Bugged Fish Gets Vermont Angler in Trouble

Ryan McCullough maybe the first angler in history to have a fish rat him out from a freezer. This bizarre case started innocently enough on July 25 when McCullough landed, what he thought was a trophy-sized brown trout, on Vermont's White River. The fish measured 31.5 inches and weighed 9.5 pounds. McCullough was so happy with his catch that he had his picture taken with it before putting it in his freezer.

That picture ended up in The Randolph Herald where it caught the attention of Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife officials who immediately noticed that the fish wasn't a brown trout but a rare Atlantic salmon.

Not just any salmon mind you but one of only two that F & W officials had planted with a radio transmitter for monitoring salmon in the White River. Officials immediately turned on their receiver and tracked the fish to McCullough's freezer. McCullough was cited for taking a big game species and now faces a $1,500 fine as well as the suspension of his hunting and fishing license for three years. Ouch!

What do you think OL readers? Are Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife officials being too hard on McCullough? Or does he deserve the punishment he faces? Would officials be able to track the fish had McCullough eaten it - transmitter and all? And how can somebody in Vermont track a dead fish to a freezer when my cell phone loses service in Texas?