JACKSON, Mo. -- An angler at Jackson’s Rotary Lake was recently found in possession of a massive over limit of trout according to a local conservation agent.
“When I asked why he had caught and kept so many fish, he responded that he hadn't really thought that he was hurting anything and just wanted to have a fish fry for his friends,” reported Russell Duckworth, the local Protection District Supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
According to Duckworth, although the angler didn’t intend harm, the number of fish put into the lake is limited and once the fish are caught and gone, there won't be more until the following fall. He said the daily limit is set to provide an equal opportunity to everyone to get out and enjoy the local fishery.
In an effort to provide local trout fishing opportunity in Cape Girardeau County, MDC and the city of Jackson have an agreement to stock trout in the Jackson Rotary Lake. The fish are purchased in a joint effort between both MDC and the city.
According to MDC fisheries management biologist, Mike Reed, approximately 1,900 trout, as well as a number of ‘lunkers’, were stocked in November of 2010. Catch-and-release only methods were allowed until trout season opened the first of February. In order to possess and keep trout, anglers must have a valid fishing permit and also a trout fishing permit. An angler’s daily limit for trout at Rotary Lake is four, which means that a person cannot catch and keep more than four trout on any given day. The possession limit for trout is eight, which means that an angler can possess no more than eight trout at any time. If an angler catches a limit of four trout in one day, then catches another limit of four on another day, they cannot catch and keep any more trout until they either eat or properly give away the eight trout already in their possession, according to the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
Duckworth said the vast majority of hunters and anglers are law abiding and appreciate opportunities to enjoy Missouri’s many great places to hunt and fish.
“As with any other opportunity provided to our citizens, there are a few who take advantage for their own benefit,” Duckworth said, adding that conservation agents regularly receive calls from anglers on the lake concerning people who keep more than their limit of fish or make multiple trips to the lake in a day's time to conceal that they are taking more than their share of fish.
“We appreciate when people who care about the resource help us and let us know when they see a possible violation concerning fish and wildlife,” Duckworth said. The current over-limit case is under investigation, so further information is not available at this time.
The MDC’s 24-hour per day Operation Game Thief hotline, 1-800-392-1111, enables citizens to report information confidentially. If an arrest is made, the reporting party may even receive a reward for their efforts. Information may also be given to Russell Duckworth at 225-9403, the MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at 290-5730, or the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Office at 243-3551.