Man could be fined for big catch on the Grand River
Written by WZZM 13   
Thursday, 04 June 2009 11:44
A $1,000 dollar reward is being offered for information about a man who caught a large sturgeon in the Grand River and took the fish with him. Several fishermen witnessed the illegal act back on May 17, 2009 and took pictures of the man and the fish.

The photos were taken near the 6th street dam. It shows an un-identified man with a 5-foot long sturgeon. He snagged it along the east side of the river.

"Some bystanders were telling the subject, you can't keep that kind of fish, put it back", says Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer David Rodgers. The witnesses notified the DNR when the man kept the fish. "He and another subject loaded the fish onto the truck and took off with it."

Witnesses didn't get a license plate number but they did take note of the newer silver GMC pick-up truck, with a white tool box on the back. The witnesses say the man was not a regular at that spot. They are now on the look out for his return.

"There were quite a few guys talking", says Norm Cole. He heard about the poacher this past weekend. He says everyone is angry. "I think it was wrong and I hope they get caught."

So does the DNR. Taking a sturgeon from any of the rivers or Great Lakes is illegal in Michigan.

"What it does is it hurts the population. These fish, their maturity takes a long time. The male doesn't spawn until they're 12 to 15 years of age. The females don't spawn until 20 to 22 years of age."

Sturgeons spawn once every four years. Rodgers says losing just one can disrupt the environment.

The DNR is hoping that someone recognizes the person in the picture and turns him in. They are offering a $1,000 dollar reward. For information, call the DNR poaching hotline at 1 (800) 292-7800
 
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