Illegal fish sales net Saskatchewan man fine, ban

A Saskatchewan construction company pleaded guilty to labour standards violations and was fined in provincial court in February.
A Buffalo Narrows, Sask. man has been fined and handed a fishing ban after pleading guilty for the illegal sale of fish. File / Global News

BUFFALO NARROWS, Sask. – A Saskatchewan man has been fined and handed a fishing ban after he pleaded guilty to four charges under the province’s Fisheries Act and Regulations.

Leon Morin, from Buffalo Narrows, was charged after a complaint was received by the Ministry of Environment in 2012 over the possible abuse of walleye stocks in the area.

During the investigation, undercover officers were approached by a commercial fisherman who sold them fish after the commercial fishing season had ended.

Morin was then charged with unlawfully marketing fish caught by both commercial fishing and subsistence fishing.

He was fined $19,360, given a two-year commercial fishing licence prohibition and a two-year probation during which he cannot aid or assist anyone who is commercial fishing.

“The Ministry of Environment takes illegal activity such as this very seriously,” said Ken Aube, a compliance and field services enforcement director with the ministry.

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“Left unchecked, entire populations can be decimated such as what happened to walleye populations at Big Peter Pond Lake several years ago.  This impacts sport anglers, subsistence fishermen and legitimate commercial fishermen, who rely on the lake fishery to make a living.”

By law, vendors must provide a receipt that includes the seller’s name, address and licence number, the water where the fish were caught, the fish species and form in which it was purchased, the quantity and sale price of the fish and date of purchase.

Anyone who suspects someone may be selling fish illegally should contact the nearest Ministry of Environment office or the Turn In Poachers tip-line at 1-800-667-7561.