Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers Lay Numerous Charges for Violations
Director of Communications
Department of Justice and Public Safety
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
A number of investigations by Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers in recent weeks have led to serious charges related to illegal fishing activity across Newfoundland and Labrador.
On June 16, officers with the Gander detachment were conducting a coastal boat patrol near the community of Norris Arm North, when they observed a net set in a cove near the community. The officers set up surveillance of the area and were successful in apprehending a male early the following morning when he checked the net. The individual, from Norris Arm North, was charged with netting and possession of Atlantic salmon in inland waters and will appear in Provincial Court at a later date. A salmon net and one Atlantic salmon were seized as part of the investigation.
Officers from the Gander detachment were also conducting a routine patrol in the Constant Pond Steadies area on July 8 when they witnessed a male angling in scheduled waters with something other than an artificial fly. Charges are pending as a result of the incident and a fly rod with reel and three speckled brook trout were seized.
On July 15, officers with the Stephenville and Corner Brook detachments were conducting surveillance in the area of Stephenville Crossing in response to complaints that individuals were netting Atlantic salmon and selling them locally. The salmon were reportedly being caught in Barachois Brook, a local scheduled salmon river. Early that morning, officers were successful in apprehending two males travelling in an SUV in the Stephenville Crossing area while returning from Barachois Brook and subsequent to that, an illegal net was located in the brook. Both individuals are scheduled to make an appearance at Provincial Court in Stephenville on October 17, 2016, to face charges under the Fisheries Act for netting in inland waters and possession of fish caught in contravention of the act. A Chevrolet Tracker and six salmon were seized.
Also on July 15, officers with the Gander detachment acted on a complaint of salmon poaching at Jumpers Brook near the community of Birchy Bay. The officers conducted surveillance of the area and early in the morning of July 16 witnessed four males approach the brook. Two of the men proceeded to sweep the brook with a net while the other two individuals posted a lookout. The four individuals were apprehended and will appear in Provincial Court in Gander at a later date to face charges. A gill net, one Atlantic salmon and a wheelbarrow were seized as part of the investigation.
Officers with the Gander detachment were also conducting a boat patrol on July 16 near the community of Stoneville when they discovered a net set in Dog Bay. The officers conducted surveillance of the area and the following morning observed an individual wearing a mask approach the net in an inflatable boat. When approached, the individual fled on foot to a wooded area and managed to escape despite assistance from the RCMP's K-9 unit. A small inflatable boat, a salmon net and 37 Atlantic salmon were seized as part of the investigation. The investigation into this incident is continuing and the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division is requesting the public's assistance in identifying the individual involved.
On July 18, officers with the Gander detachment were conducting a coastal boat patrol near Port Albert when they discovered a net set in a nearby cove. After setting up surveillance of the area, two males were apprehended early the following morning when they arrived to check the net. The men, from Port Albert and Crow Head, will make an appearance at Provincial Court in Gander at a later date to face charges under the Fisheries Act for netting Atlantic salmon in coastal waters. A speed boat, outboard motor, salmon net, one Atlantic salmon and several groundfish were seized as a result of the incident.
On July 19, officers with the Corner Brook detachment apprehended two adult males at Lower Crabbes River in the Bay of Islands for illegally netting salmon and sea trout. The two men, from Cox's Cove and St. John's, had placed a gill net across the entire span of the river. The net contained six Atlantic salmon and a quantity of sea trout. These were seized along with a speed boat and outboard motor, an ATV and a net. The two men will appear at Provincial Court in Corner Brook at a later date to face charges under the Fisheries Act for possession of a net near inland waters, netting in inland waters and possession of fish caught in contravention of the act.
On July 21, officers with the Stephenville detachment apprehended two males for possession of a net at Warm Brook. The two individuals, both from Stephenville, will face charges under the Fisheries Act for possession of a net near inland waters and are scheduled to appear in Provincial Court in Stephenville on October 17, 2016. Two bicycles and a net were seized as a result of the investigation.
On July 22 on the Northern Peninsula, officers with the Roddickton detachment were working jointly with the Flowers Cove RCMP detachment in the Sandy Cove area on poaching complaints. Early that morning, an adult male from Sandy Cove was arrested in near Eddies Cove after he fled the scene of an illegally set salmon net on an ATV and refused to stop when directed to do so. The individual was subsequently remanded into custody where he will remain until a court appearance later this month. In addition to charges for violations of the Fisheries Act, he also faces criminal charges.
On August 6, 2016 officers with the Stephenville detachment received a tip that a net had been set in the Barachois Brook in Bay St. George and appeared to have been left unattended. Officers were successful in locating the net in the same remote area where they had seized another net on July 15. The abandoned net, which spanned the full width of the river, contained a decomposing salmon and three dead ducks. Officers believe the net was intentionally set and are seeking assistance from the public for any information which may be helpful in identifying the person or persons responsible.
These are just a few examples of recent incidents related to illegal fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador and these actions continue to have a severely negative impact on salmon and trout resources. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to protecting the province's resources and to ensuring that they remain available for those who respect legislation concerning the proper management and conservation of fish and game. The public can play a significant role in assisting officers by reporting any suspicious activity anonymously and toll-free at any time of the day, by calling 1-877-820-0999 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Anonymous online reports can also be submitted at www.stoppoaching.ca orwww.nlcrimestoppers.com.