DFO re­ports 190 inland vi­o­la­tions dur­ing sal­mon sea­son

The Pilot - - SPORTS - CRIME

Dur­ing the 2016 an­gling sea­son, of­fi­cers and guardians with the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans (DFO) in­spected 4,200 an­glers.

Of that num­ber, 190 fish­ing vi­o­la­tions were de­tected, in­clud­ing: 106 inland sal­mon; 22 coastal vi­o­la­tions; with 39 nets be­ing found and re­moved. There were also 23 vi­o­la­tions of the trout reg­u­la­tions, such as daily bag limit mea­sures.

A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of charges laid this sum­mer are still pend­ing be­fore the court and may re­sult in con­vic­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Daryl Walsh, se­nior com­pli­ance of­fi­cer with DFO’s Con­ser­va­tion and Pro­tec­tion Divi­sion, the vi­o­la­tions de­tected are on par with the pre­vi­ous year.

How­ever, the num­ber of nets be­ing found, as a re­sult of aban­don­ment or poach­ers afraid to re­turn for retrieval, is of par­tic­u­lar con­cern to Walsh.

“We don’t like to leave those nets in the water too long be­cause they are go­ing to con­tinue catch­ing more and more sal­mon,” said Walsh. “They can be par­tic­u­larly de­struc­tive, es­pe­cially when inland net­ting is tak­ing place on smaller rivers.”

Still for all, Walsh had high praise for those who are fol­low­ing the law, not­ing the vi­o­la­tions only made up a small per­cent- age - less than five per cent - of the checks car­ried out.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of sal­mon fish­ers on the river care about sal­mon as much as we do, and want to con­serve and pro­tect them,” said Walsh. “They make up some of the big­gest al­lies we have.”

When it comes to ac­tiv­ity, Walsh said the an­gling sea­son ap­peared a lit­tle slower than last year, not­ing sal­mon were mov­ing through rivers early in the sea­son, when wa­ters where higher and colder, which was fol­lowed by the clo­sure of 23 rivers be­cause of poor con­di­tions. As a re­sult the ef­fort wasn’t as strong.

“It sort of goes hand in hand,” he said.

The pub­lic is en­cour­aged to re­port poach­ing ac­tiv­ity to Crime Stop­pers at 1-800-222-8477 or to one of the Con­ser­va­tion and Pro­tec­tion of­fices in the prov­ince.

A 19-foot open boat and mo­tor were seized fol­low­ing the ar­rest of two men from South East Bight Sept. 23 for pos­sess­ing un­tagged cari­bou. Four quar­ters of cari­bou, two ri­fles and am­mu­ni­tion were also con­fis­cated.

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