Commercial Fishing Company Cited For Wanton Waste and Killing of Prized Game Fish

It does not matter if it is a recreational fisherman or a commercial fisherman how you treat fish matters. Fish are vital parts of the ecosystem and should be wasted or abused. If you are going to eat the fish take it or release it unharmed to the best of your ability.

The Ohio Division of Fish and Wildlife cited a commercial fishing company of wanton waste along with several other charges. They posted about the violations on their Facebook page.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has charged Szuch Fishery, Inc. with wildlife violations after investigators observed abuse and wanton waste of highly-prized game fish on March 31, 2020.

“This type of behavior is unexpected and unacceptable,” said Matt Leibengood, Law Enforcement Supervisor for the Division’s Lake Erie Enforcement unit. “I am proud of our investigators and officers working to protect Ohio’s natural resources.”

Division of Wildlife investigators observed and recorded Szuch employees intentionally injure a rare trophy-sized muskellunge after it was removed from a commercial fishing net in western Lake Erie. Employees were also observed removing numerous gar, a native fish important to the ecosystem, from commercial fishing nets and then breaking their spines and tossing the carcasses into the lake.

Szuch Fishery will appear in Oregon Municipal Court on charges of one count of causing intentional injury to a non-commercial fish species, 10 counts of stream littering and 10 counts of disposing of dead fish. Szuch employees Joseph Imre Jr., Holly Szuch, and Michael Szuch were each charged with one count of stream littering and one count of illegally disposing of dead fish.

If convicted, Szuch Fishery faces maximum penalties of $55,000 and a 30-day suspension of its ability to fish with commercial gear and to handle commercial fish or other fish at wholesale. The individuals face a maximum penalty of $750 and 90 days of incarceration.