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Officer's Report North Dakota Game & Fish Department Page 1 of 10 [coary [asian Oona ADabeor SCOTT WINKELMAN MORTON 412112019 - HEART RIVER - MANDAN, ND 58554 LAT: LONG: H - Fraate (ase er ccs tox [oot [act [PRONE REA awouvensr GIBBS, JOE [33 | FISHING PARTNER [ae TaST Fy. oie aa [ose PRONE DRE — [ra MAGNESS, JACOB HOWARD 32 INTERVIEWED Te (sr res, od a LR ARENZ, JASON a8 INTERVIEWED Pine cast Fes wont Tat [SOS ae rn RET VOTER VOLK, THOMAS M lat _[SusPEcT PORES aes Te ne ane CAST ART MDOT [58 ge PR RT TEER KNUTH, MATTHEW 2 WITNESS Officer's Report North Dakota Game & Fish Department Page 2 of 10 (On April 21 , 2019 the North Dakota Game and Fish Department began receiving numerous telephone calls and emails Stating that the potential state record walleye caught by Thomas VOLK on April 21, 2019 in the Heart River near the Highway 6 bridge was foul hooked (snagged) and was kept illegally. Calls and emails were forwarded to Scott Winkelman, Investigations Supervisor, and an investigation was opened. (On April 21, 2019 the general info email received an ermal from Matthew Knuth : ‘The email stated: | was two guys down from the record that was cought and it was being pulled in by the tail when she would come to the surface. His buddy said the hook came off Inthe net andit wos wrapped in the line but 'm positive t was @ ‘snagged | seen alot of fish snagged out their and the snagged all came to the top and we're draggedin from the side and tail and this fish came in from the tal and did't realy fight as much as you would of though a fish that size would of On April 22, 2019 Winkelman talked to Knuth by telephone. The call was recorded on a digital voice recorder. (OW_C0729.wav) Knuth stated the following: Knuth was fishing right next to the VOLK group. Knuth had been fishing at that location since Thursday. Knuth witnessed numerous fish snagged in the back or tail. Knuth witnessed the VOLK group snag several fish earlier that day. The fish were snagged in the back. Knuth stated that as the record fish was being reeled in it was tail first towards the rod and he could see that when it broke the surface. Knuth stated the fish acted like a log and he could see no head shake in the rod Knuth stated that he could not see the hook in the fish but when the fish was netted it was head ‘downstream, tail towards the rod, being pulled backwards. Knuth again stated that every time the fish surfaced it was tail towards the rod being pulled backwards. Knuth thought it was snagged near the tail end of the body. Knuth stated the netter was out on a sandbar but he had a good visual of it Knuth stated he was standing 15 to 20 feet away from VOLK, maybe closer. Knuth stated people on the bank were booing VOLK saying let it go. Knuth stated he talked to the guy who netted the fish because he came back and fished with him and he - Officer's Report North Dakota Game & Fish Department sriayt9 10:57:01 Page 3 of 10 [Log Member GF-19-00649 said you guys (Game and Fish) never asked him f the fish was snagged or not and he said the hook came ‘out in the net when he netted the fish and the fish was all wrapped up in the string. Knuth then stated that the netter told him he could not say where it was hooked because the hook came out in the net and he did not see where it was hooked. Knuth stated he watched them pull two fish in before that which were 2-4 pounds and both were hooked in the top fin. (On April 22, 2019 the general info email received an ermail from oe The email stated "I just wanted to let you know that the big fish being what everyone is saying there catching but really there snagging them which is illegal. And then being the fish are snagged they by law havr to release them back into the water immediately and they are not following that rule ether. | was riding Ty quad down the dike when the guy brought that fish in that weighed 16.91bs. And he did not catch that fish it was snagged!" Winkelman received a response on May 3, 2019 which stated the following: actually was there when he was reeling in the fish and did see it while it was netted. What it looked lke to me was it was hooked in the right side dorsalfin. It wasn't hooked in the mouth that's a foresure. | actually ended up taking the ‘guys spot where he was fishing when he went to weigh it in. On May 3, 2019 Winkelman email and asked if would give Winkernian a written statement. (On May 3, 2019 Winkelman received an email from that stated the following: I could! just dont want to have to testify in court if that would at ail be possible. | would like my name not to be seen. (On April 22, 2019 Winkelman received a video by text message from District Game Warden Corey Erck. Erck had received the video from a confidential source who stated that it showed the hook being pulled from the record fish's back. Erck stated that Jason Arenz had the whole video. Winkelman contacted Arenz and Arenz met Winkelman in Winkelman's office and consented to the download of the entire video. Winkelman ‘downloaded the video from Arenz's phone onto his computer. Arenz stated his juvenile son took the video and was standing next to the fisherman who caught the fish. “The video is 4:06 long. Winkelman viewed the Video and determined that the video showed VOLK fighting the fish for several minutes. A man ina ‘camouflage jacket, later identified as Joe GIBBS, was out on a sandbar and netted the fish. GIBBS then walks back to VOLK with the fish visibly not moving in the net. GIBBS stops and reaches into the net. It appears there is a whitelyellow jig in the left side of the fish, near the back dorsal fin. GIBBS grabs the jig and starts pulling up, pulling the whole fish up in the net. GIBBS arm moves in a pulinglerking motion and then GIBBS starts walking away with the fish in the net. At no time was the fishing line visibly wrapped around the fish On April 22, 2019 Winkelman received a forwarded email from Janice Vetter, North Dakota Game and Fish Department Fisheries Division Administrative Assistant. The email was from Jacob Magnes. Magnes was Fequesting a return phone call about the new stale record walleye, On, Api22, 2019 Winkelman called ‘Magnes. The call was recorded on a digital voice recorder. (OW_C0731.wav) Magnes stated the following: Magnes had been fishing that spot for 3 days and had not seen a fish over 20 inches actualy bite.