Dick Herfindahl: Greedy fishermen are robbing valuable resources

Published 11:36 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

Woods & Water by Dick Herfindahl


Once again there has been a pair of greedy folks who have taken way over their limit of fish. This time it was reported in “Outdoor News” that a man and wife from Mountain Lake were cited for having 250 crappies over the limit in their freezer. These folks were caught when someone called the TIP line on May 20. The couple was asked if they knew what the limit was and they said it was 10. The names of the couple were Isouvahn Xayachak and his 60-year-old wife Chanhthone Phongsom.

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I listed the names of the perpetrators because it makes me angry knowing that these folks seemed to know the law, but had a total disregard for the fishing regulations that honest fishermen and women adhere to. There was another couple involved and the fines that they all could face may possibly be as much as $3,250 per person with another $650 in restitution. I would hope that these perpetrators would get the maximum allowed by law. Replacing the fish that have been taken illegally is not as easy as a snap of your fingers. In my eyes, when someone violates our resources it shows a total disrespect for the laws that honest outdoors folks abide by.

I encourage anyone who witnesses someone taking over the limit or not adhering to the rules and regulations of our valuable resources to call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.

There are some laws of fishing that some folks may not be aware of. One such rule is that you can’t fish with a full stringer hoping to catch a larger one and then release a smaller fish that is already on the stringer. It is also illegal to keep more than one walleye per person over 20-inches. With the increasing number of lake by lake slot limits that we have in place for many of our state’s lakes, it is important that we know if there is a special regulation for the lake you are going to fish.

In looking back I kind of long for the days when there was one state-wide limit for each species. The fishing rules seemed to be a lot simpler then, but obviously something wasn’t working or the DNR wouldn’t have started implementing different rules for certain lakes. Most of the slot limits started out on larger, more popular lakes, but have since been implemented on many of the smaller lakes throughout the state.


Little Alan’s Law provides consistent application of DWI law

A new law that went into effect Aug. 1 means people convicted of driving while intoxicated – regardless of the vehicle they’re driving – will lose their driver’s license and be prohibited from operating motor vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, motorboats and snowmobiles. The state Legislature passed the law following the death of 8-year-old Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., who died in January after being struck by a snowmobile driven by a man whose driver’s license was revoked after multiple DWI offenses. I believe that this is a good law, which should put more teeth in the DWI law and make it more of a punishment than an inconvenience. It’s too bad that this law couldn’t have been in place earlier so that little Alan and his family didn’t have to suffer the consequences of a drunken driver.

I guess you could call this week’s column my “rant” column. Every once-in-a-while I need to vent and mention things that bother me about the way some folks misuse our outdoor resources.

As long as I am in a ranting mood, there is another thing that seems to have gotten worse in recent years. It irritates me when folks don’t stop for stop signs. It is pretty obvious to most of us that the STOP on a red sign means just what it says. Day after day while driving around our fair city, I witness folks that are in so much of a hurry that the sign means slow down and keep moving or like I witnessed this morning, a guy didn’t even slow down but seemed to glance both ways and sped through the stop sign.

The warm weather that we have been experiencing for most of the summer almost makes it seem like the same day. I don’t mind the warm summer days, but like Ole and Lars would say, “it’s not dah heat but dah humidity.” I’d guess that it will be all too soon that we will be longing for these hot summer days. I actually love the fall season the best because of the cool, sunny days and the crisp starry nights. After the first hard frost the bugs seem to disappear and the fish get hungry as they start feeding before the ice-over of the winter season.

Until next time, enjoy the outdoors and maybe even take a little time to hang out by a lake, wet a line or just sit back, relax and take it all in.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers, because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms we have today.