TIPs leads to more poachers; fishermen fined, fish seized

TIPs leads to more poachers; fishermen fined, fish seized An anonymous Turn In Poachers (TIPs) call on June 8 helped state Game, Fish and Parks officials catch six people who were poaching walleye.

Shane Van Bockern, Kingsbury County, and Dale Gates, Brookings County, received a call from State Radio.

"An anonymous caller provided a Minnesota license plate and said that a group had caught a limit of walleye earlier in the day and was out walleye fishing again at Lake Thompson," Van Bockern said.

Elmer Epke, 68, Donald Bode, 68, and Wilbur Fitzner, 82, all of Courtland, MN, and Alvin J. Person,77, of New Ulm, MN, were involved in the violation. Officials seized 32 walleye, and each poacher was fined $229.50.

"While investigating the first complaint, we received additional information that led to two more arrests," Van Bockern said.

Jerald Anderson, 69, of Brookings, was one walleye over his legal limit, and David L. Valentine, 32, of Las Vegas, NV, had 17 walleye seized and was fined $59.50.

Fines for the evening totaled $1,037, and 55 walleye were seized.

If anyone sees or hears of a wildlife violation, they should immediately call their local conservation officer, local Game Fish and Parks office or the TIPs hotline at 1-800-592-5522. All callers will remain anonymous.

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