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Four anglers net nearly $3,000 in fines

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Four men recently pleaded guilty and paid fines of about $740 each following an investigation of sunfish over-limits by conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

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State conservation officers Jayson Hansen of Big Fork and Don Bozovsky of Hibbing checked the men and their wives while on patrol of Deer Lake near Effie.

Searching freezers at various locations during the investigation, the officers found bags of mostly frozen sunfish from Deer, Pickerel, Battle, Larson, and Poplar lakes. Deer, Pickerel and Battle lakes have a 10 sunfish per person daily limit. The daily sunfish limit on most Minnesota lakes is 20 per person.

The sunfish were seized and counted, and the men were charged with 84 sunfish over the legal limit. Among the sunfish were 18 black crappie, 11 northern pike and nine bass.

Those each charged with 21 sunfish over the legal limit included George Stavish, 60, and Roland Mammenga, 62, both of Randall; Curt Atkisson, 52, Staples; and Rae Mammenga 54, Conesville, Iowa.

Anyone witnessing a fish or wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the 24-hour, toll-free Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.

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