KENORA – The fish worked out to over $1000.00 per pound. That was the price a Minnesota-based tourist operator and several guests paid as a result of over-fishing for walleye.
The operator and several guests were fined a total of $4,000 and forfeited their equipment after catching and keeping eight walleye over the limit.
Jason Just and Brian Spanovich of Lakeville, Minnesota, Timothy Just of Maplewood, Minnesota, and Matthew Harley of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, were fined $500 each and forfeited a large quantity of jigging rods, sonar units and other fishing gear to the Crown.
Angle Inn Lodge owner Anthony Wandersee of Oak Island, Minnesota, and a second individual under 18 years of age were fined $1,500 and $500 respectively for being party to the offence. A snowmobile used to transport the illegal fish was also forfeited to the Crown.
The court heard that on March 12, 2010, Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers were working on the Ontario side of the Lake of the Woods near the Canada/U.S. border. The officers saw a group of anglers catch and keep their limit of eight walleye. Shortly after, a youth met the anglers and brought the walleye back by snowmobile to the Angle Inn Lodge on the U.S. side of the border. The anglers then caught and kept eight more walleye. The officers later determined that the group was staying at the Angle Inn Lodge. The resort owner had told the youth to collect the guests’ fish so they could catch and keep more walleye.
Justice of the Peace Robert McNally heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Kenora, on May 4, 2010.
The Ministry of Natural Resources reminds the public that it is illegal to catch and keep more than the limit of fish permitted by your licence and the fishing regulations. For further information please consult the 2010 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary.
To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).