Wisconsin resident caught during fish poaching probe

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - One Wisconsinite was caught during a poaching and over-harvesting investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The investigation took place over multiple years and looked into the poaching and over-harvesting of spawning lake whitefish from the Menominee River, according to a post on the DNR’s social media.

While one Wisconsin resident was found, 11 violators were caught from Illinois and another one from Michigan.

“Our joint investigation found these violators were organized, strategic and intentional,” said DNR Marine Warden Jeff Lautenslager. “The lake whitefish in this river are particularly vulnerable during the late-year months. They congregate in the up-river systems in Wisconsin every fall for their annual spawn.”

Ninety-one whitefish were seized and confiscated by the court. The court also issued 29 citations for exceeding the daily bag limit of whitefish, intentionally snagging fish and failing to release foul-hooked fish.

“The DNR wardens and investigators in this case remain hopeful the removal of these numerous violators will make room for the legal and ethical individuals who enjoy viewing and legally fishing lake whitefish. The laws we have are specifically to protect this valued and vulnerable fish species,” Lautenslager continued. “People who fish and enjoy observing wildlife should know their state conservation officers often work together to protect our resources and the people who enjoy them. We hope this case deters egregious and blatant violating of fishing laws.”

The investigation started in 2019.

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