A Grand Rapids man that sold catfish he had caught in the Kalamazoo River has been sentenced to four months probation.
The man, Leon Terrill Smith, 40, had advertised the catfish on Craigslist as for sale. Michigan DNR law enforcement officers worked with the Wildlife Resources Protection Unit (WRPU) and made contact with Smith, who sold 14 catfish to WRPU members.
Officers arrested the man after the sale for selling sport caught fish, driving while license suspended and an outstanding arrest warrant. Investigating officers were advised Smith also had previous felony convictions for drug and firearms violations.
A person convicted of buying or selling game fish or any parts of game fish is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not less than $250.00 or more than $1,000.00, or both.
Smith appeared in court Tuesday, July 9, and entered a guilty plea. He was sentenced to four months probation and must take part in an educational series on fishing laws in Michigan.
Smith reportedly did not know it was illegal without a commercial license. DNR officials say that sport fishing is not health regulated and the fish could be contaminated.
The DNR reminds readers that you can call the Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800 to report any natural resources violations, including hunting and fishing violations.