By Doug Smith
A dozen people, including some guides, face 80 game and fish violations as part of large bust conducted at Lake of the Woods last month by 40 Minnesota conservation officers.
The 12 defendants have been issued summons for the violations, all misdemeanors, Department of Natural Resources officials said Thursday. Names of those charged weren't released.
The DNR announced the bust last month, saying the poaching investigation began last summer following tips that some anglers were “double-tripping” -- catching fish, leaving the lake, then returning and catching more than their limit.
Minnesota’s fish possession limit is just that: The total number of fish an angler can have in possession, whether in the freezer or on a stringer. And fish that are caught and eaten must be counted as part of a person’s possession limit the day of the catch.
Among the charges:
*23 citations for over- limit of walleyes.
*19 citations for packing fish without a packing license.
*10 citations for illegally transporting walleyes.
Other fishing charges included angling while license was revoked, unattended line, illegal length walleye, unlawful culling of walleye and transporting undressed walleyes from a special regulation lake.
Meanwhile, hunting violation charges included:
*Five citations for guiding bear hunters without a guide's license.
*Three citations for failing to register a bear bait station.
*Three citations for failing to display an ID on bear bait.
Other hunting violations included failing to register deer, transporting a loaded firearm, discharge a firearm from moving watercraft, illegal possession of waterfowl and unlawful gifting of waterfowl.