Wisconsin Angler Fined $25,000 For Hoarding 2,500 Panfish

Juuuust a bit over the limit there, buddy. The sport of fishing has always needed a true badboy, and I think we may have found him.

Stanley Paalksnis,73, was spotted by a warden on Lake Onalaska catching 22 fish. So far, so good, still under the 25 fish limit. Later that day, he returned and caught 25 more. Whoops! Double the limit. When the wardens approached Paalksnis to confront him for his overfishing and give him a slap on the wrist, they found an ocean’s 11 level heist of panfish stored in his freezer.

Stanley Paalksnis had 2,066 bluegill, 418 perch, and 88 crappie in his freezer. That’s 2572 fish! And the DNR had to actually count them all! The daily keeping limit for each is 25, and the possession limit is 50. When you’re off by 2,422, it is very hard to go with the “I lost count” defense that usually gets you out of a warden’s wrath when you have an extra fish or two on the stringer.

According to the Winona Daily News, Paalksnis had 7 previous citations for overfishing and has lost his license 3 different times. And you know what they say, 8 strikes and you’re out. Prosecutors in Wisconsin want to revoke his license, confiscate his boat, fine him $25,000 AND confiscate his two freezers where he was storing the fish. The last part seems like overkill, but the punishment should fit the crime, since he did technically over-kill 2,000 fish.

After a warden watched him catch the fish, keep the fish, store the fish, and saw all 2,500+ fish in his freezer, Paalksnis is still somehow pleading not guilty on the 4 charges. Best of luck to him during the trial.

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