On Tuesday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) seized 460 pounds of illegally poached salmon from out-of-state poachers. The incident occurred on the Manistee River near Dickson Township and embroiled an unspecified number of people. After the incident, the Michigan DNR donated the salmon to local families since it was still usable.
Michigan Department Of Natural Resources Seizes 460 Pounds Of Poached Salmon
They Were Tipped Off By Another Angler
In a press release, the DNR stated that officers Josiah Killingbeck and Scott MacNeill were completing a regular patrol when an angler tipped them off to a group using illegal tackle. The officers then observed the bad actors to confirm they were performing illegal actions. Apparently, the poachers attempted to hide their illegal behavior by breaking off their lines upon noticing the approaching officers.
"There is a large amount of coho and Chinook salmon running the local rivers this time of year, attracting anglers from across the country to be a part of one of Michigan's finest fishing adventures," said DNR Sgt. Grant Emery in the press release. "While we've seen a decrease in illegal fishing activity over the years, unfortunately, we still run into illegal and unconventional methods."
The Poachers Crumpled Under Pressure
The DNR quickly learned that the miscreants had no valid fishing licenses and that they possessed 17 illegal salmon in total. Soon after, the poachers admitted to their crimes and led officers to their vehicle, where 40 to 50 more fish languished in coolers. All in all, the group of poachers had amassed around 463 pounds of salmon and had far surpassed the 30 fish limit. Thus, they received citations for not only illegal methods and lack of a fishing license but over-the-limit take
Some Of The Salmon Was Already Store-Ready
Allegedly, the poachers had maintained quite the successful operation that day and had already filleted and bagged some of their salmon. Of course, the salmon never made it to whatever store the poachers had in mind for it; instead, it went to local families in the area. That way, everyone could be happy -- except for the poachers, of course.
The Poachers Will Face The Music Later This Month
The unnamed group of poachers will face their arraignment on October 21 in the 85th District Court of Manistee County. They'll potentially have to pay $4,630 of restitution costs. But at least their actions had unintended consequences: They managed to feed the families of Manistee County! Well done, poachers.