Two southeast Iowa men are facing charges for illegal fishing activities on the Cedar River in Muscatine County.

DNR law enforcement conservation officer Joe Fourdyce started looking into the matter in late June after receiving a report of a hoop net on the river that was full of dead fish. “We did some surveillance on it over the course of several days and eventually tracked down who it was,” Fourdyce said.

Thirty-one-year-old Cody Frye of Nicholas and 30-year-old Derek Brase of Wilton are facing charges that include unlawful use of commercial gear in prohibited water and failure to attend commercial gear.

The men claimed they found the hoop net and were hoping to catch catfish. “Just their inexperience…they didn’t catch catfish, they managed to catch a bunch of rough fish and turtles,” Fourdyce said. “And because they weren’t attending (the net), many of those fish were so decomposed that I couldn’t identify them.” Frye and Brase were each fined $792.

Fourdyce credits an anonymous call to the DNR’s TIP line in helping him crack the case. “There are fewer and fewer game wardens…and we need all the help we can get, so I would encourage anybody who’s out there to call the TIP hotline so we can be made aware of things,” Fourdyce said.

The number for the DNR’s Turn in Poachers (TIP) line is 1-800-532-2020.