Walleye Woes: Trio Faces Fines and Fishing Bans for Out-of-Season Spearfishing

March 1, 2024
Three men were fined a total of $7,605 for spearing walleye, obstructing a fisheries officer, abandoning fish, possessing walleye out of season and possessing a spear at night within 30 metres of the water’s edge. Two of the men were also suspended from fishing and had equipment forfeited to the Crown.

Patrick Moroso of Sudbury pleaded guilty to possessing fish caught in contravention of Ontario Fishery Regulations under the Fisheries Act, abandoning fish suitable for food, fishing by means other than angling and possessing a spear for fishing. He was fined a total of $2,469, suspended from fishing for a total of two years and the fish and spear were forfeited to the Crown.

Aiden Joly of Val Caron pleaded guilty to possessing fish caught in contravention of Ontario Fishery Regulations under the Fisheries Act, obstructing a fisheries officer, fishing by means other than angling and possessing a spear for fishing. He was fined a total of $2,469, suspended from fishing for two years and the fish and spear were forfeited to the Crown.

Jack Horsfall of Garson pleaded guilty to possessing fish caught in contravention of the Ontario Fishery Regulations under the Fisheries Act, fishing by means other than angling and unlawfully using artificial light to attract fish. He was fined a total of $2,667 and the fish were forfeited to the Crown.

The court heard that on April 29, 2023, conservation officers were conducting surveillance near the town of Azilda in response to public complaints of individuals spearing spawning walleye during the closed season. In the early hours that morning, officers observed Patrick Moroso and Aiden Joly in the water in possession of spears, spearing large walleye during the spawn. All walleye successfully speared were observed to be brought onto shore to Jack Horsfall, who was aiding in spotlighting the speared walleye. Walleye that had been injured during the spearing and managed to release themselves from the spear barbs floated down river and no attempt to recover them was made. When officers contacted the individuals, Aiden Joly obstructed the officers by throwing evidence into the river and fleeing the scene.

Justice of the Peace Lori-Ann Toulouse heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Sudbury, on September 11, 2023.

To report a natural resource problem 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 ontario.ca/mnrftips.

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