After receiving multiple tips from local anglers about possible over-fishing on Gladwin County’s Lake Lancer, Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers spoke with the suspected man twice in one day while he was at the lake. The second contact of the day led to a voluntary search of the 67-year-old Gladwin man’s garage freezers, where officers discovered a significant number of panfish – ultimately issuing a ticket for illegally taking more than 1,400 panfish.
Conservation Officer Mark Papineau said he had received many reports about a fisherman who frequented the lake.
“The angler’s vehicle often was spotted in the parking lot of a private boat launch and the angler himself was witnessed fishing Lake Lancer several times per day,” Papineau said. Based on the leads, Papineau and Conservation Officer Joshua Wright conducted a marine patrol at the lake the morning of Aug. 14.
When the officers arrived at the boat launch, they saw a vehicle with a boat trailer that matched the reported vehicle description. During their patrol, the officers contacted an angler. The angler presented a fishing license and was found to have 13 panfish in his possession – he was within the daily limit of 25 panfish.
When the officers returned to the boat launch later that morning, the suspect’s vehicle and boat trailer were gone. Checking the area later in the day, Papineau and Wright noticed the angler’s vehicle and boat trailer had returned. After about an hour, the man returned to the dock. Spotting the officers, the Gladwin man immediately said, “I’m not over my limit.” Wright asked him how many fish he had, and he repeated that he was not over his limit.
The conservation officers continued talking with the man and learned that he was in