Wisconsin man faces nearly $25K in fines for possessing more than 2,500 fish

This wasn’t the first run-in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources had with Stanley Paalksnis for over-the-limit fishing.

But the other seven instances combined likely paled in comparison to this one.

Paalksnis, 74, of Onalaska, Wis., faces nearly $25,000 in fines after he was found to have more than 2,500 fish in his possession.

On Nov. 4, 2015, DNR wardens reportedly saw Paalksnis keep 47 bluegills while fishing on Lake Onalaska — the daily limit is 25. Paalksnis first denied he was over the limit and tried to prevent authorities from searching his home, but when they did get access, they found 2,066 bluegill, 418 perch and 88 crappies in his freezers, according to reports — possession limit for each is 50.

Paalksnis pleaded no contest to four citations for exceeding possession limits Thursday in La Crosse County Court. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14 in La Crosse. Prosecutors also are seeking the confiscation of Paalksnis’ 15-foot fishing boat and the two freezers where the fish were stored, according to reports.

Also, Paalksnis reportedly said he had been selling bags of fish for $5 in Chicago for the last 20 years — without the proper permit, that’s against the law, too. And according to reports, between 1989 and 2011, he’s been cited seven times for over-the-limit fishing, twice resulting in the loss of his fishing privileges. This time, prosecutors reportedly are looking to get his fishing privileges revoked for 12 years.

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