Grand Rapids – A Michigan fish dealer has been sentenced to four months in prison for buying and selling lake trout from Lake Michigan that had been illegally taken by a tribal fisherman.
The Grand Rapids Press reports that George Eugene Schrink pleaded guilty to false labeling of fish. He operates Walters Gold Coast Fisheries.
U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo also ordered Schrink to pay more than $270,000 in restitution.
Schrink was caught in a three-year investigation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency set up a covert business to buy and sell fish.
Investigators say Schrink bought more than 4,600 pounds of illegally harvested fish during a three-month period in 2014.
Government officials say over-harvesting and sea lampreys have caused the lake trout population to dip to a dangerously low level.