$9,000 in Fines, Fishing Licence Suspensions and a Loss of Fishing Gear Imposed for Poaching Fish on Rice Lake

The Ontario government wants to remind anglers that fishing regulations are in place to maintain a sustainable fishery for future generations to enjoy.

Three Toronto-area men have been fined a total of $9,000 after a road-side inspection of their vehicle and fishing boat revealed they were transporting live, angler-caught fish back to the Toronto area and were 16 fish over their legal limit. Qi Yang Dong of Markham, Wei Ming Huang of Markham and Jin Hui Su of Toronto pleaded guilty and were each fined $1,000 as well as forfeiture of their fishing equipment for possessing an over-limit of crappie. The three men also pleaded guilty and were fined $2,000 each for transporting live fish, other than baitfish, without a licence. The individuals were also given a three-year fishing licence suspension.

The court heard that on the morning of September 20, 2020, conservation officers received information from a member of the public who suspected the group to be over-harvesting from Rice Lake and transporting live fish out of the Keene area. The officers located the vehicle matching the description and conducted a vehicle stop along County Road 2, west of Keene. Upon inspection, officers located 106 black crappie and four largemouth bass. All fish were located swimming freely in a full live-well equipped with operating aeration equipment. The fish, fishing equipment, fishing boat and trailer were seized at the scene.

Justice of the Peace Jack Le Blanc heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Peterborough, on April 12, 2021.

Conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the current COVID-19 pandemic and would like to remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

To report a natural resource violation or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit ontario.ca/mnrftips.

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