ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Tip leads officers to 95 walleyes, 28 fish patties

A husband and wife from Roosevelt, Minn., have been charged with gross misdemeanor fishing violations in Lake of the Woods County after conservation officers seized 190 walleye fillets and 28 ground walleye patties.

A husband and wife from Roosevelt, Minn., have been charged with gross misdemeanor fishing violations in Lake of the Woods County after conservation officers seized 190 walleye fillets and 28 ground walleye patties.

The fish had been caught on Lake of the Woods, which has a limit of four walleyes.

Kevin Bjorneby, 44, and Diane Bjorneby, 48, Roosevelt, each were charged with possessing walleyes over the limit and aiding or abetting the possession of walleyes over the limit. They appeared in court Wednesday, and their next court appearance is set for Nov. 25.

According to the complaint report:

Jeff Birchem, a conservation officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, received an anonymous tip June 25 that Kevin Bjorneby, who has a trailer at Long Point Resort on Lake of the Woods, might be in possession of too many walleyes.

ADVERTISEMENT

The tipster also told Birchem that Bjorneby was telling other people at the resort that ground-up walleyes wouldn't count against their four-fish limit.

The next day, wearing plainclothes and driving an unmarked vehicle, Birchem located the Bjorneby trailer at Long Point Resort. June 27, Birchem and DNR conservation officer Jeremy Woinarowicz visited the trailer, where they encountered two relatives of the owners, who granted permission to search the freezer.

After searching the freezer, the officers determined the Bjornebys, who weren't at the trailer, and their two relatives were over the limit for four people by 13 walleyes -- not counting the ground fish patties the officers found.

Birchem then contacted Kevin Bjorneby, who told the officer he had "about five more bags" of walleyes in the freezer at his permanent residence in Roosevelt. Bjorneby gave the officer permission to visit the residence for an interview.

When the officers arrived at the Bjorneby residence, the couple showed them several more bags of walleye fillets from a freezer in the kitchen area. The Bjornebys also gave the officers permission to check the freezer for more fish.

Birchem in his report said he then asked Kevin Bjorneby if there were any other fish on the premises. Bjorneby admitted he had hidden several bags of fish outside before the officers arrived. Birchem and Bjorneby then went outside and retrieved nine bags of fish from a small storage building.

Bjorneby said he and his wife were saving up the walleyes for a family reunion.

Woinarowicz counted the fish and determined there were 95 walleyes in fillets and 28 ground fish patties. The officers seized the fish. Because the number of fish involved classified as a gross misdemeanor, Birchem also seized the couple's husband/wife fishing license.

ADVERTISEMENT

A gross misdemeanor in Minnesota is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Over-limit charge

A Williams, Minn., woman faces $435 in fines and court costs after being charged for possessing too many walleyes on Lake of the Woods.

Candice Nelson, 62, pleaded not guilty Oct. 14 in Lake of the Woods County to a misdemeanor charge of possessing six walleyes over the limit. A pre-trial hearing is set for Nov. 25.

According to the complaint report, the charge resulted after conservation officer Jeff Birchem received complaints about Nelson having too many walleyes and over-sized walleyes at the family's residence in the Zippel Bay area north of Williams.

Lake of the Woods has a walleye limit of four, and all fish from 19ยฝ to 28 inches in length must be released.

After receiving the tip, Birchem visited the Nelson residence Aug. 14 and was shown fish that were located in two freezers in a garage attached to the home. Birchem determined the freezer contained at least six walleyes over the limit.

The officer seized the fish and later cited Nelson for possessing too many walleyes.

ADVERTISEMENT

A misdemeanor in Minnesota carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Hunting in closed area

A Grand Forks man has paid $225 in court costs and received a one-year deferred sentence for hunting in a closed area in September in Grand Forks County.

Tanner Spicer, 18, was cited Sept. 12 for having a tree stand in Turtle River State Park, and he was sentenced Oct. 13, court records show. Steve Crandall, manager of Turtle River State Park, said Spicer had permission to hunt a piece of private land adjacent to the park, but the stand was about 400 yards inside park boundaries. Hunting is not allowed in the park.

The deferred sentence means the charge will be removed from Spicer's record if there are no further violations in the next year. The court also placed him on one year's unsupervised probation.

Hunting in a closed area is a Class B misdemeanor.

Nonresidents fined

A Grand Rapids, Minn., man has paid $425 in fines and court costs for hunting small game without a nonresident license in North Dakota.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brian Maki was cited Oct. 9 in Ramsey County, N.D.

Hunting small game without a nonresident license is a Class B misdemeanor.

Another Grand Rapids man has paid $450 in fines and court costs for illegal taking or possession of upland game in North Dakota.

Gregory Craiglow, 51, was cited Oct. 9 while hunting near Devils Lake.

The charge is a Class B misdemeanor.

Dokken reports on outdoors. Reach him at (701) 780-1148; (800) 477-6572, ext. 148; or send e-mail to bdokken@gfherald.com .

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at bdokken@gfherald.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT