state conservation officers fined five Indiana anglers, who were
fishing Straight Lake near Osage in northern Minnesota, nearly $6,000 for being
in excess of legal limits of sunfish and crappies.