How strict should Minnesota be in enforcing its hunting and fishing limits?

A Minnesota man is scheduled to appear in court today after allegedly being caught with more than 400 fish. Officers seized the fish as well as the man’s boat, motors and trailer. If he is convicted, the man could face jail time and a fine. Today’s Question: How strict should Minnesota be in enforcing its hunting and fishing limits?

  • Steve the Cynic

    At least as strict as the enforcement of the cannabis prohibition. Fish poaching causes actual harm.

  • BJ

    I think there should be a sport license and a family sustenance license. The sport license is for the average Joe, the sustenance license is for those who need the food to survive. Sustenance license for those who need it, ie on other public assistance programs is cheap. Those who are not on some other assistance, the sustenance license will allow you to catch a larger number and store a larger number of fish, but have a higher cost and additional special rules (log book of when and where size etc perhaps).

  • Jim G

    Laws to protect our natural resources need to be strictly enforced to protect the habitats the citizens of Minnesota depend on for our high quality of life. Scofflaws, whether in a 14 foot boat or a corporate boardroom, must be held responsible for their dishonest, thieving, life destroying behavior.

    Additionally, I expect our DNR enforcement officers to be professional in their interactions with fishermen and hunters on their daily rounds. Do we have enough of these DNR officers to properly protect our resources? Making sure we have enough well trained enforcement officers is the responsibility of Minnesota voters. Please elect responsible, honest, intelligent, reasonable, legislators this November. It is our duty to elect those that are willing and able “to work well with others.” Let’s return to sensible and reasonable government. Elect sensible and reasonable people to represent you and our living, but nonvoting biosphere.

  • Joanna

    No mercy with scofflaws who do incredible harm to the ecosystem. I have heard of people dynamiting lakes for fish. It’s greed and destruction that do harm to all.

  • Regnar James

    Play the game by the rules, or get spanked… pretty simple.

    Kind of lame question of the day…. Sorry.

    DTOM

  • GaryF

    Should he be allowed to speed in a car? Steal from a store?

  • david

    I almost wonder if the inevitable cancer from the mercury in the fish would be punishment enough. Just in case not they better through the book at him.

  • JasonB

    As strict as called for, just like any other crime. Measure the punishment to the flagrancy of the offense.

    As an outdoor sports enthusiast I have heard of “over-bagging” by some families and in certain regions. I think this practice has developed out of a lack of fear of being caught or lack of enforcement. Knowing that the full measure of the law will come down on them might curb their behavior.

    On the flip side of the argument I have witnessed enforcement officers doing shakedowns of boaters just to hand out fines for any technicality. Once I cleaned some fish I intended to eat that day. But plans changed and I ended up bagging the fillets and driving home. Technically, because I had not left a patch of scales on the fillets for identification during transport, I could have been fined. I imagined the possibility of ending up with a ticket knowing that hundreds of other people were exceeding the limit and getting away with it. Overall would that have been considered justice?

  • Steve the Cynic

    A technical point, david: the major health risk from ingesting mercury is not cancer but neurological damage.

  • Steve the Cynic

    And if that guy was feeding all those mercury laden fish to his kids, could he be charged with child endangerment?

  • georges

    If you are given a ticket for speeding, the State does not confiscate your car and everything in it.

    If you have a party at your home and commit several crimes in the process, such as loud music, disturbing the public, maybe even allowing your underage children to drink alcohol, the Almighty State does not confiscate your home and everything in it.

    If you holdup the local Stop-N-Rob on foot, the State does not take your shirt and shoes and pants and underwear, claiming they now belong to the State because you used them in the commission of a crime.

    And neither should the State steal the boat and motors and trailer because the owner of said private property has a couple extra sunfish.

    It is nothing less than legalized theft and abusive bullying by the Massive Liberal Government.

    A fine would be plenty, the dollar amount being commensurate with the crime, whether it be 2 fish or 200. A jail sentence should almost never be used in such cases, as it is far better for money to be coming into the public treasury, not going out.

    Whenever the State takes these kind of “extra” measures, like the confiscation of private property for minor offenses, the State is saying, “We cannot win playing by the rules, so we will use the Power of the Government to cheat.”

    Another example being the throwing of men in prison for a debt (child support). It should be discharged in bankruptcy court just like any other debt. But, the Almighty State wants to selectively abuse certain citizens, in this case men, and so they do.

    Shameful.

  • Steve D

    400 fish!!!, this is way over limit and is not defensible!!!! The rules are clearly spelled out in the fishing license guide. This is a felony, it destroys a whole ecosystem !!! If this was a need to eat than go to the food shelf. The DNR officers are spread thin and do a good job. These heavy fine only apply in grievous cases. Again 400 FISH!!!

  • Ann

    Wouldn’t it be wise to find out what other states do? If Minnesota wants to compete in the tourist industry, it needs to be informed. I think Minnesota wants both Minnesotans and tourists to vacation in Minnesota. The state spent money advertising. Then it shut down the parks and rest stops on the July 4th holiday.Since Minnesota is one of the most highly taxed states according to Time magazine, it should have just as much money as other states to provide fishing and other recreation.

  • georges

    400 sunfish.

    Again…400 SUNFISH.

    Not walleye. Not muskie. Not lake trout, or any other valuable sport fish.

    No. Merely sunfish.

    Sunfish are so prolific they crowd out other species, the valuable ones, and, at times, a lake overrun with stunted little sunfish must be poisoned to kill the sunfish off and make room for a healthy mix of species again.

    Instead of charging this guy with a misdemeanor (NOT a felony) so that they can steal his boat, motors and trailers, the State should pay him to thin the sunfish herd.

    The man is a southeast Asian. They love to fish, and eat all those small fish. Wonderful. They can do the State a service by reducing the number of small sunfish.

    Good for you, man. Making use of a renewable resource for food, and improving the habitat at the same time.

    Go get ’em.

  • KevinVC

    WE do not need to be in the woods, enjoy, so… numbers of kills, hunting, and the like is not actually a measure of enjoying.

    Its bragging rights that have nothing to do with the actual experience.

    And the reason regulations and laws of this nature come into being is there are people who feel they ‘deserve more’ or have a ‘right to it’ even if they have no comprehension that their grab bag attitude makes it harder for others….

    This will NEVER change. We have to guard against our own human nature to cheat and lie.

    So its simple, enforce.

  • suzie

    So he’s from Southeast Asia – so they like fish and eat all those small fish. So What! I’m from Minnesota and I like fish and like those small fish. Does that mean I get to take 400 sunfish? Answer – NO. How many fish does this man eat? No one has no right to assume that he is special. He had just as much responsibility to know the rules and the consequences for breaking the rules.

    Maybe take the boat etc for a year – then give it back with a special license so that if he ever gets cautht again. The that’s it. No more fishing for him.

  • David Poretti

    georges – I understand that in your world, everything you don’t agree with is some sort of liberal government conspiracy. But fishing regulations? Really? david – as for the mercury concerns, mercury (95% + which comes from electric production powered by coal) attacks the central nervous system. It is a heavy metal, and it does not leave the body once consumed. The higher up the food chain, the more mercury a fish will have. A large pike might have as much mercury as 5,000 sunfish, or more. suzie – how do you know he’s from SE Asia? Look at my name – where am I from? How do you know someone from SE Asia likes to eat mass quantities of small fish? How do you know he wasn’t collecting for a church fish fry? You don’t. Your Red Neck is showing.