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Grand Forks Herald

Sunday, August 20, 2006

"Red River Catfish Bust"

Kittson county fines anglers; officer seizes 57 catfish

Three Warroad, Minn., residents have been fined in Kittson County for keeping too many channel catfish while fishing from shore on the Minnesota side of the Red River.

A fourth member of the group is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday in Hallock.

According to a spokeswoman for the Kittson County court administrator's office, Siriamphone Hansana, 46, paid $222 for having four catfish over the limit; the court fined Somdy Syhananthalath, 36, $340 for 12 fish over the limit; and Khamphay Syhananthalath, 51, paid $460 in fines for having 12 fish more than the limit allows.

Souk Chitmany, 49, also from Warroad, is set to appear in court Tuesday, the spokeswoman said. He was ticketed for having 11 catfish over the limit, including one longer than 33 inches.

Anglers on the Red can keep five catfish, and only one can measure 24 inches or more.

Pat Znajda, conservation officer for the Department of Natural Resources in Karlstad, Minn., ticketed the anglers July 2 while on a joint river patrol with Mike Sedlacek, game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Cavalier, N.D.

The anglers were fishing from shore on the Minnesota side of the river south of Pembina, N.D., and north of the "Golden Grain" bridge that crosses the Red west of Hallock, Znajda said. He said the officers had received a tip that a group of anglers fishing from shore might be keeping too many fish.

After citing the anglers, Znajda seized 57 catfish from the group. The catfish varied in size, he said.

The angler's fines also included restitution costs for the catfish - $120 for Khamphay Syhananthalath, $180 for Chitmany and $40 for Hansana. Standard restitution is $10 for each catfish less than 26 inches. Catfish longer than 26 inches - defined as "quality" size under Minnesota statute - are worth $10, plus $10 for every inch over the quality size.

Znajda said he didn't charge restitution to Somdy Syhananthalath.

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Great report Hanson! Too bad it was in regards to such a negative issue.....POACHERS!

Anyway, we have the same issue's up here as well. In fact it's a problem throughout "All" jurisdictions!

Nice to hear about the fines though, although I wish they were set a hell of a lot higher!!!!

Thanks again for taking the time!

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