MI DNR investigation results in charges against Bay County resident
Officers seize more than 87 pounds of illegally harvested pike
A Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigation has resulted in charges against a Bay County man for illegally harvesting more than 87 pounds of pike.
The 55-year-old suspect recently was charged after conservation officers responded to a citizen’s tip and conducted surveillance in Mt. Forest Township.
Conservation Officers Mark Papineau and Phil Hudson of the DNR’s Roscommon Customer Service Center spearheaded the investigation. After pinpointing the location of the activity and observing the suspects tend to their illegal net on several occasions, the officers obtained a search warrant and discovered the stash of pike with support from Lt. Jeremy Payne and Conservation Officers Chad Foerster and Jill Miller of the Bay City Customer Service Center. All of the fish were illegally netted or speared in violation of state laws.
“Our partnership with the public is critical to protecting Michigan’s resources,” said Payne, District 6 supervisor for the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “We appreciate citizens coming forward with information that can lead to successful investigations. In this instance, Conservation Officers Papineau and Hudson did an outstanding job of following up on a citizen’s tip to conduct a thorough investigation. Because of their work, and effective support from fellow officers, charges were filed and this abuse of our fish population was halted.”
The suspect was charged with using unlawful devices to take fish, and with exceeding the limit of pike. He faces up to 90 days in jail, a fine up to $500 for each charge and reimbursement up to $880.
The pike fishing season runs from the last Saturday in April through March 15 for Lower Peninsula inland waters. Check the Michigan Fishing Guide for additional regulations.
The public is encouraged to call or text the Report All Poaching (RAP) line at 800-292-7800 with information regarding the illegal taking of fish or game, or damage to Michigan’s natural resources. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Michigan conservation officers are elite, highly trained professionals who serve in every corner of the state. They are fully commissioned peace officers with full authority to enforce the state’s criminal laws. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.