Handfishing Arrests

Written by on June 26, 2012 in News

Hillbilly Handfishing may be a popular TV show but the practice got four southeast Iowa men in trouble with the law in Van Buren County.  This is after they were unlawfully caught taking flathead catfish with the practice also known as noodling.  Conservation Officers saw the men catch fish on the Des Moines River near Selma.  Jason Telfer of Eldon, John Saner of Batavia, Chris Hafele of Ottumwa and Bryan Saner of Agency are all charged with three counts of unlawful taking of flathead catfish by handfishing.  Hafele is also charged with one count of no fishing license.  Seized were several fish at the scene, a 14-foot john boat, motor, trailer and 174 pounds of catfish at Telfer’s residence.  While handfishing is legal in some states that is not the case in Iowa.  The style of fishing creates serious problems during June and July when low water levels makes large fish vulnerable.  The individuals in this case were observed removing large catfish from old bathtubs that had been placed there to attract and hold the fish.  Anyone with information about illegal fishing is asked to contact their local conservation officer.

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