2018-08-09 / Outdoors

Fish Report

Ret. Sgt. John Walker

Well, it is sure hard to believe we are into August already and there are those out there that received bear permits for this fall’s hunt that are already making plans. It is way too early to be thinking of the hunting seasons coming this fall. Me, I am still trying to get through my start of summer projects, not worrying about or even thinking of the fall yet.

There has been some good blueberry picking if you find the right spot. There is a good crop of wild raspberries out there in the woods and it even looks like there are some good pockets of blackberries. It is not often that you get a good crop of all three in the same year but this appears to be that year.

I am seeing a few deer in my travels now but my best sighting was at 5:30 a.m. one morning at the railroad tracks on Houghton Avenue when a doe crossed in front of me with three fawns tagging along behind her. Maybe she figures it is safer to live in town rather than out in the woods.

The one thing you seem to see scattered throughout the area is turkey. It is rather interesting this year because you will see them in all sizes from this year’s chicks almost twothirds the size of mom, to those that you can hardly see moving around in the grass.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of the enjoyment of watching wildlife out in the woods when you are in the right place at the right time to just sit and watch them.

I have to say that the people that worked so hard to bring the Vietnam Memorial Wall to our town last week did an excellent job. Just the way it was set up, the landscaping around it, and all those that took part seeing it was open 24/7. Thanks from someone who served during that time for caring and helping out. I would also like to thank the Boy Scouts that were down there to assist those looking for names on the wall. They all stood proud too and did an excellent job.

We should be glad and proud of a community like we have where so many people step forward when there is a need and volunteer to help out.

Someone sent me the following article from Minnesota where the couple might have been a little over the legal limit of fish. Like 253 over the limit!

A Minnesota couple was charged with possessing too many crappies after an anonymous caller tipped off the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). According to The Kansas City Star, a group of six was spotted by another angler catching crappies and keeping them at Lake Sisseton. The unidentified angler, who thought there were more than 100 fish which had been hooked by the group, called the Turn in Poachers hotline to report them.

Authorities followed the tip and tracked down two vehicles belonging to the group reported at the lake. One of the vehicles led to a Mountain Lake couple, Isouvahn Xayachack, 70, and Chanhthone Phongsim, 60, the Star reported. The couple originally denied that they had any crappies in their home, but Xayachack, who told officers the fish “were biting good” that day, allowed authorities to check the freezer. According to the Star, the conservation officers found no crappies in the first freezer, but found “a large amount of packaged crappies” in the second freezer.

The DNR totaled 273 crappies altogether – 253 crappies over the legal limit and an amount conservation officer Dustin Miller told Newsweek was “the largest fish case I’ve had in my career.” Fishing regulations for 2018 in Minnesota limits the amount of crappies to 10 per person. The authorities allowed the couple “to keep their legal possession limit of 20 inch – 10 per person, the Star reported. The couple was informed they would have to eat their crappies before catching more.

The couple was charged with having more than the legal limit of crappies in their possession – if found guilty, the couple could be fined and ordered to pay restitution up to $3,000, the Star reported. Others in the group were contacted and investigated, but no other instances of illegal crappie possession were found. However, Kaew Chakvong, a member of the group, was cited for fishing without a valid license, the Star reported.

The conservation agency credits the hotline tip for leading them to the couple. In a statement to Mc- Clatchy, Lt. Col. Greg Salo, assistant director of the enforcement division, said, “Turn in Poachers is an invaluable tool that provides citizens an easy way to anonymously report what they believe to be fish, game or other violations and assist the DNR in protecting Minnesota’s natural resources.”

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