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MUSCATINE COUNTY, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources law enforcement conservation officers have charged two men after an investigation of illegal netting in an Iowa river.
The DNR received a tip in June about a hoop net in the Cedar River in rural Muscatine County believed to be being used for illegal netting. After DNR law enforcement conservation officers conducted their investigation, on June 2, Cody Frye, 31, of Nichols, Iowa, and Derek Brase, 30, of Wilton, Iowa, were charged with running illegal commercial fishing gear on the Cedar River, among other charges.
DNR officer Joe Fourdyce said the men were intending to catch catfish, “But because of their lack of experience and knowledge of commercial fishing, they did not catch any catfish,” Fourdyce said. “However, because they were not attending the net frequently enough, they ended up killing some rough fish and soft shell turtles."
Both Frye and Brase were each charged with one (1) count of the following:
· Unlawful use of commercial gear in prohibited water
· Failure to attend commercial gear
· No valid commercial fishing license
· Unlawful take of softshell turtles
· Unlawful take of buffalo
· No commercial fishing gear tag.
Each of the men was fined a total of $792.
The DNR encourages the reporting of poaching or other illegal activity related to our natural resources by anonymously calling our DNR Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-532-2020 or by visiting iowadnr.gov/tip.
Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.