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Butler County Fishermen Pay High Price for Undersize Crappie
Aug
19 Written by: ODNR Division of Wildlife
8/19/2011

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2011

Butler County Fishermen Pay High Price for Undersize Crappie

EATON, OH – Two Butler County residents were ordered to pay a total of $450 in fines and $3400 in restitution after being convicted of possessing undersize fish according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The arrest came while Preble County Wildlife Officer Brad Turner was performing routine fishing license and fish bag and length limit checks at Acton Lake on Memorial Day weekend. When Officer Turner checked the men’s boat he found that they had 177crappie in their possession. After inspecting the fish Officer Turner determined that 170 of the fish were less than nine inches in length. Acton Lake, located at Hueston Woods State Park, has a nine inch length limit on crappie. Both men were charged with possessing undersize fish.

Steven A Copper, 39, of Somersville, pled guilty to one charge of possessing crappies less than nine inches, Copper was ordered to pay $250 in fines and cost and also ordered to pay $1700 in restitution on the crappie. Mr. Cooper will serve one year probation as well.

Kevin L Reeves, 33, of Somersville, pled guilty to one charge of possessing crappies less than nine inches, Reeves was ordered to pay $250 in fines and cost and also ordered to pay $1700 in restitution on the crappie. Mr. Reeves will serve one year probation as well.

A daily bag limit of 30 crappies is in effect on a total of 44 Ohio lakes with a nine inch size limit. The goal of these regulations is to improve the quality of crappie fishing by increasing the numbers of larger fish available for crappie anglers to catch. For more information on the lake selection process for crappie bag and length limits go to http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/tabid/22562/Default.aspx .

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She says I'm on one
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If it were just a few undersized fish that would be unfortunate...but what goes through someones head to make them think they can keep 177 crappie? lol Even if you had no idea about the size limit that is a s-load of fish. Wonder if they were trying to stock ponds or paylakes or something.
 

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CJ Wolfpack
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There's already athread in The Lounge concerning these buttheads and everyones opinion on what they did;):D.
 

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Personally HOPE they post it in ALL 44 counties it applies to on the 1st page of the Sporting section of the local papers. $1700 bucks in fines APIECE plus other penalties would STRONGLY "discourage' similar occurances. Talk about a VERY PAINFUL financial "incentive" NOT to LOOT a public lake...OUCH !!! and THEN SOME !
 

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live to fish
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Glad to see the ODNR got these guys. This kind of stunt is what ruins it for everyone. Hope they catch more because you know these aren't the only ones doing this.
 

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I read about this through a link on the ODNR website... I'm so glad that they were made an example of. People like that ruin it for everyone. If you had 10 people like that you could easily destroy a fish population even on a decent size lake. There's a reason those rules are there.
 

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Glad they got their cummupins. The penalties should be more stiffer in my opinion. Community service involving cleaning the lake or helping in some way to improve the fishery. That being said I'd like to see experiments in slot limits imposed on crappies, Black and White. We are loosing a lot of slabs to lake devolpment and crappies loosing there spawning grounds. Poor recruitment for the species are another problem people are looking into. With poor recruitment comes bad genetics. From bad genetics comes over population. Over population causes mortality due to the fact so many are lost to starvation from lack of forage fish. Minnasota tried 9,10, and 11 inch minimum limits I believe, with little sucsess I might add. We in Ohio (southern Ohio especialy) have a little longer of a growing season. I'd like to see the ODNR do tests on major crappie lakes in the area and start a slot limit based on thier growth findings. I love crappies and admit I really love eating them, but we all need to look into this since I am always hearing stories of 15 inch plus slabs being very common 40 years or so ago. Thanks for reading.
 

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Interesting comments concerning size limits. I think it depends some upon fishing pressure. When the crappie were hitting at cowan lake someone posted that every trailer parking spot on the lake was full on memorial day weekend. That puts a lot of pressure on a 600 or so acre lake. So what would happen if everyone was keeping six inch fish?

Shad is the major forage at cowan but without smaller minnows I would think that a crappie struggles to reach nine inches there and maybe hits a growth spurt. So does it help to thin out the little guys so that some of them can grow larger? And does that depend upon the lake? Those questions requires more training than I have.
 
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