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Minn. appeals court: Minnows are not fish

ST. PAUL — A northern Minnesota bait dealer is off the hook after the state Court of Appeals ruled that a minnow is not a fish.

Kim Barsness of Baudette was caught by a conservation officer in May 2009 harvesting minnows in Upper Red Lake. Barsness had a permit to harvest minnows, but he was using equipment with orange DNR tags labeled for infested waters only — equipment the DNR says he wasn't supposed to use there.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Barsness was convicted of attempting to illegally sell wild animals — in this case, shiny minnows. He was fined and lost his commercial minnow license for three years.

On appeal, Barsness argued that what he was doing wasn't a crime. The appeals court found minnows are not treated as fish under state law, and reversed his conviction.

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