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 July, 2023.
On July 22, Manitoba conservation officers from The Pas and Saskatchewan conservation officers from Creighton, Sask. conducted checkstops north of both Creighton and Flin Flon. Officers conducted 27 inspections, including 12 fishing compliance inspections, and a total of $461 in off-road vehicle tickets were issued. Flin Flon RCMP were called to assist with an intoxicated driver. The individual received a three-day roadside suspension and a $672 ticket for consuming liquor in a public place.
On July 21, a Selkirk conservation officer in Lockport observed two men angling along the Red River in an area where signage indicates that fishing is prohibited. As the officer approached, one of the men grabbed his line in an attempt to break it. The officer identified himself and told the man to stop, however, the man then bit his line and threw it into the river. Two men from Illinois were fined $486 for engaging in a restricted or prohibited fishing activity in an area marked by posted signs. The man who broke his line was also fined an additional $2,542 for obstructing a peace officer.
On July 11, Cranberry Portage conservation officers received reports of an individual living in a parking lot at Bakers Narrows Provincial Park. Officers attended and located the vehicle matching the description. The driver of the vehicle attempted to flee, but was apprehended by officers. The driver had a disqualified driver’s licence and had no vehicle registration, so the individual was ticketed $672 for driving while disqualified and the vehicle was impounded for 30 days.
On June 21, a Cranberry Portage conservation officer along with Cranberry Portage RCMP were helping at a community event on Little Athapapuskow Lake. Two pontoon boats that were involved in the event did not return when expected, so officers conducted a search. Wind gusts were up to 40 kilometres an hour along with two-metre swells on the lake. The officers observed one pontoon stuck in the waves, with two adults overboard, so they immediately helped the pair. While assisting the first pontoon, officers spotted the second pontoon stranded on an island. Five youth and one adult were located. All were brought to safety with no injuries.
In June, conservation officers in Sprague received a complaint of a landowner clearing part of a road allowance south of the community of Piney, near the U.S. border. An officer investigated and found that the landowner did not have permission from the municipality to cut this allowance and he had not obtained a timber permit from the Forestry Branch as required. The officer, with the assistance of the Forestry Branch, counted 634 stumps and assessed timber dues on 94 cubic metres of timber. Three loggers from the Sprague area were issued written warnings while a landowner from Sarto was issued $1,200 in timber dues.
In early May, Winnipeg conservation officers were made aware of a man that had been seen shooting geese with a firearm in St. Vital Park. An investigation was initiated and a suspect was identified. On May 12, conservation officers were informed that the suspect was once again in St. Vital Park shooting geese. Officers responded and intercepted the suspect at his residence. Two Canada goose carcasses and a .22 calibre rifle were seized as evidence. A 23-year-old Winnipeg man has been charged with two counts of loading and handling a firearm in a prohibited area along with several charges under the Wildlife Act. He was issued a court appearance notice.
On April 29, a conservation officer in Cranberry Portage was conducting angling inspections at the Simonhouse Lake boat launch. The officer observed two individuals traveling on an ATV and snowmobile, heading off the lake towards the boat launch. The officer signaled for the vehicles to stop, and while the ATV stopped, the snowmobile fled back onto the ice. The officer confirmed the snowmobiler’s identity and the driver was charged under the Fisheries Act for obstructing an officer in the execution of duties. The ATV driver was fined for consuming liquor in a public place and not wearing a helmet. In all, fines totaled $1,946.
Anyone with information on illegal activity is asked to call a local Natural Resources and Northern Development office or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-782-0076.