The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) wants to remind anglers that fishing regulations are in place to maintain a sustainable fishery for future generations to enjoy.

Gordon G. Butson of Newmarket pleaded guilty and was fined $4,000 for possessing an over-limit of walleye. Additionally, the courts issued an order prohibiting him from obtaining a fishing licence or engaging in any fishing activities in Ontario for two years.

Court heard that on May 17, 2020, an MNRF conservation officer encountered Butson while fishing on Mesomikenda Lake near the town of Gogama. An investigation revealed that Butson was in possession of four walleye in his boat’s livewell and that an additional four walleye were located at his cottage, that were caught and kept the night before. This resulted in Butson possessing a combined total of eight walleye. The sport fishing licence possession limit for walleye on Mesomikenda Lake is four.

Justice of the Peace Sharon K. Ashick heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, via teleconference, on February 8, 2021.

MNRF conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the current COVID-19 pandemic and would like to remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

To report a natural resource violation or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit