More Incidents Reported Of Catfish Being Tossed On Shore And Left To Rot

The bellies of at least two of the catfish left on shore to rot near the Eagle Point boat landing on the Red Lake River in East Grand Forks appear to have been slit. A park worker found and photographed the rotting fish Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Catherine Johnson, Red River State Recreation Area)

The sad, disgusting tale of catfish being caught and left to rot on shore continues.

Catherine Johnson, seasonal manager of the Red River State Recreation Area in East Grand Forks, shared this photo a park worker took Wednesday after finding the rotting fish by the Eagle Point boat landing on the Red Lake River.

The photo shows at least seven catfish, and two with their undersides visible clearly had their bellies slit.

Of the three incidents that have been reported in East Grand Forks in the past week, this one is the most disturbing, Johnson said in an email. Catfish left on stringers or tossed onto the pavement also have been found at the LaFave Park landing on the Red River in East Grand Forks and the Whopper John Little (north) boat landing in Grand Forks.

As I reported here on Tuesday, Greenway staff and authorities on both sides of the Red River are asking for the public’s help in catching the person or people responsible for the incidents. Kim Greendahl, Greenway coordinator for the city of Grand Forks, said the incidents began around the Fourth of July and have occurred on several other occasions since then.

After my story appeared in Wednesday’s Herald, Greendahl said she received a call from someone who said they’d found a stringer of catfish two weeks ago at the Lincoln boat ramp.

“Hopefully, making these incidents public will make people think twice about their actions,” Greendahl said in an email. “We can only hope.”

Blake Riewer, district game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Grand Forks, and Tom Hutchins, conservation officer for the Department of Natural Resources in Crookston, are aware of the incidents, but it more than likely will take the public’s help in putting an end to these inexcusable acts.

Anyone with information about the incidents  should call North Dakota’s Report All Poachers hotline at (800) 472-2121, Minnesota’s Turn in Poachers hotline at (800) 652-9093 or #TIP on cellphones or Greendahl at (701) 738-8746.