Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development are reporting that conservation officers, through a variety of enforcement activities, have fined numerous individuals for illegal activities during the months of April through May, 2023.
During a four-day enforcement blitz from April 27 to 30 near Westbourne, five individuals from different locations including Rosenfeld, Portage la Prairie, Brandon, Friedensruh and Winnipeg, were charged under the Manitoba Fishery Regulations with illegal fishing activities along the Whitemud River. Officers seized six walleye and released the fish back into the river while seizing three northern pikes as evidence. In all, fines and restitution charges totaled $1,313.
On April 29, at approximately 10:20 p.m., conservation officers observed a truck with a light bar pull into a wayside park in Westbourne along the Whitemud River. Four males exited the truck wearing headlamps. After shining the water for a time, they started to actively dip-net walleye, which is illegal. Additionally, walleye season was closed at the time and remained closed in this area until May 13. Four males from the Steinbach area were each issued two tickets, with fines totalling $2,066 and restitution charges totalling $1,092. Officers also gave a verbal warning for unlawfully transporting liquor in the back seat of the truck. In all, 26 walleye and five dip-nets were seized. The walleye were donated to a personal care home.
On April 30, conservation officers conducted evening surveillance in Westbourne along the Whitemud River. Officers observed an individual from Portage la Prairie dip-net four walleye and place them into a bucket that was nearly overflowing with fish. Officers seized 16 walleye and a dip-net. The walleye were donated to a personal care home. In all, fines and restitution charges totaled $2,724.
On May 1, the Portage la Prairie district office received a Turn in Poachers (TIP) line call regarding an individual dip-netting walleye along the Whitemud River at Perry Park near Westbourne. Conservation officers attended and seized 53 walleye and one northern pike as well as two dip-nets. A resident of Roseisle received fines and restitution charges totalled $3,420.
On April 27, Dauphin conservation officers observed two males using dip-nets to catch and retain spawning walleye at a low-lying area of the Valley River. In all, the pair had 20 walleye in their possession. Both men, from Camperville, were issued court appearance notices along with restitution charges totaling $4,200 for retaining walleye in a conservation closure. All fish were donated.
On April 30, Dauphin conservation officers observed an individual using a dip-net to catch and retain spawning walleye in a low-lying area of the Valley River. A man from Dauphin had seven walleye in his possession. He was issued a notice to appear in court along with a $1,470 restitution charge for retaining walleye in a conservation closure. All fish were donated.
Anyone with information on illegal activity is asked to call a local Natural Resources and Northern Development office or the TIP line at 1-800-782-0076.