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Lake Vermilion Fisherman's Bust Uses DNA To Make Case – Duluth News Tribune


October 13, 2022

DULUTH — Minnesota Conservation Officer Shane Zavodnik, who patrols the forests and waters of the Virginia area on the Iron Range, had to get some help from the science lab to make a big fish bust that started at Lake Vermilion.

As early as July 8, Zavodnik reached out to some out-of-state anglers who travel to Vermilion annually. The two anglers had complained that the fishing wasn’t great. But on closer inspection, Zavodnik found them with bags and bags of fish fillets — including 68 perch (trout and smallmouth) and 60 bluegills. That’s 56 bass and 20 bluegills over their limit.

Because the fish were already filleted and not always distinguishable, Zavodnik sent the fillets to the lab for DNA analysis to prove how many fish the duo had over their limit for each species.


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