BISMARCK, N.D. - There's more to the disqualified record walleye than initially thought.
North Dakota Game and Fish released the investigation report, saying the angler who reeled it in hooked it near a dorsal fin, not the mouth.
The information was then sent to the Morton County state's attorney, who ultimately made the decision about the fish being illegally hooked.
The Game and Fish used a four-minute video to deny Tom Volk the state record for a walleye catch. The April 21 video was a crucial part of the agency’s investigation, which investigators got from a confidential informant.
Over the next nine days, investigators spoke with various witnesses who said the fish was improperly hooked.
On April 24, a lawyer, who was representing both Volk and a friend who netted the walleye, called Game and Fish, saying his clients wouldn't provide statements to the agency.
The friend then called the agency on April 30, telling Game and Fish he would sit and interview with them. At this point he was no longer represented by the lawyer. During his May 1 interview, he told them he never saw the hook in the fish in the water and couldn't tell if it was hooked in the mouth, belly or tail. He also told the investigators that Volk asked him to see an attorney and Volk would pay for it.
Volk told investigators on May 2 he wouldn't provide a statement under the advice from his attorney.
Morton County state’s attorney Allen Koppy sent a letter on May 6 saying his team concluded the fish was improperly hooked.
Game and Fish called Volk on May 10, saying his catch wouldn't be recognized and he was given a written warning for illegally possessing a foul hooked fish.
Volk spoke to us on May 14, saying he's 100-percent confident the fish was hooked in the mouth and he had witnesses supporting that claim. He told us he will mount the catch on the wall.