ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Missouri conservation officials have issued citations to 16 people accused of illegally catching catfish in northwest Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Conservation said in a release Tuesday the misdemeanor citations were issued for hand fishing, which is also known as noodling or grabbing. The department says the practice removes catfish from spawning nests and harms the fishery. Several large fish were seized from the people cited.

The department says the citations issued for hand-fishing are a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

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