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An inside look at the brutal world of Illegal Fishing in Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE- Illegal fishing is often brutal and it has the Department of Natural Resources up in arms trying to stop it.
The DNR is concerned that the problem may hurt the state's resource of fish.
The tools used to snatch the fish range from the primitive to the strange.
"These people are using quick and easy methods," Milwaukee County Conservation Warden Benjamin Mott said.
While doing this story CBS 58 was shown sharp "snag" hooks that are illegal to possess, garden tools used as spears, large nets, and even metal pipes used to beat fish.
The violators are doing this at times when the fish are their most vulnerable, shallow waters.
"They might take one and get out of there, or they make take a dozen," Mott explained.
If caught, someone illegally fishing could face fines ranging into the thousands, the revoking of their license, and depending on the crime, even jail time.
If a license is revoked in Wisconsin, it will also be revoked in 36 other states as part of an agreement the state is a part of.
In May of 2010 a group of Milwaukee residents were busted in Northern Wisconsin for trying to take thousands of fish over a two day period.
The DNR says fish are illegally taken for many reasons, sometimes it's to sell them, other times they could be kept for personal use.
Man power is a problem for the DNR as they to try and crack down.
"We can't be everywhere at once," Mott said. " Someone might be out with a flash light and a bow and arrow under the cover of darkness trying to get away with it."
That's why the DNR is asking the community to report any illegal activity.
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