ALLEGAN (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say a Grand Rapids man has been arrested for selling catfish online to undercover wildlife officers.
The man is accused of selling 14 catfish taken from the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County via the Craigslist website.
The state Department of Natural Resources says it got a tip about the ad. Undercover officers from the Wildlife Resources Protection Unit made contact with the man and purchased the catfish from him on Tuesday. He was arrested shortly thereafter.
The sale of the fish in this case is a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 90 days behind bars and a fine between $250 and $1,000.
Lt. Timothy Robson of the DNR told MLive.com the law helps protect commercial fisherman and state resources.
“It takes away from true and honest sportsman,” he said. “Greed takes over if people are making a profit on it.”
Robson said the law is also in place for serious safety concerns. If you recall, more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River, which is lined with factories, when a pipeline ruptured in 2010.
“Due to the contaminants in that river, it’s highly recommended that people don’t eat those fish,” Robson said. “If you buy fish under the table, there’s no recourse if something happens. You have no idea how it’s taken care of or where it came from.”
The man’s name wasn’t released pending an arraignment in July. However, authorities said the man has a criminal past, including felony convictions for drug and firearms violations.
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