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A group of anglers that spent a couple of days on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River was caught with 72 walleyes and saugers — a whopping 48 fish over the limit.

Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer Corey Sura was at Wheeler's Point public access Sunday afternoon, checking anglers, when he came across a quartet waiting to back a trailer down the ramp, according to the DNR"s incident report. 

According to the report:

Sura approached one of the men, 22-year-old Michael Sysa, around 3 p.m. and asked how the fishing had been. Sysa said good, and Sura followed up by asking about fish they were taking home. Sysa said just the fish in the boat's live well — 26 total fish, a combination of walleyes and saugers, plus a perch.

Sura told the group they were over the limit by two. Current rules cap walleyes and saugers takes to six max. 

Sura also asked multiple times if there were any fish in the group's truck to which Sysa replied, no. But before getting into his squad, Sura asked if he had permission to check the truck bed. Sysa said yes, and when Sura opened the tailgate, he "immediately heard the sound of flopping" coming from one of the two coolers.

Sura opened one and inside saw it was three-quarters full of walleyes and saugers, then repeated the earlier conversation he'd had with Sysa about no fish being in the truck, and asked what he was "now looking at in a cooler in the back of his truck." To which Sysa replied, "fish in a cooler."

Sura and another CO, Ben Huener, counted the fish in the coolers, finding a total of 32 walleyes and 40 saugers, some caught that day and some the day prior from Lake of the Woods and Rainy River.

Sysa and the other group members — David Sysa, 23, Yevgeniy Simonovich, 29, and a juvenile — had some conversations about who was responsible. David Sysa claimed he did not eat fish, so was not over his limit, after which Sura explained "possession" of a fish begins once someone catches and keeps a fish.

Eventually, the adults agreed to split the blame, each taking responsibility for being 16 fish over their limit. The agency took every single one of their fish.

The three men were charged and cited, while the juvenile was given a written warning.

The fish did not go to waste.

All 72 of them were donated to Warroad Senior Living Center for meals. The DNR, meanwhile, took the two coolers, the incident report says.

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