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12 people face 80 charges in Lake of the Woods fishing case

BAUDETTE, Minn. -- An investigation into guided fishing operations on Lake of the Woods has resulted in charges against 12 people, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported.

According to Col. Ken Soring, DNR enforcement chief, the suspects face a total of 80 charges for various violations uncovered during an investigation by 40 DNR conservation officers, who converged on the area in January.

The investigation began last summer, and many of the charges involved the practice of double-tripping, in which anglers catch a limit of fish, leave the water and then return to catch more than their limit allows.

Soring said Thursday that summonses have been mailed to the 12 people being charged with misdemeanors, and copies of the documents were scheduled to be delivered Thursday to the Lake of the Woods County Court Administrator’s Office.

A spokeswoman for the court administrator’s office said they hadn’t received the documents as of midafternoon, and a message left with the Lake of the Woods County Attorney’s Office wasn’t immediately returned.

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