KIMT NEWS 3 - A married couple was found with 273 crappies after a day of fishing at Fairmont's Lake Sisseton. The state's legal possession limit for crappies is 10 per person.
"Any time you come across a regulation, there's a good reason behind it," explains Rob Benjamin, DNR area fisheries supervisor In Lanesboro.
Those reasons include making sure there's enough fish to go around and to protect spawning and endangered species.
"Our fish in Minnesota are a public resource and they're intended to serve the entire public. Any one individual taking and exorbitant number like that clearly violates the public's trust," says fisherman and vice chair of the National Trout Center George Spangler.
The couple was caught because someone who saw them taking the excessive number of fish called the DNR's anonymous "Turn In Poachers" hotline.
"We don't have conservation officers behind every tree or on every lake. It just isn't the way it is. Sometimes they're lucky to have one per county," explains Benjamin.
That's why the public can play a large role in holding anglers and hunters accountable to following regulations.
To immediately report a violation, you can call the 24-hour tipline at 800-652-9093 or text #TIP on your cell phone.
To report a violation that is not time sensitive, click here for the DNR's website.
Reported incidents will be investigated by a conservation officer. Reporting a violation that leads to an arrest could land you a reward up to $1,000, depending on the severity of the crime reported.