Dozens of walleye confiscated after Detroit River poaching

Conservation Officer Jaime Salisbury is pictured with dozens of walleye that were poached from the Detroit River. (Michigan DNR)

Three walleye anglers fishing together recently on the Detroit River face fines and the loss of their fishing licenses after being caught with 80 walleye – 65 over the river’s legal daily limit of five per person, per day.

An anonymous tip to the Michigan DNR Report All Poaching Hotline Thursday afternoon said that three males were suspected of exceeding the walleye limit while fishing the Detroit River. The caller provided a description of the anglers’ vehicle and said they were driving from Detroit toward Grand Rapids on I-96 west.

Conservation Officers Peter Purdy and Jaime Salisbury were on patrol in northern Livingston County when they received the notification from the RAP Hotline dispatcher.

After patrolling I-96 for about an hour, Purdy and Salisbury observed a vehicle matching the description provided by the caller. When the driver failed to use a turn signal while changing lanes, the officers stopped the vehicle along the freeway 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,” said Salisbury. “The driver hung his head and stated, ‘too many.’”

The three males – a 28-year-old from Byron Center, a 38-year-old from Allendale and a 30-year-old from Jenison – admitted to fishing the Detroit River earlier in the day and that they had all caught and kept too many fish.

The driver received a citation for failing to use a turn signal; all three men were issued tickets for possessing an over-limit of 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 at $10 per pound.

The legal walleye limit on the Detroit River is five walleye per day (15-inch slot). 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).

If you witness or suspect a natural resource violation, call or text the Report All Poaching hotline, available 24/7, at 800-292-7800.

Categories: News, Walleye

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