THUNDER BAY – A Minnesota man has been fined $1,500 for illegally bringing live baitfish into Ontario.
Robert Bulik of Moorhead pleaded guilty and was fined $1,500 for importing live fish into Ontario for use as bait. Court heard that on September 24, 2014, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry conservation officers contacted Bulik after receiving information from Canada Border Services Agency.
Officers at the Fort Frances Bridge port of entry found Bulik to have a total of 570 live minnows inside two plastic jerry cans in his boat, next to four other jerry cans containing fuel. Upon investigation, conservation officers learned that Bulik bought the baitfish in Minnesota and was on his way to fish Rainy Lake. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the International Falls port of entry had advised Canada Border Services Agency that they suspected Bulik transferred live minnows into jerry cans before driving across the International Bridge to Ontario.
Justice of the Peace Pat Clysdale-Cornell heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Fort Frances, on December 19, 2014.
The ministry reminds the public that importing live organisms can threaten aquatic ecosystems by introducing invasive species, and transmitting pathogens such as parasites, viruses and bacteria not native to Ontario.
To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).