COLUMBUS — Six West Virginia residents were caught and convicted for "over-bagging" walleye on Lake Erie, according to a release from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Through a surveillance operation conducted in July, the division of wildlife revealed "double-tripping" between anglers who passed Walleye from one boat to another on the water. The anglers would catch their daily bag limits of walleye and then return to the lake the same day to catch a second limit of walleye, according to the news release.
The anglers used different boat ramps every day to prevent officers from detecting them.
The following six people were arrested and found guilty on catching a combined 99 walleye over their legal daily limits.
• Lawrence B. Davis, 61, Sutton, WV
• Jeffrey H. Hamrick, 61, Sutton, WV
• Bernard L. Malone, 67, Fairmont, WV
• Brandon M. Malone, 36, Fairmont, WV
• Darrell A. Shaver, 36, Morgantown, WV
• Keith A. Shaver, 58, Gassaway, WV
During their sentencing in Ashtabula Municipal Court, each angler was ordered to pay a fine and restitution for 99 walleye, totaling a combined $9,360 in court costs and restitution. The judge also revoked their Ohio fishing licenses for three years. All six anglers were added to the Interstate Wildlife Violator's Compact, which could cause them to lose their fishing rights in 46 other states.
The 99 walleye that were caught were donated to charitable causes.
Wildlife officials encourage anyone who notices possible poaching to call or text the tip line at 1-800-POACHER. All information received is anonymous.