The Department of Conservation says a man who made headlines last summer for catching an 83-pound flathead catfish has pleaded guilty to taking it using an illegal method. Anthony Stacy of Farmington faces 13 other wildlife violations in two counties.
Stacy said in June, 2015, he took the catfish by limb lining on Clearwater Lake in southeast Missouri near Piedmont. The Department learned he actually shot the fish with a bow, which is not a legal way to take game fish in Missouri.
Stacy has pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally shooting flathead catfish with a bow – one the 83-pounder, and the other a 50-pound catfish. He was fined $500.
Three more counts of taking game fish by illegal methods were dropped as part of a plea agreement in Reynolds County, but the Department said Stacy still faces the other 13 charges in St. Francois and Jefferson Counties, and said he has three prior conservation violations.
A conservation agent said such illegal taking of fish deprives others the chance to legally catch a potentially once-in-a-lifetime fish.