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Authorities confiscated more than 2,500 panfish from an Onalaska angler facing $24,683 in fines for exceeding possession limits.

Stanley Paalksnis, 73, pleaded not guilty through his attorney to four citations Thursday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wardens Nov. 4 on Lake Onalaska saw Paalksnis keep 47 bluegills, according to court records. The daily limit is 25.

Paalksnis claimed he did not catch more than the daily limit and wouldn’t let authorities into his house at W7283 N. Shore Lane without a warrant, telling a warden that he wasn’t “real law enforcement” as he was being detained, according to reports.

“The only thing I hate more than game wardens is (an expletive),” Paalksnis told a warden.

In his boat and house, authorities found 2,066 bluegills, 418 perch and 88 crappies, reports stated. The possession limits are 50 each.

Paalksnis told a warden that for 20 years he was selling bags of fish for $5 in Chicago, reports stated.

Prosecutors want the judge to revoke his fishing privileges and confiscate his 15-foot flat-bottom boat and two freezers seized during the search of his house.

The DNR issued Paalksnis seven citations for exceeding possession limits between 1989 and 2011 in Buffalo and La Crosse counties. His fishing privileges were revoked twice.


Police and courts reporter

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at or 608-791-8224.

(42) comments


While this guy is a criminal, on the other hand, Game wardens tend to be a bit on the zealot side and unlike normal law enforcement get away with a lot of bullying tactics with suspected violators that would never hold up in a normal law enforcement setting. Most accused (even those wrongfully) tend to just give up and pay the fine.

Tim Russell

Well if you are guilty, isn't that actually your best option?


Yes, but many aren't and have no way to prove they aren''s their world against the warden....such as for example, Warden claims he saw an individual shoot at swans. None were killed and the hunter says he didn't, but yet they are fined.


That isn't at all the situation. This man was caught completely guilty. Zero doubt. And he has a past history of repeating the crime. Think how often he WASN'T caught. He obviously that these particular laws don't pertain to him.
What's worse is that just like others of his type, he is taking away from those who follow the laws. Book him Danno!


The guy is a criminal period. He's been violating the law for years for his own selfish needs. Throw him in jail for a few months, confiscate his boat and all his fishing gear. Then maybe he'll finally wake up. I doubt it though.


He obviously has a mental disorder. It's not about greed, or money. It's an addiction.


REALTORick ... if anyone knows about greed, it is you.

Maybe if you ate more fish, you wouldn't look like penguin when you walk


I don't care if the man's lineage is Heinz 57. I don't care his reasons. I don't care about the good and bad of the DNR. We have rules and laws so we can all live together, to protect ourselves and our environment. This man violated our rules. And to add insult to injury, these fish are most likely going to go to waste and deplete the reserves for the rest of us. The lakes and rivers are a public trust. What is so hard to understand. And going off topic to pander to our and others prejudices is exactly why we have so much trouble living up to the Christian values most people say they believe in. He broke the law, there is a penalty, period.


With all the fish in his freezers for that long the only use for them would be as a source of fish oil. Signed, Ron


This guy is full of it saying he drove to Chicago and got 5 bucks a bag for fish. Wouldn't be worth anyone's time to drive 5 hours to & back to get $5 a bag for some Bluegills. Having that much in his freezer also has a freshness issue much like all other food items that have been frozen. With the amount found, those fish have been in the freezer for a long time. He might just be nuts. The LaCrosse courts will rubber stamp this much like everything else as I see it. He'll get a reduced fine, they'll take away his license for a short period and then back to business as usual, just fishing in areas that aren't easily seen by others.


Fish should be devided and given to the poor. Perhaps at food pantrys,just in time for lent. The guy is a jerk put the food to some good work.

Mo' Money Scott Walker

Don't worry Stan, I'm on this. Looks like the DNR could use a little trimming. Oh, and thanks for all the fish!


To: Mo' Money Walker
Good comment , these DNR bureaucrats who police our natural resources are an
example of what George W. was referring to when he spoke of Al Quada : "they
hate freedom."
Signed ,

Al Webb

Greetings; This dude is a repeat violator; was selling his fish for five bucks a bag? You have to be kidding! For that under valued price, the dude would have been better off using the fish for his own consumption. Great to hear that the wardens are still doing their job noting their reduced budget.

Liberty Peak

Take his privilege to fish in all 50 States away. I'll bet Minnesota, Illinois or any other state, want his kind on their waters. He has been profiting from his illegal activity, I'm sure the IRS would like to look at his tax returns a little closer.
Maybe he stashed enough money away to pay his fines, and lawyer fees, and court costs.


Two kinds of greed here. Yes, he is an idiot and a $24k fine will make him think twice, very very appropriate.

The other kind of greed is state mandated - the seizure of property. Back in the day Americans wouldn't have put up with this commie act.

The second kind of greed is to see how much funding the DNR can get off of seizures.


Jobaba - are you serious? Of course they should seize everything they did - it was surely appropriate - perhaps he will think about it when he is cashing in assets to pay his fine.

Tim Russell

Apparently you don't get the concept of sarcasm.


How does a greedy guy cut out to be CEO end up on Lake Onalaska?


Translate please.


When's the fish fry??? The DNR should fry them up...yummy!!!


I take you are all voting for TRUMP! He'll build a wall in the Mississippi and make the Mexicans pay for it.


He'll be out fishing somewhere after this is all over and his privileges have been taken from him. He seems like that kind of guy.


He complained about the lack of ,and size of , the sunfish in the lake


Hmmm, I wonder why... It baffles me.


Jail's a good place for him. All for me, none for you.


What is the DNR going to do with the fish now that they have confiscated them.

Deadwood subscriber

Sell them for $7.50 a bag in Chicago exurbs.


Ha, if I had a clap icon or whatever they're called, if use it here. Funny!

Little Willie

They should send him to jail anf have him cook them for all the prisoners, it would really help the jail budget


Guess he wasn't just an old man forced to fish to be able to eat huh?

Tim Russell

There would be 75 posts by now if he was Hmong.


I was thinking the same thing..imagine if it was Hmong guy..all that you see would be racist comments!


The HMOOBs would cry to the trib and have the comments disabled. Happens all the time anyway.


Just goes to show you poachers come in all races. Way to be ignorant Tim!


This deadbeat should never be allowed to buy a fishing license again.


You think a piece of paper is going to stop him? are naïve.


This isn't a political issue by the way. I'm a proud and avid conservative and what he did was inexcusable. It's not about tree hugging, it's about common decency and respect for the environment we all share.


Where's everyone who was defending this pirate before? Now you see the true magnitude of his crime. He pillaged our shared resources and needs the book thrown at him. And everyone who defended him previously should be ashamed.


That would be TeddyJ, dickey roberts, noneya, SIX, JimB, etc... I'm sure they'll all be on later to apologize for being wrong.


Another taker who doesn't respect the fact that laws were designed to protect ALL of us. Like Cliven Bundy, he is taking from the public for his own use.


ok , how about some jail time for this guy too ??

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