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blackdog1101

Huge 'Tonka Muskie - Part III

70 posts in this topic

I happened today to meet the man who caught the huge muskie on Minnetonka. After talking with him and two friends, I can crify that the catch was legit, and the attempted revival and release of the fish was legit. Even though the angler did not know the season was closed, being a sportsman he attempted to CPR the fish. When it became evident the fish would not survive, he decided to keep the fish; again, not knowing the season had been closed earlier than published in the MN fishing regulations. Not until the DNR CO came to interview him did he know the season had closed early.

Even though our meeting was brief, I am certain there was no bad intentions on the part of the angler to kill a fish out of season. That is the fish of a lifetime, and one to be proud of for sure. My hat is off to the angler for doing his best to CPR such a trophy.

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I'm going to go ahead and say that if anyone should be at fault here, it should be the DNR. Seriously. They change the law on Dec. 10 and it goes into effect 5 days later? Are you really supposed to check the DNR website every time you go fishing? And that makes the assumption that EVERY angler has a computer and has internet access to do so.

Here is my question, why even print the regulations books if they are wrong? Seems like a giant waste of money. And I'm willing to guess that I/we are the ones paying for them.

The DNR should only be able to change the laws once every year. And if it's printed in the book, that IS the law. Or if they do need to change the law, they should be required to contact all of the anglers and let them know - with a little more than 5 days notice.

So can they change the speed limit even though the sign on the highway says 55? Seems like the same thing to me.

Something to think about.

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I believe I know which one you are talking about and I do have a pic of it but not sure how to post it. If anyone wants to post it send me a email and I will send it to you to post. It is one heck of a ski. Hartner62@hotmail.com

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Think I might have it figured out

muskie.jpg

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Just went back and looked at previous posts and would also like to say that this is a real fish not photoshopped and it was caught on Tonka. He didn't know it was out of season and yes he did try to release it and now it will be on his wall. Good for him it's one [PoorWordUsage] of a fish.

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From reading the Star Tribune, the DNR took the fish since it was out of season.

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Ok, this is now all verified in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sunday February 03, 2008. For some reason its in the Travel Section, with Great Outdoors on back. Inside on Page 7F.

There is a picture and the story. The DNR did Confiscate, but only gave a Written Warning,No Citation, No Fine. The DNR may have it mounted, I hope so, no sense letting it go to waste now.

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The guy that caught the big muskie should fight the DNR for it in court. I think he has a good argument. If they change the laws and most people are not informed, then the law does not exist because who will follow it? New laws have to be posted better than on internet web sites. They should have posted signs at the accesses at major Muskie lakes in the state or posted it in newspapers. That way, even if one were not a Muskie fisherman, they would see the sign and tell other people about it -- that is how people learn the laws is by talking to other people. The DNR should bear the "black eye" on this one, and give the fish back to the rightful owner.

Any lawyers out there wanna represent an honest fisherman?

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I pointed this out in a different topic about the same issue...

If you read the 2007 MN Fishing Regulations carefully, on Page 5, under "Regulation Changes that Could Be Implemented", it states...

- "Discontinue Muskie Fishing in December."

The 2007 MN Fishing Regulations have obviously been in print for nearly a year now. For those who were wishing to target muskies in December, that is nearly a year warning that something could happen to the season. When fall came, the change did happen. It was discussed here, it was discussed in print media, it was published on the DNR website.

The bottom line is its up to us anglers to be familiar with the rules and regulations. I think its also important for us to be familiar with regs for all species. While we may not all target every fish that swims in MN, incidental catches do happen and you need to be prepared in case that trophy of a lifetime hits on a slot lake.

Sounds like the DNR was "fair" in their penalty IMO. They took the fish (if the article is accurate), but they had every right to take a lot more (gear, etc), fine him, charge restitution, and take away his fishing license as well.

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I don't think it was fair. They have a legal right to do a lot of things that are not necessarily right.

In my opinion the right thing to do would have been a warning and let him keep the fish. I am not sure but the dnr may not have been able to let him keep it? Especially given the size of the fish. Restitution also could be a 'big'issue in this case

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Rules is rules and the DNR has to follow them. They actually let this guy off as best they could. Like Hanson said they could have seized all his gear, fined him big time and taken away his license. None of that occured. Had to seize the fish under the law. So essentially the guy got a warning. Easy to get a replica mount done with all those photos if he wanted to hang something on the wall so no harm done to the angler.

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I think the DNR was very fair to the fellow. We live in the one of the most regulated sportsfishery states in the country; its our responsibility to keep up on the regs. Think about all the lakes that have new "experimental" regulations implemented every year. If you go to a lake with a new slot limit and keep a bunch of protected fish--the "well I just didn't know" argument doesn't hold water. That being said: its a great fish, congrats to the guy who caught it, and it was an honest mistake.

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The ignorance plea will work if his mistake is considered a reasonable mistake. A reasonable mistake is one that could be made by another Fisherman(woman) in the same or similar circumstances given the lack of notice of the regulation change.

That being said, without the clear notification in the printed regulations, I think a jury could determine it was a reasonable mistake. I read the regs, read the news, and listen to the radio: I never once heard of the change. Others on this post has indicated the same failure of notification.

Therefore, I think it would be a good case. But one that should be decided by a jury, not public opinion. If twelve of the Fisherman's peers are unanimously convinced he should have known what the reg was, then he will not get to keep the fish. Anything less than this, and he should be allowed to keep it. Maybe he wanted to eat the fish?

The problem could be more complex than the State thought when they confiscated the fish. Sure, they have the right to take his other stuff, but this, too, would be against the law.

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Unless there is something I don't know - like they took the fine back, he DID get a hefty fine...

$1,200.

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 Originally Posted By: JoeR67
Unless there is something I don't know - like they took the fine back, he DID get a hefty fine...

$1,200.

According to my conversation with the angler yesterday, he was not fined, but did receive a warning.

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even if he knew the season was closed, i think it would be hard for any of us to walk away and leave a 52" musky on top of the ice, really not sure if i could do that.

I'll admit I've left a slot protected fish dead floating in the lake since that is the law, but just doesn't feel right, but i understand this has to be this way. I think the DNR was fair with a warning being that he made a valid attempt to release the fish.

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gotta throw in my 2 cents.

Dnr fair? Yes, no fine and a warning!.

Should he get to keep the fish? No, this is the fine he has to pay.

Outcome? Multiple pics, plus newspaper article (frame that baby!) plus its cheaper then getting that bad boy mounted.

but again just my 2 cents

Whatever happens, hellova fish brotha.

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So the DNR gets to change the rules on the fly and we're supposed to know it? Bogus. Now it sounds like the CO has a trophy fish in his freezer instead of the guy who actually caught it. I have to admit, I would probably keep a trophy even if I caught it incidently out of season and couldn't revive it. What are you supposed to do, leave it on the ice for the scavengers??

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 Originally Posted By: juggs
What are you supposed to do, leave it on the ice for the scavengers??

Technically, YES!

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 Originally Posted By: polarsusd81
 Originally Posted By: juggs
What are you supposed to do, leave it on the ice for the scavengers??

Technically, YES!

Wow, that opens up another can of worms? Here's the quote from the 2007 online fishing regulations

"Any fish that is caught and will not be utilized must be immediately returned alive back into the water. A person cannot wantonly waste a fish that is caught by leaving it or any usable portion on the ice, thrown up on the bank, or intentionally killing it and returning it back into the water unless authorized." MN DNR 2007.

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That does open a can of worms. My post was meant in the spirit of the law, not the letter. Sure, it's illegal, but what's the point of wasting the fish?

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So the only option is to jam it under the ice so it's not on top of the ice.

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I would suggest to call the DNR or Sherriff, explain what happened and see if you can get a possession tag for it

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Crawdads gotta eat too.

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if one really cared they would have cut the line or not take a ton of pics on the ice out in the cold.....fish like that shouldnt fit through an auger hole in the first place. the fish prolly would have been fine if either of those two things occured. rules are rules.

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