Taney County Missouri Department of Conservation agents knew something was fishy with their story, as it's not particularly hard to catch rainbow trout out of Lake Taneycomo near Branson. After all, tens of thousands are stocked annually in the lake from the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery below Table Rock Dam. However, there is a limit to what an angler can keep, as two fishermen recently discovered.
Taney County Conservation Agent Chris Boyd encountered two anglers who had 10 rainbow trout in their possession. According to MDC fishing regulations, an angler with a proper permit can keep four rainbows per day. According to a recent news release, both men knew about the daily possession limit but claimed they didn't know they had 10 trout in their boat's live well until they got back to their boat dock.
As the investigation continued, several more bags of trout were recovered from these individuals — which ultimately put them at 42 trout over their possession limit. Boyd issued several citations and seized the 42 trout, which were later donated to a needy family within Taney County. The anglers could lose their fishing privileges and face fines of up to $1,000.
Well, at the time it certainly did seem like a good idea.