Indiana Conservation Officers in Elkhart County are investigating the illegal taking of a large muskie fish in High Dive Park in Elkhart on May 4.
Cory Barnett, 23, of Elkhart, was charged by ICO Paul Crockett on one count of taking a game fish by illegal method.
Muskies, otherwise known as muskellunge or tiger muskellunge, are a highly sought after game fish due to its size, difficulty to catch and aggressive fight when hooked legally. State law allows for a person to keep one muskie per day and that fish must be at least 36 inches. The overwhelming majority of muskies caught, however, are released back to the water after the successful angler takes pictures of their catch. This is done to help ensure large muskies will be here for generations to come.
Officer Crockett received information that Barnett had shot the muskie with a bow and arrow and had taken it to an out of state taxidermist to have it mounted.
Bow fishing is a legal fishing method, however, the only fish that may be kept while bow fishing are suckers, carp, gar, bowfin, buffalo fish or shad. There are additional restrictions on where bow fishing may be conducted. Persons are encouraged to consult the Indiana Fishing Guide at your local sporting goods retailer or on line at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources web site to verify bodies of water open to bow fishing.
Officer Crockett concluded his investigation by recovering the fish and interviewing Cory Barnett. Taking game fish by an illegal method is a misdemeanor offense and punishable by fines and or jail time.
Indiana Conservation Officers want to remind sportsmen that you can report violations anonymously by calling 1-800-TIP-IDNR or by calling central dispatch at 1-812-837-9256 which is open 24 hours a day 7 seven days a week.