First Nations police from Cape Croker kept a watchful eye Thursday April 24, on commercial anglers unloading their catch north of Wiarton. The anglers said they had gill netted both lake trout and whitefish and were seen carrying several boxes of fish from their boat to a truck on the dock. They denied catching any sports fish such as rainbow trout, which are in their spring spawn.
The Cape Croker Police said they made sure things remained calm after an incident at the Colpoys Creek dock earlier in the day. They gave no further details on the alleged incident, which they say occurred while the anglers were about to leave the dock in the morning.The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources said they have had complaints to their tips-line in recent days about the commercial anglers fishing near the Gleason Brook mouth, where rainbow trout are spawning. The SON Commercial Fishing Agreement, signed last year, limits how close the anglers can fish in relation to the mouths of two creeks on Colpoys Bay, which is part of southwest Georgian Bay. The agreement also puts limits on the length of nets the first nations anglers are allowed to use in this part of the bay.
At least four witnesses say they called the MNR TIPS Line (1-877-847-7667) to report infractions by the anglers. The witnesses said they saw nets too close to spawning streams, nets longer than allowed under the SON agreement, and nets laid with no markers or only one marker, when two are required.
Submitted to the Wiarton Echo by Stu Paterson.