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July 27, 2010
Illegal Pacu Captured in Limestone, Aroostook County; Man Charged
Augusta, Maine -- A Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist and two game wardens recently captured an exotic Pacu fish from an unnamed brook in Limestone, and a Limestone man has been charged with illegally stocking Maine’s waters and possession of a restricted species of fish without a permit.
A photo of the Pacu that was retrieved from a brook in Limestone. Photo provided by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The fish was spotted by a Town of Limestone public works employee while inspecting a culvert at Mill Road, northeast of downtown. Based on an investigation, it was determined only one of the exotic fish was released into a small, shallow pond upstream of the road crossing.
The nearly 7-pound Pacu was captured on July 14 when MDIF&W Fisheries Biologist Frank Frost and District Game Wardens Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ed Christie located the fish swimming sluggishly around the small, shallow pool upstream of the road culvert. The outlet of the culvert was blocked by a screen, for beaver control, otherwise, the fish would have likely escaped downstream into a large private pond that eventually drains to Limestone Stream.
As a result of the investigation, Joe LaPierre, 34, of Limestone, has been charged with illegally stocking waters and possessing a restricted species of fish without a permit. Both charges are Class E crimes that carry penalties of a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $10,000.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife encourages people who own wildlife or fish and can no longer care for them to call the Department’s main office in Augusta or one of its regional offices for instructions on how to move them to a safe location. Please, do not leave them outdoors or put them in Maine’s waters. Maine’s natural resources are a crucial part of the state’s economy and heritage; such reckless acts could threaten the balance in our current ecosystem.
People with information regarding fish and wildlife violations are encouraged to call 1-800-ALERT-US or go to www.maineogt.org. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
To view a list of Maine’s unrestricted species, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife/species/unrestricted_species.htm
For information on illegal fish stockings and their threats to Maine’s waters, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/illegal_stocking.htm
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