Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development are reporting that conservation officers, through a variety of enforcement activities, have ticketed and fined numerous individuals for illegal activities during the months of April through May, 2023.
On April 22, Neepawa district conservation officers obtained information through taxidermy records that an arctic fox may have been harvested illegally. Following an investigation, officers determined an arctic fox had been taken from a trap near Brochet. A man from Kelwood was charged with taking a wild animal without a licence and the mounted fox was seized. He received a $237 ticket and a one-year hunting suspension.
On the weekend of April 29-30, Beausejour conservation officers conducted an off-road vehicle (ORV) compliance patrol in the Seddons Corner area of the Rural Municipality of Reynolds. Officers educated multiple riders on registration requirements for ORVs and issued two tickets for failing to provide registration.
On the evenings of May 4 and 5, conservation officers conducted surveillance along the Whitemud River at Perry Park in Westbourne and observed several individuals and groups illegally dip-netting walleye. Officers issued several tickets with fines totalling over $2,100 and restitution totalling more than $2,300.
On May 7, Interlake-area conservation officers received a tip about anglers catching walleye on the Fairford River while walleye season was still closed. A Winnipeg resident received a $352 ticket for catching and retaining fish while walleye season was closed and was issued a restitution notice of $252. A week later, conservation officers encountered the same Winnipeg resident fishing on the Fairford River and found him in possession of 10 walleye, which is six over the legal limit. The individual was given a $252 ticket for possessing more fish than the possession quota and another $252 restitution notice.
On May 13, a Dauphin conservation officer responded to a Turn in Poachers (TIP) call about a group of people fishing at the Mossey River outlet dam at the north end of Dauphin Lake. The caller was concerned at the size of walleye being kept by the group. The outlet dam and Mossey River are within the Dauphin Lake walleye restriction area. Three males from Ethelbert were charged with possessing fish over the size limit and received tickets totalling $481 along with $2,730 in restitution.
Between May 13 and May 22, conservation officers conducted numerous angling compliance checks on various lakes in Whiteshell Provincial Park and encountered a number of anglers possessing fish over the size limit. In Special Area “A”, which includes the Whiteshell Provincial Park, it is illegal to possess walleye that measure over 45 cm in length. In all, six anglers from various communities including Winnipeg and Niverville each received $77 tickets and $42 restitution orders. In one case, a pair of anglers from Winnipeg were each fined $127 and issued a $126 restitution order. An angler from Selkirk who did not have a fishing licence was found in possession of eight northern pike fillets. The angler was fined $298 and received a $168 restitution order.
During angling enforcement activities, Manitoba conservation officers strive to release live fish back into the wild and donate any fish that cannot be released.
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.