DETROIT – Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers confiscated 80 walleye from three fishermen Thursday, 65 more than the Detroit River limit for the fish.
Anglers are allowed five walleye per person per day.
The DNR Report All Poaching Hotline received a tip about the men. The tipster provided a vehicle description and said the men were driving from Detroit toward Grand Rapids on I-96 west.
Conservation officers waited along the freeway for about an hour before they saw the vehicle and stopped it for changing lanes without a turn signal near Okemos Road in Ingham County.
“We asked the driver to be honest and tell us how many walleye the three men had in their possession,” Officer Jaime Salisbury said. “The driver hung his head and stated, ’Too many.’”
A 28-year-old from Byron Center, a 38-year-old from Allendale and a 30-year-old from Jenison said they caught and kept too many fish from the Detroit River.
The driver received a citation for failing to use a turn signal. Alll three men were issued tickets for possessing too many walleye.
An Ingham County judge will determine the reimbursement fee and whether the poachers should lose their fishing licenses. Reimbursement is calculated by weighing each individual fish and then assessing the fee at $10 per pound.
The legal walleye limit on the Detroit River is five 15-inch walleye per day. In addition to one day’s daily limit, a person may possess an additional two daily possession limits of fish taken during previous fishing days, provided that the additional limits of fish are processed -- canned, cured by smoking or drying, or frozen).