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Manitoba Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources advises conservation officers are continuing enforcement to protect Manitoba’s natural resources through a variety of enforcement activities across the province including roadside checkstops in key locations to ensure compliance with natural resource and public safety legislation.
On Oct. 23, conservation officers from Ashern and Lundar responded to a Turn in Poachers (TIP) line call regarding individuals who were keeping oversized walleye and were also over their limit on the Fairford River. Officers conducted surveillance and observed three individuals actively angling. Upon making contact, officers found two large totes in the back of a sedan. Three individuals from Winnipeg were found to be in possession of 56 walleye, which is 44 over the legal quota. A total of $1,814 in fines and $2,352 in restitution was issued. All walleye seized were donated.
On Oct. 22, Swan River conservation officers conducted hunter compliance checks in the Porcupine Provincial Forest when the barrel of a rifle was observed sticking out the passenger window of a pickup truck. Officers stopped the truck, and inspected the rifle, determining it had a live cartridge in the chamber. The passenger, from Mafeking, was charged under the Wildlife Act for having a loaded firearm in the vehicle. The firearm was seized and a fine of $486 was issued.
On Oct. 7, a Dauphin conservation officer observed a pickup travelling near Ste. Rose du Lac transporting waterfowl hunting equipment. A traffic stop was conducted. The two occupants of the truck were in possession of ducks in excess of their daily bag limit. The pair claimed the additional ducks belonged to a third hunter who had travelled directly to work following the hunt. Further investigation disproved this claim and the two hunters, one from Indiana and the other from Ste. Rose du Lac, were charged for killing migratory game birds in excess of the daily bag limit and were issued $750 in fines. In all, 21 ducks were seized and donated to those in need.
On the weekends of Sept. 22-24 and Oct. 6-9, conservation officers conducted checkstops near Emerson at the Canada-U.S border. During fall, border crossings are historically busy with American hunters returning home. On the weekend of Sept. 22-24, officers screened in 64 vehicles resulting in two written warning for exporting bear parts under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA). One charge was laid under the Manitoba Fisheries Regulations (MFR) for possessing fish dressed or packed so that it could not be identified, and one charge under the Wildlife Act (WLA) for a loaded firearm. Over Thanksgiving long weekend from Oct. 6-9, officers screened 119 vehicles resulting in two written warnings for unlawfully exporting bear parts under WAPPRIITA, 12 charges under the Migratory Birds Convention Act for hunting migratory birds without a federal stamp, one charge under WLA for possessing a greater number of game birds than permitted, two charges under WLA for hunting upland game bird without a licence, two charges under MFR for possessing fish cut and packed so species could not be identified, and one charge under MFR for possessing more fish than the possession quota.
On Sept. 30, conservation officers from Gypsumville and Lundar responded to a TIP call regarding a group of anglers catching and retaining an over limit of walleye and loading them into their vehicle on the Fairford River. Officers investigated and found two coolers in the back of the vehicle and a third cooler in a nearby bush. Two individuals from Winnipeg were found to be in possession of 63 walleye, which is 55 walleye over the legal quota. A total of $1,579 in fines and $2,310 in restitution was issued. All walleye seized were donated.
On Sept. 24, Lundar conservation officers were conducting hunter compliance checks near Chatfield. During one traffic stop, a passenger was found to have a loaded firearm in the front seat of the vehicle. An individual from East St. Paul was issued a $672 fine along with a one-year big game/ game bird licence suspension and the firearm was seized.
On Aug. 26, while on patrol near Carberry, conservation officers observed a vehicle driving slowly through an area known to have a population of elk. Officers heard six gunshots from the direction of the vehicle. Officers made contact with the driver and located two firearms in the vehicle, including one that was loaded with live ammunition. Through investigation, officers determined the individual was accompanied by other hunters. Officers located two adults and a minor along with another firearm nearby. All firearms were seized. With the help of a canine unit, additional evidence was located, including an elk carcass, spotlight and a hunting knife. Charges against three individuals from Portage la Prairie include hunting on private land without permission, possessing illegally taken wildlife and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle. The trio received a total of $4,536 in fines and $3,000 in restitution.
The Manitoba Conservation Officer Service is also providing updates on cases that have now concluded.
On Oct. 23, 2021, conservation officers from Ashern and Gypsumville conducted a night hunting patrol in Hilbre. A vehicle was observed actively spotlighting private property off of a municipal road. Officers made contact with the vehicle and arrested four individuals from Fairford First Nation and Pinaymootang First Nation. All hunting equipment and the vehicle were seized at the scene. Four individuals were released with court appearance notices. On Sept. 13,the matter was heard in court and a total fine of $3,000 was issued along with the forfeiture of all evidence including a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu.
On Jan. 25, Swan River conservation officers conducted a commercial fishing patrol on Lake Winnipegosis near the Red Deer River. Officers checked a set of nets marked with a commercial fishing number and determined 61 fish were decayed. On Aug. 2, the commercial fisher from Mafeking pled guilty in provincial court to one count of leaving decayed or decaying fish in a net and received a $5,000 fine.
Anyone with information on illegal activity is asked to call a local conservation office or the TIP line at 1-800-782-0076.
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