Three southeast Iowa men are in hot water, as authorities charge they were using electricity to catch fish. Department of Natural Resources conversation officer Tom Campbell says they got a tip three men were using an "electrofishing" device on the Cedar River in Louisa County this past Sunday.
"It’s not that often that people get caught doing it," Campbell says. "I’ve been an officer for 24 years and this is only the second time that I’ve actually charged somebody for this type of activity." Campbell says you can buy "electrofishing" gadgets and some people even make their own. Officers discovered the three fishermen had two of these devices at their home.
"They’re illegal to use to shock fish," Campbell says. On Wednesday, the three men were each charged with six counts of taking catfish by electricity, as authorities discovered six catfish in the residence. Forty-nine-year-old Daniel Wehmeyer of Columbus Junction and 47-year-old Harlan Warnstaff of Conesville are scheduled to appear in court on August 12th.
Twenty-one-year-old Eric Pugh of Columbus Junction is to appear in court on August 19th. Wehmeyer, the oldest person in this fishing trio, faces an additional charge of not having a valid fishing license. If convicted, the three face fines that could top 26-hundred dollars.