Michigan Salmon Poachers
Michigan DNR

Michigan DNR Seizes 460 Pounds of Poached Salmon, Poachers Facing Heavy Fines

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources was able to donate 460 pounds of poached salmon to local families after they seized it from out of state poachers. The incident involved an unspecified number of unnamed people and happened on Tuesday on the Manistee River near Tippy Dam in Dickson Township.

According to a DNR press release, officers Josiah Killingbeck and Scott MacNeill were doing a routine fish patrol when another angler flagged them down to give a tip on a group using unspecified illegal tackle. According to the DNR, the officers observed the group and were able to confirm what they were doing was illegal. The poachers allegedly tried to conceal their activities by attempting to break off their lines when they saw the officers approaching.

"There is a large amount of coho and Chinook salmon running the local rivers this time of year, attracting anglers from across the country to be a part of one of Michigan's finest fishing adventures," DNR Sgt. Grant Emery said in the press release. "While we've seen a decrease in illegal fishing activity over the years, unfortunately, we still run into illegal and unconventional methods."

After interviewing the group, the DNR learned that they also had no valid fishing licenses. They had 17 illegal salmon in their possession at the time. The poachers then admitted to the crime and took officers back to their vehicle which held 40-50 more fish in coolers. In total, the group had poached approximately 463 pounds of salmon and were way over the 30 fish limit. The group had already filleted some of the salmon and bagged them. They were cited for illegal methods, over-the-limit take, and for not having a fishing license.

Arraignment for the group is set for October 21 in 85th District Court in Manistee County. The group is potentially facing $4,630 in restitution costs. The only real good news to come out of the story is that none of the fish will go to waste. The officers donated the fish to families across Manistee County.

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