Two Vermont Men Plead Guilty to Taking Endangered Sturgeon
Two Burlington men pled no contest on December 23rd to taking an endangered species of fish in Addison County.
Dhan Gurung, 27, of Winooski and Kamal Pradhan, 31, from South Burlington were apprehended by game wardens in July after illegally taking a lake sturgeon from Otter Creek in Ferrisburgh. A concerned fisherman witnessed the two men catch the sturgeon and called a Vermont State Game Warden. With assistance from a Vergennes police officer, the 35-inch fish was seized and the two men were apprehended before they could leave the scene.
The lake sturgeon is on Vermont’s State Endangered Species List. A species is determined to be endangered in the state of Vermont if its continued existence as wildlife or a wild plant is in serious jeopardy. A sturgeon does not begin reproducing until it is approximately 20 years old. This sturgeon is believed to have been in its late teens, however, an exact age will not be known until it is inspected by a Fish and Wildlife Department biologist.
Gurung and Pradhan were fined $516 apiece and must pay $1000 in restitution for taking the sturgeon. In addition, any licenses they have to hunt, fish or trap in Vermont will be revoked for three years, and they will be required to take a remedial course before being eligble for licenses again.
Anyone who witnesses a Fish and Wildlife crime is asked to report it immediately directly to the local Game Warden by calling the state police dispatch or dialing 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378).