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Fisherman Pleads Not Guilty in Lake Puckaway Fish Kill


GREEN LAKE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A commercial fisherman from Ohio accused of killing thousands of game fish in Lake Puckaway has pleaded not guilty. Tim Smith faces a felony charge of violation of fish dealing rules. 

DNR officials say Smith was hired to remove carp from the lake, but he allegedly didn't remove the game fish from the nets like he was required to. Smith's attorney claims his client didn't commit a crime and did his best to save the fish. 

According to the criminal complaint, Smith told investigators he was in "over his head" and caught so many fish, he couldn't process them fast enough.

Court documents show, more than 3,300 walleye, northern pike, and channel catfish were killed last December. Investigators also noticed cuts on many fish, which could be an attempt to make the dead fish sink.

If convicted, Smith faces 3-and-a-half years in prison.