21 more charged in Minnesota walleye poaching - KMSP-TV

21 more charged in Minnesota walleye poaching

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Another 21 people will be charged in a three-year investigation into walleye poaching, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.

Operation Squarehook targeted the illegal poaching and selling of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of walleye and other game fish in north-central and northwestern Minnesota.

The fish were taken from some of the state's most popular fishing spots, including Cass, Leech, Red and Winnibigoshish lakes on the Red Lake or Leech Lake reservations.

"This is a troubling case because it involved large numbers of people and a significant number of fish being illegally bought and sold," said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. "The investigation should serve notice that the illegal commercialization of walleye and waste of game fish will not be tolerated in Minnesota."

Federal indictments against 10 people were filed last week following the joint investigation by the DNR, federal wildlife officials, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa.

Tribal and nontribal members are being charged. Red Lake and Leech Lake authorities are filing charges against tribal members in tribal court.

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