AITKIN, Minn. (AP) — A judge says prosecutors can't use fish seized in a warrantless search as evidence against a couple who live on Mille Lacs Lake.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports that Aitkin County District Judge John Solien suppressed the evidence this week.

According to court documents, a conservation officer observed Richard and Linda Southworth, of Isle, fishing with an extra line in July. He then asked if he could look inside their home to see if they had more fish in the freezer. They were charged with possessing a gross over-limit of 52 walleye. The judge ruled that Richard Southworth did not voluntarily consent to the search but instead merely submitted to the officer's authority.

Defense attorney Bill Peterson says the decision is important for protecting the privacy of Minnesota sportsmen.