Two Missouri men charged for illegal hand fishing at Lake of the Ozarks

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LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. – Two Missouri men have been charged for “noodling” or illegal hand fishing catfish at the Lake of the Ozarks in July.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, “noodling,” or hand-fishing, is an illegal technique where poachers reach their hands or hooks into catfish nests and drag the catfish out.

By doing this, they are removing the parent fish from the nest then kills the hundreds of eggs it was protecting, which would become more catfish to catch.

The suspects were identified as Russell Wallis from Camdenton, Missouri and Samuel Phillips from Edwards, Missouri.

After conservation agents received information about a possible “noodling” case, they performed an investigation that led them to one of the suspects. The first suspect admitted to illegally hand fishing and also revealed the second suspect involved.

To report hunting or fishing violations, call the Operation Game Thief at 1-800-392-1111.

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