Wardens land another fish bust on Devils Lake
DEVILS LAKE — Five Wisconsin anglers face fines and court costs of as much as $1,725 each after being found with 100 walleyes over their limit on Devils Lake.
Charged in Ramsey County with exceeding the possession limit of walleye were Michael Wirkus, Racine Wis.; Donald Klatkiewicz, Mukwonago, Wis.; Daniel Klatkiewicz, Hales Corners, Wis.; Robert Richer Jr., Hales Corners, Wis.; and Allen Lafave, Racine.
A sixth angler, a juvenile, also was part of the crew.
According to Jim Job, district game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Devils Lake, the charges resulted after wardens received a tip through the state’s Report All Poachers hotline about a group of anglers staying in a rental house in Devils Lake who were suspected of keeping too many fish.
North Dakota’s walleye limit is five daily, 10 in possession.
Job contacted the group June 20 along with district game warden Blake Riewer of Grand Forks. A vehicle search found 25 whole walleyes, Job said, and the wardens found another 135 walleyes cleaned and frozen in 45 plastic bags during a search of the house where the anglers were staying.
That put the men and juvenile exactly 100 walleyes over their possession limit of 10 fish each, Job said.
The men, who were released on their own recognizance, are scheduled to appear in court Aug. 18 in Devils Lake, court records show.
Fishing on Devils Lake has been excellent this summer, and Job said Game and Fish is receiving numerous calls on the RAP hotline about anglers suspected of “double tripping,” catching their limit and returning to shore to clean and store the fish and then going out to catch and keep more fish the same day.
Job said the public’s help is crucial to catching anglers who double trip or break other game and fish laws. So far this summer, Job said, he’s written probably twice as many citations for fishing violations as he had last year at this time.
“Minor over-bags are not very common on Devils Lake,” Job said. “A lot of it is double-tripping.”
Exceeding the possession limit in North Dakota is a Class B misdemeanor.
To report suspected Game and Fish violations in North Dakota, contact the state’s Report All Poachers hotline at 800-472-2121 or 701-328-9921.