Two-Month Baitfish Enforcement Blitz in Northeast Results in Charges

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The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry laid 18 charges and issued 71 warnings in a two-month baitfish enforcement blitz in the Northeast Region.

Conservation officers from Chapleau, Wawa, Timmins, Hearst, Kirkland Lake, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury checked 1,394 individuals from May 1 to June 30, 2015. Officers inspected 126 bait dealers and harvesters, paying special attention to the possession and sale of species other than bait, the proper use of log books, and licensing. They also worked jointly with the Ontario Provincial Police, Quebec conservation officers, the ministry’s canine units and other agencies to check 134 individuals entering Ontario to ensure baitfish, leeches, crayfish and invasive species were not being imported into the province. In addition, officers inspected 1,134 bait buckets, at boat launches and on water, to ensure only baitfish species were being used for angling and bait was being disposed of properly.

Officers laid 18 charges for:

  • possessing unlawful fish from other jurisdictions
  • fishing without a licence
  • selling fish without a licence
  • bringing live leeches into Ontario for bait
  • failing to comply with licence conditions
  • possessing non-baitfish species

Officers issued 71 warnings for:

  • failing to complete, produce or keep a bait dealer’s daily log
  • possessing non-baitfish species
  • possessing more than 120 baitfish
  • taking baitfish for commercial purposes without a licence
  • failing to submit an annual return

Officers also used the opportunity to educate dealers, harvesters and anglers on the importance of preventing the movement and transfer of invasive species.

For further information on fishing regulations, please consult the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary, available at ontario.ca/fishing.

To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).