Three North Bay residents have been fined a total of $10,200 for unlawfully fishing in a fish sanctuary during the closed season and for possessing a spear for fishing.

Bruce Scobie, Andrew Scobie and Joshua Scobie pleaded guilty and were each fined $1,700 for fishing in a sanctuary and $1,700 for possessing a spear for fishing walleye in the Wasi Falls fish sanctuary. They are prohibited from angling, spearfishing and gillnetting in any fish sanctuaries of Lake Nipissing or contributing bodies of water for two years. All walleye and spears were forfeited to the Crown.

Court heard that on May 5, 2014, the Scobies were observed spearing walleye in the Wasi Falls fish sanctuary, near Lake Nipissing. In response to public complaints, conservation officers contacted the party of three on May 5, 2014, to determine under what authority they were spearing walleye in the sanctuary. The Scobies identified themselves as Eagle Village First Nation band members from Quebec and claimed they had a right to spear walleye in the sanctuary.

Justice of the Peace Lauren Scully heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, North Bay, on July 15, 2015.

Fish sanctuaries protect walleye during the spawning period. Every fish removed during spawning has a significant impact on the overall walleye population.

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).