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Excess walleyes found in Lake Winnie motel septic system

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Let it never be said that Minnesota's conservation officers don't know how to flush out anglers who violate the state's fishing regulations.

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According to an item from Monday's Conservation Officer reports from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, conservation officer Mike Fairbanks of Deer River assisted conservation officer Mark Mathy of Cass Lake with an over-limit investigation involving walleyes.

The anglers in question were nonresidents staying at a resort on Lake Winnibigoshish near Deer River, said Lt. Dave Olsen, DNR district enforcement supervisor at Grand Rapids.

In the course of their investigation, officers Mathy and Fairbanks suspected that the anglers had flushed the extra walleyes down the toilet of their resort cabin.

Evidence down the drain? Only temporarily.

"They (the conservation officers) were able to talk with the resort owner, and the resort owner assisted them in going through the septic system," Olsen said.

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Olsen wasn't sure exactly how Mathy and Fairbanks recovered the walleyes, but apparently it involved a net of some sort, he said.

Most anglers give up quickly and cooperate with enforcement officers when confronted with more fish than they should have, Olsen said.

"Those guys wanted to go the extra mile," he said.

So did Mathy and Fairbanks.

Names of the anglers were not available Monday, as they had not been charged yet, Olsen said.

No one said how Mathy and Fairbanks felt after their in-depth investigation.

Pooped, probably.

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