Natural Resources and Northern Development advises that conservation officers are continuing enforcement to protect Manitoba’s natural resources through a variety of enforcement activities across the province.

On Jan. 8, a conservation officer and a park patrol officer were at Lockport conducting fisheries checks on the Red River when officers observed a pop-up fishing tent. Officers entered the tent and observed a male and a female fishing. Officers determined that neither person had a valid fishing licence. The male was issued a $298 ticket for angling without a licence while the female was given a warning. Officers later observed the same male, who was suspended from driving, drive a vehicle off the ice. They initiated a traffic stop and issued the male a $672 ticket under the Highway Traffic Act for driving while disqualified and his truck was seized and impounded for 30 days.

On Jan. 25, Swan River conservation officers located a moose kill site along Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 77 west of Barrows. The moose was killed within a moose conservation closure area (in Game Hunting Area 13) along the north side of the Porcupine Mountain Provincial Forest. Evidence collected at the scene led investigators to a residence in Cross Lake. The Manitoba Conservation Officer Service and RCMP executed a search warrant and a 32-year-old male was issued a Fish and Wildlife Restitution Notice for $6,000 and a notice to appear in Swan River provincial court in May.

The Manitoba Conservation Officer Service is investigating two other moose kills within the moose conservation closure area along the Porcupine Mountain Provincial Forest in January and February. Anyone with information about illegal moose hunting is encouraged to contact the Conservation Officer Service at 204-734-3429 or the TIP Line at 1-800-782-0076.

On Feb. 4, conservation officers from the Winnipeg District conducted an inspection of a Winnipeg restaurant to ensure its fish was acquired from legal sources. Officers entered the restaurant and began inspecting coolers, locating 21 whole walleye and one package of fillets. The restaurant owner was unable to provide documentation proving that the fish were lawfully obtained. Further investigation revealed that some fish had been obtained from a licensed angler, who does not have the authority to sell, trade or barter fish caught under the authority of that licence. All the fish were seized and the restaurant owner received a $577 ticket for exceeding the fish possession quota.

On Feb. 7, conservation officers from the Riverton area were conducting a commercial fishing compliance patrol on Lake Winnipeg near Hecla Village when a gang of unmarked nets was located. Officers inspected the nets, and one net was found to have a mesh size larger than allowable by the Fisheries Act. Through an investigation, a suspect who is a commercial fisher was identified. Charges for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a licence under the Fisheries Act (Manitoba) as well as using an improperly marked gill net under Fishing Licensing Regulation are pending, totaling $1,158 in fines. If convicted, the fisher will face a one-year suspension of his commercial fishing licence.

On Feb. 14, conservation officers from the Riverton District and Fisheries Branch staff conducted a compliance patrol off Black Island and Hollow Water area. During the patrol, officers and staff observed three males pulling commercial fishing nets and observed a large amount of walleye and whitefish left on the ice around the recent basin holes that they fished. Officers conducted an inspection of the fish and nets and determined that approximately 80 per cent of the fish were decayed and unfit for human consumption and one illegal mesh net was larger than allowed under the Fisheries Act. Charges are pending, with fines totaling more than $1,500. The total weight of decayed fish will be deducted from the fisher’s annual quota and the fisher faces a possible fishing suspension upon conviction.

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.