HURON COUNTY, MI – Department of Natural Resources received a tip on its Report All Poaching Hotline advising that a man was at his residence in possession of a few hundred perch.
DNR Conservation Officer Josh Wright proceeded to the home and called the Huron County Sheriff’s Office for assistance. Deputy Joshua Loss arrived first and confirmed that there were “a lot” of perch being filleted.
Authorities found hundreds of walleye, panfish, and perch in freezers, and 170 Perch.
Stanley Garbacz Jr., 68, of Caseville, and Bruce Warren, 53, of Pigeon, were each allegedly over the perch daily catch limit by 60 fish.
“Fish rules and regulations are in place to maintain a healthy natural resource,” said Lt. Dave Shaw, Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Taking over limits by one or more individuals can impact the harvestable population and which could potentially reduce fish species for future generations.”
Garbacz faces two charges of over-limit possession; one each for perch and walleye. He was ordered to pay $7,930 in restitution.
Warren faces one count of taking a daily over limit of perch and owes $600 in restitution.
They will also each have additional court fines and costs and could lose their fishing privileges when they are sentenced in Huron County District Court.
Wright arrived at the residence and received permission to count the 170 perch that Garbacz and Warren caught earlier in the day – putting them each over the daily catch limit by 60 perch.
As Wright continued the investigation, he found 85 bags of frozen fish in four of Garbacz’s freezers. Wright thawed and counted the fillets. Based on the Saginaw Bay area daily and possession limits, Garbacz was over limit by:
- 35 walleye; the daily limit is eight. Anglers may possess an additional two days’ limit of walleye as long as they are processed, with a total possession limit of 24.
- 245 panfish; the daily limit is 25. An angler may possess an additional two days’ limit of panfish as long as they are processed, with a total possession limit of 75.
- 393 additional perch; the daily limit is 25. Fishers may possess an additional two days limit of perch as long as they are processed, with a total possession limit of 75.
Processed fish from previous days must be canned or frozen.
Suspected poaching violations may be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800. Tips may be submitted anonymously and rewards may be offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects.