Bag limits are set in order to maintain healthy fisheries. Unfortunately, some anglers fail to grasp that concept, or just don't care.
Chien Van Tran, of Otsego, was charged recently with exceeding his limit by 413 sunfish and 30 crappies. If convicted Tran faces up to a year in jail, a $3,000 fine, and the loss of fishing privileges for three years.
The angler was approached at Minnesota's Pelican Lake by warden Rick Reller. According to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources news release, Reller spied Tran placing a bag of fish in a locked compartment of his boat before attempting to leave the lake.
When approached, according to Reller, Tran produced a cooler containing about a dozen panfish.
After questioning, Tran admitted that there were more more fish on the vessel. The tally was 134 sunfish and 19 crappies. The daily possession limit is 20 sunfish and 10 crappies.
This led to a visit to Tran's home. Inside the freezer, Reller stated, were 11 bags containing 299 sunfish and 21 crappies, bringing the total number to 413 sunfish and 30 crappies over the limit.
“I told Mr. Tran that I would be seizing all the fish," Reller said. "I also advised him that I was seizing his boat, motors, trailer, and fishing license as part of a gross misdemeanor over limit of fish."
Tran is scheduled to appear in court on May 30.