Game wardens pounce on fish poachers

By Robert Frank

More than 34 Quebec game wardens targeted illegal fishing in the waters around Laval, as well as the adjoining Ottawa River and Laurentian region waters, during the first week of May. 

The wildlife ministry said in a statement that it undertook a 24-hour-a-day law-enforcement blitz that it dubbed Operation Cavalier, May 8-10, in order to put a stop to illegal fishing of copper redhorse, sturgeon, bass and walleye.

It reported that investigators checked 611 fishermen, and laid 94 charges against 83 of them whom they alleged were breaking the law.

The charges included:

• Fishing out of season
• Illegal possession of fish
• Exceeding catch limits
• Undersized catch
• Using live fish as bait
• Fishing without a permit
• Using more than one fishing line

Game wardens returned the illegal catches that were still alive to the water. They distributed the edible dead fish to a Laurentian region food bank.

The wildlife ministry asked for the public’s help in its fight against illegal poaching. It invited individuals who witness suspected poaching to call its toll-free, confidential anti-poaching hotline at 1-800-463-2191 or to visit the Laval, Laurentians and Lanaudière regional wildlife protection office at 999 Nobel in St. Jérôme.

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