Officials: Man under investigation for poaching sturgeon - WNEM TV 5

Officials: Man under investigation for poaching sturgeon

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Source: DNR (This 55-inch sturgeon was seized by Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers after it was illegally snagged in Otsego County. A tip from the public alerted officers to the illegal activity.) Source: DNR (This 55-inch sturgeon was seized by Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers after it was illegally snagged in Otsego County. A tip from the public alerted officers to the illegal activity.)
OTSEGO COUNTY (WNEM) -

A Gaylord man is under investigation for his involvement in the poaching of a 55-inch sturgeon in Otsego County.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers said the incident happened on March 12 on Otsego Lake.

A conservation officer responded to a citizen report about a man who was in possession of that illegally taken sturgeon.

After an investigation, the officer identified the suspect who officials said ultimately confessed to snagging the fish in the abdomen and pulling it through the ice by hand, after drilling several holes around the original hole.

Sturgeon can be taken only with a hook and line in Otsego Lake.

The fish and the equipment used were seized.

“We appreciate the public’s vigilance as we work together to protect our shared natural resources,” said Lt. Jim Gorno, district supervisor for the DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Our conservation officer quickly followed up on the citizen’s information and identified the suspect through good police work. It’s this type of cooperation that will help us preserve our world-class resources for generations to come.”

A report will be forwarded to the Otsego County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

The suspect’s name has not been released.

Taking or possessing a sturgeon in violation of Michigan law is punishable by 30 to 180 days in jail, a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000, or both; reimbursement for prosecution costs and the loss of fishing privileges for three years. Violators also face a $1,500 fine for each fish.

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