Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development are reporting that conservation officers, through a variety of enforcement activities, have handed out numerous tickets and fines for illegal activities from February thru April, 2022.
On March 11, 2021, conservation officers from the Ashern area received information about unattended commercial fishing nets on Lake Manitoba. On March 19, 2021, officers located the three gangs of commercial nets with broken marker stakes and one stake still displaying a legible commercial fisher number. Rotten fish were observed in all the nets. Thirteen commercial fishing nets and other fishing apparatus were seized. On May 11, 2022, the accused pleaded guilty to leaving decaying fish in any net or other fishing apparatus and received a $1,000 fine.
On May 25, a conservation officer from The Pas area attempted to stop two individuals operating all-terrain vehicles on Provincial Road (PR) 283 without helmets and visible registration plates. The individuals fled but the officer was able to locate them. They were charged with failing to stop and remain stopped when signaled by a peace officer under the Highway Traffic Act and failing to wear a helmet contrary to the Off-Road Vehicles Act. A serious offence notice was issued under the Highway Traffic Act, which may lead to the suspension of their driver’s licenses.
On May 30, conservation officers from the Riverton area received information that an individual was selling walleye fillets without a receipt in the Arborg area. The commercial fishing season was closed at the time and it is illegal to sell fish without a receipt. As a result, the accused was fined a total of $1,798 for commercial fishing during a closed season and selling fish without a specified license. The seized fish were donated to the Riverton Seniors Lodge.
On June 5, conservation officers from the Riverton area attended the Gimli Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation shed. The commercial fishing season had opened at 6 a.m. Officers found that, just after 8 a.m., there had been a delivery of 1,045 kilograms of walleye, sauger and whitefish with a value of $3,334. Officers determined these fish had been caught from nets set prior to the opening of the season. Four individuals were charged for commercial fishing during a closed season, and each person received a $502 ticket. All fish seized and the proceeds from the illegal catch were forfeited to the Crown. An investigation is ongoing and may lead to additional charges and commercial fishing license suspensions.
Anyone with information on illegal activity is asked to call their local Natural Resources and Northern Development office or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-782-0076.