The NRO approached the men, identified himself as a Natural Resource Officer and asked them for their Manitoba angling licences. The NRO asked one man if he had caught any fish. The man’s angling partner ( a minor) identified four Channel catfish that were sitting in the sand behind the pair. Three of the Channel catfish appeared to be larger than the permitted size limit so the NRO measured them. The three fish measured 84cm, 75cm, and 74cm. All Channel catfish caught by licensed anglers that exceed 60cm must be released immediately. The NRO revived and released the three Channel catfish into the water as authorized by Section 73.2 of The Fisheries Act (Canada) and subsequently served the man the offence notice.
Angling opportunities for Channel catfish draw thousands of recreational fishermen from across North America on an annual basis. The illegal harvest of fish that exceed the size limit threatens the sustainability of the fishery and would also greatly impact tourism in the area.
The man entered a voluntary plea of guilty and was assessed a fine of $127