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    Thread: Cleaning Fish

    1. Back To Top    #1
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      Cleaning Fish

      This summer at a cleaning station I was told of two guys that were fined for zippering out their walleye fillets. I believe the reason I was told this story is the way I was cleaning my walleye. I usually deep fry walleye so I chunk up the fillets. Cut the tail section and zipper out the tenderloins. I don't worry too much about the belly meat unless their larger fish. Anyway I looked up the regulations and it reads: The packaging of fish away from one's residence must be done in such a manner that the number of fish in each package may be easily determined. It doesn't say the fillets should be left intact. I figure 2 tail sections plus 2 tenderloins = 1 fish. Did anyone else hear this story? The guy also said the young Game Warden took their fish.

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      Id say it depends on the intelligence of the GW whos checking... #learntomath

      Im surprised they dont require people to keep part of the skin intact on each fillet so they can determine the species more easily also! Didnt know fish have tenderloins, isnt the whole fillet quite tender?

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      I've heard some scrutiny on there being 4 separate pieces of meat but never of a game warden fining anyone. If you sit and explain how you clean them, they should understand. Unless its some young gun that isn't a fisherman or is ticket-happy.

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      NPAA #939

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      I specifically sent an email to G&F a couple years ago and was told to zip them was fine , and that 4 pieces did not equate to 2 fish . I keep that with my license full time

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      I think I remember reading that 2 fillets=1 fish thing once upon a time too. Which is silly because there is a dozen different ways to fillet fish.
      So if I fillet the fish off the ribs, cut the zipper bones from the front so each side stays intact for two fillets I'm legal but if I take the cheeks, which I do with just about every walleye now at my son's insistence cuz he like's to 'eat their faces', and cut out the 'frog legs' I have now 5 pieces from one walleye and it's virtually stripped of all edible meat, I'm now illegal? I can't find it in the regs anymore so I assume they adjusted the wording but it sounded like one of those intent vs. wording of the law issues.

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      It is law that to transport fish you must have at least 1" of skin on the fillet to identify the species.

      - - - Updated - - -

      Well, well.....I just re-read the entire Regulations and this is all it says.

      "The packaging of fish (including parts thereof) away from one’s residence must be done in such a manner that the number of fish in each package may be easily determined."

      I could have sworn that it said 1" of skin must be attached to each fillet at some point. How the hell would the warden know otherwise????



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    7. Back To Top    #7
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      The 1 inch of skin is a MN regulation but I don't think it's ever been a ND regulation.

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      ^^^^^ Also a Manitoba regulation>

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      When there are laws like this with apparent room for discretion, it's usually not worth the risk to leave yourself open to a penalty IMO.
      I just zipper them at home before I vac-seal them or cook them, or if I have already vac-sealed them, just zipper them after you thaw them.

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    10. Back To Top    #10
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      I've gotten to the point where I just process them the way I want and if I get fined I get fined

      It will have worked out to about a dime per fish cleaning event if I ever get fined at this point - so i don't sweat it

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      Quote Originally Posted by guywhofishes View Post
      I've gotten to the point where I just process them the way I want and if I get fined I get fined

      It will have worked out to about a dime per fish cleaning event if I ever get fined at this point - so i don't sweat it
      Same. If I get checked, I just hope they give me 10 seconds to lay out each filet and explain.

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      NPAA #939

    12. Back To Top    #12
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      However - IF I have a large mixed bag and there's potential for having it look like I'm trying to hide an overlimit of walleyes, I do leave a tiny patch on each just to avoid to hassle of being suspected/grilled


      but if I'm hauling 5 waldos per angler and nothing else.... I don't even think about it

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    13. Back To Top    #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Retired Educator View Post
      ^^^^^ Also a Manitoba regulation>
      THERE it is.. I was waiting for someone to remember Canada. It's always been a rule there.

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    14. Back To Top    #14
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      I zip my fish also, if a G&F warden cant figure it out then one might want to be careful de-boning a deer/elk and hauling it in one cooler

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    15. Back To Top    #15
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      on the other hand I feel for the warden

      it would piss me off to pull four guys over

      they spent a week at Devils Lake

      and you have to wade through a single 80 lbs bag of what they claim are their limit of walleye, northern, and white bass - with no patches

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    16. Back To Top    #16
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      I do believe at one time you had to have a piece of skin on and that they took it out of the regs. I also zip fish---ever since I was at a cleaning station and a game warden off duty was cleaning walleyes and he zipped every one of them. I figure if he can so can I. As far as getting stopped and them checking what you have---I really believe it would be up to you to put them together as a fish and prove to him you are not over limit----could be wrong there but don't want to find out I guess.

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      Easier and less hassle to just leave patch of skin and zipper when home.

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    18. Back To Top    #18
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      I clean my fish in the boat as I catch them throw the fillets in the cooler carcass in the lake so it's always catch and release I heard there's no limit then....

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    19. Back To Top    #19
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      Damn, hope I never get checked after I clean a limit of pike. I end up with 16 pieces per pike after it's deboned.

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      Was told by the gw at Beaver Bay this spring not to zip them at the cleaning station. I hadn't cleaned them yet and wanted to know.

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