Fishing Violations Net Jail Time

A Mattawa man who pleaded guilty to a series of fishing violations has been sentenced to seven days in jail.

Shawn Miller pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing walleye over his legal limit and one count each of unlawfully transporting fish, possessing a commercial gill net and selling walleye. Each count carries a seven day jail sentence. Miller will serve his sentences concurrently.

The court also issued an order prohibiting Miller from obtaining or possessing a fishing licence and engaging in any fishing-related activities for five years.

Court heard that during the spring and summer of 2013, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry received information that Miller was catching over-limits of walleye using a gill net and by angling in Tee, Red Pine and Papineau lakes and the Ottawa River.

On July 12 and August 27, 2013, conservation officers observed Miller catch and retain a large quantity of walleye. Officers executed a search warrant at his residence on August 29, 2013. Miller admitted to taking over-limits of walleye on a regular basis while fishing the Ottawa River and not adhering to the Ontario fishing regulations.

Miller further admitted that the fish he caught by netting were taken to his residence and sold in Mattawa. Officers seized a gill net, walleye, fishing gear and a boat and motor. All seized items were forfeited, except for the boat and motor, which will be returned to the rightful owner.

Justice of the Peace Susan Hilton heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, North Bay, on January 21, 2015.

The ministry reminds the public that fishing limits and gear restrictions are in place to maintain a sustainable fishery so that anglers may enjoy the resource in the future.

For more information regarding catch and possession limits, gear restrictions, open seasons and fish sanctuaries for the specific waters anglers plan to fish, 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).

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