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Perch Poachers Prosecuted!!!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Big Daddy, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Big bust here fellas! Maybe this explains the tough perchin' last year!


    Fourteen individuals and five businesses charged with racketeering, money laundering

    COLUMBUS, OH - Felony indictments were filed Wednesday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court against 14 individuals and five businesses associated with Ohio’s commercial fishing industry, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

    The licensed commercial fishermen and fish wholesale businesses involved allegedly took more yellow perch from Lake Erie than their quotas allowed, filed false reports, and sold unreported yellow perch. Each defendant could face up to 10 years in prison, plus a $25,000 fine if convicted of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity - a first-degree felony and the most serious of the charges involved.

    Since 1996, Lake Erie’s yellow perch have been managed through a quota system. Quotas are set in order to balance Ohio’s share of the lake’s yellow perch harvest between sport anglers and commercial fishermen. Commercial fishermen are required to keep accurate and legible catch reports and to stay within their licensed yellow perch quota in a given year. Safe harvest levels of yellow perch are determined by fisheries biologists to maintain healthy fish populations and provide quality fishing opportunities on Lake Erie.

    “Yellow perch are valued public resources which are highly sought after by both commercial and sport fisherman,” said Steven A. Gray, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “We are committed to maintaining a healthy fishery on Lake Erie for the benefit of all Ohioans. This type of alleged activity would have a negative impact on the lake’s yellow perch population.”

    Lake Erie’s yellow perch fishery is cooperatively managed by five agencies: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.